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BJ8 early P2 rear spring mystery - what do I have.

jjs64bj8

Senior Member
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Please ref photo.

Upon starting reassembly on early 1964 BJ8 P2 found an issue with the rear springs.

Background, car was disassembled over 20 years ago and in storage until recently. No known history before we bought it so quite possible the rear springs are not original, but car does have low miles (~50k). The car was an export car to Germany and the Vin is HDJ8-28207.

We ordered Moss number 680-960 which is the front bushing for all Healey springs per their catalog. Problem is the bushing OD is .995" and my spring eyelet ID is approx .880" which is same relative dia of the old bushing that was removed. The springs are 34-7/8" center to center of the eyelets. Both eyelets are of the same ID of the .880" The springs are 8 leaf.

Per Moss technical staff the later BJ8 springs that they sell (021-583) have a front eyelet ID of approx 1{" to accommodate bushing 680-960). But the rear eyelet of the later springs has approx ID of .880 which is identical to my old front bushing. A new set of poly bushings fit perfectly in either of my eyelets and would fit into the rear eye of the new spring. Supposedly these springs are 5 leaf and 32-1/2" eyelet to eyelet.

The earlier Moss Springs they sell (021-582 pre phase 2) have both front and back eyelets the same aprox 1" dia and both take the bushing 680-690. Center to center of eyelets is supposed to be 34-7/8. Same as mine, but they are 7 leaf.

SO what springs do I have? Old photos show the car years ago with a good ride height. I would like to find a correct set of bushing for the front eyelet so can reuse the springs. We do not want to use the old bushings.

Thanks to Moss Technical staff as we crossed an MGA front bushing (267-510) that has almost identical dimensions to my old bushing. But we certainly do not have MGA springs as they are over 40" eye to eye.

Can anyone shed some light on these mystery springs that we have. I suppose we will order the MGA bushings unless some one says no way we should use the current springs we have.

Thanks

jjs64bj8
Jeff

DCP_4276.jpg
 
Hi Jeff,

I believe you have BJ8P1 and earlier springs. These springs are 7 leaf and quite stiff for a straight frame. If you have a P2 BJ8, you will use lighter springs to allow for greater road clearance and the frame will also be arched to provide for the increased clearance. Check your frame and see if your frame is straight or arched. If arched, you have a P2 and will use the lighter springs.

Good luck,
Ray (64BJ8P1)
 
That early car number,28207, and the 7 leaf spring leads me to believe you have a Phase one car.
Additionally, I do not recall any 8 leaf BJ8 springs?

Sinilarly, you might want to look at the posting:
[h=2]Identify these BJ8 springs
on this forum.[/h]
 
Hi Jeff,

Keoke has a point. Although the Phase 2 of the BJ8 commenced at 26705, it was not uncommon for Healey to use up all the parts in the bin. When my car was delivered, the bracket holding the forward part of the accelerator linkage was created with a piece of angle iron with a hole and rounded top and no plastic piece. I must assume the part needed was out of reach so they created a part in order to ship.

Examining the frame to determine if its arched (Phase 2) or straight (Phase 1) will indicate the probable rear springs to use but not necessarily the Phase specifications your Healey was built to. You may still have trailing arms and shock links, or even the front stub axels, which are some the major mechanical changes going from P1 to P2. Changes to the rear light setup or even the arm rest could easily be made but changing the frame is a little harder to make in the field.

One last point. Preferring the lower look, some P2 owners have replaced their P2 springs in favor those used on earlier Healeys. This may have been the motivation for the acquisition of your set of springs.

Good luck,
Ray (64BJ8P1)
 
the Austin healey Bn2's had eight leaf , leaf springs. They had thin wafers in between the leaves. Also, I have seen where people will add an extra leaf to an original set of springs, as the metal looses its strength, and then the spring will be stonger and the rear end will not sag. I can not see the pictures real well and can not enlarge them to see the springs more clearly.
 
Thanks for the replies so far. The car is definitely a phase 2. The frame is arched.

As for the 8th leaf, the last or bottom one is very short as can see from the photo. Doubt it has any spring action, more like acting as a spacer.

Again the curious thing with the springs is the ID of the eyelets, both are the same. As I posted earlier the Moss catalog has the front eyelet for all big Healey springs a larger diameter than mine which leads me to believe the springs are aftermarket, but from where?

A search shows that Denis Welch now sells an 8 leaf spring

https://www.bighealey.co.uk/category/catalogues/austin-healey/suspension/rear-suspension

Looking at their picture it looks similar to ours but not exactly the same. Plus our springs are at least 25 years old if they were new hen we bought the car.

Again thanks and any more thoughts?

jjs64bj8
Jeff
 
Thanks for the replies so far. The car is definitely a phase 2. The frame is arched.

As for the 8th leaf, the last or bottom one is very short as can see from the photo. Doubt it has any spring action, more like acting as a spacer.

Again the curious thing with the springs is the ID of the eyelets, both are the same. As I posted earlier the Moss catalog has the front eyelet for all big Healey springs a larger diameter than mine which leads me to believe the springs are aftermarket, but from where?

A search shows that Denis Welch now sells an 8 leaf spring

https://www.bighealey.co.uk/category/catalogues/austin-healey/suspension/rear-suspension

Looking at their picture it looks similar to ours but not exactly the same. Plus our springs are at least 25 years old if they were new hen we bought the car.

Again thanks and any more thoughts?

jjs64bj8
Jeff
 
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