In the process of reassembly of the rear suspension I replaced all of the rubber bushings for anti-roll bar and also took apart all of the various bearings to clear out old grease, inspect and repack or replace. Things were very solid in general. One thing to be aware of is that the hub carriers have access covers that you can gently pry off and repack with grease. This is important. Here is a picture of the access cover below. Of course, if you end up replacing wheel bearings you will need a special tool to withdraw the hub and carrier and will need to carefully measure the end floats of the bearings.
Now, a question that Jaguar XKE E-type rebuilders face is what colors to use on the rear suspension? I have seen all sorts of things – from all black to having a black cage with a cherry red differential. I was fortunate as the rear suspension on my Jag had never been dropped or rebuilt – so I could carefully preserve or recreate the original 1969 Series 2 rear suspension colors and finishes. After I started to clean and prepare all of the rear suspension parts for reassembly I noticed that some portions were not black in color, but seemed to be a very dark bronze brown. The suspension arms in particular seemed to be finished like this. I found a similar very dark bronze color in a Rustoleum spray and decided to duplicate. Some other portions, such as the cage seemed to be a glossy (but not mirror-like) black. As for the differential – the correct color for the Jaguar XKE E-type differential is a sort of orange. It is not quite a bright pumpkin orange, but close. I have seen a number of differentials that have been repainted red – and that just looks garish and wrong. I ended up mixing enamel to get a match to the orange color and sheen on the differential.
Reassembly of rear suspension is relatively straight forward. Remember to reinstall the shims between the differential, rotors and half shafts on the proper sides and in the proper order.
One tricky part is the installation of the parking brakes, linking them to the calipers and adjustment of the parking brakes. You can swing the rear cage around and get better access. You have to use a flat screwdriver to adjust the pads once you have the units in place on the rotors. It is a little fiddly getting these things all in place and properly adjusted. I took pains to try and recreate the twists of the various pieces of safety wire that are used in securing the differential and the brakes as I put things back together.
I also got back the newly balanced drive shaft and U-joints and thought the whole rear suspension was starting to look pretty good!
PS – The differential itself was not leaking and working fine. I did replace the differential hypoy gear oil. As this is a limited slip differential you HAVE to add a limited slip additive to the oil to modify the friction properties of the hypoy gear oil. Otherwise you may get some chatter out of the diff. You can order a small bottle of the differential additive from XK’s Unlimited or simply purchase it at an auto supply store. As for the actual hypoy oil something like Castrol at around 90-120 weight should work.