MG/Austin-Healey Tubular Shocks

Here’s some information we received from one of our shock absorber sources, Roadstar Rebuilding of northern California. We pass it along here for information’s sake.

Facts About Tube Shock Conversions

The front lever shocks on MGs and Austin Healeys serve two purposes. One as a spring dampener (the normal purpose of a shock absorber). They also serve as the vehicle’s upper control arm; that is, they hold the entire wheel assembly to the car. When these shocks go bad it is because they have lost oil (due to worn bushings and old seals) and will continue to do so until replaced.

The tube conversions do return the dampening action but do nothing about continued wear of these upper arm bushings. What they do is cover up the problem and allow it to get worse. The lever shocks will eventually have to be replaced, in spite of the conversion.

When the control arm bushings wear (and they will, without oil), the king pin will be allowed to wobble in all directions. This not only makes the car handle poorly and unpredictably, but also puts undue stress on the other components, such as the king pin, fulcrum pin and lower control arm.

Consumers may not be aware of this, but jobbers, dealers and mechanics should be!