search instagram arrow-down


Follow Us

Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Front Brakes, Suspension and Steering: Part 1

Once the front of the Jag is raised and the hood opened wide – see the last post – there is great accessibility to the front suspension, steering and brakes. I wanted to rebuild the calipers (if possible), replace the brake hoses, replace the pads and replace the rotors. The cost of rotors, pads and the caliper rebuild kit are all reasonable. Although the calipers were not leaking it just made sense to rebuild them. The cost of new sealed ball joints, bushings and shocks is relatively reasonable so it seemed prudent to replace everything in the front suspension and steering at the same time. I also wanted to drain the power steering rack and replace the filter.

Removing the shocks and undoing the anti-roll bar linkages was a piece of cake. This makes it easy to get at the brake hoses and calipers. The bushings on the anti-roll linkage were definitely tired and needed replacement. The brake hoses were not leaking, but were in rough shape and were thrown away. The brake pads are held in place by two shafts that are locked by pins these come out simply using a needle nose pliers and the pads slip out of the caliper. The pads were still pretty thick, but I wanted to replace them with new ones – so out they went. The caliper is held in place by two large bolts which are safety wired. You cut the wires – if still present – and simply unbolt the calipers.  Voila!

XKE / E-type Shock and Front Caliper Removal

I used my air compressor to blow the brake pistons out of the calipers. Invariably one piston pops out before the others (and they really do make a loud popping noise). So, you have to use wedges to hold the loosened ones back in place a little and work on the others.  There are three pistons in the Series II front brake calipers. Although a little grungy from old brake fluid, the pistons and the caliper bores had no corrosion or scoring. They cleaned-up shiny and very smooth using scotch-brite pads. The original rubber and seals all seemed robust, but of course I replaced all of these using a rebuild kit. I also wirebrushed and otherwise cleaned up the exterior of the calipers. All in all, quite easy to do and nice looking when finished off with new pads.

XKE / E-type Front Caliper Rebuild

2 comments on “Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Front Brakes, Suspension and Steering: Part 1

  1. Larry Atkins says:

    Did you split the 2 halves of the calliper when you replaced the pistons?


    1. gmmacdonald says:

      Hi Larry –

      My pistons were good. I only replaced the rubber seals on the calipers and gave a light polish (no sanding just old fluid removal type of polishing) to the pistons and the bores. They have worked fine ever since. Just remember you can use compressed air to drive pistons out once the calipers are off the car.

      I am far behind on the blog – but the car has now been stripped and is being blocked for paint. It was very clean under the old paint. Lucky me. In any case – the brakes were used for some time to make sure all was good before the car went into the paint shop.


Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: