Front body height

Home Forums MGTD Kit Cars VW Based Kits Front body height

This topic contains 20 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  pmossberg 4 years, 7 months ago.

Viewing 21 posts - 1 through 21 (of 21 total)
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  • #235769

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    I am experiencing some tire rub under certain conditions – driver and passenger aboard, hard cornering, outside wheel rubs a bit.  Standard width front end, looks like the tubes were cut and rotated, no idea how the torsion bars were reworked when the kit was built.  Wheels and tires are correct size and I have read the suspension/ride height postings and understood them as best I can.   EDIT— this is a VW based kit
     Looking at the very front of the car the body seems to be attached to the axle tube with a bracket which is clamped to the tube.  Could it be as simple as loosening those two clamps and rotating the bracket upwards to raise the front of the body an inch or so?  This seems too good to be true.
    Thoughts?
    Kall2015-06-11 13:07:44

    #264813

    greg-press
    Participant

    @greg-press

    I had some front end tire rubbing all I did was put a 1 inch spacer on the fender bracket jacked up the fender and tightened . I also saw some spring spacers at Auto Zone not sure if they will work . I wish someone would try them then I would know .

    #264814

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Front or rear engine TD? Just wondering if the ride height is different between those. Seems like with the front engine TDRs that would a larger difficulty. Just thinking out loud.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #264815

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    Greg, post a pic? 

    #264816

    secretagentcat
    Participant

    @secretagentcat

    Greg
    I think what youre hearing is peoples jaws rubbing the sidewalk as youre driving by…
    It happens to me all the time.

    #264817

    greg-press
    Participant

    @greg-press

    Sometimes when out for a drive I would here a snapping sound . It took awhile but I finally decided it was necks snapping as I went buy .

    #264818

    baytowntd
    Participant

    @baytowntd

    When I bought mine (in very sad condition) I noticed right off the tires were way outside of center of the fenders.  One of the first things I did was buy a narrowed front end, 2″…  (As I had to rebuild the front end anyway, the expense was not all that much more) I do not have it on the road yet, but, I wish I could have found a 4″ narrower beam.  It would have centered better.  And I owned a TC in the past-they were very narrow track vehicles, compared to modern cars.

    #264819

    johnsimion
    Participant

    @johnsimion

    I did what Baytown did.  Narrowing the front end by 2″ makes the tires fit under the fenders a lot better, and together with lowering it, the car looks a lot more like a real TD.  As far as I can tell, it drives normally, although I do get some slight tire rubbing in sharp turns.  Haven’t driven it enough, however, to tell exactly what is rubbing or what the fix would be, if any.  I suspect I’m just going to live with it.  I don’t think a 4″ narrower beam would work with a VW, even if such a thing was available.

    #264820

    baytowntd
    Participant

    @baytowntd

    johnsimion, I also removed the small torsion bars, just leaving the big ones.  Did you do that also?
    You may be right on the 4″ business.

    #264821

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    I agree that a narrowed front beam would put the wheels in a better position. There might be a slight widening of the turning circle because of reduced clearance between the tire and frame at full lock.
    I have not yet determined if the tire is rubbing on the inside of the fender or if it is rubbing on the outer edge of the fender when the wheel is hard over. I was able to slightly raise the body in front by shimming as mentioned earlier but not much. A better (but not easier) solution might be to try to remount the fenders to the body an inch higher.

    Another question. Would putting back one or two torsion bars raise the body height at rest or stiffen the suspension to resist body roll in hard turns?
    😕 Kall2015-06-15 14:45:58

    #264822

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    The bodies from the various manufacturers do vary, but I’m not sure a narrowed beam would fit under my Duchess’ fenders. A two inch cut, maybe. But with a four inch cut, I suspect the VW shock towers would be hitting the fiberglass. Gonna crawl under there tonight and take a look.

     

    PMOSSBERG2015-06-15 15:37:45

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #264823

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    As far as matching the original…a four inch cut in the VW front beam gets one very close to the original TD spec.

     

    MG TD:

    Front 47.375 inches

    Rear 50 inches

     

    VW Type 1:

    Front 51.6 inches

    Rear 50.8 inches

     

    Just for comparison the MG TC was 45 inches front and rear.

     

    Are these cars narrow?

     

    Well…

    A 2015 Fiat 500:

    Front 55.4 inches

    Rear 55.0 inches

     

    2015 Smart car:

    Front 50.5 inches

    Rear 54.5 inches

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #264824

    royal
    Participant

    @royal


    Would putting back one or two torsion bars raise the body height at rest or stiffen the suspension to resist body roll in hard turns?”

    Putting a couple of torsion bars back would do both.  But, it involves quite a bit of work. 

    You may want to experiment with “coil over shocks” which would allow you to raise the front and do a certain amount of leveling at the same time.  The trick here is not to get a shock that is too stiff for our light front ends.  And then there is the question of the “coil over” spring part.   The springs are often somewhat adjustable quite easily after installation. Coil over shocks are very popular with race cars but their tracks are usually very very smooth and the suspension is only allowed to move a small amount compared to our street cars.  

    When I first got my TDr, it was almost undriveable due to a very stiff front end (I don’t believe my front assy came out of a T1 VW.)  It was all over the road at speeds 0ver 50mph and if an 18 wheeler passed me, I really had to hold on.  Scary.  I removed all but the widest  four of the leaves in each beam tube and it lowered the front end approx. 1-1/2″.  That plus new standard shocks (not coil overs) made my car ride very nicely.  (my spare tire and 20# worth of tools and spares are in the boot and my battery is under the passenger seat.)  

    I am going to be doing some experimenting with castor shims soon, but it’s just that – experimenting because I’m curious. 

    #264825

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    To further clarify/confuse the issue here are some pics:
    The car is sitting slightly downhill on the driveway, no driver or passenger.

    Yes, it does look like the pass. side is lower in relation to the bumper.  I suppose that means that it is about right with only the driver aboard. 
    😕

    Kall2015-06-15 23:04:56

    #264826

    edsnova
    Participant

    @edsnova

    The bumper and fenders move together on the suspension. What you want ideally is a bumper that is level and both fenders even, in relation to it. Neither issue is related to ride height.

    #264827

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    It’s difficult to tell from the pictures, and this is going to be hard to describe in writing, but I think what we are seeing here is typical of hand built cars.

     
    Seems You really have two issues you are trying to address.
     
    The first is tire rub, which you said you get from the outer tire in left and right turns. But you are not sure where the tire is rubbing. You really need to hone in on the problem before you work out solutions. I had some tire rub when I first built my car. Turned out I had not properly secured the wiring harness to the fender mounted turn signals. Sounded horrible, but was an easy fix. I’m not suggesting that is your problem. I just bring it up as an example of diagnosis before solution.
     
    But I’m with Ed. I don’t think you have a ride height problem. But let’s check that first. Don’t measure ride height relative to any of the various hand assembled bits and pieces. Measure to a fixed point on the VW chassis. The left and right extremes of the lower torsion tube would work. I suspect those will be ok!
    I think your idea to loosen the two clamps and rotating the bracket upwards to raise the front of the body an inch or so is in fact, too good to be true. The body contacts the VW pan along its entire length. You can’t just twist the front of the body up.
    You also mentioned putting leaves back in. When the leaves were taken out to soften the suspension, were adjusters inserted into the torsion tubes? Removing bars allows the car to settle down a bit. So adjusters are used in the tube to pre-tension the bars, raising the car back up again. If you put bars back in, it will raise the car relative to the tires. But that might mke the frotn end look too high.
     
    The second issue is the different measurements on right and left. 
     
    I suspect the issue is that the fenders may not be attached exactly where they should be.
     
    There seem to be several things misaligned on this car. Kall, that is not a criticism. The entire rear clip on my Duchessis misaligned. It was a builder error. And I’m the builder. 😉
     
    I suspect the left fender assembly is mounted to the car higher than the right fender assembly. Not sure if the right or left is the correct one, they just look different to my eye.
     
    Look closely at the pic of my Duchess above and you’ll see I have that problem too. Her fenders are not exactly aligned. Again…the builder’s fault.
     
    Using fixed points on the car (points that would remain static to each other if you adjusted the ride height):
    • the left headlight looks higher than the right (relative to the the grill shell and to the hood seams).
    • the outer mounting point of the headlight brackets looks higher than the right.
    • the bumper is not equidistant from the fenders
    • even the badge bar seems a bit out of kilter

    All of the above would be explained by the fenders being mounted at slightly different points along the main body shell. You could verify that by taking measurements under the fenders, relative to the VW pan. 

    You could try to fix this. Or live with it as jsut one of the nucances of a hand built car.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #264828

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Something else to consider…

     

    You didn’t post a side view of the car. But from the pics you did post, the overall ride height looks ok. It’s just some body parts that may be a bit off (something I’d bet most of our cars have in common!).

     

    Since you are having tire rub only in turns, it’s possible adjusting the steering linkage stops will eliminate the problem. It would increase your turning radius, so I would do it a little at a time. But it might be a shortcut to an answer!

    PMOSSBERG2015-06-16 16:09:57

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #264829

    kall
    Participant

    @kall

    I don’t want to beat this topic to death but I am seeing some progress here.  Thanks for all the perceptive comments.
    I took a front-on picture and then added some reference lines geometrically parallel to the point where the front wheels touch the ground and to each other.  As previously pointed out the picture confirms that the bumper is level with the wheels, the center of the body is straight, and that the passenger side fender is way off.


    So the next step is to see what’s involved in remounting the fender higher on the passenger side.

    Kall2015-06-22 22:49:33

    #264830

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Great analysis Kall.

     
    Those lines show exactly what I was trying to get at in my (much too) lengthy post above.
     
    I’m not sure the fender is mounted too low. Double check the alignment from side to side where the fenders meet the body.
     
    It is possible the right fender just needs to be pulled up. The bad news there is the holes for the headlight bracket are going to have to be redrilled higher on the fender. Which of course will leave you with two holes to fill in the fiberglass.
     
    The only other thing I notice (thanks to the lines you drew) are the points where the headlight brackets attach to the bar at the grill shell. The right appears to be lower than the left. That would have nothing to to with the fender though.
     
    At the end of the day, if you are able to tpull that fender up (which will also move the inner surface of the fender in towards the body), I think you will be happy with the result.

    PMOSSBERG2015-06-23 09:34:55

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

    #264831

    newkitman
    Participant

    @newkitman

    Just thinking out loud here but I would try loosening the headlight bracket bolt at the grille and having someone lift the outer edge of the fender
    to get it more in alignment with the opposite fender and tighten up the bolt. Redraw the lines and see how/if that helped. My Fiberfab manual says to support the fender with a 2×4 and when the fenders are even tighten the headlight bracket bolt at the grille mount.

    Allen Caron
    VW based 53MGTD - "MoneyPenny"
    "If one thing matters, everything matters" - from the book The Shack

    #264832

    pmossberg
    Keymaster

    @pmossberg

    Anything is worth a try, but I strongly suspect that won’t work.

    Pulling the outer side of the fender up is going to move the inner surface of the fender closer to the body. And that means the point where the bracket meets the fender is going to have to change.

     
    Were a betting man….that would be my bet.

    Paul Mossberg
    Former Owner of a 1981 Classic Roadsters Ltd. Duchess (VW)
    2005 Intermeccanica Roadster

    If you own a TDr and are not in the Registry, please go to http://tdreplica.com/forums/topic/mg-td-replica-registry/ and register (you need to copy and paste the link)

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