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1967 3000 MK3 BJ8 Suspension is so stiff - any chance to improve comfort ?


Freshman Member
I really love my Austin Healey 3000 MK3 in british racing green. When I drive with it, I always get so many positive reactions from other people, it is increadible.

But the suspension in the back is really horrible. I drove a lot of different sports cars (MGB, Porsche 911, Triumph TR6, Maserati Granturismo, etc.) but this is by fare the worst.

When there is a hole in the street which I did not see, when the back tyres detect it, I nearly jump so hard that I can look over the windsreen for a second.

Are there any things which could be defect or does anyone has an idea to improve the comfort level (Yes, I already have quite new and good seats) ? And it is not only the comfort, I have the feeling I am hurting also the chassis and the car.

Thanks for your input.



Darth Vader
At first glance, it looks like you are running 7 leaf springs and not the lighter more flexible springs designed for the BJ8 Phase 2. I would suggest you validate my first perception and, if correct, change back to the springs designed for your car. They will provide more flex and your frame was designed to provide more travel and a more compliant ride.

If I am correct, you have the springs designed for the straight frame of the BJ8 Phase 1 and earlier which are much stiffer and provide little travel.

Good luck,
Ray (64BJ8P1)


Jedi Knight
Like Ray says, you may have too much spring. At rest the car should sit up off the frame rubber blocks a few inches at "midway" of the travel or so. If the springs are too long the travel at the rear trunnion may not be enough.

Healey Nut

Luke Skywalker
Country flag
Those U bolts don't look correct to me , it could be the camera but what size AF are the nuts ? They look too big and heavy .


Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Steve, that locating plate is correct for late BJ8's. I think Ray has it right--he is running the earlier springs.


Jedi Hopeful
Sounds simple, but check your tires and their pressures. My 100-4 rides rough with 28psi in the rear, it bangs and thuds as it goes over almost every bump or pot hole.

I take it down to 24 or even as low as 20psi and it's a different car. Check your pressures and also the age of the tires.

Michael Oritt

Country flag

That's interesting as I run my 100 with 30# all around and it feels very responsive without being choppy. Then again I have Putske's tubular shocks front and back with rear sway bar and heavier front bar. Plus I have always run large diameter tires (175 zX's and now 180 XAS's) which may contribute to giving a better ride at higher pressures.


Darth Vader

If your modifications to standard haven't changed your ride, I would be very surprised. Not that your ride would be anywhere as harsh as a friends Viper or my son-in-law's relatively new 911 Carrera. These cars seem to have been equipped with solid cement tires and no springs. Now they are harsh rides.

All the best,
Ray (64BJ8P1)


Jedi Trainee
Country flag
Any good spring shop can reduce the tension in a spring. Find a shop in your area that builds its springs on the property. I'm sure a builder will be happy to help with your concerns.
Bobby R
Country flag
Long ago, and far away (really, it was 1979 and I was working at Austin-Healey West in San Francisco...) we put what were supplied as the correct springs for a 3000 MKI in a BN7, after much difficulty to spread the eyes enough to reach the shackles (Porta-Powr to the rescue); well the car might as well have had the axle bolted directly to the frame!

I took the car around the short block, out Shipley St (an alley, really) to 4th ST, up Harrison to 3rd and back down Shipley; the back end skittered over every imperfection in the road__there was zero compliance, save for any amount the tires were flexing (more like uncontrolled bouncing).

Another set of springs were ordered, and happily, the car and owner went on there merry way. So it is entirely possible that you have the wrong springs, if the ride is as bad as you claim.
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