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#532849 - 13/09/18 11:06 PM 4/4 suspension tweaks
Stuart Green Offline
Talk Morgan Regular

Registered: 23/03/17
Posts: 581
Loc: South Oxfordshire
I am beginning to think my 4/4 has a bit of a clunky ride. So I am thinking of fitting the 4 leaf springs that i have read about on here, and maybe fiddling with the front shocks. I can't really believe I can make much improvement by changing the layout, due to limited suspension travel.
What budget am i looking at, and who could lend me one of those home made leaf spring fitting tools, please?
_________________________
SFG
2012 4/4 Sport

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#532857 - 14/09/18 12:00 AM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
Heinz Offline

Talk Morgan Expert

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 2908
Loc: Cologne, Germany
Since three days I drive the Mulberry four leaf four seater springs in combination with Avo dampers. At front I have 140 pound Mulberry springs with the Mulberry bearings and again Avo damper...it is another type, here was another thread and I posted which Rutherford damper is right for 4/4 front vs. back.

I can say that the front now is astonishingly better under control in terms of steering and track holding. Now, new to me, the back springs are a huge huge improvement. The standard leaf springs of my 2014 4/4 were much too weak. So I had to compensate them with too hard adjusted dampers to prevent bumping through at every railway crossing. This way it delivered not an optimized feel of driving.
Now the new 4 leaf springs are behaving like made for the car or like made in heaven. You have a relaxed ride but no bouncing through, it is getting harder only in the greater deflection and that happens in an almost seamless way.

I adjusted the rear shock absorbers to half of the approx. 4 revolutions. When the rear shocks get harder, the driving dynamics don't get much better. Old school chassis like to have a harder front and a softer rear. It also seems like braking is a tad more under control.

On no account are the Mulberry 4leaf springs basically too hard for this car, which you could assume as the 4/4 is very light vs. this springs are intended to fit a 4seater..

I'm not an expert, but the light 4/4 not only reacts very sensitively to a few horsepower more, but also very much to chassis adjustments.
The car feels transformed. BTW there are different philosophies, I tend to optimize the old technology. Other users like to install Supplex and 5link suspension. And they are obviously very happy with it. That's why to each his own.

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#532864 - 14/09/18 08:24 AM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
Hamwich Offline

Talk Morgan Sage

Registered: 28/04/08
Posts: 6324
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
I have the SSL front suspension with the spacer fitted under the stub axle to give the lower ride height. At the rear I have AVO shock absorbers in a custom length to ensure they don't bottom or top out under the maximum movement, 4-leaf springs from Peter Mulberry, anti-tramp bars and a Panhard rod (also from PM). I also have the Quaife ATB differential rather than the standard open diff. Wheels are 5" wires with 165 section Vredestein Sprint Classics. The wheels and tyres on a Morgan form an important part of the overall suspension setup and feel, and on a 4/4 I am convinced that lower profile tyres do not help.

I am very happy indeed with the way my car rides and handles. Could it be further improved by fitting the 5-link rear setup? Very possibly, but is it worth forking out £3k to find out? I don't think so.
_________________________
Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 1957 R4 CV, 2005 Ferrari Vipar

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#532918 - 14/09/18 04:53 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
PhilRoyle Offline

Talk Morgan Enthusiast

Registered: 30/08/11
Posts: 1614
Loc: Derby
I have Mulberry stronger springs on the front and Mulberry 4 seater 4 leaf springs with AVO adjustables set at 4 clicks on the rear- much improved ride. Probably looking at about £5-6 hundred. If you have standard kingpins consider changing them for hard chrome at the same time as you`ve got the front end in bits.
Cain at Wolf Performance may lend you his wonderful spring compressor.
_________________________
2010 4/4 sport - le mans green

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#532937 - 14/09/18 07:00 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
andymot Offline

Talk Morgan Regular

Registered: 11/09/14
Posts: 645
Loc: East Sussex, ENGLAND
Am I right to assume that stronger springs at the front stop or reduce the bangs and crashes from the front end over poorly surface roads/pot holes?. I see Heinz has 140lb versions - how does this effect the comfort? Bearing in mind standard springs from factory are 95lb I think.

So do these improvements ( stronger springs/better dampers) stop the feeling somethings going break when the roads get a bit rough?

Off work 1st week Oct to get the front end sorted - hence keen to understand how others have fared.
_________________________
2015 Morgan 4/4 (Wolf tuned)
R56 Mini Cooper S and
Quite a few BL relics too.....


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#532943 - 14/09/18 07:32 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: andymot]
Hamwich Offline

Talk Morgan Sage

Registered: 28/04/08
Posts: 6324
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
Originally Posted By andymot
Am I right to assume that stronger springs at the front stop or reduce the bangs and crashes from the front end over poorly surface roads/pot holes?.


Not neccessarily. The way a trad Morgan's suspension responds to road bumps is often affected by the relationship between main spring and rebound spring.

Have a look at your car when it's sat normally on a flat surface, ideally with a couple of sacks of spuds in the seats to replicate the weight of the normal occupants. The rebound spring should be free to turn. If it's not, if it's under any amount of compression, then the spring rate of the rebound spring will be added to the rate of the main spring, giving a very high spring rate for the initial few mm until the stub axle rises and the rebound spring becomes free. As the rebound springs have a rate more like 400lb/inch, the effective initial rate is massive, leading to the crashing over bumps and the 'nodding dog' effect even of smooth roads

If your rebound springs are binding, the cheapest way to deal with it is to cut down the length of the rebound spring, but this is a bit crude.

The next best solution is to fit a set of shorter main springs, Peter Mulberry has always been a popular choice for those who like had suspension. Even at 140lbs, these springs offer a subjectively softer ride than the super-hard effect if the rebound springs are under compression.

The more expensive solution is the SSL kit, which has a soft spring to give good compliance with a rising rate spring to prevent bottoming out. IT also provides a degree of adjustability for ride height as there's a 20mm spacer that can be placed either above or below the stub axle.

Many people (myself included) are big fans of the SSL kit, others prefer the Mulberry set up.
_________________________
Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 1957 R4 CV, 2005 Ferrari Vipar

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#532950 - 14/09/18 08:43 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
rainbowj Offline

Has a lot to Say!

Registered: 10/07/12
Posts: 1117
Loc: Purton, nr Swindon UK
Tim,
I plan upgrade front suspension on my plus4 using the SSL kit. Your 4/4 must have had the armstrong lever type shock absorbers. How did you get rid of these.
_________________________
John
1992 plus4 connaught green

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#532951 - 14/09/18 08:50 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Stuart Green]
IvorMog Offline

Learner Plates Off!

Registered: 17/04/17
Posts: 350
Loc: Staffordshire
I'm also a big fan of the SSL front end. It totally transformed the ride of my 4/4.

The big advantage of the SSL is that you can adjust the front so that you get a very precise match between the main and rebound springs so that the rebound spring just turns at normal ride height.

To get the best initial ride, there might be a temptation to make the rebound spring slightly shorter to be sure it can turn but if it's too short it will spoil the handling and reduce the roll stiffness.

With the SSL you can adjust the system until you get the precise match although it can take a bit of trial and error to get it perfect because of the stiction between the king pins and bushes.

Another benefit of the SSL is the internal rate riser spring which allows a slightly softer main spring to be used as the additional spring adds to the overall rate when the front is under heavy load or bump.

Also as Tim says, you can choose between 2 ride heights depending where you fit the spacers. Handy if you're worried about grounding.

I have Spax adjustable all round and I still have the original 5 leaf springs at the back.


Edited by IvorMog (14/09/18 08:53 PM)
_________________________
Bob

1999 4/4 1.8 Zetec Silvertop

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#532953 - 14/09/18 09:22 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: rainbowj]
Hamwich Offline

Talk Morgan Sage

Registered: 28/04/08
Posts: 6324
Loc: Gloucestershire, UK
Originally Posted By rainbowj
Tim,
I plan upgrade front suspension on my plus4 using the SSL kit. Your 4/4 must have had the armstrong lever type shock absorbers. How did you get rid of these.


I bought a rear hoop conversion with Spax shocks from Melvyn Rutter, it was one of the first mods I did to my car, must have been back in around 2002.
_________________________
Tim H.
1986 4/4 VVTi Sport, 2002 LR Defender, 1957 R4 CV, 2005 Ferrari Vipar

Top
#532957 - 14/09/18 10:52 PM Re: 4/4 suspension tweaks [Re: Heinz]
Uther Offline

Learner Plates Off!

Registered: 08/01/16
Posts: 397
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By Heinz
Since three days I drive the Mulberry four leaf four seater springs in combination with Avo dampers. At front I have 140 pound Mulberry springs with the Mulberry bearings and again Avo damper...it is another type, here was another thread and I posted which Rutherford damper is right for 4/4 front vs. back.

I can say that the front now is astonishingly better under control in terms of steering and track holding. Now, new to me, the back springs are a huge huge improvement. The standard leaf springs of my 2014 4/4 were much too weak. So I had to compensate them with too hard adjusted dampers to prevent bumping through at every railway crossing. This way it delivered not an optimized feel of driving.
Now the new 4 leaf springs are behaving like made for the car or like made in heaven. You have a relaxed ride but no bouncing through, it is getting harder only in the greater deflection and that happens in an almost seamless way.

I adjusted the rear shock absorbers to half of the approx. 4 revolutions. When the rear shocks get harder, the driving dynamics don't get much better. Old school chassis like to have a harder front and a softer rear. It also seems like braking is a tad more under control.

On no account are the Mulberry 4leaf springs basically too hard for this car, which you could assume as the 4/4 is very light vs. this springs are intended to fit a 4seater..

I'm not an expert, but the light 4/4 not only reacts very sensitively to a few horsepower more, but also very much to chassis adjustments.
The car feels transformed. BTW there are different philosophies, I tend to optimize the old technology. Other users like to install Supplex and 5link suspension. And they are obviously very happy with it. That's why to each his own.

Great review Heinz, have the 4 leaf four seater springs just in and am about to install the AVO’s all round. Looking forward to car that I can approach a dip in the road without bracing for impact 😄👍🏻🏁
_________________________
Cheers John
2011 4/4 - "Elrond"
67' Lotus Elan S3 Coupè "Emma"
68' Lotus Type 51a FF "Emerson"

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