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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Posted from a contact @MGOC.

Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:06 pm

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I am familiar with the stunning effect that fitting a full FIA roll cage has on the 3 door 200/25/ZR shell. (5 door more flexible than 3 door) Getting back into the standard car shows how much more flex there is in the body and how this impacts on the suspension geometry under suspension load conditions. Not surprising really when you look at any 3 door body without doors and tailgate. The back end especially showing a gaping great hole and little around that hole to provide rigidity!

When the MG Express was launched I was supplied with a press car from Longbridge, an Express 160, for evaluation. What was patently obvious as soon as I left Longbridge on raods that are quite familiar, was the extra rigidity of this model, which can't come from the simple side panels not having the window appertures cut out. Clearly the difference comes from other changes, but the bottom line was hat the handling was better than any previous performance 200, 25 or ZR I have owned or driven. The rear suspension lost any hint of skittishness and simply encouraged pressing on style.

If you examine the rear structure inside any of the vans you will see a substantial raised rear load bed made from 20 or 25mm square box steel which is welded in a number of places to the body. There are also lashing eyes which have been etested to the extent of lifting the whole vehicle, to give an indication not just to the eye strength, but also the framework and how securely it is integrated into the body.

Now the point of this preamble is to mention that I have previously experienced one of Mega's rear strut braces fitted to a mildly tweaked BRM pushing a comfortable 100bhp per litre. The effect was quite beneficial. Very recently I have fitted a prototype newer version with quick release mechanism (to provide 'the managment' with full shopping space when needed) to our (her) late 2004 ZR+120 3 door.

The actual fit is so simple and involves removing the two nuts and washers per side on the rear suspension tops and placing the strut brackets in place. The washer function is replaced by the brackets that are counterbored to ensure that the nuts can be fully engaged onto the suspension stud threads. The brackets are made from 316 stainless and when bent work hardens so that it negated the need to weld support gussets. The same material is used in the tubular cross brace so it is both light (no I haven't weighed it) and strong. A simple slit in the rear side carpets provides a 'window' for the business end of the bracket to stick through and the cross bar to be connected in seconds.

When fitted to the 120 there is an obvious change in the rear structure as a persistent creak from the rear 2/3rd backrest latch reacting to body movement over uneven surfaces is cured, but the additional stiffness does propogate a couple of additional trim squeaks from (I think) the plastic rear panels and shelf.

Normal driving shows no changes other than the loss of the annoying latch rattle. You need to press on to note tha the already slightly less twitchy 04 rear suspension changes is further improved and remined me of the way the vans were improved over saloons. Not quite as marked an improvement, but certainly the general feel is more secure. As with the Press 04 ZR120 I had for a week before committing to our own ZR120, I am not yet fully convinced on the all round performance of the Dunlop tyres now standard compared with others, yet I didn't have any concerns with the brace fitted.

The flexibility of this design allows the car to be used in standard form for normal daily driving, but for specific track days, or just a blast fitted to give that extra rear rigidity. There is no reason why the brace can't be left fitted, but then that is a matter for individual choice and the design allows you t make that choice.

Having found benefits fitted to our 120 I am passing the brace over to a pal of mine who runs a 2002 ZR160 in an area where roads are predominately cr*p and so extra stiffness may be even more useful.

In the meantime it would be interesting to gauge interest.

Rog
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I know i upset people (don't always mean to) but i honestly want to HELP. I could have lashed up something for sale 14 months ago, but i decided that no way i was going to lift an MG owners leg. There is too much "Automotive snake oil" about!

Although this project has sufaced a few times, lots has been going on out of sight. The Tube dia has been reduced but the spec/Mat of the tube has been carfully sussed. Seemless 316 Stainless Steel Tube, just the right size to thread.....again removing the need to weild (which play havoic with Stainless).

What i am most pleased with is the quick remove fittings....so if a "B&Q" moment is dropped on your toes that just remove the brace.....no tools required ......takes seconds :)

Hopfully this is now ready to rock&roll
Mega
 

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Mega said:
What i am most pleased with is the quick remove fittings....so if a "B&Q" moment is dropped on your toes that just remove the brace.....no tools required ......takes seconds :)
i am intrested in seeing how u have worked this out so it stays secure to give the benerfits in corner and yet make it removerbel without tool.

if u need somewere to sell them why not speek to steveC?
 

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Mega said:
The Tube dia has been reduced but the spec/Mat of the tube has been carfully sussed. Seemless 316 Stainless Steel Tube, just the right size to thread.....again removing the need to weild (which play havoic with Stainless).
I read that as "wield" and images of knights thrusting their trusty strut braces sprang to mind, causing "havoic" across the land...
 

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I can back this up - the first MG track day I went on, the order of cars I drove was something like this:

ZR160
ZT190
ZS180
ZR160

The first time out the ZR felt great, but the second time it did feel a bit flexible to start off with after driving the ZS/ZT. It was a 3dr by the way.

This could also explain why ZR's seem prone to rattles and squeaks...
 
G

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No offence Mega but after your constant slagging off off MG Rover you're now trying to profit from their "outdated Hondas"??
 
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