So this weekend, I received from Moss Motors all of the bits needed to rebuild my rear suspension. Goal was to replace the leaf springs, new nylon bushings, check and refill the lever shocks as needed, adjust the rear brakes and clean/paint anything that gets taken off while evaluating any rust areas for the planned bodywork later.
The reason for doing this is — I purchased the vehicle last month, and while driving home it steered quite heavily, and would dart left on acceleration and right on deceleration. I knew the U-joints were good and the front suspension, for the time being, is “tight enough”. It was obvious that the rear suspension was pretty much roached. Just needed to figure out the extent.
All the parts came in from Moss, and they looked awesome. I finally found a Sunday to schedule it, and then, well, here we go! Here are some notes if you plan on doing this.
- A ratcheting open end wrench for the rear springs is really helpful — It’s a 9/16ths.
- The front Bolt is 11/16ths
- The rear shocks are held by 3/4in bolts
- I’m sure that when MG stopped making vehicles, any company that specialized in making UNF Fine thread bolts went out of business
- It really helps to wire brush any hardware that you plan to re-use, and paint the flat black. I do this because I want to be sure that anything I “touch” in the vehicle has been replaced “as new”. So every time you work on something, it is cleaned and refreshed. Incremental progress is key.
- Do one side at a time. It is a LOT easier to line stuff up when it is loose only on one side.
- Wire brush and clean all nuts and bolts to be re-used. It goes back nicer
- Clean everything as much as you can ahead of time.
- While the wheels are off, Clean them up inside and out
- You will definitely need an extra jack to place the leaf springs
- When installing the leaf spring, I found that installing the rear side first gave me the easiest time, especially for installing all the busing bits.
- Use the included lubrication included with the nylon bushing kit. Liberally. Really. Liberally
- Once the car is on jackstands, I found that putting the trolly jack under the middle of the differential towards the front and in front of the drain was helpful in lining up the U Bolts
- Clean your hands a few times with Orange goo or whatever you use. It helped me quite a bit.
- While you’re in there, look at the fuel pump and gas tank wiring and replace any crappy connections that a previous owner may have used for really good ones, and make sure they are out of the way. Why wait for something to go wrong?
What I found — The bushings weren’t that bad, but the springs were more than an inch lower than the replacements, which matched nicelyi. I also noted that the shocks were rebuilt. Whomever rebuilt them did not re-install them correctly, and, if you refer to the attached drawing, left out the bottom plate (#19, one of two, the bottom one) and just bolted the rubber pad straight to the shock mount. I think that might have been the largest source of my troubles. In fact I know it.
Finally piece of advice, always keep a printed copy of the exploded drawings handy so you know what kind of dumb stuff a previous owner has or hasn’t put back on the car.