Making a list and checking it twice

Yes, here’s a photo showing that:

HF also sells those red rubber pads to protect the frame from the jack stand saddle.

It all felt quite stable throughout the work.

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My buddy and both love Harbor Freight. I buy most but not all of my tools there. We call it the Tool Porn Store. My Dad was a Craftsman fan and I agree that their tools are/were top notch, just like Matco and SnapOn, but for my purposes, since I am not a professional mechanic, their stuff serves me well.

I have those too, so far so good. This project is at least a month or more out, given the current state of the car. But that gives me time to learn and plan.

I’m not a huge fan of spring compression, but I have a set of spring/strut compressors with safety catches to hold onto the spring. I’ve compressed and replaced more Jeep springs than I can count. But the Jag springs look super small by comparison and I’m already wondering how much they need to be compressed to be mounted on the shock body.

If I’m going to go to the trouble of dropping the IRS, I am going to want to clean it up and re-build everything that I can. The president of our local Jag club is a 50 year Jag owner and mechanic (has a business restoring and working on Jags) he has suggested a gear swap, so this might be the time to take car of that too. I’ll have to chat with him about that.

Some questions:
How much does the entire IRS weigh?

Other than disconnecting the hydraulic brake line, the hand brake line, and the drive shaft, how many bolts hold the IRS in place?

Here’s one earlier thread you could read…

and another

I’ve done the job twice, though the last time was 7 years ago. If I recall correctly, the springs need to be compressed about an inch and a half, maybe two, to clear the shock collets. That puts them under considerable potential energy. The shock body is close to the inside of the spring coils and the hooks of a standard threaded rod spring compressor can foul and cause the thing to pop off. It can still be done, but again with caution, while securing the shock in a bench vice.

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This is what I have -

Update: I forgot that I also used this compressor to load springs onto the front shocks of my BMW Z3 for a strut like setup. Frankly that was a ton easier that the 22" Jeep springs that needed to be compressed to 15" to get over some bump stop mounts on the coil base.

Those look like they’ll do the job. What I found as you torque down the compressors is a tendency for them to go off kilter. Torque them down evenly, keep them straight and parallel and no drama.

Oh I learned that the hard way!! The first time I used them on a tall Jeep spring, I had to compress the coil down considerably, so I thought I was being a smart guy by using my impact wrench to tighten them up. I managed to get one side down much further than the other and the spring was shaped like the letter C. It was so bad that I couldn’t even get a wrench on the one side it was pressed so tightly up against the coil.

In a panic, I drove to AutoZone and rented one of their sets that look like this -

I was then able to get the spring straight again and into place, but my heart skipped a few beats. After that experience, I only use a box wrench and tighten 1/2 turn on each side at a time. No further drama after that…

Bob, After you complete the carbs, brakes, interior and wiring, your best bet is to drive it to CJ TEAMWORKS down the road from you.
If its out , you do it once…Brakes, rotors, bearings , seals, coil overs, the list goes on…
Remember the exhaust has to come out, trailing arms. Its very involved.
Re shim the gears, mounts and all the rest including U joints.
Good luck

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IIRC, a bit over 400 lbs. The bare differential (“pumpkin”) itself weighs just at 100 lbs.

Ugh. The tasks for the IRS are last on my list of many things I want/need to do. I want to drive the car for a while before I tackle any of the IRS items. The carb needles are due in today, hopefully tomorrow I can install them and get this thing started again.

You are considering putting new shocks on you car, the rear IRS, specifically. When I did this I found a J-L lister that had done this and posted about it. The spring compressor he used was safe and easy to put together. I have lost his name but I did post a photo series on it and I will add it here. Be safe.
1-jag restoration 014
Use your two rear brake rotors as the top and bottom of the ‘spring compressor’, insert threaded rod (I think 5/8"), bolt them to the bottom rotor. Put the shock and spring into the rotor and place the other rotor onto the top of the spring. Use two nuts on the threaded rod and turn them down a ways down alternating from side to side. once down a ways you will be able to remove the collet that holds the end of the shock to the spring.2-jag restoration 015
Using the rotors the spring and shock are held tightly and you are safe, done properly nothing is going to fly apart.
3-jag restoration 016
as you release the tension make sure the collets are secure.

It worked well for me and you can reuse the rotors on the car if they are good, if replacing them save the old rotors for future use.

Regards, Joel.


I think it is very important that the grade of the threaded rods be more than enough that they can take the stretching force caused by the springs…

Dennis 69 OTS

I would never discourage a job but
I’ve known you a long timev😀
Let’s first finish the rest of the fantasy dream
Then drive it, you might want a 307 rear out in Texas!
Just a thought

Oh I agree. There are several tasks ahead of this one, but I’m fairly certain the shocks are original, the calipers look like they may be leaking, I want to replace the pads, and the handbrake appears to be inoperable. I plan on spending the winter taking care of all of those things, either in my garage or at my mechanics. I’m gathering info on the magnitude of the tasks to judge where to get them done. Yesterday I leaned towards paying someone, today I lean towards tempting fate and doing it here in the January timeframe, when I won’t be driving the Jag. Time will tell if I’m brave enough.

By the way, the reason I asked how heavy it was, I was thinking of taking the IRS to my buddy to have him do the gear swap. If I drive it to him, there is no telling how long it would sit in his shop, he is swamped.

Following along with this has motivated me to get off my tail and get back to work on my car. I’ve had all the parts to rebuild the brake system for at least six months, but I’ve let fear of tackling the rear brakes keep me from doing an. Last night I went out to the garage, got the rear up on jack stands, slid underneath and just laid on my back for a while, looking up and contemplating the project. I came to realize that it’s a fair amount of work, but nothing to be scared of.

I’ve got a bunch of use-or-lose leave at work, so planning to take the week of Thanksgiving off to work on the car. Like you, Bob, I’m ready to get driving it.

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Good going Scott…Once done, its for life…

This is the photo album from my IRS rebuild:

Unfortunately, it is far from complete as mostly I only took photos to help me put it back together again. It may help somewhat though.