E Type roadster
Report date - January 13, 2004
Steve tells me his 73 roadster is on its way to Berlin, Germany.
Report date - December 15, 2003
- British racing green with tan interior
- Hardtop included (black)
- Completely rust free E Type - ask the experts at Classic Jaguar!
- Low recorded mileage 34,700 - possibly original, although cannot be verified
- One (original) owner prior to my acquisition in May 2003
- Original interior is excellent with nice patina
- Strong running V12, compression tested at or about factory specs
- Fuel/exhaust diagnostics at or better than factory specs
- Automatic transmission
- Paint quality is only about a 6 out of 10
- Presentable, but old and showing a number of minor dings and scratches
- Recent mechanical work includes:
- Rebuilt IRS, with new shocks, splined hubs, bearings and bushings
- Rebuilt differential and rear calipers
- AC serviced and working very well
- Water pump replaced
- New Wilwood calipers on front
- New cross-drilled and slotted rotors all round
- New brake master cylinder
- Rebuilt brake booster
- Major carb overhaul, all four carbs completely rebuilt by Classic Jaguar
- New Crane ignition system, including rebuilt distributor
- New plugs and wires
- New rear transmission mount and muffler mounts
- Factory original wire wheels installed
- New Pirelli P4000 Z rates tires installed
- New dash pad installed
- New Radio/CD/MP3 player installed
Most of the above mentioned mechanical work was completed by me with the assistance of Classic Jaguar technicians. Original owners manual and other documents included. A number of original spare parts also included.
Selling due to second kid arriving! She is an excellent cruising E Type and will be missed!
For further information please contact Steve Cline at (512) 294 4742
IRS rebuild (9/3/03)
Several intermingled issues made me decide to rebuild the IRS.
1. Upon initial inspection of the car, the rear rotors appeared to be completely worn and rusted. (Although a concern, it was deemed an optional/needed repair for the future.)
2. The brakes started acting up, and I felt it might be related to the above.
3. New Koni shocks came in the trunk of the car.
4. Almost mint condition wire wheels came available...and Dan said I had to have 'em!
5. Dan agreed to let me help the CJ mechanics to keep my labor cost down.
Since we were going to remove the IRS module, we might as well do a proper rebuild. I say rebuild instead of restoration because the end product is not meant to be show quality like the CJ craftsmen produce. New Bronze bushing set, u-joins, seals, brake rebuild kits, stainless pistons, splined hubs, etc, etc were all ordered.
From the pictures, you can see the state of the IRS. It looked pretty bad! We started disassembling, and I basically cleaned and restored all of the parts for the better part of a day. This included stripping lots of grease and grime in the parts washer at the cleaning station, using solvent that started eating my skin...but that's another story. I bead blasted other parts. All the while Dan kept walking through the shop, giving words of encouragement, and honestly I think he was a bit surprised at how nice it was looking. Once the cage was cleaned, we found, what appears to be, a factory chalk marking on the top indicating "12". In reference to the V12 car, I presume.
The first day ended with the differential serviced, and one half shaft rebuilt. The second day started with the second half shaft, Ray inserting the U-joints, and me cleaning the rear calipers. We then rebuilt the rear calipers, and started the reassembly of the IRS. Everything went smoothly until the shock assembly started. Remember, they came new in the trunk of the car.
Once we completed rebuilding the IRS, I thought it looked great. I was very happy. By the end of the second day we had reinstalled the IRS into the car. And this is where I was glad I did not tackle the job myself. Re-installing that thing was very difficult. It took three of us pushing, pulling, aligning, and lifting to get it mounted. Ray completed the hook up of the brake lines and the drive shaft. Meanwhile, I ran my new "old" wire wheels up to the tire shop with
my old steel wheels and a set of new Pirelli P4000's to be swapped out. I got back just in time to lower the car's rear back to earth sporting new "old" wires and a very handsome looking rear end.
Unfortunately, I now had a car with four wire wheels, two mounted to the rear, and two....well let's just say I could not figure out how to get the front 5 bolt pattern to fit through the spokes. Translation, time to change the front hubs to splined hubs. Second day ended with disassembly of the front hubs.
I returned from the labor day holiday to find all of the tires flat. You guessed it, the <expletive deleted> guys at the tire shop neglected to put tubes in the tires. One more trip to the tire shop.
We assembled the hubs and inserted the bearings then installed the new cross drilled and slotted rotors. All went well until we started work on the front calipers. We had ordered the rebuild kit and had new pads, but once we found the pistons corroded and pitted, I had to make a judgment call about expenses. It seems that by the time you buy the rebuild kit, pads, and pistons, and then tack on the labor for reconditioning, you are not that far from new Wilwoods. Literally, it was only about $100 extra to upgrade to the Wilwoods. They are now installed.
The "to do" list for the next couple of days is getting pretty short.
1. Finish hooking up and bleeding the brakes.
2. Small oil leak needs to be addressed at the pressure sending unit.
3. Transmission rear mount needs repair
4. Examine a small coolant leak...cross your fingers, I hope it's a hose!
Bleeding the brakes and trying to get them sorted led to the conclusion that the Master Cylinder needed replacement. Dan had one, and so we replaced it. We will most likely follow this with a booster rebuild as well. The oil leak was actually coming from the oil light sending unit. Replaced. Transmission rear mount replaced after a bit of tugging, pulling and groaning by me. Small coolant leak was the draining petcock, replaced with a bolt...for now. All of my small problems resolved, and I am happy to report that the top of the engine is dry! And, there are no major leaks of any other fluids!
We also ended up replacing the dash top, as it had some minor blemishes. Honestly, if you could see how much effort it takes to complete the replacement of the dash top, you'd understand why it costs so much. I was amazed, even with an extra set of hands helping to hold the pad as the glue dried, how much effort and customization it took to get the dash fitted just right. (It does not help that these guys are perfectionists either!)
All-in-all I have had a lot of fun working on this old E-type, bringing her up to snuff. Unfortunately dark clouds are looming. Second baby is on the way, and the wife is not to pleased with the time I spend with the car. You could see a "for sale" sign on this one soon!
Report date - July 16, 2003
I decided to have the air conditioning evaluated for repair. Since Dan's shop time is limited, we decided to use an external mechanic that has a lot of experience with A/C work, and is trusted by Dan.
An initial examination of the system showed it was still holding a charge! We could easily see no belt connected to the compressor, so first order of business was to straighten out the belts. And since the A/C belt is the innermost, all new belts were ordered. Alas, as Lloyd was fitting the belts a small issue arose...the water pump.
It was easy to see that the bearings were all but gone, and the pulley and shaft were easily "wobbled" about. So let's get the new water pump installed. Once completed, Lloyd could examine the A/C system with the compressor running. A check of the clutch for correct operation and we are done. Literally, the missing belt was the only issue with the A/C! So I got lucky on the A/C repair bill, not quite so lucky considering the new water pump.
Drove the car home with the hardtop on, since I have A/C now. I am still having a problem with supply/float valve sticking open on the driver side rear carb. This time, I decide to tackle the repair of the carb myself. (Mostly to save the cost of towing the Jag back to Dan's shop!) Dan graciously offered the help of one of his mechanics by phone for advising me on the repair. Simple operation for his guys...a bit more cumbersome for me.
Sam was the chosen victim...uhhmmmm...volunteer to help Steve out. Poor Sam. Three phone 20 minute phone calls and three hours later, I had successfully removed the carb, cleaned out the valve and reinstalled the carb. Twice. Don't ask. Since I did adjust the float level slightly, the car needs to return to the shop for a little carb tuning, but it will now easily make it under its own power.
Being cocky about my abilities as a mechanic, I decide to take the car on a couple of short trips. 80 and 60 miles roundtrip respectively. I am happy to say that the car performed amazingly well. In central Texas temperatures easily reach the upper nineties and more. Both of the these trips started with the temperature approaching triple digits yet NEVER did the temp go above the "L" in normal on the gauge, and I did use the A/C!
When we first received the car, through shipping, the exhaust system was slightly damaged. The coupling gaskets from the exhaust manifold to the pipe was misaligned and was allowing a slight exhaust leak. So I had that repaired by one of the local exhaust guys. $16.50 later...fixed.
I can not explain why, but ever since that last repair, the car is running better than ever. I know something so trivial should not have such an impact, but the engine is idling smoother, the power is excellent. It is driving like a proper powerful sports car. I am having difficulty restraining myself from romps up and down the local streets!
The "to do" list is much shorter now:
1. Need to replace the rear transmission rubber mount
2. Need to replace the gasket in the wiper fluid pump (or replace pump)
Anyone know what that gasket material is? Can I make a new gasket?
3. I had a great leather repair done on one of the seats (minor tear) and have been using an excellent treatment which has brought
the original hides back to life. More on that in my next report.
Report date - June 26, 2003
An update is in order....
I decided to leave the car at Classic Jaguar for a while to work through some of the many issues resulting from decades of very limited use. The good news is that the car is a low mileage, one owner car. The bad news is (as Dan keeps telling me) that the cars like to be driven and don't respond well to extended periods of storage. As noted in the previous update, Dan suggested a carb rebuild and an attempt to salvage the luminition ignition module. In the end we decided to install one of the CJ Crane ignition kits with a new coil, rebuilt distributor and new plugs and plug wires, etc. At John Claydon's insistance, we also took the air pump and various gulp valves out of the loop. Such things are not popular at CJ!
So, along with a set of new tires (Pirelli P4000 ZR 205/70) and repairing some damage to the exhaust system (caused during transportation from Florida), the CJ mechanics undertook a complete carb rebuild and completely overhauled the ignition system.
During the work, it was evident that the previous owner had been chasing ignition issues in the past, so I was quite relieved to be giving the ignition system a thorough overhaul.
After more tuning, checking, troubleshooting, etc, we adjusted the timing on the distributor (slightly) and the car ran great. As we were changing all the plugs anyway, we decided to do a compression test and were delighted to find consistent readings across the board (about 125 psi per cylinder). It was time for me to drive the car for the first time!!!!!
I took the car from CJ on Friday evening and I am happy to report that over the weekend I had a lot of fun driving the car and have yet to experience any problems.
Once I got the car home, you know I had to start fixing the little things....
1. Instrument cluster lights not operational...tracked to dirty connection to the switch. Sounds trivial, but try to track that down in the rats nest of wiring behind the dash! Incidentally, the car came with the original wiring diagram. Once I had consulted that, everything went smoothly. That diagram is awesome! Can't tell I'm an Electrical Engineer can you?
2. Brake lights not working...tracked to grimy oil filled pedal switch...cleaned and repaired.
3. Oil changed...23 pints = 11.5 Quarts for the V12!
4. Coolant changed ...43 pints needed. I admit I got to the point when measuring pints that I concluded mechanics have to be experienced bartenders in England!
I only have two outstanding mechanical issues. Washer fluid not working. Reversing lights not working.
The car still needs suspension bushings replaced (maybe not 'needs', but 30 year old rubber should be changed out..right?) and I am dying for new torsion bars and shocks to stiffen the front of the car! Oh yes, and wire wheels would be nice....All in good time.....
I am grateful to have a friend in Dan at CJ, and being located in Austin helps. Stopping by the shop to ask simple questions really helps. I will start conversing in the Team CJ Café soon as my E Type knowledge has grown to a respectable level!
Take care...and when in Austin, let's go for a ride in the E Type.
Post Script: The car sailed through its inspection and we are curently investigating what the problem is with the AC. Depending upon how involved the repairs would be, I may not be able to resist having the AC operational.
Report date - June 12, 2003
After a very short test drive it was obvious that the carbs were in urgent need of a service. Initially we were going to do a carb rebuild and install a Crane ignition system, but given that the car already has a Lumenition ignition in place, we have decided to see how things go following the carb rebuild. Other than the carbs, we will also change the oil, filters and plugs and install a new dash top.
Report date - May 29, 2003
I am delighted to introduce the latest addition to the Team CJ fleet. We bought this unusually unmolested roadster from its original owner just a few days ago. It is an automatic car (for the time being) with AC, chrome wheels (for the time being) and a factory hardtop.
The car will be driven primarily by our IT guru, Steve Cline. Look for frequent reports as Steve takes to the Texas roads in this great old E Type.