A simple recipe for a sleek, subtly lowered MGB

We admit that we sometimes take our faithful 1978 MGB for granted. After all, we’ve owned it for nearly three decades. It was time to give it some attention, so we dropped its ride height to bring it closer to the original MGB specs. 

We used a method that took just an hour at each end: Moss Motors lowering springs up front and their lowering block set out back. While we were at it, we replaced a few other rubber pieces in the rear with uprated urethane bits. 

The car looks much better at its intended height, and the ride quality remains as good as ever. 

But does the car handle differently now? Watch these pages for the answer. An upcoming article will detail the various methods for lowering rubber-bumper MGBs and reveal how each one affects ride and performance.

We’ll cover additional approaches for the front, including dropped stub axles, a chrome-bumper crossmember swap, and other front spring options. For the rear, we’ll also try out de-arched springs and possibly different spring rates. Anti-roll bar swaps may enter the equation as well.  

Now that we’ve pressed this car back into service, we’re constantly reminded why we like rubber-bumper MGBs so much–especially when they've had a few mods. Ours features alloy wheels, upgraded tires and Miata seats. Under the hood it sports a Moss Motors supercharger, a ported head and a bit more cam. It's now a thoroughly modern, drivable car that just keeps us smiling.

Step 1

To meet the laws of its day, the rubber-bumper MGB came from the factory sporting an increased ride height. Our method for lowering it was simple: shortened springs in the front, lowering blocks in the rear. 

The shortened springs we used had been on our shelf for a while, and Moss Motors has superseded them with a new type. When we compare MGB lowering methods in our upcoming feature, we’ll cover the updated springs. 

Step 2

Moss Motors supplied the components we used to drop the rear: a set of lowering blocks and long U-bolts and urethane spring pads. We didn’t have to remove the rear backing plates to do this work, but we thought we'd clean and paint them while we were fixing the brakes.

Step 3

While the car was on the hoist, we treated the brakes to new wheel cylinders, springs, hold-downs and shoes.

Step 4

We also replaced the rubber brake hoses with braided stainless versions. We like the little boost in pedal firmness that these hoses provide.

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Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
10/28/15 4:35 p.m.

In my opinion, the only right way drop an RBB is to swap the x-member. Otherwise, I don't think you're really solving the problems.

10/29/15 10:15 a.m.

For the rear, this is the answer:

It is affordable, bolts in and is height adjustable. MUCH better ride than stock. Validation of ride improvement is that wife would ride in car after the conversion while before it was a buckboard.

On the front, rather than do the front crossmember swap (harder than you think) I would go with a combination of drop spindle and slightly shorter spring.

MGBs with wide tires and ultra low stance look really great, but they are not at their best as far as the driving experience is concerned.

The ultimate would be to go with a front suspension from the same supplier as the rear 4 link:

Once again, a bolt in component that was designed to work with today's wheel/tire technology.

And just so y'all know that I amnot shilling for CCC, here is another front suspension alternative for those with a bit deeper pockets. Its from Fast Cars by Ted. Note the spify T-shirt in the picture.

In the back, fastcars prefers a 3 link approach that while far from "bolt in" is effective.

MGARuss New Reader
1/3/24 11:50 a.m.

Looks like you are giving up an inch of ground clearance in the rear to the bottoms of the springs.  Is that a noticable downside of this approach?

1/3/24 3:49 p.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

@NOHOME - who's kit are you referring to in your post?  Can you repost the pictures?. . . . they have since disappeared.  Thank you.

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