The MGA With An Attitude
LEAF SPRINGS Too Tall -- RS-104

At 09:35 AM 6/14/2007 +0100, Dave Shattock wrote:
"The springs I got from a supplier in the midwest USA were terrible. They flexed in such away that the rear axle was shifting terribly. They were in the car for 50 miles and we pulled them out. We've had a set of originals re-arched. Apparently most replacements available in the USA aren't worth using. Does anyone have more up-to-date info?"

For some years, spanning minimally from the mid 90's until as recently as a few years ago, North American source leaf springs for the MGA were notorious for being too tall and would never settle down to the right height. I had seen the same problem as far back as 1989. I installed a set of these in 1997, but put up with them for only a short time before returning to the original ones (reconditioned).

When the leaf springs are too tall the rebound strap will become taught with only moderate body roll during cornering, lifting the inside rear wheel off the pavement. When that happens you get half the weight of the car on one rear tire. This overloads the tire, reducing grip efficiency. Result is that the tail end swings wide with a wild oversteer condition. The faster you go the worse it gets, but it can happen at relatively moderate speed such as 45 mph on an expressway exit ramp. Very scary, and unsafe, not to mention taking a lot of fun out of brisk driving and losing the competitive edge.

I am not sure if the problem persists today, but would appreciate any recent user report.

Okay, in early 2009 I am still getting lots of reports of new leaf springs being too tall, and so far no known source for correct height springs (off the shelf). My best solution to this problem is to take your old springs to a professional spring shop for reconditioning. They can make a new leaf to replace a broken one, and they can re-arch springs to any desired ride height. New springs might be cheaper (or maybe not), but if you have to get the new springs re-arched then the combined cost of purchase and rework will likely exceed the cost of rebuilding the old ones. See RS-105 for correct leaf spring specifications.

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