I thought to add a few observations to this fine how-to from my own experience in fitting this specific kit for the benefit of those that might do it in the future.
My approach was that of a very, very crude DIY method: i have a limited set of tools, knowledge & skills. A lot of time and patience though. I just wanted to do it with what i had in my possession, and needed to be able to do it alone.
- I don't have lowered knuckles and didn't need to cut the originals. Like OP, i fit the base plates first and then springs and the hat and, even though at times with difficulty, they went in fine.
- I also didn't cut any slots for spring height adjustment into the front plate that secures the hat (previously spheres).
- In the step of refitting the dampers i found it very easy to do it alone (in fact i did the whole operation alone), by fitting the bottom bush loosely first and extending the upper (blue plastic covered) part of the damper to the upper fixation hole. It stays extended so you can then just go to the engine cover side and, while grabbing a hold of the damper from below with one hand and pushing it upwards you can fit the bush, washers and nut with the other.
- I didn't need to totally remove the ECU for the left side rear damper, although it was necessary to take the bolts off and move it around to have enough space to work. I started with the idea of removing it but the cable sockets were such a pig to undo that i was more worried about damaging the cables than trying to work around it. Sure, it's pretty fiddly but it can be done.
- I didn't need to release the anti-roll bars at any stage.
Additional notes from my own thread (
) and experience here so that everything can be found in this how-to:
- I found out during the installation that if you turn the bottom plate the top plate stays in place (but not the contrary) so you can readjust the spring height without having cut a slot or re-opening the covers, by turning the bottom plates that are visible underneath the covers. I suppose it's not exactly recommended as the bottom plate turns on the knuckle washer which then turns on the knuckle joint and so doing that indefinitely could probably use the joint some, but for a few turns here or there i'm not that worried.
This is what i've done now 4 times, to fine-tune the height; measure the current height of all 4 corners, take off the wheels and adjust by turning the bottom plate, refit the wheels and drive for a few days allowing them to settle, and measure again.
I've also settled to 10 clicks on the GAZ dampers as the best compromise for my taste: below, the nose bounced on bigger bumps, more and it just felt too hard.
During the buying period i asked a few questions to Stuart Radcliff who is the developer & seller of this kit that might also be of interest:
Q: How about using them with the original dampers? I'm just trying to figure out if i need to get replacement dampers for the same time, and if yes if they should be the GAZ ones, or could possibly wait a moment (my original ones are not exactly dead yet) and then get which ever ones (replacement ones, Bilstein, GAZ, etc)? A: Original shocks are designed to take into account the built in damping of the hydrogas bags and are not up to the task of
damping the spring kit. Any of the adjustable MGF shocks available would do the required job.
Q: What has been your experience so far about the damper mount structural integrity with this kit? I've read that when using aftermarket stiffer shocks it's advised to reinforce the damper mounting points or eventually risk them ripping off from the body. A: Of the 90 or so kits we have sold over the last 2 years we have only one report of shock mount problems ...this car had been run with full hard adjustment against our recommendations.
I shouldn't have done the tracking so quickly after the replacement, i had to readjust the springs 4 times total before having +/- 5mm correct settings of 350mm front and 340mm rear, and so will need to do the tracking once again.
A little something to note which i hadn't thought of myself about the tracking: as the (recommended) heights are now at 350mm/front and 340mm/rear you should go for Trophy tracking values in case you take it to somewhere where they'll just adjust to spec-sheets (my experience).
Aside that, i can heartily recommend the kit
MGF VVC Pack 1.8 145CV - 05/2001 - BRG (HFF) - Goodyear EAGLE F1 GS-D2 215/40 R16 82W F = 1.7 / R = 1.9
I have just had fitted a Suplex coil kit on my MGF due collapsed Hydrolastic. Mechanic thought Suplex looked easier to fit without any cutting of chassis etc as recommended in RV8 kit.
However the changeover is very clunky. I notice on some of the other blogs and sites that I am not alone. One of the things I am considering is fitting grease nipple to each and part filling with heavy duty grease to minimise noise.
Has anyone heard of any other noise reducing tips. Possible also to insulate the canisters by self adhering insulation wrap?
Unfortunately the clonking is a well known problem. I spent a long time trying to resolve this issue with Suplex, but it is basically a design fault. Sadly Suplex didn't want to hear that and stopped answering my emails. It appears that they haven't fixed the issue but still happily sell the kits, which to me is unethical and borderline fraud.
The issue is that the front springs are too soft and the spring seat contacts the can when compressing over uneven roads. They originally had a stiffer front spring but I picked up reports that the springs were fracturing!
I resolved the issue by running 4 rear cans. No clonking but too much suspension height at the front. I then had to come up with my own method of reducing the ride hide. I offered to explain my solution to Suplex but was fobbed off with "it's your car, there's nothing wrong with our kit. We've not had any complaints from other people"
I never thought of filling the cans with grease, I suspect it might just be forced out the bottom of the can by the action of the spring and seat. I'll be very interested to hear how it goes if you proceed.
I think to effectively sound deaden the can, you would have to disassemble the unit and apply a coating to the inside and the circumference of the spring seat.
We have an MGf Abingdon which has just had the Aussie kit fitted. So far we are very pleased with the ride and handling.
Here in NZ any such modifications, even if they are designed to approximate standard, or comply with the Australian regulations MUSt be re-tested here. I was told I had to have a second locking ring fitted, and to have the adjustable ride height fixed and notified in a compliance plate. Full marks to the manufacturer for supplying the required second locking ring when requested. This is required for all NZ modified MGfs.
Will keep you posted on progress via damper rates.