Bugeye Rear Axle Assembly

Since the last entry, the axle was painted with POR-15. The preassembled MG Midget brake assemblies were mounted to the axle and rotated to be in the proper position to align with the handbrake rods. Initially they were installed in the wrong orientation. The 3.9 differential was installed in the axle as well as the new cunifer brake pipes. The brake pipe union was cleaned and polished. A new Goodridge black stainless brake hose was connected to the union using a new copper crush washer.

A new brass Land Rover axle breather was purchased and installed on the axle. The MiniMania adjustable handbrake rods were painted and connected to the brake levers and the compensator lever with new clevis pins and felt anti-rattle washers. Finally, the rubber rebound buffers were attached to the axle with the ends of the split pins facing to the front of the car and rubber caps were placed on the bleeders. All of this work is shown in video Episode Nine.


Installing the hubs turned out to be a much more challenging job than expected. Based on what others had shared we were under the impression that swapping the original brake assemblies for the later Midget brake assemblies was a plug-and-play process. At least in our case, it was not! As can be seen in the next video, the flange on the Midget back plate stood higher than that on the Bugeye original backplate. This meant that as the Hub was pressed down until it was seated, it was fouling against the backplate flange making it almost impossible to turn. Video Episode Ten shows the problem we faced.


When the Sprite Forum members were queried about this problem, others did mention the possibility of this problem. It was suggested that the flange should simply be trimmed about an 1/8″ so that the hub would not contact it when pressed down fully. So, we got out the Dremel and did just that. Fortunately, that solved that problem.

New hub bearings were installed. This video, Episode Eleven, shows the full process. Timken 207FF bearings were used.


Following installation of the hubs, I noticed that one of them was still encountering some resistance in rotating. Turned out the the raised portion of the hub where the studs are located was ever so slightly touching one edge of the brake cylinder. While I was not happy with my solution, it did solve the problem. This can be seen in video Episode Twelve.


Brake Cylinder Relieved

True to form, when we installed the brake drums on to the hubs we once again encountered resistance to turning! This easy swap to later rear brakes has not been without its challenges. Sure enough, after checking with others on the Sprite Forum it turned out that people did often have to grind down the outside edge of the drums to get them to fit without fouling against the backplate. Whether this is an issue with drum manufacturing tolerances or some other issue – we just don’t know. So, out came the angle grinder with a cut off wheel and we cut some of the drum away and smoothed the edges as best we could. Once again, we aren’t happy with the approach, but also once again, it solved the problem. Everything now rotates freely. The video Episode Twelve shows the process.


After addressing the relocation of the fuel pump from the engine bay to the bulkhead behind the passenger compartment, the installation of a new fuel tank and new fuel pipe, the installation of new rear leaf springs and the cleaning and painting of other rear suspension components, we will return to the installation of the completed axle in the car.


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 http://www.nosimport.com/, but decided to install Bilstein Tube shocks supplied in Udo Putzke’s Fahrspass http://www.putzkes-fahrspass.com/Eng/kits.html 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. http://www.cape-international.com/

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 http://www.putzkes-fahrspass.com/Eng/BigHealey_poly_page.htm   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 http://www.bighealey.co.uk/content/lowering-kit. 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 http://www.bighealey.co.uk/content/bump-stop-spacers-and-tube-nuts.

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 http://www.putzkes-fahrspass.com/Eng/kits.html 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 49 Restoration Assembly, Week Nineteen 4/23/2007

Four university students (young, strong backs) arrived and helped me install the assembled rear axle in about five minutes. The install was accomplished with just one minor scratch!

Rear axle help

I am pleased that I assembled everything on the bench first. I don’t know if it would have worked with the panhard rod in place, but since I am using the Jule frame I don’t have a panhard rod.

I put the rubber buffers in place on the axle and installed the U-bolts supplied by Martin Jansen to fit the springs he had made for me. I did need to open the hole in the spring plate to accommodate the larger pin in the springs.

The lower brackets for the Udo Putzke Bilstein shocks were attached to the spring plates. The next task was to bolt on the upper brackets for the Bilstein tube shocks to the original shock mounting brackets. The Bilstein shocks were then installed on the brackets.

Rear Tube shock bracket

Bilstein Tube Shock in Place

The handbrake cable was then put into place and adjusted for the the proper tension on the emergency brake calipers.

The rear flexible stainless steel flex pipe for the brakes was then mounted to the car.

SS brake line

Final fuel hose connections were then made from the two pumps to the steel line running to the carbs.

Bump box LH

The ground strap was connected to the frame. The other end will later be fixed to one of the bell housing bolts.

Ground Strap Engine

Chapter 48 Restoration Assembly, Week Eighteen 4/16/2007

I decided to completely assemble the rear axle for installation into the car. I will recruit four weightlifters to help with placement!

Jeremy Turner worked his magic and made the axle assembly look brand new in its glossy black. I installed the bearing carriers with new bearings, “O” rings and paper gaskets. I lightly coated the gasket between the bearing carrier and the axle half shafts with hylomar sealer.

Rear Axle assembled

Rear Disc Brake Rotor

I am using Cape International’s rear disc brake conversion kit to replace the original rear drums. Cape Int Disc Brake Conversion 1 The kit is nicely done including aluminum caliper mounting brackets, drilled mounting bolts (drilled for safety wire), a template for modification of the axle flange,  disc rotors, locking conical hub nuts, jaguar calipers including ancillary handbrake calipers and brake pads, and a threaded rod with end fittings to connect the LH and RH handbrake calipers. I did have to “rework”  the short connecting rod to obtain proper alignment, but otherwise, everything was a bolt-on job.

Rear Disc Brake Adapter Plate

Jaguar Rear Disc Brake

Handbrake Caliper

Cross Rod and Lever

Chapter 19 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting


May 28, 2004

Front Splash Panels 

Splash Panels – Installed left and right splash panels. I needed to drill 4 new holes on each side of the car in the frame uprights. The left side was difficult and took some hammering and grinding but eventually got it to fit. Use 8 #10 1/2” pan screws to secure.

Right splash panel 1

Right splash panel 2

Radiator Air Deflector – Installed radiator air deflector with two 5/16” x 5/8” bolts.

Air deflector 3

Air deflector 1

Bonnet Upright Brackets – Note the way they are mounted in the photos.

RH Bonnet opening brace 2

LH Bonnet opening brace 3

Front Wing Mounting Brackets – Installed left and right front wing support brackets using 4 1/4” x 3/4” hex head bolts.

RH Shroud bracket 1

LH Shroud bracket 2

June 18, 2004

Rear Axle Revisited 

Differential – Installed the differential pumpkin and bearing caps in the differential casing. I will be installing the 3.44 crown and pinion in the car when it is drivable, but to get a rolling chassis I just put the old differential back in with no pinion gear. Fastened the differential to the axle and inserted the half shafts and tightened them down with the small locating flat head screws. Affixed the rear brake disc rotors and calipers fastened the hub extensions to the axle with the 5 locking hub nuts.

Installing the Rear Axle – After removing the fuel pump and the left bump box we “walked” the axle with the differential into the chassis and superstructure. I may have been able to leave the fuel pump had we had more access room on the right side of the car, but that wasn’t available. I then secured the axle with the Ubolts and the brackets for the tube shocks. The key here is to start each side loosely and then return to fully tighten each side. I never could get the tube shocks to align with the brackets and Udo Putzke thinks it may be because the Jule frame is slightly different than the original AH frame. To his credit he has agreed to make some longer shaft shocks at cost – great customer service!

Bilsteins won’t align

Spring Work

Rear Brake Hose – Added the new stainless braided brake hose between the brake line and the rear junction on the axle.

Stainless Rear Brake line

This work allowed me to put the car on the ground as a rolling chassis for the first time – a significant milestone. In honor of the occasion I stuck on two fenders and placed a seat in the interior for photos. All just for fun. It lasted ten minutes and then off came the wheels/tires and wings and then back up on jack stands for more work! The shiny bonnet is a sample paint color that I would ultimately not use.

Four 0n the Floor 1

1st sitting

1st sitting 5

Driving Light and Tow Brackets – I received the front spotlight and tow hook brackets from Cape International and the rear bumperette (sprite) or Rally Car brackets and “bumpers.”  I discovered that Martin Jansen had not included the threaded tubes for the front bumper that go through the frame. Instead Martin’s are only on the outside of the frame rails which is fine for the bumper brackets, but the spotlight tow hook brackets also have one mounting hole on the inside of the frame rails. I located the holes on the inside of the rail with  3/8” drilled hole and will get Jeremy Turner to add threaded tubes later in the restoration. I also received Kilmartin panels for the frame rails that include the welded nuts for the anti-sway bar and I will give them to Jeremy as well.

Driving light tow hook bracket

Driving Light frame Hole

anti-sway bar frame bracket

Horns – Started on the horn installation. The original horns for the Mark I are no longer available so I used the later version. The older horns must have been a little smaller in diameter, because the horns rubbed against the splash panels when connected with the brackets I had. I modified the brackets by adding a mounting hole and grinding off a bit of the bracket to “shift” the horns toward the center of the car. All of this seemed to work flawlessly, but once again I encountered a job that probably should have taken 10 minutes that ended up taking two hours. The horn wiring harness extensions provided by British Wiring were not needed so I crimped some new connectors on the wire in place of the original bullet connectors and attached them to the horns. The new horns were interesting – both brand new – one gloss black and one satin. I will have Jeremy repaint them.

Horn install left

June 18, 2004

Fuel Sender Unit – Installed the fuel sender unit in the new aluminum fuel tank. The sender unit did not line up exactly as the original because the holes in the tank are not as they were in the steel tank. I sealed the sender unit with a new cork gasket and with Hylomar. Each of the small mounting screws received new copper washers.

Fuel sender unit

New Fuel Tank – Secured the new fuel tank with the two securing straps which I had slightly lengthened to make the fit better. The securing straps fastened to the rear boot wall with brackets and clevis pins.

Aluminum Fuel Tank

Spare tire fitment

Spare Tire Block and Bracket – Installed the new stainless steel spare tire bracket and tie down bar. I had to make a new vinyl covered block to fit on the back boot wall to accommodate the higher spare tire and the slight rise that was “built in” by Martin Jansen. Turned out pretty well. I actually used old naugahyde from my original reupholstery work on the car 20+ years ago!

Spare tire bracket and block 1

spare tire bracket and block 2

Spare Tire Block covering

Fuel Filler Pipe – Installed the fuel pipe rubber gasket on the rear shroud. Lightly smeared Vaseline on the lower section of the fuel pipe and pushed it through the gasket into the boot. The  Aston Cap is secured to the fuel tube with a threaded brass collar. David Nock advised that I should fasten the collar to the tube by reversing the ends and brazing the collar to the tube’s unfinished end. Then I cut off the old cap end to put into the rubber sleeve to connect to the tank neck.

Aston filler Cap 1

Aston threaded collar

Fuel tube cut off

Aston fuel cap on pipe

Steering Cross Bar – After discovering that the new cross bar for the steering was for a BJ8 I ordered new ends and installed the original cross rod. I probably could have used the BJ8 bar but it looked like the original provided a little more adjustment which I think I needed.

Cross rod right

Cross rod left


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 11 – Disassembly

The Battery Cable –  from engine to boot. Eight to nine clips attached with screws to frame.

October 20, 2002

Shipping to Jule Enterprises

Martin Jansen – from Jule Enterprises located just outside of Toronto picked up the car for the trip back to Canada for frame replacement and restoration. John, Scott and I had visited his shop in Canada earlier in the summer to “check it out.” We were pleased with what we found and I arranged for Martin to pick up 4422  for restoration work.

Martin Jansen Picking Up the Healey 10-20-2002

Martin Jansen Picking up the Healey 10-20-2002 2

Martin Jansen Picking up the Healey 10-20-2002 3

Martin returned to Canada with the primed doors and four new aluminum wings to be fitted before bringing the BT7 back to Harrisonburg. In addition to fitting the old tub to the new Jule frame, he will media blast the body, epoxy primer the car, add new aluminum flanges to the rear shroud, and do rough repairs to shroud damage on the front and left rear. We anticipate a return date around the first of February. Lots of parts to clean between now and then.

November 9, 2002

Bonnet Hinges – After a very busy work month, this weekend provided some time to return to parts clean-up and restoration. Cleaned a primed both bonnet hinges and added stainless hardware.

Cleaned and primed Bonnet Hinges

Door Check Strap Assembly – Both door strap catches were cleaned. The Moment-Anderson Restoration Book states that these straps have a zinc plated finish rather than paint. The straps will need to be refinished at a later date and new washers added.

Cleaned Door Catches

November 17, 2002

Rear Axle

Rear axle disassembly –  Removed five lug nuts and the rear splined hub. Then loosen two Phillips head screws securing the rear brake drum and remove the drum.

Brake Drum Hub Nuts

Rear Axle Half Shaft

Removed the brake shoe retaining springs and slipped off the lower shoe. Disconnected the handbrake tension spring to release pressure and slipped off the upper shoe.

Removed the shoe adjuster by loosening two 9/16” nuts and knocked out. Note shape of pistons. Remove axle by loosening one 3/8” flat head phillips screw. Note paper gasket. Pull out axle half shaft. The left and right shafts are marked with an engraved “R” or “L,” because they need to be replaced to the original locations.

Rear Hubs – Removed the octagonal nut retaining the hub. One of the nuts loosens clockwise and one counterclockwise. Remove the O Ring, flat washer and retaining band. Remove the back plate by loosening 4 nuts and bolts. The bolt heads face the outside of the car. I ordered a special socket from BCS for this purpose.

left rear hub – nut removed

Shock Absorbers – Removed the rear shock absorbers by loosening 11/16” nut and kncked pin through the bushing and out of the bracket holding the shock.

Rear Differential – Removed rear differential from axle by loosening 12 nuts and lock washers. Top center bolt also retains the brake line clamp.

November 29, 2002

Rear Hubs

Left Rear Hub – Used a slide hammer to loosen and remove the hub from the axle.

Hub removal-too Slide Hammer

After the hub is removed the bearings can be knocked out with an appropriate tool.  The “made in England lettering is to the outside of the wheel. The paper gasket, and rubber “O” ring are removed as well. The hub also includes a rubber seal on the inside of the hub. I could not remove it, will have to learn the secret!  Later learned the secret is a screwdriver. The left hub nut loosens “clockwise” and the right “counterclockwise.”

Rear bearings

Brake Cylinders – Pulled off the retaining circlip from the rubber boot on the wheel cylinder. Remove the rubber boot cover and the rubber gasket from around the cylinder assembly. Pry apart the sliding plates that lock against one another. The lockplate with the tabs “up” goes against the backplate and the one with the open slots on the top. After removing the lower plate slide out the handbrake lever. Then take off the inside lockplate and remove the cylinder.

brake cylinder retainer clips

Brake cylinder retainer clips 2

handbrake lever

Shoe Adjuster – by loosening two nuts, note the position of the adjuster piston. Remove backplate by loosening the four retaining nuts and bolts. Finally, clean up the rear axle.

rear axle clean up

The handbrake lever assembly –  was removed, disassembled and cleaned. Note the replacement of the cloth/rubber “O” ring under the large nut, and felt washers at the connecting pins. The bracket itself can be removed by loosening two 5/16” – 24 x 3/4” bolts and nuts. The mounting clip for the return spring is located 2 1/4” from the post.

handbrake bracket 1

Handbrake Bracket 2

Handbrake spring location

Handbrake Bracket 4

January 25, 2003

This report is the first of my second year of working on the restoration of 4422! Lots of work remains in the disassembly and clean up stage before reassembly can begin. But progress has been made!

Rear Seat Back  

Unfortunately, I had installed speakers in the panel when in college. So I will need to buy a new squab or at least the plywood flat pieces before recovering.

Rear Seat Back Panel 1

Rear Seat Back Panel Clips

Rear Seat Back Panel 2

Clutch and Brake Pedal Bracket (Pedal box) -The box and parts were in very good shape. It was now time to disassemble and clean.

Pedal Box Assembly

Pedal Box Assembly 2

Striker pin assembly – The bonnet catch was a bit rusty, but restorable.

Bonnet Catch Striker Assembly 1

Bonnet Catch Striker Assembly 3

Bonnet Catch Striker Assembly 2

The Bonnet Latch Support Bracket – the mechanism was rusty also, but again, clean up made the parts usable.

Bonnet Latch 3

Bonnet Latch 4

Bonnet Latch Lever

Bonnet Latch Spring & Rubber Tube

The Throttle Linkage – is also reusable after cleaning, but we will probably replace with new hardware or a contemporary cable system.

Throttle Linkage 5

Throttle Linkage 3A

The accelerator pedal – the pedal and bushing and springs looked great. A little clean up and paint and it will be like new.

Throttle Linkage 2

Accelerator Pedal

Chapter 8 – Disassembly

Fresh Air Intake Assembly –  Three screws, two with nuts and one welded onto the tube secure the assembly to the superstructure. Disconnected the air control cable.

Fresh Air Intake Assembly

Fresh Air Intake Assembly

Flasher Relay –  Two cross head screws on top, one on bottom. All have nuts welded on the outside of the wheel well. The bottom screw also holds a wiring harness clamp and the ground wire. Starting from top left and going down – first wire is green with pink stripe, second is green/white stripe, third is white/brown stripe, and fourth is green/yellow stripe. Starting from the right top and going down – first wire is green/brown stripe, second is green/red stripe, third is white/purple stripe and fourth is green/? Stripe. Black ground wire is at bottom.

Flasher Relay Wiring 1

Flasher Relay Wiring 2

Flasher Relay Wiring 3

Bonnet Latch Support Bracket, Lever and Spring –  Note that the left side of center has a rubber tube over the spring and extension rod.

Bonnet Latch Return Spring

Bonnet Latch Rod

Bonnet Latch Support Bracket – The bracket is secured by two bolts and nuts.

Bonnet Latch Support Bracket

Bonnet Latch Return

Wiring harness extension for lights and horns – Two clamps located by screws and nuts at the front of the car.

Wiring Harness Clip Screws

Wiring Harness at Front of Car

August 3, 2002

Rear Axle and Related Assembly

The Bump Stop Boxes –  were removed from both sides of the car. Two large pozi-drive screws with large washers and nuts located by the rear occasional seats hold the boxes. Two bolts and nuts must also be removed in the side of each box that secure clamps for wiring. In our case the bolts were all broken from wear and tear.

Rear Axle Bump Stop on Car

Rear Axle Bump Stop Removed

Mounting Holes

The Fuel Pump   was removed to get it out of the way of the axle. Disconnected 5/8” in and out fuel pipes to the pump. Remove 4 7/16” bolts into fixed nuts on the rear bulkhead wall. Finally, disconnected wire at knurled fixing knob.

Fuel Pump Mounted to Bracket at Rear Kick Panel

Disconnected White Wire to Fuel Pump

Fuel Pump and Bracket Removed

Boot wiring harness extension –  Wiring goes to the fuel sender and lights. We clipped the wire at the bulkhead for easy removal since we knew we would be replacing it. Two clamps with split head screws secure the wiring through the bulkhead wall. Additional connections are then made to route to the tailights.

Fuel Pipe to Pump and Wiring Harness

Wiiring Harness to Boot

Wiring Connector for Lights in Boot

Wiring Clip

Wiring and Handbrake Cable

Wiring Cable Removal

Handbrake cable –  The cable was removed from its axle attachment. To save time we just cut the flexible brake line hose to the junction.

Handbrake Components

Handbrake Components at Rear Axle

Rear Shock Absorbers – First removed nut to axle link. Then removed two nuts and bolts to rear bulkhead for each.

Rear Axle –  Drain differential fluid from the rear end. Place jack under differential to take pressure off springs. Loosen the four nuts on the U bolts under the mounting bracket. The nuts should be loosened gradually to avoid too much pressure on the spring. Disconnect tramp bar at mounting bracket on axle. Rotate axle and lift and slide out to the right.

Rear Axle U Bolts

Rear Axle U Bolt Mounting Plates

Panhard Rod Mounting

Rear Axle Removed

August 4, 2002

Steering Assembly

Steering Column Support Clamp – There are four holes available for the bolt and nut on the steering column bracket. The bolt was found in the 2nd hole from the firewall. Bolt heads were to the right, nut to the left.

Steering Column Mount

Steering Column Bracket Mount

Steering column bracket –  Removed the bracket by loosening four bolts and nuts.

Steering Column Bracket Removed

Steering Column Rubber gasket

Steering Shaft Bracket to Frame Mount from below

Steering Shaft Bracket to Frame Mount from Above


Rear Suspension

Rear Suspension Mounting

Rear Suspension Mounting

Rear Suspension

The MK2 rear suspension is a live axle leaf spring design utilizing bonded rubber bushings and pads. Torque arms with bonded rubber bushes at each end fit between brackets welded to the top of the axle and to a body cross-member at the back of the rear seat panel. Lateral location of the suspension is by means of a rubber mounted pan hard rod fit between brackets on the rear axle and the right hand chassis side member. Damping of the rear suspension is by telescopic hydraulic dampers located between brackets on the rear axle and the front of the luggage compartment floor. The dampers incorporate the bump and rebound stops which limit the movement of the rear suspension.

Rear Suspension Jag MK2

Rear Suspension Jag MK2

Rear Road Springs

The rear road springs are rubber mounted at the front, center and rear. I was going to reuse the rear leaf springs but after disassembling them I found them to not have sufficient arc on the lower leaf. The manual calls for  a camber of 3.45” to 3.78”.  Mine only measured about 3.25. I could have them re-arced, but I decided to just purchase new springs from SNG Barrett.

Free Camber On Road Spring

Free Camber On Road Spring 3.45″ to 3.7″

I noticed that the original springs had rubber “buttons” located between the leaves. The new replacement springs from SNG Barratt do not, and while not a condemnation, I notice that these springs are also made in India. I heard reports from a number of MK2 restorers that the rear of the car was sitting high with these springs.

All of this caused me to look a little harder for springs closer to the originals. Owen Spring in the UK makes MK2 springs that at least look much closer to the original design including the “buttons.” Owen uses British Classic Car Parts to market their classic car springs. I spoke with Jody Walker the product Development Engineer and decided to purchase a pair after he sent images to me. Quite a bit more expensive than the SNG Barratt product, but hopefully a superior spring that will yield the proper ride height. Including delivery to Virginia the springs were a little over $500.00.

British Classic Car Parts
Unit 8, The Old Saw Mills, Colaton Raleigh, Devon, EX10 0HP,  UK.
+44(0) 1395 568777 | Mobile +44 (0) 7969 013702 | 
Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Owen Spring MK2 Rear Leaf Springs

Polybush Mounting Pads and Bushings for Rear Road Springs

Polybush pads and spring eye bushes were substituted for the original rubber.  The rear eye bushes were also substituted.

Spring Mounting Plates

I did blast the Clamping Plate, Securing Road Spring at Center and the Mounting Plate Assembly at Front End of Road Springs with aluminum oxide and after cleaning well painted these components with gloss black POR 15 and was very satisfied with the results:

Front & Center Leaf Spring Mounting Plates

Front & Center Leaf Spring Mounting Plates

Front & Center Leaf Spring Mounting Plates

Front & Center Leaf Spring Mounting Plates

Trial Fitting the Front Leaf Spring Mounting Plate

Trial Fitting the Front Leaf Spring Mounting Plate

Rear Torque Arm Assembly

The torque arms were blasted and painted. New polybush bushings with inserts were installed. As the photos show it is useful to have a large socket  (1 7/8″) and a fender washer handy to help press in the bushings with the aid of a little soapy water. Four hex head 7/16″ – 20 x 2 1/2″ bolts with 7/16″ flat washers and 7/16″ – 20 nylock nuts secure the torque rod ends to the body and the axle.

Torque Arms & Bushes

Torque Arms & Bushes

Getting it Started

Getting it Started

Squeezing the bushing

Squeezing the bushing

Torque Arms and Polybushings Installed

Torque Arms and Polybushings Installed

Panhard Rod

I could have cleaned up the washers and the Panhard Rod, but decided to simply replace the assembly with new components. The assembly is held together by a 1/2″ – 20 nylock nut at each end of the rod. I replaced the rubber bushes with Polybush bushes.

Panhard Rod new and old

Panhard Rod New and Old

Panhard Rod Assembly

Panhard Rod Assembly

Rear Shock Absorbers

Mike Eck  mikeeck@optonline.net a frequent contributor to the MK2 Forums and email list recommended using Monroe air shocks in the rear of the car. With their adjustability the ride height of the car can be modified. Curiously, they are also recommended for and fit some Edsel models! I decided to give them a try. They were available from my local NAPA store. They may be inflated up to 150 psi. They are sold as a pair including air line, air fittings, and air fill kit. Although the image below shows the shocks as white they are actually black.

Mike states:

“They each have a compression fitting and they come with a length of hose, a “T” junction and a single Schrader valve, but there’s nothing to keep you from plumbing your own separate system. They have about 2.75″ of adjustment range. When I give them about 20 psi the rear of the car seems to disappear. I steer the front and the rear simply follows along. Give ’em a try!”


Monroe MA705 Rear Shocks

Monroe MA705 Rear Shocks

Monroe MA705 Rear Shocks

Monroe MA705 Rear Shocks

Installation of the Rear Suspension and Axle

I had heard from a number of folks who have actually installed the MK2 rear suspension that hanging the axle in the car with the torsion arms and leaf springs can be a real challenge. I don’t know if I had beginner’s luck or if I just had the sequencing of the process nailed perfectly, but whatever the reason, I installed the assembly by myself without any real difficulties. I should note that one piece of equipment made the job much easier than it might have otherwise been: a motorcycle/ATV lift. I purchased mine from Harbor Freight for $69.00, but they are available from Sears, Home Depot or other similar stores for less than $100. This device makes the axle much more stable and balanced than it would be on the single pedestal of a floor jack.

Motorcycle ATV lift

Motorcycle ATV lift

At the time of installation, I had the brake rotors, calipers, new hubs with new bearings and the hydraulic pipes mounted on the axle. I chose to wait to secure the handbrake assembly to the axle until after the axle was in the car. More information about the axle assembly can be found in the “Rear Axle Post” of this website https://valvechatter.com/?p=4072 

This is the sequence of my installation: 

As a service manual indicates final tightening of the bolts securing various components to the chassis must be carried out with the car in its normal riding position, that is, with full weight on the suspension. So in the sequence of steps below, all bolts/nuts are left loose and will not be tightened until he cat is under load.

First, I installed both torsion arms to the vehicle mounts.

Torsion arms with mounting bolts and nylock nuts

Torsion arms with mounting bolts and nylock nuts

LH Torsion Arm Mounted to Chassis

LH Torsion Arm Mounted to Chassis

As mentioned above I used polybush bushings and I liberally coated the outer surfaces of the bushes with Prothane Super Grease. I used this grease on my Healey when I restored it in 2008 and have never experienced any squeaking. I happened to purchase the grease from Summit Racing but it is available from other similar vendors as well.

Prothane Super Grease

Prothane Super Grease

Prothane grease on torsion arm poly bushing

Prothane grease on torsion arm poly bushing

Second, I installed the LH and RH Front Spring Mounting Plates. I started each of the three mounting bolts for each bracket and all were left very loose. 

Third, I placed the axle on the motorcycle lift and slid it under the car and into position to jack up to each of the torsion arms. This worked quite easily. I then slid the mounting bolts through the chassis mount and the torsion arm and loosely secured the nut to the end of the bolt for each side of the car.

Axle on Motorcycle Lift

Axle on Motorcycle Lift

Axle Linked to Torsion Arm

Axle Linked to Torsion Arm

Fourth, after the axle was secured to each torsion arm with the 7/16″-20 x 2 1/2″ bolts and unlock nuts, I placed the axle on jack stands with wooden blocks in roughly the position I thought would be appropriate for the propshaft and the leaf spring eyes to keep the axle from swinging.

Axle mounted on torsion arms resting on jack stands

Axle mounted on torsion arms resting on jack stands

Fifth, I slid a leaf spring into its front mount and rested the eye end of the spring on my floor jack sufficiently high enough to hold the spring in place without slipping out of the front mount.

Spring Eye on Jack

Spring Eye on Jack

With the rubber center cushions on the leaf spring I placed the center spring mount in position and loosely tightened the mounting bracket in place. This was made easier by starting with longer bolts than are specified and switching to the shorter bolts after the bracket is tightened down. Care should be taken to insure that the rubber cushions are centered in the bracket. 

Spring Positioned on Center Chassis Mount

Spring Positioned on Center Chassis Mount

Sixth, I was then able to use the floor jack to lift the spring into the axle mount although I could not perfectly line up the eye hole in the spring end with the holes in the axle mount. I found that a fairly large “C” clamp worked like a charm to squeeze the holes into alignment allowing me to then insert the bolts and loosely tighten the nuts to secure the spring end to the axle. 

"C" Clamp

“C” Clamp

Rear Spring Bolt in Place with Clamp

Rear Spring Bolt in Place with Clamp

Seventh, I removed the two axle jack stands and allowed the axle to “drop” to a lower position. I then slid the floor jack under the differential pumpkin and raised the assembly slightly higher than the propshaft when it was held parallel to the garage floor. This gave me sufficient “angle” to align the propshaft rear face with the differential and I bolted them together. I used lock washers and nuts in the photo but I will substitute nylock nuts at final installation. By the way, on final assembly the leaf springs will get cleaned up and repainted as well. The spring paint as provided by the manufacturer didn’t survive the shipping from the U.K.

Propshaft Fastened to Rear Differential

Propshaft Fastened to Rear Differential

Next come the panhard rod, the shock absorbers and the handbrake components.

The installation of the handbrake system is fully documented in the “handbrake” website entry: https://valvechatter.com/?p=3913

Rear Shock Absorbers or Dampers

As referenced earlier in this post, I am using Monroe air shocks on the rear of my MK2. This is a pdf of the Installation Instructions including diagrams: Monroe Air Shock Installation Instructions

Each end of each shock uses the following rubber bushes and cupped washers for mounting the shocks to the vehicle. 

Rear Shock Rubber Bushes and Cupped Washers

Rear Shock Rubber Bushes and Cupped Washers

As one can see in the photo above, the two sides of the rubber bushes are not alike. The larger diameter “shoulder” side of the bush faces against the cupped side of the washer, while the smaller diameter “shoulder” fits against the opening in the body in the case of the upper mount and against the hole in the rear axle bracket in the case of the lower mount.

I first loosely mounted the upper ends of both of the shocks to the mounting holes in the body of the car which are located in the back rear LH and RH sides of the boot. It is useful (if not required) to have a helper to assist with this. The helper installs one cupped washer and rubber bush to the end of the shock and then pushes the shock through the floor. One must be careful to orient the air line fittings on the shock bodies so that they face inwards. This will become important later when the plumbing for the air pressure lines is installed.

Another rubber bush and cupped washer can then be placed on the threaded shock shaft inside the boot and a nylock nut can then be started on the threaded shaft. The larger diameter end of the shock faces upward.

Rear Shock Upper Boot Mount Loosely in Place

LH Rear Shock Upper Boot Mount Loosely in Place

To install the lower end of the shock I found it helpful to first use my motorcycle/ATV jack (A floor jack would be fine)  to raise the axle. I then placed a cupped washer and rubber bush on the end of the threaded shock shaft and pulled down on the shock to extend it through the hole in the mounting bracket on the axle. This does take a bit of arm strength! 

Installing Lower End of the Shock

Installing Lower End of the Shock

I then placed another rubber bush and cupped washer on the threaded shock shaft below the mounting bracket and again loosely mounted the shock by tightening the nylock nut.

Lower End Of Shock Loosely Mounted to Axle Bracket

Lower End Of Shock Loosely Mounted to Axle Bracket

I then insured that the shoulders of the rubber bushes were located inside the holes of the boot floor and the axle bracket and free to rotate in the holes. I then tightened the nylock nuts on both ends. I started with the upper ends but I don’t think it would matter. It is useful to hold the top of the shock with vice grips or a wrench so that the shock does not turn while tightening.

Lower End of Shock Tightened with Bushing Compressed

Lower End of Shock Tightened with Bushing Compressed


 The image below shows the LH rear shock installed in it mounts. Plumbing the air is next.

LH Rear Shock Installed

LH Rear Shock Installed

The next step was to do the “plumbing” for the operation of the air shocks. The “kit” that came with the shocks was part number AK18.

Monroe Shocks Air Fittings Part #AK18

This involves connecting the fitting on each shock to a central “T” fitting roughly in the center above the axle.

“T” Air Fitting

Air Lines to Shocks

I temporarily secured the air hose to the fuel pipe with plastic zip ties. Before painting the car, but after the axle is removed I will install a few permanent clips to secure the hose to the chassis.

Air Hose from LH shock to -T- Joint

From the “T” fitting a single air hose runs to the the Schrader Valve (like a bicycle or car tire valve) used for filling the system. I decided to locate the schrader valve in the boot behind the casing assembly on the LH side of the luggage compartment. I made a little bracket from some scrap aluminum that I had and mounted it to the floor of the compartment using two #10-24 x 1/2″ machine screws into nutserts that were installed in the floor. A 3/16″ hole was also drilled into the floor to allow the air hose to enter the compartment from below. A small rubber grommet was used to protect the air hose and to keep out moisture.

Schrader Valve Aluminum Mount and Rubber Gasket

Schrader Valve Mount NutSerts and Rubber grommet for air hose

Schrader Valve Mounted in LH Boot Compartment

Following installation I tested the system by filling the lines with 90 lbs. of pressure. Everything held tight with no leaks. I then backed the pressure out to 20 lbs. and that is what I will try initially based on the recommendation of Mike Eck. As one can see in the image below, there is approximately 1/2″ of unpainted surface on the shock tube which was the result of the expansion of the shock piston due to the air pressure.

Shock Adjustment with Air Pressure

Panhard Rod Installation

As can be seen in the image above the panhard rod was the next component in the rear suspension to install. I used polybushes rather than rubber for the panhard rod  and just as Eric Kriss had reported, the polybushes are simply too wide to allow mounting of the unlock nuts on the end of the threaded rod. I ended up cutting one bush in half with a hack saw blade and fit one half on each outer end of the rod. Hopefully, this work satisfactorily. 

Again, as recommended in the Service Manual I left the nylock nuts loosely fitted and will not tighten until the weight of the car is on the ground. I also loosened the adjusting piece with a wrench. The Manual offers directions on the alignment procedure for the panhard rod once under load:

“Place a straight edge across one rear tire and check the distance to the flange of the chassis side member at the point at which the rear spring centre clamp is bolted; repeat for the other side. The point of the chassis side member flange at which the dimension should be taken is between the two bolts which secure the rear spring centre clamping plate.

The dimension at each side (A, Fig 6.) must be the same. If they are not, adjust the length of the panhard rod until the two dimensions are equal by rotating the panhard rod tube with a pair of grips. Fully tighten the securing nut at the rear axle bracket end and recheck the adjustment. Finally, tighten the nut locking the adjusting pieces the panhard rod tube.”

Panhard Rod Adjustment

Rear Differential Lubricant

With everything related to the rear axle and suspension in place, the last step in the process is to add the differential lubrication. Mike Gassman, of Gassman Automotive recommended using an AC Delco (General Motors) additive product. It is universally available and I ordered a couple of 4 ounce bottles. 

Limited Slip Lubricant Additive

Having spilled a tiny bit of the stuff, I can see why Mike likes to add it. It is very slippery! After pouring the additive in first, I then added SAE 80W-90 Gear Oil. I think most any brand will do. The Jaguar Service Manual calls for 3 1/4 pints, but I always just fill the diff until the oil begins to overflow the fill hole and then I button it up.

Rear Diff Lube

My differential screw plug flat surfaces were stripped on the corners so I replaced it with a new one from SNG Barratt. While the threads match and it “fits” it will not screw-in to the point where the shoulder is flush with the casing. Just one more example of replacement parts not be exactly the same as the originals – not a complaint, just an observation.

SNG Barratt Diff Plug







Rear Axle

Rear Axle

All of the MK2s are fitted with a 4.HA Salisbury axle. The rear axle assembly is a semi-floating type with shim adjustment for all bearings and meshing of the hypoid drive gear and pinion matched assembly. The axle shafts are splined at the inner ends, which engage splines in the differential side gears, while the outer ends have tapers and keys to fit the rear wheel hubs. The hubs are supported by taper roller bearings pressed on the axle shafts and located in the end of the axle tubes. A cover on the rear of the gear carrier allows inspection without dismantling the axle.

Additional information about the axle installation and its related components in the rear suspension can be found in the “Rear Suspension” post at https://valvechatter.com/?p=3826.


There is a big component stored in the garage that I have had trouble ignoring, but I have been putting off cleaning and refurbishing the rear axle for sometime. Perhaps it was Thanksgiving or the approaching holiday season, I don’t know, but I got motivated to start work on the axle. The axle images are sans the rear hubs. A description of the removal of the rear hubs is available in the disassembly section of posts,  Entry 39 .

For starters, I took advantage of having the lift in the garage and used it to  make it easy to access the axle for cleaning.

Rear Axle on Lift for Cleaning

Rear Axle on Lift for Cleaning

It was really just a matter of using the putty knife, cleanser, throttle cleaner, a wire brush and rags to remove the dirt and grime. After getting things as clean as possible I then used POR 15’s painting prep product called Prep & Ready. Prep & Ready is used to neutralize any rust and etch and clean bare metal to allow better adhesion of POR-15. Directions call for soaking the metal and keeping it wet for approximately fifteen minutes and then washing it away with water and then dry.

Prep & Ready

Prep & Ready

Axle Degreased

Axle Degreased

Axle Degreased

Axle Degreased

Axle Degreased

Axle Degreased with Prep & Ready

The differential casing on my axle had very little (if any) black paint and so I wondered if it should actually be painted red. I did a little research and this is what Rob Reilly contributed on the Saloon-Lovers email list:

In the build process, after the cast iron center pumpkin was shaken out of the sand mold and shot blasted, it was dunked in Glyptol, usually orange or red though Glyptol comes in other colors. This is to seal in the microscopic sand particles remaining in the boundary layer at the surface of the cast iron. Same as XK engine blocks and Moss gearbox main housings. It was very dry in the foundry and the Glyptol stuck very well. Then it went to the machine shop, where the machining work was done on it, which takes off the boundary layer. It is not necessary to repaint it on these machined surfaces. Then the axle tubes were pressed in and welded through plug holes in the casting. Then the parts were assembled into it. At this point it was very oily all over the outside of the diff. Then the whole thing was painted black without any primer, but they did not clean it very well first, if at all.

So after a few years the black flaked off, revealing the orange or red. If you look carefully as I did on mine, you may see black on the axle tube plug welds, because the welding burned away the red/orange and the oil, so the black stuck better there. Mine had small flecks of black remaining on the outside of the diff. I also saw only black on the outside of the rear cover, and nothing at all on the inside of this cover. It is not necessary to restore the Glyptol on the outside of the diff. It is only important on the inside.

Thanks to Rob, for providing the history on why the differential casing on my car was red/orange – they all were!

Brake Caliper Adaptor Plates

I then removed the LH and RH brake caliper adaptor plates. Each was secured to the axle with four 3/8″ – 24 x hex head bolts and nylock nuts, bolt heads to the outside. Each caliper was mounted to the adaptor plate with two 7/16″ -20 x 1 1/4″ hex head drilled bolts with split washers and safety wire. Shims were found on three of the caliper mounting bolts. They were noted for reassembly.

LH Adaptor Plate

LH Adaptor Plate

LH Adaptor Plate

LH Adaptor Plate

Oil Seal Assembly

The next task was to remove the LH and RH oil seal assembly from the axle. The assembly consisted of: the oil seal on the end of the carrier tube axle shafts, the hub bearing adjusting shims, and a gasket. I was careful to record the number, location (LH or RH), and size of the shims, and I will replace the bearings and gasket later.

RH Oil Seal Assembly

RH Oil Seal Assembly

The image below shows the face of the timken bearing ( 14130-X-14276) 7HA-025).

RH Axle Shaft with Bearing & Seal

RH Axle Shaft with Bearing & Seal

After cleaning up around the removed adaptor plates, I then painted the axle tubes and casing with two brushed coats of glossy black POR-15 followed by one sprayed coat of gloss Blackcoat which is a permanent overcoating developed as a non-porous finish that as advertised will not crack or chip. Unlike the POR-15 it is not harmed by exposure to sunlight.

Rear Differential Carrier Cover

Rear Differential Carrier Cover

Rear Differential Bottom View

Rear Diff Bottom

Painted Axle

Painted Axle

Painted Axle

Painted Axle


Newly Painted Rear Axle

Newly Painted Rear Axle

Rear Differential Identification Tags

Two stamped tags were located on the upper and lower mounting bolts for the carrier cover. One was stamped 49/13 which is the final drive gear ratio or 3.77. This ratio was the gear set fitted for overdrive equipped cars. I am told that the other which was stamped with “BP-L” signifies that the differential is a Powr-Lok  Limited Slip.

Differential ID Tags

Differential ID Tags

Bearings and Seals

When I purchased the MK2, I drove the car for five-six miles. I did not hear anything unusual from the rear end, and the differential does not appear to be leaking from the pinion. I will replace the axle shaft/hub bearings and seals and gaskets along with new hubs, but upon the advice of others, I am going to leave everything else alone for the time being. I have taken off the carrier cover and visually inspected the crown and pinion surfaces with no apparent wear problems.

Oil Seal Assemblies and Brake Caliper Adaptors

The final components of the ale to clean and reassemble were the LH and RH oil seal assemblies and brake caliper adaptors. The LH assembly had four shims (.o1″, .01″, .03″, and .03″) while the RH had only one shim (.03″). The assemblies were bolted to the axle ends with four 3/8″ -24 x 1 1/8″ hex head bolts and 3/8″ – 24 nylock nuts. Sandwiched between the oil seal assembly and the adaptor was a paper gasket. The original oil seal was a metal encased leather seal, while the new replacements are an improved rubber seal as shown in the images below.

The brake calipers were mounted to the adaptors with two 7/16″ -20 x 1 5/16″ drilled (for safety wire) hex head bolts with split washers. The RH adaptor had two .02″ shims on each bolt, while the LH side had no shims.



Oil Seals

Oil Seals

LH and RH Oil Seal Assemblies and Adaptors Cleaned

LH and RH Oil Seal Assemblies and Adaptors Cleaned

RH Oil Seal Assembly Components and Caliper Adaptor After

RH Oil Seal Assembly Components and Caliper Adaptor After

Installing the Axle and Springs

Based on comments of others, this is my plan for reinstalling the axle and springs into the car.

  1. Loosely mount the springs to the axle,
  2. Roll the axle under the car on the wheels and tires
  3. Lower the body to loosely attach the torsion rods
  4. Swing the springs up into the front mounts
  5. Raise the axle up into place
  6. Secure with the spring mount plate