Hi .I have an Austin Seven special which has 1932 components,Long nose Banjo axle with the long arm damper units.My question is how can one improve the dampening ,I've fitted new springs & disks but the action is not as stiff as I would like on a Special.Any thoughts.
I have modified the long rear shock absorbers by adding an extra fixed bracket on the chassis and an extra piece of arm on the moving arm. This has been on my 1932 RN for the last 13 years. This year I investigated the creaking noise emanating from the rear and found that one of the fixed brackets had a crack developing so I have rectified this and now don't screw them up quite so tight ( I have the springs on the centre bolt coil bound and adjust by how tightly they are screwed up.) They work well but as I had them before, it cornered well at the expense of a very hard ride.
An ingenious arrangement.
I was very much of the view that dampers inadequate on my RP and only remedied with a crude hydraulic conversion, which enabled the car to be driven at 50 mph on metal roads with occasional excursions into the thick and survive. Have replaced with Big Seven units but dunno outcome.
Some have reckoned that excessive stiffness worsens handling.
Unfortunately all stress the outrigger, prone to break anyway with the stock pre Ruby setup.
Would be interested in observations about handling and sas, particularly on full height models. Stiff sas do increase tendency to slide, but can retain control.
(Years ago I upset a pointsman by going around him in a tail out slide!)
It is often claimed that sas do not affect roll, but trial without soon disproves that.
The Bantam has shock absorbers which appear to be the same as the early A7 ones, with the exception that the front one uses a coil spring rather than the star spring. On a short test run I found that the rear suspension was really floppy, with any reasonable sized bump causing the car to be thrown sideways, so I have just tightened them up to the point where the springs are coil-bound, then backed the nuts off about a quarter turn. Bear in mind that Bantam has normal semi-elliptical springs, not the quarter elliptics. I'm not expecting miracles but hoping for some improvement!
I've always used a spring balance hooked onto the end of the arm to make sure I have got both sides set the same. Question is what should they be set to? Does anyone know what they were set at when the cars left the factory?
Went for a quick test today and there is some improvement but the car still doesn't like hitting a bump while going around a corner. But I remember in the good old days a near new Ford 105E Anglia was not much better. I think for now I'll just put up with it and accept that for all its pretty American clothes, it is still an Austin Seven. Hope you get an answer to your question Ross.
Ivan, may be asking a really silly question but what are your springs like? My AH used to bottom out hitting something hard but found the springs rather worn and soft. New springs and minor adjustment to the shockers now give the car a really lovely ride.
Another avenue of thought?...
Pardon my ignorance here Simon but what is an AH? Is it an Austin 7? All I can think of is Austin Healey! Anyway for the limited mileage that this car will be doing I think I will just leave things as they are for now. A problem peculiar to the Bantam is that the rear axle is a heavy **** thing supposedly a shortened Studebaker one, thus giving a lot of extra unsprung weight - not much I can do about that. Anyway thanks to all for the replies.
At the risk of being told that I shouldn't, I suggest you read the literature- refer to Graham Baldock's booklet 'Identifying Austin Sevens from their Factory Initials' published by The Austin Seven Club's Association in 2015.
The booklet index notes Tourers AH pressed steel body long wheelbase four seater mid 1932 to mid 1934 and page 5 shows a picture with details.