What does an MG Midget Front Suspension Overhaul Cost ?

Midget Front Suspension Rebuild

Scotty here, it has been a week of suspension issues and questions from a number of customers and so I thought this weeks Tout would be some words on what it might cost to overhaul your front suspension. So where to start ?

Well let’s start with a complete bush change, to tighten everything up and perhaps a wheel bearing change and track rod end change , then add in the major components should you wish to change those at the same time.

Starting a front suspension overhaul is definitely a job worth planning properly for 2 reasons.

  1. You don’t want to be placing multiple orders accumulating postage costs. It is possible to pay no postage if you buy everything in one go.
  2. Whether you are doing the work yourself or paying someone else , now is the time to think about the springs, shock absorbers or maybe even new stub axles and king pins because basically the labour time or charge won’t change much if you throw in any of these items to your project list.

So starting with the bush change. Most people recommend going for a Super Pro kit or similar, not only for performance but for longevity of life. So I am going to work on that basis but a significant saving can be made here for those that wish to stay with standard bushes. In my opinion I prefer the Super Pro but one word of caution , do grease them up properly as they are prone to squeaking at first. The kit I have chosen includes all front bushes including the anti roll bar. I am going to list the prices at MOSS current cost and then at the end to promote myself I am going to identify the saving I could make for you, yet still providing MOSS Products due to their support of my Enterprise.

1 No SPK21CF Poly Bush Complete Front suspension Kit            £70.80

Now if you haven’t had the wishbone inner pivot bolts and washers out before it may be prudent to get a set of those …

4 No Pivot Bolts and Lock Tab Washer                                             £27.36

Possibly change the Drop Links on both sides

2 No Drop Links                                                                                      £23.80

Add Inner and Outer wheel bearing change c/w new inner oil seal. I have allowed for tapered wheel bearings , a fair bit more expensive but I do like to tweak things to my satisfaction and some bearings have left me with just a little too much play than I would like . Perhaps within tolerance but to some modern day mechanics it is seen as an MOT failure, which in my humble opinion is nonsense that leads to a forecourt debate.

2 No Inner Outer Tapered Wheel Bearing Kits & Inner Oil Seals  £80.68

Now you have the track rod ends disconnected so now might be a good time to change them. If your tracking is correct then some careful marking and measuring of your new and old ends means you can do this without needing to reset your tracking , but that’s a story for another day. One tip I would give you here is don’t go for those cheap track rod ends where the boot is held in place by a spring which looks as strong as a paper clip, spend a little more and hunt for the sealed unit. Some may disagree with me here.

2 No sealed track rod ends                                                                        £21.60

Now one more perhaps not essential change, you need to examine and decide, is the fulcrum pin. I always recommend changing these. My reason for this is that over the years I have come across quite a few that whilst they have a cap with a grease nipple hiding them the fulcrum pin itself has not had the grease hole machined into it which ensures the grease travels down to the right part of the pin. If you are having a nightmare removing one then my money is on the fact you have these dodgy ones in there or it has just never been greased properly. Alarmingly I still see these pins being sold today.

2 No Fulcrum pins                                                                                      £19.20

One last tip get 2 cotter pins , peanuts in the scheme of things, but they are sometimes a pickle to remove and the nut is so shallow that should you need to tap the pin out even with the nut on then it is highly likely you will damage the pin.

2 No Cotter Pins                                                                                            £2.72

So there we are, excluding the major components which I will discuss below, and assuming they are all ok then the above is probably a good starting point towards a more positive driving experience.

TOTAL MOSS PRICE SO FAR  (Date 25/09/2018)                              £246.16

SCOTTYS ENTERPRISE PRICE                                                                £216.62

LABOUR ? Well to be honest working on these cars can vary significantly , it very much depends on whether everything has been put together correctly previously, greased etc and can be undone without too much hassle but I would expect to charge someone around £240.00 to £280.00 for the above work

SO THE MAJOR ITEMS ?

STUB AXLES ?

Well this is where expertise can save you a lot of money i.e king pin wear  and/or axle wear ? , how do you know ? can you just change parts and achieve the required end result ?  Is it true that you can just change the king pin? , well yes…… but the axle will need reaming to match. Basically for the purposes of this post and the fact that most people reading it love working on their cars but do not want grief I would suggest one of the following.

  1. Find a great local garage / machine shop and explore whether they can help you by matching your new king pin to your existing axle by reaming it. Then give me a buzz and I will give you some advice on other components you might want to change that make up the axle king pin assembly.
  2. Explore the refurbished units. A straight swop is relatively easy at this stage. This is by far the cheapest solution but you will have to send your old ones back in to get your surcharge payment back, and you might not get it back if they are in too bad a condition.
  3. Sit down and think how much do I love this car ? how long are we likely to stay together ? Will anyone in close proximity know if you decide to significantly treat yourselves to two lumps of metal ? If it all satisfies your reasoning then invest in a new set. Open an ebay account and sell your old ones. You won’t be too far out of pocket.

A PAIR OF NEW MOSS STUB AXLE ASSEMBLES                               £258.00

SCOTTYS PRICE                                                                                                 £243.00

LABOUR ? Add another £60 to the bill

SHOCK ABSORBERS

Again this is an area where some might have a go at refurbishing them, during which time you can actually upgrade them yourselves. In my experience though 3 out of 10 people who speak to me about these have had a go at it and not been happy with the results. Again it is one of those situations where time on your hands could save you some money but for most I think time is hard to come by. So your choice is do you buy refurbished ones or do you buy new ones. Well I always say you get what you pay for. Is the guarantee the same ?.

Now there is heaps I could write here about this subject , there are rumours to be taken into consideration as well as experiences. However I am going to be brave and say this ….. No one to my knowledge makes any product where there has never been an unhappy / unlucky customer. Some may sell 100 products and have a record of no failures…… some may sell 500 products and have 2 failures.  But statistically which is the better product ? If I was answering this in a maths test at school I think my answer would be  .. “scientifically nobody actually knows Miss“… but there is a chance that was my answer to every question at school  🙂

Seriously though and to keep a common theme

A PAIR NEW MOSS SHOCK ABSORBERS.                            £240.00

SCOTTYS’ PRICE                                                                               BETWEEN £216.00 £202.00

The Price is between because it fluctuates

LABOUR ? Add another £40 to the bill

CONCLUSION

There is a a lot more I could add, particularly regarding springs but I’m tired now. You know where to find me though.

PS THE TOTAL FULL MONTY ? (TO SAVE YOU ADDING IT ALL UP) (Materials & Labour) £1025.62

£1000.00 if you bring a jar of coffee and some biscuits .