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    CAR: #Jaguar-420 / #Jaguar
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since July 2006
    Total mileage 100,363
    Miles since February
    2014 report none
    Latest costs nil

    XK ENGINE GOES BACK TO BASICS


    Time flies when you’re having fun… if that’s what you can call moving our entire lives 150 miles to the middle of nowhere. It’s amazing to think that it’s two-and-a-half years since we loaded Jeloe (JEL 670E), my 420 rebuild project, onto the transporter and drove it to Herefordshire. We tucked it away in the barn while we got on with building more garage space and there it has remained.

    It’s all taken rather longer than we’d planned to get everything straight, but we finally got around to the motor just before Christmas. When the car came to us, all attempts to turn over the engine failed, but husband/chief engineer Len assured me that, rather than seized, it was probably only ‘stuck’.

    And he was right because he later removed the head and managed to liberate the pistons from the bores. On inspection, things didn’t seem too bad and, bearing in mind the car’s low mileage – less than 60k when it was retired over 30 years ago – the bores looked to be good.

    Because of the age of the engine, however, Len reckoned it was safer to deal with what we couldn’t see – a build-up of sludge and corrosion in the waterways – with new liners. On a previous trip to VSE in mid Wales, we’d discussed the XK with engine expert Tim Kemp. He had offered to refit the block with new-generation stepped liners, supply fresh pistons and check the crankshaft and regrind it if necessary.

    While he was at it, he would also ensure that it was straight. Jaguar crankshafts in the late 1960s were Tufftrided, a process that made the journals harder wearing but, in later life, the cranks prone to bending.

    Straightening it would be a job for Tim. Once he had sorted the liners and crank, the rest of the work, including rebuilding the engine, would be down to Len. Before taking the unit to VSE, Len had to dismantle it back to a bare block. He painstakingly removed and bagged each component regardless of whether or not it would be reused. For most, it was undoubtedly the first time that they had parted company with the block since it was assembled in ’1967. Len says that he is creating a ‘clean room’ for when he rebuilds the engine.

    The house move intervened, but a rumour that Tim was about to retire had us loading the engine bits into the Land-Rover for what is now a short trip to Wales. It turned out that he has a queue of engines begging for his attention. Such is his reputation that even telling clients how long they might have to wait doesn’t seem to put them off and now, thanks to us, he has another block to contend with.

    THANKS TO

    Δ Len Hand: e-mail straightsixclassics@gmail.com
    Δ Tim Kemp: 01597 840308; vse-engines.com

    Crankshaft looks good but needs checking Main bearing cap seems dull but not worn Odd blemishes on ends of thrust bearing Stripped block, ready for Tim’s attention
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    Gaynor Cauter
    Gaynor Cauter created a new group Jaguar 420

    Jaguar 420 Open Group

    Jaguar 420 and Daimler Sovereign 1966-1969

    View Group →
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    CAR: #Jaguar E-type / #Jaguar-E-type / Jaguar
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since 1980
    Total mileage 113,795
    Miles since October
    report 10
    Latest costs nil

    FACELIFT AWAITS FOR TIRED BOO

    It’s decision time. I’ve been putting off the evil moment for too long and, in the meantime, poor old Boo is at risk of becoming a bit too scruffy. I hate taking the car off the road – so much so that, apart from the week of The Great Propshaft Disaster of 2006, it hasn’t been laid up since its major rebuild in 1995.

    However, the writing is on the wall – or, more to the point, on the bodywork. While most of it is solid and showing no sign of rust, small stress cracks in the rear corners of the door frames, which were repaired about 15 years ago, have appeared and, since the previous respray, little bubbles have come through the paint along the bonnet edges. Thanks to a man in a modern Mercedes at a Goodwood Breakfast Meeting, I also have a dent in my passenger door and, since then, another ding has appeared in the nearside front wing.

    Taking the car off the road for the winter is not the problem, it’s finding the money to pay for the work. Marrying an engineer with a wizard way with welding helps, but I’ve also had an offer from a top Jaguar restorer to paint the car once Len has done the repairs.

    While we’re at it, we’re going to pull out the engine and gearbox, too. The last time they were out was in ’04, when the clutch packed up five days before the #Le-Mans-Classic . It was the usual panic job and I only made it to the ferry thanks to old friend Ray Brown at Surrey Jag Centre, but it left me no time to tidy up the subframe, which hasn’t been touched since before I got the car in 1980. The engine is leaking oil from the back seal and from a stripped thread in the head, both of which need sorting, and Len is thinking about looking at the gearbox, too. As far as I know it’s original and, although it works fine for a unit that may well have done 150,000 miles or more, the synchromesh is weak on two gears.

    Len has had some experience – and success – in rebuilding Jaguar gearboxes, not to mention fabricating replacement parts. And there’s no point in pulling the engine without replacing the clutch. It’s all going to add up, but better to do it now than let the car deteriorate. It’s always good to have a deadline, and for us that’s next summer when, hopefully, the rebuilt #E1A E-type prototype will make its commemorative run through the Brecon Beacons. I’ll probably feel better once Len has made the first ‘cut’, but the thought of his grinder biting into Boo’s bodywork makes me shudder… perhaps I should take myself off to the pub for a pint while he fires up his torch?

    / #Door-frame crack has suddenly got worse. A ding in the front wing needs attention. Although in decent overall shape, Boo is crying out for a few preventative running repairs.
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    Car #Jaguar-E-type / #Jaguar
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since December 1980
    Total mileage 111,516
    Miles since August 2016 report 400
    Latest costs £90

    AILING CAT HAD PROBLEM PADS

    Serendipity is a wonderful thing. In view of Boo’s reluctance to go to the Silverstone Classic – and having lavished a lot of cash on replacing its ailing starter, fuel pump and front brake hoses – we felt fairly confident that we would make it to the Goodwood Revival. And we did.

    When the car was last MoT’d, the performance of the brakes was satisfactory, but Len was suspicious when the two fronts failed to pull up as evenly as he expected. He was concerned because Coopercraft calipers don’t seize like the old Dunlops tended to. We strolled onto Mintex’s stand in Goodwood’s shopping village and, at Len’s suggestion, I bought a set of pads.

    Apart from being offered at a tempting price, I liked the box they came in and the nice man in period overalls who sold them to me. We stopped off at an old friend’s nearby before heading back on the Monday, and were almost home when the ‘noise’ appeared. It was coming from the front and Len was convinced that it was brake-related, but the car was stopping perfectly.

    With Boo back in the garage, Len inspected the brakes only to notice that part of the lining was missing from one of the pads. What remained was quite meaty but had parted company with its backing plate, leaving a pile of dust on the floor. I can’t recall what make the pads were, although I never buy anything as important as brake parts on the cheap. Suffice to say that ‘they had ceased to be’!

    With both wheels off and the brakes dismantled, the next things to look at were the discs. Because they were showing signs of wear, it was a false economy not to replace them, too. SC Parts had promised me a good price should I care to use them again, so I gave them a call.

    Len, of course, secured the discs to the hubs using new, all-steel locknuts – not Nyloc ones. There’s also no drama when fitting fresh pads to Coopercraft calipers. While Len had the wheel bearings off, he cleaned and greased them. Having changed the brake fluid when a hose burst earlier this year, he didn’t fancy doing it again. He deftly removed the calipers and what remained of the old pads without disconnecting the hydraulics, so we didn’t need to go through the tedious business of bleeding the system once more.

    THANKS TO Len Hand, Straight Six Classics: 01568 720571 / SC Parts: 01293 847200; www.scparts.co.uk

    What remained of the old nearside pads.
    A world of difference in old and new discs.
    Boo lines up alongside a gorgeous 420G in the Jaguar parking area of the Revival Car Show.
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    CAR / #Jaguar-E-type / #Jaguar /
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since December 1980
    Total mileage 111,116
    Miles since January
    report 200
    Latest costs £213

    DODGY BRAKES FUEL PROBLEMS

    Cars are like people: lock them in a darkened room for too long and they start behaving strangely. With all the chaos of moving ourselves, our home, our workshop equipment and 13-odd cars from London to Herefordshire, Boo has, by necessity, been a bit neglected. But with National E Type Day looming at Prescott plus a trip to the Le Mans Classic booked and, with most of the building work completed on our new mega-garage, we were able to get the car out for its MoT test.

    On the recommendation of local Jaguar specialist Steve Grimsley of Phoenix Restoration, we booked the E-type in with John Powell of Woodside Garage near Presteigne.

    Hubby Len made the usual checks, then we took Boo for a quick run to make sure everything else was as it should be… and just as well we did. One stamp on the brakes made it pull violently to the right and, to add to our woes, the car also started misfiring. The fuel pump had failed in 2012 on the Jaguar 90th-anniversary rally and one of the Heritage chaps had rebuilt it in a Blackpool hotel car park, since when it had worked fine. But not any more. Back home, Len discovered fluid spurting out of a pinhole in the front nearside brake pipe. With time against us, he set about removing the fuel pump while I got on the phone to David Manners to order a new set of braided steel pipes and a Burlen electric pump.

    The parts arrived first thing the next morning and, while I went off to buy brake fluid, Len did his usual, masterful job of fitting everything in time for the appointment. He sensibly replaced both front pipes and managed to swap them without letting any air into the system. We made it to Woodside with 10 minutes to spare and, to our relief, John passed the car. He mentioned a few things that we would need to look at, though there were no nasty surprises. The front wheel bearings might need adjusting before Le Mans and the steering rack bushes are looking a bit tired, but these were already on our ‘to do’ list.

    Come Sunday, the foul weather deterred a lot of people from going to Prescott so, sadly, the turnout was poor. The rain held off until late afternoon, and we had a miserable drive home in rain so torrential that the wipers could barely cope. What started out as a nice, clean, polished E-type made it home as a grey, mud-splattered mess. Thank goodness I don’t drive a concours car!


    THANKS TO
    Len Hand: 01568 720571
    David Manners: 0121 544 4040;
    www.davidmanners.co.uk
    Woodside: 01544 267057

    Boo and chum David Brown’s S2 at JDC Prescott E Type Day before the downpour Abi and Diesel always love trips out in the Merc, here at the period pumps on Matjiesfontein High St.

    …resulting in an effective temporary fix. Hurst sets to, with canine support crew… John Powell checks brakes on rolling road. Len fits the new Burlen electric fuel pump.
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    Gaynor Cauter
    Gaynor Cauter unlocked the badge Reviewer
    Reviewer
    Reviews blog posts that is created on the site.
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    CAR #Jaguar-E-Type / #Jaguar
    Run by Gaynor Cauter
    Owned since December 1980
    Total mileage 110,148
    Miles since July report 150
    Latest costs £180

    HISTORY REPEATS FOR E-TYPE BOYS

    However gentle I try to be, Boo’s tyres inevitably begin to wear and the raised eyebrows of the MoT man recently meant that I could no longer put off the evil moment. I’ve always been loyal to the original spec Dunlop SPs, which to me look best on an E-type, but cost is ever a factor. So, when Julian Majzub suggested I might like to try his new line in E-type footwear at a very competitive price, I was quick to take up his generous offer. Majzub likes to do his own fitting and, since he was planning a visit to west London the following week, he offered to collect Boo’s wheels and take them back to Blockley while my partner Len Hand and I headed off to France. Len, luckily, had an old set of wires for Boo to sit on in the meantime.

    I haven’t had the rims back yet, but I liked what I saw of Julian’s tyres at the JDC’s Goodwood track day (see www.blockleytyre.com for more). Boo is so used to being the centre of attention that it was nice when it played second fiddle to a charming little chap called Jasper North. Three years ago, his father Mike asked whether he could use Boo as a backdrop for a special photo. As a youngster, Mike’s dad had photographed him with his E-type.

    In 2010, Mike’s son Bruno turned eight and he had the idea of recreating the shot. We duly met in Bushy Park and set up the photo with Boo as a prop for young Master North to lean on. Mike was delighted with the results, thanked me profusely and we went our separate ways. Earlier this year, Mike’s younger son Jasper reached the landmark age of eight and he asked whether we could repeat the operation. And we managed to get Boo into exactly the same position in Bushy Park.

    It was such a pleasure to see Mike and the boys again that I had to ask the obvious question: “Any more on the way?” The answer was a definite “no!”, so I’ve suggested we regroup when Bruno turns 18 – assuming that Boo and I are still an item 10 years hence – to take a coming of- age portrait. That’s the cheap option – the expensive one is for Mike to buy his own E-type of course!

    Mike North’s sons Bruno and Jasper have had photo replicated of him with dad’s E.
    Old spares on while new rubber is fitted.
    Huge turnout at Prescott hillclimb for the Jaguar Drivers’ Club E-type Day.
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    Gaynor Cauter
    Gaynor Cauter joined the group Jaguar E-Type owners and fun club
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