Front Suspension, Brakes and Steering Completed

It has been a little more than three months since we began the work on the front suspension, brakes and steering in the Bugeye, but we have now completed the rebuild and have the car back on its tires and on the ground!

Everything has been updated and documented in previous posts in this blog:

New hub bearings and seals

New king pins and bushings in the spindle axles

New rotors, calipers and brake pads, new Goodridge stainless brake hoses, new cunifer hard brake pipes, new “Sebring-type” pedal box and pedal pads with separate master cylinders

New “A” arms, fulcrum pins and poly bushes throughout

New steering rack, shims and rod ends and the proper steering arms were sourced and installed

Rebuilt lever shocks and new rubber bump stops

New coil springs

Everything cleaned and painted

The Bugeye Restoration Episode Thirty-five video shows the final steps in completing the work described above.

The following steps are addressed in the video:

0:00 – Torquing the hub nuts and installing split pins

0:44 – Hub grease caps installed

0:48 – Front caliper banjo bolts installed

1:20 – Goodridge Stainless Steel flexible brake hoses installed

1:35 – Making brake pipe bubble flares

4:42 – Master cylinder to brake union brake pipe installed

5:00 – Steering rack installed

5:52 – Steering rack bracket shims installed

6:14 – Steering column to steering rack pinion shaft mating

6:50 – Steering rack mounting clamp bolts torqued

7:17 – Tie rod ends fitted and torqued

7:30 – Toe-in adjustment

7:50 – Front tires mounted and car placed back on the ground

9:12 – Inner fulcrum pins tightened




RH Front Suspension Removal

Having completed the work on the refurbishment of the rear axle and suspension it is now time to turn to the front suspension. Our plan will be to remove and refresh or replace the suspension components on the right side of the car, then after building back the passenger side of the car we will go through the same process on the LH side. My car was converted to front disc brakes shortly after we purchased it around 1999.

Bugeye Front Suspension Components

The Episode Twenty-seven video shows the deconstruction and removal of the RH front suspension. The following steps are addressed in the video:

1:00 – The proper tie rods

1:45 – Draining and removal of radiator

4:00 – shock absorber removal

4:40 – Brake caliper removal and stowage

5:45 – Grease cap, split pin, castle nut, tab washer and brake rotor/hub removal

6:40 – Dust shield removal

7:20 – Upper Trunnion/bolt

8:00 – Coil spring, spring perch, and lower shock mounting plate removal, tie rod end separation

11:20 – Fulcrum bolts, washers and bushings

11:20 – Cotter pin, fulcrum pin and king pin removal from the “A” arm assembly

Now it is time to order some parts and clean and paint some of the components we will be reusing.

The RH suspension components that were not completely disassembled as they were removed from the car were dismantled on the work bench. All parts were cleaned and painted with POR 15. A hub puller was purchased and used to separate the brake rotor and hub.

Hub Puller

After the hub was separated from the brake rotor, the oil seal and bearings could be removed from the hub. New bearings and seals will be installed in the rebuild.

Video Episode Twenty-eight shows the completion of the dismantling process for the RH front suspension and the removal of the LH front suspension is begun.

The following steps are addressed in the video:

0:00 – Steering arm removal from the stub axle

1:05 – Spring dust tube

1:25 – Spring pan and bolts

1:45 – Upper Trunnion

2:00 – Hub separation from rotor

3:00 – Oil seal and bearing removal

3:38 – Bushing removal from the “A” arm

4:05 – Hub puller is used to separate hub and rotor

4:28 – Begin RH side front suspension removal






The Original Front Suspension

The front suspension used coil springs, a 5/8” anti-sway bar, rubber bushings and Armstrong lever shocks.

 Front Suspension Modifications

Tube Shocks

I had the front shocks rebuilt by World Wide Auto Parts, but decided to install Bilstein Tube shocks supplied in Udo Putzke’s Fahrspass Tube Shock Kit. I ave been very pleased with the performance of the shocks. This is a document describing the installation: Putzkes Fahrspass Tube Shock Kit.

Blistein Tube Shocks

Blistein Tube Shocks

Anti-sway Bar

I replaced the standard 5/8″ bar with a heavy duty 7/8″ sway bar with poly bushing and rose joint links sourced from Cape International.

Anti-Sway Bar

Anti-Sway Bar

Poly Bushings

All of the front suspension rubber bushings were replaced with poly bushings purchased from Putzke’s Fahrspass   Lubricating poly bushes is important. The image below illustrates the proper lubricating surfaces.

Putzke's poly bush lubrication

Putzke’s poly bush lubrication

Coil Springs

At the recommendation of others, I replaced the BT7 springs with springs from the BJ8.

Front Lowering Kit

I like a slightly more aggressive look accomplished by lowering the front end so I purchased a lowering kit from Denis Welch Motorsport When you lower the front end it is also necessary to add a spacer to the rubber bump stop. This was also sourced from Denis Welch

Lowering Kit

Lowering Kit

 Ball Joint Dust Covers

Rubber components in today’s restoration world are often very poor quality. Someone on the Healey list serve discovered that Hyundai ball joint covers, past #56828-21010, are of superior quality to that available for the Healey. I ordered and used them and they worked perfectly!

Tie Rod Dust Seals

Tie Rod Dust Seals

Original Rear Suspension/Axle

 Semielliptic leaf springs, solid axle with transverse panhard rod, 3.909 rear differential

 Rear Suspension/Axle Modifications

Tube Shocks

As with the front shocks, I decided to install Bilstein Tube shocks supplied in Udo Putzke’s Fahrspass Tube Shock Kit in the rear. I ave been very pleased with the performance of the shocks. This is a document describing the installation: Putzkes Fahrspass Tube Shock Kit.

Bilstein Tube Shock

Bilstein Tube Shock

Rear Leaf Springs

Having used the Jule Enterprises frame, I also decided on Martin Jansen’s custom made leaf springs. They worked perfectly. Ride is great and the car sits nicely with the proper gap between the tires and the body. Martin’s springs use BJ8 mounting hardware.

Leaf Spring

Leaf Spring

Rear Differential Gears

Many Healey owners who converted to the Toyota 5-speed gearboxes suggest that the 3.54 gears in the rear end make for a nice combination. Mike Lempert, who makes Healey steering wheels also arranged for the manufacture of the 3.54 gear sets. I was fortunate to be able to purchase a set and install them in the Bloody Beast.

Lempert 3.54 Gears

Lempert 3.54 Gears


Chapter 36 Restoration Assembly, Week Three 1/1/2007

The New Year itself began with attention turning to the front suspension of the Bloody Beast. The first step was the assembly of the swivel axles. Bruce Phillips at Healey Surgeons rebushed and reamed the axles for me and supplied new swivel or “king” pins.  I then applied a light coating of moly to the pin itself and slid the cork washer, with the chamfered edge down, onto the pin. The swivel pin can then be inserted into the axle and three thrust washers are applied to the top of the pin. One “oilite washer” is sandwiched between two “staybright” washers. The oilite washer was first soaked overnight in motor oil. The top trunnion was then placed over the top of the swivel pin and tightened down with a nylock nut. .002” is the maximum permissible lift.

Swivel Pin Spring

Swivel Axle

Swivel Pin lower trunnion

Upper Trunnion washers 3

Upper Trunnion tightening


I then collected the components needed to assemble the swivel axles to the frame. These included two paired control arms, the assembled swivel axle, the control arm and upper trunnion bushings, the necessary cotter pins, the shock damper, the lower trunnion bushings, cork seals and the lower link fulcrum pin.

Front Suspension Assembly 2

The factory workshop manual provides a very helpful illustration of the components and their relationship to each other.

Front Suspension Schematic


I had paint inside the journals of the control arms and the shock dampers, as well as the holes for the cotter pins so it was first necessary to clean these areas so the paint would not restrict access.

Control Arm Paint

To assemble, I had the side of the control arms with the flats for the cotter pin nuts facing down. I then fastened the spring plate to the control arms so that the alignment of the assembly would be correct. The grease fittings on the lower trunnion bushes face the front of the car. The cotter nuts should be tight but not so tight as to risk distortion of the bushes. The bushes are tightened to the control arms and then backed off a flat. A .002 feeler should be able to be inserted between the face of the bushing and the control arm.

Control Arm Cotter Pins

Lower trunnion components

Lower trunnion in place 2

Front Suspension Asembly 1


Then the time came to secure the swivel axle assembly to the car. Again, the first step was to remove paint from the frame openings that received the pins.

Cleaning hole for pin

Next the small shock rubber bumpers were screwed onto the shock mounting plate. The shock damper sans its valve was fastened to the frame, and Udo Putzke’s tube shock conversion upper bracket was also bolted in.

Front shock 7


Getting the face plates of the lower fulcrum pin washers to line up can be a challenge, so before final assembly, I pressed them against the frame fitting and marked a line on the face plate and the frame to make alignment much easier later.

Marking pin placement

The poly bushings were then placed on the pins and the control arms were lifted up to the frame. A screwdriver was used in the upper link to support the weight of the assembly while it was positioned to secure.

Front poly bushings


As per the workshop manual, a two inch block of wood was inserted under the lever shock to lift it to the proper ride height and then the shock and the lower fulcrum pins were tightened. A split pin was inserted into the hole through each fulcrum pin and bent back.

Temporary pin for shock

suspension spacer

Installed axle assemblies


The next task was to install the spring plate and springs, the lowering spacers and bolts, the bilstein shocks, the disc brake dust shield and the caliper mounting bracket. These steps were complete for the left and right hand side of the car.

I used four pieces of 3/8” fine thread rod to help install the springs. The two rear rods were cut to about 7” lengths and the two front rods were about 5.” I also used long extension couplers and a flat washer on the rods below the spring plates to make it easy to access the nut with the wrench. A single regular nut would “hide” under the plate and be hard to get to. This arrangement worked well.

Installing coil springs

The spacers from Denis Welch were inserted between the spring plate and the control arm and the lower nuts were screwed up tight with the spring in place. Then one at a time the nut was taken off the top of the rod, the rod was tapped out of the hole through the control arm and spring plate and the longer than normal fastening bolt from the Welch lowering kit was installed.

Lowering Spacers 2


The Bilstein tube shock was then put in place and tightened with nylock nuts. This required lifting the shock with a bottle jack so that its bottom fixing hole would line up with the bracket on the control arm. 

The rubber seals were then glued to the dust shield. I discovered that they probably did not need to be glued as they are a tight fit once the dust shield and the brake bracket come together. The steering arm, brake bracket and dust shield were then bolted to the swivel axle. A tab washer is used on the lower two bolts. The wood spacer block will remain in place until the wheels/tires are installed and the car is lowered to the ground.

Dust shield installed

Chapter 18 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

April 18, 2004

Front Suspension Installation Continued 

I had the front swivel or king pins refurbished by Bruce Phillips at Healey Surgeons. I then followed the steps in the workshop manual:

Fit the new lower fulcrum pin into the lower trunnion being careful to center it, and then secure it with the two cotter pins. 

Placed the cork rings in their recesses on the lower trunnion and then fit the lower wishbone arms to the trunnion. Ensured that the half-moon cotters were correctly positioned and then greased and screwed the new steel bushes partially home.

Bolted the lower spring plate to the wishbone arms to establish proper positioning.

Threaded the steel bushes home evenly and then backed off a flat or two until .002” feeler gauge will fit between wishbone arm and the bush. Tighten cotters but was careful not to overtighten. The lower trunnion assembly should operate freely in the screwed bushes.

Place the cork washer on the top of the swivel pin and pushed it down to the bottom. Smeared swivel pin shaft with engine oil and placed the hub assembly on the swivel pin.

Fit a staybright washer followed by an oilite washer and then another staybright washer on top of the hub assembly on the pin. I soaked the oilite washer in oil overnight so that it would absorb the oil into its pores. 

Fit the upper trunnion and swivel nut. Nut should be tightened down (40 to 60lbs of torque) to allow a maximum of .002” lift. Pin should turn freely but snuggly.

Then released swivel pin nut.

Removed the spring plate from the wishbone arms to gain some flexibility in fitting the arms to the frame brackets.

Fit the two poly bushes to each lower wishbone link and pushed them into the frame brackets. 

Replaced the spring plate.

Inserted the fulcrum pins through the bushes and installed the second set of bushes through the frame bracket. Put the special washer with tab locator on the back of the bracket and lightly secured with a castel nut, not screwed home.

Fit the lever shock to the shock tower and insert mounting bolts. Fit the Putzke’s tube shock conversion bracket on the front of the lever shock with special long bolts and tightened lightly.

Front suspension left 6

Front suspension left 7

Placed the new upper trunnion bushes in place. I used poly bushes supplied from Udo Putzke.

Loosened the shock absorber arm mounting bolt.

Placed the upper trunnion with the bushes in position between the shock arms. Refit the fulcrum pin and tightened lightly after securing to the shock absorber.

Then set the assembly under proper load position. Accomplished by placing a two inch block (distance piece) under the shock arm opposite the rubber buffer.

Front suspension left 4

Tightened the fulcrum pin castle nuts for the lower wishbone arms in the frame brackets and insert split pins.

Tightened the four shock bolts to the shock tower plate. 

Tightened the upper trunnion fulcrum pin nut and place split pin.

Removed the spring plate and then used 3/8” threaded rod in seven inch lengths to hold new coil spring and plate in place. The lower mounting bracket for the Putzke tube shock conversion was attached to the rear lower wishbone arm at this time.

Front suspension left 2

Gradually tightened the rods until fully in place. Then replaced rods with proper spring plate bolts and tightened.

Installed new tube shock which required jacking up the shock tube slightly to align the mounting holes.

Front suspension left 5

April 24, 2004

Front Shroud Grill 

I couldn’t resist finding out how the grill would look in the shroud so I polished the original upper surround piece and installed it along with the Austin Healey motif on the shroud. The motif came from Hemphills and looked good. The upper surround uses 1/4” – 28 x 5/8” with two #10 – 32 x 1/2” screws on the left and right sides. The motif pieces has #8 posts.

Grill brow mounting

Grill brow

Grill exterior side mounting

Healey Shroud Motif

May 9, 2004

I borrowed Jeremy Turner’s cert nut pliers and installed cert nuts where the original fixed nuts were once located – light relay, insulation panels, dimmer switch, boot floor tie down staple and etc. Slow job but the nuts seem to work effectively. You drill a 9/32” hole for the #10 cert nuts and a 3/8” hole for the 1/4” cert nut. Then I installed the spare tire bump block on the left side of the boot wall. This block is supposed to use fixed nuts but I decided to use nuts with lock washers instead.

Spare Tire block

Motor Mounts – Removed the motor mounts from the motor to take to Jeremey’s for blasting and painting.

Motor Mount – Left 1

Motor Mount – Left 2

Motor Mount – Left 3

Motor Mount – Left 4

May 16, 2004

Front Suspension Again

Front Shocks – Installed right front lever shock. Left the rear bolts loose and fit the Putzke tube shock mounting bracket to the front two mounting holes. Inserted the two inch wood block spacer to set the height of the suspension. Loosened the shock absorber arm bolt and nut so that the shock will receive the trunnion.

Putzke shock adaptor – right front

suspension install – right

Control Arm Base Plate – Used 3/8” threaded rods to install coil spring with plate

coil spring install

Disk Brake Dust Shield – Attached dust cover assembly to the front left spindle axle with two short bolts at top. I installed with the caliper attached but it will need to be removed before installing the rotor and hub. Attached new stainless steel brake hose from pipe to caliper bracket. Secured the left steering arm to the back of the swivel axle and used the tab washer to lock both bolts.

Dust shield – left

Brake hose connection left front

Steering arm – left installed

Tab washer on suspension

Front Brake Rotors and Hubs – Fastened rotor disk to the hub extension with 5 nylock nuts. Placed bearing races in the freezer so they would be easier to install in the front hub extensions. Then inserted inside bearing race with proper driver with application of a hammer!, being careful to keep the race/driver straight. Turned the hub over and did the same procedure with the outside bearing race.

Inside front bearing race install

Left front inside bearing – 126-000 GHB105

SET 6 LM67048 – LM67010


Left front outside bearing – 620-234 GHB182



Left front bearing race- 620-231



Right front inside bearing – 126-000 GHB105

SET 6 LM67048 – LM67010


Right front inside bearing – 620-234 GHB182



Right front bearing race – 620-232



Front Hub Bearings – I followed directions from Bruce at Healey Surgeons and put 90 weight oil on the inner bearing and offered it up to the spindle. The oil will provide protection from damage due to bearing running dry but at the same time, not give a false reading when trying to shim the bearings.

I then placed the spacer (cone) on the spindle followed by the hub extension. I then put an oil filled outer bearing on the axle followed by the tab washer and castle nut. The seal and shims were NOT added at this stage. The nut was tightened down to seat everything and then the works were disassembled. It can be difficult to get the outer bearing and the tab washer off – I used a magnet that worked quite well.

I then put the inner bearings, the spacer and selected shims on the axle. Starting with the thickest one .030, then .010, .050, .030, ( one of each ). I then put the hub extension on the axle followed by the outer bearing, tab washer and nut. I tightened to 40 lbs of torque and determined if one of the castle nut slots lined up with the hole in the axle for the split pin. Need to take care that the shims are all the way up on the shoulder of the spindle axle so that they do not get mangled when the nut is tightened. The final proper adjustment is correct when you can tighten on the nut and the wheel does not show any reduction in ease of turning with no play. 

If it drags when you tighten the castle nut, then you need to add shims. If it is to loose, you need to remove the shims, When it is correct, re-tighten to the correct specs. At this point, the hub should be turning freely, with no end float and no pre-load.

Once you are satisfied that you have the bearings set up correctly, then remove everything. Make sure you keep track of the shims! Now pack the wheel bearings with wheel bearing grease and install your front seal (don’t forget this step). You need to place the spacer in the hub extension and bearings in first, and then reassemble unit.

Place the split pin through the hole in the spindle axle, and then pull one tab of the pin forward and bend it back over the axle end. Then push the grease cap on to the axle ( do not fill it with grease). Reinstall brake caliper.

Front Suspension Installed

Front suspension installed 2


Chapter 16 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

November 16, 2003

Front Suspension 

Control Arms and Bushings – Installed left and right lower control arms with rubber bushings and fulcrum pins.

Left control arm 3

Right Control Arm 2

left control arm 1

Left control arm 2

December 14, 2003


Steering Box and Idler – Picked up the painted steering box and steering idler from Jeremy Turner. Jack Harper disassembled the units and reassembled following painting. Jeremy did a great job on the steering wheel shaft as it was pitted near the box. Installed the Box and idler. Note for future – install box and idler before front brake hose bracket, as the bolts/nuts get in the way.

Steering Box Installed

Steering Box In Place – Fill Plug & Adjuster

Steering Idler in Place

Steering Idler Installed with Aluminum Spacer

Steering Column with Brace

January 10, 2004

Blistein Tube Shock Conversion 

Rear Tube Shock Conversion

Installed Udo Putzke’s Blistein tube shock conversion kit in the rear suspension. Two fabricated brackets on each side of the rear of the car. Original lever shock is abandoned completely in the process. Couldn’t complete the final connections because when the leaf springs were jacked up to align the shock for fastening, the entire car raised since the engine is not in the car, thereby giving it sufficient weight. Will have to complete later in the assembly process. Rear tube shock is F4-BE3-2577-HO. The brackets will need to be painted for final assembly. They should be installed prior to the fuel pump.

Tube shocks rear 4

Tube shocks rear 6

Tube shocks rear 2

Front Tube Shock Conversion

Installed Udo Putzke’s Blistein tube shock conversion kit in the front suspension. Two fabricated brackets on each side of the front of the car. Original lever shock is utilized in the process. To make sure the lever shocks would not leak fluid in the future, they were rebuilt by World Wide Imports in Madison, Wisc. The valves are removed from each damper. The standard bolts are used to secure the damper nearest the motor. Supplied long bolts and support rods are used for the outside two mounts. Front tube shock is F4-BE3-2576-HO. The brackets will need to be painted for final assembly. 

lever shock valving

front tube shock conversion 2

front tube shock conversion 1

Aluminum Radiator  – Installed a new aluminum radiator from Cape International. Christmas gift from Jude. It is a piece of art, almost hate to put it in the car! Fit was perfect, although mounting fittings were metric. Easy installation is to loosen lower brackets on frame, secure top two bolts first, then secure lower bolts to radiator. Finally, tighten lower brackets to frame. Pull unit to front of car when tightening to get maximum clearance for fan.

Aluminum Radiator 3

Aluminum Radiator 2

Aluminum Radiator 1

Aluminum Radiator 4

Chapter 15 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

September 27, 2003

Front Suspension 

It is so nice to begin assembling clean and freshly painted components. I decided to assemble the front suspension just to make sure I had all pieces, proper bolts and etc. Rebuilt brake calipers and swivel pins from Bruce at Healey Surgeons. Primed or painted bits courtesy of Jeremy at Maple Hill Restorations.

Left front suspension

Left front brake fittings

October 12, 2003

Fuel Pump and Other Bits

Fuel Pump – Installed new solid state SU fuel pump. Added ground wire was mounted to rear bulkhead. 

Fuel pump wiring

Fuel Pump – New

Rear bump box wiring & Clip

Starter Solenoid – Installed new starter solenoid. Affixed new light relay box.

Starter Solenoid – New

Flasher Relay – New

Bonnet Rod – Installed bonnet rod, spring and attachments.

Bonnet Rod New

Bonnet Rod Attached to Lever

Ground Strap – Fastened electric ground strap in boot.

Boot Ground Strap

Voltage Box

A1 – Brown/Blue Wire to Light Switch on Dash

A – Two Brown Wires. One to the A1 terminal on the fuse box; One to the starter solenoid to the terminal with the battery connection.

F – Yellow/green Wire to the F terminal on the generator (alternator)

D – Two Yellow Wires. One to the no charge warning light: One to the D terminal on the generator (alternator)

E – Black Wire to Ground

Rear Axle Assembly – Brake lines, fittings and differential added to the axle.

Rear Axle Brake line 1


Rear Axle Brake line 2

Rear Axle Brake line and differential

Rear Leaf Springs – Installed left and right rear springs. Used rotiserrie brace and scissor jack to lift spring. Lined up and inserted front pin which was not easy to accomplish.

Rear Spring Install 1

Rear Spring Install 2

Rear Spring Install 3

Rear Spring Install 4

Rear Axle Rebound Pad

Rear Axle Install 2

Rear axle U Bolts 1

Rear Axle Installed 2

Blanking Plates – Installed all blanking plates and felts.

Master Cylinders – Installed brake and clutch master cylinders. Getting the pins into the pedal brackets is not easy! 

Master Cylinders

Chapter 12 – Disassembly

February 2, 2003

Front Suspension Components. 

Removed the steering arm by loosening two 11/16” nuts with tab washer connector flattened. Note that the steering arm angles toward the dustshield – not the motor.

Stub Axle Carrier, King Pin, Caliper, Dust Shield

Stub Axle Carrier, King pin, Dust Shield

Brake Caliper – Removed by first unscrewing the brake pipe union. Remove two nuts securing the brake hose support bracket. Remove bracket. Unscrew two caliper retaining bolts.

Removed two rubber bushings from the upper trunnion.

Swivel Pin – Removed split pin at the swivel pin nut and tap swivel pin out with hammer.

Loosen cotter on the swivel pin and retract. Loosen two large nuts (bushings) on “A” arms and remove. Pull out pin and remove “A” arms.

Grease Cup – Pulled out grease cup from hub – fabricated tool with long manifold nut and 5/16” x 3” bolt and the slide hammer.

Straighten and retract split pin on castle nut through the hole in the splines on the hub. Not easy to do!!

Remove castle nut. Brake rotor and hub then lift off of the dust shield and spindle.

From the swivel axle spindle removed the dust cover spring and upper and lower dust covers. Separated the rotor from the hub. 4 bolts  – 2 long ones hold the brake caliper and bracket. 2 short bolts hold the plate to the swivel axle.

Removed rubber “U” seal from around the dust shield opening for the swivel axle.

March 12, 2003

Steering Idler and Steering Box

The steering idler and steering box are next for cleanup. I will have these  rebuilt by someone who knows what they are doing. Probably Bruce Phillips at Healey Surgeons.

Steering Idler 2

Steering Idler Clean

Steering idler 3

Steering Box 6

Steering Box 5

Steering Box 7


The distributor was also in good shape and easy to clean. We may still switch to an electronic unit, but cleaned up the Lucas just in case.

Distributor 7

Distributor 8

Distributor 9

Distributor Clean

Boot Latch and Lock Assembly

The boot latch and lock assembly was in reasonable shape but the chrome will have to be replaced as it is cracked rather badly.

Boot Lock

Boot Handle & Lock

Master and Slave Cylinders

The clutch master and slave cylinder will both be replaced with new items.

Clutch Slave Cylinder

Clutch Master Cylinder with aluminum spacers

Master Cylinder Brake

Headlamp Dip Switch

 The switch didn’t look too good, but it worked fine and would clean up.

Dipper Switch

Dipper switch 4

Brake and Clutch Pedals 

Curiously, one of the previous owners of the car added spacers on the brake and clutch pedals to minimize reach. We won’t use the spacers.

Clutch Pedal 1

Clutch Pedal 2

Clutch Pedal 3

Brake Pedal 4

Brake Pedal 5

Windscreen Wiper Motor

The next item to tackle was the windscreen wiper motor. It was disassembled, cleaned, lubricated, and painted. I tested the motor and it seemed to work fine.

Wiper Motor 3

Wiper Motor 4

Wiper Motor 6

Wiper Motor 7


Front Suspension

Working on the front suspension of the Mark 2 is made easy for the hobbyist, because it is possible to completely reassemble the front suspension apart from the vehicle and then “offer it up” to the frame of the car with a jack or two. It is certainly more convenient to assemble the components on a work bench or table than working under the car!

The image below from the Jaguar Mark 2 Models, Service Manual depicts the process.

“The front suspension assembly is attached to the body underframe at four points. The two longitudinal members are attached to brackets at the front end of the chassis side members via flat rubber/steel bonded mountings. The transverse member is attached to the chassis side members via two “V” shaped rubber/steel bonded mountings.”

Removal of Front Suspension Assembly

Removal of the Front suspension Assembly

Plate number 62 in the Spare Parts Catalogue for the Mark 2 Models is very helpful in identifying suspension parts.

Front Suspension Schematic

Front Suspension Schematic

The process begins with the Front Suspension Cross Member. This component is too large for my media blast box, so I took it to a commercial blaster for proper cleaning and then on to Premier Auto Body in Harrisonburg, VA for sealing, priming and paint. All front suspension parts are painted gloss black.

Full Cross Member

Front Suspension Cross Member

All of the smaller components of the front suspension were cleaned up in my own blast box and then painted at Premier. I have used my blast box for about a year now and I continue to be amazed at the way in which an old greasy and rusty part can be brought back to life.

Mounting Brackets for Cross Member to the Frame

I was able to reuse many suspension pieces, but I did replace a few with new parts – particularly those with rubber, usually sourced from  SNG Barratt. For example, I purchased new Rubber Mountings at Rear of Front Suspension Cross Member, otherwise known as “VEE” Brackets . I decided to “trial fit” these and all the other components (with the exception of the coil springs and shocks) of the front suspension so that when I become ready for the final installation everything will be prepared. This Bracket Mount requires two 3/8″ – 24 nylock nuts to secure the bonded studs of the mount to the cross member. A 3/8″ x 3 1/4″ – 24 bolt with a 3/8″ – 24 nylock nut is used to secure each of the “VEE” Bracket Mounts to the frame of the car.

"V" Mount

“V” Mount

"V" Mount

“V” Mount

"V" Bracket in Place

“V” Bracket in Place

I also used new Rubber Mountings at Front of Suspension Cross Member. These are used to mount the front of the cross member to the frame. Each of these mounts use two 3/8″ x 7/8″ – 24 bolts with two flat washers and two 3/8″ nylock nuts. In addition the center fastener for each is a 7/16″ – 20 nylock nut with a special washer (thick) secured to the cross member stud.

Front Mount in Place

Front Mount Installed

Front Mount

Front Mount

Front Mount

Front Mount

Front Mount

Front Mount Installed

Bump Stops

Another new rubber part located on either side of the cross member is The Bump Stop (Rubber) On Turret of Front Suspension Cross Member. Each Bump Stop is mounted to the turret with two 5/16″ x 3/4″ – 24 bolts and two 5/6″ – 24 nylock nuts. I added two stainless flat washers just to protect the paint on the turret.

Turret Bump Stop

Turret Bump Stop

Bump Stop Installed

Bump Stop Installed

Front Shock Absorbers

Each of the front shock absorbers is secured at the bottom with a Bracket, Under Spring Seat, For Mounting of Front Shock Absorber. The bracket is held in place to the Seat Assembly for Front Suspension Coil Spring by four set screws. The set screws are 5/16″ x 1″ – 24 (pointed). The set screws use tab washers to lock them in position. The front and rear tab washers are different lengths (slightly longer in the rear) and are available from SNG Barratt. A single 7/16″ x 2 5/16″ – 20 bolt with a flat washer  and a 7/16″ – 20 nylock nut holds the shock absorber to the bracket.

Front Shock Absorber Bracket

Front Shock Absorber Bracket

Bracket in Spring Seat

Bracket in Spring Seat

Bracket in Spring Seat

Bracket in Spring Seat

The Upper Wishbone Assembly

The Upper Wishbone Assembly is comprised of the LH and RH Levers, the Fulcrum Shaft, the Ball Joint Assembly for Upper Wishbone, and the Rebound Stop (Rubber) on Upper Wishbone Levers. To assemble these components one would first install the LH and RH Fulcrum Shafts to the turrets of the cross member, and then attach each Lever. However, to illustrate the components in the photographs I have assembled them detached from the turret.

The first step was to press the bushings into the lever ends. I am using Polybushes rather than the original metalastic rubber bushings.

Polybush Front Kit

Polybush Front Kit

I suppose that there are various means to insert the bushes into the levers. I simply used a vice with properly sized socket that permitted the bush end to slide into the socket as the vice pushed the bushing home. To make the process simpler I used a liberally applied poly grease from Prothane. The Prothane Grease is not a “grease” as we commonly know it. It is actually very sticky stuff! I used it with success in my Austin-Healey restoration. Polybush recommends using dishwashing soap to lubricate the bush, but I didn’t want to deal with the soap residue.

Inserting the Polybush

Inserting the Polybush

I then placed each Lever on the Fulcrum Shaft. A 1/2″ cupped Distance Washer is placed on each end to the Fulcrum Shaft first, with the cup facing the center of the Shaft. The Lever is then slid on to the Fulcrum Shaft, followed by a 1/2″ Special Washer (thick), then a 1/2″ – 20 Slotted Nut and a Split Pin to retain the Nut.

Levers To Fulcrum Shaft

Levers To Fulcrum Shaft

Each Rebound Stop (Rubber) On Upper Wishbone Levers is secured to the Levers with two 3/8″ x 3/4″ – 24 set screws and 3/8″ spring washers.

Rebound Stop

Rebound Stop

Upper Wishbone Assembly

Upper Wishbone Assembly

Ball Joint Assembly For Upper Wishbone Levers

The original ball joints required greasing as part of routine maintenance. A grease nipple was located on the top of each ball joint. Today, modern sealed units are available as replacements and I decided to substitute these in my restoration. The image below shows the Upper Ball Joint, the shims that are used to adjust the castor angle, and the Distance Piece. As a starting point for proper front end alignment, I will rebuild the front suspension with the same shims as were in place when I disassembled the car. 

Upper Ball Joint Assembly with Spacer and Castor Shims

Upper Ball Joint Assembly with Spacer and Castor Shims

The following images show the LH Upper Ball Joint installed. The Ball Joint is fastened to the levers with a longer 3/8″ x 4 3/8″ – 24 bolt to the inside and a shorter 3/8″ x 3 1/4″ – 24 bolt to the outside. 3/8″ flat washers and 3/8″ – 24 nylock nuts secure the Ball Joint.  A 9/16″ -18 nylock nut is used to fasten the ball joint to the Stub Axle Carrier. On both sides of the car, the distance piece is fitted to the front of the car, with the shims to the rear. The bolt heads and washers are similarly to the front and the nylock nuts to the rear.

LH Ball Joint Shims

LH Ball Joint Shims

LH Ball Joint Shims

LH Ball Joint Shims

After having mounted the castor shims as they were removed from the car I discovered that  Jaguar Mark 2 Models Service Manual states that “A packing piece and 8 shims must be always fitted between the wishbone levers and the upper ball joint; their relative positions may, of course, not always be the same.” 

The manual also has an image: Figure 15 shown below. This image clearly shows five 1/16″ shims to the left of the ball joint and three 1/16″ shims to the right accompanied by the wider aluminum packing piece.

Castor Shim Diagram

So… I tried what the manual indicated:

Eight Castor Shims Installed

Once this is done it is impossible to mount the rubber bump stop and its bracket to the mounting holes in the wishbones. The holes for the bolts will not align as the wishbones have been separated too far by the 8 shims plus the packing piece! See the photo below and notice how far off the alignment is. By the way, I know the rubber bump stop is upside down. I consulted with a few friends who are restoring MK2s and with the various Jaguar MK2 forums and the general consensus is that the Service Manual is in error. From what I have been able to ascertain, eight shims were used on the earlier cars that had pressed steel wishbone levers, but when Jaguar moved to forged levers it also used the spacer and five 1/16″ shims instead of eight! In the figure above someone actually revised the levers to depict forged items, but they forgot to change the number of shims.

Bottom Line – back to the spacer block and five 1/16″ shims as was the case when I removed the shims from the car upon disassembly.

Fulcrum Shaft, for Mounting of Upper wishbone Levers

I then disassembled the upper wishbone assembly to mount the LH Fulcrum Shaft to the cross member turret. The Fulcrum Shaft is attached to the turret with four bolts and spring washers. The upper bolts are 3/8″ x 2 1/2″ – 24 (pointed) and the lower bolts are 3/8″ x 1 5/8″ -24 (pointed). These bolts screw into threaded plates inside the turret, as can be seen in the image below. Camber Shims seat between the fulcrum shaft and the turret. As with the Castor Shims, I am replacing the shims as they were removed. Adjustments will be made later and as needed when the car is aligned. Therear moiunt 

LH Upper Fulcrum Shaft with Camber Shims and Bolts

LH Upper Fulcrum Shaft with Camber Shims and Bolts

Cross Member Turret

Cross Member Turret

Fulcrum Shaft Installed

Fulcrum Shaft Installed

I then put anti-sieze on the shaft ends and reinstalled the levers on the fulcrum. Working from the center of the shaft, one first places the distance washer, followed by the lever, the special washer and a 1/2″ – 20 slotted nut and split pin. The slotted nuts are not to be tightened with split pins inserted until the car is on the ground and the full weight of the vehicle is on the suspension. 

Lower Wishbone Levers

With the upper wishbone assembly complete, I next moved to the Lower Wishbone Assembly. First, I installed the polybushes for the lower wishbone levers just as I had with the upper levers.

While final assembly with the coils springs and shock absorbers will be completed later, for purposes of this summary, I attached The Seat Assembly for Front Suspension Coil Spring to the Lower Wishbone Lever. Unlike the upper wishbone, the lower wishbone is one piece. Each seat assembly is fastened to the lower wishbone with five 3/8″ x 1″ – 24 bolts (pointed) and one 3/8″ x 1 1/8″ – 24 bolt (pointed). Each bolt has a thin wall spring washer. I also added thin stainless flat washers under the spring washers just to protect the new paint.

Lower Wishbone

Lower Wishbone

Wishbone & Spring Seat

Wishbone & Spring Seat

Wishbone & Spring Seat

Wishbone & Spring Seat

Fulcrum Shaft For Mounting of Lower Wishbone Levers to Front suspension Cross Member

I ordered new lower fulcrum shafts. These proved to be quite tight in the polybushes I had planned to use in the lower wishbone. I put the shafts in the freezer hoping that might help and I liberally coated the bushes and the crossmember with anti-sieze, but the fit remained too tight. I eventually gave up on the polybushes and installed the standard rubber bushes. These worked fine.

After positioning the lower wishbone, I tapped the shaft through the wishbone bushings and the crossmember and then fit the thick special washers on each end of the shaft with 9/16″ – 18 slotted nuts and a split pin.

OOPS! The two photos below shows the RH Lower Wishbone, but by mistake I installed the LH Spring Seat in the wishbone. I discovered it later (January 28, 2012) when I started to install the anti-roll bar and saw that the mounting bracket was to the front of the car, rather than the rear. Sorry – all is now properly configured!

RH Lower Wishbone with Bushings

RH Lower Wishbone with Bushings

RH Lower Wishbone Installed with Lower Fulcrum Shaft

RH Lower Wishbone Installed with Lower Fulcrum Shaft

Anti-Roll Bar

The Anti-Roll Bar is secured to the chassis side members with two support brackets that house rubber (or in my case, poly) bushings. These bushings are cut so that they can be “opened” and placed around the bar. Two 3/8″ x 1 5/8″ – 24 bolts with spring washers go through each of the brackets, a keeper plate, and an aluminum packing block before screwing into the chassis side member. This is depicted in the Plate 62 above as parts #73-76. The nylock nuts in the image below are not part of the required hardware, they are simply holding the components together until the anti-roll bar is mounted to the car. Again, I have added non-original stainless flat washers under the spring washers to protect the paint on the support brackets.

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

Anti Roll Bar Frame Mount

The Link, Between Anti-Roll Bar And Coil Spring Seats secures the ends of the anti-roll bar to the suspension.The Link assembly is comprised of rubber (poly) bushes in the eye end of the links, with  7/16” x 1 3/4” – 20 bolts and 7/16″ – 20 nylock nuts connecting the Link to the Coil Spring Seats.

Each Link connects to the anti-roll bar with two rubber (poly) pads, a distance tube through those pads on the link shaft, and two retaining washers, all held in place with a 3/8″ – 24 nylock nut.

Anti Roll Bar Link with Poly Bushing

Anti Roll Bar Link with Poly Bushing

ARB Link with Hardware

ARB Link with Hardware

ARB Link Installed

ARB Link Installed

Anti Roll Bar & Fasteners

Anti Roll Bar & Fasteners

Complete Anti Roll Bar and Fasteners

Complete Anti Roll Bar and Fasteners

Front Hubs, Bearings and Brake Rotors

After disassembling one of the original front hubs to see how the various components were assembled in the hub, I reassembled the new RH and LH front hubs. 

These are the inside and outside bearings with races for one front hub. SNG Barratt sells two grades of these bearings with the more expensive being genuine Jaguar parts made by Timken. I opted for the more expensive Timken bearings that match what was used originally. Curiously, the outer bearings were made in Poland, while the inner bearings were manufactured in the USA – go figure.  The thin wire in the images below is for a label indicating RH and LH sides. Making sure that you keep the bearing and bearing race pair together is important. I marked these because all of the races went into the freezer to slightly “shrink” them making it easier to install in each hub.

MK2 front hub Timken Inner and Outer Bearings

MK2 Front Hub Timken Inner Bearings

MK2 Front Hub Timken Outer Bearings

New rubber seals were also ordered from SNG Barratt.

MK2 Front Hub Bearing Seals

I then installed the inner and outer bearing races in each hub again being careful to keep the bearings paired with their matching races.  I tapped them home with an aluminum driver as seen in the image below. I then smeared each race with a light coat of grease to protect the surfaces.

Outer Race Install

Outer Race Install

Outer Race in Place

Outer Race in Place

Inside Race Install

Inside Race Install

The next step was to install the brake rotors to the hubs. I purchased a brake upgrade kit from Coopercraft that uses ventilated rotors in the front. The upgrade is discussed further in the “Brakes” section of the blog . For now, I have just bolted the rotors to the hubs. Each hub/rotor requires five  7/16″ x 1 5/16″ – 20 bolts and five 7/16″ – 20 hub nuts.

Vented Brake Rotor 1

Vented Brake Rotor 1

Coopercraft Vented Brake Rotor Upgrade 2

Rotor/Hub Nuts

Outer Race Install

Hub Water Shields

The water shields are a press on fit, but I found them to be quite tight and they needed a little persuading. I used a piece of PVC pipe to drive home the water shield on the stub axle carrier.

Water shield install 1

Water shield install 1

Water shield install 2

Water shield install 2

The Stub Axle Carriers

The stub axle carriers were then fit to the upper and lower wishbones.The upper ball joint is inserted into the locating hole at the top of the carrier and is secured with a 1/2″ flat washer and a 1/2″ – 20 nylock nut. The lower ball joint is inserted in the lower locating hole of the stub axle carrier and is secured with a 9/16″ flat washer and a 9/16″ – 18 nylock nut. The carrier was loosely fitted and will be tightened when the front suspension cross member assembly is mounted to the car and the hubs are installed.

Axle Carrier Upper Mount

Axle Carrier Upper Mount

Axle Carrier Lower Mount

Axle Carrier Lower Mount

Stub axle carrier mounted

Stub axle carrier mounted

I lightly coated the stub axles with moly grease just as a rust inhibitor.

All the assembly processes described above were repeated for the other side of the front suspension cross member assembly. The next step is to attach the steering components to the cross member. That process is detailed in the Steering section of the blog under restoration.

Anti-Roll Bar

After installing the steering rack (See Entry 55) on the front suspension cross member, I attached both the RH and LH Anti-Roll Bar links to the coil spring seats by inserting one 7/16″ x 1 3/4″ – 20  hex head bolt through the coil spring seat bracket and the bushing in the link pin. The bolts were then secured by 7/16″ – 20 nylock nuts.

RH Anti-Roll Bar Link

RH Anti-Roll Bar Link

Anti-Roll Bar Installed

Anti-Roll Bar Installed

Following installation of the anti-roll bar, I turned my attention to the front brakes and specifically the brake calipers that mount to the stub axle carrier. This work is detailed in the Brakes entry under restoration.

Complete Front Suspension Assembly

Well, not quite. While the brakes calipers, hoses, and the steel lines for the power steering have been added, the front hubs, rotors and springs are yet to be installed.

Front Suspension Assembly Complete, sans Hubs & Rotors

Front Suspension Assembly Complete, sans Hubs & Rotors

While I painted the assembly, I powder coated the coil springs. I had thought about replacing the originals with a “sport” spring, but I decided to go ahead and try the originals again. I will evaluate the ride and then see if I want to switch out to stiffer springs. Whether the powder coating permanently and adversely affected the temper of the springs is unclear. Some have advised going ahead without fear of problems, others (with some good background material) suggest that exceeding 350 degrees F harms the spring and will hurt handling. My plan is to proceed with the original springs and if I find that I have negatively affected the springs then I will just have to remove them and substitute new springs from one of the typical parts vendors.

Apparently three different springs were used on the MK2s. Some of the springs required ring spacers or packing. Glenn Logan from the Saloon-Lovers Forum reported that packing pieces – or ring spacers – are available from  SC Parts in the UK ( Part no. 207969). Glenn indicated that his car rode to high after installing his springs. As a remedy his plan was to cut his springs. Dave Moore suggested that instead of cutting springs, one could drop the spring pan and accomplish the same thing. Get longer hardened bolts for the lower  spring pan.

“Put a couple of washers between the spring pan and the wishbone there by dropping the pan and using up some of the ‘extra’ length.  A couple of washers makes a big difference.  Don’t forget to use the hardened grade 5 bolts though!”

Jeff Smith who just replaced his springs contributed the following:

“Just went through the same thing on my Mk1. Ordered new
springs using the original part numbers and installed with
the original spacers. Car sat roughly 5” over the front
wheels. Pulled them out, cut off half a coil, reinstalled,
still 1” too high. Pulled out again, cut another 1/2 coil.
Just about right. Long process but well worth it. Since the
bottom of the spring is flatten out, the 2nd cut (making 1/2
cut increments) will be dramatically different.”

Powder Coated Front Coil Springs

Powder Coated Front Coil Springs

Installing the Coil Springs

As stated above, I am going to try the original springs and see how they work out. To make it a little easier to maneuver the crossmember while installing the springs, I removed the rack and pinion assembly and the anti-roll bar. I then placed the crossmember assembly on a table (actually a wooden box with wheels) in an inverted position. The crossmember on the box looks precarious but in fact it is very secure.This way the coil spring seats are on top for easy placement of the compression tool. I borrowed the compression tool, modeled after the Churchill tool from a friend and it made the job much easier with fewer anxious moments than I had expected.

Crossmember on table

Crossmember on table

Coil Spring Compression Tool

Coil Spring Compression Tool


This diagram illustrates the proper assembly sequence of the compression tool:

Coil Spring Compression Tool Diagram

Coil Spring Compression Tool Diagram











Prior to beginning the compression process, small ring spacers or as the Service Manual refers to them, “distance pieces,” must be tapped out of the turret. Otherwise the threaded shaft of the tool will not fit through the opening in the turret. These will be replaced before installing the shock absorbers as they are intended to reduce the diameter of the turret hole to fit the shock upper mounting shaft.

Distance Pieces located in the Turret

Distance Pieces located in the Turret

Turret Distance Pieces

Turret Distance Pieces

I liberally greased the threaded shaft of the tool as well as the surfaces of the upper two pieces of the assembly to reduce friction. While many others have suggested that only two alignment guide bolts are needed for the compression process, I used four. This involves a little more work but it also provides for a smooth compression of the spring seat. I also greased the bolt shafts. The entire procedure was uneventful.

Greased threaded shaft

Greased threaded shaft

Tool Lock on Turret Top

Tool Lock on Turret Top

Alignment Rods

Alignment Rods

Bolts Securing Spring Seat

Bolts Securing Spring Seat

The Service Manual suggests that a fibre packing piece be interposed between the  upper wishbone levers and the cross member turret. I’m sure that the design provided in the manual is fine, but after creating a block per the provided description, I felt that it was unstable. Instead I created a different shape block as seen in the image below. To make it work I inverted the rubber bump stops. Once the assembly is on the car, I will knock out the wood block and reconfigure the bump stops in their proper orientation.

Wood Packing Piece

Wood Packing Piece

Wood Packing Piece

Wood Packing Piece

This image shows both springs installed in the front suspension crossmember. Pleased to have that job behind me!

Crossmember Assembly with Springs

Crossmember Assembly with Springs

While I am not a actor or a video director, I did put a six minute video together demonstrating the installation process:

Front Dampers or Shock Absorbers

Mike Eck  [email protected] a frequent contributor to the MK2 Forums and email list recommended using shocks available from NAPA in the front of the car. I decided to give them a try. Part number is RR 94012. They are very reasonably priced. The box states that they are a product of Tenneco but I think they are a Monroe shock and they are painted the color of blue usually associated with Monroe. I didn’t care for the blue, so I painted both with gloss black POR-15.

New Front Shocks Painted with POR-15 with Washers and Buffers

New Front Shocks Painted with POR-15 with Washers and Buffers

Lower Mount : Stem 3/8″ x 24
Shock Compressed Length : 9.875″
Shock Extended Length : 14.375″
Shock Travel Length : 4.5″
Upper Mount : Stem 3/8″ x 16
Shock Dust Shield : Yes
Shock Parts Pack Part # : P1135
Front Damper Inner and Outer washers with Polybush Buffers

Front Damper Inner and Outer washers with Polybush Buffers

Bracket Under Spring Seat, For Mounting of Front Shock Absorber Installed with Tab Washers Bent

Bracket Under Spring Seat, For Mounting of Front Shock Absorber Installed with Tab Washers Bent

When installing the washers and buffers one must be careful to put them in place in the proper sequence. The inner washers have a shoulder that when properly aligned fit into the turret distance pieces. I used polybush bushes rather than the standard rubber. The manual states, “before fitting a damper to a car, it is advisable to carry out the following procedure to bleed any air from the pressure chamber that may have accumulated to the the damper being stored in an horizontal position. Hold the damper in its normal vertical position with the shroud uppermost and make several short strokes (not extending more than half way) until there is no lost motion and finish by extending the damper to its full length once or twice..”

I followed the guidance provided and after inserting one pair of washers and a polybush buffer  on the top threaded rod of the shock I positioned it through the coil spring and up through the hole in the turret. I found it easiest to turn the assembly on its side.  As referenced earlier there is a LH and RH side to the bracket. On one side the holes for the bolts are closer together than on the other side. This, of course, translates to the shims as well.

I then turned to the top of the turret, installing the other pair of washers and a polybush buffer and locked it down with 3/8″ – 24 nylock nut.

Tightening Front Shock in Turret

Tightening Front Shock in Turret

The process was then completed for the other side of the crossmember.

Next, I tightened the bolts on the bottom of the lower ball joints and also bent their locking tab washers.

Ball Joint Cap Installed with Tab Washers Bent

Ball Joint Cap Installed with Tab Washers Bent

Installing the Front Suspension Crossmember

After finding and installing the hose fittings for the steering rack it was time to install the crossmember assembly to the car for a trial fitting. In addition to checking out the fit of the mounts, I needed to fabricate (actually just cutting some steel bar and tube) the new steering linkage connecting the steering rack to the steering column. Unfortunately, this turned about to be a more difficult job than I had expected.

I removed the front dolly from the car and placed the car on jack stands supporting the car at the forward jacking points. After placing the front crossmember on a low-wheeled dolly, I was able to roll the crossmember under the vehicle. I then wrapped a couple of tie-down trailer straps around the crossmember and the steering rack.

I then moved the engine hoist under the left hand side of the car and after attaching the straps, slowly lifted the crossmember into place. Initially, I made sure that the front mounting studs on the crossmember were located in the proper place and I then used a small floor jack to lift the rear of the crossmember so that the “VEE” brackets lined up with the frame.

Rolling the Crossmember into Place

Rolling the Crossmember into Place


Using Engine Hoist to Lift Crossmember

Using Engine Hoist to Lift Crossmember

Lifting Straps

Lifting Straps

The trouble that I encountered was with the fit of the “VEE” mounts. Neither mount lined up perfectly with the hole in the frame through which a bolt is inserted. After some fiddling I was able to get the RH mount to align but the LH was impossible. I estimated about 1/8″ off center. I finally used a grinder and removed some metal on the inside of the “VEE.” This allowed me to ultimately get a bolt through the mount and the frame although the fit was clearly not proper.

I checked my part order and discovered that the “VEE” mounts had come from SNG Barratt. Upon closer examination I determined that SNG Barratt sells two varieties of the “VEE” mount. The lower price variant was $31.17 at the time of order, and the higher price version was $73.55 when I checked. Sure enough, I had ordered the less expensive option. I called SNG Barratt and enquired about the difference between the two and was told that the more expensive mount was a “precision” piece. I ordered the “precision” mounts and replaced the ill fitting items and sure enough the definition of “precision” is that the parts fit! Very frustrating! Why would you sell something that does not fit – or at least not without modification.

The new mounts are visually much the same but obviously have slight differences in manufacturing tolerances that produced better results. The more expensive mount does have a “Metalastik” and “Trelleborg” manufacturing imprint apparently indicating a quality piece. Metalastik and a branch of Trelleborg merged to produce rubber/metal bonded products.

Metalastik Telleborg "V" Mount

Metalastik Telleborg “V” Mount

Having checked the “fit” of the front cross member assembly on the car, I removed it  and prepared to install the front hubs with brake rotors to the stub axles. Of course, this required the removal of the calipers. I had previously installed the inner and outer bearing races in the hubs.

It was now time to “pack” the bearings with high temperature bearing grease. I like to do this by hand and press the grease through one side of the bearing until I see the grease begin to extrude through the other side of the bearing. I then liberally coat all surfaces of the bearing with grease. The inner bearing is installed in the hub while on the bench. It is lightly pressed into place and the rubber seal with the cupped side and exposed spring wire facing toward the bearing is then tapped into position. The image below shows the inner bearing in seal installed in the hub.

Packed Inner Bearing Installed in Hub with Seal

I coat all surfaces with a light smear of grease. The maintenance section of the Service Manual states: “do NOT pack the hub with grease but apply a coating to the inside of the hub between the outer races of bearings. Apply a light coat of grease to the stub axle shaft; do not fill the hub end cap.” The hub and rotor are then offered up to the stub axle and the outer bearing is slipped on the stub axle against its race.

Packed Outer Bearing Installed

Then a special “D” washer is pressed in place over the stub axle end.

Stub Axle Special “D” Washer

Then a 1/2″-20 castle nut is threaded onto the stub axle. 

The Service Manual states, “Tighten the hub nut until there is no end-float, that is when rotation of the hub feels slightly “sticky”. Slacken back the hub nut between one and two flats depending on the position of the split pin hole relative to the slots in the nut.

Temporarily attach the road wheel and check that the wheel spins freely. If satisfactory, fit a new split pin and turn over the ends.

I used a torque wrench to tighten the nut to 45 pounds and then backed off the nut as described. The hole in the hub was then aligned with a notch in the castle nut and a hole in the stub axle end permitting the installation of a 1-1/2″” split pin.

Castle Nut Installed and Aligned

Split Pin Inserted Through Castle Nut and Stub Axle Hole

It is May of 2017 and I am ready to install the front suspension crossmember assembly on the car AGAIN. This time it will be to actually test drive the car. Then, as I have said previously, I will strip the car for paint. At least when I reinstall the front suspension this time I know I will be doing so with rear mounting brackets that will actually fit!

First, I loosened the two nylock nuts on each of the rear “V” bracket studs so there would be some slack in the mounts as they mated with the chassis frame rails. I then centered the cross member with hubs, brake rotors, calipers installed but without the steering rack, on my floor jack and slid it under the car (the car was already on jack stands). I roughly positioned it in place and lifted it until the front mount studs aligned in the front chassis mounts. However, I did not fasten the front mounts at this time. I then continued to raise the crossmember until the rear “V” brackets aligned with the mounting holes in the chassis frame rails. 

I inserted the LH rear “V” mount bolt through the mount and the frame rail and loosely fitted a nylock nut on the inside (engine bay side) of the bracket. I then repeated this procedure for the RH side of the car.

I then secured the front mounts with the two bolts per side and tightened them in place. The rear “V” mount bolts that go through the frame rails were then securely tightened, and lastly the two nylock nuts at the bottom of each “V” mount were tightened. That completed the installation of the crossmember. 

Next came the installation of the rack and pinion steering rack to its brackets that were already mounted on the front suspension cross member. One bolt inserted on the RH side and two on the LH side. All three then tightened. More detail is provided in the “Steering” entry to the website.

I then proceeded to mount the anti-sway bar to the front suspension cross member assembly. The first step was to assemble and mount the anti-sway bar links with new  polybush bushings to the brackets on the lower coil spring seats. Details about the links are provided earlier in this post. This photo shows the links mounted to the coil spring seat and to the anti-sway bar.

Anti-Sway Bar Link Mounted

I then lifted the Anti-Sway Bar into place and loosely mounted its ends to the anti-sway bar links. This gets the anti-sway bar into position so that one can then mount the LH and RH aluminum spacers and the sway bar brackets to the frame, each with two hex head bolts. Details provided earlier in the post.  I then firmly tightened the chassis bracket bolts as well as the anti-sway bar links.

Anti-Sway Bar Chassis Mounting with Polybush Bushings and Aluminum Spacer Blocks

The Goodridge Stainless Flexible Brake Hoses were the next items to complete. These were already connected to the LH and RH calipers. The ends of the hoses are positioned through the welded mounting clips on the inside of each wheel well where they are tighten down and then connected to the hard brake pipes. I found it easiest to connect the hose to the brake pipes first and to then tighten the hose to its mount on the car. 

LH Front brake hydraulic line junction to caliper