US 1978 S2 front bumper alignment - FIXED & '74 bumper fitted

(Dwomby) #1

My front bumper has always been a tad higher on the righthand side (US passenger side) than the left. This puts the chrome very close to the lower lip of the outer headlamp. I know the correct way to try to fix this is probably to try to reposition the whole support that is mounted into a box section in the body but that part includes the bonnet hinge and would therefore mean having to realign the bonnet afterwards.

This is not unique to me. I have seen several S3s with the same problem and always on the righthand side. So, I just thought I’d ask if anybody can think of an easier way to do this or has anybody successfully done this to their car.?



(phillip keeter) #2

The hinge and bumper shock are basically one unit. The shock position establishes where the bumper positions. You can reposition the hinge position by adjusting it’s mounting bolts that run through the frame (box) and hinge. That will, as you alluded to, will affect the bonnet position. However, there is some adjustment possible (up and down) where the hinge bolts to the bonnet.
You may be able to shim the left side bumper, where it bolts to the shock ,by using a washer(or two) placed on the underside of the shock bracket through the bolt. That would force the bumper into a lower position.

(Dwomby) #3

Thanks, Phillip.

Yes, I realize the ‘right’ way to do this is to re-position the box that holds the bumper shock and the bonnet hinge. I had to replace the one on the left side a few years ago and it’s a tedious process made worse by then having to realign the bonnet on the hinges to get it to sit right.

I think I will proceed to remove the bumper and see if your washer idea will force it down, although I have doubts. Though perhaps if I grind off some of the upper side of the bumper mounting point on the end of the shock absorber the bumper might sit lower. I would need washers below then to stop the bumper sliding up and down on the bolt.


(Jochen Glöckner) #4


my Euro SII car is the same - even RHD. I’ll be doing work on the right wing in a couple of weeks and then I’ll remove the bumper. My guess would be that the bumper is mounted to the frame extensions and probably the only fix point while wing, bonnet and doors are following.

Very nice car and very becoming headlights!


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

(Peter Crespin) #5

I made a poor man’s Euro front bumper by welding the center section of a spare Federal bumper chrome under the original, hanging it all using the top and side mounts for what is now a very light assembly. I tacked a couple of under-riders on and fitted the Federal side lamps into the fender holes. I filled the empty grille space using strips of aluminum from Home Depot.

Looks better from a distance, but it was quick and cheap and matched the Rest of World 7" lamp conversion and side repeater zits delete. Next time I’d leave the full width of the lower blade up to where the top chrome begins its full depth corner section. I cut it away before the corners to leave the side lamps more visible, but they’d be fine anyway.

(Jochen Glöckner) #6

Nice job, Pete, sure looks worlds better than the SII federal bumpers!

And the ends of the collision tubes make a nice home for LED daytime running lights or a radar jammer …

Good to hear from you every now and then!



75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

(Peter Crespin) #7

Hi Jochen - nice to follow you too. I was thinking of modern tiny LED spotlights or daytime lights but I’m not keeping the car. It’s a very nice example and so rust free it’s a joy to work on, but you can perhaps see the nose of the D-Type sticking out and those car suck up money like space debris into a black hole…


(Jochen Glöckner) #8

But then again … it’s a D-type!

I once had the chance to buy a split screen Porsche 356 in a mid-west barn at a very modest price. Unfortunately, there was a Beetle 1600 engine in it, the interior was upholstered like a 1970s campervan and the entire floor looked like a jigsaw puzzle made out of tin can rests. I ended up not buying it.

Some time later I found out that the parts alone I would have needed would have set me back the better part of 100k - DM at the time. As good as my decision was at the time - you know today’s prices of these cars …

So, good luck with the D type - maybe I can make it to Maryland some day!


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

(Dwomby) #9

I have removed the front bumper and now the source of the front bumper’s misalignment (1/2 inch higher on righthand side than left) is obvious but I do not see a way to fix it.

The box structure (I can’t find a part number for it in the books unless it is AKP746?) that carries the shock absorber and the bonnet hinge on the righthand side (US passenger side) is sitting much higher that the one on the left side. I loosened the 3 bolt holding it in the body but cannot budge the box and, in fact, I don’t think that it has space to move enough to fix the issue anyway. Not only is this side higher, but the bracket on the top that the chrome part of the bumper fits onto is closer to the bottom edge of the bonnet.

Left side

Right side

I hope that’s explained the problem adequately. Now, short of removing the offending box structure and cutting away metal so it can be seated lower, does anybody have any suggestions, please?



(Peter Crespin) #10

Not sure what look you’re aiming for but the topmost flat bars can be ‘adjusted’ up and down to suit any kind of stock or custom/altered top chrome or Series 1/2 bumper, sans overriders, using chrome bumper bolts . Those brackets, plus the rubber side bobbins should provide a secure mounting, just not as solid as the Federal beam. You could drill the dampers and push against a wall to give a less clunky look. The dampers are in a rubber sleeve, so if you took that out and put a scaffold pole over the protruding part would let you even out the levels.

(Dwomby) #11

Hello Pete

It’s not just the chrome. I want to get the big federal S2 bumper to be horizontal but the whole mount including the shock absorber is sat too high. If I can get the big federal rubber-covered part horizontal then the chrome top piece should then also be horizontal. If it isn’t, then I can adjust that metal bracket that holds the chrome too.

Once it’s horizontal, I may well try the ‘emptied shock absorber trick’ to move the rubber coveted part back in towards the body a bit.


(Peter Crespin) #12

Working from first principles…

  1. put a scaffold pole or 4x4 beam on top of the ‘high’ damper, running vertically to a garage door lintel or similar. You could restrain it over a bolt head sticking up through the end hole, to stop it slipping off.

Then jack the car up further back on the same side, to apply a downforce onto that damper end.

(Dwomby) #13

Ye gods, Pete. That’s radical but it might just work. I hope my garage doorway is well built!


(Gary Crosby 75 XJ6L, 85 XJ-S, 09 XF Supercharged.) #14


Isn’t the hood/bonnet attached to the bumper bracket? If you lower the bumper bracket…wont it just pull the hood down also. Wondering if the fix might be to readjust the fender wing and bonnet up on the right side.

Just thinking out loud.



(Dwomby) #15

Good question, Gary, and yes, you are right it will pull the bonnet/hood down but there’s a bit of adjustment available where the hinge attaches to the bonnet. I was hoping that would allow me to lower the bumper and then lift the bonnet and secure it higher on the hinge to level the bonnet out again.

I don’t think moving the fender is a good idea. I have carefully measured the car ride height per the ROM and it is sitting level. Since the measurement point is, oddly, the centre of the outer headlight, I don’t want to move the fender around.


(phillip keeter) #16

A more detailed map of my earlier suggestion.
bumper.pdf (297.3 KB)

(Dwomby) #17

Thanks for the drawing, Phillip. I get it but I don’t think there’s enough space between the shock and the bumper (the yellow highlights on your drawing) to insert washers below the shock to force the bumper down. Maybe if I grind off the top of the eye hole on the end of the shock I will be able to create some play there. Ideally I would grind down the top spacer that is inside the bumper but I doubt I can get in there. What a pity Jaguar welded those spacers on!


(phillip keeter) #18

I recently converted my '76 US bumpers to EURO and so I have the USA parts handy to play with. When I insert the shock end between the upper and lower inside bumper mounts, there is at least a 1/4" free space to play with. I would think that would be enough for a decent adjustment up or down with a washer (spacer/shim).The idea of removing a bit from the end of the shock would also give more tolerance for adjustment.
Hope you figure it out. If you screw up your shock or the bumper on yours, let me know and you can have mine for the cost of shipping.

(Dwomby) #19

OK. I will go out and measure it tomorrow to see if I have space there. Thanks


(Dwomby) #20

There’s maybe 1/8 inch play available. So I’ll be getting out the grinder!