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Jaguar Repair/Jaguar XJ6 Series III rear end repairs

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QUESTION: Howard,

Last we spoke I was replacing rear wheel bearings, about a month ago. All is well there, and replaced radius arm bushings this week. I still have a woodpecker-like rattle, proportional to speed, as I take curves to the right, that I can only guess to be the left half shaft. U-joints are cheap and easily available, and not hard to do, so I may just do that Saturday. The Haynes manual suggests removing the IRS to do this. Surely the half shaft can be removed with the IRS in place, right? Would you recommend doing both axles at once, or just the one that is giving me trouble?

Thanks,
Michael

ANSWER: I guess there are two trains of thought in that area. One is that if they are all about the same age and one is failing, there is a good chance that the others are close behind the failed one.

The other is why replace them if they have not failed yet? Working in dealerships we tried to repair everything in groups due to reason number one. When we didn't do that, we would get the statement from the customer when the second one failed shortly after the first. "Why didn't you replace that one too while you were replacing the first one?"

If the car is only a year or two old and one fails, I agree that you should only replace that one, but when a car is 25+ years old and you don't know when or if the "U" joints have ever been replaced then you should replace all four. Don't forget to reset the camber too.

Howard

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Howard,

Thanks, and this can be another example of me knowing the answer before I asked. Of course, I should service both axles and u-joints are dirt cheap at the local parts store and I can probably knock this out in an evening. I'm kicking myself for not doing it when I had all this apart doing the wheel bearings, and the wife recoiled a bit at what it cost me to have the radius arm bushings pressed in at a machine shop Friday, so I was in damage control mode earlier. I imagine you can understand, as this isn't even a commute vehicle, but my toy/hobby. My expensive toy/hobby. She spends way less on cross-stitching. I had asked about the Haynes manual recommending dropping the IRS to remove axles - surely that is not necessary, correct? I imagine I can wiggle one shock loose and squeeze the axles out. I only dread how seized up the bolts to the inner drive may be.

Thanks again,
Michael

Answer
No, You do not need to drop the whole suspension to get the axle out. Haynes probably don't actually do the work to write their manual but most likely just read the factory manual or other manuals and they may have looked it up under "rear suspension" and not under "Drive shafts and and axles" in the factory manual.

Yes, you can just remove the axle nut and swing the outer carrier assembly down and remove the axle to do the work. Don't forget to reset the Camber when finished. I don't remember ever finding the inner bolts and nuts on the flange rusted up.

At the dealership we often would refuse to do part of a job. Prime example is brakes, clutch and clutch hydraulics. On a relatively new car you can sometimes do one component but on a high mileage or older car you should never do just part of a repair when you know the other parts of that section are close behind needing replacement.

You are 100% correct when you refer to your Jag as your toy/hobby. Many owners of older Jags love their cars and live with the high maintenance of an older Jag. Some even brag about it.

This is a true story, George Jones, the country singer had an older Jag and it required a lot of maintenance and he was at the dealership often. So often that his wife once called Martin (the owner of the dealership)and asked what George did down there all the time as he seemed to enjoy going there all the time. George finally complained to Martin about the high maintenance and problems with the car and Martin offered to buy back the Jag, so George sold it back to the dealership.

A while later George showed up at the dealership with a Chrysler. He looked over the new Jags on the showroom floor and told Martin that his Chrysler never gave him a minutes problem and everything always worked and the maintenance was low and it had a great smooth ride. He then asked Martin if the new Jags had a high maintenance as the old ones and had problems. Martin said "Yes they still did". George asked if Martin would take the Chrysler in on trade on one and he did, so George drove out in another Jag with a big grin on his face.

To keep your home a happy one, you should refer to your Jag as a "Hobby" not a car. And when your wife complains that your "Hobby" is leaving oil spots on the driveway, your response should be, "That's not my Hobby leaking oil, that is my Kitty marking it's territory". Try to keep you "Hobby/Kitty" in the garage at night because you know what happens when you leave a cat out at night. Soon you will have a yard full of cats. I know this for a fact as I use to leave mine outside at night and now there are 6 of them out there. ha!

Howard  

Jaguar Repair

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Howard M. Fitzcharles III

Expertise

Jaguar from the XK 120 to XJ-6 ser. 3 1987

Experience

Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Organizations
Associate member SAE EAA member

Publications
Import Car magazine

Education/Credentials
ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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