S3 E-Type

Rear Suspension Rebuild

by Dave


I set out to just clean & check the rear suspension components, replacing UJs, springs, shocks and rebuilding brakes, but I found that most of the bearings were showing signs of wear. This looked to me to be a result of water ingress/corrosion rather than massive mileage. The bearings for the rear wishbones are(exploded diagram):
C17167 (Needle) Torrington BA 146, I used IKO (Nippon Thompson) Brand , make sure they are "full complement" type.
C16029 (Taper Roller) Timken 03062/03162 or equivalent.
C16628 (Oil Seal) use a one-piece National 471652 or equivalent. These bearings & seals are all readily available at your local bearing/seal specialist.

The Koni shock absorbers were badly worn: they had absolutely no 'bump' damping, but still had the adjustable 'rebound' damping. Certainly explains the poor handling!  I have replaced with standard non-adjustable Sachs/Boge items.

Springs were replaced because rear ride-height was too low, interestingly the new springs had the same 'free length', but the result is that the car sits ~2 inch higher at rear.

I had carefully labelled all shims on the diff & driveshafts, including which side they came off; result was that in all cases there was no need to adjust clearances/re-shim, as all were correct ( in other words, this shimming is more to do with casting/production tolerances than anything to do with assembly/wear). 


With the diff fitted in the subframe I could start to assemble the lower wishbones.


An once they were in-place and moving freely, i added the rebuilt driveshafts and the rebuilt hubs. Then the shock/spring units could be added and the base plate of the subframe put in-place.


Although it looks rather 'ungainly', you have to fit the trailing arms at this time because the bolt securing the T/Arm to the wishbone only *just* clears the Shock mount... a special bolt is required and even this won't fit once the shock is in-place.

At this point I used an engine hoist to mave the assembly closer to the car (& out of the rain).


I then fitted the rebuilt brakes and made up new brake lines.

Before fitting to the car, I filled the diff with oil.... much easier at this stage...


The little bottle is important: that's the additive required for the LSD - without this you'll find that the diff locks-up to easily, giving tyre-wear and 'noisy cornering"....


It's hard to describe the rancid objectionable smell of this stuff...but at least it allows you to quickly smell a leak....


So here it is ready to go back ... only took 3 months to do (OK, it took probably 8 days of work, 6 Hrs/day).


I was able to put the subframe back on my own, just using the jack platform I'd made earlier. Before re-fitting all the parts I connected & bled the brakes in order to double-check any risk of leaks/problems (so I would minimise having to 'undo' much assembly work). In fact I did find one small leak from the 'T'piece in the hydraulic line which could be tightened easily before all the other bits were in-place.

Overall result on the road: far better brakes and proper damping over bumps with a ride-height looking much healthier with no grounding on speed bumps etc.... well worth it!
Rear Suspension RebuildBrowser|15 Mar : 17:24

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This will be most helpful as i've been planning this event for months now(accumulating parts).

Rear Suspension Rebuildsammiu#inbox.re|22 Apr : 18:26

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Rear Suspension RebuildhASHIM|18 Nov : 02:02

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Is there a special technique to mount the rear subframe on a series 3 XKE. Do I attaché the mounts to the subframe or the body first. Having no luck lining it up.

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