140 Fender steady brace question

I have removed and cleaned/ painted the left side “BD.3552 Steady” fender brace from my left hand drive 140.
It is a simple sheet metal brace having a L shaped cross section.

There is no way of knowing if it had been removed before, but before I took it off, it had been mounted with the vertical leg of the L to the front and pointing down.
Rogers book seems to show, on page 357, the vertical leg to the front and pointing up.
It’s easy to install in each of 4 different orientations, so does anyone have an opinion on which orientation the factory would have put them on?

here is a picture of the brace orientation before I took it off.

Anyhow, this one had an oval washer at the outer end, and a round washer on the end which attaches to the frame, with Bees bolts and lock washers.

Thanks in advance for any help. Functionally, the orientation doesn’t matter, and maybe they were not installed in a consistent manner anyway.
It does seem, to me anyway, that the brace would tend to accumulate less mud and road dirt with the vertical leg pointing down.

I too would be interested in opinions on orientation.

I did check a few that I am reasonably confident were unrestored and still original, and all had vertical leg UP.

But always good to keep reinforcing such detail.

Roger Payne


I concur.

My car had the vertical leg up prior to restoration:


Ok, thank you for replying.
So, I went to reinstall the newly cleaned and painted steady brace, in the orientation shown in Tadeks picture, with the vertical leg to the front, and pointing up.
Unexpectedly, the brace won’t fit in this orientation, for two reasons:

a) one end of the brace has its hole drilled so far away from the end of the brace, that this end cannot be installed to the tab on the chassis because the holes cannot line up to accept the bolt.
See the picture, the holes are drilled in the brace at different distances from the ends. Only the end of the brace with its hole nearest its end will bolt onto the tab on the chassis.

Also, the tab on the chassis is welded on the chassis so high, it raises the brace up so far that the vertical leg, if pointed up, Interferes with the bottom of the inner fender sheet metal.
This picture shows very little clearance between the top of the brace and the bottom of the inner fender, preventing the vertical leg from pointing up.
Also, you can see that the outer end of the brace must necessarily be installed below the tab on the body, otherwise the downward pointing vertical leg interferes with that tab.

The inner end of the brace can be installed on top of the tab on the chassis.
So, on this particular vehicle, something has happened such that the brace only fits in the orientation shown.

I can now sort of understand that the brace would be easy to install on the assembly line, by placing it on top of both tabs, where it would stay by itself, then having both hands free to readily install the fasteners.
This could be a reason why the brace should be installed vertical leg up, as reported by Takek and Roger. If the vertical leg was pointed down, the brace will not sit by itself on top of the tabs.

However, maybe, on this vehicle, one hole in the brace may have somehow been drilled slightly too far away from one end, and the assembly line worker subsequently found that the brace would then only fit on the vehicle in one particular orientation ???

Anyone else played around with your fender steady brace lately?

Here’s mine, '51 120.

I was always surprised that the nuts on the bolts stick down below the fender line.

So, Rob, your tab is bolted to the wing…
Mine is welded.



I think the XK120 and the XK140 side panels are different, and this is why you cannot mount it with the lip up.

I took a few more photos of my XK120:


this is how I believe they are mounted angle up I have two here as removed with tar and rubbish on the top side of angle

early cars roadster and early FHC bolted later cars welded