Front Suspension Donor Alternatives
When someone built the first Kit Car they were
the only person building one and so stood a chance of picking up a set of coil
over shocks at a decent price. Now with hundreds of Kit Cars builders the Auto
Jumbles are well and truly stripped.
For new units AVO’s are the most popular and can be obtained from MK Engineering at around £350 per set of 4 including springs. Eddie White Motor Sport also supplies units and does occasionally have 2nd hand units available. Monospares now supplies Zeemeride units, for £200 a set including springs.
Plans exist for the modification of mini shock which will give you a set of 4 using new parts for around £150. However it does require welding spring seats to the shock bodies so your welding has to be fairly good to ensure a good weld without burning through the shock body.
There are some possible alternatives, none ideal.
Reliant Robin Front Units - can still be obtained for as little as £35 - £50 each new. The spring rates on the car are a bit Low especially for the front at around 110 - 120 lbs. Disadvantage if you are looking for second hand units is that you have got to find 4 cars because they only have 1 each. They are also a little long.
Jaguar XJ6 Rear Units - lots and lots of second hand units around and each car has 4 on the back so you’ve only got to find one car. Spring rate around 160 lbs, about right for the rear, probably a bit soft for the front. I don’t know if the rear spring rates on the XJ12 are higher nor whether the XJ front units are more appropriate. With a single, rather than a pair of units, on each side, I would have thought that the spring rate might be too high. Main draw back is that the units are 4½” diameter which is a bit too big, especially at the back where K2, K4, W2 and X2 meet at the upper shock absorber mounting plate.
Triumphs - such as the Spitfire, Herald and Dolomite range use coil over units. From experience the units used on the Dolomite Range have a top mounting platform with either 3 (front) or 4 (rear) bolts. Modifications would therefore be required to the chassis to enable these to be used.
Maestro Rear Units - comments as per Triumphs
Where I live there are hardly any Cortinas in the scrapyards. In fact, I couldn't find a single one. I eventually found my front suspension on a Hyundai Stellar: the Stellar was based on Cortina axles (but not engine), and the front suspension is identical to that of the Cortina (so is the rear axle, but I didn't need that). Incidentally, I got a pair of dust covers for the front disks from my local Hyundai dealer, after finding that Ford were not interested.