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Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

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Old 03-03-2018, 04:32 PM   #21
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This has the makings of a fantastic thread, looking forward to seeing how it turns out.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:51 PM   #22
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My knowledge of E-Types is limited to two things: The coupe is probably the most beautiful car ever built and I want one so I look forward to being educated. Deja vu; couldn't believe my eyes when I finally caught up with this on the track at Knockhill and he wasn't hanging about. pic taken by wife so an extreme crop.

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:09 PM   #23
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I do like these a lot, childhood dream to own one. Now subscribed!
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:06 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Alan W View Post
Oh my ……………………. thank you Sir!

This has got the makings of a superb Thread.

Very much looking forward to the journey and here’s hoping it doesn’t spring you any nasty surprises along the way Peter.

Alan W

Thanks. It wouldn't be much half as much fun to read if there weren't the risk of some nasties lurking.

Rule number 1 of car restoration: there are always nasties!

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Old 04-03-2018, 08:10 PM   #25
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Strip down April/May 2017

In late April 2017, Steve took the E Type into his workshop.

The complete full nut and bolts strip down of the shell and the interior.

First, all fluids were drained off.

Then Steve's team had to tag and bag all the parts and components, and then ready the body for the shot blaster.

Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the parts after strip down. But if anybody has seen the parts catalogue for an E Type, they'll know how complex this job is. Here is a link to an E Type (not mine) in bits:

However, this is what the shell looked like - to be fair, anybody who has seen a stripped down shell for restoration has seen much, much rougher than this:

It took the team 62 man-hours to do this work, the equivalent of one person working full-time on nothing else but this for over a week and a half

Steve reported back to me that, following strip down, it was apparent that the car had had some work done on it in the past and had had maybe quite a hard life, but all round it looked to be kept well in places where others usually fail.

So far so good...except for one thing...

You will recall that a SBC V8 had been shoehorned into the engine bay designed for a straight six:

Well, this is the hack job on the engine frame which is structurally integral to the car:

Rather than lengthen this post unnecessarily, I'll devote the next post to the enormity of the problem here (and why the DVLA rules on substantial modification make sense even though they are a bit of a PITA for a restorer)

Then other snags started appearing:

I had applied to the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club (of which I am a member, despite owning neither a beard, nor a pipe, nor yet corduroys) for a Heritage Certificate for the car. I knew I could not provide either engine or gearbox number as they had been parted from the car, but I had the VIN.

The JEC asked me to provide the chassis number. This I could not do (a) because the original plate had been removed from the car (I believe by the authorities in Dubai and replaced by their own with only VIN number on it). "No matter," I thought, "the body number is stamped on various places around the shell. I'll get Steve to dig it up".

Blow me, it was nowhere to be found, which on the face of it was worrying. Did I have a cut and shut on my hands?

I consulted a JEC expert who immediately reassured me in two ways. Number 1 - the 2+2 simply wasn't worth faking (thanks a bundle!) and number 2, we'd have found another body number squirrelled away instead. He thought it much more likely that the numbers had been cut out in a rebuild following an accident or a rust removal exercise. We'd know more after the shot blasting...

It gets better.

Some time prior to the strip down, I had submitted the NOVA paperwork (and current MOT certificate) to the DVLA in the hope of getting a registration number. Rather unfortunately, DVLA replied, a day or two after strip down had started, to tell me that they wanted to inspect the entire car. After much to-ing and fro-ing, I agreed with DVLA that the inspection would happen after the rebuild. So the car would be inspected and not be put through on the nod, which meant that the monocoque absolutely had to be restored to spec. But now, of course, I'm paying money into a restoration on a car without an age related registration. OK, better dust down the regs on substantial modification and follow them to the letter. (All this before the later consultation on reforming the MOT and registration system...)

This picture doesn't really fully show the tin-opener approach to hacking the gearbox cover open but the really rough top cover which appears to have been beaten from a catering-sized baked bean can be made out. The full horror will be more apparent in the later post covering the media blasted body:

On the plus side, I had a heritage certificate against the VIN and a letter from JEC stating that this was a genuine Series 1 2+2...

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Old 04-03-2018, 08:25 PM   #26
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Love threads like these and this has the potential to be epic. Subscribed and eagerly waiting updates !
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:30 PM   #27
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This is fascinating. I love the episodic delivery.

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Old 04-03-2018, 08:34 PM   #28
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Wow, a lot of work and very interested how it's going, enjoying the updates
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Old 04-03-2018, 09:17 PM   #29
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Great thread, subscribed.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:24 PM   #30
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Engine frame

In my last post I highlighted the problem of the hacked-about engine frames and repairing them.

The Engine Frame

This is a picture of the engine frame:

Here is a picture of an E Type with engine frame attached (pilfered from Monocoque Metalworks BTW for acknowledgement):

And with the bonnet attached:

There are several components:

(a) the Bonnet Support Frame - does what it says on the tin
(b) the Picture Frame - joins the side frames and the bonnet support frame but also provides the mount for the radiator and other bits and pieces
(c) LH Engine Side Frame
(d) RH Engine Side Frame

Problems with the current frame

There are two related issues.

The first is simply that the engine frame is a core part of the structure of the E Type, bearing both the weight of engine and ancillaries (including a radiator full of water) and the weight of that enormous bonnet. The authorities would not look kindly on any subtraction from this component. By itself, an adulterated engine frame would probably lose the 5 points which an unaltered chassis/monocoque carries in the substantial modification test.

The second is essentially a vindication of the first. Any weakening of the integrity of this component is fundamentally to compromise safety (and, of course, with an uprated engine, I'm planning to push a lot more torque through the frame). Selfishly, there would be absolutely no point in restoring this car to have it fall apart on me, especially not at speed. But, even if I were prepared to take risks for myself, I could not in all conscience risk my passenger, other drivers or pedestrians, or even cyclists.

Why not repair?

The repair of E Type engine sub-frames is generally frowned upon by those with far greater engineering pedigree than me. Indeed, the original Jaguar service manual warns against repair of the engine frames, and replacement is recommended instead.

The frames were fabricated from a metal made by Reynolds that was popular in the Sixties for aeroplane, performance car, and bicycle construction, known as Reynolds 531. (Apart from Jaguar, Lotus brazed all its formula car chassis for a very long time, and I understand Caterham still uses it for the Super Seven.)

Jaguar's approach was to connect the various frame members using furnace brazing. While in normal welding, the adjoining metals are melted and fused together, with additional metal being added by the welding rod, in brazing, the abutting frame members are not heated to their full melting point, instead a brazing rod is used that melts at a high temperature but one that is lower than that of the metals to be joined.

While quality brazing rods have a significant amount of silver or brass in them, in furnace brazing, which suits low volume mass production, the frame members are assembled and held together in a jig. A bit of brazing rod is pre-placed at every joint location and the frames are placed in an oven and heated up to a temperature that allows the brazing material to melt and flow into all the joints. Once done, the oven is then cooled and the frame can be removed and be put to use.

The general consensus is that Jaguar warned against repairing the frames because it was concerned that the heat from the welding process could travel along the frame and melt the existing furnace brazed joints.

Another non-trivial issue is that additional heat of welding the milder steels, such as the Reynolds, will result in a phenomenon called hydrogen-embrittlement, owing to the higher temperatures needed for welding. Brazing uses brass-alloyed (usually silicon-bronze) filler material that has a lower melting point, thus side-stepping the embrittlement problem.


I had a quick conference with Steve and we determined that I'd be buying a replacement, of which more later. Steve will normally want to rise to the challenge of fixing or making something rather than buying in (it is, after all, what he lives to do!), but I could tell that he was extremely hesitant about recommending anything other than full-out replacement on such a critical item. (We had found pinholes in the frames as well, but restoring them was not even considered, given the overall weakening of the structure.)

After some research, I found that the near-universal view in the E Type restoration world was that the frame produced by a firm in Darlington called E Type Fabs was the one to get.

I contacted the main man - Uryk Dmyterko - and explained what I had in mind regarding the supercharged engine. His advice was that the plain vanilla replacement would be more than adequate to the task. I, however, plumped for over-engineering and ordered the E Spec Plus upgraded frame - And a thing of beauty it is, too!

On a side note - one of the great things on this little adventure has been coming across people in small businesses dedicated to doing the best job they can with a real passion. I'll mention more as we go along, but it sure beats dealing with the parts counter at Mercedes Colindale

Next up: June and July 2017 - Blasting and Assessing

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