One of the other chronic maintenance needs on early Sprites is the radius arm bushings. These routinely fail. I fear that rubber ain’t what it used to be and so we seem to change these as often as axle seals (as shown in the post above).
One chronic source of failure is tightening these in the air and then lowering your car such that the bushings experience high torque loads and can perish prematurely.
But even when tightened on the ground, the rubber seems to decay a lot faster than we would like.
Over the years, we have seen creative solutions. This one shown is a sold plastic arm that had to be build out of frustration, since it looks like it would last forever. A more elegant but similarly rigid solution is a heim jointed adjustable and rigid steel arm. These will also last forever, but I notice an immediate harsh ride quality as a result and we therefore remove these immediately.
Quarter elliptical Sprites require all the rubber damping they can get to provide some level of nominal comfort demanded by modern customers. In the 70s we expected less. Now that we have all aged (just a little bit), a tad of comfort is critical, otherwise people tend to leave their Sprites in the garage and take something else.
If your rear axle is clunking on forward to reverse transitions, you need new radius arm bushings. Check them next time you are in your rear wheel arches, and see if they are cracked or torn. We have rubber bushings you can press in, or, if you prefer to just put in the complete arm with the new bushings pre-loaded, we sell those too!