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Rear lower suspension arm bush replacement and fitting, S-type all years, XJ X350, XK X150

Lazlo Woodbine

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I finally got some new bushes for the rear of my car and set about fitting them to the spare lower rear arms I had for just this porpoise.

I replaced only the pillowball type bushes (31Av & 31AW in the diagram) which go in the rear inner and outer registers on the arms. The inner front (31AU) is a solid rubber bush which seemed to be perfectly serviceable on both arms.



The first job was to make a tool to push the bushes in and out with. This is a piece of 1 3/4" water pipe. Inside it is a piece of aluminium to make it a snug fit on the seal lip of the bush purely to locate it centrally.IMG_2733.thumb.JPG.cebe5b5d73b651346285538e17f08d4b.JPG


This tube is to support the arm and allow the old bush to pass through as it came out. It's a piece of old steam pipe from the railway, it was probably around when Dr Beeching was in short trousers. You can see where it's been machined out to allow room for the bush without needing pinpoint precision.IMG_2742.thumb.JPG.2c35adfb990ba5aba24cf726ca027fe0.JPG

Here's one of the old knackered bushes. All of them were loose from wear but at the same time unable to rotate axially as they were designed to.IMG_2744.thumb.JPG.b3263b0c8ad2de8577067dfb68a2e48e.JPG

I didn't actually take any pictures of the bushes coming out. Once it's all position it's not really the time to stop to take snaps. Suffice to say I stacked up the steam pipe, then the arm then the water pipe, line it all up and press. There was no real drama, they all let go quite easily and the tools did their jobs.

One arm sans bush.


The registers were cleaned up with a sandpaper drum(?) in a electric drill. This was just get rid of any corrosion present.

One thing which you must be aware of is that only one end of the register is machined flat and at right angles to the register itself. This is the side that must be down on the bed of the press to get the bush to go in straight.

I did purposely push the insides out of one of the old bushes to have a look. IMG_2750.thumb.JPG.380a089fb9d52bf57b38480f8cc83e22.JPGIMG_2749.thumb.JPG.7238b493ffe5af2ca2ba3b414f160876.JPG

An interesting design but I really think the sealing should be more robust. All of the seals were in tatters, much the same as the ones on my car.


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Fitting the new bushes was dead simple, "reversal of removal" as Haynes say. Again no pictures as such but there wasn't much to see, the purpose made tools were the important bit. 

On fitting the re-bushed arms today I found that the slider pins on one rear brake caliper carrier were seized solid. Some wrenching about in the vice freed them and they were put back together cleaned and coated in CV grease.

More worryingly there was an awful of of play in the inner end ball-joints of both rear track-rods which I fitted brand new this year! They've done probably 3k miles at the most, absolutely shocking. The supplier offered to replace them but they're out of stock and I think I'll be calling back tomorrow to ask a refund instead of another set! I thought the wobbling was getting worse a quite a rate and these would be why, there was a good 5 degrees of free play in the toe of each rear wheel. I replaced the old ones because the outer bushes were worn out so I've reused the old inner ends with the new outers.

All the suspension bolts came undone with no fuss save for the bottom of one drop link but even that was no real problem.

The damper and the three bush bolts which are a mix of 21, 18 & 19mm. The drop link was a 7mm hex on the pin and a 15mm nut. Annoyingly the brake caliper an its' carrier have to come off to allow the outer bush bolt to come out, there's only an inch in it but it has to be done.

The spare arms with two nice new bushes and one original, Well, two outta three ain't bad according to Meatloaf.IMG_2746.thumb.JPG.4f873d8d30c0585983fb3859b151260e.JPG


Front inner bush.IMG_2756.thumb.JPG.605bf58f66b3053a52673488886fda23.JPG


Outer bush, rear inner bush, drop link & damper.IMG_2759.thumb.JPG.d06604382a0e06a5324fec6b10c981b5.JPG 

Fitting these arms is an easy job, even on a gravel driveway. Probably half my time was spent messing around with the other problems that I found along the way.

The new bushes come with washers to pack the outer one out to fit. For some reason the original outer is about 5mm longer than the inner rear one which is otherwise identical. I'd imagine the after-market don't want to tool up for two different bushes, hence the washers, that's absolutely fine with me.

I will set the tracking properly once I have new rear track-rods and a front track-rod end.

Already the ride and handling is transformed from the level of a Ford Zephyr up to at least a Sierra and once I have done the front lower bushes and set up the entire geometry it should be really good! As little as I like having to replace suspension parts I do find a silver lining in the promise of a nicer, more involving drive.

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Well done Sir, get the tracking done and those new tyres on and you'll be all set and hopefully impressed with the transformed handling :yes:

I bought the refurbed lower arms as a complete assembly for c£160 per side, may I ask what you had to pay for just the bushes to do this yourself?

Sounds dodgy re the wear on the track rod balljoints! Which supplier / make did you use, sounds as if they should be avoided! Although wear could be exacerbated by other suspension wear etc.

Like you I would prefer not to risk the job without a spare set to work on off the car, which is why I chickened out and bought the complete assemblies :wink1:

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Thank you. I will set the tracking and see how many miles I can get out of the rear tyres, about 3k miles I reckon, one has slow puncture though.

I paid £92 delivered for the bushes from http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222206363126?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT2017-06-02-134346_1280x800_scrot.thumb.png.5ec993efcc925e4ed8fd08201432991b.png

As I said in another thread I waited for a month for Racing Green to show some small degree of customer care before giving up and getting these instead. They arrived in five days, no messing about.

The track-rods came from d2pautoparts10 on eBay. The chap was very polite and apologetic when I called about the failure so it's only the product I have beef with so far. Unfortunately a lot of the time the majority of examples of a particular component are off the same production line with different brands stuck on the box so it's difficult to know what you're buying. Had just one failed then I could have put it down to a single manufacturing error but both of them are bad so I'm more inclined to think that they're just rubbish. The exacerbated wear did cross my mind but then even if it had reduced their life by, let's say, a ridiculous 90% they would still only have a life of 30k miles and that's still rubbish.

No chicken about it, it's a big proposition for a lot of people. I could not have even attempted it without quite a lot of tools, space and time, all valuable commodities.  If I earned even a half decent wage then it wouldn't have been economically viable to do it myself. Not that that would have stopped me, no I like doing these things myself and above all learning and gaining experience.

One mistake I have made in this thread is in the title. I put XK instead of XF, is there any way to change it?



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  • 1 month later...

Just a little update on rear track rods.

I put the old inner end back on one side as it was better than the new one. Unfortunately I had had to cut the one on the other side off. It's doubly annoying because I changed the whole rods due to wear in the outer ends only to then have the inners fail.

I looked at replacing the inner end ball-joints with a universal replacement one that I could replace as and when without changing the arm as well. But they're not as easy to find any more, especially straight ones.

So I went with my fall back plan of ordering an arm at my local factors for £52 expecting a two day wait for it to arrive. When I got there they had one on the shelf for under £40, bonus!

It's a Moog p/n: JA-DS-8881 replacing Jaguar p/n: XR813478. It comes with a three year warranty.

Check out the poor spot welding on the silver eBay jobby compared with the black Moog one. It's almost non-existent on the ball-joint end.



I fitted that one yesterday and the horrible fidgeting and self steering is gone.

I'll update again in 3000 miles...

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Well done Laz, not sure if other models are the same, but once sorted the handling on the Sport is pretty exceptional IMO. Surprisingly engaging and chuckable for what is quite a big car :yes:

Hope yours is now sorted, you can start thinking about tyres now :wink1:


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Aha, I actually had my spare pair Cinturato P7s put on the back the same day. I now have matching tyres all round!

I swear the last two mm of tread wore off the old Lassa's in a week. One was not great and the other was most probably illegal. If they had had to go on the front or we were in the rainy season they would have been changed before now.

My o/s front hub is whirring quite a lot now and at 30 you can just feel it through the pedals. That needs changing soon but I really want to do the lower front arm bushes as well while it's all apart. I can't bring myself to fit new void bushes so I'm saving up for some Powerflex Black Series ones. I'll get some spare arms when I can and re-bush them to save having the car immobile for to long. I may find that the upper arms are worn as well but as it's nigh on impossible to tell with the car together and they're not cheap to buy I'll assume they're ok and risk taking it apart again later.. 

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I bet your ride and handling are transformed, hope so anyway :yes:

Before I did my tyres I had different rubber on every corner (why do people do that, idiots!), and the handling was frankly unsafe, she'd lurch and gripe on high speed corners in a most unsettling way. My 1st set of Winrun R330's sorted this and luckily, the handling has not been upset by now having 275/35 Nexen's on the back.

Good luck with your other plans, you must be getting to the bottom of it! I still have a slight clonking from the NSR as yet I've been unable to identify, bearing in mind I have completely new lower assemblies on both sides, I wonder what else it could be?

I should take a spin down to Cornwall Laz and we'll compare notes :wink1:

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It is a lot, lot better. I don't know exactly how much the tyres had to do with it as I only did 3 miles with the old tyres and new track rod but it does seem smoother. I'm so relieved to have the track rods sorted. It felt like an old solid axle 4x4 before with the back end geometry constantly changing. Unfortunately I'm rarely satisfied which is why I'm keen on new bushes at the front end as well. There's much more I'd like to do but barring any other component failures that should be enough for a while. I'm still dreaming of a set of Bilstein B6 dampers but that's a ways away yet..

I would have thought a clonk would be either upper arm ball-joints or ARB bushes. It could be worn out upper arm bushes but in theory they should make the handling really bad as it would allow uncontrolled camber changes. My car had new uppers only a few thousand miles before I bought it, which was nice.

Well if you fancy Cornwall I'm sure we could arrange some mischief to get up to!


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Hmmm, I must get in there and have a proper check, but handling is not being affected and I'm pretty fussy, so would hope to know! I'll talk to the Mrs about a West Country trip, she's from Devon so we love it down there. Only slight issue is we have a puppy so would generally have to take the Disco or the new van, but it could work in the Jag, not sure when though! We're pretty busy for the next month or so and I have a few niggles to sort 1st, like the rear windows (regulators ordered) and AC, but I'd love to get our Jag back on those roads and it would be good to see the 2 manual Sports side by side :yes:.

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  • 5 months later...


New member to great looking site.

Own a 2.7diesel S type which is my second s type the first being a 3.0 ltr v6. Previously owned two xj6 3.2 sovereign`s.

I have just had an mot which it passed but with advisory of worn bushes on rear shocks and inner and outer suspension arms.

I had the same problem on the 3.0 ltr , wondered if this is common problem. Garage tells me it is not possible to replace bushes so must buy complete arms.

Have been quoted price of £950. Any comments or advice much appreciated.


Many Thanks

Mike Smart



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Hi Mike

Well as you see the bushes can be changed with tools that any garage should have and the skills anyone calling themselves a mechanic should posses. For me it made financial sense  as I did everything myself. However, if you're paying someone else to do the work then a pair of arms like Russ got may work out cheaper. Two arms at £200 each plus two hours labour (I could do them in under one hour with a ramp) should be about half what you have been quoted.

If I were you I'd see if your garage will buy them direct from Berkshire Jag Spares and quote you for labour. Bear in mind that garages wager on a big mark up on parts so they may not like that idea. Some will fit customer-supplied parts but many won't, having worked in repairs I can understand their reticence.. Either way a little calling around could save you a lot of money.

Damper bushes; Almost certainly not economical to change if you're getting someone to do it for you. Circa £15 (£30 genuine) per bush plus the labour and you're probably half way to getting a whole new damper. Plus if your garage won't consider changing the lower rear arm bushes then I'd not bother asking them to change any others.

I have no idea how mechanically adept you are but changing dampers and arms is not difficult with a basic tool kit. Six bolts per side and the only one that might cause you trouble is the drop link, for £30-40 it would be worth changing them anyway whilst it's apart. An alignment check afterwards would be nice but certainly not vital as you wouldn't be disturbing any of the adjustment points. 

I don't know for sure but I get the idea that these bushes fail pretty regularly at 80k miles and upwards. The problem is the dust seals perish and split so letting the grease out, I maintain that if the seals were better they would last far, far longer. Come the spring I'll be climbing under my car to clean and grease the seals to try and keep the elements at bay.

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