Refitting front suspension assembly, steering rack. Sequence

Hello all,

I am finally approaching the day when all those nicely painted and new parts at the front will be finding their rightful places under the body. I am wondering if there is a recommended sequence of events.

Currently, the front suspension and cross member are with no hubs, rotors and calipers, no steering rack.

Google Photos

I am thinking that for ease of work (managing the weight), this will go under the first, then the steering rack and then the steering column.

The brakes can then go on later. However, I am not sure that the safety wiring of the hubs and calipers is an operation that is realistic once the inner fender is in the way.

Any advice?

Thank you.

Put it all together and don’t worry about a little extra weight. Use a motorcycle lift or transmission jack to install it and it will be quite straight forward. Much easier to set up as much as possible with the assembly easily accessible.

1 Like

First off, I wish I had one of those. I’ll have to take it off the car hand have the car immobile during the process. I have a spare IRS, but not an IFS. :expressionless:

I concur with Geoff. put it in as a whole unit. it will be alot faster. You will need one of these to support the engine.

I noticed the safety wire is missing. this is something that you’ll want to do. if you don’t know how, I did a video on my YouTube Channel Jag Mods
the engine mounts are on the IFS the two bunny ears sticking up at 45ish degrees facing each other. incase you weren’t aware. I’m not being smug, just trying to be helpful.
The video is “How do you lock wire” safety wire is doable. Not easy but doable. I’d probably put the rotors and calipers on while its out. Lockwire will be easier. If you decide to lockwire once it’s installed, then you’ll do it before you put the shock in, and bolt up the sway bar. You’ll need the room. You’ll just turn the hub assembly to full lock to get to it. Engage your safety squints, cause you’ll be dealing with a long piece of wire.

If you must do it in pieces, the springs are the place to start, require a special spring compressor; which I haven’t been able to locate. Well truth be told, I did locate one to “rent” from the North America Jag Club, but I needed (wanted) it now. I didn’t want to wait for months.
After purchasing every configuration of spring compressors, and unable to locate an off the shelf spring compressor that fits in the required space and compresses the spring enough to remove the the spring without fearing for my life, I made one.

Side Note:
A trolley jack really isn’t an option, unless you have a 900 pound neighbor to sit on the sub-frame. while you remove the springs.

The bottom plate and spring will come out as one; oh and the spring will no longer be compressed. However, the springs do come out with ease. Getting them back into place? Well, that’s a different story.
The primary issue is getting everything to line up while compressing the spring. I’m referring to the bottom spring plate to the wishbone or A-arm. I made guide rods to run through the bolt holes in the bottom spring seat / plate (I don’t know what it’s officially called) and screw into the holes of the bottom A-arm / wishbone. it worked, but did require some percussionary guidance.

next you’ll need one of these, a ball joint separator.

There’s no guarantee that the ball joint boot won’t get damaged. So have a spare just in case.

The rest is just easy peasy unbolting. Keep track of where the shims came from. As my mum would say, put it back where you found it. The shims are extremely important to maintain proper alignment.

All that being said,
I think it’s going to be whole lot easier and safer to put the whole unit in as one.

for whatever that’s worth.

hmmm… I never did that but I have worked on the steering rack.
From what I can imagine, the most difficult part if you assemble the rack on the sub-frame before will be attaching the power steering hoses and the steering column to the rack.
Might be easier if you attach them before and then mount the sub-frame ? Just a thought…

The safety wiring of the hubs and calipers is completely doable with the frame mounted.
It will be even easier if you don’t attach the rack ball joints so you can turn the hubs left and right freely.


Thanks Mike for the detailed info.
The engine and suspension are out of the car so easy access to everything.
I did the springs very easily with threaded rods.
The locking wire will be fun :slight_smile:

Thanks Aristides, I will likely go for putting the steering rack on after the suspension of is in.

my advise with the lockwire. Get the aircraft lock wire. .032 stainless steel (I like Malin). the .041 is too thick and is hard to work with plus as it work hardens, it gets wedding night sausage hard.

I like using two sets of quality pair of lockwire pliers (you get what you pay for). It can do with regular pliers, but it’s not easy. Just remember the more you bend the wire the harder it gets.

In my YouTube video “how do you lock wire” I lock wired 5 bolts together (IRS Output shaft.) by the time I got to the last bolt the wire was so hard it snapped. Lucky for me I was finishing up on the last bolt so I didn’t have to cut it all out and start over. two bolts are pretty simple. Just remember when you tie the bolts together with the wire, so that the tension of the wire would essentially pull clockwise on the bolt theoretically tightening the bolts. search for my YouTube Video, I cover it quite well, It’s also covered in the installing the brakes video.

1 Like

Why do we need lockwire anyway? Is it for originality? How about simply Red Loctite?

If I saw a bolt head drilled without lockwire I’d think an idiot had half assed assembly. You can’t see loctite! Luckily Harbor Freight lockwire ($8) and tool ($12.99) haven’t let me down yet. It’s cheap, so just do what you’re “supposed” to and stop fighting the man :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks John,

would be my view as well. We all know that lockwire isn’t industrial standard any more. And yet, our cars were built with them, they work well with them, lockwire is still readily available - so why try apparently smart solutions that may even have pitfalls - not only that you don’t know whether a PO has used Locktite instead of wire, you neither know whether the Locktite still locks …

It is so much easier to simply do simple things simply right.



75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)