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Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

Robert A Arnold
Jaguar Club of Southern New England *

forum user since 2012-05-01

 


I have a 68 2+2 XKE here in Connecticut and have just discovered a very worrisome problem with my car. I have a complete fracture failure of the lower square tube of the passenger side Side Member Assembly (C.15029). A problem was perceived via a "clunking" sound from the right front when applying the brakes. Determined examination located the problem as a fracture of the lower most tube which runs adjacent to and parallel to the torsion bar. The fracture is about 1/4 inch aft of the vertical member that receives the bushing mount for the rear of the lower suspension wishbone and also carries the right front motor mount above. The fracture appears to me to be fatigue (rather than rust) induced.

1. Considering the Jaguar Factory warnings about welding, brazing, etc., and given modern welding techniques (MIG, TIG, etc.), what is recommended with respect to welding and fish-plating the failed part? Or do I just have to bit the bullet and obtain a new replacement?

2. If removal of the Side Member Assembly is required, can this be realistically accomplished with the engine in the car (supported suitably) or is a complete tear-down of the front end required?

Any advice would be most appreciated.
Regards, Bob Arnold




Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

George Camp
Jaguar Society of South Carolina *

forum user since 2002-11-24

 

Robert---NO WELDING--remove and replace and yes you can do it with the engine in! PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING! I am typing it as did the factory--NO WELDING!

JCRC SE
JCNA VP

Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

George Camp
Jaguar Society of South Carolina *

forum user since 2002-11-24

 

Robert---NO WELDING--remove and replace and yes you can do it with the engine in! PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING! I am typing it as did the factory--NO WELDING!

JCRC SE
JCNA VP

Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

William Brady
Jaguar Owners Club, Inc. *

forum user since 2004-02-15

 

Hello Robert, you have a dilemna. First how nice a car is it? It is not easy to weld the frame, for a number of reasons and especially in the car. BUT, find a good welder and get his opinion. If he can get to it he will have to make re-enforcement sections to strenthen the area as opposed to welding the frame. I have seen it done with two sections of angle iron, the first piece tacked on then the second clamped and welded to the first. You can get to the frame with the engine in situ but you will likely end up removing it later as you will undoubtedly find other issues you will want to take care of. My suggestion would be to "bite the bullet" pull the engine and strip the components down to the frame. The original problem maybe isolated or, it may be the result of metal fatigue!




Jaguar affectionado and etc.

Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

George Camp
Jaguar Society of South Carolina *

forum user since 2002-11-24

 

Robert do not weld-if you do you will have a car that acts two ways when you drive--the frames are matched and need to be the same. The frames are a flex component in the car. BITE the bullet!

JCRC SE
JCNA VP

Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

Robert A Arnold
Jaguar Club of Southern New England *

forum user since 2012-05-01

 

George and William, I deeply appreciate your advice on this issue.

My XKE is not and will not be a show piece. It is a mix-and-match project car intended for occasional pleasure riding, not concours, not racing. Safety and reliability of operation are my priorities.

With respect to the factory admonition of "no welding, no brazing, no heating", I would expect that any manufacturer would have to say the same due to liability issues and absolutely no control over the workmanship of any repairs. Perhaps, there may be some bona-fide metallurgical issues with respect to heat treating, tempering, etc. whereby the local heating required may substantially weaken the steel and lead to premature failure. Undoubtably, there have been probably hundreds of such repairs attempted and I would love to know what the real world outcomes have been.

I am very interested in the advice from George that: "the frames are matched and need to be the same. The frames are a flex component in the car." This suggests to me that both of the frames should be replaced as a matched set. If I were to purchase only a single "High quality reproduction engine frame assembly" for the right side, might I have an asymmetrical flex situation? Might I be better off tracking down an original used frame or am I running a serious risk of a fatigued or internally rusted forty-five year old piece of salvage?

Again, thank you for the responses. It is an important issue and I do value your advice.


Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

George Camp
Jaguar Society of South Carolina *

forum user since 2002-11-24

 

Robert none of my comments were for cosmetics--they were for your safety--ant the safety of future passangers and perhaps owners. The factory did not place that in the warnings for parts sale--it was for safety--I know of two civil cases against shops (one a dealer) that did not heed the warning--one resulted in a fatality. A 2+2 puts even more stress on the frames.

JCRC SE
JCNA VP

Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

Robert A Arnold
Jaguar Club of Southern New England *

forum user since 2012-05-01

 

After quietly thinking this through, I have decided that the welding is out. While I can look at a weld and say "That looks like a very nice weld", I lack the expertise and technical resources to positively determine that any given weld is completely sound and of full strength. I do want the repair to be reliable for decades, not months. In addition, I do not want to run the risk of a structural failure, on the road, at speed, while cornering. With the first failure, I was fortunate to not have a complete breakdown. The next time I might not be so lucky. Again, I do thank you for your experienced counsel, and I will heed your advice.


Fractured tube on Side Member Assembly

Michael Frank
The Jaguar Club of Ohio *

forum user since 2002-11-02

 

The frames are made of manganese steel and can't be welded. You could braze in a repair section if you can find the right tubing, but once you examine them, you may find that they have corroded from the inside out and need to go no matter what. The big expense of this repair is in removing and replacing the frame. The added cost of replacing the frame vs brazing isn't enough to risk future failures.



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