Front End Parts, what to save

When I junked a parts car years ago, in order to save space, I kept some parts that I thought might be worth saving. Among them was the front suspension cross member and the many parts attached to lt.

Now, I would like to reduce the items in the garage and was thinking of scraping the cross member.

However, my 73 has what I assume is a problem with its front end; there is too much play in the steering. For example, when making a turn, the car does not respond for the first quarter turn of the wheel.

What parts, if any, from the cross member might be involved in solving such a problem? And what other parts are worth saving?


With the wheels laden, and the car chocked and blocked, have someone move the wheel, left to right, engine off: you can then tell which bits are failing.

Likely a combination of failed rubber bits, loose tie rod ends, a worn rack, and possibly ball joints.


are you serious? - “for the first quarter turn of the wheel”! This is outright dangerous. The SI and II p/s has a reputation for over-assisting, but there is no play, unless the car is stationary and the full servo power is pumped into the rubber bushings of the steering rack, which may then move one inch before the wheels start turning on the ground.

In your case I’d first check the u-joints of the steering column. Does the movement at the wheel arrive at the rack tower? Then check play of wheel bearings, upper and lower ball joints. Finally address the steering rack. The main rack bushings may be totally disintegrated.

Good luck - and better don’t hit public traffic for some time …


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

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Yes, dangerous. The maximum permitted play in NSW is 25mm each way from centre. Mine is about 3mm each side and I find that a bit annoying on the freeway. The two uni joints on the steering column are contributing in my case - mostly the big extendable one at the rack tower. Paul

the rubber steering rack bushes can get very soft in an old XJ,

as others have said, lift the front and check play in all steering parts

poly steering rack bushes make a big difference in steering

Steering rack
Wishbones and their mountng hardware
and maybe the springs

Dears ,

add question , thinking in centimeter how is correct play in steering …2/3 centimeters in my hands?

1 inch = 2.5 cms. Hope that helps.

Yes ! is the answer !

Se tutto è apposto, molto meno, circa 1 cm. E, se lo fai tutto in ogni caso, puoi farlo giusto dal inizio …



75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

Thanks for the suggestion of what to save from the parts car front end. I will follow up on your suggestions.

On another matter, the response on the loose steering on the 73 was appreciated and well founded. I should have said that I rarely drive this car and even then, it’s only slowly, on quiet roads with almost no traffic. I usually pull over when there’s a car behind me. Today I checked the steering and it about 45 degrees of losse steering, not the 90 degrees I said in my earlier post.

Once I get the 71 car sold, I will put the 73 in the workshop, a one car garage. Right now it’s safely stored in another garage.

I was going though a color chart today trying to decide what color to use on to recolor the seats, which ar black right now. The 73 has a medium tan interior. The problem is that the interior is not one color, it has at least three colors of light, medium and dark tan. I won’t be able to match that on the repainted seats, which are currently black, and must choose a single color.

I had planned to use a mail order company for the leather “paint”. But based on Richard’s recommendation, I purchased leather paint from the local NAPA store and was really impressed with the quality of the material and professionalism of the staff.


While rather bulky, Lou; the crossmember itself may be worth while saving - sometimes they succumb to rust and somebody may need it…

As for the steering play; it is almost certainly the rack’s rubber bushings. They may fail suddenly, from one minute to the next, and give a very large play. And is easily checked; just turn the steering wheel while watching the rack - if the rack moves at all; replace bushes…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

All except the cross member it self. Unless one lives in a high rust area!!

I still have a few leftovers from past projects. why?