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MG MGA - Rear shock absorber frozen

Just when the weather improves and I thought I could start enjoying the car, the problems start!
One of my rear shocks seems to have frozen completely. If I try and "bounce" that corner of the car, it is solid as a rock and wont budge an inch.
I have telescopic shock absorbers but don't know what make, so I am assuming this means I need to replace both. Is it just a case of undoing the two bolts and replacing, or is there more to it? And do I need to be careful with the leaf springs or support them before I start undoing the shocks?
Haynes isn't much help as of course it doesn't refer to telescopic shocks.

Many thanks
Graham M V

You can just undo the bolts, they won't spring apart or do anything unpredictable. They should always be replaced in pairs. It's probably a standard one from another car, so just try the local (proper) motor factor and they should have a pair.
dominic clancy

Have a look in the Moss catalogue. They do a number of tele set ups for the B. But there are 2 different bush sizes, so beware.
Colin Parkinson

Thanks for the help. So I guess my best bet for an "easy" job is to take the old ones off first, and check the size of the bushes so I can find some to fit straight back on.
Graham M V

Graham, If the old ones were satisfactory in performance then I suggest you take them to a reputable spares shop or suspension specialist -- they can identify them, determine their rating, and supply a replacement.
Barry Gannon

As always, not so straight forward and would really appreciate some help. It turns out that the "conversion bracket" has snapped (see pic). So I need to replace that as well. Does anyone know if these brackets are a standard size (at least is the distance between the holes standard?) as I dont want to drill more holes through the chassis.
You can see the broken bracket in the picture - the bottom part is jammed under the chassis so locking the shock absorber in place.
So far I have been unable to loosen any of the bolts on the shocks or bracket, and will probably need to revert to a nut splitter, or maybe invest in an impact wrench - are they any good?
Many thanks

Graham M V

Also I am assuming the bracket at the top is part of the rear telescopic shock absorber modification, and not original but maybe I am wrong?
Graham M V

The FIRST thing you do on any job like this is to soak all fasteners anyplace nearby, or related to the problematic bit, in a good penetrant! Do it at least once a day while you figure out what else to do, saves much grief.
Top bracket is a conversion part, normally mounting to the original mount points.

Fletcher R Millmore

Use a mixture of automatic trans fluid and acetone as a penentrant. I also use a product called "Kroil" sold commercially by a place called "kano-labs." Check the rest of the frame for corrosion - it looks like you may have some issues.

Instead of searching round, why not just replace with a standard setup. I've never heard anything to suggest that the telescopic setup is any better than a standard shock in good condition.
dominic clancy

Thanks for your feedback. I invested in some better tools, and it all seemed a lot more straight forward, until.........

The rear bump stop was loose and came off in my hand. Underneath there is a squarish hole in the chassis frame which I am assumeing shouldn't be there! But what is really confusing me is, if you look at the photo I posted above, you will see there is a bolt head at either end of the bump stop (picture only shows one end). From looking at the books, it seems the bump stop is fitted by a screw. So what are the bolts for? Is there a plate between the bump stop and chassis frame?

I really appreciate your help - many thanks
Graham M V

Looks like the the square hole under the bump stop was cut in the chassis to fit a nut and bolt setup.

M F Anderson

Where are you in Middlesex? I am just by the M3 Junction 3 if you want to come and look at my set up.

Unless you have a Heath Robinson bracket, the telescopic top bracket simply bolts on using the original lever damper mounting holes. The bracket is simply a flat piece of chunky steel with a stud welded on to take the bush/fastening of the damper. You can get replacement SPAX dampers and bracket set for circa 100 which has two top brackets and two lower ones. Given that one unit has packed up and, as Dominic says, these should be replaced in pairs, it's probably more cost effective to simply buy a set with all the bracketry (accepting the premium for some bits of steel) unless you know someone who can manufacture a new top bracket; even then you are still 'in' for two dampers anyway. The bump stop is secured (originally) by a bolt at either end.

C Manley

Yes I agree but not sure why the PO would have done it.
You are right. I bought the Spax dampers and it was only about 2 or 3 extra for the conversion kit which includes the plates. As soon as I get the time I will put them on, it all looks straight forward although had to buy an angle grinder to get one of the bolts off.
I am 5 minutes from junction 16 on the M25 so we are pretty close. I would love to see your car but on the matter in hand, I wouldn't recommend you take of the bump stops to show me what's underneath!

I am not sure if the hole is a problem structurally, but I assume it is and so will need to find a garage to weld a plate on. Will have a look at the other side first as chances are, I have the same there. Strange because generally the car is very clean underneath.
Graham M V

This thread was discussed between 03/06/2010 and 13/06/2010

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