upgrading.gif (1429 bytes) MGF Shock absorber bush replacement

Words and photos by Tim Woolcott

Background

The MGF uses shock absorbers to augment the suspension damping properties of the hydragas spheres. There is a single damper for each wheel. Each damper is attached to the bodywork at their top end, and to the upper suspension link at their lower end. At each end, there is a rubber bush, that helps reduce noise and vibration transmission into the car's interior. However, after 4-5 yrs the rubber bushes on the shock absorbers begin to deteriorate (as pictured opposite).

If you approach your local MG dealership, you will be told that the bushes are not available separately: you have to purchase complete new damper units. This is unfortunate, as the dampers appear to markedly outlast their bushes! Fortunately, there is another solution: polyurethane bushes. So, rather that replacing the whole shock absorber, the rubber bushes can be replaced individually. Polyflex manufacture performance bushes which can be ordered from Mike Satur, B&G and similar for about 10 per set ( 4 sets needed ). The bushes featured here were purchased from Mike Satur (which use stainless steel inserts rather than the cheaper, mild steel ones used in cheaper kits).

By following the flowing simple proceedure these can be replace as a DIY process

sbr_figure1.JPG (20683 bytes)

Parts required:

Tools required:

Time

How to do it...

Front shock absorbers

1 Jack car and remove wheel.
2 Remove under bonnet cowl with 10mm socket and philips screwdriver
3 Undo lower bolt on shocker (in wheel arch) use large adjustable wrench one side and socket the other.
4 Remove top shocker bolt. When doing so prevent the shocker from twisting by either:

a) clamping the top of the shocker sleeve with 'Mole grip' or similar whilst undoing the nut above (opposite)

or

 

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b) by holding an adjustable wrench on the flat-sided top to the shocker thread whilst undoing the shocket head nut with a 14mm ratchet spanner (pictured opposite). sbr_figure3.JPG (27076 bytes)
5 Once shocker removed remove metal sleeve from bottom bush, a srewdriver can be used to prize it out and then the rubber bush pushes out easily.
6 Remove the top rubber bush and clean all surface of dirt and corrosion with wire brush or emery paper.
7 Liberally cover new bushes with silicon grease supplied
8 Insert lower shocker bush with the aid of a vice or hydraulic press spr_bush_in_vice.JPG (15051 bytes)
9 Locate upper shocker bush librally smeared with grease.
10 Re-fit shock absorber:
  • Position the damper under the wheel arch, and slip on the top bush/washer and tighten the nut to 37 Nm.
  • At the lower end of the damper, re-fit the brake hose bracket, spacer, damper and washers to fixing bolt. Screw on nut to hand tightness only at this stage.
  • Re-fit the road wheel (nut tightness 70 Nm), and lower car so that suspension takes the vehicle's weight.
  • Wind on some steering lock, and torque the lower damper fixing nut to 45 Nm.
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Rear shock absorbers

Follow the above proceedure . Access to the head of the rear shockers is difficult and I would highly recommend that a deep socket set is used with extension pieces.

Torque Settings
Front (Nm) Rear (Nm)
Upper securing nut 37 37
Lower securing nut 45

Warning183.gif (151 bytes) Only set after lowering car onto road wheels

45

Warning183.gif (151 bytes) Only set after lowering car onto road wheels