[xk] Front suspension

I am in the process of a complete restoration of my 1951 120 OTS. The front
wishbones have been re-bushed and reinstalled along with the axle stub
carriers. I have also reinstalled the torsion bars per the factory specs
and loaded them (locking retaining bolt is in the center of the slot). The
steering linkage and anti-roll bar have not been put in place at this point.
That is where my problem starts. I now find that I can not connect the
steering linkage because because the wishbone assemblies are set too low due
to the torsion bar load. When I remove the load, the wishbones come back to
a position that would allow installation of the steering linkage. However,
I am concerned that once the linkage is in place and the torsion bars are
torqued, too much stress will be put on the drop arms. Is this a concern?
Nothing in the factory manual addresses my problem. I have been told to
wait until the weight is placed on the chassis before installing the
linkage, although the same stress would be in place any time the front of
the car is jacked up. Is this normal? Am I over looking something obvious?
Should I not worry about the drop arms? Can you help?

Chuck

Chuck;
Something I’m not following here with your description of “the
steering linkage” not fitting up when the 120 is loaded…
Your steering arm (pitman arm) and idler arm should connect to the
center link (rod/bar) at the track-rod ends, plus you have a total of four
tie-rod ends, two on each side. This ought to allow enough “flex” in the
steering linkage to fit to the pitman arm and idler arm (these are in a
"fixed"position relative to the steering box) without binding anything a
full compression or full extension limit… plus you should have the “limit
bumpers” installed on the chassis as well…
You may have the track-rod ends on facing backwards… just a weary
thought…
The service manual states the use of a “distance piece” between frame
and ground when aligning the front end, I believe there is another “distance
piece” required for setting the torsion bars… I could be wrong on this and
am too tired to dig thru my manual right now to look for it…
If you have a digital camera, send me, Off-List, a couple of pictures
of the problem area and I’ll try to help you figure out what’s wrong… That
is, If I can figure it out…
Charles #677556-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Corkum
Subject: [xk] Front suspension

I am in the process of a complete restoration of my 1951 120 OTS. The front
wishbones have been re-bushed and reinstalled along with the axle stub
carriers. I have also reinstalled the torsion bars per the factory specs
and loaded them (locking retaining bolt is in the center of the slot). The
steering linkage and anti-roll bar have not been put in place at this point.
That is where my problem starts. I now find that I can not connect the
steering linkage because because the wishbone assemblies are set too low due
to the torsion bar load. When I remove the load, the wishbones come back to
a position that would allow installation of the steering linkage. However,
I am concerned that once the linkage is in place and the torsion bars are
torqued, too much stress will be put on the drop arms. Is this a concern?
Nothing in the factory manual addresses my problem. I have been told to
wait until the weight is placed on the chassis before installing the
linkage, although the same stress would be in place any time the front of
the car is jacked up. Is this normal? Am I over looking something obvious?
Should I not worry about the drop arms? Can you help?

Chuck

Charles;
When the torsion bars were installed, I used a distance gauge (15 5/8" as I
recall) to set the lower wishbone in the proper position. My next step was
to load (put tension on) the torsion bars as described in the service
manual. At this point I found that I did not have enough flex or
articulation with the tie rods to connect the steering arm to the track rod
ends. I can not make the connection until the tension is removed from the
torsion bars which allows the wishbone assembly to move upwards. Please
note that I have not installed the anti-roll bar. If installed, would this
prevent the wishbone form traveling so far south?

Chuck

===== Original Message from “Charles E. Bishop” xk@jag-lovers.org at
6/05/01 1:07 am>Chuck;

     Something I'm not following here with your description of "the

steering linkage" not fitting up when the 120 is loaded…
Your steering arm (pitman arm) and idler arm should connect to the
center link (rod/bar) at the track-rod ends, plus you have a total of four
tie-rod ends, two on each side. This ought to allow enough “flex” in the
steering linkage to fit to the pitman arm and idler arm (these are in a
"fixed"position relative to the steering box) without binding anything a
full compression or full extension limit… plus you should have the “limit
bumpers” installed on the chassis as well…
You may have the track-rod ends on facing backwards… just a weary
thought…
The service manual states the use of a “distance piece” between frame
and ground when aligning the front end, I believe there is another “distance
piece” required for setting the torsion bars… I could be wrong on this and
am too tired to dig thru my manual right now to look for it…
If you have a digital camera, send me, Off-List, a couple of pictures
of the problem area and I’ll try to help you figure out what’s wrong… That
is, If I can figure it out…
Charles #677556

-----Original Message-----
From: Chuck Corkum
Subject: [xk] Front suspension

I am in the process of a complete restoration of my 1951 120 OTS. The front
wishbones have been re-bushed and reinstalled along with the axle stub
carriers. I have also reinstalled the torsion bars per the factory specs
and loaded them (locking retaining bolt is in the center of the slot). The
steering linkage and anti-roll bar have not been put in place at this point.
That is where my problem starts. I now find that I can not connect the
steering linkage because because the wishbone assemblies are set too low due
to the torsion bar load. When I remove the load, the wishbones come back to
a position that would allow installation of the steering linkage. However,
I am concerned that once the linkage is in place and the torsion bars are
torqued, too much stress will be put on the drop arms. Is this a concern?
Nothing in the factory manual addresses my problem. I have been told to
wait until the weight is placed on the chassis before installing the
linkage, although the same stress would be in place any time the front of
the car is jacked up. Is this normal? Am I over looking something obvious?
Should I not worry about the drop arms? Can you help?

Chuck

Charles,

So sorry not getting back to you quickly. I was busy with a motorcycle
run and the Jersey Picnic…

What you are describing has me a bit confused. IMHO it is quite normal
to have suspension tension (pressure) if the torsion bars are properly
mounted and their tensioners are applying “twist”. This twist might
also counter your effort to link up the lower control arm to the ball
joint assembly as even with a jack under the arm the bolt holes defy
alignment even with tapered drifts.

I believe thet the condition is exacerbated because there is not
sufficient weight to hold the chassis “down” as you jack the arm. I
hope that is, what you are describing, as the fix is to relax the torsion
adjusters and connect everything in a relaxed condition leaving final
tightening till the torsion bars are again adjusted for proper spacing.

Having said that, if you are having difficulty linking up the steering to
the already mounted suspension, IMHO, there is something gravely wrong.
The steering mechanicals should not have “strain” to minimize play!
Although play should be minimal the tightness or feel should not vary
appreciably through the range of movement, whether level or favoring one
side…Bad enough are the loads from driving, but a pre-load that is
severe needs investigation and correcting… If you had the suspension
and steering to bits for restoration, make certain that the “handed”
parts are correct and on the proper side. If there were repairs along
the way, make sure the replacement part was proper and not ones that
looked OK.

Good luck and let us know

Rick,
677342-DHC
673190-Roadster
Somerville NJ USofA

Rick;

It sounds as though you understand the problem correctly.  Once the tension 

is taken off the torsion bars, there is trouble making the steering
connections. You are also correct in assuming that I can not line things up
by jacking the lower arm. At this point the engine, trans and body are
absent and therefore I do not have sufficient weight on the chassis. I
guess my concern is about having the steering linkage limit the full
extension of suspension.

Chuck

===== Original Message from xk@jag-lovers.org at 6/05/01 12:51 pm>Charles,

So sorry not getting back to you quickly. I was busy with a motorcycle
run and the Jersey Picnic…

What you are describing has me a bit confused. IMHO it is quite normal
to have suspension tension (pressure) if the torsion bars are properly
mounted and their tensioners are applying “twist”. This twist might
also counter your effort to link up the lower control arm to the ball
joint assembly as even with a jack under the arm the bolt holes defy
alignment even with tapered drifts.

I believe thet the condition is exacerbated because there is not
sufficient weight to hold the chassis “down” as you jack the arm. I
hope that is, what you are describing, as the fix is to relax the torsion
adjusters and connect everything in a relaxed condition leaving final
tightening till the torsion bars are again adjusted for proper spacing.

Having said that, if you are having difficulty linking up the steering to
the already mounted suspension, IMHO, there is something gravely wrong.
The steering mechanicals should not have “strain” to minimize play!
Although play should be minimal the tightness or feel should not vary
appreciably through the range of movement, whether level or favoring one
side…Bad enough are the loads from driving, but a pre-load that is
severe needs investigation and correcting… If you had the suspension
and steering to bits for restoration, make certain that the “handed”
parts are correct and on the proper side. If there were repairs along
the way, make sure the replacement part was proper and not ones that
looked OK.

Good luck and let us know

Rick,
677342-DHC
673190-Roadster
Somerville NJ USofA

I think I am having the same problem visualizing this problem, but if the
shock absorbers are not yet connected this would allow the suspension to drop
too far, since they are the limiters.
Larry J

In a message dated 6/5/01 10:13:49 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
holland-rick@juno.com writes:
Having said that, if you are having difficulty linking up the steering to
the already mounted suspension, IMHO, there is something gravely wrong.
The steering mechanicals should not have “strain” to minimize play!
Although play should be minimal the tightness or feel should not vary
appreciably through the range of movement, whether level or favoring one
side…Bad enough are the loads from driving, but a pre-load that is
severe needs investigation and correcting… If you had the suspension
and steering to bits for restoration, make certain that the “handed”
parts are correct and on the proper side. If there were repairs along
the way, make sure the replacement part was proper and not ones that
looked OK.

Good luck and let us know

Rick,
677342-DHC
673190-Roadster
Somerville NJ USofA>>

Larry J;
Chuck told me the front shocks are installed and connected and the
suspension is still too low to prevent the tie-rod ends from connecting.
Wouldn’t the shocks hitting maximum limit be prone to pulling
apart?? Or ar Jag shocks meant to act as suspension limiters??
Charles #677556

I think I am having the same problem visualizing this problem, but if the
shock absorbers are not yet connected this would allow the suspension to
drop-----Original Message-----
From: Larry J.
Subject: Re: [xk] Front suspension
too far, since they are the limiters.
Larry J

Charles,

On your suspension concern, one often overlooked item you might
investigate is the extended length of the dampers or shock absorbers.
The shocks are in effect the travel limiters for the suspension and might
cause the “strain” that you were trying to describe.

If some of the suspension or steering joints get to the “end of their
travel” so to speak, and things like ball joints appear that the ball
stem is wacking the rim of the hole in the upper cup, then the snubbers
are incorrect (or not installed) Many snubbers might appear quite like
the OEM’s when an overall “eye to eye” comparison is performed to select
a replacement.

Unless the selection is taken a step farther to measure the extended
length to insure proper travel limiting, the culprit is likely the
shocks.

Rick,

Can’t think of anything else to suggest… Is there another lister close
enough to get a second opinion?

Regards and let us know
677342-DHC
673190-Roadster
Somerville NJ USofA

Dear B,

There are many significant differences but an ‘at a glance’ check is to look
at the top link (wishbone). The XK 140 type is made from two separate arms
that bolt together around the top ball joint at the outboard end. The E Type
one is made from a single forging which includes the ball joint housing.

Eric C
Beaconsfield UK----- Original Message -----
From: “B. Shriver” Sea-Clusion@intergrafix.net
To: xk@jag-lovers.org; “E-type” e-type@jag-lovers.org
Sent: 13 November 2001 22:34
Subject: [xk] Front suspension

While cleaning up some of the suspension parts I notice that the front
suspension looked like it had been “post factory” installed. Since I do
have disc brakes in the front (Dunlop), and the IRS I thought it may be
conceivable that the PO decided to go ahead and swap the front suspension
too. The problem is I don’t know how to tell a 140 susp. from an E-type
susp, as they are both torsion bar with many of the same characteristics.
Could anyone clue me in to some of the distinguishing factors?
Thanks,
B. Shriver
Hazleton, PA
S810189 XK-140 OTS-MC-E
http://www.knightmares.com/jaguar/

Hi Brandon

There are many differences, the most visible (besides the actual size of
parts, much thinner on the E Type) is the shape of the wishbones.
On the E Type the upper wishbone is a cast item which incorporates the ball
joint (it is fitted vertically into the wishbone), whereas on the XK the
upper wishbone is made of 2 separate parts sandwiching the ball joint unit
(they are bolted together horizontally through the ball joint unit).
On the E Type the lower wishbone is turned to the back of the car like the
upper wishbone (they are “pushed”); on the XK the lower wishbone is turned
to the front of the car (“pulled”).

Best regards
Francis Thibaud>Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 17:34:23 -0500

From: “B. Shriver” Sea-Clusion@intergrafix.net
Subject: [xk] Front suspension

While cleaning up some of the suspension parts I notice that the front
suspension looked like it had been “post factory” installed. Since I do
have disc brakes in the front (Dunlop), and the IRS I thought it may be
conceivable that the PO decided to go ahead and swap the front suspension
too. The problem is I don’t know how to tell a 140 susp. from an E-type
susp, as they are both torsion bar with many of the same characteristics.
Could anyone clue me in to some of the distinguishing factors?
Thanks,
B. Shriver
Hazleton, PA
S810189 XK-140 OTS-MC-E

Has anyone installed the poly bushing kit on the front suspension?
I replaced all rubber bushing about 5 years ago, but still have
front end shimmy once in awhile when I hit a pot hole a low speed.
Also does anyone know the brake drum grind limits on the XK120.
Bob Ferguson
Xk120FHC 680261–
andante
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–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

In reply to a message from andante sent Mon 3 Jan 2005:

Bob,
Assuming that everything else in the steering assembly is tight I
would check caster settings and toe in.
No help w/brakes.
Rich–
The original message included these comments:

Has anyone installed the poly bushing kit on the front suspension?
I replaced all rubber bushing about 5 years ago, but still have
front end shimmy once in awhile when I hit a pot hole a low speed.
Also does anyone know the brake drum grind limits on the XK120.
Bob Ferguson


rich neary
perrineville/new jersey, United States
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

In reply to a message from rich neary sent Mon 3 Jan 2005:

Hi I think you need your tyres computer balanced, and check for
loose spokes, just thinking out loud. cheers Pajtas–
The original message included these comments:

Has anyone installed the poly bushing kit on the front suspension?
I replaced all rubber bushing about 5 years ago, but still have
front end shimmy once in awhile when I hit a pot hole a low speed.
Also does anyone know the brake drum grind limits on the XK120.
Bob Ferguson


jaguarjoe 54 XK 120 rdstr 1961 MKIX 94 XJ6
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–
–Support Jag-lovers - Donate at http://www.jag-lovers.org/donate04.php

Question: I am assembling my XK120 front suspension. The upper wishbone Metalastic bushings take some effort to slide on; the lower bushings, however, slide right on without any effort. Is this something to be concerned about? I got my kit from Welsh. Thanks.

Probably not too much of a concern, but be aware to have the suspension in the loaded position before tightening everything up so that the bushes are in the correct position, if you tighten them with the suspension drooping then they will be under constant rotation.

1 Like

You got the entire old metal sleeves off, didn’t you? I remember I had to chisel mine off the upper shafts.
I used dish soap on my new rubber bushes so the arms would move easier before I tightened everything up at normal riding height.

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I love these, “18 years later…” posts!

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If I had joined when we got the 52 FHC, you would be seeing 44 year old posts!

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Thanks. Understood.

Follow-up question: When the suspension is under the full weight of the car and the nuts are fully tightened, the normal up/down movement of the arms is then only absorbed by the elasticity of the bushings, correct? In other words, the bushings do not rotate on their shafts; the tightened nuts do not allow them to rotate. Thanks.

john

That is correct. Plus 20.