After a bit of research, it turns out that you can fit MG Midget front springs to the A35.
Another bonus, the company sells them are just up the road from me! So, off I travel on a Saturday morning to visit Magic Midget.
I opted for 8" 360lb springs. As you can see they are a direct replacement, just a bit stiffer and a few rings shorter.
It took a little ibt of headscratching to figure out how to get the springs out and swap them over.
I had to take a trip to Wickes to get a threaded bar (to shop into 2 x 5" bars and some nuts).
It takes more time spannering to undo the nuts a bit at a time to lower the plate holding the spring in place. Without doing this you would get the spring uncompess itself and probably crush a finger or hand as it shot out and sent the plate flying off.
Much quicker to get the new springs into place and do the reverse of earlier. It hasn't "slammed" the car to the floor, but it's a nice subtle drop in height as you can see here.
Then, I had to figure out how to drop the rear end.
There were a few options available. Get new rear leaf springs and remove a couple, I'd read you can get some but they don't fit properly and require some fiddling to get right. I opted to keep it simple for now....and opt for what I used to have on my Mk1 and Mk2 Escorts....lowering blocks!
Now, there is a world of opinions about fitting these and as we know the keyboard warriors of the internet all have an opinion, my view is simple, do they do the job. yes. are they safe. yes. is there a little Austin A30 that bombs around race tracks using them. yes. have they slipped / falled out / caused major suspension failure on any vehicles of people I know who have used them. no.
(mainly because we are not idiots and know how to tighten nuts on bolts properly).
So, with that part sorted, a quick trip to Moss and I had some lowering blocks and long U-bolts.
Time to jack up the rear end of the car....slide in the axle stands onto solid metal to take the weight of the car - remember, we need to have no resistance on the springs.
After removing the existing setup, I noticed that the existing U-bolts were a bit thinner than the new ones. Also there was a threaded bolt that fed through from the bottom of the leaf springs to the top. hmmmm.... bit of a jigsaw to figure out...
I figured that I need to drill out the existing holes to be a little larger for the new U-bolts.
The tops of the lowering blocks needed a little bit of modification to make them fit into the existing setup. Pretty simple, just make the nobbly bit a bit smaller and shape it so that there was a snug fit. Nothing that 5 minutes with a file couldn't sort out.
Now, I'm not sure if this is the "proper" way of doing this, but it does look neat and fits nicely in place. Logically, it seems correct to me. Even the top slots into the circular gap nicely too. I'd say that is job done. Now to repeat on the other side.
Time to check out what it looks like from the outside. Hmmmm...I expected it to sit a bit lower, but I'm happy, it looks "natural", it looks like it should be at this height and it is nicely balanced to the height of the front.
I took JASmine for a little 5 mile drive, just to make sure everything still works as it should. Drives nice. Couldn't say that I noticed anything different. The front felt a little bit stiffer - didn't seem to nose-dive as much when braking. anyway, job done. Was fun to fettle a bit more. Will do a few more trips out and about and then go around and re-check and re-tighten everything.
It's not like I'm going to be hammering her around the bends of Castle Combe or even around the bends of the A or B roads like a rally driver. This exercise was purely for cosmetic reasons :-)
For the eagle-eyed, you may have noticed that we now have a Kustom sun-visor for JASmine!
Even with the period movable light too! How retro and awesome is that! I love it. It really completes the 1950s look and feel.