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Thread: Ride height

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  1. #1
    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Ride height

    My car has a small but definite list to port--the driver's side--perhaps as a result of doing too much solo driving. I have not measured the amount of lean in terms of the number of degrees but estimate that I would need to increase the ride height on the left side. both front and back, about 5/16" to 3/8 to make the car appear level when I am not in it--perhaps another 1/8" to 1/4" inch when I am aboard.

    What is the best way of accomplishing this?

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Yoda
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    Re: Ride height

    Swap the springs side-to-side?

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    Jedi Warrior Rob Glasgow's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    I tried to fix mine by swapping the springs and it didn't change the list. Still low on the drivers side. Finally just accepted the situation. Maybe if I moved the steering wheel to the Right side, it would eventually even out.
    Rob Glasgow

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    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Oritt View Post
    My car has a small but definite list to port--the driver's side--perhaps as a result of doing too much solo driving. I have not measured the amount of lean in terms of the number of degrees but estimate that I would need to increase the ride height on the left side. both front and back, about 5/16" to 3/8 to make the car appear level when I am not in it--perhaps another 1/8" to 1/4" inch when I am aboard.

    What is the best way of accomplishing this?
    Check the mounting ends of your springs to be sure you don’t have a broken one and that leafs are also not broken.that was my problem.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Interesting solutions.

    I went back through the archives and found a discussion about just this from a number of years back. the Late Great Dave Russell suggested simply adjusting the bumper mounts to create the illusion of levelness but I think a cockeyed bumper looks even worse than a listing car.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Jedi Warrior roscoe's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    If you carry all the spare stuff that you might need for cross country trips on the RH side of the boot and put some extra ballast in the cockpit, perhaps one of those rescue dummies so you can use the carpool lanes, maybe it'll even out. Or go to RH drive. I'm surprised nobody suggested that as it also evens wear on the seat uphostry. All seriousness aside, I put in a set of Jule springs and it solved all my ride height discrepancies and they are a bit stiffer so I imagine they'll outlast me (probably not hard at my age). Seasons cheer to all.
    Jon Robbins
    1956BN-2 (do it all yourself, you'll be glad you did)

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Hi Michael,

    This was an issue that drove me mad for a number of years. Initially, I thought the springs were the issue and replaced the rear leaf springs. When the new springs were installed, the car was quite high in the rear and once they settled, I again had the problem.

    After a number of years, I took another major try at it. This time I reinstalled my original leaf springs with the an additional second leaf from the newer set. This time the springs moderately raised the back of the car but the driver's side still seemed a little lower then the passenger side when measuring from ground to top of the fender openings.

    Although the additional spring leaf on each side raised the car exactly as I wanted and even improved the ride, I still had the side-to-side difference. At this point, I decided to put a spacer between the axel and spring mount on the passenger side to slightly lower the body. As a result, both sides now appear to be of equal height and all is well with the world.

    Hope this helped,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Jedi Knight Healey Nut's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Two 24rs of real beer in the passeger footwell will fix it , dont use that lite american beer use some real beer .
    "If it aint broke ....dont fix it "
    " Thats not an oil leak ..........its a special automatic British rustproofing system "
    Best Healey in show ABCD Ottawa 2013
    Best Healey in Show Boot n Bonnett Kingston 2013

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    Darth Vader Michael Oritt's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Ray--

    Thanks for the very helpful post. I have considered the addition of a leaf but I do not believe what would effectively be a different spring rate from one side of the car to the other to be a good solution. I am going to examine the approach of either dropping the right side a bit, as you suggest, or in some fashion shimming up the left. BTW the list appears at the front of the car as well.

    As to the springs themselves, I had them replaced with probably 5-6 years back with some new ones I got from DW. I don't guess there is any way to test the "rate" of the springs in situ.

    Best--Michael Oritt
    1954 Austin-Healey 100 Lemans
    1958 Elva Courier
    1959 Elva MK IV Sports Racer
    1961 Ginetta G4

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    Darth Vader steveg's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Quote Originally Posted by RAC68 View Post
    Hi Michael,

    This was an issue that drove me mad for a number of years. Initially, I thought the springs were the issue and replaced the rear leaf springs. When the new springs were installed, the car was quite high in the rear and once they settled, I again had the problem.

    After a number of years, I took another major try at it. This time I reinstalled my original leaf springs with the an additional second leaf from the newer set. This time the springs moderately raised the back of the car but the driver's side still seemed a little lower then the passenger side when measuring from ground to top of the fender openings.

    Although the additional spring leaf on each side raised the car exactly as I wanted and even improved the ride, I still had the side-to-side difference. At this point, I decided to put a spacer between the axel and spring mount on the passenger side to slightly lower the body. As a result, both sides now appear to be of equal height and all is well with the world.

    Hope this helped,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    I replaced my springs maybe 13 years ago. Took one of the leaves from each of the originals and inserted it in the new set. The one just above the riveted hoop. Car bottoms a little less.

    After a while, removed the extra leaves and it bottomed more, so added them back in.
    Last edited by steveg; 12-23-2017 at 10:30 PM.
    Steve Gerow
    Altadena, CA, USA
    Maker of most complete Big Healey rear disc kit
    Check out my galleries:
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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Michael,

    The extra leaf in both spring packs was to give my Healey a little extra height and, as Steve indicated, reduce bottoming of my BJ8 Phase 1 with resonators. The small amount of extra height also allowed me to drop the right side slightly and still maintain proper height. With our Healey's rear spring configuration, I have not found a way to add height with a shim ... only reduce height.

    The combination of adding overall height and slightly reducing the right side with a shim allowed me to achieve the appearance of an even stance. If you already have sufficient height, you only need the shim.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)
    Last edited by RAC68; 12-24-2017 at 03:24 AM.

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    Re: Ride height

    For what it's worth I've been through this twice. The first time was on my 1954 MGTF. I was told to swap the front springs around. I found it hard to believe this would sort out the rear where the problem was but I did it anyway and it worked.
    My Healey had the same problem. I got John Chatham Cars here in the UK to look at it. He did say that he might be able to level it up by playing around with various shackles and putting new bushes on but I went for the new springs as the cost wasn't high and it fixed it.
    AJ

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    Yoda HealeyRick's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    This syndrome is so common it even has a name .... "Bachelor's Lean". I've heard that sometimes lowering the front spring on the side opposite the lowered rear will fix it.


    Rick

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    Obi Wan Patrick67BJ8's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoe View Post
    If you carry all the spare stuff that you might need for cross country trips on the RH side of the boot and put some extra ballast in the cockpit, perhaps one of those rescue dummies so you can use the carpool lanes, maybe it'll even out. Or go to RH drive. I'm surprised nobody suggested that as it also evens wear on the seat uphostry. All seriousness aside, I put in a set of Jule springs and it solved all my ride height discrepancies and they are a bit stiffer so I imagine they'll outlast me (probably not hard at my age). Seasons cheer to all.
    My Jule Springs fixed my ride height too. I had them set for a level ride height on my phase 2 BJ8. I hate the jacked up rear end look.
    Patrick
    '67 Metallic Golden Beige/Red
    Owned since '72

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    Jedi Warrior CLEAH's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick67BJ8 View Post
    My Jule Springs fixed my ride height too. I had them set for a level ride height on my phase 2 BJ8. I hate the jacked up rear end look.
    My restorer uses standard Moss springs and has them recontoured to his specification. It may not be how BJ8's are "supposed" to look, but it is the way God, Donald Healey, and Gerry Coker intended!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Hugh
    1965 BJ8
    1958 AN5


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    Yoda
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    Re: Ride height

    That does look mo' betta, and since you don't have resonators you won't trash them every couple of years. It's a shame BMC couldn't be bothered to modify the rear wings on the PII BJ8s.

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    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    It may not be how BJ8's are "supposed" to look, but it is the way God, Donald Healey, and Gerry Coker intended!
    I totally agree ... and with smaller tail lights you would capture even more of the traditional Healey look as did the BJ8 Phase 1 and BJ7.

    Ray(64BJ8P1)

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    Jedi Trainee Drone Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Had the same issue on my TR6 and added a front spring spacer on the driver side.

  19. #19
    Luke Skywalker RAC68's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Had the same issue on my TR6 and added a front spring spacer on the driver side.

    Drone Dog's approach would work but it would also raise the front left suspension by an amount dependent upon the resulting effect needed to compress the right rear (not expected to be 1 to 1). His approach would also not require any addition (i.e. spring change or addition) to raise the rear when the right rear ride height is to low to add a lowering shim between spring and axel. Based upon simplicity, I would attempt this approach first but I did have the right rear ride height to allow the lowering shim which afforded me the less complex approach.

    Good thoughts Drone Dog,
    Ray(64BJ8P1)

  20. #20
    Darth Vader John Turney's Avatar
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    Re: Ride height

    Using shims and spacers at various corners of the car invites adjusting the suspension for optimum corner weights.

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