How to make lowering wedges for a Bugeye Sprite | Austin-Healey Bugeye Sprite Project

We wanted to lower our Bugeye Sprite for obvious reasons–better handling, and, yes, meaner looks.

The Sprite’s rear end is supported by quarter-elliptic springs that are sort of rammed into a slot located at the front of the frame–near the wheel well–and then allowed to just hang out in space until the rear end is bolted in.

Lowering this rear end is fairly simple: Angling the springs up into the body will lower the car. Wedges are used to achieve this lowering, and a quarter-inch wedge will lower the car by roughly three-quarters of an inch.

The Winner’s Circle didn’t have these wedges in stock, so rather than wait we decided to mill our own out of some three-eighths-inch blocks of steel. The concept is quite simple, and the execution wasn’t much more difficult.

First, we evened out all four corners of our blocks on the mill. Then we milled each block to taper from just a few thousands in the front to a quarter-inch in the rear.

Then we drilled holes through each block for the center mounting bolt.

After test fitting, we set the blocks aside until we actually bolt our rear end into the car. Once we get the car on the ground, we’ll let you know what kind of ride hide we were able to obtain.

Special thanks to Tom Suddard for his mill work on this project.

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59WhiteBugeye New Reader
11/15/21 7:34 a.m.

I've seen these available from various vendors.  They are usually advertised as 5 degrees or 6 degrees (to lower more). What would these blocks equate to?

11/17/21 1:03 p.m.

I have used front suspension wedges for heavy duty trucks, which are available from NAPA.  They come in 1/2 degree increments from, I believe, 1/2 degree to 5 or 6 degrees.  As I recall I used a 3 or 3 1/2 degree wedge for my Bugeye with new rear springs available from Moss Motors.  This lowered the rear axle to about the same ride height as original. 

The NAPA wedges are cast and are about 2.5" wide, which is a little wider than the spring, but it has a groove near 1 edge that would allow you to make it a bit shorter than the spring.  You will need to drill a hole to clear the through bolt that holds the leaves together, and file notches or cut off about 1/4 to 1/2" from the narrow end to clear the front hold down bolts for the spring.  Last time I checked, which was a few years ago, they were about $10 each.  

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