Steering, Suspension, & Brakes

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

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Airwreckc
Eric Cumming
RTP, North Carolina
(252 posts)

Registered:
05/28/2020 10:10AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT (working on a Sebring project) Buick 300-4 V8

Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Airwreckc
Date: October 06, 2022 10:12AM

Hi All,

With the recent drop in the British Pound vs the dollar, I have been looking into the Hoyle Suspension vs the FrontLine Development replacement coilover suspension upgrades.. Does anyone have any thoughts on either of these or one vs the other?

I have been quoted:
- Front Coil Over Kit with Poly Bushes [1107.00 GBP. Shipping to USA 175.00 GBP] from Hoyle
- Front suspension kit: [934.50 GBP. Shipping to USA: 193.19 GBP] from FrontLine

One of the differences is that the Frontline kit appears to be aluminum. Not sure if there are other advantages of one vs. the other--or if there's another option I should be considering.

As an FYI, I will be putting these into my MGB-GT with a Buick 300 V8, so I assume I will have to modify the crossmember.

Thanks much,
Eric


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 07, 2022 09:50AM

No need to modify the crossmember for the 300 Buick. You CAN replace the rack mount with 2 piece shaft collars if you want for easier adjustability. If you do that, you can use the saddles from U-bolt type muffler clamps to adapt them to the crossmember. Cut those down and use a spacer to get the correct position. This allows easy rotation and lateral shift to align the pinion, especially useful when shifting the location of the lower end of the steering column and swapping to the small Borgeson U-joint or changing the pinion length. Any of which might be helpful for header clearance.

Jim


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Moderator
Date: October 07, 2022 11:17PM

It might be helpful to know more about your plans.

Do you intend to lower your car's ride height from stock?

What size tires and wheels will you run? Will you space your wheels outboard to fill your flared (Sebring!) fenders?

How aggressively will you drive your car? Track days and autocrosses? Or is it more for comfort, car shows, and cruising?

How much do you already know (or care to know) about suspension design theory, geometry, etc., and tuning? I ask this last question because in my view these two suspensions enable further and more important suspension upgrades. I don't see them as complete solutions by themselves.


Airwreckc
Eric Cumming
RTP, North Carolina
(252 posts)

Registered:
05/28/2020 10:10AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT (working on a Sebring project) Buick 300-4 V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Airwreckc
Date: October 08, 2022 10:02AM

Thanks Jim and Curtis.

Curtis, in response to your questions: I might lower the car a bit, depending on exhaust pipe clearance and I intend to run wider wheels and tires (probably as wide as possible with the Sebring or other fender flares will allow--and 16" in diameter, likely wider in the rear than the front). I do not plan to race the car--I want it to be a comfortable road touring car that has good handling. And as an aside, I will probably add electric power steering, since my tires will be fairly big and wide. I am not in any way a suspension expert, which is the reason for comparing these two options--I've read that the Hoyle seems better than the Frontline for handling, but I'm guessing there are lots of opinions and different setups that will affect that. I considered the Fast Cars front setup, but the price is way more than I was hoping to spend. Also, I will run a custom four link rear suspension with a Ford 8" axle (I would have likely gone with IRS, but I already had the axle). I'm curious about what other upgrades you are suggesting might be possible or recommended? Thanks again.


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 08, 2022 10:21AM

The Fast Cars front suspension is pricey, but it is far & away better than either Hoyle or Frontline which still uses a kingpin vs ball joints.

IMO, none of them make enough of a difference for me to spend that kind of money. I do just fine with a tweaked stock setup.


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 08, 2022 11:00AM

There is a Timken "TSL" bearing type that I think has potential in being incorporated into the kingpin design, as it is sealed, would remove friction, and eliminate wear. I've not found a listing of the bearing sizes yet though.

Jim


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(2465 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 08, 2022 11:30AM

These needle bearings replace the bronze thrust washers:

[www.ebay.ie]



mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(2465 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 08, 2022 02:07PM

Speedway Motors has bearings instead of bushings for early Ford and Chevy kingpins.

[www.amazon.com]


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(2465 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 08, 2022 02:10PM

This is also interesting:

[www.mgexp.com]


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Moderator
Date: October 08, 2022 04:06PM

Before writing more, I want to acknowledge that generalizations can be misleading because "handling" will vary widely due to many, many factors affecting it and our perception of it.

Quote:
The Fast Cars front suspension is pricey, but it is far & away better than either Hoyle or Frontline which still uses a kingpin vs ball joints.

IMO, none of them make enough of a difference for me to spend that kind of money. I do just fine with a tweaked stock setup.

+1

Just going by what's described on their websites, the Hoyle and Frontline upgrades actually are tweaked stock set-ups insofar as they aren't appreciably changing suspension geometry... unless/until you lower your car via their sexy coilover shock absorbers. When not operating near enough to the center of its designed-for range, the MGB suspension's bump & roll steer characteristcs are bad. You might try to mitigate this with stiffer springs and sway bar, and staying on smooth roads. This didn't work for me. You can reduce bump steer by bending the steering arms. (Legal disclaimer: bending steering arms isn't for novices! How far to optimally bend them? Depends on the installation.)

IMHO, replacing the stock MGB stub axles with "dropped spindles" is a more elegant way to lower an MGB more than ~1" than fitting shorter springs or adjusting spring perchs. You can do this whether you fit Hoyle, Frontline, or neither. (Disclaimer: cutting/welding to "drop" a spindle is not a novice job.) With dropped spindles fitted, you'll definitely need to correct bump steer... but dropped spindles raise the suspension's Roll Center (a.k.a. Instantaneous Center. Better geometry: less roll torque, better camber change effect, etc.) Digression: there are two schools of thought with regard to MGB dropped spindles. Some people leave the kingpin stock, while others advocate extending its length with mor and different geometric effects.

What's really important, besides geometry? One answer is "unsprung weight". It's hard to compare that without buying the suspensions and weighing their components. Hoyle at least talks about unsprung weight on the website page for their suspension. Also, though not part of their suspension kit, Hoyle offers aluminum hubs in lieu of steel. 1.5# weight reduction per side! Not cheap, but appealing to me.)

Carl brought up the Fast Cars suspension. You might like to read more about that here: [www.britishv8.org] or [www.britishv8.org]

For more on dropped spindles and other MGB suspension tweaks... there are many of interesting nuggets in the photo captions of [www.BritishRacecar.com].


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 09, 2022 10:50AM

Sure that wasn't 15 lbs per side Curtis? At least if you also do the upgraded brakes to aluminum calipers and ventilated rotors. Aluminum wheels also help and tire weights can easily vary by 10 lbs or so.

Jim


Moderator
Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 posts)

Registered:
10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Moderator
Date: October 09, 2022 11:08AM

just hubs purchased separately...

Screen-Shot-2022-10-09-at-8.04.02-AM.jpg

"H17 (7075) Aluminium (1.80kg) rather than Steel (2.47kg)" each


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 09, 2022 03:20PM

I see. Very nice. I think I was able to remove close to 10lbs with hubs, calipers, aluminum hats and light weight ventilated rotors but that's been awhile back. Those calipers are pretty heavy. Hard to say how much difference it made as other mods were also made. As far as I know the biggest change possible is in going from wires to forged/spun wheels. IIRC that can be something close to a 20lb difference.

Jim


Airwreckc
Eric Cumming
RTP, North Carolina
(252 posts)

Registered:
05/28/2020 10:10AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT (working on a Sebring project) Buick 300-4 V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Airwreckc
Date: October 10, 2022 08:57AM

Thanks all for the advice--lots to think about, for sure.


Airwreckc
Eric Cumming
RTP, North Carolina
(252 posts)

Registered:
05/28/2020 10:10AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT (working on a Sebring project) Buick 300-4 V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Airwreckc
Date: October 10, 2022 09:07AM

Speaking of hubs, I did purchase (some time ago) a big brake kit which has aluminum hubs. One of the hubs was damaged a bit in shipping, but it was a closeout, so I accepted it as it was the last one left. Any ideas from looking at the damage whether I can live with it or will I need to TIG weld it and have it re-turned on this (the back) side? The damage I'm referring to is on the inside of the hub--the damage on the outside, I'm assuming is cosmetic. Not having taking apart front end any time recently, I can't remember what goes where.
IMG_4376.jpg



BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 10, 2022 10:03AM

Looks pretty cosmetic to me.

Jim


MGBV8
Carl Floyd
Kingsport, TN
(4526 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 11:32PM

Main British Car:
1979 MGB Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: MGBV8
Date: October 10, 2022 11:29AM

Cosmetic, but not pretty. :)


mgb260
Jim Nichols
Sequim,WA
(2465 posts)

Registered:
02/29/2008 08:29PM

Main British Car:
1973 MGB roadster 260 Ford V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: mgb260
Date: October 10, 2022 01:48PM

Eric, What hub is that? Wilwood Camaro?


BlownMGB-V8
Jim Blackwood
9406 Gunpowder Rd., Florence, KY 41042
(6472 posts)

Registered:
10/23/2007 12:59PM

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

authors avatar
Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: BlownMGB-V8
Date: October 11, 2022 10:55AM

I made my set of front hubs and did it so that the hats slip on over the wheel studs from the outside so that I can swap rotors without removing the hubs. Most of the hubs I've seen on MGBs aren't like that, you have to remove the entire assembly to remove the rotor.

Jim


Airwreckc
Eric Cumming
RTP, North Carolina
(252 posts)

Registered:
05/28/2020 10:10AM

Main British Car:
1972 MGB-GT (working on a Sebring project) Buick 300-4 V8

Re: Front Suspension Upgrade
Posted by: Airwreckc
Date: October 11, 2022 12:54PM

Jim (Nichols),

These hubs are custom aluminum from Bill Guzman: [www.classicconversionseng.com]
MGB-Hub-Kit-1.jpg



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/11/2022 12:56PM by Airwreckc.
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