View Full Version : MGB MGB tube shock conversion.

12-25-2002, 10:55 PM
Hey I want a few opinions on this because I dont want to mess up my car.

12-25-2002, 11:18 PM
adam - can't give you advice from personal viewpoint, however i've had a couple of friends put tube shocks on their cars and both of them reverted back to original dampers after a few months. they both reported that the ride is not nearly as smooth with tube shocks. if you want to convert - there are a couple of conversion kits available on ebay - might pick it up cheap.

good luck

lyle shive

12-26-2002, 12:14 AM
check out the garage section at the Autoist (https://www.theautoist.com)under his V8 car for some info

Gary Lloyd
12-26-2002, 01:29 AM
I really don't know why a guy would want to change, because there is nooooo waaaaaay that a tube shock will last for 40 years!! A lot of times, all you have to do is change the fluid and they are as good as new!! images/icons/smile.gif

12-26-2002, 08:11 PM
Ditto to what Gary said why change something that has worked for 40 years with something that will need replacing every couple of years

12-26-2002, 11:53 PM
I agree with the lever shocks. These are "tunable" by changing the weight of the fluid in them. I converted to the Competition spring in the shocks many years ago, and autocross and go to track days, just fine. The tube shocks have a theoritical advantage, especially top of the line shocks. Remember the shocks only snub the rebound and slow the compression of the springs. If you must throw some money at the suspension, go for light wheels, great tires and weigh ( and adjust as necessary) the corners of the car for balance. Real world improvements happen by tuning, not just changing things.

12-28-2002, 01:36 AM
I agree.. Stay with the lever shocks. we did a tube conversion on the back of my brothers TR6.
It was a pain in the butt.

Gary Lloyd
12-28-2002, 03:19 AM
WOW!!!!! I was right???? graemlins/lol.gif

12-28-2002, 08:12 AM
so why does that surprise you gary?


Gary Lloyd
12-28-2002, 12:38 PM
I was joking!! graemlins/cheers.gif

tony barnhill
12-28-2002, 08:21 PM
Unless you're willing to throw lots of $$$$'s at your suspension, tube shocks are a waste of time....if you go to my web site, https://www.theautoist.com you'll see I've thrown away most all the original suspension, front & rear....that's the only reason to convert to tbes...&, I just did it because I could & wanted to!
...but, on all my other daily drivers, the OE shocks remain!

12-28-2002, 10:56 PM
I converted my Spridget vintage racer to tubes all 'round. Pretty cheap and simple. About $50 (total) for both rears...mostly just involved flipping the spring plates and buying $18 (ea) gas shocks.....I *like* the change, but I'm hardly a purist. To each his own I guess /:

Here's my page for the front tube convert;


12-30-2002, 05:05 PM
I've read that tube shocks can be way too harsh for road use, unless you buy an adjustable set (Koni or Spax are the names I hear bandied about) and use them on their softest setting. And even then they are a bit stiffer than standard levers.
As far as how long they last, my opinion is: theres an advantage to being able to go out and buy a set of Koni adjustables and just replace them, rather than pulling out your Armstrong lever dampers and having to send them out to be re-valved and filled with new oil (and, unless you're never driving the car, I doubt that levers last forty years untouched-my '76 Midget needed new dampers desperately, at fourteen years.)

tony barnhill
12-30-2002, 09:18 PM
And, William...how many sets of tube shocks do you think you'd wear out in the same 14 years?

01-01-2003, 11:15 AM
On the back where it is easy to do (and change back if you don't like it) it's probably worth trying, both my MGC GT and MGB roadster have a telescopic kit on the back (the C of course has them as standard on the front).

I think it has made the B a touch twitchy at high speed cornering on bumps but the extra weight of the C and GT body shell seems to help out the back end on the C, although it is a touch more prone to botomming out over large dips.

I wouldn't bother tinkering with the front suspension as it's major surgery (depending on the kit) and harder to reverse.

But if you want to go the whole hog there is a fully independent rear end kit with telescopic dampers available ex UK and fitted out RV8 crossmembers (which use telescopics as standard) are available.

hope this helps



01-01-2003, 11:55 PM
Prolly the same number of shocks in 14 years, if mileage is anything to go by. The Midget had about 60K or so on it when I bought it in 1990, as it had seen limited use for quite some time. The shocks were absolutely shot when I got the car (and, being that there wasnt anyone around to fix 'em, and new Armstrongs were like a hundred skins a pop, and I was in high school saving for college, I never fixed 'em). By comparison, the Miata's shocks, at 57K, while certainly not nearly as effective as they were new, are several streets and intersections ahead of those old levers. Same for the shocks on my old '89 CRX Si, which I replaced not long after I got the car with 60K on the clock. Not in their prime but better than the levers. (And before anyone says it, Dad's B had new lever dampers on it when we bought it, and while they are not nearly as stiff as Miata shocks and whatnot, they damp very effectively when you give it the bounce test. Bounce a corner of the Midget and it would just sit there for the next sixty seconds gently rocking back and forth.)
-William (That said, if Iwere to go out and replace the shocks on the B, I'd go for uprated levers, just to avoid the trouble of converting the car. But that car doesn't get nearly the use my car, or the old Midget, do)

Gary Lloyd
01-02-2003, 01:05 AM
My '93 Dakota has 400 K on it, you think I should replace them?? images/icons/smile.gif

01-12-2003, 05:23 AM
I guess I’m not going to go with the tide here. I did the tube shock conversion to my 78 B about a year & a half ago. I opted for this after one of my rear lever shocks broke its arm. And don’t any of you ask me how that happened as this is still a bit of a puzzle as to why the thing broke in the first place.

Anyway I ordered the tube shock kit from LBCC (along with a Moss rear lowering kit) and after a couple of hours in my driveway I had it installed without any problems.

Now I’ll admit that the cost was the main driving force behind me selecting the tube shock kit. Both Moss and Victoria British had lever shocks priced about the same at $120 brand new ($80 Rebuilt). Moss had the more reasonable core charge at $30 while VB had a much stiffer core charge at $50.

But what really sold me on the Tube shock kits was that for just over $120 ($101.96 at LBCC) I could replace both rear shocks and not worry about losing my core charge.

Another advantage the tube shocks have that hasn’t really been talked about - is that you can replace the Monroe shocks over the counter at just about any auto parts store for around $20 each.

I will agree that the ride is much stiffer but that contributes to the over all handleing & feel I was looking for.

Just my $0.02….