Those of you who follow these regular updates will know besides our usual compliment of XKs and E-Types we have all kinds of Jaguars and other classic cars visiting our workshop. This leads to us working on various engines, not just our beloved XK straight six. We are well versed in working on the Jaguar V12 and regularly see other fine British engines such as the A-Series, B-Series and Rover V8. I am fairly sure though that this is the first time we have ever worked on something with a two-cylinder engine. You can just see in the background of this photo a rather splendid Morgan 3-Wheeler. At the time of writing, it has only just arrived so more detail on that will have to wait for another week.
In the foreground is our Jaguar E-Type 4.2 OTS which we shared a photo of the rebuilt engine for in our last update. The body is now back in the workshop and is having the wiring installed. Again, we will try to bring a more detailed update on this in the not-too-distant future.
In this weeks’ update, we look at some restoration work, an XK clutch change and a power steering upgrade.
Pictured here is a pair of XK120s in our body workshop. Both cars are currently undergoing full nut and bolt restorations with us. They were both started elsewhere but their owners brought them to us for our specialised expertise. It is always a bigger challenge taking on a car which we did not have the opportunity to strip down but we have completed many such projects over the years and are more than up to the job. Moreover, we are always keen to help fellow enthusiasts and nothing gives us more pleasure than seeing another classic returned to the road.
The XK120 closest to the camera is being restored following our traditional approach and the chassis is currently being built up in our restoration workshop. The body panels are awaiting their opportunity to be set up on a slave chassis and assembled properly. The car in the background is undergoing a slightly different process as much of the bodywork had already been completed on the chassis. We are therefore finishing, correcting and improving the work already done before the body is removed from the chassis ready for the mechanical restoration to begin.
This V12 E-Type has been in storage for many years and as such is not in a roadworthy condition. The owner asked us to collect the car from where it was stored and trailer it to our workshops to check the car through and assess the work required to get it back on the road. Cars which have been stored for a long period can suffer from any number of issues so it really is essential that they are properly checked over before being put back on the road. These problems can include flat spots on tyres, seized brakes, seized clutch, perished rubbers, hoses or boots, stale fuel, a flat battery and much more.
In the case of this E-Type, the battery had been kept on charge in storage so the battery was still in good condition. On the downside, all the brakes are seized on and will require some work to get back into safe and operational condition. Several other faults have been identified but the car now has fresh fuel, is running and has been on the ramp for a full check-through. With this work complete a full report has been provided to the owner to allow them to decide how best to move forward.
Pictured here is the rear of the engine of an XK140 which we are currently changing the clutch on. This car was fully restored here at Twyford Moors some years ago and was fitted with a five-speed gearbox. During the restoration, it was modified so that the gearbox can be removed from the engine without having to take the whole engine out. This is a significant saving in labour cost when you do come to have to change a clutch. This car also features our upgraded rear main oil seal and lightened flywheel. With the gearbox quickly removed a new clutch and flywheel, which were balanced together have been fitted. The owner has also taken the opportunity to have a roller release bearing fitted as there has been some problems with the original type in recent years.
Other noteworthy upgrades visible in the picture as you look through where the gearbox should be up at the under-dash panel are the LED under-dash lights which glow red when the side lights are on and bright white when the interior lights are on, the subtle but easy to reach hazard light button and the modern heater unit. Also, just out of sight is the electric power steering unit.
This Jaguar XK150 OTS is one of only 93 right-hand drive cars to have been produced. Compare this to the 2172 left-hand drive XK150 roadsters produced it really highlights the scarcity of genuine right-hand drive cars and explains why they command a price premium. This particular car has just been purchased and the new owner asked us to collect it from the dealer, trailer it to our workshops and give the car a full inspection and service. We know this particular car quite well having worked on it many years ago. It is always nice to have a car return after many years away.
As with all our services the car has undergone an extensive inspection to assess and report the condition of the car. We will then make recommendations to the customer of any work required and try to guide them as to what work to prioritise and what to budget for in the future. Once we have completed our work the car will be delivered to its new owner ready for a summer of enjoyment.
This Jaguar XK120 fixedhead coupe has recently undergone a full nut and bolt restoration at another specialist before being sold. The new owner asked us to inspect the car, service it and undertake some upgrade work to bring it to his ideal specification. The restoration was carried out to a high standard and the car is overall in lovely condition.
The biggest job requested was the fit an electric power steering conversion. This system fits on the steering column and is hidden in the bulkhead so it is barely visible. It leaves the cabin and engine bay looking completely standard. This process is slightly more complicated on an XK120 than on an XK140 or XK150 as the XK120 has a steering box with a single-piece steering column. This means we have to cut into the steering column to fit the power steering unit. This upgrade does make a big difference to how easy it is to drive an XK120 and we fit it with an on/off switch so if you are out on the open road or doing a track day you can switch the power steering off and then pop it back on when you arrive at the pub car park.
Pictured here is the fully restored, rebuilt and upgraded original heater unit for an XK140 DHC which we are currently restoring. The car in question is the automatic XK which we imported from the US and was sold by us as a project at last year's Goodwood Revival. The chassis can be seen in the background being built up ready to receive its engine and gearbox.
The new four-speed automatic gearbox can just be seen sitting under the chassis. These modern gearboxes are a huge improvement over the original three-speed automatic gearboxes and make an automatic XK a relaxing pleasure to drive.
Circling back to the rebuilt heater motor we felt it was worth sharing this to demonstrate that when we undertake a nut and bolt restoration, we really do not leave any stone unturned. Every detail of the car is checked and overhauled. In the case of this heater, it has been upgraded with a deeper core to give more heat than the original. All the parts have been stripped and powder-coated and the motor has been rebuilt. We were even able to source a good pair of the original white plastic knobs which are often broken or missing and are extremely rare.
This Jaguar E-Type Series 1 FHC has just been restored by its owner. We love all E-Types but there is something about the early coupe shape which stands head and shoulders above the rest. When I imagine an E-Type the coupe is the shape which springs to mind. Few cars are as perfectly proportioned and the boot space is really quite impressive on the coupe. In fact, we have one customer who brings their bicycle in the boot of their E-Type when they bring it in for servicing and then cycles home. That’s a full-size bike, not a little folding thing!
The owner of this E-Type brought the car to us to have a check-through as there was a mysterious ‘clonk’ noise coming from the rear axle. We carried out a full inspection of the car and found it is in great condition throughout and the restoration has been carried out to a very high standard. The reason for the ‘clonk’ was traced to the bolts securing the rear trailing arms being slightly loose and allowing a bit of movement as the car pulled away. One of the rear camshaft oil seals needed replacing and a few other minor jobs were attended to and then the car was ready to be returned to its owner.