1959 XK150 DHC (BP)
Comprehensive mechanical rebuild


Specification (briefly) for this project is as follows:

Comprehensive mechanical rebuild with numerous Team CJ upgrades



Update report - May 21, 2008

The following photographs show how Harold machining your core plug holes as part of an upgrade to modern 'dished' freeze plugs. 3.4 and 3.8 XK blocks used the old fashioned 'saucer' style freeze plugs, which could be problematic at the best of times. In the case of this particular block, we can see clear evidence of past mechanics struggling to keep plugs in the block. We really had no option but to do the CJ core plug upgrade.

Freeze plugs have obviously been a 
longstanding problem with this block
Harold cutting holes for an upgrade
to modern, dished plugs
The hole in the back of the block is
also cut
Modern freeze plugs will be far more
secure than the old saucer style
Hole is machined for a .018" press


The following sequence of photos show Chris correcting a problem that exists because two of your cam caps are not original to your cylinder head. The number five cap (at the rear on the intake side) and number one cap (at the front on the exhaust side) have both been replaced at some point in the distant past. Whenever cam caps are swapped out in this way, all the caps must be resized and align honed. This was clearly not done in this case as the number five cap is .009" larger than its siblings along the intake saddle.

Fortunately, with the right equipment, this isn't a huge deal for us to put right - which of course we have now done for you.

#5 cap (in foreground) is not original
to your cylinder head
Align honing the caps on the
exhaust side of the head
#1 cap has also been replaced


The new seats have now all been cut.

5 angles valve job in progress
Measuring run-out at (less than .0002")
Re-surfacing the head
When we performed our baseline test of the intake, we measured a maximum of 180.7 cfm at .450" lift. When we added the intake manifold to the equation, the flow number dropped to 164.1 cfm. After polishing and porting the head and completing the valve job, the maximum flow (again at .450" lift) jumped to an impressive 217.1 cfm. We then installed the unmodified intake manifold to the head and the flow number dropped to 183.3 cfm. We then spent 3 hours cleaning up the intake manifold and repeated the test, improving the maximum flow (through manifold and head) to 199.4 cfm.

What does all this mean? In a nutshell, we increased flow across the intake runners by as much as 36.4 cfm and gained an extra 16.1 cfm by cleaning up and matching the intake manifold. These are outstanding numbers for a 3.5 liter cylinder head and manifold.

Rebuilding your carbs, wiper motor, etc., prepping the engine block for re-assembly.


 Your car had picked up an earlier vintage filter 
and oil pan over the years
We have upgraded you to a later style 
oil filter assembly 
New exhaust manifolds 
New fuel rail

Lots of progress in both the machine shop and the main CJ workshop...

Fuel rail has been butchered and will
have to be replaced
Carb rebuild underway
 Freeze plug holes have obviously been a
problem as they are out of round
Testing flow through intake manifold
Exhaust will be upgraded
Porting exhaust side of head
Steering column now rebuilt
Align hone in progress
Honing cylinders
Upgraded rear seal will be used
Making up new fuel lines
Block is surfaced with timing chain
cover bolted in place


Your differential and rear axle have now been rebuilt and we have had your cylinder head on the flow bench, establishing a base line before we do our port work.

Diff now converted to posi and
completely rebuilt
Almost ready to go back under the car
Establishing a base line on the flow bench
 We will measure the flow again, 
after porting

We have now rebuilt (and upgraded) your front and rear brakes, steering rack and front suspension, and have the rebuild of your engine and rear axle underway. We found all sorts of shrapnel inside the differential so we supplied you with an alternative unit (an E Type posi) that we are in the process of rebuilding. Your cylinder head has been pressure tested and is currently receiving attention in the machine shop.

Removing the rear axle
 Diff damaged beyond economical repair
Fragments of the old spider gear were
found inside your differential
 After blasting and cleaning, housing was
painted with Glyptal
 Steering rack rebuilt and upgraded with
later style tie rods, etc
Rear cylinders have been previously sleeved
in SS, although pistons had to be replaced
 Pressure testing your cylinder head (OK)
Head generally in good shape, although some 
jackets will require welding up and re-shaping
 Upgraded booster plumbed in up 
inside LH front wheel arch
Beautiful new aluminum radiator
This level of craftsmanship deserves
a proper close up!

Rebuilding and upgrading the front suspension and brakes.

Poly bushings used in front 
suspension rebuild
E Type uprights and hubs, sealed
lower balljoints
4 piston Wilwood brakes installed

I am pleased to report that we have the mechanical rebuild of your XK 150 well underway. I hope you enjoy following the project over the coming months!

Getting ready to pull the engine
Block is from a 3.4 Mk II
Head is not original to the car, either
First time I have seen this...
#6 cylinder obviously had a foreign object 
bouncing around on top of piston
Close up of damage to # 6 piston

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