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Front Suspension Removal


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I've been looking hard and trying to see the pitfalls (once the steering rack etc are out of the way) in simply supporting then unbolting the top and the bottom wishbones from the chassis and moving the assembly as a unit over to the new chassis to avoid dismantling.  Seems too easy!

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I don't see a problem doing that. Are you planning to reuse your existing suspension uprights, or does the new chassis have new urprights?

If the former, you need to lift the engine out first but can probably leave the brake hoses on their brackets. Do check that the uprights aren't damaged, though - I know someone who had a rather distorted one.

If the latter, you just need to remove the brake hose and upper shocker mount. The lower wishbone brackets can come out of the chassis, the uppers you'll have to remove the bush bolts.

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Thanks - I had hoped that this could be possible.  I am hopeful that all is well with both sides but I'm going to check for any distortion from the accident.  The offside is almost certainly OK but the left side assembly while looking OK does concern me since it was the left half of the front rail of the chassis that took the direct impact.  

My partial optimism arises because the left front wheel which must have really taken the blow as the chassis, bonnet and bumper bent backwards turned out to be perfect when i took it back to MWS for assessment last week (the wheels are almost new).  They found that while the tyre itself had been very neatly sliced in half lengthwise around a quarter of its circumference when the metal bent backwards into it the wheel itself is untouched.  Once reassembled the car's going to have to go to a specialist for final alignment and tracking after all this.

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I'm assuming that's with the spring and shock already removed? That's the bit that will cause real problems if you unbolt both wishbones with them still fitted. 

Personally I'd fit it as separate bits that can all be greased or cleaned, especially the trunnion; you can leave the top ball joint attached and grease it if it's greasable, plus you can check the rubber boots too. It won't take much longer and may cost, at most, a few replacement nylocs. You may as well service the bits now, and that's it for the next while.

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Neil reading your posts re transferring wishbones over I assume the new chassis has the turrents/uprights already fitted check that the old chassis and new chassis turrents are the same, the Spits have special turrents different to the Herald, Vitesse, & GT6 which are the same. The Spits engine mounting ie hole is closer to the upper wishbone pivot bolt enabling the engine to sit lower.

Ask how I know, the daughters Spit had a replacement chassis fitted when restored 20 years ago due to accident damage on the old chassis RH side (even that one wasn't original) when we got the car in 2001 the engine always sat high evident by closeness to bonnet at the front and the top hose impossible to fit by its horiz alignment being too high.

It took me around 4 years to suss out the problem, I have a Vitesse Mk2 (owned since 1970) and when sat looking at the Spit one day I realized the drivers side turrent engine mount had a different offset to the nearside, & when checking with the Vitesse it was the same but Rimmers quoted a different part No for the Spit turrents to the others. A quick call to my friend who rebuilt Triumph Sports as a living and he checked his daughters Mk3 engine mount to wishbone bolt centres, it was different to our Spits by about an inch shorter (he wasn't aware of issue/difference) he sent me down a Spit RH turrent when fitted the engine dropped down and top hose fitted as it should. Obviously a PO after the RH front damage had sourced a replacement turrent which had come from a Herald or GT6 (not many Vitesse's in Aus 25?).

So please check both your turrents on the new chassis to see there the same as the old chassis.

Sorry to be so long winded,

Peter T

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All well received, thank you.  Colin I was trying to be lazy I suppose and it'll be sensible to remove the shocks and grease etc as well as checking it's all straight.  I've got to dismantle and move the rears over anyway.

Thanks for the alignment note Pete.  I've run string boxes on cars before to set up alignment so I will give this a go.  This is the first independent rear suspension build I've had, coming from kit cars and MG's.  I might even get it right with the help of this note!

Peter T, I will check and check again - everything from the old car is swapping over to an identical refurbed Mk1 Spitfire chassis so I hope it should be OK with like for like.

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