Steering, Suspension, & Brakes

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

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waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 09, 2019 03:42PM

I am progressing slowly with my engine swap and although not ready to do it yet am thinking about the front suspension. I have a rubber bumper crossmember in a chrome bumper bodyshell mostly for sump clearance and I have one! My thoughts were to use dropped spindles to get the front level with the rear while maintaining suspension travel in bump. I have emailed Dave Headley and he suggests that in a wet climate the loss of water seals on the kingpin makes it inadvisable to use them and to use the chrome bumper front end. That amount of chopping to the crossmember in the UK is a no no so does anyone have a solution?


ex-tyke
Graham Creswick
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
(1078 posts)

Registered:
10/25/2007 11:17AM

Main British Car:
1976 MGB Ford 302

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: ex-tyke
Date: July 10, 2019 09:17AM

Quote:
... the loss of water seals on the kingpin makes it inadvisable to use them...
My drop spindles and steering arms (pictured) came from Dick Luening (Killer Beez Racing)
Not sure what Dave is alluding to as far as loss of water seals – Dick’s MGB kingpin assemblies, reworked to lower/raise the spindle, retain all the existing original MG components. The drop steering arms still accommodate the original tie rod joints and seals. – not sure if Dave’s kingpins are manufactured differently to preclude original components.
mgb drop spindle.jpg

Raised MGB spindle detail.jpg


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 10, 2019 10:30AM

"not sure if Dave’s kingpins are manufactured differently to preclude original components. "

Yes, they are. I would prefer Dave's because he says they induce camber gain, but he does them differently & they do not have the top seal. They are mainly for racing.

If you absolutely cannot use the CB crossmember, Philip, get your dropped spindles from Dick Luening.

[mgbracing.com]

Are you absolutely sure the CB crossmember will not work? I have the RB crossmember & there is plenty of room under the oil pan (Buick 215) with the A/C set back engine mounts. I know of conversions that used the CB crossmember in a RB B. I may switch to a CB crossmember, myself.


302GT
Larry Shimp

(198 posts)

Registered:
11/17/2007 01:13PM

Main British Car:
1968 MGB GT Ford 302 crate engine

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: 302GT
Date: July 12, 2019 07:54AM

Dave's drop spindles use king pins that are longer than stock. They are assembled with the spindles and then are welded together in place. To replace the bushings the assemblies need to be sent back to Dave to be cut apart, new bushings put in, and king pins rewelded. Dick's spindles use stock king pins and are serviced exactly the same as the stock assemblies.

Because Dave's drop spindles are taller than stock, the upper A arms are angled up compared to the lower A arms, and this is what induces camber gain.


jjohanski
James Johanski

(26 posts)

Registered:
11/15/2017 08:57AM

Main British Car:


Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: jjohanski
Date: July 14, 2019 07:40AM

I am using Dick's dropped spindles and they have the stock seal set up.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 15, 2019 05:46PM

Sadly, Dick Luening,passed away last month.

Not sure if his 2 sons are planning to continue the business.


jjohanski
James Johanski

(26 posts)

Registered:
11/15/2017 08:57AM

Main British Car:


Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: jjohanski
Date: July 16, 2019 07:28AM

Carl, I did not know that Dick had passed. He was a wonderful honest man that I knew for over 40 years. I first met him racing at Blackhawk farms in Southern WI in the early 70's. Last time I saw him was about five years or so ago at the All British Swap meet at DuPage County Fairgrounds. He loved his family and especially the grand children. Some may know that he built an MGB V8 for his daughter. Hope his sons carry on but the trade is getting smaller and failing, so it will be hard. I guess the problem is dying. RIP Dick.



40indianss
don foote

(54 posts)

Registered:
08/01/2013 04:35PM

Main British Car:


Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: 40indianss
Date: July 16, 2019 12:39PM

Seems as if the seal or lack of could be mitigated by maintenance on a regular schedule and possibly using the blue boat trailer wheel bearing grease which is stickier than snot and seems to work well for boat trailers in salt water environments


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 16, 2019 07:08PM

Carl
I am fitting the Jaguar AJV6 engine with a Mazda RX8 gearbox into a chrome bumper bodyshell. By using the combination of a Mondeo (Contour?) ST220 sump which has the lowest front section and a larger oil capacity I am able to get this under a stock bonnet only by using a rubber bumper crossmember. This is a condition of my wife, no warts on the bonnet! The engine fits into the chrome bumper bodyshell with no mods except through the fender headers and removing about an inch off the top of the crossmember.
I am trying to get down to CB ride height at the front without reducing bump suspension travel and the dropped spindles seemed the ideal way until Dave Headley put me off the idea, another honest guy who could have sold me the spindles and said nothing.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/16/2019 07:17PM by waterbucket.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 17, 2019 12:30PM

If a CB to RB crossmember did the job, the best solution would be to notch the CB crossmember for clearance?

If not interested in that maybe you can still get the other dropped spindles from MG Limited.

[mgbracing.com]

Dave Headley's take on the dropped spindle does not bother me. I run in the dry most of the time & on good roads. More frequent grease job & I think it will be fine.


40indianss
don foote

(54 posts)

Registered:
08/01/2013 04:35PM

Main British Car:


Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: 40indianss
Date: July 17, 2019 11:41PM

My point exactly on the boat trailer wheeli bearing grease and frequency of maintenance. Should be nothing to worry about and I am also using dave headley's spindles



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/17/2019 11:46PM by 40indianss.


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 18, 2019 02:13AM

Carl
It is not only swapping crossmembers but notching them as well, a RB one by an inch CB one by two inches. The problem we have over here is that we have to have an annual test (MOT) for modified classic cars unmodified do not, if the tester notices any modification to the monocoque or a number of modifications to other areas he has to refer you to the DVLA, they will then automatically demand an IVA test (type approval). I can lower a RB crossmember by an inch and ny smoothing the shape and grinding the welds smooth it is very unlikely anyone would notice. The through the fender holes can be argued factory original.
As to why a Jaguar AJV6 engine, then why not? In its favour apart from height it is reasonably light at 360lbs and a compact 20 inches long. A healthy 240 bhp from a free revving engine. In fact the height issue is not too bad, It will fit under a standard bonnet with no other mods, similar to the GM X30XE that Ian Cass is doing.
Why not a Rover V8? Well over here they are becoming expensive, I think more so than with you. By now a large proportion are high mileage and even the lower mileage ones will need rebuilding, the typical cost for a rebuilt long block is £4000 , Mnual gearboxes and bellhousings are also becoming scarce and expensive. We do not have easy access to 0.68 or 0.73 T5's so we have to change the rear axle anyway or have a 22MPH top gear.
The GM X30XE in comparison can be bought with a gearbox and an ECU which will run without mods for a similar cost to a second hand bellhousing for a Rover V8!

The greasing does not bother me, every week I am under my work machine, 12 nipples every time. I did not know about the trailer grease, in the past I have watched boats launching into the sea and wondered how they got away with salt water in the bearings, now I understand


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 18, 2019 03:07PM

"The through the fender holes can be argued factory original. "

Not sure how that is done successfully. Are you a lawyer? ;)


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 19, 2019 02:18AM

The MGOC and the DVLA had an "understanding" that as MG made the RV8 with those holes and Heritage manufacture complete new rubber and chrome bodyshells with them it was acceptable to make them yourself. If challenged by a difficult DVLA person it might be nigh on impossible to win the argument though.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(5812 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

Main British Car:
1971 MGB Blown,Injected,Intercooled Buick 340/AA80E/JagIRS

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: July 19, 2019 11:04AM

Wasn't there something about the geometry changes that are caused by dropped spindles? Seems like I heard that but can't remember what exactly the issue was.

Jim



MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 19, 2019 11:36AM

Worst I have heard is increased bump steer that is corrected with bent steering arms.

Glad you have the RV8 loophole, Philip. Surprising, though, since it was built by Rover 12-13 years after the MGB was laid to rest & hardly any, if any, parts interchange. I won't tell 'em, though. ;)


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 20, 2019 01:13AM

Carl
It is not cut and dried by any means. In the UK when a car become 40 years old it attains "classic car" status and no longer needs an annual MOT test BUT if it has been modified it continues to require one which is carried out by licensed garages. When a modified classic car is tested the onus is on the tester to report to the DVLA any car that does not meet the requirements to retain its classic status. The following is taken from the DVLA website:
Your vehicle must have 8 or more points from the table below if you want to keep the original registration number. 5 of these points must come from having the original or new and unmodified chassis, monocoque body shell or frame.

Part Points
Chassis, monocoque body shell (body and chassis as one unit) or frame - original or new and unmodified (direct from manufacturer) 5
Suspension (front and back) - original 2
Axles (both) - original 2
Transmission - original 2
Steering assembly - original 2
Engine - original 1

As you can see the bodyshell is the critical part that must remain unmodified, you cannot amass 8 points without it. The testers opinion is final and if he refers you then you will have to have an Individual Vehicle Approval test (type approval), there is an appeals procedure but it is carried out by a jobs worth civil servant who may or may not have any interest in his job or your car. This requirement has been in place for over 20 years but they are tightening up on it recently.
In our favour the average MOT tester would not know if the dropped spindles were original, and probably would not pickup on a panhard rod, but he will almost certainly notice the hole in the fender exhaust. I have emailed Roger Parker at the MGOC for clarification and he replied saying that they do get requests from owners to show that MG made the RV8 with those holes in the fenders and Heritage manufacture both Rubber and Chrome bumper body shells with those holes. He said that in most cases that ended the DVLA's interest


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(3728 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
79 MGB, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: July 20, 2019 10:20AM

Geez. Think I will stay here in East Tennessee. :)

I would think panhard rod installed into an MGB would be hard to pass off as stock. Do they not crawl under & look?

Is a T-Bucket a special designation?


waterbucket
Philip Waterman
England
(78 posts)

Registered:
07/30/2011 01:08PM

Main British Car:
1978 MGB GT

Re: Dropped spindles
Posted by: waterbucket
Date: July 28, 2019 12:14PM

Carl
Classic cars over 40 years old do not need an annual MOT test but modified cars do. The MOT test checks everything, corrosion, wear in suspension and steering, tyres, lights, wipers, washers and brakes are tested on a rolling road for efficienc. As part of being tax free as a "Classic Car" it has to retain an unmodified Monocoque or Chassis for 5 points and then a minimum of anther 3 points by having some of the following unmodified;
Engine 1 points
Transmission 2 points
Axles both front and rear 2 points
Suspension 2 points
Steering 2 points
You can see that to keep the 8 points you are very limited to what modifications that you can make. The MOT tester is duty bound to report any non compliant cars to the DVLA who in turn inform the DVSA who will make you take an IVA (simplified type approval) test. The car then loses all classic car status and if the engine is manufactured after 1998 it will have to comply with the emissions standards for the year it was built. The 8 point system applies to ALL cars so even new cars are bound by these regs. Further more the insurance companies also inform the DVLA when you inform them of any changes. The one thing in our favour is that very few MOT testers will know if a panhard rod was an original part or just a ST option. It appears that "safety modifications" ie bigger brakes or possibly flared arches to cover the wider wheels and tyres necessary for the increased power are permitted
You may also have read that all new cars in the EU from 2021 will have to have remote speed control, this means that a cars speed will be limited by the local enforcement agency, so for example when you enter a 30mph zone the car will automatically decrease its speed to stay under the limit. There will be an ability to exceed the speed limit for a short time ie when overtaking, but the speed will then be reduced again to the legal limit. I have also read that all new cars will be speed restricted to 115 mph (imagine a 115mph Bugatti).
Even if we exit the EU the UK government has pledged to adopt all EU vehicle standards


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