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MG Car Repair/MGB front end


Thanks Howard for info on my driveshaft / vibration which I am working on. Meanwhile my front end suspension is topic today - while I am not seeing a toeing in of the wheels, or having steering issues while driving - when I am reversing and rolling back over any small bump, I hear a single loud clunk on the drivers side only. A recent wheel off inspection did not see anything obvious. What should I be looking for?     \thx PW

Hi Paul,

Any noise should be able to be found, as it means something moved that is not suppose to move and hit some metal part.

I first jack the front up with a floor jack set close to the wheel as possible and only lift the wheel a slight bit off the ground. Then grab the tire a the top and bottom and try to shake it by pulling the top while pushing the bottom and vice versa. There should be no movement at all. Then grab the tire at the front and back while someone hold the steering wheel and wiggle the tire again. Again there should be no FREE play other then the movement of the steering wheel and no noise at all.

If you find any free play in either test remove the wheel and bolt a piece of metal to a lug nut to use as a handle and with a good light use the handle as a pry bar to duplicate the movement of the tire and look to see what is moving.

The wheel bearings of an MGB have zero free play or movement due to their design unlike other brand cars. The tie rod ends must have zero free play in any direction even with your bar bolted to a lug nut. The tie rod itself must have zero free play in any direction even when using your bolt on bar.

Now take a pry bar (at least a foot and a half long) and start prying on all the joints where the king pin meets the upper trunion and upper "A" frame (Part of the Armstrong shock) No movement in any direction should be found in the upper "A" arm. Check the tightness of the four bolts holding the shock down.

Now, check with the pry bar the lower "A" frame at the lower end of the king pin and then move the jack to the cross member so the lower "A" frame hangs down and look at the rubber at the mounts to see if you can see any damage and use the pry bar to see if there is any movement and check the bolts that hold the "A" frame to the cross member (4 bolts).

Somewhere in all of that you should find your noise. Everything in the front suspension is very tight compared to other brand cars.

Don't forget to check the Brake caliper bolts and check the brake pads them selves, as backing up can give one single "click" as the pads shift downward in the caliper after being in the up position when braking going forward.

Let me know.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


MG from 1956 (USA versions only) up and Engine theory.


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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