Work continues to flow in and out of the workshop and we are all feeling rather buoyed after a weekend of watching racing at Goodwood. This week we are looking at some restoration work on an XK140 and XK150, E-Type wipers. We will also revisit the XK140 engine we removed last week. Additionally, we will take a look back at when we helped to build the Gomm Special which raced at Goodwood Speedweek.
Last week we shared a photo of the engine being removed from this XK140 fixedhead which belongs to Robert Coucher of Octane Magazine. The engine was removed principally to have a new diaphragm clutch fitted along with an uprated timing chain tension. Pictured here is the engine with the timing cover removed to expose the timing chain and the original tension. These tensioners are oil fed and use the oil pressure from the engine to tension the timing chain. They also have a spring in them to pre-tension the chain but unfortunately theses are not really up to the job, especially when they are decades old, and can cause the chain to rattle on start up. The main reason to replace the original tensioner is that they use a friction material bonded onto the metal of the tensioner which has been known to fail. That can cause major engine damage. The new tensioner, developed for racing E-Type engine, uses a solid piece of phenolic resin which is pushed into place by the hydraulic piston. It is not a problem we see with such regularity that we recommend every car has the upgrade however if the engine is out, such as in this case, it is well worth doing. We will revisit Mr Couchers car again next week to catch up with progress.
Here at Twyford Moors we have really missed the show season this year. It's always great to catch up with customers, suppliers and other restorers as well as see the cars we all love so much being used. Being based on the border between Hampshire and West Sussex the Goodwood Revival is our 'Home' show so we felt the loss of that one particularly keenly. It was a real treat to watch Goodwood Speedweek over the weekend and be reminded of the great machines, drivers and community that is out there. We were particularly delighted to see the Gomm Special XK140 taking part in the Lavant Cup alongside C-Types, D-Type and other stunning sportscars of the era. We played a significant hand in building the Gomm Special pictured here in the workshop with the chassis in the foreground and the front end of the body in the background.
This beautiful XK140 drophead coupe has been restored for our long-time customer and XK Gazette contributor Tony Hall. The car is nearing the end of the restoration progress and has been out being road-tested. The suspension has had its final set up with the tracking, ride hight and shock absorber settings now just so. It has now passed our inspections, an MOT and is having more dry miles put on the clock as I type this. There are always a few adjustments to do at this point. In this case the driver's door has required some attention, the rev-counter was sticking due to a cable fault and the water gauge was not reading correctly. Testing and fettling will continue until we are happy to hand the car over to Tony to finish running the engine in.
XK140 and XK150 boot latches can cause real headaches. There are any number of faults which can stop the boot from opening such as catching carpet, insufficient clearance on the plunger, misaligned striker bars to name but a few. In addition to not opening you can often be faced with the opposite issue of a boot which will not latch closed. We are well practiced at resolving these issues along with any number of other trim related issues you may find in an XK. This beautiful XK150 was restored elsewhere to a very high standard but the customer brought it into us as he was having issues with opening the boot and also found that the boot was flexing with the amount of force he was having to put on the handle and starting to crack the paint. When we removed the boot trim, we found that the straighteners and spacers which should be fitted to the boot lid and under the handle mechanism were missing allowing too much movement in the boot lit and stopping the mechanism operating properly. You only know that something is missing from knowledge and experience built up over many years!
This Jaguar XK150 DHC was built to a motorsport specification for the previous owner and features an extensive list of upgrades ranging from a fast road engine to upgraded suspension. The car also sported roundels, Dunlop racing wheels and was bumper-less to complete the motorsport look. Although the new owner appreciates all the mechanical upgrades, he favours a more standard look. To that end we have removed the roundels and fitted wire wheels. The car is now in our metal workshop having new bumper irons fitted and aligned before we trial fit the bumpers. All this sounds simple but the reality is that lining up XK bumpers in more art than it is engineering and requires a great deal of patience and experience. Once everything is lined up the bumper irons will go to be powder coated and the bumpers will be sent off for chroming.
This 4.2 Series 1 E-Type is with us for a number of improvements over the autumn including a rolling road tune and some trimming work. We noted when we checked the car over that the wiper sweep was very poor and on reporting it to the customer discovered that it had been like that as long as he had owned the car so it had never occurred to him that this could be improved. We see a lot of E-Types with wipers which do not sweep properly or do not park properly. This is normally caused by a seized cam in the park mechanism which should allow the wipers to travel further up with screen on the first sweep and then keep them there, alternatively by dirty or misadjusted contacts on the park mechanism. In this case this E-Type was suffering from both issues! A couple of hours work later and the car now has fully functioning wipers ready for anything winter can throw at it.