Jump to content

Rear Leaf Spring Elimination Kit

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 112
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Sorry John I can see the confusion .

Ignore the pictures in the first post , the first of those even threw me as half the wishbone is missing and I am mystified to where that one came from , in fact partly why I resized to change that picture . The new pic shows the old wishbone for reference in green .

Yes same principle as that set up you just showed . I hope this will hold the VL far more stably in one plane at least and was thinking of linking the top with KDs set up even if the only advantage was top adjustability but Clarks method looks like it may be preferable apart from welding access and if the geometry is deff ok .

This is after all a 72 Triumph not a Mclarren and if I mess about much longer on the rear end I will end up using the car to be buried in before it ever takes me on a tour to Amalfi . However the Subaru diff , CV's , MGTF hubs , bearings , discs and calippers and a slightly more stable and more adjustable set up with the three piece billet alloys I inherited with the car if set up properly should be fun enough for now .

I just spoke to the engineer and the VLs and wishbones are back from the powder coaters but he is still finishing off the top bracket which should be powder coated by Tue/Wed . I hope it all works !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Won't having single bars in place of a solid lower wishbone 'Scissor' for want of a better word allowing the vertical link to twist. I know the


VL is held in place at the top attached to the leaf spring or whatever, but there is movement there also. What am I missing?



Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are going to all that trouble, for goodness sake junk that enormous,heavy Rotaflex wishbone!

At half of it unsprung weight, it will make your new suspension much slower to respond with lower wheel rates and stiffer springs needed to control it.


I dunno what is wrong with overengineering something when it's in double sheer.

Have you ever seen a Jaguar X300 wishbone?

That is what you call heavy, and that car is not known for being a slouch cornering even at 1.8T all up.


As for the paranoia/perceptions of unsprung weight there, I NEVER had a problem with that set-up.

It's quite OK for what it's got to do.

The problems with the car don't come from the rear, they come from the FRONT.


Stopping them UNDERSTEERING is the problem, nothing at all to do with rear suspension control....and DON'T FORGET.

A rear leaf spring is PROGRESSIVE rated, & self damping which has advantages all of its own.


What you are proposing to do instead is to replace it with a linear rate spring & cheap needle valve dampers, which frankly DON'T WORK!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi GT,

Is there an application for your progressive rate springs in the rear suspension?

It seems like there's a lot of discussion about the rear leaf spring, people for it and those agin it. Strikes me that if it is a "good" system it would still be in popular use, plainly it's not. There's no engineer inside me struggling to get out, let's face it, I failed "Lego" in kindergarten and "Meccano" in primary school but, IMO, IRS and a double wishbone setup (with anti-sway bar, and therefore not genuinely IRS) is the lightest, most responsive and possibly the easiest option available.


Correct me, please, if I'm wrong here but wouldn't moving the weight (motor and gearbox) back help to solve whatever understeer there may be inherent in the Spitfire setup? Is there something "wrong" with the front suspension? If not, why not take the basics of the front and adapt it for the rear. Sure, a goodly amount of modification may be involved and maybe it wouldn't be the most technically brilliant solution but it would probably work???? Take the rear hub/upright out of an MGF, modify the front upper and lower wishbones and mounts to fit leaving enough space for the half-shaft. Fit a coil-over shock (an appropriately valved red one maybe), with GT's progressive spring, shove it in the rear and Robert's your father's brother. The added bonus, you can use MGF rear disc brakes and your wheels will still fit. (Wishbones not strong enough? Easy enough to "box" up and might need to use a modified radius arm as a fifth point to reduce any forward/back flex)


Too much wine, too much time, not enough sense.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard spitfire rear spring is progressive. Moving the engine back does help but only so much as you can put it too far back and upset the balance. You could always fit a lighter engine which would better the car all round?


I think the problems with coil springing the rear end of a spitfire is there is not much travel in the suspension. Which most coil springs need to be comfortable and obviously good dampers are a must. Problem with the fixed rear swing spring are the jack up. problem with the later pivoted spring is a slight lack of feel. End of the day there is always a compromise but as mentioned earlier one guy seems to have set it up better than the other racers. Triumph's own way round the original fied spring was to make the shocks as hard as possible. However this is racing and it depends what you want to use your car for.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard spitfire rear spring is progressive.


...problem with the later pivoted spring is a slight lack of feel.


racers. Triumph's own way round the original fied spring was to make the shocks as hard as possible.


1 YES of course, leaf springs are the very definition of non linear springs.

They fitted them in all the TR3 & 4ss and lots of early Jaguars. Leaf springs can be very good, except they don't do a brilliant job locating live axles, and are known for being very hard.

The TR4 handles much better than the TR4A IRS, but it was down to driver comfort in the end.


2/ Lack of feel with pivoting spring?? NO WAY. the system works incredibly well considering the high roll centre,- certainly better than the cart sprung, lever arm damped trash that came out of Abingdon in those days.


3/ Made the dampers as hard as possible? No they didn't.


They kept them soft, even the "sports" decarbon gas dampers supplied by the factory weren't hard.


Leaf springs have self damping (it's called friction) so has a lower damping need than coil springs.

If you make the rear dampers hard on any of those cars they oversteer like fury.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking about weight distribution, I remember in the late eighties Kevin Ginger had a mid mounted engine in a modified GT6 and as I recall nothing could get near it. I think it was outlawed, I may be wrong, long time ago. He was also a very good driver. The combination of the straight six set back in a Spitfire / GT6 chassis instead of hanging out the front, in my opinion would be the ultimate Triumph based racer.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking about weight distribution, I remember in the late eighties Kevin Ginger had a mid mounted engine in a modified GT6 and as I recall nothing could get near it.


I think it was outlawed, I may be wrong, long time ago. He was also a very good driver.... would be the ultimate Triumph based racer.


Yes I helped him build the thing.

The majority of the work was done at a place in Slough.


There were (too) numerous problems with it, as the body had to be hinged to get access to the engine....so masses of midnight oil, MIG welding and tea.

The first outing was an infamous weekend at North Weald, where it just about scraped through scrutineering.


I was one of the first people to drive it.

To begin with, it had a simple awesome ability to swop ends with very little warning.

It caught me out BIG TIME, at Bruntingthorpe, doing about 90mph, and almost instantly was doing roughly that speed backwards.

I remember seeing the tyre smoke. Nothing quite like a change of direction that abrupt and be slammed back into the seat hard on the brakes in reverse.



It took several years to cure the various issues with the car, (during which time we lost contact) and the 2.5L engine which used to smash itself regularly to smithereens.

That must have been the first person to discover TR6 pistons were no good over 10:1, and it was to be the undoing of K Riley....

Exhaust as usual was Randall again.


Eventually it used to finish races.


I wonder where it is today?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw that thing at Radlett Farm in about 1984 or so. I was delighted to see it as I already knew a bit about it. It sat in a mucky big garage with the body up. My inlaws thought I was insane dragging them all the way out into whatever wilderness that was (from Basingstoke) But I wanted a Kent cam and these guys were the distributors. I paid for the cam, had a lovely cup of tea, saw the remarkable car and never received the cam. Nobody else would get out of the car because of the mud.


I've often enquired about the car on various boards but have always been met with stony silence. I think the story involves some incarceration and a lot of folk going underground. I did get a couple pics of the car from the day that I am very grateful for.


I too would love to know where this marvel is but I fear it long ago rusted away as it was likely stripped of bits over the years. I'd love a contact with Kevin Ginger as he seemed so clever and hooked up. He wasn't there at Radlett Farm that day and I don't know who was. Two blokes and a very cute Tea goddess. I never got the cam I payed for. I also visited Triumphtune that trip, sods....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

People fall out, cars get scrapped or disappear.

It's life, but the 80s was one of those periods, just after the Brixton riots, Thatcher, closing the coal mines & all, where things were FAR more liberal, & people could get things done & realise fantasies + dreams.


How can you have anything other than sketchy memories when a decade went down the plughole on the back of simply mad hours and abuse**?

Some things bring it all back with a rush.


One of them was the completion of the M25, which shortened the nightmare trip to my bearing dealer by many hrs.

Kevin was one of the very first people to test out the completed new motorway in his Mitsubishi Starion.


He drove pretty much everywhere like this, (including the race car on the trailor to a circuit at 85-90mph) on his highly discrete dodgy plate KEV 1N, but on this occasion he got well nicked for doing 145mph (or was it 138 or 147?) on the round heathrow section.

He kept his licence because he needed it for his work, and the cheese business, which from what I am told got him in the slammer.


Today the speeding would have involved a prison sentence, but the financial fraud would have been fine, 'cos everyone's doing it now in the city aren't they?

It also gives some timelines & ideas of what a pathetic sheep like, surveillance & snooping country it has become since.


Britain is literally ILL.


These date the episodes to post 1986, so 1984 may have been impossible.

The "cute Tea goddess" was probably Deloris, Kevin's g/f?

Kevin I remember had the most unbelievable collection of horror films, the stuff to give anyone nightmares for weeks.


For while a side kick, was Nick Halford, a graphic artist who helped edit and publish my book.

Nick also had a modified GT6 2L with injection and all the stuff....bit like Steve A (!)

In the end Nick's GT6 got scammed and dumped by a really NASTY piece of work called Richard Beaty, who is still at large today, scamming people for Jaguar V12 engines, just like in the late 80s under "Ron the Con" Beaty of Meriden's Forward engineering.

It goes to show, how easily stuff can go missing.

I picked up the sad remains of that car, sold them to an old bloke in France who eventually turned it into a french GT6 cabrio, Nick got the payout...

Again people fall out, - why fall out over a CAR I say?


We all had wild ideas in those days

The grids could be full.

I can't help thinking the TSSC bombed all Triumph Spitfire racing in the end by giving it ZILCH financial and logistical help, then handing over all that stuff in the end to complete & hopeless twats like Field at Jigsaw or letting Tony Dean become the TSSC "competition secretary"

No wonder people got the 'ump and left.

Just WHAT were they thinking?


Kevin ended up driving my Vitesse at Lydden hill against Paul Lucas on one occasion, as his car was once again out of action,- coming back with a heap of useful suggestions.

There is no doubt Paul & Kevin were "hammer and tongs drivers", with totally different driving styles.

Paul AS USUAL won at Lydden! So that would date it to about 1987.

I last raced against his car at Mallory, (which again DNF) in 1988?


As far as I know, Kevin pensioned off the mid engine project somewhere around 1989-1990, and built that Spitfire race car

(The recent history of which I won't bore you with again!).


Kevin was incredibly quick in that car.

I know it was quite easily the quickest Spitfire ever made in the right hands, which of course it no longer is....eh?

What an idea to swop out 45DCOE Webers for 40DHLA Dellortos!

What are people thinking?


Kevin was a huge admirer of Nigel Mansell, and adopting the "mansell racing lines", which anyone who has studied the theory will know result either in coming off, or staying on the circuit.


Eddy (Wilkins), also a good driver from those days,(became a F FORD 2000 champ) drove for me about 6-7yrs ago, and practically placed a Jag on pole, first day out.


Wish we could have those times back now.


Oh, as for the mid engined GT6.

It had to have the main chassis rails substantially altered in the middle to take the engine so far back.as I remember, you could just about get a plug spanner to cylinder No1 on it. The rest were buried deep inside.

The rear suspension had coil overs, and it originally had a GT6 gearbox with J type OD. (I did it).

The gearstick extension had to be reduced to a stub by tig welding, and the gearlever turned around to face forward.

I think that was one of the features which gave problems.


**My doctor just used to warn me every year when I came from my RAC licence....in 10 years you'll be ******* and he was right.

Try getting a licence now.

The RAC is just the VERY SYMPTOM of all that is wrong with motorsport in the UK today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is one of the very early pictures of the car, as it was behind the (brand new) capri 2.8i, which got replaced by the Starion.

It was in bright orange with "marlboro" livery.


The car had specially made Revolution 15" split rims.

If I remember on the back they were 9 or 10" width.


They may be 13"on the front

I think I may have supplied the front 195-55-13 Pirelli P7 which were only available in France.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I said, the gearstick extension was shortened down to almost nothing, and the gearstick turned back to front.

The main problem (as least to begin with with), was simply astonishing amount of heat in the cockpit....you have that tubular exhaust right next to your left elbow!

I completely forgot, but of course the car was Lucas Pi, which helped on the space saving aspect.


Here's a couple of photos of the 2, - quite easy to find in fact...with Kevin "kamikaze" Ginger very appropriately on the roof.gingluca.jpg


and another....this time in the "gulf" guff.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Epic thread drift :D


I remember Eddie Wilkins as he was local and would turn up at the local TSSC meets from time to time. He also used to drive his race car (and sometime hillclimb car) on the road. Wasn't much point in chasing him though! Also had a Triumph resto business locally for a short while with one of friends. They did some nice work. At some point around then he created the "manx" Spitfire by meeting a tyre wall at speed - backwards - a rare mishap as he certainly could drive that thing. Not sure where he is these days. Last heard of living in the Poole area.......



Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, lets keep this thread alive...I love it.

Firstly, who's the guy on the left. Paul Lucas? He looks familiar to me.


Next, I have three pics from who knows where attributed to Ginger. Following up on the brilliant theme.








Edited by GT6Steve
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember Eddie Wilkins as he was local and would turn up at the local TSSC meets from time to time. He also used to drive his race car (and sometime hillclimb car) on the road. Wasn't much point in chasing him though!


Not sure where he is these days.


I built Eddie's first 1300 engine.

It was THE FIRST one with my (cosworth based) forged pistons in. It had a Piper 52-92 cam in and worked pretty well.

Decades later:-

Eddie drove a Jaguar XJS for me on 28th August 2006 & finished 6th, on his first outing with the car.

I managed to co-opt him into this cos I was banned from driving in the JEC myself.

He then moved to Australia, a few months after. Haven't heard from him since.

He bought Damon Hill's old evil handling Formula Ford, transformed it and wiped the board in Formula Ford 2000 with it.


Paul (on the right in the photo) I still see regularly, but decided he doesn't want to race his car again.

I guess part of the problem is, his daughter destroyed the (then immaculate) car after it had just gone thru a very long, painful, and restoration.

I keep going on about getting him back out with a FAR more powerful engine (160bhp+ seems perfectly sensible now), but motivation has gone, when you see the kind of atmosphere today, so the plan is to detune it for the road.

A pity, he bought the very LAST set of race valves.


Paul and Kevin, made for some great racing.

In fact I would say, probably the fastest Triumph racing ever done.

Paul used regularly to beat well sorted Lotus 7s which were in the class above him, and won the 750 motor club road going sportscar championship outright one year. (He finished 2nd the year before and the year after, so it used to get mentioned a lot in "motoring news")

You have to remember tyre technology has moved on a lot in 20-25 years, so it's still amazing to see the circuit record for that class still stands at Cadwell Park today.


As for the photos of rear suspension.

I suspect these were from Kevin's car. It always had a rather "BODGY" suspension with bits of this and that.

Today it just wouldn't been done that way. TBH, I don't know what happened to it.


The more interesting motor was the Spitfire 1300** that followed it, because that had Mk2 GT6 suspension & lots of tweaks to the chassis, with everything that worked.

There's still an argument whether or not the Mk2 suspension cars are IN FACT quicker than the genuine swing spring Spitfires on modern rubber, because for many years, Paul's car also used Mk2 rear suspension.

There I don't know, and now I no longer care.**


My car on Mk2 suspension and slicks was absolutely awesome, but in the UK I was never allowed to race with slicks, and there was no other car with a modified chassis to that extent that I could compare it with, never mind the AP brakes.


The swung axle car to my mind, "comes unstuck" when you raise the level of adhesion over a certain level, the Mk2 based cars, just carry on going quicker and quicker, so long as you get over the "hop and skip" slight instability behaviour mid corner and keep your foot buried on the floor.

What do you want? Your main competitors beyond a certain level were always going to be Cosworth powered Fords with live axles, or Sierras. I proved in the end they were perfectly beatable with nearly 100bhp LESS.


To drive, Kevin's GT6 was very strange, but most people don't realise it was the same car without all the hinged body, the engine in the normal place, and all, that won the BARC hillclimb and sprint championship outright the previous year on a 2L & triple webers. (I think it was ? 1983 or 1984?).


(Now you know most of the story about the other car**, and why I got involved,- so in the end it was my motivation that went down the pan after all those years!

Some people JUST DON'T get it do they?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all th epics of Kevin and Paul!

And I mean epics.

I remember racing with them - well, they were at the front and I was at the back of the grid - in the 90s.

Kevin was Triumph rep to the RoadSports series in 750MC, and saved my day when I turned up for my first race in my Vitesse.

750MC - "A Vitesse is not a sportscar, you can't race."

Kevin - "You accepted his entry; you let 'im race!"

And they did. Kevin made them change the regs too, so I could go on racing.

Thanks, Kevin!


This is at Pembrey, 1995?

Left to right, Paul, Kevin, er, John 'Trioomph' Sadler, Me, Pete Whiteman, Mark Plausin(?). Sorry, it's a long time ago.




Edited by JohnD
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...