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Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: The Rear Suspension and Brakes 8: Rear Suspension Installation

Getting the new shocks and springs onto the rear suspension is very easy. I did not tighten up the bolts completely as I wanted to wait until I had the weight of the car on the bushings before doing so. Once I had the shocks and springs on board I added the flexible brake hose and the handbrake linkage. I also added the radius arms with their new large and small bushings. Again, I did not fully tighten the bolts holding them because I wanted to tighten down the small bushings when normal weight was on them. I had a nice rear suspension and brakes ready to go back up into the car.

Jaguar XKE E-type Rear Suspension and Brakes Ready for Installation

Before replacing the drive shaft and reinstalling the rear suspension and brakes I took the time to really clean-up and then repaint the underside of the the car. It was very clean under a bit of dirt and grease. As this was a low mileage car that had spent its whole life in southern California and garaged there was zero rust anywhere. Still, I took my time and really tidied up the underside and the wheel wells etc. The car had undercoating on it and I copied that same finish.

Underside Cleaned and Resprayed With Undercoating

Now, getting the rear suspension back into the car takes some doing. It is definitely a two or three person job and has to be done carefully. The first thing is to reinstall the drive shaft. This is very easy. I purchased new suspension mounts all around. Two of us *(my son and I) then flipped the suspension right-side-up and lifted it onto a wood platform mounted on a very large floor jack. We had two smaller floor jacks at both sides of the car. One person slowly jacked the suspension up and the other guided the unit and gave instructions to the person at the jack. It may be easier if you have three people by the way. Once we has the unit so that we would be able to loosely bolt the front mounts up we added the two side jacks and began to carefully angle the unit so that we could insert and bolt up the rear mounts.

Installing Rear Suspension in Jaguar XKE E-type

This is tricky business and I probably would have liked a third person. The clearances are tight and you have to be slightly rotating and lifting the two sides of the suspension to get the bolts to line-up and secure the thing inplace. There may be an easier way, but we did manage to get it all secured relatively quickly and without any mishap except my son cut his finger on the relatively sharp collar the extends from the splined hub. I would tape these up as they are sharp and in the way.

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