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Austin 7 IFS (Independent Front Suspension) conversion kit by Bowden

Period suspension conversions

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One of several period tuning leaflets featured on this site aimed at tuners of the 1920s/1930s Austin 7s and Austin 7 specials. Bowden could supply a variety of upgrade conversion to anyone building an Austin Seven based special, or circuit racer, perhaps for the 750 Motor Club racing. Reproduced here is an original leaflet dating back to the 50s, which describes the suspension conversion that Bowden manufactured at their factory in Market Lane, Ottery St. Mary, Devon. Proprietor was a Mr K. A. Bowden.

Austin 7 Independent Front Suspension
Bowden Engineering Co.

This unit has, since its introduction over 4 years ago, earned for itself a reputation for giving roadholding of an order seldom gained from much more complex expensive units. A ball jointed track rod is provided. Your existing radius arms, steering arms and stub axles fit straight on; but in the case of the more popular wide model the radius arms have to be anchored on two ball joints on the crossmember, 5ins apart. The chassis nose height is approx. level with the centre line of the wheel hubs. Price 3ft9in track or 3ft4in (standard A7) 11/0/0. (This unit gives quite good results with ordinary A7 friction dampers.

Independent Front Suspension leaflet from Bowden
Austin 7 Nippy
Shock absorber bracket (illustrated) bolts straight on to the A7 chassis nosepiece and takes telescopic dampers, supports body, radiator and anything else you care to hang upon it. Price 3/0/0.

Woodhead-Munroe Telescopic shock absorbers (Illustrated) Price 2/0/0 apiece.

Special bolts for above 4/- each. NB two are required for each shock absorber.

14in wheels A7-750. We are happy to announce that we can now supply our customers with neat spoked rebuilt wheels. We require the centres of your existing wheels which must be of the type that have a small chrome cap fitted, ie post-1933. All rim sizes are 3ins and accept tyres 14.00x5.00 section. Normal track width is maintained unless otherwise requested. 14ins - 2/14/0 each. Yes! the prices are genuine and so is the quality.

Cylinder Heads for engines 1927-1936 machined down to give 6.5:1 compression ration, 15/-. If you have a magneto or early type coil ignition engine with 1 1/8 crankshaft it should be changed to 1 5/16 in.

Flywheels lightened by 2.5lbs at 10/- for any model, no need to remove the lining.

Enlarged Inlet Valve conversion. Inlet valve throats enlarged to take 1.20D valve (supplied) at 2/10/0. Please remove existing valves; studs may be left undisturbed. The cylinder head is also required for recessing.

Double Valve Springs. Per box of 16 springs 12/-.

Suspension Mods : Lowered. Similar to Nippy and Ulster types but without the complication of special steering arms and radius arm adaption. The front spring is set down to give 1/2 in reverse camber, and the front axle beam cranked to give clearance, the loss of track by so doing is 3/8in. Nominally this lowers the front by 2ins. The rear springs are set flat with body weight nominally lowered by 4ins 3/10/0. Please send only the three road springs and front axle beam. You will find this modification to be money very wisely spent indeed.

Lowered Rear Springs. Your rear springs set flat and matched 1/0/0 pair.

The post-1933 A7 flywheel can, when the starter motor teeth become badly worn, be machined down and have a new ring gear shrunk on. Cost inclusive 2/0/0.

Adapter Plates. To fit Ford 10 wheels to either A7 hubs or else Morris 8 25/- each. We do not supply the wheels, obtainable in 16in-17in-18in at approximately 37/- each new.

Axle Beam Recovery. If the king pin holes are badly worn these can be bored to 9/16in and sleeved back to standard 1/2in 1/0/0.

All Carriage Charges are extra. Springs, axle beams and wheel centres can be sent by post.

All goods will be sent back to you by British Road Services - carriage forward.


Companies such as Cambridge Engineering could also supply Bowdenex braking components to suit Austin 7s (in fact Cambridge designed and produced these parts, according to their literature).

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