Series 3 rear bumper

I have a Series 3 XJ12 with the usual shock absorption bumpers. While working on some other things(exhaust and surface rust) I decided to permanently “retract” the rear bumper to make it less prominent. My understanding is that the shock units can be punctured via drilling and then pushed into a shorter length, thereby drawing the bumper forward, closer to the body of the car, by 2-3”. With some difficulty ( as usual) I’ve gotten one of the shocks out and have drilled it at both ends. Some plastic-like popcorn material came out, but I can’t get the shock unit to shorten. It’s a German made unit, looks like a typical suspension shock. Any advice on how to get this to shorten?


I’ve not yet heard about any shock absorber with popcorn like plastic material. I may be wrong, but I seem to remember on other vehicles these US bumper absorbers, were a sort of one time saviour which would explain why they relied on plastic popcorn instead of gas and oil.

Maybe if you make the hole big enough to remove the popcorn you can compress the shell sufficiently.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

In my experince the ‘popcorn’ needs to be picked out with something pointy. Remove some popcorn, exercise the shock, remove some more popcorn, repeat, repeat.


Well, Steven - the set-up was meant to absorb a
5(?) mph bump without damage to the body-work. The unit can then be replaced; removing the beam, unbolting unit(s), emptying and/or replace. Or manipulate in situ - whitchever is easier…:slight_smile:

But the gap has a purpose…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe UK/NZ)

Doug, you’re right! I had to drill holes in the shocks large enough to get a small screwdriver inside and encourage the popcorn to come out. I’ve shortened the shocks about 2", which should be fine. I’ve had this car for about 11 years, and am finally getting around to doing a few things to improve its appearance in my eye, including getting rid of an ugly chrome “door bumper” strip from both sides of the car, installed by a previous owner. Getting the adhesive-fixed strips off wasn’t too bad (using Goo-off and dental floss), but now I do have a little paint touch-up to deal with. . . .
Steve Bruce