1950 Jaguar XK120 roadster
Total restoration of an early alloy bodied car
Restoration Log by Dan Mooney




 
 

 

Project Specification:

Total restoration of an alloy bodied Jaguar XK120
back to original factory livery of black coachwork
over 2 tone biscuit and tan trim.



 

   

Update report - April 22, 2017

Jake has now turned his attention to restoring and fitting the bonnet.



Rear brace also serves as hinge mount











Preparing to spot weld the rear brace in position
























Bolting bonnet to bulkhead to begin fitting process






















Several of the alloy cars had bonnet louvers
when new
To be continued!




Beautiful hide fitted luggage made for us by Taris Charysyn. Our XK120 interior trim is two tone biscuit and tan, so we decided to do the cases in biscuit hide with tan interior broad cloth. The luggage is stunning quality.









Jake has been busy putting the finishing touches to your right hand front wing...



Flanging the wheel arch edge on the Pullmax
The edge is flanged using several passes on
the Pullmax






















Flanging the straight bottom edge on the brake























Rear edge was flanged on the bead roller












Rear edge now hammered over











Marking low spots for further planishing





The following photos show the rear wooden frame after Jake sealed it with CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) from The Rot Doctor. This process really highlighted the new versus old wood, with the latter appearing much darker in the photos below. Once the CPES has been completely absorbed in a few days time, the frame will be sealed with black epoxy primer, as it had been at the factory.


































Your flywheel was damaged beyond repair, and new replacements are not available, so we had no choice but to manufacture our own replacement. I am pleased to report that the finished item is a thing of beauty.



New CJ flywheel side by side with the original
We took the opportunity to shave a few lbs from
the original's heft










Machine work is absolutely spectacular
6 bolt pattern unique to very early XK engine




This challenging engine rebuild has now been completed.




Crankshaft has been be ground
and machined
Early style crank oil galley plugs are pressed in,
not threaded










Weight matching crank plugs prior to balancing
Balancing the crankshaft











Cylinder hone in progress











Surfacing the deck after cylinder hone










Short block assembly











Assembling the cylinder head












Note ultra early style head with siamesed spark
plug holes and brass allen water plugs























Note early style 'smooth' valve covers with no
studs and acorn nuts on timing chain section











Rebuild and assembly now complete





I asked Jake to explain in his own words how he fabricated a new boot lid drip rail. It really is a joy to watch him at work.

The original boot lid drip rail was damaged beyond repair so we had no alternative but to fabricate a replacement panel. This required me making a steel fixture that would allow me to create a 'J' profile that would precisely match the original. In order to do this I used 1" x 3/16" steel cold rolled bar stock. Using a hollowed out anvil, I shaped the strap using blacksmith techniques until I had matched the shape and contour of the boot opening. Once this fixture was made, I then took 0.060" thick 3003 aluminum sheet stock and sheared it into 2 3/8" wide x 40" long sheets. I annealed these sheets to allow for the tight radius bends that would be required around the top corners of the boot lid opening.

Taking the freshly annealed sheets, I broke them in our Mittler Bros sheet metal brake to create an 'L' profile. Taking the 'L' profiles I then shaped them to match the shape and contour of the boot opening. This was done in three sections, comprised of the top and two sides. Once the three sections were formed, the next step was to fit the side sections to the upper section and weld them all together, making one continuous 'L' profile. I then clamped the steel fixture I had made earlier inside the new 'L' profile. Using a rawhide hammer, I then hammered over the inner flange which created the correct 'J' profile that exactly matched the original drip rail and fit the bonnet opening perfectly.




Original drip rail was damaged beyond repair











The decision was made to fabricate a new drip rail
Shaping the steel 1" x 3/16" cold rolled bar stock to
match the shape and contour of the boot opening










Clamping the steel bar stock in place during the
fabrication process











Steel fixture now completed
Note how fixture follows the shape and
contours of the opening










L profile 3003 aluminum sheet stock being shaped
to fit boot opening
L profile aluminum sheet now shaped to the
opening











Steel fixture now clamped inside the L profile
aluminum










Another view of the steel fixture in place inside
the L profile aluminum
Jake hammering over the inner flange to create
the desired J shape











Here you can clearly see the steel fixture being
sandwiched inside the new drip rail










Old and new drip rails side by side
Job done!





Jake has now finished fabricating and welding the repair panels for the ends of the rear side panels. He has now turned his attention to fabricating a new drip rail for the boot aperture, which will be the subject of the next update.




Clamping the RH panel in place for welding











LH repair panel has already been welded in place










After metal finishing the welded seam, the repairs
are invisible
Both repair panels have now been welded and
metal finished











Front suspension and brakes will need a bit
of a scrub!










This will be a great 'before' shot once we
have everything restored and rebuilt!
Original Girling lever arm shocks will be rebuilt


The first two photos in the following sequence may not look like much, but they are actually cause for much celebration. As you know, we have been chasing internal cracks and porosity issues in this delicate cylinder head casting for several months, and I can finally report that the head has now survived multiple heat cycles and pressure tests, passing them all with flying colors! Getting to this point has involved countless hours hooked up to a TIG welder in the CJ Coachworks, some intensive sonic cleaning, and finally a vacuum impregnation sealing process performed by the casting porosity experts at Baron Industries in Michigan.

In our quest to keep our 120 as original as possible, we went to extraordinary lengths to save the original cylinder head, and I am delighted to say we have been able to achieve our goal.




Pressure testing in progress











Honing new valve guides
Surfacing intake flange










Original 'smooth' valve covers repaired and polished
Front of head prior to sanding and polishing



Rebuild and restoration of the rear axle and ENV (Eaton Number V, London) differential underway.




Tear down of rear axle underway
Rear cover is welded to the casing on ENV
differential











Differential looks like it may have been recovered
from the Titanic










Ratio and serial numbers stamped on housing
Note original brass filler plug and dipstick










Brass dipstick removed from the filler plug











Differential unbolted from casing
Standard 3.64 gearing stamped on crown wheel










Old damage to cover will be repaired
Drain hole has been added - will be welded up










Scrubbing away decades of dirt and grime from
axle housing
Note green paint on top side of diff case


Lots of progress in the Coachworks over the last few weeks..



Planishing another new alloy panel
Trial fitting new panel










Preparing to weld new panel in place











Lower extremities of both rear side panels will
be replaced











Shaping the left hand repair panel on the wheel












New panel starting to take shape






















Note early style 6 bolt flywheel
Flywheel is damaged in several places so we will
make a new one


Installing rear bumper brackets...




Drilling holes for bumper bracket pots











One of the brackets slightly mishapen










A few minutes on the anvil straightened
things out












Trial fitting straightened bracket






















Trial fitting fuel filler box
Fuel filler box viewed from beneath


Jake fabricating and welding a new closing panel for the rear canopy where it meets the driver's door shut face panel.











































More progress in the Coachworks...




The two outer beams will be filled to provide a
smooth foundation for outer alloy panel












Boot frame now trial fitted complete
with latching mechanism











Note filled and smoothed outer beams













RH shut face panel also needs slight modification











Note how panel now fits neatly against rocker panel











Leading edge of rear wing will eventually be
secured against shut face panels



Putting the finishing touches to the rear canopy and boot lid opening ash framing.





West System epoxy wood repair



































Prior to sanding
After sanding



































Trial fitting boot lid frame



I am delighted to report that Jason (Texas Heritage Woodworks) has now finished the restoration of the Ash framing. The following photos show Jason and Jake doing an initial trial fit of the rear canopy and boot lid frame.





Jason and Jake performing an initial trial fit
of the rear canopy
Original wood was retained whenever possible,
although rear canopy needed a lot of new Ash










Curved rear wing sections fit beautifully












Trial fitting upper skin to Ash canopy frame











Only lower rear edge of boot lid frame required
new wood - rest of frame was very solid



Most of the time, we dictate how our work piece will be held. Simple enough when dealing with flat stock. On something large and complex like this Jaguar XK120 rear body support structure, the work piece dictates how it will be held. There is a curved section along the inside of the outer rail, the bent laminated components I made need to be shaped to fit this curve. The easiest solution I found was to cut several kerfs along this curve, with plans to knock out most of the waste with a chisel afterwards. While this is most definitely not ideal posture for using a handsaw, it works well for a few reasons. First and foremost, my handsaw is in optimum condition. This is my brand new @badaxe6 Bayonet crosscut saw. A thin saw plate and sharp teeth are essential for an awkward cut like this. Secondly, I'm keeping my eye directly in line with the saw back as I use light pressure in the cut. Keeping my eye lined up with the saw back helps me track straight and true through the cut. It took about three minutes to cut 20+ kerfs this way. The end is in sight now, this challenging and amazing project is nearing completion.







The following sequence of photos show the fabrication of the new left front wing, and in particular the outer flange that will eventually be hammered over a wire beading.





Working the flange on the Pullmax machine
Using the bead roller










On the metal brake











New panel tack welded to front section
This photo shows the flange that will eventually
be hammered over new wire











New wing now almost completed




Earlier today Carlos put the finishing touches to your seats...


































Lots of progress in the Coachworks and the trim room over the last couple of weeks...





Working the spare wheel well floor on the
English wheel
Both edges of the spare wheel well floor are
corroded and will be repaired











Wheel well side walls also have some corrosion










Close up of the electrolysis damage on wheel well
side walls












Fabricating new side walls











Trial fitting the new side walls






















Fabricating repair panels for the edges of the
spare wheel well floor
Offering the new panels in place


































After metal finishing the welds are invisible











Trial fitting the gas tank
























Time to fabricate repair panels for front section
of right hand wing










Planishing welds
Shaping the repair panel on the wheel











First repair section welded in place










Trial fitting second repair panel
Note 3D wire template behind new repair panels











Second repair panel tack welded in position























Panel beneath the grill is in poor shape






















Marking vent hole for front of right hand wing












Carlos and Hector have been busy in the trim room










Seat backs starting to take shape
Seat backs are complicated in their construction






















Both seat bottoms have now been trimmed



Another great update from Jason at Texas Heritage Woodworks.




It's back to work on the Jaguar XK120 restoration today. We are now addressing issues with the rear body support
frame. The four main runners (for lack of a better term) are completely rotten at the rear, which is where they are
exposed to moisture from the wheel wells. The runners are all bent laminated construction, using Ash like the rest
of the wooden components. These four runners provide all of the strength in this structure. Because of this, they will be
getting replac
ed. The connecting pieces in between can all be reused. The first step in all of this is to label each
 individual component. Some blue painter's tape and a permanent marker work well for me. After everything is labeled,
the detailed work begins. Each joint must be thoroughly documented with measurements, photographs, and notes
on each section. I don't have another XK120 handy for comparison, my notes and my photos are all I'll have. This is
probably the most important step of this entire rebuild process. Once I'm happy with my documentation, I'll begin taking
this apart, assessing the condition of each individual piece. Most will just need the old glue scraped off, a few might
need some checks and cracks fixed.








Here's one of the close up shots I was talking about earlier on the Jaguar XK120. This particular joint was
photographed from all angles, making sure any important detail was captured. When the time comes to put the entire
structure back together, having this photographic breakdown will be very important.








Here it is, fully disassembled. This part actually took around 12 hours to complete. Not one screw was broken and
every component that needed to be saved, was. All in all it was a very successful tear down, though a tad longer than
I anticipated. My biggest concern up to this point was whether the four runners had identical curves or not. The
two outer runners and the two inner runners looked identical. Once I had them separated I was able to lay one
on top of the other and v
erify that the curves are the same. This means that I only need to make two bending
forms as opposed to four separate ones. It appears that these were made in the same forms at Jaguar all those
years ago. I kind of figured that would be the case, but until I was able to verify it, I couldn't be sure.








The bent lamination forms for the Jaguar XK120 have been finished and the first dry run was successful. These 3mm
thick Ash laminations bend really well. Now that I know the forms are tuned up, I'll cover the faces of each form with
clear packing tape so that the plastic resin adhesive doesn't stick. After that, it'll be time for the first glue up. Shop
temp is steady at 75 so we are ready to go!








Did a test run with the other bent lamination form, this one is for the pair of inner runners on the Jaguar XK120 rear
support structure. After clamping up all ten 3mm laminations, I check the overall shape against the original piece.
It was absolutely spot on. I'll do the glue up in the morning.








Plastic resin glue can be a pain to remove. It's really hard stuff that's tough on blades. I found my Stanley No. 80
cabinet scraper to be the best tool for this job. The thicker @hocktools blade holds an
edge well and is quick and easy to resharpen.








Here are the four bent lamination pieces, two of each shape. They have had all of the squeeze out removed and have
been inspected, looks like all of the seams are nice and tight. I'm very happy with how each of these turned out. Now
I'll let them sit in the shop for a few days before tackling the joinery and final shaping. This was a big step in this
Jaguar XK120 project. Can't wait to start the final stages!








Today I'm back to work on the Jaguar XK120 rear frame, starting the process of transferring layout points from
the original pieces to their replacements. Here I have both inner runners and one of the originals stacked
on top of each other, being very careful to match up the curves before securing them all down with
holdfasts. Once they are held down, I can start transferring points.



Assembling the firewall, sills and door frames...




Securing the firewall in place on the chassis
Ash sill covers bolted in place over steel
rocker panels











Preparing to assemble door latch mechanism


































Driver's door frame bolted in position















Various restored ash, aluminum and steel items sealed with Spies Hecker Priomat 'red oxide' primer.




Ash sill top covers
Door frames











Driveshaft tunnel











Top cowl panel










A post panels
Front wing support brackets






















Front bulkhead and rocker panels



The following sequence of photographs show the restoration of the wooden door frames. In our efforts to retain as much of the original car as possible, we decided to repair the original door frames, rather than simply replace them. Our friend Jason Thigpen at Texas Heritage Woodworks replaced the lower section of the frames with new seasoned Ash, but the rest of the frame was deemed salvageable.

Jake has been using West System 105 epoxy resin filler to repair and re-shape damaged areas, and Kwik Poly epoxy filler to fill the smaller imperfections and nail holes. The wooden door frames were originally painted black at the factory. Once we do the same, our repaired frames will look absolutely brand new.
































































































































































































We recently acquired these absolutely beautiful, mint condition (never installed), NOS Lucas tripod headlamps for our 120 project


Jake has finished trimming and trial fitting the new Ash panels and rebuilt door hinges. He has also begun fabricating the new left hand wing repair panel. The Ash has been sealed with a special epoxy, and will eventually be painted black, as it was when the car was new.





Note bronze bushings pressed into the old
cast iron hinges











Machined stainless steel hinge pin











All four hinges now have zero play and are
operating perfectly












Trial fitting inner left front wing


































The majority of the front left wing will be fabricated



































Wood is sealed with Smith's two part epoxy
Jake sealing one of the door pillars and sill panels










Wood will eventually be painted black
Welding two parts of LH wing back together











After metal finishing, the welded seam is invisble











Repair panel taking shape










Important that the lower edge of the front wing, door
and rear wing form a straight line
The top edge of the rule will be the body line










Welding the front wing repair panel in place












To be continued...


Jake has been pressing ahead with the trial fit of the new Ash sill and A pillar panels...




Hinges have been rebuilt using custom machined
pins and bronze bushings
Driver's side A pillar now fits perfectly with the
original dash support wood






















Using a chisel to cut the required relief
for the A pillar support bracket











Trial fitting the A pillar support bracket












Both panels being trial fitted together











New Ash A pillar and sill panels now fit together
perfectly


Jake has completed the modification and trial fit of the new Ash panels on the passenger side of the car.




Machining a new countersink in hinge plate











Passenger side wood sill panel and A pillar
now installed












View from beneath passenger side sill


Lots of progress in the Coachworks. Jake has been fabricating new alloy repair panels, and fine tuning the fit of the new Ash panels.




Side panel of the LH wing will be replaced
Fabricating the new panel






















Forward lower panel of the RH wing will also
be replaced











Cutting away the damaged section
























Making another 3D template










B pillar panels











Measuring required angles between B pillar
and original wooden sill panel











New upper B pillar panel fabricated











Trial fitting new A post Ash panel












New A post panel connected to original dash
top frame











To be continued...


Jason has now delivered the first of the completed Ash panels.







Another fascinating update from Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworks. Great stuff!



As I carefully work up to my line on the Jaguar XK120 B-Pillar supports, certain spots call for specialty tools.
This small section was giving me trouble when trying to use my spokeshave or block planes. A little work
with my rasp, followed by fine tuning with a @lienielsentoolworks plane maker's float worked perfectly.







Finding common reference points along the perimeter of the old and new B-Pillar supports is the first step. I set my
dividers to a 1" spacing and proceeded to walk them along the edge, starting at the same point on the old and new
components. This gives me accurate and precise layout marks on all of the pieces, setting me up for the next step.







Now that I've got my layout determined, I use my @sterlingtoolworks saddle tail to clearly define my reference
points along the face and side. Having each section clearly defined is a good visual for me.







Next I go along the perimeter, placing my Brown & Sharpe machinist's square at each layout line. I barely touch the
square to the wood, then I use my smallest pair of Starrett dividers to measure the gap. I transfer that measurement
to the corresponding layout line on the replacement B-Pillar support. I work my way along, stopping at each mark
to transfer the measurement. Once this is done it's time to revert to a childhood favorite, connect the dots.







Now that the marks for the angled edges have been established, it's time to connect the dots and create my actual line
that I will cut to. The straight sections are easy enough for a guy like me. When it comes to the curved areas I need a
little help. My @sterlingtoolworks French Curves are the ideal tool for this job. It's easy to find sections of the French
Curves that perfectly match the area I'm working on. This keeps my lines crisp and clean.







I use my Stanley 151 spokeshave to establish the angle. I've used a pencil to color in the waste on the edge, up to my
layout line on the face of the board. My goal now is to work towards my layout line on the face, and the opposite corner
on the edge. I keep my eye on the reference marks on the edge and my line on the face. If I do this correctly, the final
pass should remove the last of both lines simultaneously.







I'm using my @lienielsentoolworks plane maker float to smooth out any bumpy or irregular spots that I find. When
operated at a skew, this float is leaving a wonderfully smooth and flat surface. And it makes some really unique
shavings. Almost like a mini spill plane, it's pretty cool!







Here I am using my Stanley 9 1/2 block plane. This thing is a beast. It's been a big help in shaping the taper on the
sides of the A-Pillar supports for the XK120. I can set the blade for a fairly heavy cut, the mass of the plane makes
it easy to hog off material quickly. Once I get close to the line, I'll switch over to a spokeshave or rasp.







Using the rounded face of a fine rasp is the best way I've found to tackle these inside curves. It leaves a fine finish that
cleans up with a few passes of a scraper. It's important to use a light touch. Too much pressure can cause the rasp to
flex, rounding over the edge. By making light passes, the edge remains dead flat.







Now on to the interesting part of the B-Pillar replacements. The sides of both supports are angled to fit the curves of
the body. The issue is that the angle isn't consistent, it varies along the entire length of the support. You can see
how it changes in the photos. I've been brainstorming ways to replicate this angle as accurately as possible and I
figured out a simple and accurate way to reproduce it. To be continued!


Jake has been busy repairing the left hand headlamp pod and he has also begun the process of fabricating a new skin for the lower front valance that includes the air intake vent. This panel is actually a fairly complex shape, with a distinct curve along the lower edge towards the center-line of the car. In order to achieve precisely the correct contour, Jake is using a 3D template made from copper plated 1/8" steel welding rod.





Trial fitting the repair panel fabricated
for the LH headlamp pod










Tack welding the repair panel in place












The seam is then TIG welded











Trial fitting bumper brackets











Damaged lower left front panel cut away











A replacement panel will be fabricated










Note the distinct curve at the lower edge
of the front panel











Another image showing the distinct curve that will
be incorporated in the new panel























Creating a 3D template using copper plated 1/8"
steel welding rod












Laying the paper template over the 3D wire
template










A new piece of aluminum is cut to the
required shape












Starting the trial fitting and shaping process


The following sequence of photographs show Jake fabricating new rocker panels and beginning the restoration of the front wings.



Forming the new rocker panels on the finger brake
Wheeling the folded edges of the new panel


































Trial fitting the new rocker panels
























New inner braces fabricated











New panel now virtually complete











Cast alloy B-pillar shut face panels were
hand cut when new










Recesses for latches etc were chiseled out by hand
Note the hinge holes in the A-pillar panels were
also cut by hand










Close up of the chiseled recess











Front wings have been split along the
factory welded seam












Marking an area of damaged aluminum
to be replaced











Damaged area cut away










With the wing split in two, it is more manageable
on the English wheel
Marking out the repair panel in piece of
fresh new aluminum











Repair panel starting to take shape


More wood restoration notes from Jason Thigpen of Texas Heritage Woodworks
_______________________________________________________________________

I've got the A-Pillar panel glued and clamped, so it's time to move on to the B-Pillar supports. Here is what I have to work with, one side is in shambles, the other is about 90% complete. Both sides are almost identical from what I can tell, just mirror images of each other. I'll base my new pieces off of the mostly complete side, making them slightly oversized and fine tuning the fit by hand during install.

The wood that I'm replacing on this Jaguar was last cut and shaped over 65 years ago and is therefore likely to have shrunk slightly from its original size. As a precaution, I'm cutting the new parts out slightly oversized. To accomplish this I'm using a 24" steel rule that is around 1/16" thick. By laying this against the original piece and tracing alongside I end up with an outline that is 1/8" larger in all dimensions. As an added bonus, using the steel rule as a guide eliminates the rough pencil line that would have resulted if I had traced right against the wood. A cleaner layout line makes it a lot easier to make a clean cut.

In the last photo in the sequence below, I am shaping the curves of the B-Pillar supports. I have both sides stuck together with double sided veneer tape. Using my Stanley 151 spokes shave I am removing the marks left from the band saw, slowly working my way down to my pencil line. A razor sharp blade does a nice job on the Ash end grain.

Jason Thigpen













































Additional information from Jason Thigpen (Texas Heritage Woodworks) regarding the tools he is using on this project
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

In the outdoor shot, I'm using my thickness planer to bring the rough lumber down to the correct thickness. I have the planer set up on my portable workbench outdoors. Just too nice outside to not take advantage! In the photo with me at my workbench, I'm using a hand plane to initially flatten and remove twist from one side of the lumber. Once that side is perfectly flat, that's when it goes to the thickness planer for further work. The planer is one of the few power tools I regularly employ. To bring the stock down to proper thickness by hand is just way too labor intensive.

In the picture of the board with the square on it, I'm just checking that my hand planing was accurate and that the board is indeed square. Incidentally, the square I'm using is made by Chris Vesper, an Australian toolmaker who is one of the top two or three toolmakers alive today. He custom made that square for me using some highly figured Mesquite from our ranch and a piece of Eastern Dead Finish, a dense Australian hardwood. That square was certified accurate to 0.12 microns - so it is extremely close!

The other photos illustrate the work required to prep tough stock by hand. I love using my handsaws to break the rough lumber down. In the picture of the hand plane on the board, I am squaring up the edge of the board with the face of the board. All of the saws and hand planes shown in the photographs are late 19th century or early 20th century items.

I will now let the wood sit for a week or so to acclimate before going to the next stage. I will re-check it is all perfectly square and make any necessary adjustments before proceeding.

Jason Thigpen






























The following sequence of photographs show how Jake restored the rear support bracket on the underside of the bonnet. As well as acting as a stiffener for the rear edge of the bonnet, this panel serves as the mounting panel for the bonnet hinges. Originally the hinges were simply bolted to this singe sheet of aluminum, which flexed every time the bonnet was opened. This led to deformation and cracking. Having repaired the damage, Jake reinforced the (hidden) underside of the panel with a second layer of aluminum, which he bonded in place using 3M Panel Bonding Adhesive. The result is a much stronger panel that will be far less prone to flexing, while still looking identical to the original panel.



Support brackets removed from the underside
of the bonnet
The 3 vertically aligned holes are for the
bonnet hinges










The main panel needed significant repairs











Note cracks at the top edge of the panel
where the hinges had caused flexing












Welding up the various cracks











Plugging the holes left after all the spot
welds were drilled out











After metal finishing, the old spot weld
holes are invisible










Reshaping the holes in the rear panel with
a dimple die
The holes all look new once more










Fabricating reinforcement panels for the
backside of the hinge mounting points
Trial fitting reinforcement plates










Plates bonded in place with 3M Panel
Bonding Adhesive
Close-up of the reinforcement panels


Repairing and restoring the forward sections of the aluminum front wing support brackets.





Both forward sections of the alloy front wing support
brackets are in need of repair
Note cracks in panel










Separating the forward panel











Making a card template for section to be replaced
Preparing to weld up cracks






















Clamping repair panel in place












Panel is TIG welded in position










After metal finishing, the TIG weld bead is
invisible
Plotting the required position of the new hole










New hole cut and beveled precisely as the
original had been












Leading edge of second bracket will also be repaired






















Repair panel welded in place on second panel
The patched panel after metal finishing











Trial fitting the bonnet in conjunction with the
repaired wing support brackets










Left forward section clamped in position but not
yet welded permanently in place



Repairing the rear bulkhead and battery box surrounding panels..
















































































































































































































































































The following sequence of photos show the restoration of the front bulkhead and firewall. The last few images offer a fascinating and rarely seen view of the alloy front fender support brackets in place, without the front wings.






























































































































































































































Jake's first task it to restore the steel firewall, which has picked up a lot of unwanted piercings over the years. Any hole not cut at the factory will be welded up and metal finished. When the cars were first built, the factory technicians did not bother priming between any steel panels they welded together. For that reason, we will remove all the various firewall brackets and braces, clean the mating surfaces back to bare metal before applying weld thru primer to all weld zones, prior to reinstalling the brackets and panels. The last two photos in the following sequence illustrate the value of this additional effort.




Lots of extra screw and drill holes in the firewall
Under dash support braces will be removed











Bonnet hinge mounting plinths will be removed











Jake welding up unwanted holes in the firewall










Innocent looking support bracket..
...is actually rusting away from within


With the chassis and bulkheads back from the blaster, I am pleased to report that everything looks to be in exceptional shape.




Front and rear bulkheads are both very solid
with only minor issues to remedy
Chassis is 100% rust free and totally straight











Chassis sealed in Spies Hecker 4500 Epoxy Primer























Rear section laid in place over the chassis










A couple of minor rust issues in rear blukhead























Battery boxes in great shape











A second hole for an aftermarket twin exhaust
torched in the RH side of the cross-member
The hole will be patched










Chassis is in wonderful structural condition























An alloy 120 in kit form



One of the largest project updates I have ever done! The following photos show the dismantling of the body and the tear down of the chassis.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Having separated the rear cowl panel from the wooden support structure, we identified a little more rot than we were expecting to find in the wooden beams that lie beneath the alloy skins. Thankfully, our friend Jason Thigpen (Texas Heritage Woodworks) has agreed to tackle the wood restoration/replacement for us. Jason assures us that the project is nothing more than routine to him...





Some of the factory construction on these early
120s is pretty basic























Time to set aside the chassis and focus on the body
(Oscar gets to drive)










Lower right front impact damage has left the RH
wing sitting a little lower than the left
























Rear cowl panel removed from the body






















Rear steel subframe will be cleaned back to
bare metal
























Note damaged wood, particularly at the extremities
of the frame work














































Note how corners of the alloy skin were folded
over and tacked in place



































Wooden frame separated from the rear cowl panel











Interesting that the underside of the body panels
got nothing more than a dusting of oxide primer
Parts of the aluminum skin will have to be replaced























The frame is laminated and bent to the shape of
the corresponding body panel















































Our friend Jason Thigpen will be assisting us with
the restoration of the wooden frame



Time to get the body restoration underway!
















Rear cowl panel will be removed and wooden
frame beneath restored































































We have been working closely with Eric Suffolk to make sure that your new interior will precisely replicate the original trim in terms of color, texture and fit. There were several differences in the way the alloy cars were trimmed versus the (later) steel bodied production cars. Eric has been careful to capture all of those subtle differences and the resulting kit is a very special piece of work. Eric Suffolk is a true master of his trade and we are privileged to work so closely with him.




Great care was taken in the selection of the hides
used for this particular project
Alloy 120 door pockets differ from later
production steel bodied cars










Note full grain texture of tan hide











New side screens made in black mohair
Convertible top will also be fabricated from
original specification black mohair


Stripping paint continued...

















Main body is in exceptional condition











Fair amount of bondo found beneath both
headlamp pods











Firewall was originally left in red oxide primer
by the factory











Removing filler from beneath the headlamps
revealed only very minor damage












This is the worst damage on the entire body











Doors, bonnet and boot lid next to be stripped










Alloy skin was installed with countersunk screws
at the factory


Earlier today we moved the 120 outside to the parking lot to begin the process of stripping the paint. The 'aircraft stripper' we use to remove paint from alloy bodied cars is nasty stuff that should be used in a well ventilated environment, hence the move outdoors. The top surface of the old paint is first sanded to allow the aircraft stripper to be absorbed and do its work through all the various layers of paint and primer. Interestingly, it appears this car has only ever had one repaint, as we are only finding the factory black paint beneath the current dark green.
































Tear down continued..




Engine and transmission now removed



































Chassis is in very solid condition


































Note wiring harness routed through steel conduit












Insulation between top surface of chassis and
floor boards























Removing the gas tank











More of the alloy structure exposed


I am delighted to report that we now have this very special restoration underway.




























































































































































































































































































We managed to track down a rare Tecalemit Plastigun (grease gun) for the tool kit we are putting together for your alloy 120.





This type of grease gun was used in the
alloy 120 tool kit
Gun is in fantastic original condition


Inventory of parts that we received with the car.












































I am pleased to report that your alloy bodied XK120 arrived safely in the CJ workshops yesterday afternoon and we will have the restoration underway in the next few days.



 
 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 Interior was originally two tone tan and biscuit
 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 Chassis is generally straight and sound

 
 
 
 

 

 
 Boot floor and under panels generally are in
great shape
Rear section of chassis is also in excellent condition 

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