We're all getting into the Christmas spirit here at Twyford Moors with the decorations up and Christmas songs on the radio. The cold weather has really set in so the heaters are working overtime and thermals are the order of the day out in the workshop. We have a couple more weeks until we shut down for the Christmas period and plenty to get done before then. Our last day will be Friday the 18th of December which will allow the workshop floors to be cleaned and painted over the Christmas. This gives the floor paint time to go off fully before we return on Monday the 4th on January 2021.
In this weeks' update from the workshop we are going to have a look at an XK150 with new bumpers, a Moss gearbox rebuild, fake spark plugs and some beautiful interior trimming.
When we last looked at this XK150 drophead it was up on the ramp having bumper irons trial fitted, holes cut in the wings to allow fitting and the new bumpers trial fitted. The car was built for the previous owner to a motorsport specification with no bumpers. The new owner prefers a more traditional look. We sourced a pair of original bumpers and stripped them ahead of trial fitting. Once everything was adjusted and altered to fit, the bumper irons were sent for powder coating and the bumpers sent for chroming. We have now had all the parts back and are able to carry out the final fit. This XK is now looking very smart and much more original. If you look very carefully you can also see some small teardrop backets we made to retain the parking sensors which had previously been fitted flush to the body.
It has been just over 12 months since we were out filming this. The idea of the film was to showcase our restorations and that they can be used all year around and in all weather conditions. The weather on the day of filming really played into the idea. We had everything from torrential downpours to hail although we were rewarded with some dry and very cold weather towards the end of the day.
The finished product looks stunning and really did prove the point. On the day of filming we covered nearly 200 miles in some terrible conditions. We were stopping and starting all day, getting the engine hot in traffic going from location to location, putting a heavy load on the electrical system with lights, wipers, cooling fan, heater, radio and power steering. The XK never missed a beat. In fact, it was a joy to drive all day and was a comfortable and enjoyable place to be.
Last week we looked at five speed gearbox upgrades for XK120, XK140 and XK150 so I felt it was only fair we shone a spotlight on our Moss gearbox rebuilds. The Moss gearbox, perhaps unfairly, has got a reputation for being the weak link in the XK series. Admittedly, when compared to the revolutionary XK engine, the Moss gearbox was a bit behind the times without synchromesh on first gear however they can be a very enjoyable gearbox to drive. One of the most common complaints regarding the Moss box is that they are slow through the gears. It is true that they require patience and precision however when in good order and when aided by some rev matching you can move through the gears at speed.
We offer full rebuilds on Moss gearboxes. Pictured here is the gearbox on an XK150 3.8 S we are currently restoring. Sadly, new gears are not available however we have a supply of original gearboxes from which we harvest good parts. We are able to replace everything else including the synchromesh and have built some great gearboxes for those wanting to keep their XK original.
This Jaguar XK140 drophead has been subject to a full nut and bolt restoration here at Twyford Moors. The car is now complete and awaiting delivery in the New Year. This XK140 has been built to the owners' exact specification with many upgrades. These upgrades include a fast road engine, five speed gearbox, electric cooling fan, aluminium radiator, electronic ignition, electric power steering, disc brakes, upgraded suspension and much more besides. The owner chose to have the car finished in Polar Silver with this stunning blue leather interior and grey carpets. This is complemented beautifully the Bur-Walnut veneered dashboard and wood rimmed Moto-Lita steering wheel. Hidden behind this stunning interior trim work is another host of upgrades including Dynamat sound deadening, footwell lighting, a hidden Bluetooth stereo system, hazard light switch and USB charging sockets. Please get in touch to discuss a full restoration or upgrades to your existing XK.
Over the past few months, we have heard various reports of people having trouble with fake spark plugs. These spark plugs have apparently made their way into various legitimate supply chains and seems to most commonly have been purchased though eBay or Amazon. We recommend and uses NGK sparkplugs and NGK have now released guidance on how to identify these fake spark plugs. Our advice would be to purchase your sparkplugs from a reputable parts supplier or local motorfactor. Most will be able to supply them by the next day at the very latest and the cost will not be significantly more than those found on the internet. It is surely worth spending that little bit more to ensure you have a genuine product that will not damage your rather valuable XK engine!
Time for our weekly 'just when you think you've seen it all' moment. It is not uncommon to find untidy wiring in classic cars and it is something that any good classic car auto electrician has to be willing to work with. Indeed, when we inspect cars which come thought the workshop, we often give our customers guidance on the condition of their wiring and more often than not will advise that it is untidy but functional. Generally, it is only in cases of extreme degradation to original or very old wiring that we recommend customers have their cars rewired. Pictured here is an extreme example of untidy and disorganised wiring which we had to work with to add some upgrades for a customer. In these cases, it becomes very challenging to work safely with the existing wiring as wires cannot be easily traced and the original wiring colour scheme has not been adhered to. Ultimately it makes it much more challenging and time consuming to find faults when they do occur and poorly routed and secured wiring makes faults more likely to occur. If you have concerns regarding your classic cars electrics please get in touch to book an inspection and report.