All articles

Saturday, 11 November 2017

3.8 coupe boot floor off

3.8 coupe boot floor off


3.8 coupe boo newt floor on

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Friday, 10 November 2017

Wiper motor wiring

IMG 5308 2

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Wednesday, 08 November 2017

3.8 coupe body shell

Everything in front of the wheel arches is new.


3.8 coupe new floors and sills


And no prizes for guessing the fate of the boot floor and rear guards. Everything behind the wheel well goes too.


3.8 coupe original boot floor

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Another tardy update

Since the sale of my red car the fire has gone from my belly for this blog.

My current 3.8 FHC project is making slow progress.


Shell and bonnet stripped. Pretty much the whole bonnet is unusable. The body has rust in the usual places. The door frames are OK. I have just taken delivery of AU$14k worth of replacement panels. ETA for shell completion; mid 2018.


Engine is stripped. Crank on standard and looks OK, bores on +20. I'll wait until I have the body back before I start on it. I have decided to reuse the Moss box that came with the car and this has been rebuilt.


The IRS is just about finished and the front suspension is rebuilt and ready to be installed. I have rebuilt the steering rack.


Everything is rebuilt and awaiting reinstallation including a full new set of lines. I'm going to use Volvo 4 pot calipers on the front.


Heater finished, dash panels instruments and switches finished.


All boxed up and will be going off to the chromer soon.


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Wednesday, 08 March 2017

Britney update

Apologies for a lack of posting the last few months.

Current state of play:

  • car arrived without incident
  • car has been completely stripped to components
  • body shell is due to be sent off to Minus Paint to be chemically stripped in the next week or two
  • both engine frames are too rusted to be used; new ones are on their way
  • most of the plating is back
  • most of the sandblasting and powder coating is done and awaiting pickup
  • Engine, gearbox and diff are still together while I decide what iteration of gearbox and diff I will go with


Disassembly has shown the car to be surprisingly complete, but there was a lot of rust on most of the components. The body shell has had some "repairs" done and has been sprayed with some sort of undercoat. The quality of the metalwork on the repairs is poor however. They have made their own panels and once the paint is off the full extent of the damage to the shell will become apparent.

So now there will be a couple of months waiting for the body to be stripped. In the interim I'll be collecting and sorting all of the components I've sent out and I can then commence rebuilding the various subassemblies. The plating, despite a lot of rust, has come up very well.

More, and some pictures, soon.

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Britney moment..

Oops I did it again...

More information to come..


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Sunday, 09 October 2016

Goodbye 1E34749!

After 5 years of ownership I have sold 1E34749. She looked fantastic for sale, is mechanically excellent and I'm confident that she will more than live up to her new owner's expectations.

But don't despair; there's always another project around the corner!

I'm in the process of preparing my 3.8 OTS for sale as well, and it will hopefully be on the market soon.

This will leave me with my silver series 1 coupe and my MGA.

I have about 700 miles on the engine in the silver car and it is fantastic. It has taken a lot of fiddling to get this car mechanically good but it's there now. Plant your right foot and it takes off like a scalded cat. And the noise....!

The MGA has around 350 miles on it's engine and is really nice to drive. It's a completely different driving experience of course, lots more revs and lots more gear changing. I'm toying with the idea of fitting a longer diff and a supercharger...maybe.


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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Once, and never again

Today, the only time all 3 of my E Types have been running and in the same place at the same time.


4.2 all 3 cars

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Friday, 29 July 2016

5 year anniversary

It's 5 years since I bought my first E Type.

Here she is in her previous owner's shed.

IMG 2656


And here she is yesterday after the detailler has finished with her, prior to sale.


IMG 2658

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Saturday, 16 July 2016

Current state of play

Series 1 3.8l roadster.

Ground up restoration complete. Prepping for sale.


Series 1.5 FHC.

The original car I started this blog for.

Finally completed. Final test drive today; it is beautiful. Ready for sale.


Series 1 4.2 FHC.

Having rebuilt the engine and gearbox, we finished assembly on Friday. First test drive was good. Motor is quiet and responsive and the gearbox is precise.

Never selling that one!



Finished and tucked away at my Dad's house for winter.

I really like this car. Probably keeping it long term too.



What next???

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Friday, 01 July 2016

Cam timing

Rob cams1


Rob cams2


Rob cams3


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Saturday, 25 June 2016

An update on various projects

You may recall the picture of the wear on the number 5 bore of my block. Here is a different view. Note the hone marks are present, indicating very little actual bore wear. When measured, while all the other bores were perfectly machined at 2 thou over piston size, this one was machined at 5 thou over. This isn't wear, this is a cock up by the engine machinist. Unfortunately the work was done in 2004 for the previous and now deceased owner, so the culprit will never be known.


Rob engine bore01

A nice demonstration of hairline cracks between the bores.  The crack demonstrated with UV light.

Rob engine block crack02The extent of the crack shown after the block has been remachined to fit a top hat liner. Bizzarely, four of the six bores had been fitted with top hats already, although one was in bore number one with a normal liner next to it. This is where the crack above was.

All six bores now have interlocked top hats; no more cracks. This is what the last machinist should have done; maybe he forgot to finish the job properly after a hard night out.

Rob engine block crack01

The crank about to be installed. The bores were taken out to 30 thou oversize, and done properly this time.


Rob short motor2

 Here's the completed short motor awaiting the head. The rebuilt gearbox can be seen behind.

Rob short motor

Shim collection. Jealous anyone? 

4.2 head shimming

In other news, my original red series 1.5 is just about ready for sale, having been resprayed. It looks really nice and I'm just fettling a final few things.

In a fit of pique it broke down last weekend while on the way to the car wash, with a throttle shaft clip falling off resulting in no throttle.  

Doing my best McGyver impression I fixed it with a paperclip. 


The engine for the Lightweight replica is pretty much finished: 

LW Engine01


LW Engine02


LW Engine03






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Saturday, 07 May 2016

Shipwright's disease again

I never liked the gearbox in my Silver 4.2. The shift was loose and sloppy and it grinds when you push it into first. So when the clutch started to judder a bit in first, I decided to bite the bullet and rebuild the box and replace the clutch.

Rob, who I bought the car from had had it fully restored about 10 years ago, and since then it has covered about 12000miles.

The other thing that had annoyed me with the car was that it was always a bit tappety. Otherwise the engine is strong, and runs and pulls well. Of course the patented Jaguar undercar anti corrosion system is working well, it leaks oil from everywhere.

So...since the engine's out anyway we may as well do the head with new long skirt oversize buckets, as these were'nt available when the last rebuild was done. 

And.. since the head's off, why not strip and rebuild the short motor with new rings and bearings and a maybe it will leak less.


Patented Churchill bonnet securing prop for better access. I think it is an old seat runner.


Rob engine bonnet prop


Equally patented Churchill hub supporting bracket. The top hooks around the upper wishbone fulcrum pin.


Rob engine hub hanger


The Pied Piper leading the engine and gearbox off to their doom...


Rob engine bonnet prop2


Cross hatching still visible on the bores. I suppose that if you change the oil every 1000 miles you'd hope it's still be good after 12000 miles.


Rob engine bore


Crank journals looking lovely. All on 10 thou oversized. The bearings all look good enough to reuse; no copper showing through at all.


Rob engine crank


Carbon thrust bearing is almost totally gone after only 12000 miles. Clutch plate (not shown) is almost completely worn down to the rivets. 


Rob engine thrust bearing

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Sunday, 10 April 2016


Got all the bonnet chrome on. Fitting the motif bar is always a joy...


4.2 front chrome

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Wednesday, 06 April 2016

Headlights and chrome.

The fromt light surrounds never had rubbers under them before.

A bit hard to fit but look great!


4.2 headlight1


4.2 headlight2

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Thursday, 24 March 2016

All over again.

Ross has finished repainting the body shell.

Yesterday, after a year, she returns to the fold!

Lots of work to do....


4.2 respray02


4.2 respray01

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Thursday, 04 February 2016

Painting progress

After 12 months the body is nearly finished.  Ross expects to have it back to me soon.


4.2 bonnet paint


4.2 boot paint

4.2 door paint

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Sunday, 13 December 2015

JT5 Box

This is why you fit a 5 speed box.  2000 rpm at 100 kph.


3.8 5speed

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Thursday, 05 November 2015

Slowly getting there

Ross is geting on with it. Maybe by Christmas..

4.2 repaint late01


4.2 repaint late02

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

MGA carbs

A day's work.


MGA carb1


MGA carb2

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Tuesday, 01 September 2015

Road registered



3.8 Strath

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Saturday, 25 July 2015


To those sensitive to marque specific detail I apologise. I suspect there's going to be a bit of this MG nonsense.

The MGA is coming along, but I have had to take a different approach to restoring it, which I have dubbed "Ronstoration".

Ron is one of the Jag Boys. He sold used cars for over 40 years. "Paint it black and put it back" sums up the caryard approach.

So today I took Rob's car up to Jaag Central and loaded it up with bits of MGA..

Rob RGK 462


MGA parts in Jag


Then when I got home I simply painted everything black.

Well not really. Actually yes I did but I did do other stuff..

I stripped and reassembled the steering rack. There is a miniscule bit of play in one of the tie rod end balls but it's tolerable. If this had been a Jag it'd have been a case of new steering rack. But it's the MGA, so it'll do, and I painted it black.



I stripped the brake calipers. A tiny bit of surface rust on the pistons but otherwise look good. Jag? New seals new pistons. MGA? Spray can.




Shock absorbers? I could have stripped then bead blasted all the bits, had the oil seals redone and reassembled them. But they seem to work and don't seem to leak so they got the Full Ronald (paint top and bottom as well). I even wire wheeled the filler bolts, which by the way are 1/4" Whitworth. I did draw the line at painting them with Silver Frost. But only just.





 Total cost today... zero.



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Saturday, 04 July 2015


Before his death in 2014 Marty Hawes decided his MGA needed pepping up. So in true style he decided to transplant a 1600 twin cam MX5 engine and gearbox into it.

He got about 75% of the way through but sadly never finished it.

Moving on 18 months the car was still in his shed in pieces. After some discussion the boys decided it would be a good thing to rebuild it, so it has been purchased and moved up to Jag Central. I don't think anyone but Marty actually believed that it would ever get road registration with the MX5 engine so we will put the original engine back in.

Chief engineer and I stripped the B series engine from it today. It's SO TINY!!!


MGA parts in van


MGA engine stripped


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Monday, 25 May 2015

Why having a car professionally restored costs so much.

The boys are doing a bare metal resto and LHD to RHD conversion on a S1 4.2 roadster owned by a friend of mine.

Today I bled the brakes, installed a battery hold down kit, attached a Moto Lita steering wheel to a new boss and installed the accelerator pedal box and connected it to the firewall linkage.

If all went well this should be less than 2 hours work. That's until poorly manufactured repro parts get into the mix.

I pressure bleed brakes with a syringe. Takes 10 minutes. But try as I might I could not get the front circuit to bleed. I tracked down the problem to the servo. Fluid would not go into the servo. I assumed that the piston was stuck, but no amount of tapping or pressurising it would get it to move. So I removed the new aftermarket servo and went to disassemble it. This is what I found: no hole (see inset).

Fockie servo


I replaced that servo with another one from stock; brakes fully bled 10 minutes later. My time wasted: 2 hours. My interruptions to the Chief Engineer: another hour.

The battery hold down kit came from another supplier. The top frame measures 260mm; about 15mm too long to fit. So I had to cut the frame, remove 15mm per side, MIG it back together, grind and file it smooth, repaint it and then fit it. In case you think that the panel beater has got the body wrong I had to do exactly the same thing with the last one I fitted as well. Having done it all before it only took about an extra hour. On to job number 3.

The boss cost nearly $AU200. For that you'd expect perfection. But no grub screws were provided to attach the horn push. The threaded holes were there but no tap I own fitted the thread; I suspect it was metric. I don't do metric. As I actually had some 3/16" UNC grub screws I just retapped the holes, but mucking about took me an extra half hour.

How hard can fitting the accelerator pedal be? Easy, but when fitted, the lever that connects to the linkage was sticking up at an odd angle and was far too close to the linkage pivot. A measurement on another car showed the arm clearing the firewall by 55mm. On this car it was closer to 100mm. Pedal box removed an disassembled it became clear that the locating bush brazed into the accelerator pedal had been fitted about 15 degrees off kilter. SO I had to cut the bush back with a Dremel to achieve the correct angle, then use a MIG to build up the other side, then grind and file the weld to fit. Another hour and a half wasted in head scratching and fettling a new, repro part.


Fockie pedal


In case you're wondering, all of these parts came from different suppliers; 2 in the UK one in the US and one locally. Today was an irritarting one, but with repro parts it keeps happening. And you are the one paying for all the extra hours to make things fit and work.


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Saturday, 23 May 2015

No spark

No spark.

Symptom: car won’t start or run at all.

NOTE: assumes NEGATIVE earth, points in distributor.

To Confirm: Put a plug tester in series with a plug. It should flash when engine is cranked. If no flash check other plug leads as well.  No flash = no spark.

If you do have a flash the problem is NOT spark per se, although it MAY be plugs. See 9.

Otherwise the problem may be timing, or fuel or compression. These steps will not help those things.

Take each step one at a time, in order. At the end of each step try to start the car.

Battery flat.

If the car cranks over it is almost certainly OK.

Engine earth.

Spark requires a good earth to the negative terminal of the battery. Check that the engine is earthed with an ohmmeter or voltmeter between the battery and the block.

Visually inspect the engine earth lead (LHS behind the reaction tie plate. If in doubt run a thick cable (jumper lead) from the battery negative terminal to the engine.

Check power to coil.

Remove the positive connector to the coil. Put a 12v test light in series and turn on the ignition. The light should come on and be steady.

Jiggle ignition key to eliminate switch fault.

If no power, run a wire directly from the positive battery terminal to the positive coil terminal and try ignition. If it works problem is between battery and positive terminal wire. Check fuse 7 and chase wiring with multimeter. Recheck ignition switch. NB starter button will not affect spark.

Check points are opening and distributor is turning.

You can do this visually. Remove dizzy cap and get someone to crank the engine. You should see the points open and close. Use a torch; it’s dark down there.

Put a 12v test light between the negative coil terminal and the black/white wire to the distributor. Crank the engine. The light should flash off and on as the points open and close. This should work with electronic ignition modules as well because what you are testing is the circuit through the points (mechanical or electronic) to earth.

Note:  the light may stay on or off when not cranking depending on whether the points stop closed (likely) or open (unlikely). This isn’t important.

Check the points gap (14 to 16 thou) and inspect the electrode faces for pitting. If any doubt replace points and reset gap. Even when you’re sure it’s not the points, suspect them. It’s always the points.

A dead condenser looks just like a good condenser.  Just replace it. They can be tested with an ohmmeter but if you put a new one in and it doesn’t fix the problem it probably isn’t the condenser.

Check the coil.

If the points are working and the condenser is OK. Get a spark plug and a plug lead. Connect the plug lead into the HT coil connector. Earth the plug by resting it next to a head nut. Turn on the ignition. Use a nonconductive (plastic) tool and open and close the points manually. (Alternatively you can connect a wire to the negative LV connector and tap this on an earth.)  There should be a spark on the plug each time the points open. If you have spark the coil is OK. Move on to 6.

If NO spark AND you are happy with 1-4 above, the coil may be faulty. Check the resistance of the low voltage (primary) circuit by connecting an ohmmeter to the two LV terminals. This should be between 0.5 (low resistance/sports coil) and 3.5 ohm (standard coil). Check the HT (secondary) circuit resistance by measuring between either LV terminal and the centre HT terminal. This should be in of the order of 5000 to 15000 ohm. Note that coil failure can be exacerbated by heat so even if it checks out cold it may be faulty hot.

Replace the coil anyway with a known good one. (You can just sit one next to the old one and connect the 3 wires to it).


Remove the coil HT lead.  Inspect for cracking or corrosion. Coolant can leak from the thermostat housing down onto the top of the cap and cause corrosion, especially with “screw in” contacts.

Check resistance with ohmmeter; it should be virtually zero with copper core wires.

Check the resistance of each of the plug leads by removing the plug cap and using a multimeter between the end of the wire and the corresponding contact inside the distributor cap. With copper core wire it should be virtually zero. If not check the cap socket for corrosion.

Modern cable resistance is more complex and you would need to check the figures with the manufacturer. As a general guide though a lead should be between 2000 and 8000 ohm.

Plug caps

The original plug caps have a carbon resistor in them. They will have a resistance somewhere between 5000 and 15000 ohm. Modern or reproduction caps should be spot on 5000 ohm. If you suspect the caps, replace or eliminate them. You can solder a ring connector onto a fine 1” self-tapping screw. Screw this into the lead in place of the plug cap. Use the ring connector to connect directly to the threaded end on the spark plug.

Spark plugs.

Remove the plugs. Check for fouling and check gaps. If no success, replace with new plugs.

Distributor cap

Inspect for cracks or corrosion. The cap really should look brand new inside. Clean up the lead connector sockets if at all corroded. The central contact for the rotor button should have a resistance of the order of 30000 ohm. If the cap looks OK still try replacing it with another one, or a known good cap and set of leads.

Rotor button

Inspect and replace if it looks worn, pitted, burnt or otherwise faulty. Try another one anyway if it looks OK.


Remove the distributor and carefully inspect it. Ensure that it wired correctly. Specifically check the insulators between the points and the coil and capacitor leads are in the correct place.

Check that that the coil lead is connected and conducts to the capacitor lead.

Check that the internal earth lead is connected to the distributor body and the centre plate.

Check that the distributor turns freely and is mechanically intact.

Check that there are no small screws or other foreign parts loose inside or causing a short.

Other things

If you have got here and not fixed the problem.

The checklist above is fairly complete. Sometimes though electrical components can look OK but be faulty. Replacing each component, one at a time, with a known good (not necessarily new) component will sometimes smoke out a mystery.

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Buy cheap parts and save!

Bought some cheap points from SimonBBS on Ebay and put them in my car about 500 miles ago. 

Car dies. In the bus lane on the freeway. In the cold.

Towed home.

Long and complicated saga getting it going but eventually noticed this:

The moving electrode is loose in the spring, so even though the point gap is perfect, the points don't open !You can't see this in the car...

Lesson; buy brand name parts.

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Exhaust studs

The way the E Type exhaust manifolds connect to the downpipes is poorly engineered. The mainfold has a threaded stud screwed into it. This thread is 3/8" UNF and the problem with the fine thread is that corrosion accelerated by heat means that the thread in the manifold fails. Then the stud strips and the exhaust leaks because it can't be tightened. Mine are full of bolts: 



I thought about a helicoil repair but this still leaves you with the delicate UNF thread.

I obtained some studs that have the standard UNF thread at one end but have a 7/16" UNC thread on the other. These are screw in rocker arm studs for short block Chevy V8 engines. Elgin part number was RD1920.

The holes needed to be drilled out and it is important that they are parallel. I made a small jig out of a piece of 1" angle iron so I could bolt the manifold to my pedestal drill.

The studs needed to be cut down 10mm on the coarse thread end to be a perfect fit. The fine threaded end is actually a little longer than the original stud. The minimum crush distance is about 0.65 " which I think will be small enough; if not I will run a thread die further down the stud.

The manifold I chose to do the first repair on was about the worst one I could find and I think it looks pretty good.











Exhaust studs


Inspired, I did another one, then cleaned them both up with a flap disc on an angle grinder and finally painted them.






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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lightweight engine

This is why they call it a lightweight.


LWE block

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Sunday, 12 April 2015

Torsion bars

One side of the silver 4.2 sits lower than the other so time to reset the torsion bars.
As usual about 10 min each side to correctly calibrate the bars.
Pity it took about an hour a side to get the bloody ball joints apart!
Last weekend I replaced the front anti sway bar bushes with some "NOS" ones.
Hmmm. They seem to have evaporated during this morning's 60 mile drive... I guess they were "nasty old s#*t" ones..


rob anti sway

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Saturday, 14 March 2015

Are URO branded C15474 senders any good?



To test the accuracy of URO Parts replacement oil pressure senders for the E type Jaguar.


All 4 sensors measured consistently at 2 known pressures, however all under read, with greater inaccuracy at lower pressures. The inaccuracy was such that it would not preclude the use of the sensors as a safety device in the case of a real loss of oil pressure in the engine.

Materials and methods.

4 URO C15474 senders were purchased from Ebay for US$28 each.

These were tested using a Smiths 0-60 psi dash board oil gauge from a 1967 Series 1.5 E Type. Testing involved pressurising the sender using compressed air to 30 and 57 psi and recording the pressure measured on the Smiths gauge. The air pressure was applied using a regulator valve attached to a 150psi shop compressor. The pressure was verified using a bourdon gauge known to be accurate. It was not possible  to test at pressure below 30 psi due to limitations of the regulator valve.

Power was from a 12V 2A DC plug pack.  Voltage during testing was measured at 13.8V using a voltmeter connected in parallel across the sender.


Results are collated in Table 1.


Sender 1




30psi air





57psi air










All senders under read at both 30 and 57psi of air. The degree of inaccuracy was greater at lower pressures. No sender over read.

Within the constraints of the testing all 4 senders seemed to read in a similar fashion. Average readings were 17.5psi at 30 psi air and 50.75psi at  57psi air respectively.

All 4 senders exhibited consistent measurements across the 2 measured pressures. All four were consistently inaccurate, under reading by an average of 42% at 30psi and 11% at 57psi.

The time to reach a steady reading was noted to be a lot longer than for either (a) an original sender or (b) another aftermarket sender. Once the sender reached pressure there was no fluctuation over a period of one minute.


The point of measuring oil pressure in an E Type engine is to be made aware that oil pressure has dropped to dangerous levels before the engine fails. A sender that falsely reads a pressure higher than the actual oil pressure may fail to do this. All 4 of the senders tested were inaccurate but all under read the pressure. In a situation where there was a real loss of engine oil pressure these senders would tend to alert the driver earlier rather than later.

2 other senders were also tested; both were previously installed in my cars. One sender read low but was consistent with the URO senders (22 and 53 psi) but the other, a recent aftermarket replacement read high, reading 35psi at 30psi air and deflecting the needle to the far right of the gauge at 57psi. This sender could potentially delay alerting to a fall in oil pressure.

I have removed both these senders and have replaced them with the 2 most accurate ORU senders. I will now drive the cars and see what the longevity of the senders is.

Sources of error in the study include the inability to positively calibrate the Smiths gauge and potential unobserved alterations in supply voltage.  

Maintaining a stable and accurate air pressure with the regulator used was difficult. The range of pressure the regulator is designed for is higher than an average 10 to 40psi pressure range expected from an E Type motor.  It was not possible to maintain a stable pressure of 10psi long enough to allow testing at that pressure. In addition the compressor is positioned under my work bench and getting an accurate parallax free view of the gauge was difficult. That said the pressure readings of 30 and 57 psi of air were stable during the testing.


Gauge test1


Gauge test2


Gauge test3 

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Thursday, 29 January 2015

Test pilot


Secret Jaaaaaaag Test Base, 0855 hrs CST

0855 hrs. Excited to have a day permit to actually drive the 3.8. It is after all nice to know that the brakes work BEFORE the Road Worthy test.

0910 hrs. Steering and brakes are surprisingly very good..but the engine coughs and misses with all but the tiniest bit of throttle. Bugger. 

0945 hrs. Mayday to Stately Jag Manor. Chief Engineer will attend ASAP. Need to find Kitchener Bun and brew tea. 

1017hrs. CE arrives. Is it fuel? Check carbs, mixtures, carb piston drop, etc etc etc. 

1101hrs. Still runs like a pig. Hmmm. Not fuel then? 

1105hrs. Check plug leads...hmmmm very high resistance.

1119hrs. Diagnosis #1. All six brand new "Champion" plug caps have essentially infinite resistance. IE they are buggered.


Champion plug caps


1120hrs. Cannibalize plug leads from conveniently co-located 4.2 FHC. Always helps to have a spare car...

1131hrs. Test drive. Better but still misses badly with throttle.

1141hrs. Recheck timing. 

1141.00001hrs. Diagnosis #2 DOH. Some idiot has set timing to TDC. 

1142hrs. Set timing to 10*BTDC. Car runs perfectly.

1145hrs. Have cups of tea and biscuits.

1205hrs. Car won't start.

1206hrs. Diagnosis #3. Battery is not charging.

1206.00001hrs. Apply battery charger.

1207hrs. Ham cheese and tomato sandwiches with mineral water.

1304hrs.  Drive car to Statley Jag Manor. Total of 29 miles on clock. Runs beautifully.  Really REALLY beautifully.


Executive Summary. 

The Champion plug caps with the 10K ohm stickers are rubbish. This is the SECOND set we have had in 12 months that don't work.

I cannot be trusted with a timing light.

I cannot be trusted to rebuild a dynamo.


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Saturday, 24 January 2015









Tecalmit Instructions

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Cool old paperwork

This is a photocopy of the 1967 Californian registration receipt for 881824. $3!!

881824 1967 Calif Rego - Copy

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Monday, 24 November 2014

I'm still here!

It has been said that the Devil makes work for idle hands, and enforced idleness has forced my hand.

My 3.8 OTS is sloooowly grinding its way toward road registration. At present I am still waiting to get the last of the trim completed.

There is no room in the shed for my 4.2 series 1, so it is stabled elsewhere and as such can't be fiddled with.

Sooooo..... time to repaint my original car, 4.2 series 1.5.

Below some pictures of the lady sans jewelery and makeup. 

Then..... off to Ross for a makeover!

The boot interior will need schutz and paint too so it's a good time to work out while the car always stinks of fuel. Tank out. Note tank sump half full of rust. I acid dipped this tank spotlessly clean only 2 years ago. 


4.2 repaint01


4.2 repaint02


4.2 repaint03


4.2 repaint04


4.2 repaint05




4.2 repaint06


4.2 repaint07


4.2 repaint08



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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Two heads are better than...

Waiting to jump through administrative hoops to register my 3.8; hopefully driving it before Xmas...

My shed is being enlarged (no surprises there), so the grey coupe is at Dad's and the red coupe at Chris's to make room for the builders.

No harm in working on other people's cars...

A good day's work. I really like shimming heads.

All we are waiting on is a set of head studs and one of these can go onto the motor Chris and I have just built for my friend Andrew's 4.2 roadster.

Then I get to build the engine for the other head! Machining on the block is finished and I have cleaned and tapped it so I'll start that one next week hopefully...



2  heads

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Sunday, 14 September 2014 new car!

OK so two E Types clearly aren't enough. My friend Rob was kind enough to sell me his original RHD Australian delivery Series 1 FHC.

Beautiful car in opalescent sliver grey with original red leather interior. An older restoration, Rob's owned her for 10 years. After taking delivery of her last week I spent a couple of hours doing a full lube and oil change. I then spent some time tuning as there was a miss. Turned out to be a broken plug lead cap and a few minor irregularities with one of the carbs.

As with most cars that have sat for a while there are always a few problems. In this case spongy brakes, disappearing brake fluid and very heavy steering.

To cut to the chase this weekend I have replaced the servo (leaking) and the master cylinder (see servo). The clutch master seemed to be working fine but was full of rust.

The steering problem turns out to be (at least in part) the rack which is stuffed. So it's new rack time too. 

Rob GB plug


Rob brakes out1


Rob brakes out


Rob clutch mc


 Rob steering rack

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Saturday, 13 September 2014

Notes on brake bleeding

Bleeding the E Type brake system can be very difficult, especially if there is a lot of air in it.

The use of a urinary catheter syringe has revolutionised this process for me. I replaced a brake servo on my S1 4.2 yesterday, and went from scratch to hard pedal in about 10 mins. I used just under 500ml of fluid, 240ml for flushing, the rest for refilling the reservoir bottles, although it would be wise to have a litre available. 

These syringes are designed for flushing urinary catheters. They hold 60ml and differ from normal Luer-Lok syringes in that they have a much larger diameter conical tip. This is a perfect size to make a good push fit into the brake reservoir hose. I steal them from work but I'm sure you could buy them from any pharmacy. 


Catheter syringe1


Catheter syringe

A note about reservoirs. On 3.8 cars each master has its own reservoir. On most 4.2 cars the reservoir attached to the brake master cylinder supplies the front calipers. The servo reservoir supplies the rear calipers. This is apparently reversed on some early 4.2s but won't affect bleeding as long as you know which reservoir serves front and rear. You can tell by tracing the metal pipes coming from the booster. If you are unsure check the schematic diagram in the manual. If you are wrong you won't be able to inject fluid. 

To bleed the brakes: 

1. Select either the front or rear reservoir. It doesn't matter which as the systems bleed independently. Using the syringe, remove all the old fluid from the reservoir and discard this fluid. 

2. Disconnect the reservoir from the end of the hose.

3. Fill the syringe (or another clean one) with 60ml of brake fluid. The less air in the syringe the better as you will be able to generate more pressure. Push the syringe firmly into the hose. 

4. Attach a clear PVC tube about 1m long to the end of the brake caliper nipple. Run the hose so that it loops above the height of the nipple for a small distance before going into a waste container on the ground. The upward section of tube will allow you to see any air bubbles in the fluid. 

5. Open the brake nipple. As usual start with the nipple furthest from the reservoir. 

6. Forcing the syringe tip firmly into the hose, inject the majority of the 60ml of fluid. Hold the hose very firmly or brake fluid will go everywhere. 
I tend to inject the first half of the syringe slowly, then inject more in a jerky, pulsatile fashion to try to dislodge any small bubbles. 
If you have a helper they can tell you when no more bubbles are coming out of the PVC tube. You can do this by yourself however; just leave the syringe and inspect the clear tubing on the nipple for bubbles. If you have a few inches of fluid in the tube with no bubbles in it the bleeding has been successful. Keep going, with more syringes of fluid as necessary, until you have no air. Close the bleed nipple and move to the other side. and repeat 3 to 6. 

7. Once you have finished the other side, carefully remove the syringe. Carefully add small amounts of fluid into the end of the hose until you can see a meniscus of fluid about half an inch below the end of the hose. 

8. Reinstall the reservoir onto the hose. There will still be a small bubble of air within the hose. Put about 20ml of fluid into the reservoir. Tap and squeeze the hose until you see no more bubbles emerging into the fluid in the reservoir. Now put the reservoir back into the supporting clamp and refill it with fluid.

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Wednesday, 10 September 2014

And then there were 3

I seem to have bought another one...

1967 series 1 FHC, original RHD Australian delivered car. Pictures to follow.


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Sunday, 10 August 2014


Final jobs were fitting the internal radiator protector screen, refitting the bonnet, aligning the headlights and putting on the glass covers.


Now I have to get it registered.


3.8 headlight1


3.8 headlight2

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Sunday, 03 August 2014

Red is the colour.

For when an E Type just isn't enough. 1938 Stinson Reliant.



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Saturday, 02 August 2014

How to take your bonnet off by yourself.


Before you start, disconnect the 8 pin wiring plug to the bonnet.





Put 2 pillows under the front of the bonnet.




Open the bonnet fully.




Thread a loop of strong cord through the rear bonnet vent.




Tie this loop to a rope that is securely attached to the roof. Use a knot that you can undo with one hand.




Remove the bonnet balance link bolt, then remove the hinge bolt. Support the bonnet with your shoulder under the wheel arch. Guide it gently forward and down onto the pillow. 




Do the same on the other side. You may find a piece of cardboard useful to stop the bonnet damaging the paint on the front frame.




Roll the car back far enough that you have room to lie the bonnet down. The front rests on the pillows.




Position a 6' x 3' piece of carpet between the car and the bonnet, untie your knot while supporting the bonnet and then rest it down onto the carpet.  




Then lifting the bonnet from the front, stand it upright on the carpet.




The bonnet can now be easily moved by pulling it along on the carpet; support it with a hand to stop it falling over.




You can now access the front of the car easily. Time elapsed; 10 minutes.







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Monday, 26 May 2014


Slowly getting the bonnet together.


3.8 bonnet ute2


3.8 bonnet ute1


3.8 bonnet wires


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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Off to the trim shop

And finally...


3.8 trim

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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Trim time

I've run out of things to do. I have got the doors back together and aligned, put the hood frames in and put the fininshing touches to the engine bay.
I've got the carbies tuned and the engine runs very nicely.
Now I'm waiting waiting waiting to get the car to the trim shop. Hopefuly soon....













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Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter Sunday drive

It's not all rebuilding you know..sometimes we drive them.


4.2 3 jags1


4.2 3 jags


Plug chop after the run; front, middle and rear carbies.


4.2 Plug chop 20 04 2014


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Sunday, 16 March 2014


Which is the bracket that holds the handbrake light switch in place.

Which I can't find. Anywhere.

So being impatient, I thought I'd make one. How hard can that be?

2 hours and a prototype later...It works. It's neither original nor pretty but no one will ever know...

I do like my MIG welder..


3.8 handbrake switch1


3.8 handbrake switch2

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Monday, 10 March 2014

A Pillar rubbers

I hate glue and in my view rubber is the domain of perverts.

Now to put the doors on.



3.8 A pillar

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Tuesday, 04 March 2014

3.8 engine first start

I made it myself....almost.

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Saturday, 01 March 2014

Front suspension

I can see why the Gaz adjustable shock absorbers upset the purists...


3.8 Gaz

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Thursday, 27 February 2014


Relay (noun).

An electrical device that prevents current from reaching the device it is attached to, regardless of attempts to get it to do otherwise.

Damn you Mr Lucas.


I did eventually work out what the problem is; it's the wrong relay. Once there was power to both C2 and W1 all was good with the world.


3.8 fan relay

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

Spark plug leads

As it turned out, this was a hell of a lot more difficult that it looks.


3.8 dizzy1


3.8 dizzy2



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Sunday, 02 February 2014

January's efforts

Work over the last month or so has been sporadic. Most of the engine bay is done and so it's just having the discipline to finish off the little jobs, and moreso to blog it.

Here's a photo selection.

Lovely new otter switch hole cover made for me by Alan Turner.

3.8 Engine bay 01

New battery support. 

3.8 Engine bay 02

 Brake fluid reservoirs with natty yellow striped hose.

3.8 Engine bay 03

Spin on adapter and original carb overflow pipe bracket. 

3.8 Engine bay 04

Suspension on! 

3.8 Engine bay 06

Beautiful plating. 

3.8 Engine bay 07

 Martin bought me this coil so it better work!

3.8 Engine bay 09

Doors. Will have to hang them soon. 

3.8 Engine bay 05

 Fan relay.

3.8 Engine bay 10

Pretty brass manifold nuts. 

3.8 Engine bay 11

Horn relay. The Autosparks loom is really beautiful. 

3.8 Engine bay 12

Shiny Bell stainless exhaust. The one for my 4.2 fitted well but I had to trim the engine downpipes about an inch on this one. Still easy to fit.

3.8 Engine bay 13


3.8 Engine bay 14

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Monday, 09 December 2013

Vale Martin Hawes

Yesterday my friend Martin was killed while driving his beloved MGTC.

Martin was a kind and gentle man who gave freely of his time and knowledge. He was quick with an anecdote and was always laughing.

He helped me and taught me a lot. Those familiar with this blog will recognise him in many of the photos. He will be sorely missed.



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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Engine and JT5 gearbox installation

Finally the time has come to put the engine back in. The unknown quantity was the JT5 box, and how much this would complicate the installation.

Prior to starting I measured the JT5 and my Moss box. They are both 66cm long, although this is without the slip yoke fitted into the JT5 box, which adds a minimum of 6cm. The installation instructions warn against trying to install the gearbox with this fitted. It is recommended to attach the yoke to the driveshaft and install them in the tunnel before offering up the gearbox. 

I have only ever installed engines from below, and this is how we planned to do it. I am fortunate to have a car hoist which makes the process a good deal easier.

3.8 JT5 01

 With the engine on a trolley positioned under the car we lowered the body. It quickly became apparent that there was not much spare space; with the waterpump pulley a few mm clear of the picture frame the back of the gearbox was only about 10mm clear of the tunnel. Despite this we were able to get the engine in place on the engine mounts with a bit of judicious wiggling.

3.8 JT5 02

 It quickly became apparent however that there was not going to be enough room to get the slip yoke into the gearbox. Detaching the driveshaft from the differential didn't provide enough leeway either. Whether installing the engine from above using an engine crane and angling it down would have made it possible to install the yoke is an interesting question.

3.8 JT5 03

After some discussion we decided to remove the IRS to give us enough room to manipulate the driveshaft into place. Even  having done this it was still very difficult to get the splines to mesh and in the end we disconnected the slip yoke from the driveshaft and installed it by putting an arm up the tunnel much like a vet in calving season. Then the driveshaft was bolted back onto the yoke and the IRS reinstalled. Although it sounds complicated the removal and replacement of the IRS took about 20 minutes and was unavoidable.

3.8 JT5 04

When we fitted the engine steady bar it was not vertical. After some measurment it seems that the engine is actually fitted in the correct place and that the mounting holes drilled in the bell housing are about 10mm too far back. Given the heavy duty gearbox mount that comes with the JT5 box this shouldn't pose a problem but it is disapointing.

3.8 JT5 05

 With the engine and gearbox installed it became apparent just how tight a fit the JT5 is. In many areas the clearance from the bodywork is only a couple of mm. "Some peening of the tunnel may be required" says the manual...

3.8 JT5 06

 The supplied cables for the reversing light switch are jammed up hard against the tunnel. There is very little room to access the gearbox filler plug; around 25mm clearance will make removing the plug and filling the box tricky.

3.8 JT5 07


3.8 JT5 08

 I am concerned at the lack of clearance particualrly around the bulkhead corners and the sides of the top plate. It will be quite hard to relieve these areas without changes that will make fitting the tunnel cover difficult. Depending on the amount of movement allowed by the gearbox mount it may be necessary to pack these tight gaps with some sort of rubber cushioning to stop rattles.

3.8 JT5 09


 In summary then the JT5 box will go in but not without removing the IRS if you want to put it in from below. It might be possible to get it in from above by tilting the gearbox down and manipulating it back on the slip yoke but this would be hard with a gearbox filled with oil as it will spill out of the unsealed hole around the output shaft.

In comparison we installed a Driven Man box in a 3.8 coupe 2 weeks ago. This has the same fixed yoke as the standard box and while it is also a tight fit it was a much easier installation. 



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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Engine delivery

Don't worry about those dirty old cam covers; the newly polished ones are just waiting until the engine is safely installed.


3.8 engine ute1



3.8 engine ute 2


3.8 engine ute


3.8 engine ute 5


3.8 engine ute 4


There's always something else to buy...


3.8 engine lifter

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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Contact Me

Hi, if you would like to get in touch, provide some feedback and just have a chat about all things Jag, please fill in the form provided and I will try and get back to you as quickly as I can.


1000 characters left
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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Shimming the tappets

Setting the valve clearances on the XK head is a time consuming process that requires patience. I have finished mine. It took me about 4 hours, never having done this before. Each side had to be pulled down about 4 times. I'm pretty satisfied though and the inlets are all 4 or 5 thou, and the exhausts 6 or 7. Once the Cometic head gasket arrives the head can go on, and it's done!

Rather than taking photographs of this process, instead have a look at what you get for $50 for an XK head. This is off a 420, and seems to have been stored in a dam.


4.2 rusty head1 

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Engine building 3: timing

Time for the timing chains.

Everything has been beadblasted.


3.8 Engine build timing001




3.8 Engine build timing003


Gaskets for the new chain cover. 


3.8 Engine build timing004


 Teflon front seal.


 3.8 Engine build timing005


Cover on. 


3.8 Engine build timing006




3.8 Engine build timing007


Sump on. 


3.8 Engine build timing008


Damper on. 


3.8 Engine build timing010



Fuel sender in. 


3.8 Engine build timing012

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Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Engine building 2: pistons

Machined, balanced rods.



3.8 Engine build pistons006


New standard pistons. Rings have been checked in the bores by the machine shop.


3.8 Engine build pistons007


Assembly lube, slide the gudgeon pin in with the piston forward and the rod numbers on the exhaust side. Put the circlips smooth (not sharp cut) side IN. Check for positive seating by rotating clips with the circlip pliers. Leave the circlips pointing down.


3.8 Engine build pistons002




3.8 Engine build pistons008


 Lay out assembled rods in order.


3.8 Engine build pistons009


Insert bearings. 


 3.8 Engine build pistons010


All in. 


3.8 Engine build pistons011




3.8 Engine build pistons012




3.8 Engine build pistons014


Set the engine at #1 TDC. Set the dizzy drive at 10 to 4 with the big D up. Tap the crank dizzy drive in until it just contacts the brass cog. Rotate the brass cog back 3 teeth (same as the width of the crank drive) and then slowly tap the crank drive home. This will put the dizzy drive properly back to 10 to 4 with the big D up at TDC. EASY!!


3.8 Engine build pistons015




3.8 Engine build pistons016



3.8 Engine build pistons017





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Friday, 11 October 2013

Engine building 1

With this car I really wanted to be involved in all aspects of the rebuild, and Chris the engine builder has kindly agreed to supervise me building the engine. Today we got a lot done in 5 hours.


Tappet guide hold downs.


3.8 Engine build13



Studs going in.


3.8 Engine build15


Finished with the studs.


3.8 Engine build16


Damage from a loose timing chain in the past.


3.8 Engine build18


Valve spring seat


3.8 Engine build19


Stem seals for inlet valves


3.8 Engine build21




3.8 Engine build22


Retaining collar


3.8 Engine build26




3.8 Engine build27


Cam bearings


3.8 Engine build29


Cam bearing caps


3.8 Engine build31


Welsch plugs fitted with Defcon


3.8 Engine build36


Crank sludge plugs; tapping the holes out was nervewracking.


3.8 Engine build38


Plug safely home.


3.8 Engine build37


A man squirts red stuff on my main bearings.


3.8 Engine build39




 3.8 Engine build40




3.8 Engine build42


In with the crank.


3.8 Engine build43


Bald spot close up.


3.8 Engine build44




3.8 Engine build46





3.8 Engine build47 


Main caps on


3.8 Engine build49




3.8 Engine build50


High tech SnapOn musical torque wrench


3.8 Engine build51



Quality control


3.8 Engine build52


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Thursday, 10 October 2013

Cleaning the block

Today I tapped out every thread on the head and the block, then degreased and cleaned it all and painted the block.

Tomorrow the crank and pistons go in.


3.8 Block1


3.8 Block2


3.8 Block3


3.8 Block4


3.8 Block5

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Sunday, 22 September 2013

Got the IRS in.

A hoist, a trolley and a little help is all that's needed.

This time I took advice and filled the diff with oil and pre-bled the calipers before installing the IRS unit.


3.8 IRS in1


3.8 IRS in2


3.8 IRS in3

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Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Picture update

Chrome wrapped up like fish and chips.


3.8 chrome paper


Chrome unwrapped.


3.8 chrome

 New clutch pipe made by moi.

3.8 clutch pipe


Martin wiring.


3.8 Martin wiring




3.8 fuses


Dash centre in. 


3.8 dash centre


Brake booster and wiper motor in. 


3.8 Brake booster in





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Saturday, 07 September 2013

Wiper rack

Note to self: it is easier to install the wiper rack if it is not upside down. Otherwise reassembly is proceeding satisfactorily.


3.8 wiper rackl



3.8 lower wishbones


3.8 wishbone plate

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Saturday, 31 August 2013

First step

With some trepidation I installed the very first part onto the body; the fuel line. I then moved on to the front mounting bracket for the fuel tank.

Needless to say both had to be removed and reinstalled 3 times.

Oh and the thread on the captive nut on the repro tank bracket is, you guessed it, the wrong size!



3.8 fuel line



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Friday, 30 August 2013

Skeleton in the closet

Asking Siri where to store a body was no help...




3.8 body number


3.8 body home

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Friday, 16 August 2013


It's all coming together.

The body should be here within a week or two.

The shed is bulging with rebuilt parts.

Every week brings more mew parts from overseas.


We're ready to rumble....

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Sunday, 11 August 2013

Motif Bar for the coupe

When I got my coupe 2 years ago it did have a motif bar, but it wasn't fitted because the special rubberised mounting bolts were broken.
When I finished reassembling the car for the second time I bought new rubberised mounting bolts and refitted the bar. It fell off the same day because the replacements broke too. Fortunately it stayed inside the bonnet "mouth" so it wasn't lost.
My roadster didn't have a motif bar fitted at all when I got it; presumably it had suffered the same fate but had been lost.
I sent the coupe's bar off to be rechromed with all of the roadster trim, and bought a repro one, and very nice it looks too.
As the two are the same I decided to fit the new one to the coupe and put the old rechromed one on the roadster.
With the usual "how hard can this be?" I headed off into the shed.
Firstly I had to fit the motif itself into the circular hole at the front. This is held in a circular metal backing, which in turn is secured in place by a half elliptic spring that is screwed at either end to little pillars on the back of the bar. To be honest this seems overcomplicated; a dob of glue would have worked better.
Now the first issue that became apparent was that no screws were provided. There were 2 holes but they weren't threaded. On closer inspection they weren't even remotely parallel either, nor were they in any way centrally drilled into the little cast pillars the spring attaches to.
After a bit of thought I elected to use stainless self tapping screws to hold the spring in. Excellent idea up until one snapped off in the hole. Dremel and drill cleared out the hole, albiet bigger.
By now I'd used up about an hour. I decided to tap the holes for 8x32tpi cheese headed setscrews. Also an excellent idea in theory, but of course in practise it was largely impossible because there was no room for the tap...
Eventually I managed to tap the redrilled hole using a small spanner to turn the tap; a rather slow process.
The other hole I left as it was and railroaded a 3mm hex headed high tensile screw into it.
Finally, the Jaguar head motif was installed.
Now all I had to do was install the bar into the bonnet. Firstly the old rubber head bolts had to come out. These are classic Jaguar; you can't see them and you can barely get to them. Eventually I managed to remove one with a 1/4" drive 7/16 socket on a screwdriver handle, but the other one was of course too tight. When installing the fuel pump I bought a brilliantly designed 1/4" drive ratchet handle which turns when the handle is rotated axially. I just managed to get the socket on the head and despite working about one click at a time I succeeded in removing the bolt.
Now to be honest I have no idea why the motif bar has to be mounted on its own shock absorbers, so I decided to just bolt it back in using a couple of 1 1/2" long 1/4" bolts, which seems to have done the trick.
Surely a solid bolt can't possibly be any worse than those stupid rubber things...
Total time; about 3 hours.

 It's fascinating to reflect on the level of overengineering that has gone into this simple part of the car. In a way it's quite un-Jaguar, who frequently looked for the cheapest solution. I'd love to meet the designer and ask why..



4.2 Motif bar



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Monday, 05 August 2013

Electrical fettling

With the arrival of the new wiring looms and the imminent arrival of the car body back from Ross, it was time to sort through the box marked "Electrics"

Soldering the bonnet plug onto the new loom is a damn sight harder than it looks and took up a few hours. Cleaning, painting and generally fettling the other bits and bobs whiled away most of the rest of the day.


3.8 electrics1



3.8 electrics2


3.8 eight pin soldering


3.8 fuel sender

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Thursday, 01 August 2013

Roadster body nearly ready

Ross reckons I can have it in about 2 weeks.

400 hours have gone into this.


3.8 bonnet painted

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Sunday, 07 July 2013

Kelsey Hayes finished

It's finally painted, honed, assembled and I think it will work.


3.8 booster complete

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New brakes for the 4.2

After some thought the folly of swapping over the whole hub assembly became aparent to me.

So instead I did the sensible thing and swapped the calipers over for the Coopers.



Coopercraft brakes on

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More little bits and pieces.

For some time now I have been unable to find the 8 pin plug that supplies power to the bonnet. It finally turned up today; it appeared to have been sat on by an elephant.

Not to be fazed by this I shooed the elephant away and restored the plug. Took about an hour and a bit of Araldite.


3.8 eight pin before


3.8 eight pin after

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Thursday, 04 July 2013

More paint photos

As Ross paints something, he takes photos and sends them to me. Here's this week's lot.


3.8 boot painted


3.8 inside painted




3.8 firewall painted


3.8 framesl painted



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Wednesday, 03 July 2013

Engine machining

The engine has been down at the machine shop for a while. Here's a shot of the head, just waiting for new cam buckets to be fitted. Brendan needs the cam buckets to do the job, as they are individually fitted.


3.8 head work


So 4 weeks ago, I ordered a set of 12 oversized long skirt cam buckets from XK's in the US.

Mystifyingly, when they arrived, there were only 10.

I emailled them and they said yes, we will send you another 2 immediately, at our expense.

It seems that in order to keep their expense down they sent them by the little known USPS Rickshaw/Carrier Pigeon combo. This fascinating service took 12 days.

Needless to say, when the 2 cam followers arrived, they were the wrong ones. See the miniskirt?


3.8 tappets



So another pair of the right cam followers was sent UPS, and actually arrived and were the right ones. I'm glad that the XKs Despatch Dept guy was so kind as to thank me for my patience.


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Sunday, 23 June 2013


Let the pics speak for themselves.

Here, I have shrinkwrapped the ScreenJet bracket.


3.8 screenjet bracket


Here I have reassembled the headlight sockets.


3.8 headlight surrounds


Here the steering column is being rebuilt.


3.8 steeri ng column


Here I have turned up a pair of Delrin bushes for the uper steering column.


3.8 steeri ng column bushes

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Windscreen wipers

Cold and rainy today. A good day for small jobs. So I stripped the windscreen wiper motor. Inside it looks pretty good with almost no wear on the brushes. I suspect it has seen very little use.


3.8 wiper motor inside


An hour with a wire wheel on the grinder, a bit of paint and 10 minutes soldering in the new wires in the correct polarity for parking on the RHS. just like a new one!


3.8 wiper motor

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Kelsey Hayes

I finally built up enough courage to tackle the Kelsey Hayes brake booster today.

It stripped down very easily and was in good condition apart from some scoring on the central shaft. Fortunately this was easily fixed with some gentle linishing in the lathe.

The rest of the assembly was easy given that I'm used to servicing scuba equipment.

For good measure I painted the brake and clutch cylinders with caliper paint as well.


3.8 booster


3.8 brake cylinders

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Friday, 14 June 2013

First lot of top coat

Ross sent me a couple of pictures today. The first lot of top coat on the underside of the tub.


3.8 first paint



3.8 first paint1


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Sunday, 09 June 2013

Sunday run to Goolwa

We go for regular E Type runs on a Sunday morning, weather permitting. Today we ended up at Goolwa.


3.8 Goolwa run 06 2013


On the way back we dropped in to see Ross. Bonnet is reassembled and about to be pulled apart prior to painting.  My body shell is in primer and being blocked back prior to putting some colour on the underside.


3.8 body in primer


3.8 body in primer2


3.8 bonnet


3.8 bonnet louvres 


3.8 bonnet light

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Saturday, 18 May 2013


One of the front hubs on my coupe has worn splines which make an annoying clunk on braking or acceleration. So I bought a new set of hubs a while back. I had also bought myself some upgraded front calipers from CooperCraft in the UK. I haven't got around to fitting either as it's a fiddle. Essentially you need to pull down the whole axle unit and rebuild it to replace the hubs.

Then, with all of the front suspension bits from the roadster sitting in the shed it occurred to me that as they are identical I could reassemble the whole axle unit and do a straight swap. I did the assembly today and they look lovely with the new discs, shiny zinc and Greenstuff pads.

All I need is a new set of bottom ball joints and I can drop the old ones off and bolt the new ones straight on. That's about an hour's work depending on how troublesome the ball joints are. The originals will go onto the roadster. I'll still have to strip them and reassemble them with new hubs but at least I can drive the coupe in the interim.


Coopercraft brakes

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Sunday, 12 May 2013

Coupe update

I've been sorting out a few irritating problems with the coupe.
First and formost has been poor tune, with a miss under load. This has been going on since the engine rebuild and I finally admitted defeat and took the car back to see John Hurley. The problem turned out to be that the piston in the middle carby was sticking because the jet wasn't centred. John sorted this out and tuned the car and it runs perfectly. I drove the coupe out to see Ross when I went there. It is now a joy to drive. I have also replaced the exhaust cam cover gasket and now no oil leak!

4.2 engine

I fitted the 5" chrome wires that came with the 3.8 roadster to see whether the car handles differerently on them. Both sets of wheels are fitted with 205 70 tyres and to be honest there's really not much difference between them. The wheels have cleaned up a treat and have brand new Pirellis fitted.
In doing this though I noticed a loud knock had appeared in the front left suspension. On checking I found the sway bar link arm had pulled away from its bush; the washer I had used was too small. Easy mistake, but easy fix and no damage done.

3.8 wheels on 4.2


Sway bar link loose

Other things I've fixed are some rattles from the bash plates under the engine frames, and I have finally found the source of the petrol smell from the tank. Turns out the flexible filler pipe hose was too big and leaked. Replaced with some difficulty, it cured the petrol miasma. I still have too much exhaust smell in the cabin but that's a job for another day.

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Apologies and an update

Apologies to my readers; there has been a bit of a hiatus over the last few months because while I am waiting until the roadster body is ready there's little I can do.

Current state of play:

Bonnet. I drove out to see Ross two days ago. There are 14 individual panels that make up the bonnet, held together by about 100 1/4" bolts and a lot of setscrews. It's been disassembled, paint stripped and grit blasted and all of the dents have been knocked out. The underside of the nose was pretty crumpled. otherwise the panels are pretty straight and rust free. Ross reckons he'll have the guards done this week and will then reassemble it with the newly replated bolts and screws.

3.8 bonnet top metal




3.8 bonnet etched

Body. All of the metal work on the tub is complete, and Ross has filled it with fish oil and painted the underside with stoneguard. It is painted in primer and ready for blocking back once the bonnet is reassembled. The doors have new skins and are fitted up to the body shell.

Engine. I pulled the engine down 2 weeks ago. It looked to have been recently rebuilt; bores look good, +20 pistons that looked pretty new and pristine looking -10 crank journals. The head though does look to have some internal corrosion and the flywheel is quite scored and will need a serious face.

After a bit of thought I have put aside the temptation of just putting it back together and I'm sending the block off to be resleeved to standard bore with top hat liners. I'll get everything including the head checked and measured, and hopefully will be able to leave the crank as it it with just new bearing shells. I'll still get the block chemically cleaned, get the mains line bored if necessary and rebush the rods. Then balance everything and reassemble with new timing gear and a full head rebuild. Chris reckons he'll have the engine done by the time the body is ready to bring home to my place.

Other ancillaries: IRS complete. Suspension complete. Carbs complete. Cooling system complete. Brakes largely complete; trial assembly of the Kelsey Hayes looks encouraging. Heater box complete. Gearbox done and dusted. Wheels: cleaned, pumped up and trialled on my coupe, seem pretty much brand new.


3.8 Brake pedal box dry run


Next big PITA job is getting all the chrome redone. Ross has still got the bonnet chromework to make sure it all fits, but I should be able to get that back soon. After my experiences with the last chromers I'm going to try someone different. Hopefull they'll be better.

Roll on End of July!

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Saturday, 02 March 2013

Bending the pedals

2 pictures that nicely demonstrate the differences between the clutch and brake pedals on left and right hand vehicles.

The shinier pedals are from my LHD.


3.8 Brake pedals L and R


3.8 Clutch pedals L and R

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Sunday, 24 February 2013

Starting to come together

IRS finished. Carbs finished. Lots of hours but both were a lot easeir than I had imagined.

 The IRS is a beautiful piece of engineering. Very satisfying to reassemble.


3.8 IRS partial


3.8 IRS complete

 The carbies look fantastic with the pipes polished.

3.8 carbs complete

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Sunday, 17 February 2013

Ross has been busy

Ross has been very busy with the bodywork.

The floor sections under the seats have been replaced with new panels from Robey's.

3.8 Ross floors

The rust holes in the boot floor have been cut out and repaired.

3.8 Ross boot floor repairs

The accident damage to the right rear quarter has been fixed.. 

3.8 Ross rear patch

..and the trial fit of the chrome work is complete.

3.8 Ross rear metal finished

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Saturday, 02 February 2013

There's always one little tiny problem...

I thought that I'd be sensible and rebush the throttle shafts. I couldn't do this myself because you need a good reamer so I sent then off to Midel in Sydney, who returned them having done an excellent job. I specified that they only do the bushes as I was confident that I could refit the throtle stops etc. How hard could it be after all?
However the PO had had this done too, and had used oversized shafts. So the throttle stops, having been overbored, were loose. George at Midel rang me and said I'd need new stops, which I bought.
However when they arrived, they had no holes in them.
Now I was happy enough to drill the shafts to fit the old throttle stops with existing holes. It's easy; you just use the existing holes as guides. But I'd never been confronted by a virgin stop before...
After a lot of thought and a good look at another SU today I did the deed. I bolted the SU body down firmly onto the table on my mill and using a #31 drill as specified, drilled the stop and the shaft in one. Tense?? You could have cut the air with a knife.
But happily all went well. In the end all 3 took about 15 mins including pressing the locking pins in.


3.8 throttle stops


Flushed with success I moved on to the IRS. Today's job was to install the lower wishbone, along with its multitude of Torrington bearings, bearing tubes, spacers seals etc etc.
Essentially the difficulty relates to the deciduous nature of these various accoutrements, while trying to gently fit a heavy lump of steel. Alan B said "it's a 2 man job". The only spare man I had available was my 13 year old son, and try manfully though he might he just isn't strong enough to hold the bugger still for long enough.
Adversity, however, breeds innovation. I turned up a couple of dummy accoutrement retainers out of Delrin. Without them the job would have been impossible. With them, each side took maybe 10 mins.


3.8 wishbone dummy shafts




3.8 Wishbones on



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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Here we go again...

It's fun when finally the time comes to begin turning piles of parts back into a car.

Yesterday I put the carbies back together. As it is with these things, the first one took me about an hour, the second 20 mins and the last 10 mins.


3.8 carbs reassembled

Today I spent a while putting the reassembled rear brakes back onto my rebuilt diff.

When I originally stripped the IRS I had noticed that there were a lot more shims between the calipers and the diff than I had expected. I assumed that this was because someone had in error fitted the later discs. I ordered a set of new, early discs. Lovely though they are, they fit worse. Eventually I accepted the need for a 40 thou washer. 


3.8 rear brakes on diff



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Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Ah the logistical delight of car restoration.

Bits of my car are all over the place. The body's at the paint shop 50 miles away in Strathalbyn.

The engine's still up at Chris's awaiting a teardown in a couple of months. The new 5 speed box is there too.

There is a steady stream of parts coming from the UK.

I'm continually dropping off and picking up lots of plating, powder coating and chrome.

The carby bodies are in Sydney being rebushed by Midel.

The tacho is off the see Mike Eck in the US, and the speedo to Nottingham to be rebuilt at Richfields.

There are bits all over the floor in the spare room, on my desks in my study and in ever increasing piles in the shed.

Within a week or so I'll start having complete sets of bits, and then I can start putting it all back together again.


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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Nearly ready to reassemble IRS

I'm still plugging along fettling bits of the IRS.

I'm 95% ready to start reassembly. Just need to get a few more bits plated and I can reassemble the driveshafts. I have all of the new parts and all the major bits are plated and powder coated.

Just waiting on the diff to come back from Bob, the diff man.


3.8 driveshafts


3.8 hub carriers

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Tuesday, 08 January 2013

At the body shop

You might think that I've gone into hibernation over Christmas, but you'd be wrong.

I've sorted all the plating and powder coating, arranged to have a million bits sent around the globe to be fettled, and today Ron and I took a couple of bonnets down to Ross at the body shop.


3.8 Bonnet trip


When we got there we found Ross has been busy with the tub. Sexy original lead.


3.8 original lead 

So far she looks pretty good. Apart from a few rust holes in the floor under the seats she is surprisingly rust free.


3.8 Floor



3.8 boot metal



New door skins will be needed, as expected.


3.8 passenger door rust

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Thursday, 20 December 2012

E Type soup

Take 20l of diesel. Add most of an E Type, covered in grease. Steep in the hot Aussie sun for a week. Mmmm tasty.



3.8 E type Soup

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Monday, 17 December 2012

EDIS installed

After one set of plugs/points/leads/cap/rotor, 2 distributors, 3 electronic ignition modules, 4 coils...5 goooooold rings!!! Oops. The combination of ignition problems and the festive season got to me there.

Installation of the EDIS system wasn't exactly a snap; 3 or 4 hours careful work would better describe it.

But turn the key and magic! Even idle, positive pedal and absolutely no pinging!




EDis coilpack


Edis mega

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Pinging begone!

I never have been one to do things by halves, and after a lot of thought about the timing issue I bought one of Ray Livingstone's EDIS conversions for the E type.

I can't help myself really; I just love things I can fiddle with. I'll install it this weekend.



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Sunday, 09 December 2012

First steps

With pretty much everything stripped down, its time for some plating and powder coating.

Will be good if I can get this lot back before Christmas.


3.8 plating


3.8 plating2


3.8 plating3

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Friday, 30 November 2012

Picked clean

Only the engine frames to come off and a bit of trim and sound deadener to go.


3.8 picked clean

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Wednesday, 28 November 2012


We went for a 60 mile club run on the weekend. the car is a delight to drive now. feels solid on the road, turns in well and lovely feel through the wheel. The miss, presumably due to fuel starvation/leanness has resolved but any more than half throttle produces obvious pinging.

I'm using the distributor that came with the car, which as you recall had Strombergs fitted. I'm wondering if the problem is related to excessive advance.

To give myself more control I've taken the perhaps excessive step of ordering an EDIS system from Ray Livingstone. It will be interesting to see how the car performs once the advance curve is properly controlled.

I'm also awaiting a set of new cams with a D Type grind.

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Saturday, 24 November 2012

Green is the new Red

We started pulling the 3.8 OTS apart this week.

Most of the engine bay was stripped in a day and a half.



3.8 Empty Nest


3.8 carbs off


Engine out

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Saturday, 03 November 2012

Off to the Beauty Parlour

With 300 miles on the clock I've decided to give her to Ross, the paint man, for a bit of a tidy up.

I don't want a respray. Rather I want to get the little dings and scratches sympathetically touched up and get a nice polish to tart the old girl up a bit. From the beginning I intended to have a drivable car, not a trailer queen.

Watch this space.

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Sunday, 28 October 2012

Warming up

Well to be honest, this project is pretty much finished.

Today I re installed the air box and set the indicator cancellation.

Not much else to do.




 But..I was up at Chris's on Friday and got stuck into stripping a Series 1 4.2 OTS.

Once this one's done it's time to start my Series 1 3.8l OTS! I plan to have it stripped by the end of November. Body shop reckons they'll have it back to me by July 2013, so by then I plan to have the IRS and engine rebuilt, along with all the other bits. I'm particualrly looking forward to locking horns with the Kelsey Hayes servo.

Watch this space!

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Monday, 22 October 2012

Running in

250 miles on the clock now and it has only broken down twice.

Well 3 times.

Actually 4. No. 5 if you count frying the rubbish SimonBBC dizzy as well, although that only took 30 seconds and the car was stationary in the shed at the time.


Problems so far include:


1. Pertronics Ignitor fried, probably by faulty coil from SimonBBC

2. SimonBBC distributor and electronic coil fried by its own coil

3. Missing and backfiring; fuel starvation due to a combination of fuel filter blockage with crap from "cleaned" tank and fuel line compression by spare wheel.

4. Alternator failure; car ran bravely until battery was completely exhausted.

5. I still have to get to the bottom of the alternator problem; I suspect the alternator control relay as replacing the alternator with a different one made no difference. Although it might be the "new" battery too...


Roll on Mr Lucas; I say!


Ineterestingly; the picture below shows the battery gauge, and the battery is charging...hmmm.

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Friday, 19 October 2012

1000 word equivalent




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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Newer is not necessarily better

Points, condenser. New coil, dizzy cap, rotor arm.

Turned the key and VROOM.

12 miles driven. Initial impression is positive.

Needs a wheel alignment and balance (Friday).

Ron is going to pick up my bumpers from Carl the Idiot tomorrow.  Only took him 4 1/2 months.




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Sunday, 14 October 2012

Back together...but..

Having reinstalled the seats yesterday only putting the speedo in and the bonnet back on remained for today.

After an initial successful start of the engine I put the speedo back in. Took a little while to work out which light was which, but it all went easily.

However after this the engine just woundn't start.  Dead as.

There was a good 12v at the coil but absolutely no spark. Eventually I put in another distributor; started straight away. Somehow I've managed to fry the brand new Pertronics Ignitor.  I've never even driven the car with this one in..

Now, of course, despite the timing being spot on, the bloody thing won't idle. Bitch. I suspect that the "El Crappo" electronic ignition in that dizzy has been damaged too.

Thoroughly annoyed, I have put the bonnet back on, given her a quick wash and put her back in the shed, in disgrace. Tomorrow I'm going to get a standard coil and a set of points and put the old (good) Lucas dizzy back in.



back together



new seats

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

and the engine...just starts!

Chris Alan and Martin came over to start the engine today.

Martin checked that I'd put all the wiring back correctly. Alan checked everything else. Chris just looked bored.

Martin insisted on Start Ya Bastard.  Mostly because he likes ether.

After preflight checks I turned the key and after about 5 seconds it just started.









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Tuesday, 09 October 2012

Please be seated

Got the seats back from Alan the trimmer today. They look fantastic.

Hopefully I'll get them back in on the weekend.




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Monday, 08 October 2012


Oil's in.

Water's in.

Battery's in.

Ready to rumble.

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Sunday, 07 October 2012

Pop the carbs back on, Sir?

Daylight savings started today, so I was already an hour behind the 8 ball when I got into the shed. Plan today was to finish the strapping for the wiring, put the carbs back on, reinstall the radiator and fill it.

The wiring was easy, but when I got the carbs down off the shelf I realized that I hadn't bothered to remove the remnants of gasket from the manifold. It quickly became apparent thet they weren't going to peel off easily either.

Eventually it took me about an hour with scrapers, razor blades and a soft wire brush to get the manifold clean, but in the process a lot of crap had found its way into the airways. Realising that I had to get it all out it became obvious that I'd have to separate the manifold from the carbs and blow it out with compressed air. Which I did. After all there's only 12 nuts holding it all together. 5 minutes work.

That done, and remembering that the bottom row of 9 manifold to head nuts are tricky to get on, I decided to take advantage of the extra space and bolt the manifold on first, then bolt the carbs to that.

See? Here's the manifold bolted on. Isn't it pretty? Took 5 mins.


Inlet manifold



The next step was to mount the carbs on those 12 studs, and fit one spring washer and one nut on each. Plus the return spring brackets on the front 2 carbs. Now the top nuts are a doddle, as is the front one at the bottom.

BUT. A BIG but. The other 5 are almost completely inaccessable and the rearmost one is also impossible to see and nearly impossible to get a spanner to. It took another 2, maybe 3 hours to get those 5 nuts on. I had to magnetize a variety of screwdrivers, cut a spanner in half to tighten the rearmost nut, and I simply couldn't get washers on 2 of the studs at all.

Moral of the story? Yes putting the carbs and manifold on in one piece is a little tricky and last time took me around 30 minutes. BUT it's much easier than trying it this way!



carbs on

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Friday, 05 October 2012

and some more..

All of that lovely plated front suspension is back on. Fitted the new rear braided brake hose, and some new Greenstuff pads for the rear.

Brakes and clutch bled.


front suspension again



front suspension again2

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The home stretch.

Having returned from a week's holiday I'm raring to get the car finished.

The first job was getting the reaction tie plate and torsion bars back in. As this is a job I hadn't done before there were a few teething problems, but with some sound advice it all eventually went smoothly. The two good bits of advice I got were to put the bars in from the front, sliding them back to insert them, and to loosen all of the bolts on the tie plate to allow the tear drops in, THEN tighten everything up.  I'm reasonably confident that I have got the torsion bars in correctly, but as insurance I have fitted an adjustable reaction plate in case final adjustments are needed.


reaction plate




reaction plate1


From now on the reassembly should proceed realtively smoothly, as I an simply reinstalling parts that I have already put on before.  Ron came around to help me put the exhausts back on yesterday, and today I have reassembled the front suspension, torqued everything up and bled the brakes and clutch.

With luck I may have her back on the road in a week or two.

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Thursday, 27 September 2012

Happy birthday!

Happy 45th birthday old girl!

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Engine's in!

The "boys" arrived bright and early and it only took an hour to get the engine in.

Looks fabulous!


3 stooges


engine back in

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Sunday, 09 September 2012

Seat re-upholstery.

While I'm waiting for the engine I've stripped the seats, ready for Alan Smith to re cover them.  He did an excellent job with the trim so he gets the job. Alan suggested that I buy the covers foams and seat diaphragms from Aldridge Motor Trimmers.

Excellent choice; really easy to deal with and the covers look excellent.

Hopefully Alan will be able to get then all together for me soon.


seat before




seat after



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Saturday, 08 September 2012

Engine nearly finished

Chris has just about finished the engine.  Very exciting.


engine half built

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Sunday, 02 September 2012

Steering rack back on..again...

I have finally mastered the incomprehensible structure that is the steering rack mounting system.

Last time I didn't change the mounts and left them in place, but I have now replaced the (probably perfectly srervicable) metalastic mounts with uprated ones.

The odd bolt placement now makes sense to me, although I still have no idea why there are spacers on one side but nuts on the other.


Steering mount R



steering rack back on

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Saturday, 01 September 2012

Back together we go...again...

First day of spring. Nice sunny day. Afternoon spent putting bits back into the engine bay. Very satisfying and really looks good.



brakes back

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Friday, 31 August 2012

Head rebuild

Chris has started on the head.



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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Paint's on!

Trying to paint in winter is lousy.  It's been cold and rainy for weeks.

I had lined up my mate Andrew, a spray painter of 20 years' experience, to help me paint the frames.

Andrew's a quiet sort and I think he quickly decided that I would just make a horrible mess of the job, so he came over today and put on undercoat, colour and gloss clear topcoat in just over 2 hours.  It looks superb.

I'll give it a couple of days to go off properly and then I can start hanging bits back on again!



engine frames painted



picture frame

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Back from the machine shop

The block, head and crank came back from the machine shop last week looking lovely.

I was initially a little shocked at the $5000 bill, made up of $1500 on the head, $1000 for top hat liners, another $1500 on the block itself and around $1000 for the crank, rods and balancing. However when I looked through the invoice I really have got a lot for my money. Everything is clean, straight, balanced and back to proper tolerances.

I decided early on to replace everything else, and I've spent around $2000 on new parts. Around $2500 in labour and I have a $10000 engine.

All things being equal though I should never have to touch the engine again.








crank machined



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Monday, 13 August 2012

Hibernation and reflections on plating.

Well as with all unicorns, Carl turned out to be mostly a mythical creature.

The quality of the zinc plating was substandard but was as expensive as the good platers. And, some of the more difficult to replace bolts were lost. Happily though I did get some extra parts that weren't from my car at all, so that was maybe compensation.

I ended up getting all the zinc replated elsewhere, and it now looks good.

The powder coating was good, however there was a "misunderstanding" with the original quote. When I said "that's for everything?" I understood it to mean that the quote included all of the chrome and zinc plating and the powder coating. Sadly it seems the quote I was given was for the chrome alone, making it the total about 30% more than expected.

The final nail in the coffin though was when I went to pick up the chrome to discover that the holes in the overriders for the Amco bars hadn't been welded up as discussed. 

I asked them to give me a call when they had fixed this. As the chroming has taken the best part of 2 months I won't be looking for them much before Christmas..


Here is the reassembled front suspension in all its glory.  Now if it would only warm up enough to enable me to paint I could start putting the car back together.


Front suspension plated

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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Tomorrow marks one year to the day since I bought this car.

To celebrate, I have removed even more from under the bonnet. Well, actually I have now removed everything from under the bonnet.

I sanded back the tops of the engine frames; they feel nice and flat. A bit more painting to be done and reassembly can commence.




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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

More plating

Did I mention that I love freshly plated parts? Can't actually do much with these until I put the engine back in though.


Plating front

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

and they said you couldn't spray at 11*C

Done and dusted.....well, undercoated.



Undercoat sprayed

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More prep

The more I look at the paint on the frames, the worse it looks. Some clown has blown acrylic over the tops of the frames and the firewall without preparing the paint below.  Result? Areas of loose paint that peel off. So I've sanded the offending areas back to sound paint. I'll have to undercoat some of these areas first before I paint them.

Below is the result of a couple of hours of sand/blow/degrease/mask off.

Laughably, it's been too cold and rainy to actually spray the paint this week, but hopefully I'll get it done in the next few days. Blowing a couple of coats of 2K undercoat/filler on will probably only take 20 minutes or so.

Then it can sit for a couple of weeks, I'll give it a light hand sand and then remask and blow the colour on.


Undercoat masked

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Monday, 18 June 2012

Oh dear...

I seem to have bought another E Type.

Series 1 3.8l OTS, LHD.


More pics here:



Green jag

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Sunday, 17 June 2012

Paint it black

In preparation for blowing some colour over the frames I've put some new sound deadener in the tunnel and on the underside of the guards.

In the past I've used the bitumen based schutz, but this time I'm trying a water-based schutz. It was really easy to spray, and best of all, cleans up in water! I put on a good thick coat.

The weather is against me however; it's cold and drizzly so after spraying it yesterday it's still wet in spots this morning. Not to be defeated I've put a fan heater under the car to encourage it to go off. I'm not painting it with top coat til next weekend anyway so it should be OK.




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Monday, 11 June 2012

Spring cleaning

Well it's actually Winter here, but after 4 hours with degreaser and a scrubbing brush, I have the cleanest engine frames in Christendom.

Next stop, Paint Supplies.


clean frames

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

A worsening of Shipwright's Disease

I finally bit the bullet today and started to clean up the engine frames. I am determined not to remove them from the car, but I will put some effort into getting as much grime as possible off them and then give them a spruce up with some paint where needed.

So off came the steering rack.  It's interesting really as it's the part that started it all.

The grime is really baked on, and only scrubbing with neat degreaser shifts it. I reckon if I give it a really good go I'll get most of it finished tomorrow.

I'm still very reluctant to take out the brake pedals though.  I'm hoping to be able to work around them.

We'll see...







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Sunday, 03 June 2012

Jockeying for position

With no front wheels and a need to get the car outside to degrease and clean the front frames the need to make it movable became paramount. After canvassing many helpful suggestions I settled on the idea of using a trailer jockey wheel.

After a bit of welding..success!






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Thursday, 31 May 2012

I like plating

Waiting for parts, la la la.

Got a bucket of stuff back from the platers; I love this stuff.



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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Unicorn

Ron has discovered a very rare beast indeed. He tells me that there is a man called Carl, whose local business does metal polishing, chrome and zinc plating and...powder coating all at the same premises! Ron got some motorbike bits polished and said that they were reasonably priced and look good.

So the back of my car is full of buckets of bolts, freshly sandblasted objects for powder coating and my rusty old bumpers.

Let's see just how good Carl the Unicorn is.

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Monday, 28 May 2012

Washing dishes

This morning I headed up to Stately Jag Manor on a mission. In the back of the car about 60kg of filthy front suspension and running gear to be cleaned and sandblasted prior to plating. It was freezing, with a light drizzle and wind straight from Antarctica.

Cleaning and fettling parts is very therapeutic even in less than ideal weather, especially with good company. Alan helped me to complete my tasks without damaging anything or myself. Ron worked on his motorbike engine and Chris listened to jazz while occasionally attaching bits to the engine he's rebuilding today.

Lunch consisted of beans on toast served with a lot of off humour.

All in all an excellent day.

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Saturday, 26 May 2012

More bits off

Despite my fundamental lack of enthusiasm for tackling the engine bay, another step was achieved today with the removal of the upper and lower wishbones. Another bucketful of bits for the platers. I think that the sockets in my upper wishbones are probably too worn for the new ball joints to compensate, so I'm looking at alternatives for repair or replacement.


front suspension in bits



I probably should tidy up the paint on the frames and the firewall while the engine's out, so it's time to source some paint. I hate doing fiddly cleaning and sanding jobs. I'm much better at bolting things together.


empty engine bay

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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Post mortem findings 2

Yesterday I pulled the whole engine apart.

Basically it looks OK although tired and worn. It's obviously been "rebuilt" to some degree before but IMO not to a good standard. The big end bolts had 12 point (modern) nuts on them, but the original bolts with holes for split pins had been reused. The other main bearing journals look a bit better than the centre main which is quite badly scored. The bearing shells are +0.10 too. I have a spare crank that is in good condition and standard size so I might use it instead.

The block looks OK as best I can tell and the head looks OK although I will be putting on an XJ6 series 3 big valve head anyway so it doesn't really matter.

Chris is going to pick up the bits this week and take them off to the machinist. I have ordered most of the parts apart obviously from pistons and bearings. I'm going to go with a new Fidanza aluminum flywheel too.


engine full down

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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Post mortem findings

I got the head off easily, which was a relief. The Max Jax is great for this using my home made engine lifter. Note to self; get a bit of 35mm solid round bar as the 31mm bar tilts a little too much.

Looking at the head it looked OK although you could see that the front three combustion chambers had a lot more soot in them than the back three.  Presumably this is the result of poor tune on the Strombergs. Looking at the bores they are nice and smooth with no ridges, but certainly not a recent rebuild. The distant tinkling of cowboy spurs was evident; wrong head studs with stacks of washers to take up the slack, and the torque on the nuts was all over the place; some were barely finger tight and some were almost impossible to undo.


head off



The next step was to get the sump off and pull the centre main to have a look at the condition of the bearings and crank. As soon as I go the sump off it was clear that cowboys had been here before too. No lock tabs on any of the main bolts. Centre main cap came off easily and revealed...tragedy. +10 bearing shells and a pretty badly scored crank.






Any fantasies I had about poping in a set of rings and bearings and driving off into the sunset have been shot to bits. It's time for a lovely new rebuilt engine! Good thing I've got a spare crank...

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Engine teardown time

The specimen is on the slab Igor! Turn up the voltage and let the procedure commence!



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Monday, 14 May 2012

Engine's out

It took a few hours but removing the engine was pretty straightforward.

The job I was most worried about was getting the torsion bars out.  Fortunately the last person to remove them must have put plenty of Never Seize on the splines as they came out with just a few taps. The hardest part was getting all the new ball joints to come apart.

Removing the exhausts provided a surprise; the big pin that supports the rear of the gearbox had fallen out and was sitting between the mufflers.  As I only replaced the exhaust a couple of months ago this must have been a recent event. The gearbox support plate looked like an archaelogical survey of the car's life.




I built a trolley to support the engine and used the hoist to lift the car up off the engine.  Ron came round to help, probably to make sure that I didn't drop the car on myself.

It all went like clockwork.  I didn't even need to take the water pump or clutch slave off.


engine down


 It's a really big heavy thing. Hopefully I'll have it all stripped in the next week or so.


Engine ron

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Tuesday, 08 May 2012

..until somebody loses an eye.

I went for a lovely drive on Sunday. Over 2 hours and probably 150km.

Until the car started to run horribly roughly and eventually died.

At least the tow truck was a good colour.

Dial A Tow

Inspection revealed that the Pertronics igniter unit in the distributor had "failed to proceed". This was the only part of the ignition that had come with the car that I had not replaced.

Pertronix toast

Once replaced the car started well, but there was now a horrible noise from within the bell housing.

Dead clutch.  Boo.

Ah well.  Engine out time.

Will keep you posted.

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Monday, 23 April 2012

A Lucas moment

I've been driving the car a bit while gradually fixing little things.

Yesterday after a bit of a drive to attempt to calibrate the speedometer (a whole other story for the future), I noticed that the indicators briefly stopped working.

Thinking nothing more of it, while removing the speedo today I opened the centre console to discover that it was full of genuine Lucas Smoke! Very exciting.

On further investigation the plastic surrounding the fuse clip for fuse #7 had almost completely melted and the fuse and clip were too hot to touch.

Presumably there's a short somewhere; I did notice that the radiator fans were running without the car being warm, so that's where I'll start looking.

The trim, on the other hand, looks brilliant.  With a new headliner, carpets glued down, rips and scuffs fixed and new door trim she looks a million bucks.  Putting some Dynamat over the tunnel has improved the noise too, although the cabin is still hotter than I'd prefer.

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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Off to the trim shop

Now that I have the car more or less running, the biggest weakness is the poor state of the interior trim.

Bits are torn or missing, it's all loose and it really just looks daggy.

So off to another highly recommended artisan for a bit of a spruce up.

I'm not doing a full restoration, so only the necessary is being done, but new door trims, sound insulation, headliner repairs and generally sticking everything down will I hope make the car a lot more enjoyable to be in.

All things being equal I'll get her back Thursday week.

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Sunday, 08 April 2012

A pleasant surprise

While I had the bonnet off so that I had good access to do the carbs I also installed a set of kevlar Greenstuff front brake pads.

Being a cynic I didn't really expect much improvement, but to my surprise the sponginess in the brake pedal has gone completely.

To be honest I'm not sure how changing the pads can account for this, and I wonder if in replacing the inlet manifold I have inadvertantly fixed a previously undetected vacuum leak, which has in turn allowed the servo to work properly.  I'm happy enough with the brakes that I'm going to hold off fitting the front Wilwood calipers.

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Wednesday, 04 April 2012

Fine Tuning

John Hurley is a busy man, but that's because Kent Town Auto Tune has long had the reputation of being the place to get your car properly tuned in Adelaide.

I had managed to get the car to run well enough to be just drivable and dropped it in for John to tune.

John is incredibly thorough; every component gets taken off the car, tested, adjusted to spec and reinstalled.

Unfortunately when John tested the advance curve on the new Powerspark distributor it turned out to be completely wrong with advance starting too late and not peaking until 7000 rpm.  No point on its curve matched the factory numbers.  After discussion I took John my old Lucas distributor.  He checked and calibrated it and deemed it satisfactory.

Needless to say, the car runs beautifully. The SUs do seem to provide more go to the car, although it's perhaps unfair to compare a brand new set of freshly tuned carbs with an old set of emission control Strombergs. Regardless though they look fantastic!

John Hurley

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Sunday, 18 March 2012

On with the SUs!

Today's work was to install the new SUs, and reinstall my newly painted, non emission controlled exhaust manifolds. I also took the oportunity to clean and paint the sides of the block, and to install a gear reduction starter.

Because of the tight access to the lower row of inlet manifold nuts I replaced all of the lower studs with new ones. This paid a huge dividend as I was easily able to do them all up finger tight before having to get a spanner anywhere near them. This easily halved the time it took to get them back on.

Access to the exhausts is a lot easier and they went on easily, as did the Bell stainless downpipes.

All in all a fairly easy afternoon's work, and amazingly the car started straight away on the first turn of the key! My attempts at tuning however were laughably poor so the car is off to Adelaide's finest SU tuner.

Looks pretty too!


exhaust manifolds

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Saturday, 17 March 2012

"All the leaves are brown.."

With autumn upon us a man's thoughts once again turn to converting a road going car into an unwieldy pile of rolling junk.
With this in mind, I have decided that the time to install the triple SU's has come.
Actually, the real motivator was the awful noises that the starter motor was making.
So flush with enthusiasm I ordered a new high torque starter from Barratts and set to the task of removing the Stronbergs.
As the crossover manifold means that the rear exhaust manifold also needs to be changed over I have chosen to install the rest of the stainless exhaust too.
Removal of the Strombergs was a slow but straightforward process. Locating and removing the dozens of completely invisible nuts concealed under the manifold took a while. So did understanding the baffling arrangement of studs that hold the Stromberg manifold together. Presumably this is to prevent the amateur mechanic from risking the release of valuable Lucas smoke from within it's tortuous interior.
Anyway eventually it succumbed to reason, bad language and a 1/2" spanner.
The exhaust manifolds, which were the ones I was actually worried about, literally fell off in about 5 minutes.

no carbs

I had to call a friend to work out how to get the starter motor out though. At a stretch I could almost see the head of the bottom retaining bolt, but given that it was the best part of a foot down a 1" wide gap between gearbox and transmission tunnel I had no idea how to access it. I asked Chris, who wisely told me about the access cover in the footwell. Armed with this information I had it out 5 minutes later. The picture below shows that there may be some slight wear contributing to its noisy operation...
Now if the new one would only arrive from Blighty. The Barratts carrier vultures must be out to lunch..

starter gear

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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Phoenix reborn

After Lord only knows how long off the road, I finally got to take my car on her maiden drive today. We did about 120km without any major incident. At first every press on the throttle had me expecting to see a piston depart via the side of the block, but nothing like that eventuated. No overheating, good oil pressure and absolutely nothing caught fire or even released a bit of smoke. And the brakes work, even if the pedal gives the impression that they don't.

I've had her since July last year, and she came to Australia from California in 2009. Before that the only thing I know for certain is that she was sold on 31st October 1967 to her original owner, Mr Arthur McGill, 965 Mangrove Avenue, Sunnyvale, California. I was a 2yo at the time.

There are lots of rattles and squeaks, half the interior trim is missing, the paint is 5 different colours and the seat frames are knackered. But the engine runs sweetly and the car feels solid and purposeful on the road.

Next job is fitting Wilwood calipers, a proper set of SU's and then it's off to throw money at the motor trimmer.

The last 6 months has cost 100's of hours of hard work and a lot of money. Today confirmed that it has been worth every cent.

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Thursday, 08 March 2012

Mea culpa

Today I took the car to the Dept of Transport to be inspected for road worthiness.

I had heard many horror stories about the DoT inspectors and inspections and consequently I was not confident and a bit on edge.

I had planned to trailer the car, but we were unable to get it onto the trailer because of low ground clearance, so with trepidation I decided I would have to drive it. It never rains in South Australia, unless of course you need to drive an unfamiliar and largely unproven vehicle a long way on busy roads to make an appointment that costs $250 whether you arrive or not.

But arrive we did, and my experience was very tame. Everyone I dealt with was polite and helpful. I had a very helpful exchange of emails before the event with one of the inspectors. The inspector who did the vehicle ID check actually smiled and chatted.

The inspector who did the actual roadworthy inspection was also friendly and complimented the quality of the restoration work done on the IRS. I expected a list of defects to be rectified. But there were none apart from a comment that the RH front wheel bearing was a bit loose, but "nothing that was excessive".
4 hours after I left home, I had a set of registration plates and a big smile on my face.

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Wednesday, 15 February 2012


Well.  A whole lot of nothing's going on here.

Still waiting for permission to "modify a motor vehicle".

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Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Please, Sir...

The time for action is past.
Now it is time for the paperwork..
Over the weekend I had the engineer and the Historic secretary from the Jag club look at the car. Both have reported favourably.
I have submitted the "Application to Modify a Motor Vehicle" form to the DOT. At some point hopefully they'll reply.
When I have that form back, I can book the car in for a registration check, where they inspect the car to make sure that all the numbers match the paperwork.
If I pass that, then I can book the car in for a roadworthy inspection by the DOT, which is usually like the Spanish Inquisition without the comfy chair.
If I pass that, I can then go to motor registration and actually register the car.
And....DRIVE IT!

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Saturday, 04 February 2012


Very Simple Image Gallery:
Could not find folder /home/projecte/public_html/images/General_images/general_images/images/
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Sunday, 29 January 2012


The last few little jobs have been done since the windscreen went in on Wednesday.  It was an anticlimax; the new screen was an exact copy of the old one, the seal fitted perfectly and the nice bloke from Complete Windscreens did an excellent job.

With a little help I'd managed to get the padded dash top back in as well; again it was easier than expected and apart from one of the ignition dash lights everything still works.

Yesterday I reinstalled the grille trim bar.  This is held in place with two double ended rubberized bolts. The rubber had broken, and the bolts in the overriders were firmly rusted in place. I had to remove the overriders and use screw extractors on both sides to shift them.  Add another 2 hours to the hours worked.

Today I tackled changing the windscreen wipers to park on the right. Much has been written about this mystical process but fortunately the US LHD Series 1.5 has the DL3A wiper motor.  All you need to do is remove 3 screws, rotate the top plate 180 degrees, do the screws up again and it's done. It really is that simple and took 5 mins.

To celebrate, I gave the old girl a nice wash. She looks great.




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Monday, 23 January 2012

Whole again

The bonnet is back on.

I'm ringing the windscreen blokes this afternoon.



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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Don't say the "F" word

I have put the carpets and the seats back in.  On Monday the bonnet goes back on, and I hope to have a windscreen by the end of the week. It's nearly...fini@#ed.

If it wasn't for Barratt's infinitely stupid policy of not sending orders because one part out of the whole order isn't available but not actually TELLING you this, I would have had the choke light bezel that I need over a week ago, and I would have the crash panel in too.


So in 6 months I have achieved the following:


LHD to RHD conversion with all new parts
Cooling system including heater fully reconditioned
Car fully rewired with the exception of the rear light looms
Fuel system completely restored from tank to carbs
All hydraulics including brakes completely rebuilt
Front suspension reconditioned
IRS completely reconditioned and ratio changed to 3.07 from 3.54

I have spent around AU$25k in addition to buying the car.

As soon as the car is registered, I have new 6.5" wheels and triple SU's ready to install. The rest of the new SS exhaust will go on then too.



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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

We have petrol

After a bit of reading and consideration I decided to clean the fuel tank myself. I soaked  it for 12 hours with 12:1 hydrochloric acid and then rinsed it with bicarb, then lots of water.  It looked pretty much spotless inside so I reinstalled it complete with new hoses.  


fuel tank


To prevent further mischief I have also installed the biggest fuel filter I could find between the tank and the fuel pump.  I have also temporarily left one of the smaller inline filters in place.  It will come out in a little while.  I have opted to use a new aftermarket pump rather than the original SU pump, cheaper, more robust and more reliable.



fuel filter

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Monday, 16 January 2012

Clock repair

About 3 weeks ago I sent the clock from my 1967 series 1.5 to Mike Eck of to have it overhauled. The clock was in very poor condition, didn't work and the plastic lens at the front was pretty much opaque.

Here it is:




I got it back today and it is simply...beautiful. It looks brand new, and now runs on a AA battery.
I cannot recommend Mike highly enough. His communication has been excellent, the turn around time across the world (I'm in Australia and he's in the US) was quick and at US$110 including postage, given the quality of the job, it was cheap.





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Saturday, 14 January 2012


Final fettling requires running the engine, obviously. But I kept running out of fuel, and a lot faster than I should. The first 5l lasted a while, the second 5l not really long at all. It didn't seem to be leaking out anywhere so I wondered whether the problem was with the fuel pump. I had already bought a replacement, so I put that in. While doing this I noticed that someone had put two in line filters in at some stage, one between the tank and the pump, and the other past the pump. Looking at them, the one from the tank looked to be full of...well...mud. I pulled it out and replaced it and mud came out of the fuel hose. Taking off the fuel tank top and looking in revealed the source of the mud; lots of rust in the fuel tank. Despite advice to the contrary I'd avoided taking the tank out as it is a bit of a pest and I figured that if the rest of the car was rust free well then so was the fuel tank. Wrong.
Taking out the tank actually isn't that hard, or it wouldn't have been if the captive nut on the most inaccessable mounting bolt hadn't been broken off in the past. In the end I had to drill the top off it which took about an hour. Tank removal otherwise took around 15 mins.
I have fashioned a plate with the captive nut bolted into it, and riveted it into the bracket. The inside of the tank is a bit rusty but not terrible. I'll get it cleaned out and have it back in soon.

You can see from the image below how superbly inaccessible the bolt is. I think the captive nut was sheared off by accident damage; there is a fair bit of bog in the panels at the rear of the car.


bolt tank

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Thursday, 12 January 2012

What's that noise?

Now that the wiring is in I've been running the motor a bit. As you would. And I've started hearing noises. As you do. Ones that weren't there before.
Rob had come over and we spent a while trying to isolate the source of a rattle at the front of the engine. I had thought it was the idler pulley, but inspection and reassemble had made me think that it was OK. The next culprit was the recently attached, but original un-kitted water pump. It did seem to have a little coolant leaking out of the tell tale hole. I had had the pin hole repaired in my rebuilt pump, so off came the old one and in went the new. In about 10 minutes, not including gasket making time.
And the noise was still there. Bugger. It's the alternator.
Now I have always regarded electronics with a great deal of suspicion, and alternators are at the top of the list. After all your auto electricial always "sends them off" to be overhauled, usually by someone called Keith, or Werner. The conversation usually goes something like this:
Auto electrician puts both hands on hips and shakes his head knowingly "Hmmm no, I can't sort that out. We'll need to send it off to Werner. He'll know what to do. Mind you it'll cost you." Toothy smile..
In my mind I see a tiny rickety galvo shed in a backstreet. There is a sign over the door, but it's filthy and illegible. The shed is packed floor to ceiling with teetering wooden shelves overflowing with a million dusty, rusty car parts. Morning glory vine grows over the roof and in the one window. In amongst the confusion is a small elderly man with wild hair and thick glasses, wearing a grey shop coat. Wordlessly he snatches my alternator, shakes his head and grunts, then, cackling, waves me to the door....
So it was with trepidation that I decided to pull it apart and replace the bearings.



As it turned out it was simplicity itself, and the alternator still seems to be working after my efforts. Oh and yes, the noise has gone.




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Friday, 06 January 2012

End of electrics

The last 2 days have been a blur of rewiring.
The eventual arrival of the rest of the wiring loom meant that Martin could come back and finish the job, and finish it he did. The whole job took him around 15 hours.
At around 3pm yesterday, after final checks were complete, we connected the battery and turned the key..and she started!
There was initial trouble because she wouldn't run properly which perplexed me a bit as I hadn't actually touched either fuel or ignition system at all and she had run so well before. Eventually the penny dropped. Fuel tank was absolutely empty. 5 litres of fuel alter and she's running like a 2 bob watch.

I've come to accept that most of the rocker switches are unreliable at best and have ordered a replacement set, along with new fuseboxes.  we've had too many dodgy connections and shorts.

Running the car or course meant filling the cooling system. I was fairly disapointed and then fairly worried when coolant was seen to run briskly out from under one corner of the water pump. Assuming that I'd somehow damaged the gasket I took the pump off, cleaned facing surfaces and reinstalled it with a new gasket. And it still poured coolant. By this time I was worried that I had somehow misinstalled one of the 9 water pump bolts and cracked the water jacket in the block. Given that I had photographed them on removal I thought this unlikely but...
Lacking any credible cause I decided to put the old (probably servicable) water pump back on in place of the newly reconditioned one from SC Parts. Unbelievably, no leak. Even more unbelievably, the recond unit had a rust hole in the cast iron in the back of it! It's heading back to the UK for a replacement. This puts SC Parts ratio of usable to unusable parts to below 50%.



WP hole

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Tuesday, 03 January 2012

The wires finally arrive

The wires have finally arrived. Sent by good old Royal Mail they seem to have been carried by donkey, camel, rickshaw and carrier pelican to arrive in only 26 days from the day they were sent.
The 3 bags contain the few things missing from the otherwise comprehensive "Under Bonnet" loom. Things like the alternator wiring, the fan loom and another dozen or so vital components.
Martin is coming over tomorrow and with luck we will have liftoff.






With yesterday's reinstallation of the steering column and wheel it became apparent that the front wheel allignment was way out. I mean way out. I read the manual, got confused with 16ths of an inch and whether I needed my toes in or out.

So I rang Ron to ask him what to do. He laughed and duly arrived with a spirit level and a piece of string. 10 mins later; perfect.


 Wheel allign


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Monday, 02 January 2012

We have a steering wheel!

The New Year signifies rebirth, a new start with endless opportunity. Full of such hope I ventured out into the shed, intending to install the steering column and steering wheel. What better way to make a new start as a RHD vehicle?
Sadly, it was not to be. Fiendish Sir William Lyons, in his neverending quest to save a penny, had struck again. The Federal spec cars had to be fitted with a collapsable steering column, which had different mountings on the bulkhead than the older column. But the new mounting point captive nuts were only fitted on the LEFT of the car. The RIGHT still has the four nuts for the old column. Damn you Sir William! Cursing, I retired for the day.
A quick search of "The E Type Forum" archives lead me back to Mike Cassidy's excellent series of articles and instructions on how to proceed. Armed with knowledge, a drill and a good strong arm the job was done in an hour.
Prosaic really, and very Jaguar. It'll get there, but in it's own sweet time.

I will need to swap the indicator stalk over and modify the starter switch mount to move it to the left, but those are jobs for another day.


steering wheel

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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Exhausting day

The temperature hit 38*C today. That's a shade over 100F. Perfect weather for trying to put the exhaust on the car. So I did it. Well to be fair I only put on the new hotdogs and the pipes that connect them to the muffler. The new muffler and downpipes will get done when I put on the SUs, which involves replacing the rear exhaust manifold.
This is the first time in 6 weeks the poor old girl has actually been able to stand on her own 4 tyres. And she looks good.

Looking at the pictures I'm going to have to turn those exhaust clamps up the other way for ground clearance!





As can be seen the old pipes were very bad, and the hotdogs were essentially held together by the chrome plate, as I discovered when trying to weld up a hole.



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Friday, 30 December 2011


Well good old Tony at the brake shop came through anyway. I was a little bit down on him the other day when the caliper leaked, but he has come up trumps. Not only did he manage to get another seal kit when most brake businesses are closed, but he also found me a litre of silicone brake fluid. And drove and got it for me himself. And sold it to me at cost.
Caliper is now working and installed and... I have brakes! Well I have a pedal anyway. As the car is currently up on stands with no wheels it might be premature to assume too much.

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Thursday, 29 December 2011

In the Doldrums

Frustration. I have 10 days off over Christmas, an unheard of event, and work on the car is at a standstill.
I could have my car on the road by now if I had the brakes working. Unfortunately one of the rebuilt front calipers leaked all my expensive silicone brake fluid onto the ground while I was trying to bleed them. Back to the brake shop with that one. Probably can't get parts until the new year. I should have done them myself.
I could have my car on the road by now if my alternator wiring loom, posted on the 9th of December from the UK, had arrived. God knows where it is. I'll be ordering another one when Barratts reopen next year.
At least the SS exhaust arrived today; I'm in 2 minds as to whether to tackle removing the pipes from the manifolds now or wait until I replace the rear manifold when fitting the SUs.

Well at least I have had time to watch us thrash India in the Boxing Day Test.

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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

IRS is back where it belongs.

Well the IRS has been up at Chris's for 4 weeks now, and today they brought it back.
New seals, new bearings, new bushes and mounts, new shocks, new brakes, new splined hubs and newly reconditioned 3.07 diff to replace the American 3.54 one.
Looks beautiful, and went back on in under an hour.


irs back

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Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Rear vision

There's something quite empowering about taking a drill and making holes in your car door.

New wing mirrors installed.  Look a bit odd but they'll do.

Now if I could only find an interior mirror to buy.  No one seems to have them..




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Sunday, 18 December 2011


The bits of pipe that join the mufflers to the hotdogs were in poor condition so I got some new ones made up to replace them.  Sadly when I tried to remove the old bits of pipe from the hotdogs it seems that the only thing holding them together was the chrome.  I tried to TIG the holes up but just made them bigger :-)

So..more money to SNG Barratt.  I'll buy SS.  In Australia they'll last about a million years.

It is absolutely laughable that I can buy a name brand exhaust system from the UK, and have it delivered by air freight for about $700, more than $1000 less than I can buy the same system from a shop in Australia.

No wonder retail is dying here.

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Glove Box

Getting the passenger side dash and the glove box done has probably been the fiddliest job of all so far. First I ordered the wrong parts. Then, when the right parts eventually arrived it became clear that putting them together wasn't going to be entirely straight forward.
This has been the first time that I've had to drill holes and bend things so that they fit, and make bits to hold other bits in place. And repair bits that were in place, but which broke.
Getting the pressed cardboard glove box liner to stay put has been hard work, and has required some ingenuity.
It's finally done though, apart from fitting the actual glove box door, which I still have failed to source.

After all this, I better get some gloves to put in there.




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Glove Box

Getting the passenger side dash and the glove box done has probably been the fiddliest job of all so far. First I ordered the wrong parts. Then, when the right parts eventually arrived it became clear that putting them together wasn't going to be entirely straight forward.
This has been the first time that I've had to drill holes and bend things so that they fit, and make bits to hold other bits in place. And repairing bits that were in place, but which broke.
Getting the pressed cardboard glove box liner to stay put has been hard work, and has required some ingenuity.
It's finally done though, apart from fitting the actual glove box door, which I still have failed to source.

After all this, I better get some gloves to put in there.




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Sunday, 11 December 2011

An epiphany; BSH

We've all heard of BSP; British Standard Plumbing thread. And of course BSW; our old friend British Standard Whitworth. God love it.
I however wish to propose the existance of another in this venerable line. BSH. The British Standard Hand. BSH defined the tolerances requried to install any part on a British made car from the 1960's.
Despite drawing a blank in my research (BSH docments are presumably still protected by the National Secrets Act) I have been able to infer the following about the BSH:

1. It is considerably narrower and flatter than my hand, and can be inserted easily and painlessly into the most inconvenient of spaces.
2. The wrist joint is capable of greater range of movement than mine. I estimate a BSH wrist can flex and extend at least 45 degrees more than my wrist, and supinate and pronate over 180 degrees, allowing the hand to completely reverse, in either direction as required.
3. BSH fingers are all 10" long, have an extra joint allowing backward movement and can exert a pressure of 300 lb/in. They can be folded out of the way when not in use.
4. BSH hands are impervious to heat, cold, grease and cannot be cut or bruised.

I changed the speedo cable today.  Here's a photo of the 90 degree elbow through the 3" hole in the gearbox tunnel.  As Jarrod pointed out; at least there's a hole.


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Saturday, 10 December 2011

All coming together

Marty came over yesterday, and in about 5 hours removed and replaced the dash and engine bay wiring looms.  I estimate that this would have taken me a week to do.
As usual, there were problems. What sort of fool would assume that if you ordered an under bonnet wiring loom it would include the alternator loom or the radiator fan loom?  Well, me.  So they're on their way from SNG B now.
Today Alex and I repainted the bezels on the tacho and speedo, and buffed up sundry chrome bits.  The dash looks great.
Popped up to Chris's for the E type tragics Saturday morning coffee.  My diff is back together and looks fantastic painted pumpkin.  The other bits will be back from the platers and powder coaters late next week so I should have an IRS to put back within 2 weeks.
All in all progress is going well.


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Wednesday, 07 December 2011

Ready to start re wiring

In between battling with the clutch I've also managed to install the new driver's side instrument panel. The choke cables and heater vent control were there to add a bit of spice to an otherwise straightforward job, but with a bit of thought it all works.

Marty is popping over tomorrow to have a good look at the looms I have got from Barratts. Marty is the undisputed local authority on all things electrical in the Jaguar so I am most grateful to have his oversight and advice.

This is all very exciting; the electrics (which I have been dreading) are the last major hurdle to jump before, hopefully, the car becomes driveable again.

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Musings on "RTFM"

Having been well brought up I am always careful to heed the opinions of those older and wiser than myself.  So when it comes to car repair, it's always "by the book".

On the topic of removal and refitting of the clutch slave cylinder, the Jaguar Service Manual is the indisputable authority. It states that the slave cylinder should be unbolted from the bell housing and withdrawn over the clutch actuating arm rod.  It states very clearly that the actuating arm rod should NOT be removed.

Replacement being the reverse of removal, several hours of battle commenced trying to refit the slave cylinder. The last person before me had obviously found it a challenge too; he had only replaced one of the two studs that hold the cylinder body to the bell housing.

After much thought and effort, and feeling that special dread that only one deliberately countermanding a direct order can know, I removed the actuating arm rod.

About 10 minutes later, with much more room to move, I had the slave cylinder refitted and ready to be bled.


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Sunday, 04 December 2011

I'm back!

After being away on holidays for a couple of weeks I'm back, full of enthusiasm.

The new RHD dashes have been trimmed, the wiring looms are here and tomorrow I'll call and find out how far the boys have got with the IRS.

watch this space!

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Monday, 14 November 2011

Bye bye IRS

Today 3 men came and took my IRS away.  I wonder if I'll ever see it again...



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Thursday, 10 November 2011

A Visitation

This morning the gurus arrived.  At 9.30 sharp Chris and Alan arrived, along with Marty and my mate Ron.  Chris and Alan restore E Types and Marty fixes electrics. He had just finished my windscreen wiper motor.

An inspection was made, coffee and buns were consumed.  I asked many questions:

"How do I get the driver's side door to open?"  I asked.  I haven't been able to open it using the door handle since I got the car.  "Have you tried using the key to unlock it?"  said Alan.  Bugger me, it worked.  Why didn't I think of that?

Marty discussed the wiring.  Alan nodded knowingly.

After talking to Chris I'm going to bite the bullet and take off the IRS. I'll take it up to him and get him to fully recondition it and put in a 3.07 diff.  I wasn't going to but once its done I'll never have to touch it again.  He's got the tools to get the bearings out of the hub carriers and knows stuff about shims. Hopefully I can do the disassembly and help put it back together too.

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Wednesday, 09 November 2011


In my neverending quest to purge the hydraulics of evil, I finally took the clutch slave off today.

It doesn't sound much but it's in a bugger of a spot to get to and I had half convinced myself that it would be OK.

Removal was easier than expected, predominantly because the last person who'd been there had obviously been unable to reinstall it on both studs and had solved that problem by removing the really hard to get at stud so that there was only one holding the cylinder in place.  Good thing I checked.

The cylinder looked pretty clean on the outside but when disassembled is (a) scored inside by rust and (b) missing some internal parts!  New one required.

Another $50 to Mr Barratt.

Ho hum.  Given that every piece of hydraulics I have looked at so far has been completely stuffed I think I'm not going to have any choice but to take off the IRS and overhaul the rear calipers. Bugger.


clutch slave

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Tuesday, 08 November 2011

Waiting waiting

Proceedings are on hold until I get the dash panels back from the trimmer.  Hopefully in the next week or so. Bloody frustrating; I'm not a waiting kind of guy. 

Mind you I'm not looking forward to the electrical part of the conversion at all.  A bolt you can see, and tighten with a spanner.  But electrons; well they're a different kettle of subatomic particle altogether.

I still have the clutch slave cylinder to inspect, and I probably should remove the IRS and have a good look at the rear brakes.

Ron and Marty are popping by on Thursday morning to inspect the lay of the land vis a vis the electrics.  Marty is rebuilding my windscreen wiper motor and knows about stuff.

I'll keep you all posted.

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Thursday, 03 November 2011

Reassembly going well

Whenever you read the manual, any job on the engine, front suspension etc always starts with the phrase "first, remove the radiator".

The logical extension of this is that the last step of any job is to put it back in.

So it is with great trepidation that I put it back in and connected up all the new hoses.  I just know that I'll end up having to take it out again, which is why I've prevaricated so long.

Anyway, it's done.  I haven't filled it with coolant though...



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Sunday, 30 October 2011

I knew I had children for a reason

All those years of paying to feed, clothe and educate my 3 children paid off today.  After nearly poking my eye out with the heater control cable while trying to remove the brake servo I had pushed it back through the firewall.  Out of the way and easy to retrieve, I thought.  How wrong you can be.  

Small hands make light work. I am convinced that Jaguar maintained a staff of double jointed arachnodactylic pygmies solely for E Type assembly.  My theory is that a tragic epidemic killed them off in the late 60's, leading to the demise of the British sports car as we knew it.



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Heater finished

All of the bits I needed to complete the heater rebiuld arrived this week.  Included was a plastic bag of bits of foam to make seals inside the box, but it wasn't immediately apparent which bits went where.

Inspiration struck; I'd ring Rob as I knew he'd done the job on his car.

Yes, said Rob, he'd rebuilt the heaters on both his E Type and his Mk2.  No, he said, he still had no idea which bits went where.

So I glued them in where it looked like they might go.  Hell, no one will ever see them.



Heater complete

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Front suspension finished for now


Bouyed by the kind thoughts of my friend, I have finished off the front suspension by replacing the front shocks.

I chose the Koni Classics.  These are a good quality double acting adjustable shock.  Their one drawback is that they are not adjustable on the car which is irritating but does keep the price down.  In the past I have used Spax shocks but SNG Barratt didn't stock them, so Koni's it is.

I have put on a different set of tie rod ends.  These are supposed to be the ones for Series 3 cars, but do match what I took off.


The only major job left is the dash conversion.  I have been avoiding this as my previous experiences with old car electronics have been universally negative (ho ho, a joke).


front suspension

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Monday, 24 October 2011

Support from your friends

I have been a way on holidays for a week, hence the lack of progress.

When I get home and check my emails I see this from an anonymous friend:


"dear andrew .Love seeing  pictures of beautifully restored bits and pieces but when reality bites will they ever work.regards"

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The brakes are done

At the risk of offending fate, I think the brakes are finished.

All the hydraulic lines are in and connected.  All the vacuum pipes as well.  Reservoirs are mounted.  All in all, it looks good.



brakes finished

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What does WWW stand for?

World's Worst Welder.

Stripped of paint, the floor of the heater box was a filligree of rust holes.  Spurred on by my success with the clutch bracket I decided to patch it.  Trying to TIG weld 40 year old rust was next to impossible.  The result is ugly but servicable.


welede heather

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Sunday, 09 October 2011

Lots of fiddly little jobs

Lots of little fettling jobs with the hydraulics.

Got the hand made vaccuum pipe installed across the firewall, and made a bracket for the brake servo reservoir bottle and welded it to the firewall blanking plate.

This is the first time I've used the TIG in anger and while it would be mendacious to say that it went without incident, I am quite happy with the result.




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Saturday, 08 October 2011

Front suspension

Craig and Jarrod came over this afternoon, and fired with enthusiasm and beer in equal parts we replaced the front upper and lower ball joints.

Getting the top joint circlip in did require a little thought but all in all a very successful afternoon's work.



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Friday, 07 October 2011

Buried treasure

About 20 years ago I sent my disassembled MGBGT to a friend who planned to reassemble it.

Along with it I sent 4 boxes of precious 1960's UNC and UNF nuts and bolts that i had scavenged from car wrecks and had replated.

Today they returned to me!!  Oh joy! Better than dubloons.







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Tuesday, 04 October 2011


Nothing needs to be said, really.



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Friday, 30 September 2011

Another busy day.

I had no work today and so have been able to devote the entire day to the car.

I went out early, bought some rubber to replace the perished strips in the wheel wells, picked up the latest box of parts from work and then headed home.

Rob arrived mid morning and we set to work on the windscreen.  The screen seal was fossilised and quickly succumbed to a sharp chisel.  The screen came out easily and the spot welded lips of the panels were revealed and completely rust free.  I have never seen this before; usually the metal in this area looks like a rust coloured lace doily.

A bit of cursing and contortions and the dash came out too.

We then unpacked the new dash wiring loom and compared it to the existing wiring.  It actually looks pretty similar although the devil will be in the detail, no doubt.  Rob looked very confident.


rob wiring


Satisfied with the destruction Rob headed home, but I soldiered on.

The rubber strips were removed along with the rivets holding them in place. I repainted the metal strips and then put the whole lot back on.  The rubber is a little uneven but it will suffice.

The parcel contained the new accelerator pedal and housing.  I was able to reuse all of the old parts from the original LHD pedal box.  Finally got it all together and bolted it in but the actuator arm connector to the linkage was on the wrong side.  So out it all came, I ground off and welded the connector back onto the other side, polished and replated the arm and I now have an accelerator!

Annoyingly the captive nut holding the eccentric rest from the brand new linkage set fell off; not properly welded in.  So that will have to come off and be welded and replated another day.



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Thursday, 29 September 2011


Pulled out the Jane's Zinc plating kit and fired it up; a big success.

I'm still waiting on my old collection of GKN bolts to return to me, and in the meantime I hate putting rusty bolts back in.  So after a quick clean with the wire wheel on the grinder I popped some into the plating solution; 5 mins hey presto!

They looked so good I replated the pedal blanking plate too.


So far I have got the pedal box assembled and ready to install.  I put the steering column cover in first as access is rather tight.  It is a repro from SC Parts.  It is a really crappy plastic copy of the original, for which they charged me about $100.  Needless to say I won't ever buy anything from them again.



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Monday, 26 September 2011

Every cloud...

A phone call from school put paid to all my other plans for today.  Youngest son is sick; come and get him.

So I'm now unable to leave the house for the rest of the day.

Small boy settled in front of TV..out to the shed.

A couple of hours of sanding and painting bits, this time in lovely hammertone silver!



silver paint

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Birthday conundrum

You may recall that a few days ago I got the historic data from the good fellows at Classic Car Heritage Team, giving a build date for Sally in 1967.

Now Philip Porter, reputedly the oracle for all things E type, in his book "Collector's Originality Guide", says the S1.5 cars were made between January and December 1968.

Most confusing.

Mark at CCHT has very kindly sent me a scan of the original hand written leger entry for my car.


E134749 copy

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Sunday, 25 September 2011

Busy Sunday

The sun is coming up quite early and having woken at 6am I decided to put in a solid day in the shed.

Today I have achieved a lot:


  1. removed the old steering rack and fitted the new one; despite my trepidation it fitted perfectly
  2. fitted the new tie rod ends, which seem to be possibly the wrong part
  3. changed the lower steering universal joint; it was fun hammering out the old caps
  4. removed, cleaned and refitted all of the front brake pipes; then realised that they didn't need to be reversed, so put them back the right way
  5. fitted the new braided front brake hoses
  6. refitted the rebuilt front brake calipers; not sure of the torque settings for the 1/2" bolts so guessed 60 ftlb
  7. refitted the rebuilt brake vacuum servo
  8. cleaned the lower steering column ready for painting


It really is very satisfying opening bags and boxes with new parts in them and putting them on the car.


steering rack

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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Exciting news!

I have received the manufacturing data from the excellent chaps at Classic Car Heritage Team.


Email as follows:

"Dear Andrew,

We are pleased to say we have located your vehicle.

The good news is that it is a truly original car; all the numbers you provided match exactly the original factory records.

Details: Jaguar XK-E 4.2 litre FHC LHD

Date of manufacture: 27th September 1967

Chassis number:     1E 34749

Engine number:       7E 14442-9

Body number:         4E 26452

Gearbox number:     EJ 15770

Original paint colour: Crimson Red

Original trim colour: Black

Dispatched to Jaguar Cars New York (dealers) on 31st October 1967 Original owner: Arthur McGill, 965 Mangrove Avenue, Sunnyvale, California.

Invoice date:         2nd November 1967

Invoice number:       1/50149

Thank you Andrew for your valued custom.

Yours sincerely and fraternally, Mark Dale.

Classic Car Heritage Team.

PS Andrew if you are happy with our service we would be grateful for a mention on the 'Etype forum' thank you, Mark."

This means it's cake and champers for Sally's 44th birthday on Tuesday!

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Up up and away

After a lot of thought and discussion I have decided to put the hoist pads under the front and rear of the chassis rails to lift the car.

It feels very solid; the only movement on rocking the car is from the hoist arms flexing.

I still don't trust the damn thing though.  I'm going to leave the car sitting on the hoist, locked down on the bars, overnight to see if it falls over.




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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

New tyres and the kitchen sink

I don't see a problem here; do you (well apart from the remaining rust stains on the washer reservoir.



kitchen sink



I have thought long and hard about tyres. I used to have Yokohama A008's on my MGB. They were dead sexy; the outside quarter of the tyre was basically slick apart from a row of little dimples. I have no idea what they added to the performance of the car but they did wear out after around 10000 miles.

I have eventually settled for a far more pedestrian Dunlop Monza 200 tyre in 205 65 15.  The tyres have a sensible and therefore quiet tread pattern, and a bit of silicone to maybe stick a bit better.  I could have gone wider with the 6.5" rims but I figure these tyres are already streets ahead of the OE ones and there shouldn't be too much lateral movement on cornering.  I have stuck with a 65 profile to maintain the original wheel height both to keep the speedo accurate and to maintain what ground clearance there is.  And best of all, at $110 fitted balanced and the old tyres removed from the old rims, they're CHEAP!  You don't get that often with a Jag!


new tyres


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Heating up

I will admit that it was with some trepidation that I approached the job of bending the clutch and brake pedals.

The excellent series of articles by Mike Cassidy available  here suggests that the clutch pedal offset needs to be increased by about 1cm, and that the offset on the brake pedal reduced so it is more or less straight.

My major concern was that I wasn't sure what sort of material the pedals were cast from, and that if they were cast iron they might simply shatter.

Needless to say they didn't.  Once they've cooled down I'll paint them.


bending pedals

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Monday, 19 September 2011

Waterpump on

I needed to do something constructive.  At present most of what I do to the car involves removing crappy dirty broken old bits.

Yesterday I managed to get a few bits painted including my freshly rebuilt waterpump. Rob had rung as he was passing to ask if he could drop in, so no time like the present.

A few minor adjustments were needed with the alternator bracket but otherwise it all went well.

Next step, all being equal, will be removing the old steering rack and replacing it with the new, RHD one.




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Thursday, 15 September 2011


Mmmmm pretty!



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Sunday, 11 September 2011

No more steering wheel.

I only had about an hour free this afternoon but I have put it to good use with a bit of judicious disassembly.

The radiator overflow tank, winscreen washer, LHD accelerator pedal and it's linkages and finally the steering wheel and column have all come out.

As you all know, my car is one of the "Federal" spec late Series 1 vehicles, also known as "Series 1.5".  The difficulty with these cars is that the actual bits used for each car vary and when ordering parts it's hard to get it all right.  For example I ordered series 1 RHD dashboards; they're the wrong ones.  My car is looking like it is a quite late 1968 model and  the interior seems to be just about all Series 2. Certainly the dash and the steering column assembly is.

All part of life's rich tapestry.

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Saturday, 10 September 2011

We have lift off

Two grown men.  Six hours toil.  Some beer and a bottle of red wine.

The MaxJax has arrived.



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Thursday, 08 September 2011


Despite the laughable incompetence of TNT Australasia who managed to "lose" a 2m long item weighing 400kg for 2 weeks, my MaxJax hoist finally arrived today.

I decided that crawling around under cars was undignified for a man of my age and so here is the solution.

I have arranged a variety of helpers to install it on the weekend.  Watch this space and the emergency departments of local hospitals.


IMG 1276

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Monday, 05 September 2011

It's Christmas!

I had become a bit bored and despondent, as work has stopped pending the arrival of the parts necessary to continue.

I wasn't expecting anything for another week but this morning my order from SNG Barratt arrived.  Everything is there apart from the bits still on back order.

Then 2 hours later, the first of my wheels arrived too.  Off to get them now.


The wheels look terrific.  So excited was I that I rang through to SC Spares where I got them and ordered a whole lot of other stuff.


wire wheel


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Thursday, 01 September 2011

New wheels

Bit the bullet and ordered 5 new wheels today.  The old ones are really too rusty to ever look good again.

I have bought 15 x 6.5" curly hub wheels which the man says will fit my car.  Hope they do..

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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Masterly inactivity

I really want to pull the IRS off but I need my hoist to arrive and it STILL hasn't been delivered yet.

If the damn thing's not here by the weekend I can see myself trying to  remove it without the hoist which is far more likely to end in tears.  Problem is I have visitors coming on Saturday afternoon and after a few beers the job might start to look easier...

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Monday, 29 August 2011

Wax on wax off

Unable to do anything constructive at the moment as I'm waiting for parts from the UK and the brakes to be ready, so I decided to wash and wax the car.

I haven't had to do this to a car for 25 years and it's hard work!

Q:  Can you walk into a shop and buy an E Type fanbelt in Austalia?

A:  Of course not, silly.

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Saturday, 27 August 2011

First bit of reassembly

Well nothing major, but I have put the horns back on resplendent in their new gloss black paint; and they still work!

I got the radiator back from Mick the radiator bloke today.  Radiator is in good condition having had the top and bottom taken off, cores cleaned out and then reassembly and leak tested.  Mick's opinion is that it's original and in good condition.  Once I get my new RHD steering rack and install it the radiator can go back in.

I am bemused by the 2 little diecast taps, one on the block and the other on the radiator.  They are too small to act as a serious drain point for the cooling system. All I can see them doing is leaking at an inopportune time and making the car overheat, so I turned up two brass blanking plugs, removed the silly taps and replaced them.

I ordered all of the parts for the RHD conversion, plus a new Lockheed master cylinder and some other bits last night, from Barratts.  I sent an email for a quote to both them and XKs Unlimited in the US, but only got a reply from Barratts, so they got the business.

Hopefully parts will start to arrive within a couple of weeks and the real work can begin.

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Gloss black enamel hides a multitude of sins

I managed to spend about an hour removing and cleaning the radiator supports and the horns.

Evenrthing has had a good clean up and tomorrow I'll spray them in the car restorer's version of the Philosopher's stone; Kill Rust Black Enamel paint.

Turns s*&t into gold.  Or to quote my good friend Jarrod, who works in a car yard "Used Car Salesman's motto:  Paint It Black and Put It Back".

All things being equal I might actually do my first bit of reassembly tomorrow!

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

JA: Jagaholics Anonymous

Phone call:

Andrew: "Rob, I was tempted today.  Really tempted."

Rob: "Yes?"

Andrew: "Well, I couldn't help myself."

Rob: "  It happens sometimes.  What did you do?"

Andrew:  "I bought a Max Jax hoist".

Rob: silence... then "Oh Andrew that's terrible! Don't you have any self control at all?"

Andrew:  (miserable silence)

Rob: "So when do you get it and can I come over and have a look?"


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Cooling system v1.0001

I managed to finish work early today, and despite it being the middle of winter the sunshine beckoned.

So I rolled the old girl out onto the back lawn and took out the radiator and the water pump.

Lots of fun was had with hoses and my new high pressure water squirty thing, flushing the block out as best I could and cleaning the previously inaccessible front of the engine.

I took the radiator to a local radiator place to get it cleaned out.  Fantastic.  Lots of solder and open gas flames.

Then the brakes were dropped off to Tony.  He did the "double teapot with head shake" (hands on hips) at the  condition of the MC and booster with the classic "Hmmm that's going to be expensive" head shake.  Apparently the boosters are a "frontbottom" and hard to get apart.  We'll see.

Got an email from a man about a set of SUs.

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Cooling System v1.0000

Not much time to play today, but managed to drain the cooling system with a view to taking the radiator off for a checkup.

After comparing the radiator with pictures in the Barratt catalogue I suddenly got worried; it doesn't look right.  Finally however the XKs Unlimited catalogue saves me.

Bought a high pressure water blaster and cleaned off the front of the engine, previously concealed by the bonnet.

I'm still in two minds about whether I do the RHS conversion before or after getting the car registered.
I calculated the cost of parts for the conversion today; around $2k plus freight etc.
My cracked windscreen probably won't pass registration, so it needs replacement. As it really needs to come out for rewiring access, it may be that I'll bite the bullet and do the conversion first.  This would also mean that I will have a new wiring loom which should sort out any other electrical gremlins.

Watch this space.

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Brakes are broken..

Once the decision is made, action is easy.

First the pedal box, complete with brake and clutch MC comes out.  Then the booster.  Finally off come the front calipers.

Calipers look fine but the pedal box is full of what looks like crystals of dried brake fliud and both MCs are leaking.

Brake fliud also pours out of the vacuum hose ports of the booster. Apparently this is bad.

The lot are off the the local brake place tomorrow.

brake bits

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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Them's the brakes...not

A very busy week at work has prevented me from any play in the shed.  Rob rang me yesterday; hadn't heard from me; was I dead?

Back brake bleeding commenced and took under 30 mins.  Shock removal was easy and the little one man brake bleeder worked well.  Did the clutch slave cylinder too for good measure.

Once I got to the front brakes though it all went bad.  No pedal after first flush of RHS front and the fluid reservoir level isn't going down so the master cylinder isn't filling.  Sometimes the piston can jam when it is pushed to full travel, maybe the filler hole is blocked or maybe all the seals are shot.  Regardless of the reason the MC will come out and be rebuilt.

Started her up after not running for a week.  First go off the key with full choke, runs beautifully.  The fanbelt is squeaky still; time for a new one.

Martin is out there now with his buff, giving her a bit of a makeover.  2 hours later and he's finished.  And the paint is beautiful!  Sure there are chips and blemishes and a few bubbles but he is a genius.  The car looks lovely.

A couple of hours later Rob, and then Ron arrive.  There is much poking and prodding but the general consensus seems to be that the car is pretty sound.

I turn my back and the bonnet is off!  Just like that.


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Monday, 15 August 2011

Image Galleries

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Sunday, 14 August 2011


Old tyres are about to be retired.  Once the rims are cleaned and re-tyred Rob can have his wheels back.

Eventually I'll put 6" wheels on the car but for the time being the 5" wheels will do.

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Why buy this car?

So, I hear you asking, why buy a left hand drive American car? What’s wrong with an Australian delivered car, or better still a car from the UK where they were made in the first place?

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The plan

So what’s it all about? Why does a relatively sensible professional man of nearly 50 suddenly go mad and buy a dilapidated 43 year old car that in all probability isn’t even safe to drive on the roads?

Read on and find out..

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Saturday, 13 August 2011

About the Series 1.5 E Type

The ageless, sublimely beautiful E-type Jaguar was introduced, initially for export only, in March 1961. The domestic UK market launch came four months later in July 1961.

Following the Series 1 there was a transitional series of cars built in 1967–68, unofficially called "Series 1½", which are externally similar to Series 1 cars.  Essentially these cars were built using more of the parts destined for the Series 2 vehicles.  Later cars in general have more of the Series 2 features.

Of the 6726 Series 1½ cars built, just under 2000 were built as fixed head coupes (FHC). The vast majority of these (1565) were exported to the US.

Due to American pressure the new features included open headlights, different switches (the originals were deemed unsafe), and some de-tuning (with a downgrade of twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs from the original triple SU carbs) for US models. Some Series 1½ cars also have twin cooling fans and adjustable seat backs; mine has both of these features. Series 2 features were gradually introduced into the Series 1, creating the unofficial Series 1½ cars, but always with the Series 1 body style.

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My 67 E-type

My car is 1E34749, but for a variety of obscure reasons she is known as Sally.

She was built at Browns Lane, Coventry in late 1967 and exported to the USA. As such she is left hand drive and fitted not with triple SU carburettors but with twin Stromberg 175’s. These and other sundry anti-pollution devices result in a significant decrease in engine power.

Fortunately the E Type body shell was built in such a way that the car can be either left or right hand drive. Conversion from one to the other does require purchase of a new steering rack and other parts but is otherwise a “bolt on” affair.

I know little of what happened next, but she was bought in California in March 2009 and shipped to Australia.



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Bleedin' brakes!

Rob kindly has lent me his old wheels with usable tyres.  Mine are off to be detyred, cleaned and retyred.

Spent 4 hours today trying to bleed rear brakes. I had to make an adapter for my jack to fit into the hole in the base of the IRS so I could jack the car up on the diff. This took around 90 minutes of welding and machining until it worked as I wanted.  I finally got the bugger jacked up safely, but was unable to remove the shock absorber; essentially I was too stupid to realise that the bottom bolt holds both shocks on. So don't worry, absolutely no brakes were bled in the making of today's blog.

Car looks nice with Rob's wheels on it anyway.

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Friday, 12 August 2011

Paint everywhere, Sir?

Note to self.  Do NOT store paint in plastic urine specimen bottles; they dissolve and paint goes everywhere.

First SNG Barratt order in by phone.  Took 25 mins for 5 items.  Lots of being called “Sir”.

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Thursday, 11 August 2011

Brass for brass

001aOff to get my special triple eared knockoff spanner this afternoon pro the princely sum of, wait for it, $128!  This makes brass worth about $500 per kilo.

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Tuesday, 09 August 2011


Quick photo shoot.  I received all the original Jag manuals today.


IMG 1226 

After reading the Owner's Manual, I opened the choke full and turned the motor over with no throttle, as per instructions.  Started in about 5 sec from cold.  Maaarvelous.

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Sunday, 07 August 2011

Start with something simple

Plan today is to sort out the indicators ( not working) and change the oil.  

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Saturday, 06 August 2011

The Jag Arrives...

I am understandable very keen to pick up car after over a week of waiting. Jarrod arrives at 10am and we set off to Aldgate.

Agreed pickup was 11m but we get there at 1015; doh.

Gaynor rings poor Alan, who is having coffee with the boys at Chris’s place which seems to be where E-type types congregate on a Saturday.

Alan rushes home to find us manhandling his beloved. The car silly, not Gaynor!

After a short time tow truck arrives, we load the car on and off we go.

By 1110am she’s being unloaded at my house. A few tense moments and she’s in the purpose-built shed.

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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Happy birthday to me

It's my birthday, and what better way to celebrate than to go and look at a new toy.

Rob takes me to meet Alan, who has a Series 1.5 E type Jaguar for sale.

Within a few minutes I'm pretty sure that this is the car for me.  The body looks straight, panel fit is good and most importantly everything is there, attached to the car.

Alan hooks up a battery and the engine turns over, coughs a bit but won't run.  Nevertheless that alone is pretty positive.


Half an hour and a handshake later the car is mine.

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Saturday, 01 January 2011

Welcome to Project '67 E Type

Come and share the fun of restoring my Series 1.5 E Type.  What I plan to do is provide a blog of my car's restoration, from arrival to completion. I hope you'll find it interesting, amusing and maybe even informative. There’ll be laughter and tears and it’ll take years…but it’ll be FUN!

We have just moved to a new faster server, hope you find the site more responsive.

To see what I've been up to recently click on the Blog tab next to this one!

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