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Designing a repair strategy...

 
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Old 12-14-2018, 03:01 AM
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Default Designing a repair strategy...

Hi all,

A clonking noise from the left front side appeared on my XJ a few months ago, just a bit irritating when on an uneven road, but ok. Unfortunately, it worsened and eventually, the car started pulling to the right. I've changed the tie rod ends, sway bar links and bushes, upper shock bushings, for nothing (that is, when pulling the parts out I realized they were in good shape, but since I was there, I changed them anyway).
Obviously, no changes whatsoever.

I took it to a mechanic who diagnosed that both front lower ball joints were worn out and causing the noise, so I'm bound to change these. However, I have a couple other issues:

1/ A rear bearing is a bit old and causes some play. The result is that before I take it to a shop for a full geometry, I'll probably need to change that as well, and it does not sound too easy (a shop would take 365 €, so no way). I don't have a press, not sure whether I should get one for this. 12-tons models aren't expensive and should suffice.

2/ I've grown weary of mechanics. Can someone confirm that worn out lower ball joints only can cause a play (vertical) and such noise ? My concern is that I would change those, requiring a geometry, but there would still be some play due to another element, so I'd be stuck. When lifting the car and pushing the wheel up and down, I can't see any deformed bushings or abnormally moving part, but it's not easy to spot (or it is, and there really is nothing wrong. I hadn't noticed the ball joint though).

3/ I'm not sure how I proceed. Should I first change the rear bearing, then move on to the front ball joints ? Or the other way around, if I can still have the geometry made despite the play on the bearing ? (which does not seem urgent to replace, no noise)

4/ I initially intended to replace the lower arm bushings as well, but from what I read, taking the whole arm out requires carefully immobilizing the spring, so I'm inclined to replace the ball joints in situ with a C-Clamp. Doesn't sound easy, but doable, right ? (I'll just end up with an hypertrophied right arm, I guess) Does it actually require removing the brakes and disc ? (the threads I've read don't mention this bit)
 
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Old 12-14-2018, 06:35 AM
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If you believe the shop that told you about the ball joints and your rear bearing isn't actually making any noise you might be ok to just do the ball joints.
I'd try using a pry bar between suspension arms and the front knuckle to see if you can see the play in the joints.
On my 99 XJR the ball joint boots were trashed (Texas sun I guess) so there was no need to get the pry bar out to check them.
I will say the spring isn't terrible to deal with but removing the lower ball joint with a C type press might be. I took the arms out and had a machine shop press the old ones out (and new ones in) for $40.
They told me the old parts came out hard (not sure if that means 10 t or 20 t).
You might want to consider a big press as people who've done the front wheel bearings mention they can be pretty stubborn. No need for a collection of presses
Regardless of how you do the job you'll want the caliper & rotor off, you'll probably want the rotor splash shield off but some knucklehead decided that should be retained with a loop by the ball joint stud...and red loctitie on the cheezy little torx head screws that actually secure it.
I cut the loop off as well as the offending material that requires you to have the hubs out of the knuckles to remove the splash shield, no need for 3 redundant means of securing a part, just one good one (IMHO).
 
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:45 AM
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I see, yes. Actually I found a number of threads where members successfully used a c-clamp, although with much effort. My car being rusty as hell, it might require even more strength indeed. A press would be useful for future operations anyway...

​Will need to build that spring compression tool as a first step, then.
 
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Old 01-10-2019, 04:50 AM
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Hi all,

So, update : I bought a press -- a 20-ton model from Ebay, 150 € inc. delivery. I had low expectations about its general quality, and wasn't disappointed on that, it is definitely a poorly designed and manufactured product. But it presses nonetheless.

I built a spring compression tool, no difficulties (apart from getting the class 8 or 10 steel elements), and managed to get everything out and replace both ball joints (upper and lower), each side. The lower ones are a bitch to press out though, pain in the neck to get the right angle (and they required a lot of strength to pop out, really. Scary noise when they do).

On the second side, I figured that it wasn't necessary to remove the spring completely (as putting it back was tedious on the first wheel). Just lowering it a little bit allows to pull the lower arm, and makes it easier to mount everything back.

I also planned to change the upper and lower bushings, but they were all actually in perfect shape.

I've adjusted the geometry with a string around the 4 wheels --it works surprisingly well-- so that it drives more or less straight when I take it to a shop next Wednesday. Normally, the play on the rear left wheel due to the worn out bearing won't prevent them from doing the geometry as it is still small... I'll change it soon anyway.

At least the clonking noise is gone, yay. From the front that it... the rear is quite noisy, some bushings being visibly damaged, so I guess that will be something to resolve in the coming weeks, too.
 
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:40 AM
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Have you replaced the shocks in the rear recently? I know you said you replaced upper shock bushings but not sure if that was front only. When I had a clonking/rattling coming from the rear in my XJ8s the culprits were a bad bearing in one and worn out shock bushings in both. The foam donut at the top of the rear shock towers can also disintegrate. When I replaced both of the rear shocks the kit also came with new bushings (Also a previous mechanic had put one of the rear springs in UPSIDE DOWN so I understand your weariness of mechanics.). After shock replacement on a 148K XJ8, tight as a drum, no rattles or squeaks.

The rear shocks can be a pain as you must compress the springs and remove the whole unit like a macpherson but you seem like a handy guy. A spring compressor and bottle jack will compress the shock and spring for removal (Jaguar shop manual available online gives step by step).
 
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:35 AM
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I haven't checked the rear shocks at all, in fact... Just noticed that the subframe bushings are clearly worn out (remind me of an old lady's stockings, it that helps picturing their state...).

Quite possibly, when pulling the various parts I'll notice that some need being replaced... Thanks for the tip, I'll pay attention to these shocks and their bushings.
 
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:09 AM
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You may find this forum thread useful..................................

https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...-video-201680/
 
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:12 AM
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Interesting indeed. Also I noticed that the bushings I was referring to (big one that can be seen just in front or the rear wheel) look exactly like mine...just dirty then, and perhaps not worn out. I'll investigate some more.

So I almost AGAIN changed a part for no reason.
 
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Old 03-01-2019, 07:22 AM
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Hi all,

So I managed to replace the faulty rear bearing, which was an absolute pain in the *ss -- almost entirely because of the handbrake mechanism. I don't understand why they did something so complicated.
Rest of the procedure was fairly straight-forward : remove everything without paying enough attention to how the pieces are fitted together, stand somewhat perplexed trying to figure out how the new pieces should be assembled, try something, oops it's supposed to be the other way around, etc etc.

I could see that the sway bar bushings and links seemed pretty worn, as well as the shock bushings, so this is the next step I guess. The shocks themselves don't look like they need to be replaced, but it's difficult to assess while they're in place.

That handbrake, for crap's sake. Seriously.
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackson_Dkmg View Post
Hi all,

So I managed to replace the faulty rear bearing, which was an absolute pain in the *ss -- almost entirely because of the handbrake mechanism. I don't understand why they did something so complicated.
Rest of the procedure was fairly straight-forward : remove everything without paying enough attention to how the pieces are fitted together, stand somewhat perplexed trying to figure out how the new pieces should be assembled, try something, oops it's supposed to be the other way around, etc etc.

I could see that the sway bar bushings and links seemed pretty worn, as well as the shock bushings, so this is the next step I guess. The shocks themselves don't look like they need to be replaced, but it's difficult to assess while they're in place.

That handbrake, for crap's sake. Seriously.
Not to throw cold water on this, but the rear bearings contain a preload shim that must be accounted for when replacing the bearings. The thickness of the shim is vital to making sure the bearings have the correct spacing, so they arenít too tight or loose. Itís a bit of a process, requiring that you order the thickest shim, put the hub in a press, and check the end play with a depth gauge. Then you do some math, and order a shim with the correct thickness to ensure the right amount of end play.

Perhaps you know all this, but your post didnít mention it. If you put the original shim back in without checking the preload, you might be ok, or you might not. In my case, it was not ok. I used the original shim out of ignorance, but soon my bearing began squeaking and I ended up having to replace the bearings on that side again. The second time I did it correctly, and have had no issues since.
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:22 PM
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I actually wasn't aware of this... I reused the original shim, yes (that metallic collar, maybe 3 mm thick). As far as I could tell, the new parts had the exact same dimensions than the old ones. In fact, I pressed out the two bearing mounts, and I couldn't tell the difference from the new ones (identical in size, shape and condition really), so I'm not completely sure which ones I pressed in. Perhaps this can happen when using parts from a different manufacturer? I had ordered a Timken breaing, same than the one in place.

Duly noted though, I'll pay extra attention to any noise coming from there. Thanks for the tip.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:26 AM
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Hi Jackson_Dkmg,

The manufacturing tolerances among Jaguar OEM bearing suppliers like Timken, SKF and Toyo are so precise that new bearings are typically so close in size to old ones that you should be able to use the original shims with no problem whatsoever, as long as new axle nuts are used and properly torqued to 304-336 Nm / 224-248 ft.lbs.

If you have to mess with the shims, suspect that your new bearings are out of specification.

Cheers,

Don
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:55 AM
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Hi Don,

Right, I see... I'm actually always buying OEM parts, or at least from manufacturers I know are reliable -- typically, the auto parts websites offer a wide array of products, cheapest ones being suspiciously cheap. Since the replacement procedures aren't usually easy, I'd rather not go with those and end up changing them again just a few months later.

I did replace the axle nut as the original one deteriorated, as expected, when removing it -- 20+ € just for that, goddammit -- ; as per the torque, well... My wrench maxes out at 250 Nm unfortunately, so I did the rest pretty much randomly, which might cause an issue later on then. I'll try to get a better wrench for when I replace the bushings and other elements down there, and adjust the torque.
 
 
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