Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Uprated dampers and thicker roll bar fitment

So, I've finally got around to my planned front suspension upgrades. These were the dampers from a 4.0S and the anti-roll bar from an X300 XJR, plus new drop links and bushes. The thought is that these new parts should tighten up the suspension and improve handling without adversely affecting the ride.

Fitment of these parts is very straight forward. The damper is secured with a nut and bolt through a bush in the lower wishbone assembly and fixed at the top to the inner wing with a bush either side. The above picture shows these new yellow coloured upper bushes, they are sandwiched in and held by a 17mm nut accessed from the engine bay. The old ones didn't actually look too bad but were passed there best. When these bushes fail
the result can be a knocking sound as the top of the damper rattles on the inner wing. As the damper limits the travel of the front suspension it is a good idea to place a jack or stand under the spring pan to prevent the wishbone dropping and the spring potentially popping out.

The other new part to fit was the thicker roll bar, this will reduce the amount of body roll in cornering. Again, this is a cheap and simple to install upgrade, the part cost £20 from ebay. The bar is held to the subframe with two brackets that fit over "D" shaped bushes, these each secured with a 13mm bolt at the top and and a 13mm nut and bolt at the bottom. The bar also attaches to the lower wishbones via a drop link, basically
a short bar with a bush at either end. A bit a soak with some penatrating oil before starting work helps to get old nuts and bolts moving.

Initial impressions are that these changes have made a very good improvement to the handling, the ride also seems better too. The old dampers seemed well passed their best and didn't do a great job of controlling a lowering springs leading to the ride being somewhat "bouncy". When really pushing on hard in cornering they seems to be a slight movement of the subframe to body so new vee mounts will probably be the next new front suspension parts required.