Removing Front Suspension Cradle


The Jaguar XJ-S is designed with a front suspension cradle, to which are attached the front hubs and springs. It is also responsible for supporting the engine.

Be forewarned. The front suspension cradle is heavy and unwieldy. It's removal is not a typical one person operation. The following details the process necessary for one person to remove this Unit.

Before attempting to remove this suspension cradle the engine must be supported.

If necessary, fabricate an engine support. Details for building this support can be found on this website at (Building an Engine Support).

The challenge was not only to remove the front suspension cradle, but to do so without help. In addition, having just done a front wheel alignment I was determined not to remove the steering rack for this project.

You will need to raise the front of the car at least 30 inches. To secure the raised car properly I used wood pads with a hole for the jacking points, placed on top of my jack stands. (blue arrow)



Remove the three bolts securing the brake caliper and hang them from the fender support. (red arrow) To secure the bracket that the brake line attaches to, use one of the attachment bolts and a wheel lug. (blue arrow)



Disconnect the engine mounts (blue arrow) and power steering cooler connections.



Remove pinch bolt from lower steering rack column and remove column to rack splined connection.



Remove left side steering rack heat shield. (This is necessary to access the nuts that secure the left exhaust down pipe)



Remove sway bay end links.



Loosen (but do not remove) the front eye bushing bolts.



At this point it's critical that you support the engine cradle with a floor jack.



Remove nut from suspension rear bushings. (blue arrow)



Lower the suspension until the steering rack tower touches the left exhaust down pipe. The objective is to have the suspension cradle pivoting on the front eye bushings. Only the rear is actually being lowered. Support the suspension cradle with a jack stand. (red arrow bottom picture) Using a 9/16th inch universal socket and long extension remove the 8 nuts that holds the down pipe (and heat shield) to the exhaust manifold. (blue arrow)

(Note that if the steering rack is being removed, removing the exhaust pipe is not necessary)



Lower the suspension cradle in stages always with a jack stand (blue arrow) to stop the cradle at predetermined points necessary to change the floor jack's height.



Make sure the steering rack hoses are clear of the engine mount as the suspension cradle is lowered.



Continue to lower the suspension cradle until it hangs from the front eye bushings. (blue arrow) Note the engine fully supported by the engine support.



Remove the steering rack high pressure hose from the power steering pump.



Place two jack stands under the wheel hubs to allow the cradle to pivot. (red arrow)



Adjust (or shim) the jack stands so they fully support the cradle. I used a metal rod placed through the coil spring to balance the assembly as I removed the two bolts from the eye bushings.



Move the jack stands back until the eye bushing assemblies clear their mounting locations (blue arrows). Then, using the metal rod as leverage, pivot the suspension down onto a suitable support.





In order to facilitate re-assembly, its important to leave the suspension hubs on the jack stands. (red arrows) I supported the front of the suspension horizontally so I could remove the eye bushings. (blue arrow)



Project complete. To reinstall suspension cradle, reverse all the procedures.


 

 

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