MX5NC Mk 3.5/3.75


Does anyone in the S17 or S18 post codes own a Mk 3.5 or 3.75 NC that I could take a quick  measurement from? Would take less than 5 minutes.





Hi Chris,

What measurement do you need?

Hi Andy

I need the height from the top of the spring carrier(bottom of the spring) to the centre of the bottom shock absorber bolt on the front strut, measured at the front of the strut. With the wheel on full lock this is a very quick job. On a pre 09 NC the measurement is 280mm and I would like to know if it changed on later cars



I’ve got a 2010 Mk3.5 but am in S74.

Thanks Rob, I’m in Dronfield but if I can’t get a response locally I will definitely get up there.

Hi Chris, I’m in S12 (at the Gleadless Townend side of that postcode) which isn’t far at all from Dronfield.

I’m very busy at the moment though with work plus house guests, car’s in my (quite tight) garage at present & isn’t used for work - however, I will be aiming to get it out for a blast one evening next week - but at the moment due to various commitments I don’t know when.

I understand the measurement required - I know those damper bolts well because for some unexplained reason they both worked loose on my car earlier this year despite never having been touched since the car left the factory…  So I now check them regularly.  I put a thin line of paint across the bolt & thread so can see straightaway if there’s been any movement.

I can take the measurement for you next time I get chance to take the car out - hopefully sometime before next weekend - if that would help?  

It’s a 2012 Mk 3.5 Sportech (with folding hardtop) so has the Bilstein dampers but as far as I’m aware the ride height’s the same as on the non-Bilstein cars.  Ride height, dampers & springs on my car are all standard factory spec for that model.


Thanks Rob, I’m in Dronfield but if I can’t get a response locally I will definitely get up there.

Hi Chris,

The measurement on mine, taken at the front of the strut in a straight line from the top of the spring carrier (i.e. the bottom of the spring) to the centre of the bottom damper bolt is 260 (two hundred and sixty) mm.

So, as yours is 280mm, then I reckon that you’ve found your ride height problem!



Is this OK? I think your measurement is probably about right. I’m only the other side of Eckington in S20 so you can have a look if needed.




Well that’s strange, no answers for a day and then two conflicting  

Strange indeed!

Your photo John confirms it’s the measurement which I took - but I checked it twice & mine’s definitely 260mm (exactly) from where you have the top of your measure, to the centre of that bolt.

Very odd…

Just one (perhaps silly) question - please do forgive me for asking - but it seemed apparent that the spring carrier is a spiral / tapered type shape presumably to accept the bottom of the spring, I was careful to measure from the carrier exactly above the bolt in a completely straight line - rather than from a little to the side which would have given a different reading due to the spiral / taper?  I measured my nearside suspension, with the steering on full left lock.

Also - is yours a fabric top or a folding hardtop like mine?  Clutching at straws for an explanation here, but I wonder if the struts are a little different depending on the type of roof fitted…?


Folding hard top so same car but I measured the offside front strut so that could be the difference with how the spring seat sits. I had no idea it wasn’t flat but looking at some pics online there is quite a large step that could account for the difference in measurements.

Hmm, just to confirm the pre-2009 measurement. 

Mine is standard NC PRHT and the OE shock is black with a thin steel seat for the spring (which has blue dots).  That measurement at the front (halfway around that bottom coil) and parallel to the shock axis is approx 278mm for o/s/f shock, close enough to 280.

Thanks very much guys.

I think the situation is that pre 09 Mk 3 NCs are 280 mm and post 09s (Smiley face)Mk3.5s and 3.75s are 260mm. I have, thanks to Andy and others, measurements from 4 cars that seem to confirm this, can anyone contradict this by telling me the have a later car with 280mm spring carrier height?

The problem I have got is Bilstein list the same part number for all NCs and having fitted the expensive “proper” B6 Sports my ride height has gone up dramatically at the front only. (other than this improvement from fitting them is excellent).



Just to confuse things further, on some cars the lower wishbone bolts have to be tightened with the vehicle weight on its wheels otherwise the bushes can become twisted or not seat properly. I’m sure a garage would know this though.

All cars I think should have all/ any wishbone bolts that have been disturbed should only be tightened with the weight on the wheels, ideally after running the car up and down a few times with the bolts loose.
Have tried this but only gained about 5-ish mms

Why don’t you go and see Mr Roddison at Shepcote lane, he’ll resolve it for you?