Thread: Car Went Well
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Old 6th October 2018, 08:54
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Originally Posted by freeman41 View Post
Thanks all for your comments

David, I will PM you re tyres and settings if that is OK plus I have a Jensen Healey for sale so if I sell this I may buy a 1500 MG Midget I have been offered. You mentioned you have been working on a Midget, is this an MG or something else? Can they be tuned?

Cheers Trevor
Hi Trevor, the trick with tyre pressures and suspension settings on these cars is to make adjustments in small increments by trial and error, and judge the results by the seat of your pants until you like the way the car feels.

Remember that each of these cars is different depending on the needs/wants of its owner. I live in an area of fenland where the roads are very undulating due to the land subsiding under the road surface.

Over the years I regularly attended single vehicle RTC's involving high-performance cars, several Porsches, a BMW's, Audis, AMG Mercs and the like, that had been thrown off a back-road into the scenery due to their rock hard suspension failing to ride the roller coaster roads.

One Porsche Cayenne (being delivered to its new owner by the supplying used car dealer) had sheared off a telegraph pole at head height on a dead straight section of back-road before landing nose down in a ditch. The driver had little memory of the crash and couldn't understand how it had gone out of control so quickly until I walked him back up the road and we stood in the huge, cambered dip in a series of similar dips cambered this way and that, that had worked together to fling him into the air.

Due to that issue, I set mine up with relatively soft suspension, 170lb front springs with adjustable dampers set three clicks from their softest setting and three small and one large leaf removed from the (Vitesse Mk1) rear spring on standard dampers. Phil J, by contrast, has his set up much harder despite living in the same area, but he uses his for the odd track day and does like to go sideways.

My Midget is a '72 MG called 'Iris' -

The work I've been doing is effectively a recommission for the road after she was fully restored in 2006, but then put away in a garage for more than a decade, only covering 48 miles a year for the next twelve years to get to and from the MOT centre.

The work I've done includes replacing all fluids, fitting a new clutch, reconditioned dampers, greenstuff brake pads and a new propshaft as the old one was too worn out to save.

Being a '72, Iris should have round arches, Rostyle wheels, an A series engine and four speed 'box, but during the restoration she was fitted with square arches and pressed steel wheels with chrome hubcaps to give the appearance of an earlier car, and a 1500 engine with Spitfire overdrive gearbox for better cruising ability.

I've kept a log of my use and I've now covered 1,373 trouble free miles since June, at an average fuel consumption of 41.37 mpg. For a car weighing 685kg's she has enough power (about 65bhp) to keep up with modern traffic and for safe overtaking, while the reliability and frugal fuel consumption mean I'm going to keep this one as it is.

Midgets of all years can be tuned relatively easily, though. The A series can be enlarged to 1380cc and tuning parts and advice are available from any Mini performance specialist, while the (Triumph) 1500 engine can also be tuned to around 110bhp relatively easily should you want a very fast midget. The 1500 engine can be cheaply upgraded to about 85bhp for under 200 by having the very mild standard cam reprofiled to give more lift. Piper cams will reprofile your own cam to their 270 degree fast-road spec for just over 100, for example.

Anyway, good luck with your suspension settings and finding a suitable Midget.
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