Setting XJ6 rear camber after major rebuild?

Old rear calipers were leaking and frozen.
Took several years to find time for the repairs but I am now nearly done.
Of course I no longer know what the old shims measured and that might not matter anyway since I have new rotors as well as the calipers.
While it is out I am also replacing the axle U joints.
Already replaced the inner control arm bearings and will do the outers too.

So I am essentially starting from scratch regards rear camber.
Tried searching the forum but got no useful result.
It would seem that there should be a known length strut to be fit in place of the shocks for measuring purposes, but maybe that’s just what makes sense to me?

I’m sure this has been covered before but I could not find a “How to” link.
Manual I had has gone astray, the XKE manual I have fails to provide such details.

Hi Richard, I did what you are doing about 6 months ago and found that the SIII shop manual is indispensable. Just quickly, the camber specs (3/4 degree ± 1/4 degree negative)

and dimensions for a height setting tool are on page 64-3 (Rear Suspension). If your car will be setting on its wheels when you test, make two ride height hooks, car needs to be level with suspension.


My hope is to adjust it on the bench before refitting.
I have a milling machine with DRO so making the bars should be simple enough.

I assume you have the crossmember out of the car, Richard?

The setting links are pertinent only with the crossmember fitted to the car - and there is really no reliable way, from scratch, to set the camber correct with the crossmember out.

While the rear suspension is designed to minimize camber angle variations with suspension travel, it is not eliminated - so the suspension must be in the region of travel set by the links. With the springs in place this will be ‘difficult’ out of the car. And even so; the camber must be checked when mounted…

As a wild suggestion; remove the springs, fit the wheels and suspend the crossmember, with the wheels on the ground, with the nominal ground clearance of 189 mm (7,45") - equal on both sides. Then measure and adjust camber angle with shims. This will be a ballpark setting - but will still require rechecking with the rear cage mounted. I’m not too sure it is worth while…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

It is true that the most reliable way is with the IRS in the car, as parts bent and distort with all that weight, or are bent and distort already after all these years of use.
It’s a PITA, but If you have a lift it’s much easier.

Yes, entire assembly is currently removed.
Not as young as I used to be and working by myself, so not eager to have to go at it again after refitting.

Thinking about it, it seems hard to believe that the factory would have had to reset each suspension after vehicle assembly.
Not a quick and simple process so most likely to have been avoided, how?

Level the crossmember, in both directions.
Set the height tools, and ether mount the bushings on the cage so you can use the designated hole for the tool, or use the rear hole of the cage as it’s only a few mm away.
You do this with out the wheels on, you can measure at the flange, it will be accurate.
I believe this is how they did it in the factory, and in theory it should work, but then everything was new and straight.

You should re-check it though when the IRS is back in the car, as we all know that sometimes theory is different from reality in a 30 years old car…

You got some similar opinions on when and how to check and set the camber. Setting the camber with the IRS out of the car is the way to do it.

My opinion is that parts (apart from springs) should not bend and flex when they are introduced to their designed loading and in their designed position. If they do, they need to be replaced. I set mine up on a work bench after a complete rebuild of the IRS and at the very, very worst, there is a 50/50 chance of it being correct. Returning the cage to the car without checking anything almost guarantees a 100% chance that it will be wrong.

Aristides last post is about the method I used with a couple of differences. Leveling the cage * and* the work surface in both north/south and east/west is essential, just as it would be if it were under the car. However, when it’s under the car, you have to level the car itself. Have the bearings in the lower wishbone and the half-shafts and the outer hub and the inner stub-shaft in new or like new condition without any play. leave the springs and wheels removed and set the cage bottom plate at the ground clearance set out in the shop manual or other reliable source- Frank’s 7.5" ± seems close to what I used. Measure the diameter of the tire you will use and set the center of the outer hub 1/2 that distance to the work surface. You can use the ride height hooks or block and shim to get that distance.
Your IRS should now be in the exact same orientation as it would be if under the car at the specified ride height.

The tool you use to actually measure the camber is up to you, but what I used was an electronic level that is accurate to 1/10 degree. It needs to 0’ed on the cage before setting it against the flange of the outer hub

, this is the reason to get the cage/work surface perfectly level and flat. After that it is just a matter of getting the negative camber correct with the necessary shims.

Hope this and the other posts give you enough to get back on the road again.

P.S. The picture shows the IRS in a stored position until I reinstall it.


I suspect that they standard shimming at assembly, Richard - based on the assumption that parts were OK. However, the production rate were not that high - allowing for tweaking in lots of areas…

But with the springs removed and the links fitted; with the cage verified horizontal - the camber should be fairly accurately measured. The setting links is probably meant to set and hold the ride height to the given specs - so propping up the cage to the 7,45" as suggested is probably fair enough…

As an aside; the camber angle change with suspension movement around spec height tolerances is likely minimal - and well within the camber angel tolerance, +/- 1/4 degrees. And a lot hangs on the precision of measuring tools used…

However, rechecking the camber angle with the cage mounted is, as others implies, a good idea…:slight_smile:

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

Sorry Aristides, I went one post too far when I made my reply to Richard_SIA and made it appear that I was replying to you.