Everything was fine .... until (1989 XJ40 ride height)

Gentlemen …

Everything was fine and then my power steering rack started leaking so … I fixed that. Even though I used my homemade alignment “toe” jig I still couldn’t adjust the steering to that sweet spot. So a professional alignment is in my future.

But before I have that done I had to make sure all the shock absorbers and coil springs matched up. A year ago I purchased 2 new rear coil springs and 2 new Bilstein shocks. I installed one side right away but never got around to doing the other side … so I just finished that. I previously installed new Bilsteins shocks on the front about two years ago (but still have the original front coil springs).

But before I get that pro alignment I need to have the car ride height sorted out. Side to side the front heights don’t match and side to side neither do the rears.

The car has never been in a collision so I rule that out. Also since I have a brand new set of the same coil springs and same shocks in the rear with the same thickness spacers I think I can rule out the rear as the problem. Which leaves the front springs.

After experimenting it appears that if I can lower the right front of the car about 1/2" it will get ALL the measurements pretty close. Right now the left rear is about 3/4" lower than the right rear.

But how to do that. Getting the front spring out isn’t easy but it is DIY doable. The trouble is the type of front springs on the car can’t be cut.

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The Jaguar type spring on the left has a flat seat so it can’t be cut as apposed to the type of coil spring on the right. This uses a specially shaped spacer to seat the spring flatly and can be cut.

I don’t want to put a new set of springs on the front because I don’t want to raise the ride height !!

So any ideas ??


Raise the left rear by 1/2"? There are spring spacers (as you well know). Or do you not want that 1970s boy racer nose down ass in the air attitude?

Hi Groove, last Summer my car went to Dave Marks Garages in Nottingham for a front and rear suspension overhaul. He is the main technical advisor for the JEC for the XJ40 models.
New springs were not available for my TWR Jaguarsport but fortunately the dampers and all the various bushes were not too hard to source. David had the original springs shot blasted and re-tempered then powder coated but the front ride height still differed by 1/2", he said he overcame this by swapping the springs from side to side which brought it almost back level then using a shim on one side to get the heights identical. I’m not sure where he placed the shim or even which side it is used on because it is out of sight, but my car drives and looks perfect and the tracking alignment is the best it has ever been during my ownership.

Close enough for government work …

Pulled out the shock assembly from the right rear (which I had just installed 2 days ago) and removed a little over 1/4" from the 3/4" spacer and it seems to have come pretty close.

The rear side to side is now within 1/8" and the front side to side 1/4". I can live with that so it’s off to the alignment shop day after tomorrow.

Glad to hear you have sorted it out. I bet if you walked around any large car park and took measurements most of the cars would have small differences between 1/8" and 1/4", especially those with a decent mileage, it’s such a tiny difference most owners wouldn’t even be aware.