During early 2016 the garage that had been servicing my car for over 15 years informed me that as it was starting to go wrong and they were no longer prepared to look after it. I then started to get concerned as to whether or not the car would deteriorate any further and asked Doug Warren, Chair of the Club, if he knew of any club members that would be prepared to have a look at my car for me. Chris Skinner and his Brother-In-Law David Bisatt kindly came over to inspect it after work (on a dry night as it had to be taken out of the garage) as by now the overdrive and rev counter had stopped working and there was an oil leak between the gearbox and the engine and the clutch was going.. The car was also leaking petrol onto the floor when I tried to start it. The conclusion was that the overdrive unit needed to be re-built, the engine taken out to sort out the oil leak, probably a new fuel pump was required and a new rev counter transmitter fitted as all the wiring was ok.
I then contacted the Jag Shop in London in October 2016 to order the new part and discussed the issues with my car and sent them photos and links to the 6 national magazines that it had appeared in over the years. They then contacted me and invited me to bring my car down to them for an inspection and repair, reassuring me that they would contact me every fortnight during the works and update me as to cost and phased payments of the project and that it was up to me how far I went whilst they would advise me of any essential works that needed to be carried out. They also warned me that as they only do cars that they want to do that they were very busy and were currently working on the re-build of 3 ETypes which would take them into the New Year. The car spent the next 6 months in my heated garage under cover.
The Journey to London
On the 10th April 2017 I got the call from the Jag Shop inviting me to take my car in on the 18th April if it was a dry day ( they knew by now that I would never drive it in the rain) and work would commence on my car by a dedicated mechanic on the following Monday. At this point my feelings were a mixture of excitement that my car would be sorted at last, a year after my previous garage gave me notice, and trepidation as to what it was going to cost.
As the car was leaking petrol and it had not been started for 6 months I phoned the AA as I have home start and they came and fixed the petrol leak which was a stuck carburettor float but I was still nervous in driving it to London because of the clutch.
Yes you guessed it although the car started on the button as she always has sadly she broke down on the way to London as the clutch went and once again I had to call on the AA but this time I asked Tina, my wife, who works for the UK Ford Customer Services Director to make contact with them on my behalf as I wanted a special modern low loader to avoid any damage to my car and within half an hour this one turned up which was great. The police had to stop the traffic whilst she was loaded onto the back!
During the build the owner of the Jag Shop told me that it was an absolute pleasure to work on as it was in such good condition with not a sign of rust on the underneath of the car to be seen and that it was completely solid ( well it hasn’t been out in the rain). He also said that he could not believe that for the last 20 years of my ownership that I had only had it serviced with only the regulator going wrong and that she was still running around on the original tyres (Michelin XVS-P 185/80 R15 H (93)) that I put on it the car in1997 and that they would still pass an MOT!! Having said that he also told me that the timing of the restoration could not have been better as the head gasket was starting to leak and the timing chain tensioner was at its full adjustment as the chain had expanded.
The re-build took 11 weeks in the end and Doug ran me down to London on the 30th June to pick her up. The works that were carried out were as follows:
Vehicle: Jaguar MK2 3.8 MOD
Registration Number: 5949 DD
Engine and transmission remove, strip, recondition and refit with all new cooling hoses and drive belts, filters, spark plugs, coolant and lubricant
Cylinder head removed, stripped, valve seats ground, 6 new exhaust valves fitted, tappets shimmed correctly and reassembled
Engine block stripped, cleaned and rebuilt with new timing chains, guides and dampers, big end and main bearings replaced (std), all piston rings replaced (.030”), thrust washers renewed
Crankshaft machined to carry modern rear oil seal
Overdrive removed from gearbox, fully reconditioned and refitted with new gaskets and seals
New 3-piece clutch kit, clutch slave cylinder and flexible hose fitted, flywheel skimmed and balanced
Carburettors stripped, cleaned, and reconditioned, new metering needles and gaskets
New exhaust manifolds, studs, nuts and sealing rings fitted
Front sub-frame remove, strip, recondition and refit
All 4 sub-frame metalastik mountings replaced
Upper and lower wishbone bushes, top and bottom ball-joints renewed, lower wishbone fulcrum pins replaced with new, sub frame cleaned and painted
Anti-roll bar bushes
Front wheel bearings, brake pistons, brake discs, friction pads, and brake-lines between callipers in ‘Kunifer’ have been renewed
Rear axle/suspension overhauled in vehicle
Rear wheel bearings, brake pistons, bleed screws, brake discs, friction pads fitted, parking-brake callipers overhauled and pads renewed
Panhard rod and both torque arms replaced with new
Differential pinion oil-seal and gasket replaced, half-shaft to hub keys renewed.
Don’t ask how much that little lot cost!!
The complete mechanical restoration can be seen by clicking on the link below:
The Password, which is case sensitive, is: PeterMKII (with 2 capitals I’s)
How Does She Drive Now
After an initial run and a re-visit to the Jag Shop for adjustments she runs like a dream and handles like a modern car with an extremely powerful engine which is a 3.8 litre straight six with a re-found 220 BHP and acceleration of 0 to 60 in 8.5 seconds. This combined with new discs, suspension, a re-furbished sub-frame and new authentic tyres (Dunlop 185/15 SP Sports) all round makes this a very safe car and a pleasure to drive.