Front Suspension & Hubs


The original wheels were discarded in 1980 (they had already lost their Rostyle hub caps) when I bought some Dunlop 5½J x 13 steel wheels from Demon Tweeks. However for the latest restoration I found some GB alloy wheels in the same size (see Wheels & Tyres). Apparently these need longer studs as they are thicker than steel, so I obtained some longer 3/8 UNF x 47mm wheels studs. A popular upgrade is to also fit thicker 12mm studs but as I also had the special GB wheel nuts which were 3/8" UNF I had to keep to that size. The original wheel hubs were retained, as they were in good condition, but I used new stub axles and good quality Timken bearings. These were mated to new vertical links, see below:

The original vertical links were shot (water had penetrated and corroded the threads, see below with the new one on the right).

I originally ordered trunnionless ones from Canley Classics in May. However as they still hadn't arrived in August, I cancelled the order as I wanted the car to be driveable by September in case Southside were ready to do the bodywork. I had previously contacted Mark Field at Jigsaw, and he quoted me for ones made for him in the UK. He also advised me that "We have always only used the correct original style of vertical links. The trunnion less ones were designed for Caterhams, which are a much lighter car and thus less likely to have problems with the very small bottom spindle." In the end he didn't have any of the normal links in stock when I needed them, so instead he supplied me with ones used for racing. The difference? Well, the racing ones don't have a grease nipple, and more importantly no hole drilled down the centre which should make them immensely strong. On fitting they were filled with EP90 oil. On the racing cars Mark refills them at the end of every season, so I intend to do this every year (I'm not expecting to do much mileage).

Above are the front suspension wishbones, cleaned up and repainted, together with the new nuts and bolts. The bolts are to the original specification. There's a school of thought that the length of thread means that one end of the bolt handles load on the thread at one end which can lead to wear as this is weaker than the other end. Special bolts are available with a shorter thread, but I rejected this option on two counts:

1. The original bolts showed no discernable wear after at least 30k miles.
2. Reduced thread length may prevent the nuts from tightening up, and lead to looseness and movement during use.

Below is the refurbished anti-roll bar which is the original diameter (some use a thicker one, which I don't believe is any improvement!)

Below is the front suspension in different stages of assembly: