A Mostly British Obsession

E-Type Front Suspension

And you thought fitting the frames together was a challenge. Refitting the front suspension was genuinely difficult. Especially so because I put a couple of crucial pieces on backwards the first time. A cautionary tale within!

It’s probably common knowledge, but the lower front a-arms are sided–at a (quick, careless!) glance they look identical. Once I was through fighting that, things got a bit easier–however, I’m really good at taking off and putting on the front suspension of an E-Type now. Wish I wasn’t!

The bone-headed move aside, major tripping points were:

  • The lower a-arm needs to go into the frame as an assembly, so the front mounting blocks needed to come back out, which I had put in to screw down the frames. Turns out this wasn’t too terrible, but filled me with dread after The Great Framening. (I got to do it twice, once I realized the a-arms were sided, too.)
  • The reaction plate wouldn’t fit within the actual body tub. Not sure how that happened, the body place had the reaction plate, but apparently it had never been test-fit. Putting it in was a dreadful job, which required the screw jack multiple times; it eventually fit, but not all that willingly. I will be putting in the engine and gearbox without removing said plate, a tricky, trying procedure to accomplish on a painted car. On the plus side, it’s the only way I’ve ever removed or replaced an e-type engine, so it’s what I know.
  • The left-side torsion bar was pretty difficult to put into place. That’s the side with the engine frame that didn’t want to go into the car. I’m hoping that the bars don’t need adjustment once the machine is on the ground and full of engine and gubbons–though that’s almost unheard of. Sigh.

My mood was particularly black when I had the suspension completely reassembled, realized the a-arm issue–and that everything would have to come back off. How did such a silly blunder happen? I originally (rather casually) assembled them ten years ago (!) and I just bolted them to the car without checking my work.

With all the excitement, I added some wrench-rash to the frames; I’ve touched most of it in and it doesn’t look too bad. Once everything else is in place you’d have to be very picky to find where I nicked the paint. I hope.

This feels like a bit of progress. I need a few pieces for the steering column, and am waiting on rear axle machine work (as well as brake cylinders). I think I’m going to fiddle with the wiper motor next–and maybe try to drink enough to consider putting the fuel tank in!


  1. KevinTeabag

    A lot of work and hassle, but it does look pretty.

  2. jeff groves

    there is not enough hooch in the world to make me want to do this task!…..doughnuts & hookers,maybe.courage & onward!,it is the Diamond Jubilee after all! ,cheers,….j

  3. Gary

    You should always have the engine/gearbox in situ before fitting the lower suspension components, much fewer headaches

  4. steve

    Trying to come up dimensions for the attached points of the upper and lower a frame arm’s and shock for my brother project he has a e type front suspension he putting on it

  5. Hale

    Wondering if all A arms are painted. Both my Es have just plated arms.


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