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Restoring E-Type Jaguar engine bay

When I first looked at this E-Type I was aware that the engine bay was very original but showing signs of its thirty years on the road. No damaged or broken parts just lots of built up grime, surface rust, missing and faded paint and plating etc. Generally it was straight and original but required a complete dismantle and rebuild with everything receiving careful attention to detail. 

The E-Type Jaguar is very well engineered and the entire front of the car can be unbolted right back to the firewall.  Because of the V12 engine the series III is more Click to enlarge - Bonnet/coffee tablecomplex than the earlier six cylinder E-Types but it is still a relatively easy car to work on.

I purchased a small bead blasting cabinet and borrowed a high pressure water cleaner to help with all the cleaning, then the bonnet assembly was removed and stored in my  family room (nice coffee table) and then the rebuild began in earnest........


The firewall area was showing its age and the paint work had all the signs of neglect and the effects of heat, oil and hard work.  Once everything was stripped back I found some minor rust that required attention and then it was all repainted in two pack to provide an as new basis to rebuild the front of the car.  A photo record of the rebuild can be found on the firewall photo pages.


The subframes were in excellent condition except for the paint, which was scratched, faded and degraded by oil and grease.  The bolt-on subframe design is a credit to the original engineers as after thirty years on the road there was no sign of any wear, fatigue or damage.  All the sections were unbolted cleaned, sandblasted, etch primed and repainted in two pack paint. 

After the firewall was repainted the fresh new subframes were bolted back into place and the long and involved reassembly began.  See the subframe photo pages for details.

Front suspension

The complete front suspension, steering and brake assemblies were dismantled down to the last nut, bolt and small component. All parts were examined and any worn or damaged items were  replaced or rebuilt and everything thoroughly cleaned, media blasted, polished, zincClick to enlarge - Zinc plated components plated or painted.  Every last nut, bolt and bracket was carefully media blasted  and then finished on a wire wheel before being Zinc plated.  Careful preparation was very important because all components were barrel plated (Zinc) and any item that  was not completely clean was not properly finished. Some of the larger suspension parts were individually Zinc plated as they were too large for the barrel plating process.  Zinc  plating was inexpensive and made all components look like new.

The power steering rack & pump, brake calipers, power booster and master cylinder were all reconditioned and new disc rotors, stub axles and wheel bearings fitted.

The suspension, steering and brake components were clear coated with POR15 Glisten, a rock hard, crystal clear finish that seals, protects and adds a deep shine that will be easy to  clean in the future. The result was quite stunning and really made a show piece of the suspension, so much so that it seemed a shame to cover it all with the wheels!

Finishing touches

The heater assembly was completely blocked and the housing top and bottom plates rusted through.  A new heater was very expensive so the solution was to rebuild the housing by fabricating replacement sections and the copper heater core was stripped and pressure cleaned.  The components were media blasted, painted in two-pack black and reassembled using a new heater control valve.  The finished heater came up a treat and looks like new.

Detailed rebuilding, cleaning, polishing and painting was applied to the many other minor parts and fittings that completed the engine bay.  Nothing was left in its original condition as everything required attention and at times I thought it would never end.  The finished product was an engine bay that looked like new and just required the engine to complete it.


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