Ride height - Torsion bars

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JD-JAG66
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#1 Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:40 pm

I put my US import 1966, series 1, 2+2 on its wheels (modern 205/70/15) out of the car port I restored it in and noticed that the car was not sitting right.
Read up on the forum and already know that I will have to jack the car back up at the rear, and undo all the bolts, drive it until it sits and then fasten the bolts.
At the moment at the rear according to Jaguar instructions found on the forum the height is 10 inches.
Apparently US cars were higher up at the rear...

The front height is only 6 inches unfortunately. Front suspension has new rubbers, balljoints, shock absorbers, etc...
But I did not "touch" the front suspension lower wishbone/torsion bar/setting link which was shotblasted and powder coated in one piece.
My concern is that the car minus its engine was sitting from 1984 and when it arrived, the front was just about high enough to justify a missing engine and shot shock absorbers.

So questions
1) will rear ride height affect front ride height... a lot?
2) are there any other "causes" for low front ride height other then torsion bars?

Cheers
Jan Deurinck
Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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#2 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Series1 Stu » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:16 am

Rear ride height is going to have only a very small effect on front ride height as it is measured only slightly ahead of the front wheel hubs. Therefore one inch change at the rear is only going to be about an eighth of an inch at the front.
It could just be that the front suspension had not been re-assembled properly after engine removal. Perhaps it had just been thrown back together in the knowledge that it had to come apart again to re-install the engine.

I would start with setting the front end up using the correct setting links and see where that gets you.

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

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#3 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by mgcjag » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:29 am

Hi JD...whats your name...please try to put it in as a signature with your car model.....dont know where you found a 10in measurement for the rear.....there is no measurement in the jaguar manual for the rear of S1 and S2 cars, and also note that there are different measurements on the front for the different models, you will need to look up yours.....tyres and pressure also make a difference....as Stuart said above your front probably needs resetting, Steve
Edit....in general from measuring cars you should have 7 1/4 to 7 1/2 from the bottom of the lip on the IRS bottom plate to the ground
Steve
1969 S2 2+2 & Building a C type replica

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#4 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:42 pm

I used the measurements as explained in this thread :viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10726&p=85789&hilit ... ent#p85789
for "deciding" on whether the rear ride height on my car was ok.
Will take adapt the torsion bars settings and see whether (it really should) the front rises.
At least I am relieved that I don't have to consider replacing the torsion bars...

Cheers
Jan
Jan Deurinck
Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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#5 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Series1 Stu » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:06 pm

Also check that the torsion bars are in the correct way around. The left side one is stamped L on one end and the right side one is stamped R on its end. They often get inadvertently swapped over.

Regards
Stuart

If you can't make it work, make it complicated!

'62 FHC - Work In (slow) Progress
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#6 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Maikel » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:12 pm

Having just re-assembled my 2+2
I am 100% I have applied the correct toolwhich has a distance center to center of 18 1/8 " or 46 cm.
The torsion bars went in niclly at least the first half at the front. Needed some gentle hits at the rear and when car was down it was even to high. After some miles it still locked good.

Some days later, I was driving to get the German MOT, the guy measured the height of the car which was 127.5 cm, The owner manual says 127 cm. So actually 0.5 cm higher which could be tire pressure.

But after having driven some 50 miles the car appeared much lower and I was wondering what that could be.
I then measured the height of the lower wich bone at is said 6.5 inch. What actually should be some 8.5 inch.

Now, I called Rob Beere and he said I could have confused the left with right torsion bar as they had a factory preload.
The local Jag dealer told me to take the tie plate off and rotate the bars for one slice and refit, that should help.

I am open and curious about your opinion. Loosing 2 inch in height not instantly but only after some 30 miles I think there is something else in the bush.

Maikel

Please check the pics and give me your advice.
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#7 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by mgcjag » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:12 pm

Hi Maikel.....your front looks too low but the white wall makes it hard to tell.....use page J.X.s.1/2 for the measurements.....and setting link dimensions...when you set the torsion bars the wishbones nuts should be loose...after refitting the shocks then set the car down and bounce a bit to settle the suspension...then tighten the nuts.....as the car is low the torsion bars need resetting and as mentioned check you heve them the correct way around.. Steve
Steve
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#8 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Maikel » Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:58 pm

Steve thanks a lot for your reply.

Before I installed the TB I did check the height and measurements you mentioned.
Actually when the car was out first time is was all good for a short ride. But with the miles the car lowered and lowered.

I should bring it up those 2 inches. Actually my upper wishbones are pointing upwards in direction of the tire.

Now, I really think i have mixed the torsion bars from left to right. Others would just rotate the mounting eyes at the tie plate for one spline, but that does not seem to be correct for me.

Will tackle it on Sunday.

Thanks
Maikel

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#9 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Maikel » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:05 pm

Actually what surprises me most is that is takes so long to lower that far. I have driven 100 miles since rebuild and it comes gradually lower. Would a wrong measurement not bee seen much sooner?
From ground to front fender I have a distance of 55 cm.
How much would one spline at the rear end, lift the car ?
Maikel

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#10 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by mgcjag » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:12 pm

Hi Maikel.....only use measurements an in the manual.....measuring to the fender depends on how it was fitted and could very from car to car....the torsion bars should have L & R stamped on the end.....you need to start again with the setting link...and redo the bars.......dont know what difference one spline makes...but.the suspension could stay up if you tightened the wishbones befor letting the car settle. Steve
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#11 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by PeterCrespin » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:08 am

One spline at either end would make a large difference. You are meant to try small fractions of a spline - that's what a Vernier system is all about.
1E75339 UberLynx D-Type; 1R27190 70 FHC; 1E78478; 79 S2 XJ12L; 97 XJ6L

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#12 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:58 am

Can anyone post some picture on what the "stamped - Left - Right" sign on either torsion bar should look like.
Cannot identify anything on my car's torsion bars. On either end or on either side... :shock:
Jan Deurinck
Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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#13 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:40 pm

I just undid the front suspension (shock absorber, roll bar, steering, top and bottom baljoint), so that I could adapt the torsion bar/ride height.

The left of the car seems to be Ok.
I moved the torsion bar with 1 spline (the left was higher than the right, before dismantling, by around 1 inch) and it looks like I will be able to push the lower wishbone, which is still attached to the torsion bar, down enough so that I can make the bracket setting link holes line up with the reaction plate holes.

The right side is not quite Ok.
Starting from a ride height of only 6 inches (barely) I moved the torsion bar with 2 splines. The problem is now that the lower wishbone will not go any lower...basically I will not be able to push down the lower wishbone to where the bracket setting link holes line up.
So I guess I should be focusing on the front splines (the ones on the wishbones) for adapting ride height?
I still have to loosen the castellated nut on the front wishbone, so maybe some improvement can be expected, but I can't imagine that I would be able to adapt the ride height by just "working" the front splines. Not when the wishbone can't be pushed down anymore.

Probable mistakes I made? Did I o
Please don't tell me my torsion bars are shot...

Jan
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Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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#14 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by mgcjag » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:23 pm

Hi Jan...I think your almost there....the splines are ofset at each end giving greater adjustment...you need to follow the correct procedure to set the torsion bars......much easier to disconnect the bar from both ends ....put in your setting link.........try to fit the bar, keep turning one spline at a time till both ends fit at the same time you shouldnt have to move the wishbone to make the holes line up.....its easier than it sounds but is fully explained in the service manual....if you need more help i will try to explain in more detail.......Steve
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#15 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Maikel » Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:06 am

Hi Jan,

I have done it twice. Last week.
1st. I did what 90% recommended. Taken of the torsion bars at the rear, removing those 2 bolts, rotate the eye for one spline, twist down the lower wish bone until the holes flush again with the reaction plate. I barely managed to push it far enough, measured the distance between the upper and lower damper bolts. 48.5 cm. So about 2 cm more than the 46.3 what the manual says.
Result was, the car stud so far up that it looked like a cannon gun.
I had 26 cm instead of 21.5 riding height "A"

Before I removed the bolts at the rear end I had to bring the lower wish bone in a position where I had no tension on the bolts.
I was sure, and measured 5 times when I inserted the torsion bars the first time at 46.3 cm.
Now, I thought, releasing the tension of the torsion bars, I have to be in the same position with the lower wish bone. But there was too much tension. I pulled them up until I could remove the bolts with my fingers. The distance then was 45 cm instead of 46.3. HOW CAN THAT BE?

However, since my second approach to adjust the correct ride hide ended up in a moon spotter position. I started all over again. Removed the torsion bars completely, adjusted the lower wishbones to 47.00 cm instead of 46.3, rotated the torsion on each side for about 30 trials and figured out what the best position is of all.
The bars went in on both side by hand for have the distance and the rest was done with some hits on the back.

Now the car is spot on.
So, could it be that the torsion bars are loosing strength of the 50 years and that a slightly larger distance of about 1,5% compensates it?

Jan, best thing to do. Remove the bars at the front by pushing them back. Adjust the distance between the upper and lower damper bolts correctly and maybe add 0.5 - 0.7 cm. (Which is far less that the 2 cm you would need to turn one spline at the rear). Rotate the bars, they insert first in the rear and then see how they fit at the front. Make sure you choose the best and easiest fitting on both sides.
Do not forget the small safety bolt at the front.

It took me about one hour to get it done this way. Sure, it is annoying to remove all the bolts and split pins, but that is the only way I would do it again, you also need to loosen all the bolt where you have the rubber.

I used these large M18 turnbuckle wire or rope tensioner. Important, place a thicker metal plate on the inside of the picture frame.

There might be so much tension on the bars that before they move down, they will push and deform the cross member above the upper damper mounting bolt.


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Hope this helps you.

Maikel

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#16 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Hello Maikel,

Thanks for the detailed explanation.
I am trying go the same route and have already loosened all the bolts on the right.
Even succeeded in removing the little safety bolt on the right torsion bar, without it braking off :bigrin: and was hoping that the torsion bar would move back "easily". After all, at the rear setting link was already loose.
Unfortunately I had the lower wishbone and torsion bar powder coated "in one piece" so I guess that this is causing some problems in allowing it to move. :mrgreen:
Problem is that I cannot hit the torsion bar (properly) in any way (front or back) so that it would.
More effort to follow tomorrow. :wink:

Have a great day
Jan
Jan Deurinck
Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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#17 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Gfhug » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:28 am

Jan, when I refitted my torsion bars in exactly the same position as they were removed, the front of the car stood 5cm high. This was after changing the front suspension bushes and damper. I re-checked all the settings but still sitting high.
Only after I had driven the car did it all settle down to the correct height.

Just something for you to be aware of.

Geoff
S2 FHC Light Blue

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#18 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by Maikel » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:17 am

Jan,

when you have the Eye shape bracket at the rear off the splines and make sure you have enough room to hit the bar backwards. (there might be an earth cable sitting in the way)

You then have to pull up the lower wishbone at the front, he torsion bar then comes back in sight from the front. Use a longer rod to avoid hitting the under bonnet.

Have someones hand holding the bar, avoiding shooting it out.
When that is done push the lower wishbone back to the correct distance, I added 0.7 cm to reach the correct ride hight. I did that as my car is now about 100 kg heavier that the factory spec.
Consider the difference in height just between cars with air con and those without. What is the weight of the air con?

On my car, I do have much more sound and heat insulation, a heavy subwoofer hidden, some extra layer of clear coat, the components powder coated and and and, that might sum up to the about 100 kg extra weight to consider setting the torsion bars.

Hope you get it straight.

Maikel

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#19 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by abowie » Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:00 am

JD-JAG66 wrote:Hello Maikel,

Unfortunately I had the lower wishbone and torsion bar powder coated "in one piece" so I guess that this is causing some problems in allowing it to move.
Jan

i doubt you will be properly able to adjust the TB if this is the case. You will need to separate these components and clean the splines.

Once you have done this you will be able to set the TB height as per the manual. If then your ride height is not correct you will need to replace the TB as it is faulty.
Andrew.
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#20 Re: Ride height - Torsion bars

Post by JD-JAG66 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:35 pm

I managed to separate torsion bar from wishbone in the end. :hammer:
Indeed had to clean up the splines before it would fit back together.
47 cm is basically as low as the wishbone will go. I actually had to lift it by hand a little bit in order to be able to hammer the torsion bar in. Without the little "lift" I could only get the torsion bar in halfway.
Obviously I then fitted the setting links at 47cm.
Turned out that before, when I could not move the wishbone lower, this was due to the heat shields on the lower part of the frame that were in the way.
Wasn't the most pleasant job, as I am a crawler (I do not have a lift) and had to do all this in around 40cm of space lying under the car. The torsion bar actually fell down on my nose at one point with plenty of bloodshed as a result. :sad:
Anyway, I have not yet put the car on its wheels as I still have to do the camber-caster setting, and the rear axle camber setting as well. Joy.

Thanks everybody!!
Jan Deurinck
Series 1 - 1966 - 2+2 - LHD - American Import
Si vales, bene est, ego valeo

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