Repairs, Uncategorized
Comments 7

Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: The Rear Suspension and Brakes 7: Rear Suspension Colors, Brake Reassembly

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.

Grease Access Hole on Hub Carrier - Copper Anti-Seize on Splines

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.

Parking Brake Assembly on Rotor and Caliper


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.

Jaguar XKE E-type Rear Rotor and Differnetial During Assembly

I also got back the newly balanced drive shaft and U-joints and thought the whole rear suspension was starting to look pretty good!

Jaguar XKE Rear Suspension and Drive Shaft During Reassembly

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.

7 Comments

  1. Make the installation of the IRS assembly easy. I had trouble lying up the IRS into the body tub. There are two drilled holes on the top of the IRS cage. With a magic marker mark the under side of the tub thru these holes FIRST!!
    Then remove the IRS. With the floor mats removed Drill the two marked holes 3/8+ thru. Upon reassemble you can put alignment pins thru these holes or even use a piece of threaded rod in each hole to pull the IRS in place. Then plug the holes.
    Remember to put the upper bolts for the rubber isolation mount from the out side with the nuts in board and the lower bolts which mount the IRS to the isolation mount , the heads should be inboard and nuts outboard. Mine were reversed hence disassembly was very difficult
    WMK
    wnk01930@yahoo.com

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  2. Chas says

    Surely the “orange” paint on the diff was merely the original red oxide primer. I have only seen black assemblies in uk scrapyard’s.

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    • G M MacDonald says

      Hi Chas – This is one of the ‘great debates’ in the E-type world. See this thread – http://www.jcna.com/forums/view.php?Vref=SW39&Vfnum=021&Vthread=8 The Jaguar Club of North America judging manuals are silent on this. Go to Google Images and you will find plenty of orange oxide differentials. You also commonly see the diffs referred to as ‘pumpkins’. I can tell you that mine – from a car with less than 40,000 miles and a rear that was never dropped – from what I could see was definitely orange oxide without a trace of black anywhere. I do not believe the hypothesis that they had a surface coat of cheap black paint that somehow ‘burnt’ off. There are so many instances of orange diffs (again have a look at Google Images) that I am inclined to believe they shipped that way. Now, it is entirely possible that some were also top coated black in addition to the orange ones. Perhaps someone wiser than me knows?

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  3. BILL CARTER says

    I AM TRYING TO FIND THE MODEL OF JAG REAR END THAT HAS A DRIVELINE PARKING BRAKE, WHICH I HAVE. I HEARD THAT THERE WERE ONLY TWO YEARS THAT THEY BUILT THEM. COULD YOU HELP ME? THANK YOU . BILL CARTER

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    • G M MacDonald says

      Hi Bill – It depends what you mean. All of the XKE’s had inline disks mounted on the half-shafts near the differential. These had separate small hand brake calipers on them. So that would be two per car as the cars were IRS with two half shafts. So in a sense there are many Jags such as XKE’s and many XJ’s etc with this arrangement have parking brakes on drive shafts in a way. Later XJS’s had outboard brakes. I am not aware of any with a single pinion mounted hand brake on the central driver shaft though. Sorry I cannot be of more help. Do let me know what you discover though.

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      • BILL CARTER says

        THANKS FOR THE REPLY, I DO HAVE A PIC OF MINE, I NEED TO KNOW THE MODEL. MY PINION SEAL IS BAD. I DON’T KNOW IF THE PARTS ARE ALL THE SAME. BILL

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      • Bill Carter says

        I FOUND OUT WHAT YEAR AND MODEL THAT MADE THAT DRIVELINE BRAKE, IT WAS AN S3 E – TYPE  MADE FROM 1971 TO 1975.  THANKS FOR EVERYONE’S INPUT.    BILL CARTER

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