MGF Coil over GAZ or Spax shock conversion kit ROAD version MK5
Item Code: MGF
Price: £ 1,138.80
(Ex VAT £949.00)
MGF Coil over GAZ or Spax shock conversion kit ROAD version.Mike Satur design Hydragas replacement MK5
MK5 version now available 7/5/20
This kit will transform your old tired Hydragas suspension and bring you right up to date with a modern suspension kit that is easily maintained and doesn't need all the pumps and fluid which in a modern car is not acceptable anymore. It was fine when we had the old dealer network back in the '60s and '70s when the Morris 1100s and then the Metro cars were sold in their millions. In 2020 we are dealing with a different situation where there are very few old school garages that are still willing to work on these old suspensions and even less that are willing to service and repair them due to the lack of new parts fitting used parts are a risk. If you live overseas then your situation can be even more desperate. Apart from the old hydragas units there are other parts which wear such as knuckle joints (which at one point became NLA and I redesigned them and made them available again) shocks, top arm pivots and bearings so a proper overhaul on a hydragas car WILL cost you over £900 in parts plus labour to fit! Compare that to the FCCKit that gives you a warranty as well as all new parts and is a DIY fitting! No special pumps or fluids. It also allows you to set the camber, height and damper settings giving you control of how you want the car to handle and sit correctly.
The standard ride height on a MGF measured at the front wheels is 368mm from the center of the wheel to arch. This is too high and allows excessive airflow under the front of the car causing the car to handle poorly at speed. I have found that lowering the car to 320mm the road holding and handling is vastly improved especially with the new design crash bars to replace the cans as these allow more airflow out. The design of the FCCKit allows lowering without compromising the suspension travel by having an adjustable top mount. At 368mm the car just looks wrong, stance wise, so at last, the car can be adjusted to look so much better using a lower ride height ( by very nearly 2") and be safer as well.
Recent, Feb 2020, MG Enthusiast interview with Gerry McGovern, who was part of the original design team,  says 'The hydragas was frustrating from a design perspective because it created so much variance in the vehicle's ride height which meant you saw a lot of MG's with a 4x4 stance..in hindsight things that should have been done differently.. bigger budget and...not using hydragas suspension ..'
So there you have it from the horse's mouth so to speak..the car was fundamentally flawed from a suspension point of view and would have probably had a conventional coil over set up if the budget was available.The MGF was not 'designed' to have hydragas it got it by default! Cars that were 'designed' to have hydragas were the Allegro and the Metro as well as other Austin Rover cars of that bygone era. Well, dreams can come true with the FCCKit!!

Revised design for May 2020 MK5 will be made with modifications to make fitting easier and additional height adjustment and more negative camber adjustment.Please specify GAZ OR SPAX shocks if you have a preference. If not advised you will be sent whatever is currently available. Available from 7/5/20

Note 17/6/ 2020 currently over 240 kits sold Worldwide and thanks to everyone that has made it a success.

This latest MK5 Kit has been tweaked to make improvements in manufacturing, fitting and tolerances and additional negative camber adjustment,larger oilite bearings.

The FCCKit has over 200 components in the manufacture and sometimes there can be a delay in just one of those parts which can hold up production.This is outside my control and unfortunately can cause delays ..it's frustrating but is a fact of life so patience is required if you don't receive your kit in the given time...multiple emails won't help.

Fitting video. please check out my youtube channel.

NOTE before ordering check with your local country regulations about fitting this kit as it may require special certification to allow you to install the kit legally.

The new design FCCKit MK5 has built-in camber adjuster front and back that allows adjustment easily by a sliding top ball joint boss an additional upgrade is self-lubricating bearings for the inner top arm pivot that will also reduce the amount of play that the needle rollers allowed making the steering more positive. Price is now £949.00 plus vat. For UK Delivery we have negotiated better courier costs saving £5.

If overseas please email your address for a quote on delivery charges.We reserve the right to adjust the shipping costs due to remote areas.AS a guide only. Europe is £30-60, Australia £180.00 Canada £120.

long awaited conversion from the hydragas spheres to a true coil over shock suspension designed by Mike Satur will give the MGF a new lease of life and brings it bang up to-date for modern road and driving conditions. NO WELDING REQUIRED BOLT ON DESIGN, DIY installation! Please read all information

The problem

The last MGF was made in early 2002 so now some 18 years old and some are nearly 25 years old, as my own car is, so the hydragas units are well past their intended service life by some 12-17 years. The failings with the hydragas units are corrosion, leaking fluid and the eventual loss of pressure in the internal nitrogen compartment ..something that cannot be prevented, as well as the fluctuation in ride height. This gradual loss of gas leads to a harsher and harsher ride which may not be noticed until too late and permanent internal damage has been done. The units can also fail at any time without any warning and if the suspension drops to its lowest position then the car becomes un-drivable and also very difficult to load onto a trailer without damage. This is not meant to scare people but to make them aware of the potential pitfalls of the hydragas system and how it can affect you if you become stranded. A modern damper is very similar to Hydragas they both have fluid (oil) and gas pockets and controlled by internal valving so a better ride can be achieved with the latest technology and designs in dampers and springs. It is how this science is applied that is the secret of a suspension that works and suits the car. As good as hydragas was it can be surpassed in the ride quality, reliability and adjustability that is a simple fact that is easily demonstrated and reported by the owners of FCCKit converted cars.

Repairing a hydragas system

Keep it in mind that there are no new hydragas units available ,maybe some old stock but are likely to need re-gassing ( this is done by welding on a boss and a Schroeder valve and re-gassing with nitrogen ..this works but does not add any reliability and is expensive for the parts you get (approx £350 just for re-gassing and around £130-150 for installing no 4 wheel alignment no other new parts. ) if put back into production would not be a cheap part and I would guess they would be around £300 +each. Just look on Ebay to see how much secondhand used units are! A 'repair' service can only be undertaken on old units so reliability could become an issue and a repeat of the costs involved (see report from Graham Tucker who went down this route below)as well as the expense of removing and refitting and repressurising the hydragas system yet again.

In reality, to refurbish a old hydragas system system you would need to change 4x hydragas spheres. 4 Shocks,4 knuckle joints, 4 sets of top arm bearings and pivots to come close to a FCCKit . The parts alone would be around £900 and you would still have the same reliability of 'old' repaired spheres and zero adjustment for camber/dampers/height.

Quote from a UK re-gasser “At the moment there are enough spare (second hand) units to go round but this won’t always be the case” So the current solutions are not considered a permanent fix and in no way can they be guaranteed to last any length of time..you might be lucky. http://www.mgf-net.de/cut_unit Check Dieter's site for how your units look inside.Warning this site has explicit pictures of the Hydrafaff unit dissected and may upset some MGF owners of a weak disposition .NOBODY fully reconditions a hydragas unit the only service that is offered is to recharge the nitrogen gas. The internal valves will be corroded and either non functioning or the very best operating below a new factory part.The inner and outer body will be corroded and have a short life span. Making them pretty by painting them on the outside is camouflaging the problem.

Plus you have the same old issue with the height going up and down with the ambient temperature and the associated problems with potential tyre scrubbing and lopsided appearance and trying to find a local garage with the knowledge and equipment that can check and adjust the height correctly we may be lucky here in the UK but many owners in Australia /Italy /France/Spain/Japan/New Zealand(under development)/Switzerland/Austria/Miami/Belgium /Netherlands/Sweden/South Africa/Tasmania/Malta/Greece/Germany/Switzerland/Slovakia/Czech Republic,Zimbabwe,Turkey(where we have now sold FCCKits) may not have these facilities easily accessible and want reliability and better handling/road holding and most of all peace of mind that their car will not suddenly deflate and leave them stranded!

For those that want to have a MGF in preference to a TF (which has coil over shocks) and change to a coil/spring set up then this new kit will suit your needs. You could fit he TF suspension but it had many design flaws and weaknesses, openly admitted by the design team that worked for Rover, some were partly addressed on the last models produced but IMO not eradicated (see my TransFormer kit for the TF) and in any case the parts may need refurbishing as they could be 15 years old..(you wouldn't want to use shocks and springs that were 15 years old), the costs of complete sub frame refurbishment and swap would therefore be quite expensive even if you did all the work yourself.They also have the habit of knocking out the lower shock bearing and snapping the bolts..new units are also getting rare and can be expensive. The stock TF dampers are non-adjustable for either damping or ride height a decent setup will cost around £700 at least.(31/1/18 I have now developed a TF coilover to address all these issues..see TransFormer kit) The MGF suspension parts are quite robust and parts that tend to wear are relatively cheap..ball joints and bushes for example, so keeping the same basic layout and improving the weaknesses makes sense.In my opinion the attempt at a multi link rear suspension on the TF does not work as well as the FCCKit/MGF set up and does not have the expensive spherical bearings that are prone to failure as the TF.

Current solutions

The current offering of a 'coil in a can' (CIAC) solution just does not work (Based on actual feedback from owners in Australia/Japan/Canada/UK etc) as a suspension should (in my opinion) and is a compromise with the ideal design solution and is not sold as an upgrade! Remember the Hydragas uses both a gas pocket spring under pressure and a fluid under pressure so these act against each other in a controlled manner and requires less leverage than a conventional steel spring would...using a steel spring to replace the hydragas is asking too much. for such a small amount of leverage.i.e the point at which the leverage acts on the spring (the knuckle joint) will only give 15-20mm of vertical movement for the amount the suspension moves, because it is too close to the pivot point and therefore insufficient leverage and is more of a rocking movement hence it is also known as a rocker/roller joint and the contact points are designed for this type of movement not a impact load a spring would impart.The hydragas unit has a socket that the knuckle joint fits into which is flexible so allows the rocker movement the CIAC solution does not allow this and this another source of potential problems. The relationship between the wheel and the spring/shocker movement is termed the motion ratio.. , the ratio of the vertical travel of the wheel to the vertical travel of the shock absorber/spring. eg. for 5" of wheel travel the shock will move 3"as is the FCCKit. in the case of the CIAC solution this equates to 5"wheel to 0.5" spring (approx).any spring designer will tell you that is not a viable task to ask of a spring and for it to be effective. The solution for the TF was to move the fulcrum/leverage point away from the pivot point to approx 3 times the distance of the knuckle joint position and therefore allowing the spring/shock 3 x the vertical movement. a motion ratio of 5"to 3"..sufficient to allow the spring to work as it should. Obvious when you think about it..except the components chosen were chosen on price not effectiveness. Also critical is the angle of the spring/shocker to the vertical movement of the wheel...the more you go away from vertical the more the spring become less effective as it has to cater for bending loads as well as compression loads The FCCKit is 15deg which is considerably less than the TF .This can compromise spring design and spring life.

Despite claims of two years of testing (that's a lot of coffee and arse scratching!) Time has shown the damage to the chassis the CIAC conversions can cause via the shock absorber resulting in cracks in the chassis around the mounts (this weakness was fully known/common knowledge about at the time of developing the CIAC so why would you want to add additional loads to those points without some sort of bracing??). They are not owner serviceable, difficult to adjust, do not have adjustable dampers and can be quite expensive £800-900 plus fitting and you have to keep the old top arm/ bearings and knuckle/rocker joints, which may need replacing..feedback from people with this type of conversion have had to replace the knuckle/roller joints after installation, hardly surprising as the higher impact loads were not a design factor when using the hydragas . Parts alone could cost you another £300. This makes the kit quite expensive with ongoing repairs and also puts you back into a 'specialist' part supplier if one goes faulty with potentially the car being stranded somewhere waiting for a replacement unit. Some of these units come with a warning of 'serious injury or even death!' So NOT something you would want to try and repair in a roadside emergency. Responsibility for the warranty seems hazy with poor feedback from current users trying to get some help...'Trusted' MG suppliers should avoid retailing these IN MY OPINION and something I have never done... and therefore for the above reasons the CIAC is not a good solution despite some of the manufacturer's claims.

Design Requirements and solutions :

A new suspension kit that transfers the loads into the subframe not the bodyshell . YES
Has adjustable damper settings YES
Has a choice of Gaz or Spax dampers specially developed for the kit. YES
Has height adjustability and choice of spring rates . YES
Replace existing parts that are likely to be worn i.e pivot arms & bearings, knuckle joints,shocks,hydragas displacers .YES
Improves the safety and reliability. YES
Allows camber adjustment on all kits/ full wheel alignment YES
Has easily sourced replacement parts. YES
Does not require specialist equipment such as the hydragas pump/welding YES
Mechanic or DIY friendly (DIY time approx a weekend experienced MGF familiar mechanic 6-8 hrs.)YES
Does not have you weaving around avoiding bumps or uneven road surfaces. Lets you look at speed bumps with contempt. YES
Designed and made in the UK for a British car by a long established MG/MGF specialist British company. YES
Offers a Track /race version and custom specifications. Now approved for race regs. YES
Offers expert back up and assistance by telephone, email and you tube tutorials YES
Offers uprated anti roll bars for road or track that compliments the design. YES
Improves the steering with the uprated long life oilite top arm bushes no greasing required!.YES
Offers improved replacements for the front subframe crash cans. YES
Can supply solid subframe mounts specially designed to compliment the kit. YES
Can ship world wide to any country.YES
Tried and tested since 2017 and over 240 kits sold with thousands of miles without any issues and 100% positive feedback. YES
And finally a suspension kit that allows you to fine-tune to your requirements and does what it says on the 'can' without having a can.. YES

Solution FCCKit (F Coil Conversion Kit)

The new suspension kit fulfills all the above criteria and comprises of: 4 shock turrets, 4 springs and 4 adjustable shocks and 4 new design top arms and bearings with all the required nuts and bolts to fit. Anyone with  a reasonable toolkit, axle stands,jack,socket set, a set of metric spanners/allen keys and a drill/10mm drill bit can fit the kit in a weekend. No need for expensive garage rates.  

Of course to fit the new kit will involve removing some or all of the old hydragas units, pipes and the top arms/bearings so a car hoist is advisable but we have tested the fitting by using a trolly jack and axle stands so it is within the scope of a DIY installation providing the hydragas fluid is de-pressurised correctly (after raising the car). Please note that the condition of the existing sub frames should be examined first as many are now corroded and may need repair or replacement and subject to checking at MOT intervals.

As a bonus the old hydragas units and parts can often be re-sold so recouping some of the costs and helping other MGF owners to carry on hydrafaffing..

This kit WILL transform the handling and ride quality of your MGF far surpassing the original Hydragas..I know I have had a MGF since 1995 and have developed various suspension mods to help with the handling and ride. Come and test drive for yourself if you are considering re-gassing your old units and will see how good a MGF can ride and handle as Roger Parker put it "better than MGF and TF" All main parts are UK manufactured (top arm bushes are made in USA) and designed by Mike Satur and as such will be backed up by our 'off the shelf' spares should they be required but thankfully DO NOT come with a risk of death warning!

Buy direct from the manufacturer!! We are offering this MK5 kit at £949.00 plus vat = £1138 plus delivery. To order please email to sales@mikesatur.com with your contact details and requirements if purchased from the webshop then we will confirm the delivery date.The delivery date may vary due to shock absorbers taking 4-5 weeks to manufacture, we try to keep stocks in but depending on demand this might vary.

SEE ALSO THE TRACK VERSION WITH ALUMINIUM DAMPERS.



STOP PRESS: Leading MG Guru Roger Parker Independent road test report:

"I have to say even with the limited drive we (Matt Parker) were both very impressed with the suspension. I recall working with the VHS guys when we were looking to introduce their Bilstein soft suspension for early TFs and it didn’t take more than a few feet of driving from their workshop across one finish of concrete across kerbs to another finish before turning onto the tarmac road to be able to feel a difference, and that was the same sort of perception we got from your drive onto the road, that was then amplified down the lane. Like we said the ride was superb and a Trophy owner driving this car would think the car had been converted to standard, but then the precision of your kit in terms of steering response and the reaction of the car was clearly better than MGF, and standard TF for that matter. Add the full range of adjustability you have incorporated and the potential is very wide indeed. We will have to have a longer drive on dry roads after you have confirmed and adjusted the geometry, but there is no doubt that this deserves to do very well." See future issues,Dec 2017, of MGOC magazine for full report and road test!!

Stop Press. 23/11/17 MG Enthusiast magazine purchases the FCCKit for their staff car now fitted and being tested !! See next issues for installation and road test reports by Rob Hawkins!! Latest report"Over the two weeks we drove the MGF following its coilover conversion, we completed several hundred miles along motorways, country lanes and through towns. The car’s handling is a major improvement, especially under hard cornering. The steering feels more positive and the car feels more predictable when pushed. In the case of our MGF with its tired hydragas suspension, this coilover conversion has returned it to being a sports car that can once more be fun to drive."See Jan/Feb issues of MG Enthusiast magazine.

We are nominating certain garages and workshops for the fitting of the FCCKit so ask for details of an installer near to you.

Remember we will only sell parts that work correctly and are correctly engineered for the job and we have control

over the design and manufacturing process that way we can sell with confidence. Should you have any issues with parts or fitting you know where we are and who to talk to.

We reserve the right to alter specifications as we are constantly seeking to improve our products.

By purchasing our products you agree to protect our intellectual property and copyrights.
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