Those poly aftermarket bushings for the steering rack

My guess is they’ve shrunk a bit over the years and now I have some sloppiness. Or maybe I installed them with minimal tightening… as I’m remembering being warned about not pulling in the dog ears (over-tightening), I want to say there were some washers that came with the kit, or maybe they were left over from the OEM arrangement. If memory serves, they were too fat to use back when I installed these ~15 years ago or so. Of course I can’t find them now. Sheesh. Thoughts?

bushings. Not busings! LOL

If the bushings are in good shape just ad some washers. Make sure though that the holes of the washers can pass through the inner sleeve so that they actually compress the bushings.
You might need an alignment after as it may change the position of the rack.
On the other hand, if they are 15 years old, it might not be a bad idea to just change them.


Yes, I did add thin metal washers, only barely managing to cram one in on each side, and yes, a hole bored out a bit, to pass over the sleeve. This is actually my second set of orange bushings. The first only lasted 3 or 4 years??? But these are still good to go. I will def get an alignment (using my home-brewed mid-laden positioning tools). Hopefully I can find a shop that will go along with my requirements. (Also, I bring my own caster, camber, toe settings from the shop manual, as I don’t trust their computer’s suggested settings.)

This has been my extensive experience on bushings.
Rack bushes usually disintegrate by oil leaks which takes its toll on the rubber causing it to deteriorate.

Short version.
If you want to restore your XJ as it was, then stick to rubber bushes. This is what the suspension was designed to use, and the end result will restore your XJ to as it was, which even by todays standards, is better than most new(er) cars.

Some where in this forum there are a couple of posts by me about bushings - Poly vs Rubber…

not so short version
Here’s my take on poly bushes.

  1. Polly bushings are resistant to oil.This is a good thing, but all good things come at a cost.
  2. Poly bushes come in varying degree of stiffness. finding the finding the right stiffness to your liking can be a recursive process of search, replace, & drive, and search…
  3. Keep in mind when you stiffen up one area chances are the associated areas will be begging to be replaced as well.
  4. A stiff rack bushing will equate to sensitive / twitchy steering.

This is what worked for me.
I replaced all of the suspension bushings with Whiteline bushings EXCEPT where the suspension mounted to the vehicle - the subframe & sway bar mounts. I reverted to rubber. First go I replaced everything with “Energy” red bushings from summit racing. Big mistake. handling was off the chart. So was the vibration on anything but perfectly smooth tarmac. The vibration from the road being amplified up through the steering column rattled every screw loose and every bit of screwed on trim off the interior.

Then I found whiteline. replaced all of the energy bushings with whiteline. much better but still a bit too much rattling and roughness for my touring saloon, and XJ-S. Then I replaced all of the bushings between the car and the subframe, and found this was the best of both worlds. Still vibration on rough tarmac, but an exceptable level for me. I’m working on another XJ and I will be replacing all bushes back to rubber and compare to my other XJ and see which I like better. If the cost of the poly bushes are worth it or not.

when I write poly bushes I’m referring to whiteline bushes. The energy bushes are just too stiff for my liking. You might as well use Delrin for bushes. it has about the same amount of give.

  • Poly bushes on the upper and lower wishbones abolutely!!
  • Steering rack? I’m on the fense.
  • endlink bushings Poly!
  • swaybar bushings - rubber!
  • subframe bushes - rubber!

I hope this helps.

LOL Summit Racing red poly bushings are like rocks! However the Orange poly bushings on my rack are def pliable, esp the outside disk(s). But can you even buy the orange ones anymore?? Methinks they suffered from early QC issues… as my first set only lasted 3 or 4 years. A quick glance at the usual sources websites shows only black. The thing about poly is that it comes in varying stiffnesses. Given the copious amounts of Jaguar rust preventative that migrates on to the rack bushes, I think I will stick with my old orange polys…

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