|The MGA With An Attitude
MGB KING PINS on the MGA with MGB Shock Arms - FS-205A
This article was submitted by Brian McCullough
The MGB front suspension conversion for the MGA is pretty straight forward. The MGA and B suspension is very similar, but the factory must have felt that the old T series independent front suspension needed reworking for strength and a bit more modern design. That said, the MGB suspension is not far off from some of the 1930’s Buicks, Franklins and Packards. For an MGA with discs and good calipers, I would probably stay running the standard stuff. No reason to change. This is especially for people who will never get out and adjust their brakes and have a feeling that drums just wont cut it Cut inner tie rods- the outer tie rods are the standard MGA units
Female fittings on the steel brake lines
Welded bracket onto the frame on both sides with MGB bump stops
MGA shock with MGB arms installed upside down.
With notes from www.mgaguru.com and www.mgbmga.com, you can find all the proper items to do to a car in order to get this system to fit. This ‘upgrade’ for drum brake cars allows affordable and easy to come by used and new parts. For a disc brake car, this allows for tougher king pins, drop spindles (if desired- but most people will probably not want to lower their MGA)
Look at the upside-down bump stops on the MGB arms.
Call World Wide Auto Parts at 1.800.362.1025
Say- “I have an MGA with MGB king pins. Can you sell me a set of MGA shocks with the MGB king pin conversion?”
As I understand and as things appear, MGB shock arm, MGA Shock body. Everything bolts together and works Very well (although the bump stops being upside down looks a bit strange).
The second most difficult thing is to cut the inner tie rod ends about 1/2” (or about there) to allow them to turn in enough to adjust the toe in/out properly.
The most difficult item to install is the steel plate that you will need to weld to your frame. Some people do not have access to welding equipment in their own garage, and for a died-in-the-wool purist, you are adding metal where it does not belong. That said, you can grind it back off. Doug Jackson’s website has a drawing of what a person needs to fabricate to weld to the frame, but since a donor MGB was sacrificed for king pins, just grab the entire sub frame, cut the pieces from it clean them up and use them.
The best way I found to weld these in place was to have the suspension completely removed, install the MGB bump stop to the lower MGA bump stop location where the MGB bump stop will be mounted permanent, bolt this new piece of scrap iron in place to the top half of the bump stop and weld the edges to the MGA frame. Once in place, unbolt and remove the bump stop, then finish welding this bracket. I recommend welding around the edges real well so it will not crack in the future. Once this is done, install your rebuilt MGB front suspension.
We used MGB brake hoses. In order to use these front hoses with the B calipers, we bolted them into the calipers and the opposite end was installed in the MGA brake hose location with washers installed TIGHT on the top and bottom so we did not weld the holes (although its not a bad idea to just weld one thick washer to this location!) The MGB hoses need a different fitting as well. We altered the ends of the MGA pipes to fit the female ends.
The very last thing to do is install the MGB bump stops After the car has proper weight on it. Without a driveline or other weight in the vehicle, it is very difficult to install. (Fully assembled car- jack up underneath the A frame CAREFULLY) ...something about two items cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
Okay, so the mods to the MGA are:
Spring pan, spring, king pin, spindle, brakes, bump stops are all MGB and can be purchased completed rebuilt to bolt on as a system if a person wants from an MG service/restoration center or parts company - king pins reamed and fitted, rebuilt calipers and so on, otherwise a carefully inspected used setup from an MGB.
Addendum January 2010:
Here is a picture of the MGB bump stop installed on the MGA. Notice that the aluminum spacer block has been relocated to the underside of the frame flange, and the addition of a thin plate between the frame flange and spacer block.