I recently acquired a low mileage (34k) 1990 Sovereign and am thrilled with the cosmetic condition of the car. Mechanically, it has some minor issues which aren’t surprising giving how long the car has sat the past 29 years. Overall, it’s quite sound though it does have one vexing problem which I’m hoping some of you might respond to.
Not surprisingly, the suspension is all original. Having had other Jaguars, my first thought when driving the car was that the steering rack bushings needed replacement. There is a “wandering” when going down the highway with the car tracking poorly over the rutted sections and diving to one side or the other when hitting the brakes abruptly. Then I realized the bushings can’t be replaced like in my XJS. I then found a party in England selling shims which are fitting to the steering rack to help prevent side to side movement. I have installed them but they haven’t changed the handling much. Outer tie rod ends are good and when jacking up the front end and checking for movement, there is little to none. I did have to slightly adjust the right front wheel bearing but the wandering is still present.
I’ve owned a number of older BMWs over the years and know that similar handling can be caused by worn control arm bushings in the front or bad rear subframe bushings. But which bushings or other suspension parts might cause the XJ40 to tramline or wander? Using a pry bar on the various suspension bits doesn’t produce enough movement to be visible. I intend to eventually go through the entire suspension, replacing all wear items but would appreciate knowing the likely suspects which might cause the above behavior so I can replace them first.
And yes, I’m fully aware that this Jaguar or any of the others I’ve owned will typically not handle like my BMWs but I feel it should be better than it is. Your thoughts?