Power steering Cross Member and Springs

Hi, Could use some help from those who know please.

I bought a nice 62 Mark 2 about a year ago. It had manual steering but came with a Variamatic P\S setup, including cross member ( at a huge price), that the previous owner had bought from a local Jag specialist about 20 years ago, but never installed. I dont know what car the system came from but it was supposedly the right setup for a Mark 2.

So, I have installed the replacement crossmember and P/S box into my car using the original Mark 2 springs. Problem is the car sits WAY too high. Looks like there is no engine at all in the car. Looking at Baratts web site, they list different springs for Mk2 (C16954), S Type (C21958) and Mk10 (C19707). So I know they a different but dont know how, I have no idea which springs I need, or if thats the problem at all. I can confirm the springs are seated in the upper saddle so thats not the issue.

All suggestions gratefully accepted. Thanks

Its possible your front cross-member is from a 420, I believe others on this list may have done this conversion. I think some MK2 came with PS as did Daimler V8

Its puzzling that the height has risen, it cant be the springs

Hopefully you have retained the original cross-member, and can attempt to take measurements of the respective spring turret depth on the old vs new cross member to ascertain if they are different

ordering new springs prior to that would be unknown imo

I have a very easy way to remove the spring using threaded rods, if you want I will post a picture

You could probably get a close enough estimate without removing the spring

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I assume if the car sat fine before the crossmember was altered, and you are using the same springs as before, then the problem is not in the spring, but there is some kind of issue with the crossmember.

As far as I know the crossmember for the Variamatic box has only a recess for clearance and is otherwise identical.

Could also be the difference between a 2.4 or a 3.4/3.8 engine.
If yours is a 2.4, and the springs are for a 3.4/3.8 it will sit too high.

Thanks for these suggestions.

The car is a 3.8 auto (was a DG250, Now ZF4HP22).

I am using the original springs and suspension components as I only had the crossmember with the cut out from the donor car.

I am used to cars sitting a little high when springs are removed, but they do settle down… so far, after a couple of mounts, its still high.

However, I still have a lot to install. Given removing the springs is really independent of almost everything else, I will install the remaining engine bay items… carbies, radiator, heater etc… and check measurements with the old cross member and the see where it all sits.

I was surprised to read that S type springs are longer than Mark2’s so that would make my problem worse. I had expected it to be the same.

Well, we’ll see.


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If you have just lowered the car off the jack , the car will sit high , you won’t know the true Hight till you do a mile or two !

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well, its been sitting now for about 5 months… still sitting on the bump stops… hmm…

So the springs have to come out…

Looking at the cross members, I cant see any difference at all.

I did have the springs cleaned before I put them back… bt cant see what that would do… hmm…

When you reassembled the front suspension onto the new crossmember, did you wait until the weight of the car was on the suspension before tightening the wishbone pivot nuts? There is tension within the Metalastic bushes, and if they were tightened without the weight of the car on them, they will probably be stressed too far in use and fail prematurely, and possibly explain your height issue. Just a thought.

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Thanks for that. Unfortunately they are still very loose. Cheers

Hi, I suggest you post some pictures, sometimes they tell a thousand words, and two heads are better than one :grinning:

Righto… good idea! Thanks

Not seized\stiff shock absorbers? I fitted a rebuilt 420 complete front end to my 3.8 Mk2 and IIRC it sat far too low with the 420 springs and I had to fit the Mk2 ones, after which it sat correctly. The 420 springs were longer, but of thinner guage wire. I think 420’s underwent a change of springs at some stage as the early ones tended to bottom out. Does the bottom wishbone actually pivot on the shaft, or is the movement taken up by torsion in the Metalastic bushes? Again IIRC, the lower wishbone is really hard to turn, even unloaded.

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for keeping on this…

All good, it’s what we’re all here for.
Good luck

Will post some pics when I take some… cheers

Hi Timothy. The better system came with the car, unfitted, and is reportedly far superior to the older system. Worst case I will get the springs reset lower but it just seems odd that in the whole wide world of people who have done this I have a new problem. So we just push on. Thanks for following and commenting. Cheers

Sorry, I withdrew my post when I realised that you have the system I was talking about. :roll_eyes: Do you have all the parts? I know a fellow in Sydney who might have any parts you are missing. The reservoir is often hard to find but I believe he has one.

I have this system fitted to my MK2 and it works really well.

The ride height of my car seems fine, which is fortunate.


Morro, you say the spring is seated correctly in the upper tower; what about in the lower seat pan? Although it probably wouldn’t make that much difference to the ride height. What lower balljoints have you used, later S3 XJ sealed for life ones, or the earlier ones with shims? If the latter, is it possible they have been shimmed too tightly and are not allowing full suspension movement? Does the suspension move at all if you bounce up and down on the front of the car?

I’ve got the original springs I took out of my Mk2 if you want a pair to compare with.

Hi Andrew. Thanks for that. Where are you?. I am in Melbourne. Cheers