Chicagoland MG Club:Photos
MGB King Pin Replacement
Wilmette, IL - July 13, 2003

One way to cure all the problems is to replace everything.

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Steve Boswick was tired of his MGB wandering about in strange directions and went about fixing it. At a swap meet he found virtually a complete front suspension with rebuilt king pin assemblies, rebuilt shock absorbers, new springs, spring pans, a-arm side brackets, inner pivot shafts, and BGT-V8 pivot bushings. He also picked up a new set of rebound buffers and new wheel bearings, so it was basically a job to replace everything that moves in the front end, except to use the original sway bar, brake rotors and calipers. Start by removing wheels, calipers, rotors, and wheel bearings.

When it became obvious that the sway bar end links did not want to part from the spring pans, it was decided to order new links and skip the fuss. Unbolt the links at the top end, disconnect the tie rod end, remove 4 bolts from the shock absorber, lower the floor jack to drop the spring pan, and lift out the coil spring. New and old springs were exactly the same height, so the new springs were likely not needed. That's one of the hazzards of buying everything before disassembly for inspection. Meanwhile Jim Dade was doing similar work on the right side.

This rebound buffer had no rubber left on it, and the aluminum spacer block was badly corroded, but we had new parts for that too. Bob Brownlow had a personal challenge going on the side to disassemble the a-arms and try to remove the sway bar links. One that did finally come out the hard way ended up with damaged threads, and the other never would budge, so that was a lot of effort expended for little or nothing. Barney Gaylord kept making excuses about taking pictures to avoid having to do the grunt work (fat chance). After the fight for disassembly, it was a pure pleasure assembling the new parts.

Reassembly was fairly straightforward and generally uneventful. Life is easy with all new parts. Four bolts for the rebound buffer, four bolts for the a-arm pivot, jack the coil spring into position, four bolts for the shock absorber, two bolts for the king pin assembly, and reconnect the steering link. One oversight left us with no spare shims for the wheel bearings, but we managed to scrounge enough shims from both sides to reassemble the hub on the left side. Packing the new wheel bearings is one of those jobs that lets you play patty cake with the grease like being a kid again. The right side hub and sway bar links would have to wait for parts procurement.

A Sunday evening phone call found the required parts in stock at Just Brits in Hinsdale. Jolly good service there. Morning parts pickup allowed the rest of the job to be finished before lunch on Monday. Brakes had been reworked recently, so those parts went back together with no additional attention. All fasteners were tightened except the inner a-arm pivot points, which were left loose for one trip around the block to settle the suspension before final tightening. No serious problems here, just the extra parts run and the fact that the victory photo had to wait for the next day.

Photos and web page courtesy of Barney Gaylord

©2003 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.