MGA front suspension

[How to do][Photos]

How to do

It happenend two times this year to club friends: broken swivel pin. Fortunately at lower speeds, so there was no serious damage to car and driver. But what if this part would collapse at top speed on the Autobahn or on race track? Don’t think about this…

Are there any options? Of course you can change the swivel pin with a new one, but the parts quality is sometimes, lets say, a little out of tolerances…

But there is another alternative: It is possible to install the whole MGB kingpin unit including hubs and brakes in the MGA. There is one pain point, but it can be workarounded – especially if club racing is on the schedule for the MGA.

But lets do it step by step.

First, the parts list:

The upgrade itself is a straightforward job without no further modifications of the car, so you can rebuild the car to original specification whenever you want.

First, put the car on solid stands. Then you have to support the lower spring pan with a hydraulic jack to prevent the spring from expansion.

Unsrew the tie rod end, brake line, upper nut and bolt and lower nut and bolt so that you can pull the whole swivel pin assembly from the front end.

If installed, remove the sway bar linking  arm.

Then with caution, lower the hydraulic jack until the spring is fully expanded. Remove the spring. At last, remove the front shock.

Now its time to reassemble with the MGB parts.

First, replace the lower wishbone arms with the modified ones. Install the modified shocks, torque is 55-60 Nm.

Install the king pin assembly – and don’t forget to put the spring at the place where it belongs!

The front hub with brake disk can be assembled now, followed by brake calipers. Don’t forget the brake lines (new cooper washers, please!), and bleed the brakes.

At last install tie rod end and sway bar link. Check the front end alignment, MGA’s toe-in is zero.

That’s it. Now you have a very robust front end which will give thousands of miles trouble free service.

Last but not least a useful websites:

Step-by-step-tutorial with more technical tips from Doug Jackson
Source for modified MGA shocks
Source for perfectly overhauled king pin units and brake calipers


Before restoration: used MGB front suspension, complete unit

Before restoration: used MGB front suspension, brake caliper

After restoration: king pin assembly

After restoration: brake caliper

Parts overview

New frontend installed, temporary use of original MGA shock

Detail with MGA shock: washers are not the best recommendation

MGA shock pulled

Original shock and modified shock with B-arms - sorry, no other chance for the bump stop plates!

Alls well than front ends well

All pictures courtesy of Andreas Pichler.

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