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Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited #584018
06/07/19 03:50 AM
06/07/19 03:50 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,954
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Richard Wood Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert
Richard Wood  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,954
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Whilst visiting Cain yesterday (Wolf Performance) to collect completed valance, the discussion ventured over to the choppy ride I get with my Roadster on anything less than smooth roads. We discussed front spring options to compliment the AVO adjustable shocks I already had. Cain then asked for a ride in my car as he had not been in a 5 link Roadster before. I went one step further and let him drive whilst we sought out rough country roads (not difficult). Within half a mile he pronounced the issue was with the over stiff rear suspension despite two up and near full tank. For my part I had a mind set the issue was with the front given that's the first wheel to travel over any indifferent road allied to the unique nowadays, pillar suspension. He went on to explain that it was a reaction from the back kicking the front hence need for good front damping. After a few spirited blasts up to 6000 rpm in second and third he further pronounced the rear "well planted" but in need of some alternate coil spring damper units.

Fast forward a couple of hours to a visit to Krazy Horse to buy a new mirror. Spoke to Dan Whiting about the 5 link rear and he immediately volunteered that having now got a 5 link Roadster demonstrator they finally had the opportunity to check it out and had come to the exact same conclusion. As they had a pair of modern three wheeler springs lying around they had swapped out original coils for these. Now I can confirm the standard three wheeler rear is quite soft with plenty of articulation. Quite bizarre then they found their Roadster a tad more comfortable but far from under sprung, although now needing softer damping. The ride is so similar they are leaving the three wheeler springs on whilst they investigate properly engineered coil spring damper units. Brilliant minds etc.

I think we can expect little from the factory now given the Roadsters days are numbered but am now convinced this is the route to a more compliant car.

Would be interested to hear comments from other 5 link Roadster owners re above, now that version has been out for over a year.

Last edited by Richard Wood; 06/07/19 04:00 AM.

Richard

2018 Roadster - Red/Magnolia - "Morton"
1966 Land Rover series 2a SWB
1960 Velocette Venom
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584056
06/07/19 03:06 PM
06/07/19 03:06 PM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 24
New York/Hong Kong
HKNYMOG Offline
New to Talk Morgan
HKNYMOG  Offline
New to Talk Morgan

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 24
New York/Hong Kong
The ultimate question is how much you can do with an inherently loose chassis. I suspect that if you have a planted and stiff rear end is that something has to give in the other direction. Some part of the suspension has to react to the forces running through it which are amplified by a lack of stiffness in the overall platform. If the rear is inherently stiff, the front end, which is more reactive, reacts in a more pronounced manner. I would think if you stiffen the front end further, you would make the chassis more reactive. If you decrease stiffness in the rear, you would distribute the acting forces more evenly, but at what cost to rear end grip?

With only 2,000 miles on my Roadster, I suspect that you are correct that there is a more “dialed in” solution. My car has the front end bob even on smooth roads. It would be nice to experiment with various damper and spring settling to see if you could capture that elusive balance. That said, it will always be a compromise as you are not working with a very stable platform. When setting up a race car, you only need to think so much about chassis compliance as it is not a major concern. Here, you need to put it front and centre which is complicated.

Aside from the never calm front end, my major complaint is the lack of steering feel and the general numbness of the suspension, particularly at the limit. You have an odd combination of both under and oversteer which could be fun, but you have only the tires to listen to in terms of judging when grip is going to give way. My solution for the time being is to take this as a given and enjoy the ride.


2013 M3W
2019 Roadster
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584069
06/07/19 05:17 PM
06/07/19 05:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,954
East Harling, Norfolk UK
Richard Wood Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert
Richard Wood  Offline OP
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 2,954
East Harling, Norfolk UK
AVO adjustable shocks on setting 6 cure the front end bob on mine. It does little to cure what I now realise is an excessively stiff over dampened rear though which gives the harsh uncompliant ride on anything less than a smooth surface.

Driving over those thin supermarket car park speed bumps highlights this. Even on setting 6 at the front I get just over one bounce, at the rear hardly one full bounce. The axle is well supported with the five links almost irrespective of springs and dampers. As you suggest a dialled in solution would hopefully allow a satisfactory compromise without excessive roll.

Maybe it's because I'm getting old oldgit but after nearly 7000 miles covered I'm becoming less willing to put up with the jarring from the poor roads in our county.


Richard

2018 Roadster - Red/Magnolia - "Morton"
1966 Land Rover series 2a SWB
1960 Velocette Venom
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584077
06/07/19 06:01 PM
06/07/19 06:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 635
I
IcePack Online content
Talk Morgan Regular
IcePack  Online Content
Talk Morgan Regular
I

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 635
One thing to bear in mind re nodding front is the main spring hub rebound spring set up. My 4/4 does not suffer any nodding with the hub just kissing the rebound spring. (At one person up load)But big but, the front often ( all the time) crashes over most pot holes speed bumps etc. This is because with only 90lb main springs & only 21/2” inches of movement the suspension “bottoms out” & I guess hits the stops within the avos or goes coil lock. I am told the factory just went for weaker springs to try & soften the ride. Unfortunately as in the posts above suspension is much more complex art. Hopefully at some point fitting firmer main springs will help the front as my rear suspension is fully sorted thanks to Roger’s progressive bump stops.


4/4 Ivory 4.1:1 axle, Jaguar XE R-Sport.
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584100
07/07/19 01:01 AM
07/07/19 01:01 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 24
New York/Hong Kong
HKNYMOG Offline
New to Talk Morgan
HKNYMOG  Offline
New to Talk Morgan

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 24
New York/Hong Kong
Richard/Ice- thx for the replies. Will try both on the front end. Feel my rear is more sorted, except when I bottom out. The bob is a bummer as is the cowl shake.


2013 M3W
2019 Roadster
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584107
07/07/19 08:11 AM
07/07/19 08:11 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,374
Köln Germany
Heinz Online content
Charter Member
Heinz  Online Content
Charter Member

Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 5,374
Köln Germany
I don't have a 5-link rear axle. But I have to say that with my two Morgan where the shock absorbers were adjustable it was always a better ride when it was softer in the back than in the front. This is probably the same with 5-link as with conventional suspension. I also believe that it is basically due to the structure of the flexible ladder frame. And one shouldn't force this ladder frame into something that isn't its nature by choosing a too hard rear setting regardless of the axle type.


'14 4/4 graphite grey
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584119
07/07/19 10:59 AM
07/07/19 10:59 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 253
north yorkshire
L
Lowflyer Offline
Learner Plates Off!
Lowflyer  Offline
Learner Plates Off!
L

Joined: May 2015
Posts: 253
north yorkshire
I have the suplex set up on the front lf my plus 4 and sourced matching bilstein shockers for the rear so i have bilstein all round. The standard rear leaf spring set up on the back much improved the ride quality after i gave the rear springs a severe lubricating. It took a while and a few hundred miles to achieve the improvement. Lubricating the rear springs was something that i overlooked, the cars clearly leave the factory un-lubricated. I can actually feel the increase in compliance when i did a before and after press on the rear end to check the bouncability. I think ive gone as far as i am prepared to in order to improve things in this department apart increasing the tyre profile when new rubber is due.

Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Lowflyer] #584145
07/07/19 03:27 PM
07/07/19 03:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,943
Seattle, USA
B
Button Offline
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,943
Seattle, USA
Originally Posted by Lowflyer
I have the suplex set up on the front lf my plus 4 and sourced matching bilstein shockers for the rear so i have bilstein all round. The standard rear leaf spring set up on the back much improved the ride quality after i gave the rear springs a severe lubricating. It took a while and a few hundred miles to achieve the improvement. Lubricating the rear springs was something that i overlooked, the cars clearly leave the factory un-lubricated. I can actually feel the increase in compliance when i did a before and after press on the rear end to check the bouncability. I think ive gone as far as i am prepared to in order to improve things in this department apart increasing the tyre profile when new rubber is due.


I agree. In a conversation with Peter Mulberry about 10 years ago, Peter told Me that cleaning and lubricating the rear springs is the single most important item to address for a more compliant ride in a Morgan. I did this and I feel I have about as compliant ride as obtainable in a Morgan. I now spray chain oil on the top of the spring and it works itself in between the leafs. Last year I took the spring apart to insure it was getting lubrication properly. It was!

On My 650 mile trip to Sun Valley and back to Seattle I took separate routes with many different road beds. It was easy for Me to determine that it was the quality of road that is causing the uncomfortable ride. As was stated there is just so much one can do with Morgan suspension..


Button
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: HKNYMOG] #584147
07/07/19 03:38 PM
07/07/19 03:38 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,663
Yorkshire
CooperMan Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
CooperMan  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,663
Yorkshire
Originally Posted by HKNYMOG
Richard/Ice- thx for the replies. Will try both on the front end. Feel my rear is more sorted, except when I bottom out. The bob is a bummer as is the cowl shake.


At only 2000 miles your kingpins will still be tight, so give them some grease perhaps every 2-300 miles (mine were quite dry from the factory) whilst they bed in

Also are your tyre pressures too high this can induce nodding too


Jon M
Re: Roadster 5 link rear suspension re-visited [Re: Richard Wood] #584152
07/07/19 03:53 PM
07/07/19 03:53 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,663
Yorkshire
CooperMan Offline
Talk Morgan Expert
CooperMan  Offline
Talk Morgan Expert

Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 2,663
Yorkshire
Originally Posted by Richard Wood
Whilst visiting Cain yesterday (Wolf Performance) to collect completed valance, the discussion ventured over to the choppy ride I get with my Roadster on anything less than smooth roads. We discussed front spring options to compliment the AVO adjustable shocks I already had. Cain then asked for a ride in my car as he had not been in a 5 link Roadster before. I went one step further and let him drive whilst we sought out rough country roads (not difficult). Within half a mile he pronounced the issue was with the over stiff rear suspension despite two up and near full tank. For my part I had a mind set the issue was with the front given that's the first wheel to travel over any indifferent road allied to the unique nowadays, pillar suspension. He went on to explain that it was a reaction from the back kicking the front hence need for good front damping. After a few spirited blasts up to 6000 rpm in second and third he further pronounced the rear "well planted" but in need of some alternate coil spring damper units.

Fast forward a couple of hours to a visit to Krazy Horse to buy a new mirror. Spoke to Dan Whiting about the 5 link rear and he immediately volunteered that having now got a 5 link Roadster demonstrator they finally had the opportunity to check it out and had come to the exact same conclusion. As they had a pair of modern three wheeler springs lying around they had swapped out original coils for these. Now I can confirm the standard three wheeler rear is quite soft with plenty of articulation. Quite bizarre then they found their Roadster a tad more comfortable but far from under sprung, although now needing softer damping. The ride is so similar they are leaving the three wheeler springs on whilst they investigate properly engineered coil spring damper units. Brilliant minds etc.

I think we can expect little from the factory now given the Roadsters days are numbered but am now convinced this is the route to a more compliant car.

Would be interested to hear comments from other 5 link Roadster owners re above, now that version has been out for over a year.


Richard, I came to the same conclusion last year after only driving the new Roadster for a few weeks and comparing it to my previous very well sorted S1, so I forked out for a SSL front kit, as I felt the standard front set-up was fighting a very stiff rear

It definitely improved balance & nodding but I still suspect the rear has way too stiff springs, of course the MMC 5link is derived from track handling tests whereas the SSL rear links the diff in a completely different way and was set-up for road style driving / comfort. Dan at SSL knows my feelings & agrees so perhaps he may develop a tweak kit


Jon M
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