Leaf Springs Tech Day
(And other tech notions as they happen)
Streamwood, IL - July 28, 2002
Prime ingredients of a successful tech day are workers, watchers, instructors and students.
In the end everyone's working, and everyone learns something (and it wasn't just springs).
Click for BIGGER pictures, average 40K.
Start by jacking it up and removing the wheels. Then remove a few bolts and the rear leaf springs come off. It sounds pretty straightforward, until you see Cowboy wielding his favorite tool. Meanwhile there's some brake work going on outside, but we'll get to that at the bottom of the page.
Compare the replacement spring (top) with the one just removed (bottom). See 7 leaves instead of 6, and about 1-1/2 inches more arch. Replacement springs are standard MGB GT springs, while the old ones were badly sagging roaddster springs, Transfering the rear shackle grommets to the replacement spring is easy.
Swaping out the silentbloc bushing in the front spring eye is a different matter. The hammer doesn't budge it. Hammer and punch won't budge it either. Finally a large c-clamp with a pair of wrench sockets and a pipe for leverage manage to push it out. Then the sturdy bench vice is used to shove it into place in the replacement spring.
Installing the replacement spring on the car turns out to be another teamwork project. Cowboy gets to use his giant channel lock pliers. Maynard is fitting up the 1-1/4" lowering blocks, long u-bolts and urethane spring pads.
Meanwhile Jake is having his own troubles on the other side. The front bolt is stuck in the steel tube inside of the silentbloc bushing, so he has to resort to using the Sawzall on both ends of the bolt and prying the bracket open to drop the spring. Unfortunately the muffler is in the way, so that has to come off too.
In the end teamwork and perserverence pays off, and it all gets back together again. Final proof is a measurement of the ride height. Notice that the front and rear wheel arches are about the same height, while the side mounding strip angles up a couple inches towards the rear.
Once the big job was finished there was some time for a few distractions. We all got to think about why there were some parts left over (normal ain't it?). Fred gets to play with white-out while marking the tonneau cover with the intent of adding a pocket for the tall-back racing seat. We get a good look at the new off-track noise abatment device fitted to Cowboy's race car. And the device that could have been a tech session in itself, a reverse brake bleader make from a brake fluid bottle with a hole drilled in the cap, a bit of plastic tubing, and another hole drilled in the shoulder of the can for applying low air pressure with an air-blast nozzle.
While all of this was going on there were other activities outside. Maynard was having fits with his soft brake pedal, having somehow gotten air into the system. Changing out a defective front brake hose and bleading the front brakes didn't make any improvement. Bleeding the rear brakes did finally get the air out. Then while adjusting the rear brakes he manages to over-adjust one of the adjuster screws. In the process of R&R of the brake drum to put the adjuster parts back where they belong he finds a rear wheel cylinder weeping brake fluid. Well, we often find something to do for another tech day, but at least now we know what's causing the problem.
On the other side of the drive we have Bill Mennell's GT with the smell of gasoline under the hatch. After inspection and due consideration we think it's due to a fractured hose on the fuel tank expansion chamber located high in the right rear fender. Then Fred Baker's '74 roadster has a run-on problem, and that comes down to a disconnected vacuum supply hose on the anti-run-on valve. All in all a very nice tech day, and we were all finished in just 5 hours, right on schedule, even with the extra side jobs.
Photos courtesy of Barney Gaylord.
©2002 Chicagoland MG Club, All rights reserved.