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MG TD TF 1500 - Tips,precautions removing front dampers

Looking to remove my 52'TD Armstrong dampers as my winter project and send them off for rebuild (probably WW Auto based upon the BBS recommendations). I've read the manual instructions but not having done it before I'm looking for any removal tips, precautions (is it dangerous with the springs?), and collective wisdoms.
Now I can get a violent redirection of the car when I hit some bumps at speed. I've topped off the dampers (jack oil) in the past. How can one determine if the springs are bad?
Thanks in advance!
R Biallas

Randy, there's a lot more to look at than just the dampers if you are getting redirection when hitting a bump. Check all the front end parts incliding the steering rack.

Dan H.
Dan Hanson

You may want to put the car up on a lift and completely check the suspension for broken or loose parts. Don't think a slack shock would cause violent change? You should check the shock (after removing the top bolt per manual) on the car- move it up and down- there should be stiff resistance. You may want to tie the brake drum/swivel assembly from the top part around the spring, because they flop outward and would stretch the brake hose. George
George Butz

Randy, If your just going to remove the shocks, remove the wheels and place blocks under the the spring pans and lower the weight of the car on to the blocks. You can then remove the shocks and the springs won't be an issue. If you are planning to replace the inner pan arm bushings (this would be the perfect time to do so) then jack the car up and block it under the front cross member. Remove the wheels and place a small floor jack under the spring pan and raise until you have some weight against it. Remove the trunnion bolts ,upper and lower. Swing the whole front assembly out of the way and try and find a way to wire it there without keeping tension on the brake line. Remove the shock and send it off to Peter. Lower the floor jack until there is no longer any tension against it. Remove the spring and you can then remove the pan support bolts for changing the inner bush's. Assembly is basically the same except don't tighten the bushing nuts until you have the rest of the front end together and the full car weight back on the ground. Iv'e never had a spring fly out doing this and I'm not sure if they even could. I ussually have to use a pry bar to get them out after all the tension is gone. If you want to be super safe, just wire (heavy) around the spring and the spring pan so if something does go wrong it won't fly anywhere. As for the springs, If they aren't broken and they are both the same height they are most likely ok. Place some grease where the spring rests against the upper and lower cups when reassembling.



Thanks all for quick response.
I'll double check the resistance after removal.
I haven't seen any broken parts that I can tell. I'll also consider replacing some bushing while I'm in there.
Dan: The steering wheel does want to twist when the bump is hit. Anything to look for in the rack specifically? How can tell what too much wear is?
Again thanks all!
R Biallas

randy, do you have a service manual for your car? it is pretty straight forward on how to adjust the shim pack on the ends of the rack. in addition to broken you mentioned you are going to rebush..also look for wear on tie rod ends. regards, tom
tm peterson


You want to check your A-arms and spring pan holes for elongation when you check the rest of the suspension. A lot of folks go with the MGB V8 bushings which have a steel insert. They have to be pressed in, but it is relatively easy to do. On the side of the car with the engine steady bracket, the fastners are slightly different for the corner with the bracket attach point. I also remember that removing the shock required pivoting the steady bracket to one side to access all the bolts involved. I also used a chain around the springs when I lowered the pans after disconnecting the upper attach points, and found the spring tension was exhausted before I reached a point where a spring could come flying out. Still felt better doing it that way. Finally, you are better off with Motorcycle fork oil than hydraulic jack oil in your lever shocks.

take care,
Dave Braun

Also check the rear axle rectangular spring seating pads. They are notorious for rotting, and the rear axle moves all around and changes direction without the rest of the car! I drove a TF once that just went all over the road- it was all the rear rotten rubber. George
George Butz

This thread was discussed between 21/11/2007 and 22/11/2007

MG TD TF 1500 index

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