Restore front suspension

Hello. New to the forum. Restoring a 30K mile 69 2+2. early s2. Regency red with tan interior. Am tearing down the car now to do a daily driver restoration on it. (just around town). I have had it for 7 years or so, just sitting waiting to be restored. Now is the time. Car is 100% rust free throughout, but has lived its life in the desert so is dirty/sandy/dusty and dry as a bone. Rubber windsheild gasket for instance crumbled as i removed it. Do I typically need to rebuild the front suspension on a car such as this, in terms of age, rather than mileage, since the mileage is low? Thanks.
p.s. Have restore many British cars, Sunbeams, AH sprite, Morris Minor, but this is my first Jag.

Since the windshield rubber was so badly deteriorated i would be suspect of all the rubber in the car. I would inspect all the rubber suspension components front and rear and replace if you see any cracking etc. Likely that most are in poor condition.

My sat dry for perhaps 20 years before I got it with the objective of making it a reliable driver.

I judged that the ball-joints were sound but their rubber gaiters were failing so I just replaced those boots.

The suspension bushings looked pretty good so I had to weigh the life left in a 43 year-old part vs the quality of replacement parts on offer. I chose to leave those be.

An exception was replacement of the radius arm bushings which I renewed while I had the IRS off. The big ones got destroyed by removal but I also did the small ends. The small end replacement bushings failed in a couple of years. I have since replaced them with a higher priced version, hopefully that will last a while.

Easier , simpler , less expensive way out as a driver…
replace bottom ball joints with sealed units and new gators.
replace all bushes upper and lower just press out .
Repalce upper ball joint with retainer , shocks and sway bar links and away you go.
Leave the bottom arm connected to the torsion bar, it can be done to save you alot of grief.
Just mark the d ring and bar so it goes back the same if your height is correct.
Good luck!
All the above would not be 500 dollars if you do the work!
gtjoey1314

Given the age you should probably replace every piece of rubber on the car, hoses, bushings, door gaskets, belts, wiper blades etc.
If anyone needs a $5 solution for the wiper blades let me know.

I replaced all the rubber bits for the first time when car was about 35 yrs. old 120K miles. The exterior ends of bushings were all cracked and I figured I would find the same on the inside. The inside of bushing were just fine and I questioned myself why was I going through the hassle? Since that original rebuild I think I have replaced everything 3 times, the new stuff does not last. This last time went with Prothane poly and hope these last longer. My guess is that auto-cross took its toll on these last bushings?
If ball joints are not loose and no signs of creeks or thunks leave it alone.
Glenn

Everything really seems to be in good order, bushing look fine with some light cracking on the outside. I would think with the low miles that the ball joints/tie rod ends would probably still be fine, just need new boots. I’ll be renewing the entire brake stystem however. The brake fluid in the bottles after not being driven or replaced much is like thick jelly and the sensors have deteriorated into the fluid. The brake rotors are still the originals. I imagine the shocks are ok too. Haven’t relaly had a chance to drive it much since i got it so don’t know how well it rides, but i suppose i could attack those after the fact if i find the ride clunky or floaty.

Replacements are available from the usuals though I went with generics from Amazon:

After 7+ years they still appear to keep the dirt out and the grease in:

Best piece of advice!

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Spent some time checking out the front end. Removed wheels and removed calipers f and l, it’s been a long time since I’ve worked on a non rusty restoration. Caliper bolts twirled right out and are shiny silver where they were not exposed. Wow. However as we suspected, the rubber is crunchy and dry and brakes off in my fingers. Will order rebuilt calipers. Pads and rotors are original so will replace. Rubber torn and cracked on all of the Ball joints/ends but they seem in nice condition otherwise, with lots of grease still around them. Bushings in A arms and lower arms seem still plyable and intact. Steering rack gators are toast.

So thinking, all new brakes, new shocks, clean everything well, replace all rubber, grease everything up up and see how it feels. I keep seeing people say: on a e-type, stay with the well made original part unless it’s shot.

John- Just to be sure, include all three rubber brake lines (from hard lines to the calipers in the front and from hard line to IRS tubing in the rear) in your brake rebuild process. These are obviously safety critical items and MUST be replaced.

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I have had the same experience. I’ve pulled out out 50+ year old rubber bushings that were frilly around the outside, and quite literally pristine on the inside.

And no, there don’t seem to be ANY aftermarket rubber suspension components that last more than a few years nowadays.

Yes. Just took original shocks off and the busings while crispy on the exposed surface, looked like new. No need for new busings it seems, as these original ones are supperior.

What is everyone’s feeling about the original shocks on a low mileage car? They are not leaking, and seem fairly snug when manually pushing and pulling them. How does one usually evaluate them.

Good luck, I have never understood how to reliably judge a shock other than by driving.

Of course if the shock has failed miserably a simple bounce test will reveal that - but for subtler signs of age I don’t know how to test.

I had replaced the original shocks when the car was about six years old. At the time they seemed fine but I planned on doing some racing. Had ordered new Koni shocks and when I removed the originals some of them felt like they were full of sand. Manually pushing and pulling them it was easy to tell they were shot.
When I more recently went to replace the Konis, they also seemed fine driving. When removed a couple of them were seized, could not manually move them at all.
Glenn