Steering, Suspension, & Brakes

tips, technology, tools and techniques related to non-driveline mechanical components

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pawp
Richard Carr
Louisa VA
(10 posts)

Registered:
11/26/2008 12:17PM

Main British Car:
1980 MG B Buick 215

Watts Link
Posted by: pawp
Date: December 11, 2009 07:29PM

Anybody running a Watts Link on an MGB? I'm considering one and would like your input. Thanks

Well, I got it figured out. Seems you can mount a watt's link offset to the drive line center if you change the pivot angle proportionally to the added length of the longer arm. There seems to be no adverse issues. So, it mounts at the right axle center-line for proper roll center and mounts off the right side of the differential, hence no clearance problems. The mock up works fine . I'll let you know how the actual installation works. Thanks for the help.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2010 05:30PM by pawp.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 13, 2009 11:50PM

Lakewood has one for a Mustang that could easily be copied over to the MGB.
0604phr_susp_05_z.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/13/2009 11:53PM by mgb260.


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Watts Link
Posted by: Moderator
Date: December 14, 2009 03:59AM

I've never seen a Watt's linkage on an MGB... but I've seen a really nice one on an MG Midget. I'll post snapshots below. A full article on the Midget in question is coming soon.

I presume you realize there are two basic ways to install a Watt's linkage.
A) pivot the bellcrank on the axle, and connect the outboard links to the body, or
B) pivot the bellcrank on a body-mounted bracket, and connect the outboard links to the axle.

What rear axle will you be using? I tend to think Option A suits a Ford 8-inch axle or an MGB "banjo" axle slightly better. Option B may suit a Ford 8.8, Chevy 10-bolt, or MG Salisbury axle slightly better. The latter (tube-type) axles typically have removable rear covers. Whether the bellcrank is mounted to axle or body, it's going to be in the way of accessing the differential. Are the covers strong enough for mounting the pivot, or will they require reinforcement?

An MGB presents a couple particular challenges:
1) there's relatively little clearance between the fuel tank and the axle. (On my car that there was just barely enough room for a Panhard rod behind the axle, but I've noticed some people haven't had enough room there. Ted Lathrop generally mounts Panhard rods ahead of the axle because of the tight fit behind.)
2) the boot floor behind the differential is pretty weak, so if you attempt option B above you'll need to attach outboard and/or gusset across a lot of sheet metal.

IMHO, the big advantage of a Watt's link (i.e. freedom from side-to-side axle movement and subsequent roll steer) would be more relevant for a suspension with more wheel travel, but the MGB rear suspension just doesn't provide much range of travel. If you install a reasonably long Panhard rod, you probably won't notice roll steer effects...

http://www.britishracecar.com/JohnMcCue-MG-Midget/JohnMcCue-MG-Midget-DK.jpg

http://www.britishracecar.com/JohnMcCue-MG-Midget/JohnMcCue-MG-Midget-DL.jpg


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3765 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Watts Link
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: December 14, 2009 04:22PM

I'm betting that Lakewood Watt's setup weighs waaay more than my panhard rod.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 14, 2009 06:43PM

Carl, You are absolutely right, everytime I post something now I'm going to worry about the weight! LOL. I'll probably diet myself being I'm one of the heaviest parts in the car! My brother used to have a Pro Gas/Bracket Vega with 400 SBC/Powerglide,super narrow 9" rear. Lexan glass everything gutted,aluminum interior,etc. It did go low 9's. I don't plan on going near that fast, or worry too much about weight on a street/strip fun car.


WedgeWorks1
Mike Perkins
Ellicott City, Maryland
(460 posts)

Registered:
07/06/2008 08:07AM

Main British Car:
1980 Triumph TR8 3.5 Litre Rover V8

authors avatar
Re: Watts Link
Posted by: WedgeWorks1
Date: December 14, 2009 07:08PM

Here is how it was done back in the day "Group 44" style on their MGB.
MGB 3a.gif
And one of the TR8s
Group 44 #4 TR8 Rear.jpg

Group 44 ran solid axles with watts linkage on almost all of their cars with the exception of the TR6, Spitfires, GT6 and some of the Jags. So if it is good enough for them then it should be good enough for everyone!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2009 07:16PM by WedgeWorks1.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 14, 2009 08:16PM

I was just ribbing Carl on the weight of the Lakewood one, but seriously, that looks like a lightweight setup. Must have a fuel cell up in the trunk?



pawp
Richard Carr
Louisa VA
(10 posts)

Registered:
11/26/2008 12:17PM

Main British Car:
1980 MG B Buick 215

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: pawp
Date: December 14, 2009 09:43PM

Thanks everyone. The idea I'm working in will mount in front of axle up top. Still measuring though. I appreciate the help. Keep it coming.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 14, 2009 10:03PM

Australian Falcon mounts in front. Here is a pic of one on a 8" Ford:
0601sr_15_z+hot_rod_rearend+.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2009 10:05PM by mgb260.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 14, 2009 10:10PM

Here is a Huffaker Watts mounted underneath the rear axle:
huffaker watts.JPG


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4411 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Watts Link
Posted by: Moderator
Date: December 15, 2009 12:03AM

Which Huffaker MGBs had Watts Linkages?

I've only had a close look at one Huffaker MGB... It was the one bought be Don Martin and subsequently owned by Hap Waldrop and now Eddie Beal - so arguably the final and "best" Huffaker MGB, although I can't tell by looking at it what all the fuss is about. See below.

Positive: the installed height of this Panhard rod has relocated the car's roll center lower by about seven inches:
http://www.britishracecar.com/EddieBeal-Huffaker-MGB/EddieBeal-Huffaker-MGB-DB.jpg

Negative: Panhard rod mounted in single shear at both ends, and with a bend in the middle for good measure:
http://www.britishracecar.com/EddieBeal-Huffaker-MGB/EddieBeal-Huffaker-MGB-DC.jpg


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 15, 2009 12:41AM

Hap would know, I think he posted that picture originally in a discussion on Watts. The floorboards don't look like MG,maybe Spridget, Triumph?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2010 02:02AM by mgb260.


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(1083 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Watts Link
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: December 15, 2009 09:37AM

Quote:
The floorboards don't look like MG,maybe Triumph?

Salsbury axle, main crossmember with exhaust reliefs, welded exhaust hanger bracket .....all appear to be MG - battery box is an aftermarket unit.


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(1995 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: mgb260
Date: December 15, 2009 10:17AM

Graham, The picture above the two Curtis posted, with the bottom mount Watts.The ribs in the floorboards run the other way. Maybe Spridget? I think you mean Banjo axle.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/15/2009 01:15PM by mgb260.


roverman
Art Gertz
Winchester, CA.
(2992 posts)

Registered:
04/24/2009 11:02AM

Main British Car:
74' Jensen Healy, 79 Huff. GT 1, 74 MGB Lotus 907,2L

Re: Watts Link
Posted by: roverman
Date: December 18, 2009 05:50PM

Watts made by Stock Car Products, had their pivot around the snout of 9" Ford. 8" also ? No one uses a "pickle fork"anymore? Simple,lite and easy to change IC. Pickle mounts on body/frame with open end of slot facing down. "Roller" bolts on rear cover of rear end, and travels vertically in slot. Adjustable height through multiple bolt holes to adjust instant center. Zero arc and compact. roverman.



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