Tackling the 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 seriously 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 V12 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 complex than the earlier six cylinder E-Types but it is still a relatively easy car to work on.  At times, unlike a six cylinder car, you just have to be prepared to remove lots more bits to get to what you actually want to work on.

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

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, zinc 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 for many years to come. 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!


The subframes were unbolted from the firewall and 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 more than thirty years on the road there was no sign of any wear, fatigue, cracks or damage.  All the sections were unbolted, cleaned, sandblasted, etch primed and repainted in two pack gloss 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.


The firewall area was showing its age and the paint work had all the signs of neglect and the effects of heat, oil and a hard life.  Once everything was stripped off I found some minor rust that required attention, including rust in some surprising places that I had not expected.  A thorough inspection is required to make sure all suspect rust spots are located.  A new "Toe" panel was welded into the right hand side and a number of small rust repair panels were fabricated and welded in place. The entire firewall area was then prepared and 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 heater core was completely blocked and rusty water oozed out of it.  The heater housing top and bottom plates were rusted through as was the internal control flap.  A new heater was very expensive so the solution was to rebuild the housing using fabricated replacement sections. The copper heater core had the top and bottom tanks removed and the core pressure cleaned.  All heater components were media blasted, painted in two-pack black and reassembled using a new heater control valve.  The finished heater came up a treat, looks like new and operates like a new item. See the engine bay photos for details.

Finishing touches

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.  It was just not possible to reinstall any old parts in their original condition as they would have ruined the overall impression of a new vehicle.  The finished product was an engine bay that looked like new and just required the engine to complete it.