MG Tech – Classic MG Shock Absorber Test

Experiencing uneven ride over bumps or veering to one side under heavy breaking – well the problem could be your shock absorbers – that is on your classic MG.

If you are, then Roger recommends taking the bump test – this involves pushing down on the front wings and checking the amount of resistance and bump return. This is easier with rubber bumper models when you have somewhere to place your knee on the front corner.

Whether rubber of chrome bumper, MGB or Midget there should be a degree of resistance but some return – too much bounce and this is a sure sign that you have a problem with your front shock absorbers.

It’s more difficult to repeat the process on the rear shock absorbers so this is going to be a case of a visual inspection to make sure everything is correct.

At the front and rear look out for signs of fluid leaking or weeping from the shock absorbers – you may have detected drops on the floor of your garage when the vehicle is parked. These are indications that the seals on the dampers have perished and are no longer performing their function correctly.

Having confirmed a problem the only option is replacement – a task that is probably best done by a trained mechanic with the proper equipment, as this operation is easiest undertaken in the raised vehicle position and with something to support the lower wishbone to prevent it dropping when you detach the shock absorber.

Replacing the shock absorber dampers is going to take about an hour for each corner, this will depend on the condition of the attachments which can become heavily corroded in their exposed position under the vehicle and how easy it is to release them.

Replacement components are usually reconditioned units which you can trade you old damper in for. These cost £25 plus VAT each – brand new dampers will set you back £100 plus VAT each.