The rear axle of the MK1 and 2 is located on the extreme end of the rear spring leaf and is controlled by a torque arm on either side of the car running from a body mounting to a bracket on the axle. This then locates the axle in relation to the body and stops the spring winding up under acceleration torque somewhat like a trailing arm system. The torque arms are fitted with metal/rubber bushes and with age these deteriorate with a subsequent loss of “stiffness” in axle location and general handling suffers. Don't confuse the torque arm with the panhard rod, which runs laterally [across] the car from the right hand side to near the differential centre. It centres the rear axle and suspension.
On the red MK 1 I knew that these bushes were getting pretty bad. Every time I jacked it up I could see daylight through the rubber area of the bushes. I obtained a new set from Jag World [PH 3272 7287] and with some help from a friend who is a club member we removed the torque arms, pressed out the old bushes and inserted the new bushes. Note-I have seen an illustration of this operation in a UK magazine using a bench vice. They must be different over there because we used almost all of the force of an 8 tonne hydraulic press to get the old bushes out.
We also found that the right hand body mounting for the torque arm was cracked and required some serious oxy welding to repair before refitting the torque arm. It also helped that this fellow club member happens to have an electric/hydraulic two-post car hoist in his private shed. This made the job much easier.
There was no doubt that as I drove the red MK1 home that evening along a winding high-speed road that the handling had vastly improved
When it came to getting the white MK1 through a roadworthy one item that became obvious was that the rear shock absorber mount rubbers were completely perished and new rubbers would need to be fitted before it would pass. With that in mind I had the car on ramps at home and fitted the new rubbers by the time honoured system of lying on the shed floor and applying much grunting, effort and some amount of cursing.
Whist lying on the floor I recalled what Tony Herald had said about how he cleaned under his concourse car and thought why not start here? So I degreased and cleaned up the diff and the general areas under the spare wheel well and petrol tank area and subsequently applied some black paint etc. It sure looked better.
To my surprise when the car was on the hoist being checked for roadworthiness I noted that a patch of my new paint on the differential had been scraped back to bare metal. I then realised that the odd suspension noise that I had heard was not a noisy/squeaky shock absorber but was actually the differential occasionally rubbing on the body area immediately adjacent to the petrol tank. I did not point this out to the chap doing the roadworthy and he was more interested in tie rod ends etc. The torque arm bushes looked OK but more on that later
After getting the car registered I organised use of the previously mentioned club members hoist. Mark Miosge from North Qld. Jaguar Spares in Mackay [ph 07 4954 6003] had offered me a good deal on a pair of torque arms he had overhauled with new bushes for a customer who had never collected them. I had acquired them “just in case” I needed them. When we removed the old torque arms the bushes literally fell apart so what looked OK was in fact totally “shot”. The new torque arms were fitted with a subsequent improvement in handling and the elimination of the occasional squeak.
I have since noted that the red MK1 has a patch welded on the rear of the diff housing just where it would rub on the body. I presume this is an old battle scar from a previous occasion when the torque arm bushes flogged out