Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

February 10, 2008

Congested pipes

Filed under: 1962, auto restoration, car restoration, E-Type, Jaguar, XK-E, XKE — Penforhire @ 7:54 am

I apologize in advance for a weak XKE update this week. Everything I have to say about the Jag went down and was prepped last weekend. This weekend I’m enjoying some sort of severe chest cold. Otherwise I’d be out with Joe on another ride today, the Sweetheart Ride, and I might have done more to the Jag. By the way, the annual Sweetheart Ride is always ahead of Valentine’s Day. So I always get a reminder. This is your reminder. If your wife says to you, like mine did this year, “honey, this year let’s skip the Valentines Day thing” well, you just nod your head and as soon as she is out of earshot run, don’t walk, to your PC or phone ( and a local fru-fru restaurant work for me). You were warned!

I should mention how much I enjoy my prescription cough syrup with codeine. At night it turns me into a big Gumby doll. Instead of dry-coughing miserably for hours I can fall into any Twister-board position and the next thing I know, I got some sleep! Oh yeah, I’m pretty sure I got this cold from my wife since she complained about a sore throat first (though her illness is not so severe). I have allergies ever since I got old, the sort that give you a runny nose. So I’m used to having sinus infections. But I haven’t had a chest cold in forever. Can you believe I’m looking forward to a “productive cough?”

There are some odd side effects to codeine. The bottle says not to operate dangerous machinery and I believe it. I’m probably taking a risk just typing this now. I was looking in the fridge for some soda and the first thing I see are the cans in the door. As I’m pulling one out I notice an unopened 2-liter bottle of the same stuff on another shelf. Hmm, I know enough to drink the 2-liter bottles before consuming the cans (which can be taken out on the town). So I grab that big bottle, open it, and pour myself a cold one. As I’m putting it back, I notice an opened 2 liter bottle of the exact same soda, not hiding in the back but literally adjacent to the bottle I grabbed. How’s that for tunnel vision? And I know for a fact before I went to bed last night I checked to make sure my Sunday alarm was off, previously set because I intended to get out riding with Joe early. Well, sure enough come 5:30 AM it goes off! Grrr.

Okay, on to other congested pipes —

After talking to Bob about the stuck exhaust (see his comment on the last post) I decided to exercise some air-powered pursuasion on it. I don’t actually have a reciprocating saw and a hacksaw seemed like too much effort so I turned to a 3″ diameter cut-off wheel instead. After a few hot spark showers and curses I put on some gloves and a jeans jacket to finish the job. Turns out one of the header flex sections was already cracked and easy to separate.

If you are thinking of major vehicle work here’s some advice. Don’t wait as long as I did (middle of a motorcycle resto) before getting a decent air compressor and related tools. They make so many things easier. Pneumatic tools are lighter, stronger, and less expensive than equivalent electric tools. Most of my individual air tools were dirt-cheap from Harbor Freight. I keep them oiled and so far they are still doing the job. I only paid real money for a plain Ingersoll Rand 231C impact wrench because I needed real brute force on a nut on that last project that resisted a cheater bar and a smaller impact wrench Brad gave me.

When I pulled the exhaust out and stood it up a bunch of black powder ran out the pipes.


Nice. Probably contributed to the 40+ pounds of weight the pipes and mufflers seem to weigh! Here is the section, standing upright.


Here’s a close-up of the rear-most exhaust bracket, since I think I can re-use it though it is slightly bent.


Here is one of the horseshoe-shaped clamps I mentioned in the last post.


It still doesn’t want to come off so I’ll probably just replace these when I get a new full exhaust. I’m a fan of stainless steel exhausts and I can’t imagine it’ll weigh more than the original!

One thing I haven’t talked much about is how I am reconditioning as much hardware as possible. Most of the rusty and crudded-up bolts need to have a die run over them to clean ’em up. This U-bolt intereferes with the normal die holder so I have wrench it.


Just one of those not-so-little tasks that seem to eat up hours.

BMW Joe and I went on the Pasadena Motorcycle Club’s “Liar’s Poker Run.” This ride was delayed a week by heavy rain but it was still cold and a little wet. We started and ended at the Pasadena Yamaha dealership.


It was a unique ride in several ways. They had the usual well-managed competition using a spinner at each checkpoint to choose playing cards and a look-up table to translate that into points (1-52), with prizes for low and high hand. In addition to that they had, well, an anything-goes competition using actual playing cards from at least one full deck at each checkpoint. At the end of the ride you could combine cards with as many people you wanted to compete for a high hand. At each checkpoint you had to announce whether you wanted to take the “macho” route to the next checkpoint or the “normal” route. You did not know the actual routes until you announced (unless you could wheedle it out of the staff at that point). The decks of cards were stacked so the higher cards went to the macho riders, or at least those who so announced (hence the liar’s poker aspect, encouraged). The macho route was indeed longer and harder.

The first leg was from that Pasadena dealership to the intersection of 15 and 138 (near the top of the Cahon pass). We were puffed with self-confidence so Joe and I said, “give us the macho route.” The normal route was a simple highway run East on 210 to 15. Our route sent us up Asuza Canyon and over Glendora Mountain Road. This is usually one of the better twisty rides near LA. The roads were damp and too much mud was randomly distributed. We went quite gingerly over the mountain! By the time we got to the check point at a gas station near 15 and 138 we also got some rain. Seems that only a half-dozen or so riders took the first-leg macho path so many riders passed us using the other path.


Turns out that by this point in the ride the following “macho route” (backside of Angeles Crest Highway) was known to be iced! So while we asked for self-abuse we ended up riding the same path as the others. In any event I was VERY glad to be wearing an electric jacket liner and gloves.


Yep, snow in the high desert. A fellow rider told us the temperature was 45 degrees at the prior stop and it got quite a bit colder after that, call it 40 degrees even (without windchill)! Only Gary’s bike has a thermometer between the three of us and he was off skiing. Joe was starting to get surly whenever I mentioned I had to twist the dial up a bit. He’s got heated handgrips but that’s not quite the same. Also, I had bodged-on wind deflectors from a Suzuki V-Strom on my FJR’s grips and I was STILL feeling the cold. Two thumbs up for Gerbings electric clothing!

At the end of the ride Joe was a contender for high-hand for the legit competition but someone eked out a better total. On the liar’s side, physical cards, I had a pair of aces. Joe had another ace. We found Karyn and she had yet another ace. Woo-hoo, four aces! That was already not enough to win. Somehow, keep in mind the spirit of this competition, Joe, um, found another whole deck of cards. I believe we ended up with four aces of clubs (oddly rated higher than five-of-a-kind in this event) but we still did not win.

On the other hand, I made out like a bandit. I won the 50-50 raffle, a $20 prize. And I got one of the better door prizes, a Harley Davidson blanket (shown here draped on a couch).


I’m not really a Harley guy, though I look it, but Julie was curled up happily with it later that night.

Here’s the ride pin —


See you in a couple of weeks, if I’m still alive…

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