XJS ( X27 ) 1975 - 1996 3.6 4.0 5.3 6.0

Subframe or not subframe?

 
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:00 PM
Vee
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Default Subframe or not subframe?

So as you might know, my 1996 Jaguar XJS was recently stolen and crashed. The body damage is obvious and pretty straightforward.

The radiator and air conditioning condenser support was bent pretty bad. I assumed that this welded to the car member was an integral part of the car's frame. After speaking to several random body shops, they all seemed to come to that same conclusion.

Then I spoke with a shop in NJ who specializes in repairing Jaguars and Land Rovers. He told me that it was not a structural member. And he might have a point. The degree with which this member was bent, while not causing any of the gaps in the hood or door to move is pretty incredible. Could it be that this member is indeed not structural?

How would one come to a definitive answer for that? Picture below.




 

Last edited by Vee; 11-20-2018 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:04 PM
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Here's another picture of that support from below:


 
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:22 PM
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4 wheel alignment check?
 
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Old 11-20-2018, 04:30 PM
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I was just under my car with a frame guy this afternoon.

The damage in the pic is definitely the subframe. My frae guy tried for 6 months to straighten mine. I finally bought a donor car and pulled the front subframe. I'm swapping them next week.

Cheers
 
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:11 PM
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That looks like the lower radiator support that is bent and I would suspect it is a structural part of the car. It ties the chassis rails together.

As mentioned a parts car could be a donor to supply all the needed bits to fix yours.
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:51 AM
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No radiator, no drive, no ability to check 4 wheel alignment.

It is indeed the radiator support that has bent....severely. It is called “Crossmember” and is Part Number BHC2256.
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:11 AM
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Are you planning to fix this yourself or have a shop fix it? With that amount of damage the chassis may be bent.
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:07 AM
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Even though it may require welding, once you remove the damaged piece, a new or part removed from a donor car could be re welded after the body shop checks the rest of the car for straightness. This part may have saved the rest of the car.
The sub-frame yuo talk about is the removable part where the suspension is part of and fixed to the car through isolators

The damaged cross-member I think is #5 in the illustration.
 

Last edited by carsnplanes; 11-21-2018 at 05:12 AM.
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:13 AM
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Subframe is #1. Replaceable using new rubber mountings.


 
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:29 AM
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How did they drive it away. ?
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:11 AM
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Warrjon,

you are correct. #5 is indeed the damaged part. The Land Rover /Jaguar “specialist” claims that this part gets beat up a lot, and therefore doesn’t believe it is too difficult to repair.

Malc4d, ”They” drove it away when there was no damage and a healthy radiator in the car. Once “they” smashed it, the radiator was destroyed. Now it’s in my driveway with the radiator removed.
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 01:27 PM
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As Warrjon said, it is a structural member. It can be cut out and a new one welded in, this is frequently done in the UK as this rusts like crazy. If all the shutlines are OK (BIG IF) then it can be cut out and replaced. Just make a careful check on the exact distance between the lower chassis rails on an undamaged car and ensure the new crossmember when tacked in is the same. Very important to check carefully that the top and bottom chassis rails in the engine bay are not distorted. They will probably be OK, the XJS is a very very strongly bodied car.
I would be as worried, or moreso, that the front body mountings for the subframe 6 shot bushes are OK and not bent; or if they are that they are replaced/repaired accurately.
 
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:25 AM
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Sorry, l gathered that. I mean did you leave the keys around or did the break the lock. Im just asking is the car really easy to steal ?
 
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Old 11-22-2018, 11:15 AM
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While this is technically a structural member, it's not what you call a "stressed" member. It simply ties the front frame rails together from side to side and supports the radiator. It can easily be cut out. (and the car won't fall apart) Then measure everything carefully to make sure all is still straight, and true. Then weld in a new crossmember. I would do this myself without a second thought. But not everyone has the same skill set, and that's why they have bodyshops. I would venture to say that you won't find any real damage except for the crossmember itself. Just my Thoughts, hope it helps.

Jack
 
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 89 Jacobra View Post
While this is technically a structural member, it's not what you call a "stressed" member. It simply ties the front frame rails together from side to side and supports the radiator. It can easily be cut out. (and the car won't fall apart) Then measure everything carefully to make sure all is still straight, and true. Then weld in a new crossmember. I would do this myself without a second thought. But not everyone has the same skill set, and that's why they have bodyshops. I would venture to say that you won't find any real damage except for the crossmember itself. Just my Thoughts, hope it helps.

Jack

I agree. I would have a go at this myself too. I would have a good look at the subframe mountings and make sure they are all ok. Also take some check measurements from a straight car and if all looks good I would weld a temporary stay between the chassis rails before cutting anything out. I hope it is not too bad and you get it sorted.
 
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Old 11-22-2018, 03:18 PM
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It's not structural and easy to replace, look where it's mounted to the chassis rail, if it's not bend there you can either buy a new panel or cut one from a donor car.

You can always start the car, see whether it drives straight, you don't need a radiator for a short drive. Post more pics too.
 
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Old 11-23-2018, 01:33 AM
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Vee - if you are going to fix this yourself you need to measure if there is any distortion/twist in the chassis.

To do this I would put the car on the garage floor and mark where the tyres are so you can level the car later, then use a plumb bob from the suspension pickup points to the ground, mark the ground with masking tape and a pen, You should now have marked on the floor where the tyres and suspension points are.

Because a garage floor is not flat you need to check the levels at the suspension points marked on the floor and where each tyre sits. Find the lowest tyre point and use this as your reference point then measure everything from that point. This will give you the corrections you need when measuring from the suspension points to the floor.

Put the car on timber raisers making sure it lines up with the marks you put on the floor, then level the car with shims under the tyres, use a water level to the centre of the wheel hubs. Then measure from the suspension pickup points to the floor. This will give you a good idea if the chassis is twisted.


 
 
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