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120 Shocks

120 Shocks

John, thanks for the information on the XK 120 shocks.  Any suggestion as
to where I might find a pair? Guy Board did not think I would be able to. I
don't know the reference,"HB" 41 in your message. David Povich

David - the reference to HB is to handbook (SB = Service Bulletin) - just
my shorthand.  Where to get some?  I don't know I'm afraid.  I didn't know
they were a great problem, can the old fronts be reconditioned in some way?
- Regards, John Elmgreen

My original 120 shocks measured approximately 14 3/8" extended and 9 1/16"
compressed. I spoke with both the Monroe and the Gabriel Customer Service
Offices to determine what products they had that came close to these
dimensions and yet had the proper top and bottom mountings. The closest
Monroe could come was their #2143 shocks, however, they only compress to 11
1/2". I tried a pair and found that on occasion, one or the other kept
feeling as though it was bottoming or not yielding the way it should. I
switched to Gabriel shocks, Stock Number #82018 and am very pleased. They
compress to 10 1/4" and have given no indication of bottoming. The shocks
themselves are marked with the numbers "739018 Made in USA C1053 0673". I
have found no other (moderately priced) shocks with proper mountings and
extended/compressed dimensions that more closely match the original. - Dick

I just checked with Monroe - their new number for that shock is 32143 and
the local parts supplier quotes a price of $17.96 each. Since the Koni
shock is around $100 each, does anyone have some information regarding what
one would be sacrificing for the $88 savings per shock? - Bruce Cunningham

Woodhead is a good English after-market shock.  Someone else can verify the
numbers and the application. - Robert Oates

Ah, Bruce! Monroes on a Jaguar! Monroes are for Chevvies! You're
sacrificing the color, glory, heritage, and vehicular purity with the
'cheapie!" (in other words, not much!). There are really only two
differences, unless you're racing seriously. The Koni shopck is adjustable
(three, if you count 'rebuildable'), allowing the suspension to be tuned
for each track, course, and surface - the result of a variable orfice
between the upper and lower cylinder sections.  Also, usually being made of
physically larger components, the Koni should last longer. Paint the
Monroes red/orange and enjoy! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.

Larry, Twin Cam - I am looking for a pair of Newton orig XK 120 shocks for
an early September, 1950 OTS. I have a pair, light blue/grey "Made in
England, December 1951." I can't identify the maker. The Newtons were
either black or something lighter.Any information you have would be
appreciated. David Povich

Extract from Service Bulletin re 120 shocks: Front shock absorbers:
non-original types: if non-standard dampers were fitted (ie.e other than
the recommended Newton or Girling) with "a longer fully extended length
than the standard type," they could be dangerous, as the steering could
become locked in rebound position, with the resultant breaking up of the
upper wishbone ball joints. The correct XK120 fully extended length was 16
1/16" (40.8 cms) between the centre of the bottom eye bush to between the
top mounting bushes. - Regards, John Elmgreen

$88 buys you a racing brand-name lifetime shock. When it wears, you adjust
it. Oops! Monroe is a brand-name and probably guaranteed for life. Gabriel
no doubt has a cross to this shock and the same cost/benefits as Monroe.
There you have it. A real life dilemma. - George Badger

George - You touched on an interesting subject of lifetime guarantee. While
transporting my Jag across country the lower shock nut came off (forgot I
had not put the cotter pin in) and I lost the bottom two bushings from one
of my Koni shocks. When I tried to get an address for Koni I found they
were a division of ITT Automotive. Since this search was getting somewhat
deep I bought a couple of bushings from the local domestic parts house. The
taper on the bushings was not the same as the Koni's but I got them
scrunched in there okay. Now my question is, do you know where can I find
parts for my "lifetime" Koni's. Regards; Andy Leavitt

Andy, Koni, like many imported products, doesn't have a good support
program. I would suggest finding a racing shop that caries Koni's and see
if they can supply small parts. There is a place in Virginia, they used to
be I think, and they are quite comprehensive in their Koni inventory. I
have that info but it is in a box in a storage locker. I don't remember any
Konis using a cotter pin. Generally 2 nuts, one locking the other. The
bushings you have should be more than adequate and I wouldn't worry if the
correct pieces are not found. Oh yeah. The lower mount is a pin that the
shock slides on and a large washer + cotter pin holds it on. Good luck in
your search. I'll try to find that info. - George Badger

So the shock discussion continues. I was interested in reading about 'the
metallic Blue spot', while the rest of the shock is grey. That makes more
sense about the grey Newtons in my shed. I wondered why all the blue except
for a small area would have worn off. I check the min and max length today.
The compressed length is 11" and fully extended is 16 1/4" for a total
travel of 5 1/4"  I am unable to read the part number of the heavy duty
Monroes without removing a wheel which I will do by the weekend.  I am
sorry to say that I think I tried to order some for a friend about 10 years
ago and that model was not available. - Larry J., 51 XK120 660636

Here's a summary of shock absorber measurements from a '97 Monroe catalog &
a '97 Gabriel catalog plus specs on orig. shocks from (I think) Larry S.
NOTE: both mfg's measure shocks from the *center* of the lower eyering
mount to the *support lip* for the rubber grommet on the upper stud mount.
Is this beating the subject to death, or what?

                FACTORY         GABRIEL         MONROE
                                #82018          #32143
Compressed      11"             11.44"          11.625"

Extended        16.25"          15.85"          19.50"

Stroke          5.25"           4.41"           7.875"

Application     XK120           78-81 Subaru    67 Camaro/Firebird
                                Brat rear               rear

- Mike Plechaty, Saratoga, CA

I am restoring a 1950 OTS to concours condition, ground up. There are a
million guestions some ten or so I have been able to find the answer to
thus far. I have chassis no. 670633, dispatched September, 1950. My
information is that the original shocks were Newton. They have been out of
business for a long time. I have a pair of blue-grey shocks marked "England
1951". They appear to be the same size as the Newtons, which I assume were
black. If anyone has any information on the original ones and what mine may
be I would appreciate hearing from you. Apparently in the U.S. anything
that looks like a shock of the approximate size, shape and color will pass
on a concours car, including Konis, which obviously were not correct. If
Newtons were the original shock and any are still available, I would like
to know where. Thank you for any information for what up to now has been a
dead end. - David Povich

David - re 670633 XK120: a few notes re XK120 shocks that may assist.
Regards, John Elmgreen Front shock absorbers: XK120 - PB43: Front were
C3035 (Newton) for the majority of cars. There was then a change to C7183,
also Newton, changing at 66980/672049, 669003/679622, 667001/677001. XK120
53: top mountings comprise flat rubber washers trapped between steel
washers and the mounting bracket. Harris type bushes fitted on the lower
link pin preloaded by washer and inserted split pin. XK120 HB 48: If the
front shocks are dismantled, use 130cc of following fluids:

Vaccuum Wakefield       Shell Essolube  Price's
Shock Absorber Oil,
Light Castrol
Shockoil        Shell
A.1     Esso
Shock Absorber
Oil     Energol
S.A. light

SB 72 - Dec 50: Newton front shock absorbers: noted that the filler plug
"has been deleted on Newton front shock absorber units now being fitted or
supplied as spares." No chassis numbers nominated.

SB 97 - Nov 51: Front Shock Absorbers: For "service replacement purposes"
the settings for the front shocks were revised from B (?).6.SC.2 to
UE.6.SC.2. Units having the UE SC.2 setting are identified by " a blue
metallic paint spot". The modified units were to be fitted only in pairs.

SB 108 - Jun 52: Front shock absorbers: Newton telescopics with revised
valve settings fitted, part no. C 7183, from 660980/672049, 669003/679622.
The later type is 2 1/8" (? 2 1/2") diameter instead of the 2 3/4" diameter
of the early type C 3035.

SB 112 - Oct 52: Front shock absorbers: non-original types: if non-standard
dampers were fitted (ie.e other than the recommended Newton or Girling)
with "a longer fully extended length than the standard type", they could be
dangerous, as the steering could become locked in rebound position, with
the resultant breaking up of the upper wishbone ball joints.
The correct XK120 fully extended length was 16 1/16" (40.8 cms) between the
centre of the bottom eye bush to between the top mounting bushes.

SB 115 - Dec 52: Shock Absorbers: "To simplify service replacement, Girling
telescopic shock absorbers types CDR/1 and CDR/6 (Part Nos C4317 and C 6832
respectively) should be replaced by type CDR5/7 (Part no. 6833) in ALL
countries." (These were now standard except for UK and USA).

Rob Reilly 679187: front shocks black. Jamie Fiffles: 672710- dark grey
paint finish, has original Newton shocks which have on them: NEWTON
products; MADE IN ENGLAND 7/52, SK 1743 U Says they also have a large flat
hex nut for the top stud mounting.  Colour: TM (letter Jaguar Driver (UK),
Aug 93): possibly the colour supplied by maufacturer, not necessarily
black. XK120 HB 41: pic of front supsension shows that the shocks could
have been a lightish grey colour (or lighter than the black of the
suspension parts). Similar at p 51.

This is so good that I feel compelled to ask if you perchance could provide
the same "shocking" overview for the 140 Series. Best regards - Klaus

Klaus - re 140 front shocks - sorry to be a disappointment, but I have
little to add to the 120 info for the 140. Just what is in the parts book
(although some of the general comments re colours etc may well apply
equally to 140 and 150 cars). There were quite a few little changes early
in the series i.e. the 120 that were in the SBs (Service Bulletins) but
this simply did not happen for the 140s where things had apparently settled
down a bit. XK140 - PB 102: Front were Girling CDR5/20NF (C8007), rear were
Girling CDR7/10NF (C8008). Incidentally, I have just been looking at the
140 handbook and was amazed to see that a number of the photos are almost
identical to those in the 150 handbook! I will check more closely later.
Might explain a few apparent anomalies in the 150 book actually. - Regards,
John Elmgreen

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