New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

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patrick_church
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New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#1 Post by patrick_church » Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:52 pm

Hi All,
My car is on 146k and in very good nick but it still has all original suspension, shocks,springs, everything.
I was thinking of possibly changing the lot next Spring, ideally for as similar a set up as possible to how it came out of the factory.
1.Is it worth bothering, no suspension related MOT issues and car drives fine as is....just thinking after 25 years and 146k a refresh might be a good idea.
2.If it is worth doing, what would I buy?..I just spent an hour looking stuff up online but tbh I'm none the wiser,in fact I'm more confused now.
Back in the day I replaced my Maestro efi suspension for a Monroe set,it came with the 4 shocks and 4 springs ,and I was very happy with it, but I don't see any such similar complete package available for the Rover unfortunately.
I would welcome any suggestions please, I don't really want the ride height altered if possible.
The car has the T series engine of course and gets driven very sedately, so comfort rather than handling is my preference.
Thanks in advance,
Jon.
'94 220 Gsi Turbo hatch,owned since May '97.

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#2 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:46 pm

patrick_church wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:52 pm
Hi All,
My car is on 146k and in very good nick but it still has all original suspension, shocks,springs, everything.
I was thinking of possibly changing the lot next Spring, ideally for as similar a set up as possible to how it came out of the factory.
1.Is it worth bothering, no suspension related MOT issues and car drives fine as is....just thinking after 25 years and 146k a refresh might be a good idea.
2.If it is worth doing, what would I buy?..I just spent an hour looking stuff up online but tbh I'm none the wiser,in fact I'm more confused now.
Back in the day I replaced my Maestro efi suspension for a Monroe set,it came with the 4 shocks and 4 springs ,and I was very happy with it, but I don't see any such similar complete package available for the Rover unfortunately.
I would welcome any suggestions please, I don't really want the ride height altered if possible.
The car has the T series engine of course and gets driven very sedately, so comfort rather than handling is my preference.
Thanks in advance,
Jon.
Autodoc is your friend :) Though their customer service / returns procedure isn't tip-top.

220 turbo search for standard shocks:

https://www.autodoc.co.uk/car-parts/sho ... -220-turbo

I'm struggling to find a complete set for the 220 or 220 turbo (same shocks). I've noticed they have KYB (Kayaba) parts for 3 corners for your car - the right-hand fronts are currently out of stock. KYB are OE for a quarter of the world's cars, so they should be high on quality. Nice, precise ride and if anything, people say the ride tightens slightly with age. Monroe are generally considered a slightly softer ride and they get softer with high mileage - wearing like a traditional OE damper. You could also consider Sachs, or Gabrielle - though I don't think a full set of either are available from Autodoc. You might be able to find them on Ebay or say Mr. Wiper, or Car Parts For Less, etc. - big wholesalers with remains of stock, or people advertising sets on Ebay from their own garage businesses.

You might be in luck with this guy, who has both left and right front Rover originals for the 220 - new old stock:

L/H: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rover-220-L- ... 2889440506
R/H: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rover-220-R- ... 2889436849

You might then have to fit a matched pair of rear shocks from a different manufacturer (such as KYB, Sachs, Monroe, Gabrielle, etc.) I think the genuine Rover ones will only be "oil pressure" not "gas pressure," so for a truly matched set you'll need the "standard" range of shocks from another aftermarket company, i.e. buy KYB standards not the "Excel-G's" which are gas pressure.

Standard coil springs also look to be in short supply. Search here:

https://www.autodoc.co.uk/car-parts/coi ... 24-220-gti

I've had to just do a search for the 220, not the turbo. Lesjofor springs are in stock, matching front and rear - can't comment on quality, but when you click on the part to check compatibility, it does say for up to 200PS in the 2L T series cars. I know from having owned both Metzger and KYB springs for my 216 that they appear to come from the same factory - a lot of dedicated shock manufacturers don't both making springs anyway - it was just a marketing ploy so people would buy a complete kit of parts from them. A nice side-effect is that the rear springs all now seem to be exactly the same "progressive rate" design which improves "limited-roughness" (and also low-speed) cushioning at the slight expense of having to be stiffer when reacting to large surface irregularity and high-speed driving over such surfaces, though stiffer suspension for adverse conditions is the modern way anyway. I've got progressive rate KYB rear springs on my car - the suspension feels the same as before - just more "precise." Metzger is a German brand and they seem to have taken on the tooling to hoover up the dregs of the remaining (small) market. I guess Lesjofors are the same...

I suspect you might actually have to look at lowering springs and/or more esoteric brands of shocks - coil overs and the like, if you just want to go out and buy a complete set. And I suspect a 220 owner will be along shortly to tell you precisely what to buy...
Last edited by Johnny 216GSi on Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:08 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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GTiJohn
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#3 Post by GTiJohn » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:12 am

Making sure the suspension bushes are in good condition is a wise first move.

It's likely that the anti-roll bar mounts and link could do with replacing and maybe the front suspension tie bar bushes in the front beam.

Most, if not all, of the parts are available via Xpart and Rimmers. Polybush alternatives for many are available too.

I posted a thread on refurbishing these parts earlier in the year having done it myself.
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#4 Post by 1234dist » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:26 am

(having done it myself.)

:mouthshut


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engtmitc
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#5 Post by engtmitc » Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:36 pm

Had all the bushes at the back of mine replaced with Polyurethane bushes earlier this year, made a big difference handles better and rides better (harder but doesn't bottom out now).

A lot of labour involved though especially if you're paying someone else to do it.
1995 220 Coupe Turbo flame red - now BACK

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Johnny 216GSi
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#6 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:18 pm

Good advice on the bushing here too. Most if not all of everything you need is still available, and if not from Rover then from Honda. Or you can find polyurethane equivalents. Having said that, I did have a look at some aftermarket "suspension restoration" kits for the rear suspension from various manufacturers - they're all the same parts, made in India (capitalising on the "India Rubber" brand-image I suppose). They come with top mount rubber bushing and new top spacer tubes and large washers. I measured all the parts against OE ones, and the rubber is oversized slightly and the top tube spacers are slightly longer. I guess with these being "suspension restoration" kits, they aim to compensate for sagging rear springs by adding a millimetre or two to the rear ride height, and adding a bit more rubber so you notice the difference after fitting. I've seen the same kit branded with anything from First Line to KYB, and specifically for the R200 or Honda Concerto. Only for the rears mind you - the front top mounts have to be OE I believe - haven't seen any aftermarket parts for these.

Many club members have cars that are approaching or have gone over 200K and even 250K with no hint that the shocks need replacing. If they're not leaking (fine mist/condensation on the outside is fine) then they'll keep the car passing its MOT. You could always do the bounce test on a flat surface -press down on a corner of the car and upon letting go it should bounce back with a little over shoot at most, then settle to it's original position straight away. Any continuous bouncing, however small, means you definitely need to consider replacing the shocks as matched L+R pairs.
Last edited by Johnny 216GSi on Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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patrick_church
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#7 Post by patrick_church » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:20 am

Thank you so much chaps for the helpful advice/info, especially Johnny with the very long posts, much appreciated.
Plenty for me to consider then,and just as well I wouldn't tackle this until next Spring, as it looks like I'll need to do quite a bit of researching regarding what parts I buy if I go ahead with it all.
Thanks again,
Jon.
'94 220 Gsi Turbo hatch,owned since May '97.

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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#8 Post by GTiJohn » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:11 pm

1234dist wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:26 am
(having done it myself.)

:mouthshut


:cool
What Craig is saying here is that he did the bush replacement work :wink3

Money and the right tools are both very useful things :laughing2
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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#9 Post by JOHNDQ » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:58 pm

As long as you don't poly bush the trailing arm bush you'll be fine :) getting the new bushes in is lot easier than getting old ones out :wink3

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Re: New suspension for '94 220 gsi Turbo hatch

#10 Post by alviseven » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:11 pm

I have a 252K car which has not had any major bush work all round but has now had all four shocks replaced fronts were about 210 and rears about 230 but neither were leaking. However they were not leaking even then but just felt flat.
I have had to replace the rear D bushes on the rear anti roll bar and plan to replace the rear anti roll bar ends. One car at about 190K had to have new front anti roll end bushes as one was shot... Keep thinking that I aught to change more but they keep passing MOT and the guys keep saying they are fine so why change them - even got around to buying the replacement rear set of bushes. If it is not broke .... and works well .. do you need to fix??
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