Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Bugeye handling questions

Discuss the Austin Healey Sprite and the MG Midget. Two different but similar cars sometimes referred to collectively as the Spridget.

  1. #1
    Jedi Knight bugedd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    1,185
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Bugeye handling questions

    So I am a newbie, so forgive my ignorance, but I am finding this issue a hard one to find an answer to. I just got my Bugeye 5 months ago, and finally go it toff jack stands I drove it. The suspension is shop, clunky as heck. And not as refined as I would like it. The rebound speed of the shocks are far too fast. I am looking to improve the handling of the car, to make it more current, but without too much modification. Can you recommend any sites, discussions, etc to give me more info on the topic? My end goal is to make this car have great hp, handle well, and also keep it fairly original for long term value. But I am not opposed to minor bolt on-s, just no cutting.
    Thanks!
    1960 Bugeye AN5L43788, 1275, Datsun 5 speed, bunches of fun goodies.

  2. #2
    Jedi Hopeful Brian_James's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    153
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    The shocks, especially the front shocks, are critical. Contact Peter C at World Wide to get them rebuilt. You will not be sorry.

    Brian J

  3. #3
    Great Pumpkin JPSmit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Toronto, ON
    Posts
    18,767
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    60
    Thanked in
    57 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    A front end rebuild is not terribly difficult nor too costly - shocks as mentioned, bushings, and likely new kingpin - you can buy a rebuild kit at Moss Motors and Victoria British - Oh, and welcome! no silly questions here trust me.
    John-Peter Smit
    1976 MG Midget
    1969 Vauxhall Viva GT
    1958 Fiat Multipla (Barn art)

  4. #4
    Jedi Knight bugedd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    1,185
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    I was figuring on a urethane bushing kit from Moss, blast and powdercoat everything while at it, and figure out a direction with the shocks. Now, can those stock shocks be made to feel good, or is it wise to upgrade to tubular shocks with an ebay conversion?
    Also, from Moss there is a leaf spring setup that has 10 leafs rather than 15, called the "rallye" leaf if I recall. Does anyone have any experience on what this is and the effects on the car? And what front spring would be used to match up to it?
    1960 Bugeye AN5L43788, 1275, Datsun 5 speed, bunches of fun goodies.

  5. #5
    Yoda Trevor Jessie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8,086
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    The ten leaf spring will be too stiff and set the car up like an off road vehicle. If you use them you will need to remove a few leafs and wedge the spring to get a good ride height.

    I'd suggest putting it bone stock with new/quality rebuilt components. Add a sway bar and you should be impressed by the handling. From there you can start tweaking.

    What are you going to use the car for?
    _____________________
    1970/2 MG Midget
    Datsun 5-speed
    Future Fuel Injection Turbo Project
    _________________
    1958/9 Sprite AN5L/1499
    1275 SuperCharged
    Datsun 5-speed
    _________________

  6. #6
    Yoda
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Santee, Ca
    Posts
    3,029
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    No ideas about the springs but by putting on shocks from Worldwide, wishbones that are set-up for a swaybar and a swaybar you will improve the handling tremendously!
    Just a common factory spec swaybar will be a real improvement and I would NOT recommend putting a swaybar on an early set of wishbones!!
    BillM
    '69 Sprite Mk IV
    '60 MGA
    '65 Midget

  7. #7
    Jedi Knight bugedd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    1,185
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    The car is going to be used to pleasure driving, no competitions. But I have certain expectations I want met. My current driver is a Mitsu Galant VR4 with some suspension tweaks, and it tears the twisty roads up. I would like this car to do the same. If I can do that with the stock suspension setup with a good rebuild, maybe a sway bar, rebuilding the stock shocks, great. I would like to keep the car as original as possible. I'm no fabricator, and I can't really afford to pay one, so bolt-on mods are best for me.
    Billm, I tried to find Worldwide online but didn't see anything. Is there a link to that or other contact info?
    Off topic, but my car is missing the passenger side seat. I can't find one anywhere, anyone out there have one? I was thinking of just getting a pair of the ebay seats that are aluminum fixed back seats, only $400 each ready to bolt in. But again, I want to take a more original approach.
    Thanks for all the help!
    1960 Bugeye AN5L43788, 1275, Datsun 5 speed, bunches of fun goodies.

  8. #8
    Yoda
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Santee, Ca
    Posts
    3,029
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    '69 Sprite Mk IV
    '60 MGA
    '65 Midget

  9. #9
    Yoda Trevor Jessie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Louisville KY
    Posts
    8,086
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    2
    Thanked in
    2 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    I can not say whether the stock Bugeye will out handle your Galant. However, my Brother has invested mucho money in his '98 Eclipse GST. On top speed the Bugeye will loose, but I do not think all his expensive suspension mods are engineered or tuned well. There is absolutely no way the car can keep up with my bugeye through tight twisting roads. My suspension is basically stock other than the stiff rear springs and a sway bar. My car is pretty neutral with just a bit of oversteer.
    _____________________
    1970/2 MG Midget
    Datsun 5-speed
    Future Fuel Injection Turbo Project
    _________________
    1958/9 Sprite AN5L/1499
    1275 SuperCharged
    Datsun 5-speed
    _________________

  10. #10
    Yoda Jim_Gruber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Apollo Beach, FL
    Posts
    5,486
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    3
    Thanked in
    3 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    Bugeye seats are hard to find as the frames rusted out. As an alternative you can pick up a set of Miata seats for $150-$200 that will bolt in with 3 new mounting holes. Seats are much more comfortable than BE Seats and headrest speakers. Love them in my Spridget. Difficult to find seats that will fit due to dimensional limitations on width that will fit.
    Jim Gruber - Apollo Beach, FL
    Bugsy I - '68 Sprite w BE Bonnet - Gone but not forgotten
    Bugsy IV - '60 Bugeye - 1,275+.040 and a 5-Speed - CA Car - 2nd Owner from new - 10/12 Painting done, reassembly, cutting, and buffing in progress.

  11. #11
    Luke Skywalker Gundy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Pumpkintown S.C.
    Posts
    1,681
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    Mine corners like it's on rails! It is lower 1 1/2 inches with stiff front coils and soft rear springs. Sway bar. 185x15x5.5 tires. Tube AND lever shocks at the corners.
    Throw in some disc brakes and a tweaked motor and it's more
    fun than a barrel of monkeys in the twisties.
    Oversteer or understeer selectable with the skinny pedal.
    It will plow into a corner if that is how you drive or
    get light and twitchy powering through a curve.
    Ton-o-Fun. It handles better than my skills allow.
    David Harrison
    1960 Sprite w/ mods
    1971 MGB

  12. #12
    Great Pumpkin jlaird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Niceville FL
    Posts
    19,536
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    Over or understeer is available on any Bugeye. Just a matter of front spring rates to get that set up. Stronger springs for the win.

    Do not change from orginal shocks though they are one of the smarter things BL did. Too bad they only last 50 years till Peter has to rebuild them. LOL
    Jack Laird
    Retired USAF

    Miss Agatha. On the road again and smiling at her new Calif. home.
    Fourteen shows, Eleven firsts and counting we hope.

  13. #13
    Jedi Knight bugedd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chico, CA
    Posts
    1,185
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Re: Bugeye handling questions

    Okay, from what I gather have Peter rebuild the shocks, stock rear leafs, and stiffer front springs with sway bar. So now the question is what springs match up well, and where do I find the sway bar?

    The next issue I want to resolve is tuning the weber that was put on it. I know its running fat, too fat to tune out. So I need to change the jets. I just need to figure out what jets to go to. Its a 1275 that appears to have stock internals with a header.
    1960 Bugeye AN5L43788, 1275, Datsun 5 speed, bunches of fun goodies.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •