Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Moderators: scimjim, philhoward, Lukeyboy46, erikscimitardemon, Roger Pennington

02Anders
RSSOC Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: High Peak, UK
Has thanked: 36 times
Contact:

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by 02Anders » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:02 pm

Okay, so I've already warned you guys: I'm new to Scimitars, so please put up with me if this next question is somewhat daft...

I understand that with the Scimitar having a separate chassis, it'll never be possible to totally eliminate a bit of movement between chassis and body, and therefore there will always be a few creaks and rattles on bumpy roads. I'm good with that.
However, when I hit big potholes there is a very loud and abrupt KLONK from the rear suspension. This being my first Scimitar, I don't know whether this is normal, but I can't help but think that it probably isn't. It just seems a bit too excessive to be normal.
So I'm thinking that it might stem from a worn out bushing of sorts somewhere in the rear suspension. But what say the pro's?? What is your experience with this??

If I do need to rebush the rear, I know that many enthusiasts seem to prefer poly bushings nowadays. However, I personally have a bad experience with poly and would thus rather stay with factory rubber bushings. After all, I'm not trying to make a race car out of my Scimitar, but would much rather keep it as the comfortable grand tourer that it was when it left the factory. But are these rubber bushings still available for the Scimitar? If so, I might just take the plunge and rebush both the complete front suspension and the complete rear suspension.

While I'm at it, the rear suspension seems a little mushy and bouncy. I'm thinking the rear shock absorbers are possibly approaching the end of their lifespan. But once again, I want to retain the comfortable ride of a Scimitar. So rather than going with some fancy-pancy fully adjustable race suspension, I would much rather just put in a new set of dampers which are to stock factory spec. in terms of firmness. But is such a product currently available, and if so, who manufacturers them? Oh, and I'm not on a super tight budget. While I certainly don't have unlimited funds, I also don't mind paying a bit extra for a quality product such as Bilstein or Koni. But what's available?

Last but not least, If I end up replacing all bushings in the suspension and the dampers too, it would sort of make sense to treating the Scimitar to new springs too. That way I can rest assured that the whole suspension has been refurbished and should be up for the job for many years to come. But are new stock springs available?
Last edited by 02Anders on Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Kind Regards,
Anders Bilidt
ViaRETRO - Classics with a Scandinavian Flick...

'78 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6a
A small handful of 70's BMW's
And a '63 Rochdale Olympic in a gazillion pieces!

User avatar
scimjim
RSSOC Member
Posts: 37706
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Gloucester
Has thanked: 136 times
Been thanked: 967 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by scimjim » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:36 pm

I’d advise not using poly on the rear of the car - it can be too noisy and harsh. I’d also always go for adjustable seat dampers and new springs - it gives you options.

Clunks from the front - check the trunnions first - soon!


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

User avatar
peter freeman
RSSOC Member
Posts: 9906
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Newcastle
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 354 times
Contact:

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by peter freeman » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:39 pm

"stock" springs as far as I know are still available and for the rear are probably ok however I don't know anyone who fits standard springs to the front as the ones that were fitted originally were never really up to the job and did not last long before the front end was drooping. I suspect most people now also fit adjustable shockers. There are lots of areas that can cause your noise at the rear - trialling arms, watts linkage and of course the shocker bushes - you will need to have a good look and poke around to find here the noise is coming from. Might be worth while having someone in the rear of the car to help locate the source of the noise.



User avatar
Roger Pennington
RSSOC Member
Posts: 20003
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 144 times
Been thanked: 525 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Roger Pennington » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:59 pm

02Anders wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:02 pm
when I hit big potholes there is a very loud and abrupt KLONK front the rear suspension.
Assuming the word "front" was a typo ( :wink: ), a clunk from the rear may not be cause for panic. The exhaust runs very close to the rear dampers, and if the support rubbers have gone soggy, it can move around and hit the suspension, so it's worth checking that before you pull the suspension apart. As Peter says, a passenger in the back to listen for clonks may help.

There does appear to be a bit of a backlash against polybushes these days, I've got them in the front of the Yellow Peril, but the mulberry car, which is all-rubber, is certainly smoother.

The mulberry car may be one of the few which, even after about 116000 miles, is still on it's original springs. I do wonder if that's because for much of it's life it's been on the excellent (and now sadly NLA) Koni dampers, which have controlled suspension movement better, and caused less stress on the springs?????

Protech seem to get some good reports for dampers, the Yellow Peril is currently on AVOs, and Protech is a make that I will be considering next, though no decisions have yet been made.


....Roger

RSSOC member (since 1982)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Image

"Condition can be bought at any time; Originality, once lost, is gone forever" - Doug Nye

Terry H
RSSOC Member
Posts: 2176
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:02 pm
Location: Newport Gwent
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 49 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Terry H » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:04 pm

You could also check the rear bumpstops while you are checking for the exhaust knocking.
Regards Terry H



ScimmyMike
RSSOC Member
Posts: 5030
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:12 pm
Location: Hyde, Cheshire
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 119 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by ScimmyMike » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:25 pm

If you currently have black AVO dampers on the rear with red bushes it could be those that have worn through, there was an issue with them in 2009 onwards where the poly was just crap quality


SE4c rebuilding. SE5a similar it seems!
SAAB C900 2 door, Alfa Romeo GTV twinny
Scimitar SE4 SE4c SE5 SE6b Austin A35

High Peak Noggin Secretary & general dogsbody

www.high peak noggin

If things are going well with the rebuild you've missed a part out

Oldconn
RSSOC Member
Posts: 1627
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:09 pm
Location: Haute-Saône,France
Has thanked: 60 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Oldconn » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:44 am

ScimmyMike wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:25 pm
If you currently have black AVO dampers on the rear with red bushes it could be those that have worn through, there was an issue with them in 2009 onwards where the poly was just crap quality
I had similar experience with yellow poly bushes fitted around 2008. They were completely knackered in less than 5000 miles. Since then I have been on new black rubber bushes from QRG, which are fine!


"When I grow up, I want to be me"
-Kermit Weeks
Current: SE6A; 998 Mini.Previous: Morris Minor,Ford8, Cortinas Mk1 &2,MG Midget 1932,Morgan 3W 1934,Lagonda Rapier,Honda S800, Austin Maxi,Citroen GSA, Riley ElfMk2,Peugeot 505,Rover 420 SDI

02Anders
RSSOC Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: High Peak, UK
Has thanked: 36 times
Contact:

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by 02Anders » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:26 pm

Thx Gents for all of your input - much appreciated... :D

@Roger Pennington, yes that was a typo - was meant to say "from" rather than 'front".

So if I'm to sum-up your thoughts...

First go for aride with someone sat in the back to try and locate where the KLONK stems from.
As for bushes, probably better to go for rubber than poly, and QRG should have stock for the Scimitar. Don't forget to check bumpstops and even exhaust mounts.
So far so good.
When it comes to dampers, the Koni's are great (no surprise there really...), but unfortunately also NLA. Protech is perhaps an option, but I must say that when I look at their website, it looks very track and fast road biased, which is not at all what i want. I've searched a bit more myself, and it seems that AVO, GAZ and Spax. But are there other options that I've missed? And which to choose in order to achieve a ride as comfortable and close to stock as possible.
Next up there are springs. I can't find anyone who sells standard coil springs for the Scimitar. It seems the only option is buying a coil-over set. But that's not at all what I want. For starters, I do not want to lower the car. I would prefer if it sat at stock ride height. And again, I'm looking for comfort - not sport. Surely I can't be the only Scimitar owner in the world with such obscure wishes...??

What do you guys suggest?


Kind Regards,
Anders Bilidt
ViaRETRO - Classics with a Scandinavian Flick...

'78 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6a
A small handful of 70's BMW's
And a '63 Rochdale Olympic in a gazillion pieces!

AllingtonGT
RSSOC Member
Posts: 466
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 11:27 am
Has thanked: 28 times
Been thanked: 24 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by AllingtonGT » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi Anders,
I've used Protech on my road cars for some time and they are fit and forget. The bright silver alloy is the most common (cheapest) but they can deliver in a variety of colours. They can supply new springs as well. The good thing is that they are happy to serve you from their office and as I live quite close I am happy to visit on behalf of members. They will rebuild your shocks when they need it, but thus far I've never required any to be rebuilt.
Regards
Geoff



Diyhell
RSSOC Member
Posts: 258
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:27 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Has thanked: 78 times
Been thanked: 10 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Diyhell » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:59 pm

Agree with all of the above.

Re shock types, Nigel Clark (on here, and writes for practical classics) went Gaz and identified an issue with different spring diameters. https://scimitarweb.co.uk/sgwrs/viewtopic.php?t=31478. However, my memory is that previously he'd identified Gaz as these lasted the best on other classics?

I fitted Gaz and went for adjustable spring platforms - v useful in levelling the car and stopping it grinding at the front... Are adjustable from wallow to rock hard.

Nigel Boothman (also on here, also writes for Practical Classics/Classic Cars) went AVO I think and went damper only. So it is possible to do stick with standard springs. In fact I think he wrote up his 'fun' in a Classic Cars update.

Richard


SE6a needing lots of work...

User avatar
scimjim
RSSOC Member
Posts: 37706
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 10:08 pm
Location: Gloucester
Has thanked: 136 times
Been thanked: 967 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by scimjim » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:51 pm

Scimitars have coilovers all round as standard.

If you mean adjustable seats, you can get fixed seat dampers and you can buy springs on their own - or you can buy sets from the club traders.


Jim King

SECURE DRY STORAGE FOR YOUR SCIMITAR

Current: SE5 (8Ball), TI SS1 (snotty), 1600 SS1 (G97), 1600 SS1 (C686CCR), 2.5TD SE5a (diesel 5a), 6 x random other SS1s.
Previous: SE5, 3 x SE5a, 2 x SE6a, 3 x SE6b, GTC, 2.9i GTC, 3 x 1600 SS1, 1300 SS1, Mk1 Ti Sabre, Mk1.5 CVH Sabre
Chief mechanic for: 1400 K series SS1 (Megan3), 1400 CVH EFi SS1 (Grawpy), 1300 SS1 (Number One) & Sarah's coupe.
CURE THE FAULT - NOT THE SYMPTOMS

User avatar
Roger Pennington
RSSOC Member
Posts: 20003
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:43 pm
Has thanked: 144 times
Been thanked: 525 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Roger Pennington » Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:56 pm

02Anders wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:26 pm
Next up there are springs. I can't find anyone who sells standard coil springs for the Scimitar. It seems the only option is buying a coil-over set. But that's not at all what I want. For starters, I do not want to lower the car. I would prefer if it sat at stock ride height. And again, I'm looking for comfort - not sport. Surely I can't be the only Scimitar owner in the world with such obscure wishes...??
Firstly, "coilover" is IMHO a dangerous, vague, and ambiguous term, and best avoided. All Scimitar spring/damper units are basically "coilover" as they consist of coil springs mounted over the exterior of telescopic dampers. Some of those dampers may have the added refinement of adjustable damping, and some may go one stage further and have adjustable ride height, but all have the coil springs mounted over the dampers.

Secondly, standard springs were 2.5 inch ID. Some dampers are available with seats to fit that size, many are available with seats for 2.25 inch ID (a more common size). Springs are readily available in both those sizes (especially 2.25 inch), and in a wide range of poundages. So you can , if you wish, reuse your existing springs, or choose new springs to suit your preference, whether that be standard, or something more exotic. :)

If your chosen dampers have ride-height adjustment, that isn't just useful for lowering, it can be useful to even up the ride height if one spring settles more than another, for example.


....Roger

RSSOC member (since 1982)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Image

"Condition can be bought at any time; Originality, once lost, is gone forever" - Doug Nye

User avatar
Nigel Clark
RSSOC Member
Posts: 519
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:57 pm
Location: Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 45 times

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by Nigel Clark » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:07 pm

Roger Pennington wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 1:56 pm
Secondly, standard springs were 2.5 inch ID. Some dampers are available with seats to fit that size, many are available with seats for 2.25 inch ID (a more common size). Springs are readily available in both those sizes (especially 2.25 inch), and in a wide range of poundages. So you can , if you wish, reuse your existing springs, or choose new springs to suit your preference, whether that be standard, or something more exotic.
I was caught out by exactly the problem Roger has mentioned when fitting new shocks to my SE6A 2 years ago. I've gone for Gaz adjustable dampers with adjustable spring platforms all round, using 2.25" ID springs supplied by Gaz. I'm pleased with the set up, as I've been able dial in exactly the ride height I wanted and set the damping firm enough that the car feels quite agile through the twists and turns.

I've also re-bushed the front suspension using Superflex and these also seem very good. The rear still has original rubber bushes which seem to last a lot better than the front. Overall the car handles and rides nicely with these upgrades.


Nigel



02Anders
RSSOC Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: High Peak, UK
Has thanked: 36 times
Contact:

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by 02Anders » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:19 pm

Once again, more good input. Thx Gents. :D

Okay, I get your point... I'm no doubt using the term coilovers much too loosely.
When I was writing coilovers, I was referring to those modern contraptions which are adjustable in every perceivable way and direction. I'm probably just an analogue old relic (at least according to my wife...), but I just don't see that I need such a set up.
- If the SE6a drove fine without an adjustable setup in 1978, then it'll drive fine without one in 2019 too.
- The more adjustability there is in the setup, the more things can brake and potentially go wrong.
- And seeing as I'm planning to drive my Scimitar all year round, these fancy adjustable setups will only corrode and become very much un-adjustable anyway after a winters use.

Or am I totally missing the point?

Either way, with your input and the little bit of extra research that I have done, it would seem that Protech might be the highest quality option between them, GAZ, AVO and Spax.
So @Geoff, should I decide to go down this route, then thank you very much for your kind offer! :wink: I might very well take you up on that...


Kind Regards,
Anders Bilidt
ViaRETRO - Classics with a Scandinavian Flick...

'78 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6a
A small handful of 70's BMW's
And a '63 Rochdale Olympic in a gazillion pieces!

02Anders
RSSOC Member
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:46 pm
Location: High Peak, UK
Has thanked: 36 times
Contact:

Springs, Dampers and Bushings

Post by 02Anders » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:02 pm

Just to tie this one up...

Time constraints leading up to our drive to Denmark and back in February, meant I needed to be realistic about how much spannering I was going to achieve on my own. Much to my dismay, I have to fit in going to work every so often as well... :roll: Not wanting to end up driving a half finished car with the whole family onboard for some reasonably serious mileage, I decided to bite the bullet. My SE6a was booked in with Graham Walker.
They advised me that they always recommend AVO shocks as they find them superior to any other shocks on the market. Who am I to question a leading specialist considering I've only just bought my first Reliant? So two days after leaving the car with them, I drove home with four new AVO shocks, new front springs (the rears were fine), and all new rubber bushings on the rear axle with several new bushings going into the front axle too. Needless to say, it was all wrapped up with a full wheel alignment.
While there, they fitted a new bottom diaphragm to the driver's seat as well.
What a revelation!! :P The Scimitar feels like a totally different car now.
Granted, the invoice had my creditcard glowing hot red!! But I'm happy. They were nothing but pleasant, service-minded and professional, and I now feel much more confident about loading the Scimitar up with two kids in the back and my wife next to me, and then proceeding to cover somewhere around 1500 - 1600 miles in eight days...

Just need to get some three-point inertia reel seatbelts fitted for the rear seats now.


Kind Regards,
Anders Bilidt
ViaRETRO - Classics with a Scandinavian Flick...

'78 Reliant Scimitar GTE SE6a
A small handful of 70's BMW's
And a '63 Rochdale Olympic in a gazillion pieces!

Post Reply

Return to “Se6/6a/6b/GTC”