Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

March 2, 2008

Size matters

Filed under: 1962, auto restoration, car restoration, E-Type, Jaguar, XK-E, XKE — Penforhire @ 9:42 pm

Some thing very odd happened. Remember that special 13/16 inch impact socket I ordered from NAPA? Here it is.


I put it on the fuel tank drain hex and it felt a little loose. Hmm? I give the impact wrench a few quick trigger pulls and sure enough it starts to round the hex and jams on the nut. I pull it off and put back on my regular 13/16 socket. Snug as can be. WTF? I get out a caliper and measure the impact socket. It is perfect match for 7/8 inch, oversize by 1/16 inch!

I’ve honestly never run into a factory mis-marked tool like this. I know NAPA is not a top-of-the-line brand like Snap-On but c’mon! The counter-monkey at NAPA is as mystified as I am. They quickly confirm my measurement and don’t give me any lip about it. I get to mentioning how I’m not likely to ever need a 13/16th again in my life but I really need it now. Size matters. Turns out 13/16 is a common lug nut size. Who knew?

The next day they get a replacement impact socket from a warehouse and double-check its size. I put it on the fuel tank drain and it fits nice and snug. A few seconds full-on with an Ingersoll Rand 231C 1/2″ impact wrench and “rat-rat-rat-zooooom!”


Gosh I like powerful tools! I’m still curious about why anyone would make a long drain cap like this, instead of having a plug at the very end. Anyone know?

Inside we find petrified sludge and, apparently, where prehistoric wooley gaskets go to die.


There were bits of hairy gasket spread throughout the sludge. By the way, this sludge just laughs at Engine Brite. I ended up chipping it out bit by bit. The last residue was cleaned up overnight in my no-longer-legal-to-buy parts cleaner solvent (thanks again Brad!).

Here’s a view of the entire tank balanced on a front tire.


Big and heavy. I am uncertain if it can be salvaged. The interior has horrible gunk build-up. But I’ll probably give it a go later since replacements are wicked expensive. For now, out of the way on a shelf. Woo-hoo, mission accomplished!

Here are some documentary photos of the cleared-out boot —


Left side —


Forward section (I don’t imagine that speaker is original!) —


Right side —


What should I pull off next? I know. The triple carburetors are a complicated bit of kit that would be useful to remove and restore separate from the engine. I have this wild hair idea to convert the engine to fuel injection. Along with electronic ignition it would make daily driving more reliable. But my research indicates only a few expensive conversion options and none seem popular among owners. And the conversion is obvious at a glance under the hood. I’ll need to decide before I spend a lot of money restoring the carbs but that won’t stop me from blowing a bunch of my labor on ’em first!

I read the repair manual section on carb removal but it has a whole lot of “disconnect this, that, and the other” without actually showing me what those are. Figure I’ll just wing it until I get to head-scratcher.

Here is the front carb. Note the coiled copper vacuum advance line from the distributor.


Here is a bolt (interior threads) holding a “banjo” tube on, similar on each carb.


At first I couldn’t figure why the three banjo-head copper tubes are not connected to anything. Duh, they are overflow tubes on the float bowl. If the float bowl fills and does not shut off incoming gasoline will dump out these overflows. I suppose I need to make sure the tube ends are pointed away from anything especially hot, eh?

Here are the banjo bolt parts from the front carb on the bench.


The seal is clearly shot. Each carb has that middle plate with an engraved number. The numbers are not identical. They may indicate jetting or ? Anyone know what they mean? Here are all three fuel feed lines on the bench along with the float bowl tops. This also shows the incoming banjo connections with wire mesh filters and a spring.


The incoming gas line comes from a glass bowl mounted to the firewall with, you guess it, another banjo connection. I imagine these cars must have leaked often. Modern cars use compression fittings on most fluid lines. Maybe they are improved today or less expensive, because there ARE compression fittings on this car, such as the two nuts you see below the tee in this picture (or is that not original?).

Here’s a close-up of the float bowl tops.


That forked lever inside pushes up the shut-off valve when the float rises. I seem to recall reading about an improved shut-off valve I should look into.

Most of the carbs, like most of the car, are pretty grungy. Here is one float bowl top as-is and then after some significant TLC.



I scraped off a lot of caked-on goo and then soaked it overnight in parts cleaning solvent. A tooth-brush type brush helped clean out the raised lettering.

As you may recall, my air filter housing and intake to the carbs was already off the car (we’re still looking for that housing!). The carbs themselves are each held to cylinder twinned intakes by four nuts. The location is very inconvenient (one nut shown by red arrow below). Not enough room for a socket or even a box wrench. You have to work a tiny arc with just an open end wrench.


Maybe there is an easier order but I took off the carbs individually, removing the connections to the upper throttle linkages. The choke linkages are below the carbs. Here is the front carb choke linkage.


Held on with a cotter pin, just like the rear carb linkage —


And here is the middle carb linkage —


At this point the front carb made it to my bench —


Here’s some yummy corrosion after the butterfly. Probably an indicator of things to come as I disassemble the carb.


The pink around the hole is just residue from the gasket I had to scrape off. There is enough irregularity on the sealing surfaces of BOTH sides of the carb that I expect to lap them smooth over a piece of glass.

Four flat-head screws hold the float bowl and bottom-of-carb assembly on.


Here is a partial disassembly of the base of the carb. The spring pushes up on a diaphragm. Plenty of orange powder (rust?) in the base.


Here is the diaphragm separated from the upper section.


Mine is pretty crunchy so replacements are clearly necessary.

Well that is quite a bit of progress for a short time. Figured I’d post now instead of waiting since another weekend should make for a VERY long post. Don’t get used to it. It’ll take me a week or two just to finish cleaning up what I’ve removed!

Don’t forget that Formula One racing starts up again in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile I’ve been following World Superbike racing. Did you see Haga shake his fist at a rider at Qatar last week and instantly high-side? How about the Honda rider in the 600 cc class that high-sided and managed to take out his team mate, who just happened to be right behind him?

And this week at Phillip Island, did you see Biaggi crash out of BOTH 900 cc races?! He had an awesome charge through the field in both races (no qualifying time, some bike problem) but just couldn’t settle for podium finishes. Too much pride in that one, not to settle for 2nd after tearing up the track to get there. But I never liked him from his MotoGP days anyway. How about Fabrizio?! He stalled at the start of the first race and got swiped by a last-row rider. It tore his boot off and he’s carried back to the garage on a stretcher! He gets back on grid for the re-start and finishes third (with a foot that had to be broken)! And Honda’s luck continued. DURING the red flag following that starting incident one of the Honda riders runs into the back of HIS team mate and a THIRD Honda bike is forced into the gravel (somehow the two crashers made it onto backup bikes for the re-start). Think the team manager was happy about that? Xaus and, I think, Nieto were banging fairings with rough pass and re-pass for half the 2nd race. Of course Bayliss won BOTH races with an elbow that took seven stitches from a practice crash. Those guys are tough and a lot of fun to watch!

You can catch some video replays at


  1. Hi Eric!
    I think with the price of gas, you should be looking into having those overflow tubes return back to the tank….

    Comment by BMW Joe — March 4, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  2. Great site and great work. Blimey you must have some patience but she’ll be a beauty when you finish.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Best wishes from UK

    Comment by John (Challenger E Type) — June 23, 2008 @ 10:56 am

  3. Great work and thanks for all the info. Re-doing my E-types is a lot easier because of great guys like yourself. Thanks!

    Comment by Johnnie Chernusky — June 27, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

    • Johnnie, is this you from Hawaii? This is Debbi from California. Lost touch and just wanted to say hi.

      Comment by Deborah Dickinson Hammil — December 7, 2016 @ 2:27 pm

      • Debbi, you are resourceful like me. 😉 I was looking (again) for Johnnie too! lol

        Comment by Lynette Filipov — November 18, 2017 @ 7:57 pm

  4. Great site!! Currently I am modeling the Monogram Jaguar E-type Series 1 scale 1:8. When searching for pics I came across your site. Your Jaguar is getting the TLC she deserves… By the way, I am restoring the second most beautiful car, the Rover SD1, I will use your information for that also. Thanks!!

    Comment by Cor Streutjens — February 8, 2009 @ 11:04 pm

  5. Thanks for such detailed postings. You make it looks easy.
    I just bought a Series III 1974 E-type Coupe. I plan to tool around for a few months then knock it down. Your site is becoming “must read” material for me. Your humour takes the risk out of it. Keep the posts coming.

    Comment by Neil Clayton — August 31, 2009 @ 3:32 pm

  6. Great pictures !

    Comment by Patrick — May 25, 2018 @ 4:20 am

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