Restoring a 1962 Jaguar E-Type

July 27, 2008

Lap dog

Filed under: Uncategorized — Penforhire @ 4:16 pm

Last episode I showed you the sorry state of my R75’s charging rotor and crank end. Time to fix that. A trip to Irv Seaver BMW found the new crank seal and a trip to NAPA got me a jar of water-based valve grinding paste.

Here’s the rotor bolt that backed out twice and a custom sized pin used to remove a properly installed rotor.

I added that tape note when I stored the pin because after a few years it’ll look like any other piece of scrap in my specialty tools bin! The pin is inserted before replacing the bolt and the threads inside the rotor are used with the original bolt to force it off the crank. Oddly enough, I had to use this when I removed the rotor this time. Seems that last on-the-road fix was holding just fine.

Here’s the tap & die I used to clean up the threads.

Indeed there were a bunch of metal filings mashed into the bolt and crank threads. Joe reminded me to use some cutting oil and work the tap gently back and forth when cleaning out the crank because those are threads you just can’t afford to mess up!

On the other hand, using oil also meant I had more clean-up to perform before Loctite might be expected to work. Here’s another view of the stator.

And here’s a look in the middle of my lapping the crank to the rotor.

I thought better of my idea to run the motor to lap the two pieces. It seemed destined to end in tears and a trip to the emergency room. So I settled for working the rotor back and forth by hand. I had visions of working though my other rubbing and polishing compounds to get a nice shiny crank surface. But that plan was abandoned after an hour or so of working just this coarse grinding paste. I worked it until my arms were sore and while I could tell the fit was improved it was nowhere near “polished.” As my dad used to say, good enough for government work.

Here’s the old crank seal pried out. I had to be very careful to avoid getting that grinding compound past the crank end when I cleaned it up. Note the main bearing right there!

When I reloaded the rotor I used an excessive amount of blue Loctite and also cranked on the Allen-head bolt as much as I dared. Snapping that off would REALLY make my day.

Then I changed the engine oil. I confirmed I was down about 3/4 quart (out of 2 total, if filter is not changed). The old oil didn’t look too abnormal. I fired up the engine. For a few seconds I was concerned because there was a slight scraping noise at the stator. But it immediately quieted down. Must have been knocking down some burrs. There isn’t much clearance between the rotor and stator.

Hmm, seems to be running fine. I went through two heat cycles looking for any oil leaks. I revved it to redline a couple of times. Nothing strange happening at the front, and no odd noises, so I buttoned it up.

If it explodes you’ll be the second or third person to know about it. Now I won’t feel guilty messing around with the Jag.

I cleaned up those bonnet hinges.

But even after removing the dried gunk they did not turn freely. So I resorted to some sandpaper and after I noticed deep scoring inside the pivots I tried a Dremel stone that happened to fit nicely.

I got the passenger side side working smoothly but the driver side still binds a little. It was not the rod because both rods were smooth in the passenger side. I think I found the root cause though.

Note the tweaked box of the driver side pivot. The same shunt that put this car out of service and dented the bonnet nose probably did this. There must be a slight bow in the pivot that I can’t detect by eye. I worked on it a bit more and got the action okay but not great. There is still a little resistance. I’ll have to decide if I need to replace it later.

What next? Well I see this ugly box on the passenger side of the firewall.

If I identified it correctly, this is what the parts manual calls the “control box.” It seems to contain most or all of the electrical signals coming from the cockpit into the engine bay. Here’s a bundle of a half-dozen bullet connectors clamped next to the box on the firewall.

Once again the colors are generally too faded to identify. Let’s hope the replacement harnesses match up color-for-color. A couple of wires split off the the end of the passenger-side camshaft, presumably a sensor? At least these colors are clear.

The Control Box remains attached to some linkage that must be accessible from the passenger compartment so I’ll come back to this after I start pulling the interior apart.

Now I was feeling flexible so I squeezed myself into the pedal area to see if I couldn’t free up that darn pedal box. Holding a ratchet I could just barely reach the forward-most nuts. My cheap air ratchet was very helpful here because otherwise I would have pulled a muscle working a wrench with my fingertips constantly extended in a kneeling fencer’s lunge. After removing six nuts, oddly two different sizes, I was able to remove the pedal box off the firewall. You have to remove the foot pads and turn the whole box sideways to remove it (to clear the two pedal arms through the opening in the firewall).

Success! Here’s a look at the firewall with the box removed.

I think I’ll need a new pedal box gasket.

The linkages inside the pedal box look about as complicated as the throttle linkage!

I took more photos as I pulled it apart but I’m still worried about reassembly.

There is one actual bearing insert in the pedal box.

This one is about as frozen as a bearing can be! I’ll have to try some solvent on it later. If it won’t free up I’ll need a replacement.

Here’s a cool hand-engraved tag that was loosely wrapped around one of the hydraulic cylinders. The writing is visible after some scrubbing with Simple Green.

I assume this is the sort of thing you concours guys go nuts for? I look at it and see one more thing to rattle in the engine bay.

After cleaning up the pedal box bits I discovered why the two spring pieces in that earlier photo looked so wrong.

They’re supposed to be one piece!

Here’s where the battery-to-chassis connection goes, above the battery toward the firewall. Note this is supposed to be the positive wire! I’m pretty sure I’ll convert the car to negative ground. From what I read it is not difficult and seems like a safe move for a non-show car.

I’m not sure what this next widget on the driver side firewall is. I already disconnected the other end of that hose. I was thinking heater control or vacuum something? Can’t seem to locate it in the parts manual. Please post a note if you know.

Now I figured I’d photograph the run of the rear brake line. I added red lines in the photos to highlight the run. It comes up from the bottom of the car on the passenger side, just below the control box.

Then it crosses the firewall right at the bottom.

Then it comes forward along the driver side top frame rail before looping under.

And here’s the end loop formed at the hydraulic cylinder.

Might as well do the same for the front brake line. Here’s the run to the front frame cross member.

There is some sort of sensor right above the tee to the driver side front wheel. What is it?

Following that tee straight down, it loops into a flex line coupling.

The flex line runs to a similar fitting on the wheel, back to rigid line just before the front brake.

Hmm, what next? How about those ugly rusted exhaust manifolds. I already cut the exhaust off at the flex sections but the manifold-to-exhaust has a little issue.

The arrow points to the only one of eight studs that is not broken off! Technically the front exhaust should be falling off. I can assure you, after trying a punch and hammer on the stud tops, it isn’t. Sigh. That means I have to pull the manifolds off the block and see if I can’t sort them out on the bench.

There are eight nuts per manifold. Six of them are cake to remove. The two middle-bottom nuts are NOT. The manifolds themselves prevent any socket and they are too close on the sides for even a plain 12-point box wrench! You can only work an open end wrench over a short arc. Just like so many fittings on this car. Good thing mine weren’t frozen because there is just no leverage in their awkward locations. One of them even required the manifold to come slightly off before it’d clear the nut off the end of the stud, trapped between the stud and manifold!

Here’s a look at the front exhaust ports with the manifold removed.

And here’s that manifold on my bench.

Here’s the detail on the dipstick bracket, mounted to the rear manifold.

Even on the bench the exhausts were a pain to remove. My impact wrench socket would not fit over every nut. So here I am pounding a box end wrench with a hammer to free a couple of them. The studs never moved, despite not having any heads on them!

And, finally, here’s the fruit of my labor. The exhaust-to-manifold detail —

I am likely to replace the manifolds with one of several stainless headers-and-exhaust combos in the aftermarket. The original cast iron manifolds are heavy as heck and I read about difficulties keeping any type of cosmetic coating on them. But I’ll hold onto the originals in case I change my mind.

Now here’s a big shout-out to another E-Type enthusiast, Dick Maury, who noticed my blog and sent me a copy of his resto photo CD. This is a great collection of annotated photos from a fellow who did all his own work, including body, engine, and upholstery on his show-quality restoration. I can never have enough photos because it always seems like my views are not what I need later! He sells this collection of photos for a nominal fee along with other hard-to-obtain parts at . I’ll add this to my link collection.

Dick was a Jaguar mechanic but mentions he had no prior body or upholstery experience. He sure picked it up though. It does not surprise me, looking at his after-images, that Dick’s early 3.8 (like mine!) placed 3rd in American JCNA competition last year with a 99.97 average score!

Dick had a significant amount of major body repair, complete planels that needed replacement. Among his many images, his views of the seat restoration stand out to me. I also liked seeing the complete original tool kit and that is apparently where some of my “Jaguar” hand tools originate from. Dick’s “after” photos look like a layer of grime and corrosion was lifted off all my parts. My stock phrase still applies; It makes me ache to see Dick’s work and pristine results. The difference from what is, to what can be, physically hurts. As if the effort required to accomplish it instantly races through my synapses just from seeing the end result. Must…keep….nose…to…grindstone.

I just got another great link from gTr, a fellow S2000 enthusiast. Check out . That isn’t Jaguar work but it sure is appropriate. This professsional shop is restoring a wrecked 2004 Ferrari 360 Spyder and the cool part is how they post videos of their weekly efforts. We’re not talking about just a little work here. They are down to welding together pieces of the frame and the all-aluminum construction makes it a real challenge. I’ve thought about giving you guys some video clips of my techniques (when they succeed) but that’s just an insane amount of extra work. This is a pro shop and I assume they expect some payback, new customers. Me? The most I can hope for is “nice car” from random pre-teens walking by and some internet notoriety. Gifts from readers are graciously accepted but that’s not why I’m doing this. Yeah, I really should put up some annoying click-me ads on this blog.

Now I must warn you my next blog post will be a longer wait than my usual two-to-three weeks. I want to dedicate some multi-weekend time to other work and I side-track you enough with my R75/5 and home improvement follies. Do not fear. As general MacArthur once said, I shall return! Although in my case it is a shame the Japanese don’t occupy this vehicle until then…


  1. A couple of wires split off the the end of the passenger-side camshaft, presumably a sensor?

    That is your tach generator. It drives your tacometer.

    Theere is some sort of sensor right above the tee to the driver side front wheel. What is it?

    That is your brake light switch. Be happy yours is accessible! In the later cars they were buried under the heater box close to the exhaust. I burn one or two up every year! =\

    –chuck goolsbee
    65ots, 1E10715
    arlington, wa, usa

    Comment by chuck goolsbee — July 27, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  2. “I’m not sure what this next widget on the driver side firewall is. I already disconnected the other end of that hose. I was thinking heater control or vacuum something? Can’t seem to locate it in the parts manual. Please post a note if you know.”

    That’s the heater valve. It shuts off water to the Heater core.
    Hang on to it, as replacements are known for being pretty crappy.

    Chuck’s correct (as usual) about the other two parts.

    Keep up the good work, It’s so worth it to be able to drive to work in your E on nice days like I did today!!


    Comment by Mike — July 28, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

  3. Sorry, I didn’t tell you that I put your story and your link on the JCNA website…I would expect you to get a lot of hits and advice from it!

    Moving on, another great set of photos! If I may, here are some answers and thoughts: What you are calling the “control box” is actually the windshield wiper motor and gearbox. It connects to the wiper linkage in the firewall space. You need to at least remove this unit from your exterior firewall. You can leave the wiper linkage in place if you like, but just remember, it has been over 40 years since it has had any lubrication. The three nuts on the wiper bezels is what holds the linkage in place. The 5-point electrical block with its own bracket is expressly for the wiper motor. There are ways to find out the right wire color. Note the position of the ground wire. Get a new rubber connector piece, save the bracket!!!

    Yep, tach generator. You’ll get new wires with the new harness.

    The pedal return springs break all the time. And yes, please remove those annoying, troublesome, and rattling bands around the master cylinders and send them to ME for disposal!
    I really don’t want you to have a rattly car, Eric!

    Yes, you can keep the water mixture valve, but its frozen and no good. Get a replacement…no choice.

    I would keep the original exhaust heads and have them Jet-Hot coated since you are not showing the car. Go with a good stainless system from the heads on.

    Your socks and tennis shoes look far too clean and white to be your “work” set!

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by mcload — July 28, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  4. As stated above, your “control box” is the wiper motor:
    – think you already found the control box when you uncovered the “relay box” with the smashed black casing letting you see the coils inside.

    Comment by Stephen Carter — July 28, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  5. Forgot to mention that the Venus blog made the Hemmings Motor News blog; it’s now about 5 stories down:

    How in the world have you managed to accummulate over 10 thousand hits?!!

    Patrick McLoad

    Comment by mcload — July 28, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

  6. You know, thinking about that water temp control device, if you don’t ever think you will need HEAT in the car, it might not be a bad idea to just somehow block the water going into the heater radiator altogether, otherwise it will just sit there and rust like the originals. You should go ahead and replace the transfer pipes to/from the “heat exchanger”, but keeping it wet is yet another thing.

    Just a thought.


    Comment by mcload — July 28, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  7. As always guys, thanks for the widget ID’s! Also thanks to Diego (who e-mails me from an Italian address)!

    “Control box” = regulator. That makes sense if I think about it but I made no connection at first blush.

    You never know where I might live or drive so functional heating is a good thing. Especially for enjoying a roadster with the top down on a cool night.

    Patrick, congrats on the Hemmings July 26th blog callout! I seem to be averaging about 100 views per day lately. None of it is me since WordPress ignores my own views. No idea where they all come from but the blog does show up in different Jag-related searches and I’ve spread the word on other forums I participate in.

    I’m not seeing a lot of incoming links from forums yet, where other people talk about it and point to it. That seems like most of how my R75/5 ended up near the top of related Googling.

    Comment by penforhire — July 29, 2008 @ 1:22 pm

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