Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What a shocker !

I was only on site for around 15 minutes today in between my rounds delivering and collecting stuff, and still managed to field a technical enquiry whilst scoffing my salad batch. It was from an old friend in the trade Pete Cox, formerly Cox & Buckles, latterly Moss. I was buying stuff of Pete in the late 70's when I was struggling to keep my TR5 on the road on a meager students pittance. No mail order in those days, I used to jump in the TR and head over to Fairfax St clutching some folding, mind you I never seemed to end up buying what I actually went over for! Pete always managed to sell me that months 'special deal', wire wheels always seemed to be cheap. Anyway today's technical revolved around rotoflex shock absorbers and the correct spec for a Vitesse (or in this case an Equipe) with telescopic conversion brackets fitted. The sum total of my advice was more to do with wishing him good luck than actually pointing him in the right direction. These brackets never seemed to be specified with the correct length shocks, most of them being to short, and it gives a very nasty ride, I have lost count of the number of MK11's I've driven in this condition. Every producer of these kits seemed to do it slightly differently so who knows what shock to use today, some traders have been known to sell standard Herald/Spit rears, or GT6 roto rears, all wrong. One day in an idle moment John Kipping and myself spent an hour or two with a Vitesse in the workshop looking for the ideal place to mount a rear shock, and the bracketry needed, i.e a proper kit. We came to the conclusion that to mount one in the ideal attitude would involve cutting a reshaping bodywork, and offering a turret type affair to mount it. We decided 99% of customers wouldn't be interested in major bodywork when fitting a pair of shocks, and quietly forgot about the whole idea!


  1. David

    Surely when the rotoflex driveshaft conversion comes along the rear suspensiont kit will not still feature lever arm dampers. That hardly seem to go with all the alloy wishbones and vertical links.

  2. From Nick Jones


    Interesting observation about damper length. I made my own conversion brackets (just extended the non-rotoflex mounting out far enough to allow the damper to clear the rotoflex). Used standard Herald dampers and have never really had any ride issues. But...I have always had problems with rotoflex life. Recently, fed up with changing rotoflexes (or more usually fake 'equivalents') I converted to CV joints and during the design process I measured the plunge of the driveshaft over full suspension travel. This turned out to be 11mm. This was a surprise as it was about double what I had been led to expect by various sources. Interestingly, nearly half occurred in the very last few mm of droop (angle of the wishbone becomes rather acute). This made me wonder whether the Herald dampers are a bit long and whether this was the cause of my rotoflex hassles. This is irrelevent to me now with CV joints, but the moral of the story may well be that running the wrong dampers can also have consequences for your rotoflexes. Any thoughts on this?

    Nick Jones