Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

January 26, 2008

New year, S.O.S.

Filed under: 1962, auto restoration, car restoration, E-Type, Jaguar, XK-E, XKE — Penforhire @ 5:31 pm

So I know it has been a while since my last post. See, I’m trying to ease you into a pace that I can sustain. Happy 2008 to you.

My father-in-law found a very useful part in his garage.


This is the manifold from the air filter to the carbs. I imagine it is a fairly expensive part too! Now if only he can find the air filter box…

Here is one of three bolts holding down the gas tank. This one is at the left rear, looking at it from behind the car.


And here are the pointy bolts themselves —


This means the gas tank can come out, right? Ummm, no. It has a half-inch or so of motion but is not about to slip out. More to do first.

Here is the latch inside the boot’s rear edge.


Believe it or not, that also has to come off. Note the groovy corrosion and overall dinged appearance. Why do I get the feeling I should have left the gas tank as the very last thing I take off the car? Here are a couple of more teardown reference photos.



This might be a good item for me to bead blast clean and hammer flat before re-painting with some Krylon.

Here is the underside of the gas filler cap.


Not too horrible, aside from the fully petrified rubber sealing disk. That’ll have to be replaced but maybe I can use the old one as a cut-off wheel! Here is the top side of this gas cap.


Not looking too happy. But you’d be amazed what a few hours of polishing can do —


The picture looks better than the actual part. There are too many big pores through the chrome finish. It’ll corrode again in a heartbeat. I may live with it. After all, it does live underneath a body door-panel.

As long as I’m messing about in the boot I might as well take off the rear license plate.


Note the year of the last valid registration, 1979! I hope my father-in-law can find the missing front plate but I suppose I can always purchase replica plates. I discovered another seemingly odd design detail. Here is the inside of the boot where the plate is bolted. The arrow points to one of four open slots for those bolts. Sorry about the focus but I’m too lazy to re-shoot.


Yep, there are four plain slots straight through the boot’s rear wall. Haven’t the English thought about corrosion seals or maybe just an external welded bracket?! I get a Sawzall vibe from seeing those slots, like something I would do myself with the wrong tool.

Okay, gas tank is still stuck in place. I put the rear tires of the car up on two more plastic ramps so I’d have room to roll around safely underneath the car. In case you’re wondering, I just used a floor jack under the rear IRS to lift it all, with a chunk of 2×4 wood on the jack.

Here is the bottom drain of the gas tank, poking through the bottom of the boot.


Seems to poke way out, doesn’t it? The bottom bolt is just about flush with the IRS frame you can see ahead of it in this tilted-up perspective. Seems to stick out excessively, like you could conceivably back up onto something and tear it off! And the repair manual does not suggest you have to remove this drain section to remove the tank. Me, I’m thinking this is preventing some of the motion I need to get the tank out. There is some sort of gas tank attachment “stiffening plate” I am supposed to be able to unbolt through the suspension (left wheel well). The manuals have no images of it and I honestly haven’t found it yet. They might just be hidden under some sludge. We’ve got sludge! I’m sure this is one of those things that, after I get the tank out, seem really easy to understand in hindsight.

Anyone have gas tank removal advice for a mechanical monkey?

While I’m rolling around under the car I thought I’d remove the exhaust pipes because they broke off the hangers years ago, drag on the ground, and are sort of in the way. Here is one of the sludged-up clamps that tighten over the slip-fit unions.


There is another style, sort of a horseshoe with a single straight pinch-bolt. I’d show ’em to you but while I removed the bolts the horseshoe itself must be spread to slip free of the exhaust pipes and I haven’t found a way to lever those apart yet.

Here is a photo showing a broken length of wire hanger and a tab for the exhaust pipe.


I am not convinced this is an OEM hanger-wire. Anyone know? Seems like a bodge to me. There are four locations, tabs with holes, where someone wired up the pipes (all now broken). Naturally enough, after loosening all the clamps none of the slip-fit exhaust tubes want to slide apart. Nothing budges, even with hammer knocking and prying on the slip-over sections. Why would I image they should? They are probably rusted together. I’ll give it a bit more effort but I am sorely tempted to whip out a cut-off wheel and just be done with it. I do plan on replacing the corroded exhaust entirely anyway. Just seems like cheating to resort to pure destruction.

Any suggestions? Should I heat the overlap sections red-hot? Maybe squirt some Liquid Wrench onto the joint as it cools? Here’s where it may be a bright shiny new year but I’m facing the same old same old in the garage. Every time I walk from the house into the garage the car shows me this.


Maybe I’m paranoid but I’m starting to think that exhaust is flipping me the bird.

While I was rolling around I got a better look at the underside and I spotted some interesting ugliness to share.


This is the bottom of the car just underneath the passenger side door. I drew a red line to indicate where the whole section is supposed to be straight and smooth, not wrinkled like a prune. SOMEBODY ran this ship aground! The surface is badly warped and, well, mountainous. I’ve got to ask dad about it. Maybe mom did it. You can’t tell me that whoever did it did not notice it. The car had to land hard on a curb or something similar to do this much damage. It is old damage, fully covered in road grime, so it has nothing to do with the little shunt at the end of this car’s life.

My body repair cost just went up eh? I am not sure but I believe the unibody construction is a box-section right here for strength. If so, this whole under-door panel might need replacing or more complicated repair, rather than a simple cut-weld-grind panel repair. Geez I hope the body doesn’t collapse on me while I’m under there!

Here endeth the lesson. Well, at least the car stuff. Along with wrenching I managed to do a few other interesting things since last we spoke. I mentioned I was going to brew a batch of weizen beer. And I recall mentioning that my home stove fit my 10 gallon pot but it barely had enough heat to keep a rolling boil in over three gallons of wort. Fixed that.


This propane burner is rated somewhere north of 65K BTU’s and it heated a batch of wort to a boil in a VERY short time. Not a small bit of kit (that is the 10 gallon pot on it) but I am happy. Master of the flame.

Here’s another step of the brewing process, siphoning the beer from fermenter to a bottling bucket.


After beer is fermented it is important to avoid adding oxygen (air) to it. So we treat it gently to not splash or agitate it until it is bottled. The glass fermenting bottle is a bit messy in this photo because I had a “blow-off” incident with the air lock, something common to brewing wheat beers. The yeast got suddenly aggressive over the second or third night of fermenting and it sprayed out through the small air lock I was using. You are supposed to use a large-tube-into-bucket-of-water air lock for fermentations that may go into overdrive like this. I knew this but thought I would have time to catch it ahead of time. Learn the hard way. That’s me. We’ve got another week of bottle conditioning to go before I can say if this is any good or not (and before you locals can try it). Next batch planned is an American pale ale.

BMW Joe and I also managed to go on another club ride, SC-MA’s annual Soup Run. Here are about half the bikes at the end, at a park somewhere near Canyon Country.


The idea is everyone brings a can of soup. At the end of the run two pots are prepared, red and white, by mixing almost all the cans.


Unused cans are donated to a local food bank. Now I know this sounds nasty, mixing every odd flavor of soup (mostly Campbells), but every year it tastes better than you would expect. It probably doesn’t hurt that we all rode four-plus hours prior to sitting down to our odd soup lunch.

I managed to capture something extra-strange while I was slurping my soup —


That’s some kind of terrier in that swing. It didn’t jump out, as the swing was really swinging, but the tail wasn’t wagging and I thought I heard Abe Lincoln’s voice saying, “help me Spock” (obscure Star Trek reference).

Well that’s a wrap. Joe and I were supposed to go on the Pasadena m/c Club’s Liar’s Poker Run tomorrow but rain is definite and So Cal’s higher elevations are snow & ice. We’re postponed at leats a week. Soooo, I have to go to my mother-in-law’s birthday party tomorrow instead. I had a perfect excuse not to attend… but now? Pray for me.


  1. Just wanted to say that I’m following this blog with great interest. Thanks for updating.

    Comment by Carl — January 28, 2008 @ 2:52 am

  2. Those exhaust U clamps are typically tightened to the point of crushing the two pipes together. A cut-off wheel or Saws-all are your best friends.

    Comment by Bob Mosso — January 28, 2008 @ 8:15 am

  3. The slotted holes are for rubber buffers to stop the number plate vibrating against the body.

    The front mount for the petrol tank can be removed. Look under the car to the rear of the IRS and you will see 4×1/2″ nuts. Remove these and the mount can be taken off. This allows more movement on the tank.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Angus — January 28, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

  4. Ahhh. Thanks guys.

    Cut-off wheel it is then!

    Angus, knowing it is THOSE bolts on the gas tank will help me find ’em. I am missing the rubber buffers on the license plate. Plate was solidly bolted. Sigh. One more for the must-buy list!

    Comment by penforhire — January 28, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

  5. Just treked in from bimmerfest. I’ve been following this site with great interest since it began. Keep up the good work, that car is going to be a beauty again!

    Comment by Clark — February 2, 2008 @ 10:58 am

  6. Hi, I am trying to remove the fuel tank as well:(
    Did you managed at the end to remove it? Does the drain tube crews out??

    Comment by Imre — May 28, 2009 @ 8:15 am

  7. Hello Imre. Yes, the drain tube did unscrew. It was a very tight fit even with that removed.

    Comment by Penforhire — May 28, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

  8. Hello,interesting read. Was wondering if you have examined the front disc brake setup and have any plans to put modern brakes on the car. I have seen a few kits to do this, but have not made a decision. thanks. ron

    Comment by ron stephenson — August 15, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

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