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RE: questions about handling (Re: Wire Wheels ...)

To: "'Henry D. Reynolds'" <>,
Subject: RE: questions about handling (Re: Wire Wheels ...)
From: "Dodd, Kelvin" <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2002 13:39:01 -0800

Look on the bright side, at least your 78 handles better than a 1975-76 MGB.

The 78 should be pretty balanced when everything is in good shape with a
touch of understeer to make it predictable.

All stock MGBs have lots of body roll on modern radials, as that was the
design at the time, the car was set up for skinny cross ply tires that were
intended to slide going round corners like the gods intended.

The first step in improved RB MGB handling is to lower the car some.  We
just got done lowering a 76B by using the 1" drop front springs and rear
axle spacer kit.  The car dropped about 1 1/4 -1 1/2" all round and is like
night and day.  Still no sway bars, but the look and handling is much
better, with no bump steer or bottoming problems.  I do not recomend going
lower than this without major modifications.  It is also better to use
lowered rear springs, but expensive.  For a quick and cheap improvement, I'm
satisfied this is the way to go.

In answer to your specific questions

a)  See above.  If you go lower, you will be reducing suspension travel to
the point that other problems will start happening.

b)  No

c)  Increasing the front bar size will increase understeer. (front end

d)  Removing the rear bar will increase understeer.  The bar does not do
much to locate the rear axle.  (a bit, but that isn't your problem)

195/70 14 tires are way too tall and are not the way to go.  If they are in
good shape and anywhere close to S.California let me know.  I need a set for
my Rover SD1.

Lower profile 14" tires make the car IMHO look silly.  But that the old
fuddy duddy me.  I used to run 195/60 14s on alloys, but the car was heavily
customized with black out trim and it had overdrive.  195/60s are not the
way to go if you don't have od.

I'm working on a front/rear sway bar kit, but supply is a bit of a problem.
(my apologies to those on the list who have been bugging me)
It's designed to substantially decrease roll, but I'm still a bit worried
about the rear mounts ripping out weak trunk floors.

I'd like to try it out on my own car first, but since I havn't had a chance
to work on the car lately......

Anyways, I've got an 80 MGB that is going to be set up for 50 miles per day
of canyon carving, so be ready for updates.  

BTW.  the first thing I did was deep six the bumpers.


> Has any one lower their car by putting lower profile tires on stock
> wheels?
> my '78 just does not handle like i think an MGB should. It 
> has too much
> understeer. my other MGBs tended toward oversteer. Is this a side
> effect of the increased ride height and maybe the weight of 
> those awful
> rubber bumpers? I also feel like the car has way too much body roll.
> so by the book one increases oversteer by increasing the slip angle of
> the rear or decreasing the slip angle of the front (tires).
> what should i do (and in what order)
> a) lower the car all around(how much)
> b) lower the front only
> c) increase the diameter of the front sway-bar
> d) decrease or remove the rear sway-bar (does having this sway bar
> help locate the rear axle)
> i am running stock wheels with 185/70x14 tires at 32 psi in 
> both front 
> and rear (increasing the front inflation pressure from 27 psi 
> seems to 
> have reduced understeer some. Shocks and springs are OK(no 
> bouncy,bouncy 
> and rear-end rarely bottoms). i have new lower control arm bushings.
> PS i have a set of wheels 195/70x14 on them, but They made 
> the car ride
> higher and steering effort was much greater
> PPS has any one lower their car by putting lower profile 
> tires on stock
> wheels?

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