E-type for E-type

XPAG TD engine

Going, but with a concern

Butch ran up the red MG TD which now has a full compliment of eight valves, an improvement over  the seven it had when we dismantled it.  We were pleasantly surprised when it fired on the first kick and ran pretty well, but it had a puzzling ticking sound that was inconsistent with normal XPAG engine noise.  Significantly,   Butch had also encountered some problems seating the valve cover.

If you take a quick look back at last week’s post you’ll notice that this car featured one of the myriad of aftermarket valve covers which were available for these engines.  This was suggesting a hither to fore unrecognized chain of events.

XPAG aftermarket valve cover

Weird scene inside the goldmine

So we pulled it off, and because XPAG’s flow a veritable ocean of oil to the valve train, Butch put a red shop towel across the rocker arms and fired it up again (the first photo was actually taken with the engine running), and Et Voila !   The noise was gone.  Now have another look at the valve cover.  Valve relief has actually been machined into the cover for #’s 1,2,3 & possibly 4.  But upon close inspection we realized that five thru eight also were showing contact.  This valve cover is now sitting on the work cart and my TC paint mask valve cover is currently in serice on this engine until the owner can get another one from Abingdon Spares.

compact "A" overdrive in an E-type

Yes, it fits

We try to put in about 42 productive hours every week, but this time of year especially, we seem to be on the go right thru the weekend, too.  Working downstairs on his own time, Patrick has conclusively proven that a late Jaguar 4 speed transmission equipped with the compact “A” series overdrive unit will fit into a series 3 V12 E-type without modification to the tunnel.  That overdrive unit is clearly visible in the rear of the tunnel in this picture.

Green E-type leaving


A red series 2 E-type arrives


On the seventh day I engineered a convenient series 2 E-type swap, leaving in the morning with a green one and returning in the afternoon with another one resplendid in the ‘Arrest Me Red” livery.  A brief road test of the red car suggests that some brake work may be in order as it definitely favors the left side of the road when footbrake is applied.  While I was out I also surveyed an Innocenti Mini on behalf of a prospective buyer from Seattle, and I’m guessing that by the next time you’re reading this it will be in Westminster, Vermont undergoing a thorough pre-sale examination.

Sequoia Cream MG TC

Why we live & work in Vermont. See this MG TC in the Car Corral at The British Invasion of Stowe

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Work Continues Apace

series 2 E-type "square" cooling fan motor

series 2 E-type 'square' cooling fan motor

The green RHD Austin Healey 3000 MkIII last seen here on the back of our small trailer returned to Maine very successfully on Tuesday, which was arguably the most glorious day of the summer so far, with a brilliant blue sky, temperatures near 80 on the Maine coast, and virtually no humidity.  The owner and I put the top down and took it for a drive to the gas station.  There wasn’t much fuel left in the tank once we’d gotten done checking our repairs.

series 2 E-type

Looking in

Repairs are also almost complete on the series 2 E-type with which Butch has had a mighty thrash.  One of the last items on our fix-list was to sort out why one electric cooling fan was running with the key on and the thermostatic fan switch apparently bypassed, while the other one wasn’t.  However a physical examination of the subject fan motor revealed that it was in no condition to rotate the fan.

As pictured above the commutator on the end of the armature shaft was pretty well smoked, and because these ‘square’ fan motors are unique to series 2, a very expensive pair of reconditioned motors were ordered- in to replace them.  We’re hopeful Friday’s weather  will be suitable for returning the car.

MG TD cylinder head

This just in

Earlier this week we also received the now reconditioned cylinder head from the TD which suffered a failure on #8 exhaust valve a few weeks ago.  Because the tip of the valve stem was pretty well hammered in to the spring retainer, we forwarded it to the owner of the car as a useful, but very expensive paperweight.  Because the replacement retainer didn’t fit — all we’ll say about that is that it didn’t come from Abingdon Spares — the machine shop returned the head without it, but that’s great because now you can see the type of  proper valve stem seal that’s been fitted to all eight valves.  It’s probably Volkswagen, as these are metric engines.

MG TD engine & carbs

Works better with floats

Well I took it apart and Butch has been putting it back together.  Regrettably he didn’t know, because I forgot to tell him that I’d bagged up the carburetor floats separately, so when he tightened everything up and turned on the ignition the greasy shop floor developed an almost instant clean spot from the gas pouring out on it.

My bad and a very good example of why we always try to leave notes on the repair orders.

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Testing Not Complete

Austin Healey on a trailer

Austin Healey BJ8 hitches a ride

We’ve been chasing an apparent fuel delivery problem in this right hand drive Austin Healey 3000 Mk III.  Initially the car responded well to having all of the fuel line clamps tightened, a common enough problem with any number of cars regardless of whether they have mechanical or electric fuel pumps, and in fact we also  checked this pump by substitution.  I personally ran 25  trouble free miles including on the Interstate.  Luckily, this failure occurred while the car was still in our hands.

Setting cam timing in a 948 engine
Timing up a 948cc Sprite cam

In the process of trying to suss out our the problem, Reilly cleared the pump-to-carb and pump-to-tank fuel lines with compressed air.  Often times this will turn up evidence of debris creating a blockage.  By removing the fuel gauge sending unit  we had seen visual evidence of an inner coating having been applied to the tank, so we drained it and the fuel came out clean.  Much of the time the coating will come out in sheets when you do this.

E-type IRS half shaft

Butch checks E-type half shaft U-joints

Not so with this tank, but we pulled it out anyway, and discovered a coming & going  restriction in the pick up tube, probably a sheet of the stuff intermttantly flopping over the gauze strainer.  A new tank goes in tomorrow.

I have been working downstairs putting together a 948 cc Austin Healey Sprite engine, and Wednesday I timed up the APT bump-up cam.  A close observation of that picture will also reveal that the timing gear has been strengthened by the additon of an IWIS duplex roller chain & sprockets.  I have it timed for 2 degrees advance over a split overlap.

Reilly & Patrick haul out a V12 E-type engine

Reilly & Patrick haul out a V12 E-type engine

Meanwhile Butch continued to chase down the unacceptable rear hub play in the series 2 E-type featured here last week.  Even after having correctly set up the taper roller bearings in the rear hub carriers, play was still present.  It turned out to be the universal joints in the differential half shafts.  These need to be spot-on because the half shafts are also the upper members of the rear suspension.

While these are a brilliant design feature of the Jaguar IRS, they need to be checked and kept well greased because a U-joint failure could quickly become a catastrophic suspension failure. A word to the wise.

Compact "A" series overdrive

'A' series & Compact 'A; series overdrives

Weekends are when we get to work on our own stuff sometimes.  In this last picture the engine is coming out of Patrick’s series 3 fixed head coupe which he’s changing over to a four-speed manual with the interesting addition of a late ‘Compact A’ series overdrive.  Although Jaguar never fit overdrive to the E-type, rumor has it that the 2+2 body shell will accommodate it and we’re gonna find out.  The unit going in is just visible between the blue engine tilter and the ratchet on the end of it.

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Myron Rides Again

'Myron' on the trailer

Coram, Long Island Thursday morning around 2:00

Sometime around 5:00 Thursday morning a man living at 4 Whitfield Lane, Coram, N.Y. looked out his window and saw a sight that must have astounded him, the MG TD which he hadn’t driven in almost 30 years just sitting out there ready to go.

It would also be accurate to say that I was also astounded by his reaction, which was far from gratitude.  Perhaps he was momentarily taken aback by the $5,000.00 open balance repair order thoughtfully left on the passenger seat with a British Invasion of Stowe registration package.  Whatever the reason, what he received was excellent value for the money because it was another of those situations where we put pride ahead of profit margin.  When I rolled his MG off the trailer the odometer reading was exactly 80,250 miles, including 85 we put on running it in.

'Myron' comes back from a road test

Reilly brings Myron in after 85 miles of shakedown work

The driving assessment sugars off like this:  Myron runs up hills in 4th gear that most TD’s struggle up  in 3rd.  Doors close well now and the suspension is tight.  Lights, horn & wipers are all working.  There is some pedal pulsation from the clapped-out brake drums and it’s whiny in 1st & reverse, but that’s a fair trade-off with the used cluster gear we put in when we discovered a number of teeth had been cleaned off the 2nd speed wheel.

Rusty rear hub on an S2 E-type

The problem was obvious

I got kind of a late start and a flat tire (right rear in the first picture) just south of Hartford, Connecticut on Interestate 91 caused me to miss the last outbound Port Jefferson Ferry of the night which added 200 miles to the round trip.  It was also a fine night for road contruction, and there was plenty of it on the New England Thruway.  After midnight traffic was light and moving well on the Long Island Expressway, which is also sometimes referred to during the day as the world’s longest parking lot.

Butch runs an E-type in a tight circle

How Butch fixed the other side

Meanwhile over in bay #3 Butch has been wrestling with an with an ignorance problem vis a vis the  very well presented series 2 E-type OTS seen here.  Even though almost everybody in the world knows it, it would seem that there are still a few people who don’t know that even with Concours-only Trailer Queens, which this car isn’t, you still have to grease the splined hubs or terrible things will happen.

Warner can tell you about the extreme consequences.  He managed to clean the splines completely off the right front hub on his MGC GT when he first got it, although that problem was an inheritance.  All he knew initially is that when he came to an abrupt halt on a fast road the car stopped but the R/F knock-off hub kept right on going, so he summoned me to bring another and in short order he lost that one, too.

Butch makes a wheel bearing adjustment

Adjusting the bearing end float in the rear hub carrier

The consequences here were just that the wheels wouldn’t come off initially.  Igor had also used his biggest hammer and the knock-off’s were on W-A-Y  too tight !   After a heroic struggle Butch finally got the right rear wheel off, but the left rear only succumbed to his ministrations after a dozen full lock, power-on circles with the knock-off only done up hand tight.  It works but it ain’t pretty to watch.  A rear wheel bearing service also ensued.

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