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Author Topic: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones  (Read 44952 times)

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ronnyd

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #15 on: 03 April 2024, 18:34:21 »

Is it me, or is the edge of the tyre / rim on the first photo unusually close to, or even in contact with  the front strut?
Sure does.  :)
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #16 on: 03 April 2024, 19:21:54 »

Is it me, or is the edge of the tyre / rim on the first photo unusually close to, or even in contact with  the front strut?

Well spotted!  This was taken when I first bought the car and was getting the wheel alignment sorted, it's not like that any more  :)
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johnnydog

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #17 on: 03 April 2024, 19:34:26 »

I'm glad to hear that! You can see at the top of that photo where the inner side wall had been rubbing against the strut. Apart from the safety aspect and the excessive wear to rhe sidewall, the handling must have been pretty dire prior to having alignment done...
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #18 on: 03 April 2024, 19:37:15 »

All a visual inspection of the springs will tell you is if they've snapped. But over time they lose some of their rate, which affects the ride height and quality which is usually such a gradual process the driver doesn't notice. The same applies to the top mounts, which look OK until you compare them to new ones that haven't compressed 10-15mm. A pair of springs are about 50, the top mounts with bearings(you can clean and re-grease them, but they're usually in a poor condition) about 30 per side, and the bumpstop/dustcover kit about 15. As you say, replacing these parts only adds a couple of minutes per side, most of which is swapping the spring compressor onto the new spring.


If the Omega front suspension wasn't such a fussy design requiring a full alignment after removing the struts for any reason, taking a gamble on some of those would be worth considering, especially as the cars age like this. But they are fussy, and a complete rebuild and alignment transforms even a car that seemed OK before the work.


How does  125 to do all that sound, which would include a rough and ready alignment to make the car at least drivable.

First of all, thanks so much for your input so far, it's been very enlightening hearing from someone who is so familiar with the job.

I guess I was hoping that someone might be able to look at the springs and say something like "there's still paint on them so they must be less than 5 years old" or something similarly reassuring. The rear one has an LR marking on it, which I believe means it isn't the original self-leveling spring, although it might have been secondhand when it was fitted of course.

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks
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johnnydog

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #19 on: 03 April 2024, 20:07:56 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #20 on: 03 April 2024, 20:33:21 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.

That's interesting, I saw on another thread someone mentioned LK springs were for self-leveling so I assumed LR was a standard spring (never make assumptions!)
I like originality too wherever possible, but as I already have standard shocks fitted on the back I guess it makes sense to fit some standard springs to match them. In fact I think the rear shocks are a bit tired but I doubt I'll find any self-leveling ones to replace them with, certainly not on a tight budget.
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johnnydog

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #21 on: 03 April 2024, 20:46:30 »

The spring with LR is a genuine GM spring for estate models with s/l suspension. Personally, if the s/l suspension was still operable with the  genuine s/l shocks, then the ride height will be correct and if LH and RH are a matched pair, I would have kept them,  rather than fitting aftermarket springs.
Never done it, as I like to keep my cars 'original', but the recommendation is to fit standard springs and shocks with the s/l disconnected.
Incidentally, a friend of mine fitted ATP wishbones, but they didn't last any time at all with premature bush failure.

That's interesting, I saw on another thread someone mentioned LK springs were for self-leveling so I assumed LR was a standard spring (never make assumptions!)
I like originality too wherever possible, but as I already have standard shocks fitted on the back I guess it makes sense to fit some standard springs to match them. In fact I think the rear shocks are a bit tired but I doubt I'll find any self-leveling ones to replace them with, certainly not on a tight budget.

You are correct Jim - LK are also estate s/l rear springs, but for a different era of chassis nos, although I cannot remember which. I have a pair nearly new GM LK springs that came off a late f/l ex police estate. When I found it in the breakers, it had had very recent complete new front strut assemblies, new wishbones, new rear s/l shocks and rear springs - all GM, but was scrapped presumeably due to at the time recent minor front end damage. Needless to say I removed and bought the lot for relatively little money!! :y
« Last Edit: 03 April 2024, 20:49:22 by johnnydog »
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Doctor Gollum

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #22 on: 04 April 2024, 00:47:10 »

There's not a lot of wiggle room there at the best of times.
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Doctor Gollum

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #23 on: 05 April 2024, 07:43:48 »

Kilen heavy duty springs would be my go to suggestion.

The standard SL springs might almost be considered dangerous when fitted with standard non self leveling shocks as the spring rates are much softer on account of the self leveling aspect of the shocks*

The naysayers will doubtless jump on this point, but at the end of the day GM fitted different springs for a reason.

Also, Atp wishbones are cheap, but the general advice is to replace the front bushes with Power flex poly bushes as a permanent fix prior to fitting the wishbones. Incorrect tightening of the standard bushes will see them fail almost immediately when the wheels are put back on the ground.
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #24 on: 05 April 2024, 16:54:13 »

Kilen heavy duty springs would be my go to suggestion.

The standard SL springs might almost be considered dangerous when fitted with standard non self leveling shocks as the spring rates are much softer on account of the self leveling aspect of the shocks*

The naysayers will doubtless jump on this point, but at the end of the day GM fitted different springs for a reason.

Also, Atp wishbones are cheap, but the general advice is to replace the front bushes with Power flex poly bushes as a permanent fix prior to fitting the wishbones. Incorrect tightening of the standard bushes will see them fail almost immediately when the wheels are put back on the ground.

Thanks for this. I am now looking to replace all 4 springs.  Do you have a recommendation for a supplier who has the Kilen springs in stock? I've seen a couple on ebay but they seem very pricey.  I've found KYB springs for about 40 each which seem reasonable and ATP in Germany have a pair of springs for 47, which might be too cheap to be a decent product?

Also Autovaux have Suplex front springs for a very good price, anyone got experience with these? Thanks again 
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johnnydog

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #25 on: 05 April 2024, 17:23:16 »

The trouble with aftermarket springs is that although they may be listed for a particular vehicle and fitment, they sometimes are incorrect or inaccurate. I bought some Suplex rear springs that were listed as suitable for a 2.6/3.2 saloon fitted with 'rear level control' (s/levelling suspension), but when fitted, the car was 'jacked up ' at the rear like a dragster. I removed them and fitted a pair of genuine GM, which returned the ride height to the correct level. GM list a good number of springs (especially rears) for different vehicles and packages and use, so aftermarket spring manufactureres with a 'one springs fits all' approach I would suggest should be avoided. Whilst genuine are now hard to locate, I would suggest going off recommendation from other members experiences with aftermarket springs to retain the correct ride height etc
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Nick W

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #26 on: 05 April 2024, 17:35:01 »

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks




I've never found any benefit in worrying much about brands for car parts, although there are few I won't buy due to limited, anecdotal experience. It's really easy to waste lots of time searching some ultimate part recommended by a stranger on the internet....


I bought all four springs for my car from ATP for less than any of the UK suppliers wanted for one estate rear. All quoted delivery dates as to be advised. The ATP order, which included some other stuff, arrived in three days.


ATP no longer seem to list the top mounts and bump stops which is a pain, although various UK supplier do with the usual variance in prices. I would buy them, including the strut bearings(sometimes included with the top mounts, so be careful), from a single source who could supply them all.


Given that your rear springs have probably been replaced recently, I suggest that new ones should be considered nice to have instead of just change them. Polyurethane wishbone front bushes are essential, whatever else you decide to do. Some careful shopping should get all the parts as discussed for under 200 per side. This is not a cheap job, but will make the car drive like new.
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #27 on: 05 April 2024, 19:19:39 »

That's a very kind offer to do the work, and I'd be more than happy to assist in any way I can.  Do you have any recommended brands/suppliers for the springs/top mounts/bump stops?  I'll try and do some shopping and get all the parts together in the next couple of weeks




I've never found any benefit in worrying much about brands for car parts, although there are few I won't buy due to limited, anecdotal experience. It's really easy to waste lots of time searching some ultimate part recommended by a stranger on the internet....


I bought all four springs for my car from ATP for less than any of the UK suppliers wanted for one estate rear. All quoted delivery dates as to be advised. The ATP order, which included some other stuff, arrived in three days.


ATP no longer seem to list the top mounts and bump stops which is a pain, although various UK supplier do with the usual variance in prices. I would buy them, including the strut bearings(sometimes included with the top mounts, so be careful), from a single source who could supply them all.


Given that your rear springs have probably been replaced recently, I suggest that new ones should be considered nice to have instead of just change them. Polyurethane wishbone front bushes are essential, whatever else you decide to do. Some careful shopping should get all the parts as discussed for under 200 per side. This is not a cheap job, but will make the car drive like new.

Thanks Nick.  With regards the rear springs someone in an earlier post suggested that they are the self-levelling spec springs according to the LR code which is visible, and that I should swap them for standard springs to match the standard shocks that it currently has.  I think I'll go for the ATP rears as they seem very good value. If they fail in the next couple of years at least they are easier to swap (for a better brand) than the front ones would be.  Similarly the front springs supplied by autovaux *should* be a decent quality, as they specialise in parts for Vauxhalls (or is that wishful thinking?)

It seems to be the consensus that poly bushes are the way to go - do these need a press to fit? Thanks again for the advice  :y
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cam.in.head

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #28 on: 05 April 2024, 19:33:03 »

as nick mentions it wouldnt do any harm to purchase some but not nesesarlily fit them yet.
if the rear springs are indeed selflevelling versions and the self levelling is not working then you would expect the rear of the car to be too low as it is now. or even look not too bad unloaded but be way too low with any passengers in the back ?   
if the rear level is good however then it suggests the rear springs are std versions. ( maybee aftermarket that just happen to have those letters printed on ? )
springs dont physically "wear out " as such but can become weak over time and the indication of this is a drop in level .  a spring  cannot technically become weak and stay at  the same height.
same scenario with the fronts. if the ride height is correct then the springs are good. yes they could snap tommorow. but so could a new one too !
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Jim82

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Re: Micksgarage and cheap wishbones
« Reply #29 on: 05 April 2024, 21:46:18 »

as nick mentions it wouldnt do any harm to purchase some but not nesesarlily fit them yet.
if the rear springs are indeed selflevelling versions and the self levelling is not working then you would expect the rear of the car to be too low as it is now. or even look not too bad unloaded but be way too low with any passengers in the back ?   
if the rear level is good however then it suggests the rear springs are std versions. ( maybee aftermarket that just happen to have those letters printed on ? )
springs dont physically "wear out " as such but can become weak over time and the indication of this is a drop in level .  a spring  cannot technically become weak and stay at  the same height.
same scenario with the fronts. if the ride height is correct then the springs are good. yes they could snap tommorow. but so could a new one too !

With regards the rear springs, the car seems to sit ok when empty, but it does sag a bit with a load in the boot.  I haven't seen another one to compare it to though, so I'm not really sure what's normal/expected.

With the front springs, again it looks like it might be lower than when new, but without another one to compare it to I can't be sure. Does anyone know the measurement between tyre and wheel arch for a 2.6 Elite?
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