Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

February 25, 2008

I am a human Zerk fitting

Filed under: 1962, auto restoration, E-Type, Jaguar, restoration, XK-E, XKE — Penforhire @ 8:00 am

First I have a little correction from a prior post. BMW Joe actually DID win the Liar’s Poker high hand award! He e-mailed me this picture of it.


Pasadena m/c club’s rules said four of a kind in the same suit beats five of a kind. So this hand is rated as four ace-of-clubs. That’s not the Hoyle I know but a win is a win. Now I have to ask, why is it that when I win a high hand award I get an ink jet printed page for an award and when Joe wins he gets this nice plaque and some real prizes? I know, sour grapes. But at least one of these aces was mine…

Next up, we investigate the mystery of the Heineken “draught keg.”


Yep, this is the one advertised as coming out of the chest cavity of an attractive female robot. It is five liters of fine Heineken lager with a built in carbon dioxide pressure-regulating system. They are SO proud of this I think they patented it and the amazing thing is how the whole rig is disposable. Well, the keg is mostly steel and they recommend recycling. But the critical point here is how it dispenses five liters of beer with no pumping and maintains a CO2 blanket that guarantees fresh draft-style taste for at least a month. My local Costco stores sell this bundle of joy for about $16. Mine was still performing its duties so Brad volunteered his empty keg for an investigation.

My 3″ cut-off wheel sliced it open like butter.


Notice the simple siphon tube. Nothing special there. Here is the CO2 source, normally stuck to the bottom of the keg.


This is the special goodness, well, aside from the beer. Here is the top section of it pulled apart.


The arrow points to an air piston, a simple o-ring sealed disk that fits into the cap at the top. Backpressure from this piston presses down on the gas release valve and maintains mostly stable pressure inside the keg. The white cylinder is filled with some unknown solid, sounds like beads or grains. I cannot tell if the cylinder was partly filled with liquid CO2 or if the beads just absorb-and-release some gaseous CO2. Liquid CO2 generates about 800 PSI at room temperature so I’m thinking they avoid the liquid and stick to gas. But I dunno. To me the stunner is how this reservoir and regulator are cheap enough to be disposable. Typical CO2 tanks (aluminum alloy or steel) and brass-body regulators each cost more than this whole keg.

There you have it. This week’s science project. I know, you sure know how to go on about beer, eh? Well some actual XK-E work was performed.

You know that “body reinforcing plate” I needed to locate as part of gas tank removal? Here it is.


There is a dead spider on that upper left nut, making sure it doesn’t loosen. Now this picture makes it look like an easy access item. Looks can be deceiving. I was on a creeper looking straight up through a small gap in the independent rear suspension (IRS) shell. My chin is about an inch from the lower IRS plate and that gives me the claustrophobic willies, even though the car is sitting safely on four ramps. The two disk brakes are just out of sight to the left and right. There is no enough room to get an air ratchet up through or around the IRS. I tried and the trigger got depressed, with the air exhaust raining greasy debris from the IRS down on my face. Even my normal ratchets can’t get purchase on the nuts and room to swing, not even with a knuckle joint.

I ended up teasing these four nuts off with an open end wrench. Not just that simple though. I could only get a grip at the last inch of so of wrench, it was quickly covered in grease, and maximum rotation was about an eighth of a full turn.

This is one of those assemblies where proper order would help. It would have been infinitely easier if the whole IRS unit was removed first. But I don’t plan to remove that for a while since I’m happiest using the wheels to lift the car on ramps, rather than relying on jack stands-to-body to hold up the rear end while I’m under there. As it is, this was a dismal hand-cramping job that must have taken an hour. Did I mention the whole IRS unit is coated with road slime?


This photo doesn’t do it justice because both of my arms looked like I reached in a barrel of sludge up to the elbows. All the tools I tried had to be carefully cleaned, more goobered up than anything I have done before. Ugh! At least there is something intensely satisfying about wrestling with a greased pig and succeeding. Here is the gas tank bracket that was held on by those nuts.


Yeah, if I remember, mount the gas tank before the IRS.

Now at this point, according to my repair manual, the tank should be ready for removal. Um… no. It seems the manual was written for other years even though it gives unique steps for removing the gas tank of the early 3.8 motor. It looks like later years have an external tank that drops down? There is just no way in heck my tank is getting lifted out of there unless I remove one more part. The bottom drain.


It is just too long to pivot freely. The tank has to rotate to free the left side, can’t lift straight up. The red arrow points to the base of the drain. If I understand the parts manual correctly this cylinder is one piece, not a separate nut at the bottom. That hex shape at the base is an fairly odd size 13/16th inch. I happen to have a 13/16th socket.

First I got a siphon tube and removed as much of the nasty varnish as I could from the tank. I’m sure more will splash on me when I open the drain. I got out a ratchet and then my breaker bar but there was no joy. I can’t break it loose. Sigh. It also just so happens that I do NOT have a 13/16 inch impact socket. Off to my local NAPA Auto Parts. Can you believe $9 for a single short impact socket in 1/2 inch drive? They want $30 for a swivel-joint version! And none are in stock. They should get it in the middle of the week.

You know what is going to REALLY bum me out? When I get this socket but my impact wrench still fails to break the drain loose. But I’ll have that 13/16th impact socket forever. As you can imagine, I’m already visualizing my use of a cut-off wheel or hack saw for when I fail to break this loose. Of course all those sparks are probably a bad thing, cutting into a tank wet with old gas, eh?

Stick and move. Time to pull on something else. How about the rear fog light?


At least that is what I assume that light under the license plate is for. It is held on by two slotted screws. The bulb base is another one of those cardboard inserts. I can’t show you the disassembly because it will not disassemble. I believe this one was bashed, backing up into something. Probably why there was no lens on the assembly, eh? That bulb is not broken but there is no way it is coming out of there. The base looks bent.

I also can’t tell what color the outside housing is supposed to be. Way too corroded. Any series one owners out there? Is it supposed to be body color, or black, or ?


  1. Eric,
    Well its about time!!!!
    Funny how you got your prizes posted right away, but it took forever to talk about mine?
    It may have my name on the trophy,
    but I did have help from You, and Karen.
    I guess that day I was just more in the mood to beg, borrow, and steal, and cheat than anyone else.

    Comment by BMW Joe — February 28, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

  2. Eric,
    The housing for the backup light is supposed to be chrome.

    Cool project

    Comment by Mike — April 1, 2008 @ 11:29 am

  3. Eric:

    how is the jaguar XKE gas tank comming?
    did get mine out!! 1971 XKE 4.2 liter ( drainhose from fuel door was defective so this way I did get water in the trunk and maybe fuel tank!)
    yes the bracket has to be remove also the bottom train..
    the bottom train is a steel pipe with bras end a pipe range will do the job!..
    yes I did forget to drain all the fuel so there was a big mess (could have gotten worse if my smoking friend would have been around and ask ..what’s up!! boom!

    I did use a 3/4 fuel hose as a new drain good…also painted the tank with Truck bed coating paint..looks good and is much better as before..
    Still not sure about the inside use the creme for rost proofing?..
    next are the cooling fan.(always overheats on a red light) found on ebay a maybe good solution..V12 fans with alu brackets ready to go?!.
    that is for now good luck.

    Comment by hardy — August 15, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

  4. Hello Hardy!

    My early 3.8 doesn’t have an “end cap” on the drain. It is one long piece with a hex-shape on the bottom. Doesn’t make as much sense as the later style, with an actual cap. But it did eventually impact-wrench off!

    That tank is so nasty inside I am doubting I can clean it sufficently. I’ll talk to a radiator shop before I decide to replace it. They’ve got a better cleaning process than I can do. It sure was a tight fit, getting it out!

    I’m thinking I’ll upgrade to a newer fuel pump, probably the external type that mounts on the right side of the boot or else an upgraded in-tank I’ve seen advertised somewhere.

    Comment by Penforhire — August 16, 2008 @ 6:37 am

  5. Hi, I have 2 license lamp assemblies that was going to go in a 1963 Etype that my ex was restoring. I no longer have the ex and was looking to get rid of some of the parts. Interested?

    Comment by Teri — December 5, 2008 @ 1:55 pm

    • I realize this posting is a year old but just wondering if you still have lamp assemblies.


      Comment by Mark Nuzum — October 20, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

  6. Hi Mark. This vehicle now belongs to my ex-wife. I suspect the entire basket case, er, vehicle is for sale but not individual parts from it. If anyone is interested in the car, exactly as shown here, let me know and I’ll pass along the inquiry.

    Comment by Penforhire — October 21, 2009 @ 7:05 am

  7. Wait a second…she got your E-Type ?

    Comment by Patrick Forestell 1966 FHC — December 3, 2014 @ 5:57 am

    • Unfortunately yes. This was originally purchased new by her father, now passed away. That was the only reason I started on an example so rough. It was only fair that this one stay in the family.

      Comment by Penforhire — December 4, 2014 @ 10:16 am

  8. True, so did you find a replacement E-Type ?

    Comment by Patrick — April 6, 2015 @ 1:40 pm

  9. Hi Patrick! No, I am still between garages. Technically I have a garage in our rental unit but it has no power. No power, no joy, lol.

    Comment by Penforhire — April 20, 2015 @ 4:56 pm

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