With the introduction of E10 petrol just around the corner we have been carrying out quite a number of 'E10 upgrades'. These upgrades are usually bespoke solutions for each car depending on when/if it was restored and what upgrades have already been carried out. We can offer everything from ethanol resistant fuel hoses to carburettor gaskets and fuel pumps. If you are concerned about how E10 fuel may affect your classic Jaguar, or indeed other classic car, please get in touch to discuss your needs.
In this weeks' update we look at our five-speed gearbox upgrades, a fully restored XK120, a De Soto and much more.
One of the most popular upgrades for an XK is a five-speed gearbox. It is generally acknowledged that the Moss gearbox was the Achilles heel of the XK. This is particularly true in the XK120 where there is not room for an overdrive gearbox. Some people find that motorway cruising in an XK120 can become a little wearing with the standard gearbox. Add to this the fact that Moss gearboxes suffer with wear over the years and parts are scarce many people opt for a five-speed upgrade. That being said we do and will rebuild Moss gearboxes where viable and have developed a process to renew the synchromesh. Those looking to retain originality will favour this option but for comfortable long-distance driving or to swiftly snick though the gears few would argue that a five-speed conversion is the way to go.
Pictured here is an XK120 which had just arrived with us for a five-speed upgrade along with the gearbox destined to go in it.
The Daimler Sovereign and Jaguar S-Type are two of our favourite XK powers saloons. They provide great performance, lashings of space and luxury and are great value for money. Time and again we see the ride and handling are compromised by perished bushes in both the subframe and suspension. The front subframe is similar to that that fitted to the MK2 saloons and the rear is similar to an E-Type. This fantastic engineering allowed Jaguar to build a large car which both handled and rode very well. Without regular maintenance to keep all these items performing as they should the car quickly becomes compromised and provides nowhere near the driving experience it should.
Pictured here is a Daimler Sovereign with is front subframe dropped out. We will take the opportunity replace the mounts with uprated polyurethane mounts whilst attending to a leaking steering box at the same time.
The stunning Jaguar XK120 OTS pictured here is a very special car indeed. We completed a full nut and bolt restoration on it in 2019. It was delivered to the customer to be run in towards the end of 2019 but due to the lockdowns in the UK this process took longer than usual. The car has now covered its first 1000 miles of trouble-free motoring and has been back with us to have the head torqued down, a rolling road engine tune, a service and a full check through post restoration. We undertake this process on all of our restoration after the first few hundred miles to ensure everything is as it should be and to get the best possible performance from the car.
This XK120 has a rather interesting motorsport history so every care was taken during the restoration to retain originality where possible and we were even able to recreate the badge bar the car wore in period from old photos. This was such a special and interesting restoration that we will be posting a full article on the car in the not-too-distant future.
We are currently working our way through quite a number of cars which covered very few miles in 2020 and therefore didn't make it in to us for a service. Despite this lack of use and in many cases due to the lack of use, we are finding quite a number of cars with issues which render them unsafe for driving on the road. Most notably we are finding a number with leaks from the brake or clutch hydraulic systems. This often happens when cars aren't used very much. Additionally, we are seeing quite a number of fuel leaks caused by E5 petrol (fuel containing 5% ethanol) which has sat, become corrosive and worked its way through old seals.
This fabulous XK140 fixedhead coupe is in with us for a service, MOT and full inspection. As part of this we are attending to a leaking brake master cylinder and carrying out an upgrade on the fuel system to help it tolerate the incoming change to E10 petrol this September.
As ever you can usually find something non-Jaguar powered sneaking into our workshop. This week we had a visit from this charming 1930's De Soto. Nicknamed Daphne this car lives locally to us and the owner was struggling to find a garage with the skills and understanding to look after her. The owner called us as the car was a non-starter and was suffering with quite a bad water leak. We sent our trailer out, got the car safely out of its garage and recovered it to our workshop.
On inspecting the car, we found that the non-starting was simply due to excessively corroded battery terminals. Battery terminal corrosion is a common problem, particularly on cars with old lead acid batteries. This was exacerbated by quick release battery clips which do not provide a particularly good contact. The battery terminals were cleaned off and the connection have been replaced with proper bolt on units. Finally, the contacts have been coated in aviation grade protective oil to prevent future corrosion and the car now starts perfectly. Finally, the water leak was attended to and the car delivered back home ready to be used for the rest of the summer.
This Jaguar XK150 fixedhead is a genuine right-hand drive 3.4 S and is a very original, unrestored car. As such it is mechanically standard throughout, still has its original wiring in place and its original suspension bushes. Unfortunately, both the wiring and bushes are in very poor condition after over 60 years in the car. The owner brought the car to us to be checked over with a view to improve reliability for regular driving. Having inspected the car, we reported back and agreed on a programme of works with the owner.
We have now set about a full rewire and conversion to negative earth with a single 12v battery. Additionally, we have fitted an alternator, solid state fuel pump, electronic ignition and an electric cooling fan. All of this will make the car as reliable as possible for long journeys no matter the driving conditions. Mechanically the car has had an expansion tank (header tank) fitted to the cooling system and the suspension is being fully rebuilt with polyurethane bushes. All this should provide a very reliable car indeed.