Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

June 7, 2008

Crazy like an Airhead

Filed under: Uncategorized — Penforhire @ 5:29 pm

I attacked a few more targets of opportunity in the engine bay.

Here is the radiator cap. I doubt it is original but the seal-side is trashed anyway.

Here are some nasty hose clamps from the radiator hoses.

Why mess with cleaning these up? Because an original Cheney clamp is supposedly worth its weight in, oh, silver!

Something like $15 – 25 each?! That’s nuts. I’m not making a show car so brand new stainless clamps are going back in.

Here’s the top box on the radiator.

And a look at the bolts holding it down.

Here’s one of the top straps to the radiator and fan shroud.

Here’s the fan switch that mounts in the radiator top box. I understand these are troublesome temperature switches. Another wonderful Lucas design?

Here is an odd welded seam of my top box. Is this original or a later repair?

At the bottom of the radiator a single long hose goes from the radiator to the water pump —

A peek at the parts manual suggests this is NOT the original design —

While this multi-part contraption seems Rube Goldberg-ish it does route the hose OVER the front frame rather than under it. Guess I’ll be buying these parts from scratch.

Here’s the other top bracket section related to the radiator —

Here’s a look at the bottom of the radiator and a flap of metal that ties straight out ahead of it, after I finally wrestled it all off. I assume that flap is an air dam of sorts, directing some air into the radiator? It was already twisted up quite a bit (it is thin). I didn’t do that, honest!

Here is a close up of one bottom bracket, the air dam is off to the left here.

Here’s the bottom mounting hardware from the radiator. This is the sort of thing the parts manual does a poor job of showing in enough detail. You can see a rubber doughnut but the hardware stack is just a blob in the book.

Here’s the hardware on the radiator bottom brackets. Nicely bent bracket, eh?

There is enough corrosion that the nuts are all a serious pain to get off the bolts. Here’s one of those “whoops, I don’t know my own strength” results. Or as I like to say, a Bullwinkle moment.

Here is one bottom stud of the radiator, with a sleeve or long washer on it.

Here’s the hardware mounting to one of the top straps I showed earlier.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, this car’s been worked on by monkeys before me. Here’s the hardware stack on the OTHER top strap. No way that stack of washers is, um, correct.

Some of the parts, like the largest top bracket shown above, seem to be painted with a peeling silver-gray color (or is that peeling cadmium plating?). I don’t know if that’s original but I suspect it is.

Here’s the state of the front end now. Check out that pathetic excuse for a fan. The Wright Brothers would never have gotten off the ground if their propeller design was that bad!

Speaking of the fan, here’s its mounting —

And its wiring. Got to capture as many colors as possible to make rewiring go smoother! In a few years, “so where does that black and green wire go?” Yeah, the schematics also work but with odd color abbreviations it can be tiresome to trace every wire.

Here’s the mounting hardware.

Next juicy-looking target? How about the rotted-out heater box?

This shows the water connections and the outside-air flap control.

And a close up view of that flap control wire —

Note the lovely condition of the water feedthrough on the bulkhead. At least it is a bolt-on part. Or bolt-on rust in this example.

Say, why the heck is ANY hot water going into the passenger compartment? Is there another heat-exchanger besides the one in the heater box?

Here is the bulkhead feedthrough for the flap control cable, adjacent to part of the throttle mechanism. Tell me that throttle pivot doesn’t look DESIGNED to bind and cut the flap cable!

Here’s the wiring to the blower motor (underside of heater box). It also shows one of the clamps to the frame, supporting the box. It does double-duty, also clamping a hose at the bottom end.

This wiring is funky. I had to cut it away because it was all spliced-in and I suspect it is not fully original. There is a load resistor visible and THAT is riveted in place. I guess the Coventry boys never had a power resistor go bad on them?

Here’s the hardware holding the blower motor & fan to the heater box.

Here’s the blower fan. Some sort of “squirrel cage” design.

You have to remove this side panel to get to the heat exchanger.

And voila! One beyond-repair heat exchanger. There are some pads around it, probably to keep it from rattling? Might also direct air through it. Those mostly turned to burnt-toast powder as I removed them. Due for replacement, you think?

At this point let me vent about the heater’s air flap. As you can tell, the whole thing is rusty as heck. It needs to be bead blasted and black powder coated (hey Bryan, I got your first pc job right here!), gloss black based on other cars I see. Anyway, the flap itself is welded to its pivoting shaft. That wouldn’t be a big deal but the outside control arm is ALSO welded to that shaft. I can’t get the flap out of the box without grinding off a substantial weld at the end of the shaft! What? A press-pin or set screw wasn’t good enough?! A simple clamp onto a shaft was good enough for the throttle links at the carbs. Is the heater box air mixture more important than the carbs?! Aaargh! What clowns!

Sigh. Stick-and-move. Here are the hydraulic fluid containers for the brakes and, I believe, the clutch. They are right in front of a big heat shield because just behind THAT is the exhaust manifold!

Here’s a look at the hose unions beneath the bottles, joining them to hard lines with a short length of hose.

Another heavy sigh here. One of the clamp sets is facing toward the heat shield so not even a 90-degree ratchet micro screwdriver could access them. So off comes the heat shield before I could remove all the bottles!

This has a metal frame and, unless my guess is wrong, asbestos insulation. Don’t breathe any dust from the asbestos if you work with this shield! I assume there are new safer replacements. I heard something about a ceramic shield but I also heard they crack in a few years?

Here’s the hardware stack that holds the brackets on the heat shield. The brackets are clamped to frame rails at their bottom.

Here’s the set of brackets that holds the fluid bottles. These are mounted to the heat shield.

Here’s the area under the bottles after removing them plus a top view of the same area.

Here is one of the fluid level sensors. These assemblies are built into the caps. Note the cork float. How quaint. “Honey, the float’s not working. Break out another bottle of bubbly and save the cork.”

My sensor tops literally crumbled at my touch so we get to peek inside and see the mechanism.

The disk on the cork’s vertical shaft just lifts off two contacts to interrupt the circuit. If the fluid gets low the disk settles on the two contacts and the circuit is closed. This looks like a decent idea if all the contacts were gold plated, although the disk will never make great contact just resting on the arms by gravity. Based on the corrosion I see gold plating is not evident. So, ah, lame idea.

I had a hard time getting my camera to focus down into the fluid bottles but some of them have a sac of some sort inside, at the base. Coarse mesh filter? But odd that not all bottles had them.

I noticed round bottles on all other cars I see and in the parts manual. Was that just a change in never years? The bottle bracket would also have to change.

Now for a short motorcycle blog update —

I started riding the 1973 BMW R75/5 more often. But right away I was bothered by the stalk mirrors. They gave me a poor view of what is behind me. My shoulders are too wide for their placement. What to do? Bar end mirrors, very retro in concept —

Also note the groovy sheepskin seat cover I added. That seat was hard on my rear.

These are CRG’s Hindsight LS mirrors with an internal bar adapter. My handgrips are too short to give away any length to a direct-clamp on the bar. I paid a little more for these versus a “Napoleon” or “Albert” mirror design for one hugely important feature.

They fold easily and return to a detent position! Riding in California, we need all the lane split clearance we can get. And this can save room in the garage when I stow the bike.

So having spent a bunch more time on this bike and getting comfortable with it, I decided to put my FJR up for sale. I hadn’t been riding the R75 enough. The FJR is too much of an effortless magic carpet ride. So it is in Cycle Trader and Craigslist as I write this. My riding buddies will think I’m crazy. Yeah, crazy like an Airhead!


  1. Eric,
    Where are you going to put all your electronics on the twin???
    Lets see??? Radar detector, Autocom, GPS, Heated Vest, Heated gloves, Heated sock, IPod, Etc…
    Will the new alternator handle it all?
    Is the new sheepskin heated?
    Looks like a big tankbag, or wiring one of the saddle bags.
    Bmw Joe

    Comment by Bmw Joe — June 8, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  2. Hmm, radar detector? As if me on the R75 is at risk! You or Gary can be my rabbit. Oh, and you’re my GPS too (if I can keep you in sight)!

    Comment by penforhire — June 8, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

  3. Eric:
    Interesting pics; I feel your pain! I thought I’d make a few comments, as usual. No doubt you’ll be doing so cad or zinc plating, so make sure to throw in the Cheney clamps too. Also be advised that the seemingly insignificant “other-style” clamps are no longer available either, though close versions are obtainable. Save those as well! You would be surprised how difficult it is to find those exact screws and square nuts!

    Something doesn’t look right with that header tank and how it is held to the bracket, but I don’t know enough about the early E-Types to say for sure. But you would think the header tank would utilize both front and rear mounting holes instead of just one or the other. I’m not sure about the arm that connects to the fan shroud and radiator; however that thick spacer IS correct and serves as a “distance piece” between the bracket and the shroud!

    As much they are about as reliable as any Lucas part, the “Otter” temp. switch was not made by Lucas. I’ve probably gone through a half-dozen just trying to find one that works consistently. Actually, my fan is now hard wired to where it comes on when I turn the ignition…this way, I know it is working.

    Yep, radiator is toast; you’d spend more trying to fix this one than just buying new. I don’t ever recall a lower radiator hose going over the picture frame as the inlet to the water pump is below the picture frame. There is a short steel pipe section (on the 4.2 L) between the pump and radiator. This probably was a safety measure due to the proximity to the fan belt; could also provide rigidity. I’d probably go back with the 4.2 version as that ell in your diagram looks like a perfect place for an air bubble to reside!

    It’s not uncommon to find a stack of washers like that. The workers putting these cars together did whatever they had to do to keep the line rolling. If that meant grabbing a few more washers for a too long bolt, that’s what they did. (They had bad days too!)

    Yes, that fan blade is pathetic, but many in the Jaguar community will swear that if your car is timed properly and everything is correct, that the fan should pull enough air to keep it cool. But many others like me are not willing to take a chance, and have found much better results with a Cool Cat fan in its place (I think I wrote you on this before). I’d swap it myself.

    Even though the radiator mounting bracket is bent up, at least the bonnet hinge tube looks straight, which if it wasn’t, would provide a world of hurt in regards to bonnet alignment. It’s not uncommon to see either of these bent by some screwball who thought they were jacking points. The little tab on the bonnet tube is for a license plate actuator that folds the plate downward when the bonnet is opened. Personally, I’d leave the front plate off as it blocks air flow into the radiator. Just carry the plate with you, and if pulled over, just explain that E’s didn’t have a provision for front plates….and you’ll be damned if you’re going to drill holes in your bonnet for them! (You can give the cop my name and number; I’ll take care of it for you!)

    Looking at one of your heater box pics, there is an upper water hose and a lower. Each of these SHOULD go to an internal transfer tube that is pop-riveted to the firewall. It looks like your lower hose is going somewhere else. In between these two hoses should be a small hole to operate the vent flap…it should NOT come out of the hole next to the linkage. (The speedo cable appears to be coming out of the correct hole). This gets a bit confusing for me as mine is a right-hand drive car and almost everything is reversed…plus, my hyd. reservoir bottles mount against the firewall, not next to the friggin’ exhaust manifold (what a bad design THAT is!). The hole next to your linkage should not be used for anything, and rubber chassis plug should be inserted there.

    In regards to the transfer tubes, they are a bitch to replace, but replace you must! I think there are 2 larger tubes for water (in and out), and one smaller vacuum tube for brake assist. I’m not sure, but on some earlier models, the vacuum tube ran across the outside of the firewall (in the fold) as opposed to inside. Be sure to replace these tubes with either copper or stainless, the latter is what I used. When you buy a set, the D-washers for pop-riveting are usually included (same are already welded to the tubes). I made sure to strip the Krylon paint on these and shot 2-part black automotive so it would last.

    Yep, replace the senders and bottles with new. The old baked plastic becomes brittle and will shatter, spilling very nasty hydraulic fluid all over your newly painted frame rails. I don’t think they supply the screen mesh in the reproductions any more.

    Be sure to mark and save every one of those small hydraulic pipes. You’ll either need to make new or buy a set. I bought stainless steel, but quickly learned that you cannot flare SS at home…it takes a hydraulic machine as SS is so hard.

    Looks like the bellows-shaped rubber grommet is missing on your steering shaft. The small circular sheet metal ring with three screws is what holds it into place. Don’t forget this when reassembling the shaft (you should consider replacing the small u-joint between shaft and rack/pinion assembly).

    Until next time, your Jag-Nut friend,

    Patrick McLoad

    Comment by Patrick McLoad — June 9, 2008 @ 7:35 am

  4. I think I met you at the muckenthaler show, and noticed your blog today. Nice work!

    I just found out that my 1972 XJ6 has to have cheney clamps starting this year for competition. Would you be interested in selling me yours?


    Comment by mike z — June 9, 2008 @ 12:49 pm

  5. Mike: You should consider contacting Jaguar Heaven in Stockton, CA for Cheney clamps:

    Patrick McLoad

    Comment by Patrick McLoad — June 13, 2008 @ 6:01 am

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