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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following my visit to the imported F (see my other post), I also saw a slightly ropey 1998 Abingdon VVC. It had done 88k so obviously a few rough edges, but it had also allegedly been lowered - looked about 2in lower than a normal VVC.

The dealer (not an MG dealer) reckoned that reversing this was just a case of pumping up the hydragas and would cost about £50. Does that sound reasonable, or is there more to it? And, at the risk of sounding naive (cos I am), would this definitely have been a deliberate choice, rather than semi-collapsed suspension :O ?
 

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If the car has been correctly lowered by fitting lowering knuckles then pumping up will NOT return it to normal. The suspension knuckles will need to be replaced with standard ones. I'm not sure if you can tell the difference between standard and lowered knuckles by naked eye.

I would be hesitant of a garage/salesman who makes that sort of statement 'off the cuff'. It may be that they know the previous owner simply let a bit of air out and pretended the car had been lowered. It may also be that the car has a suspension leak that requires regular pumping up or even sphere replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'm also suspicious of the kind of dealer who says it has FSH, and then shows me a book with the last service in Feb 2004... to be fair, I think it's been sitting on his forecourt for about four months, so you can kind of understand it. As the car has a new engine which is approaching 5 years old, that means it's going to need a cambelt change immediately, which doesn't exactly help the price seem attractive.
 

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Hi again Buyer....arnt you popular today! Sorry....anyway, if its Abingdon Ltd Ed thats taken your fancy, there are two particularly nice ones on Ebay

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=18262&item=4538382793&rd=1&ssPageName=WD3V

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=18262&item=4538592863&rd=1&ssPageName=WD3V

Think they are the links, I have an Abingdon and they are endearing, i adore mine!!!! My suspension was too low when i purchased it, got it 'pumped up' at the dealers for 38 quid! also had a full health check done on the car which showed up 1300.....yes 1300 quids worth of work it needed, i then got it all done by the garage i purchased it from under there warranty...so its worth getting anything you buy checked over so you know where you are....But you have to get a MG......just Have to...
 

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The proper ride height for an MGF (including Abindon) is 368mm at 17ºC measured from the centre of the front wheel to the underside of the front arch. I think that you allow 0.4mm for every degree difference. The suspension fluid expands when it warmer and the ride height is greater and the reverse when it's cold.

As John Ponting (Sprinter) says, some people let fluid out of the system to make the car look lower. However, the correct way is to change the suspension knuckles to shorter ones. The only way to tell if it has standard or lowering knuckles is to pump the suspension up to 400 psi which is roughly the correct pressure and measure the ride height.

You should also be aware that the ride height affects the car's geometry and if the ride height and tracking (needs to be the four wheel type for correctly setting car up) are out then it'll lead to uneven tyre wear - mostly on the inside of the front tyres.
 

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I'm with Seffainn on this one.

Normal Abingdon = 368mm + / - 10mm @17 degrees, measured vertically from the centre of the front wheels only to the underside fo the wheelarch.

Lowered Abingdon with knuckles = 340mm (same conditions as above).

The suspension can be lowered to this level without knuckles, in this case the system is underpressure and risks long term internal damage (plus a very poor ride).

Because the lowering knuckles are simply standard items with shorter pins, and because the pins are inserted into the underside of the lower Hydragas sphere, there is no way to tell by inspection without dismantling the suspension. The only way to tell is to connect a Hydragas pump to the system and check the pressure. Lowering knuckles are a mechanical means of lowering, therefore with or without them fitted the pressure should be the same.

Average 'normal' Hydragas pressure = circa 400psi

If the car is low, with around 400psi in the system then it has lowering knuckles (it has been lowered properly). If it is lower than 400psi (say 375 or below) then it has been lowered through depressurisation (and if it has been driven like this for a while it may have sustained internal damage to the system due to extra travel in the components).

Recap:

Low + 400psi = Good news - lowered properly with knuckles
Low + < say 375psi = Bad news, no way to tell if this has been done to make the car look more sporty by the seller (short term, ergo no real problems), or was done ages ago by the owner and may have caused damage, or even if the car has a leaking system (are both side the same height? F has a left system and a right system, if the car is even it is likely to have been deliberately lowered, if it is uneven, then there is likely to be a leak).
 
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