Rebuild 71 Jag

jaguar
xk

#1

I am about to hand my 71 Jag to a restoration shop. I have “investigated” a number of candidates but would like to know any does/don’ts or cautionary helpful hints.


#2

What model, engine and what work will be required during this restoration ?

Jaguars can be prohibitively expensive to restore, the final cost will of course depend on the present condition of the car but if this is a series 1 Xj6 / 12 the restoration cost will far exceed the value of the completed car.

There are specific do’ & don’t for each model, if you can provide further details of the vehicle and work I’ll advise accordingly.


#3

You can buy a jag of this vintage in nice condition for a FRACTION of the cost of having a professional restore yours…The worst part is, when you are all done, it’s still a '71 Jag…


#4

Sparky, you need to tell us exactly which Jaguar you have, and what kind of shape it’s in. For '71s, only E types would be worth any kind of restoration, and only convertibles, really.


#5

I would contact Peter Egan from Road and Track . . . he just did one of about that year and detailed the rebuild in his articles. Rocketman


#6

First, thank you for your response. I am a complete novice and don’t have the time and equipment to do the work myself, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a 71 Jag - XKE - 6 cylinder. Engine was blowing some oil before I started my dismantling began and I wisely determined I would be in over my head. I want the car brought up to a road worthy level - not a show car. All three rebuild candidates I “interviewed” suggested a larger radiator and a new, lighter fly wheel.


#7

First, thank you for your response. I am a complete novice and don’t have the time and equipment to do the work myself, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a 71 Jag - XKE - 6 cylinder. Engine was blowing some oil before I started my dismantling began and I wisely determined I would be in over my head. I want the car brought up to a road worthy level - not a show car. All three rebuild candidates I “interviewed” suggested a larger radiator and a new, lighter fly wheel


#8

First, thank you for your response. I am a complete novice and don’t have the time and equipment to do the work myself, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a 71 Jag - XKE - 6 cylinder. Engine was blowing some oil before I started my dismantling began and I wisely determined I would be in over my head. I want the car brought up to a road worthy level - not a show car. All three rebuild candidates I “interviewed” suggested a larger radiator and a new, lighter fly wheel


#9

First, thank you for your response. I am a complete novice and don’t have the time and equipment to do the work myself, so any and all advice is appreciated. I have a 71 Jag - XKE - 6 cylinder. Engine was blowing some oil before I started my dismantling began and I wisely determined I would be in over my head. I want the car brought up to a road worthy level - not a show car. All three rebuild candidates I “interviewed” suggested a larger radiator and a new, lighter fly wheel. I am researching the Road and Track info.


#10

Good, it’s an E type. Is it a convertible? As to the engine, once its oil problem is corrected it should be the single best part of the car. Usually it’s the electrics that cause most of the problems. You might sign up at a Jaguar forum, there are many folks devoted to these cars, you’ll get lots of specific useful advice from them. Aside from the engine, how is the rest of the car? You need to have a clear plan on what exactly has to be fixed to get it to ‘road worthy’ condition. You’d hate to spend $X on the engine, only to find out the other problems require $4X more…you might pay each of the 3 candidate garages some reasonable $$ to give you a full estimate of what will be needed to get you on the road.


#11

Why do you need a new radiator ? Is the engine overheating ?

And why a new flywheel ? Clutch judder ?

As for the problems we know exist. Let’s start with the engine.

The 4.2 XKE block is a long bolt block, I’ll get to a cautionary note on that later but I’ll address the oil burning problems first. That XKE block has a single sprung oil control ring, that ring even when not worn isn’t really up to the micron penetration capabilities of modern engine oils, you might want to change to a 10/40 oil to combat this. XKE cylinder heads also lack valve guide oil seals, new guides can be fitted with a ridge that caters for oil seals but of course this will require cylinder head removal.

XKE engines themselves are generally very robust, timing chains run to about 80,000 miles before making their presence known but with regular maintenance those engines will easily run to 120,000 before major engine work is required.

There are a few cautionary’s :

Never run an XKE short of oil. Semi synthetic oils are okay but never use fully synthetic oil in an XKE block for the reasons outlined earlier.

Likewise, never overheat an XKE engine, early engines suffered from overheating due to the cylinder head internal casting design, provided your engine is of 71 vintage, this problem will be fixed.

Never omit corrosion inhibitor from an XKE’s coolant. Those long bolts I mention earlier (actually studs) run though the water jacket and screw into the bottom of the engine block, failure to use corrosion inhibitor will results in corroded studs, these will snap when you try to remove the cylinder head retaining nuts - replacing snapped studs is a very expensive nightmare.

If during your restoration you have to machine your engine due to wear, keep all machining to a minimum. XKE engine blocks are becoming rare, therefore any machining should be only to the next available oversize - this will provide you with some wiggle room if a problem occurs in future. VERY IMPORTANT - Have a knowledgeable XKE engine guy / girl check that engine thoroughly BEFORE you invest any money in it, XKEs are incredibly unforgiving under rebuild, the 4.2 block is sleeved, if you need new piston rings then get the bores magnafluxed before starting any such major work.

Timing chains will start rattling long before they need replacement, the guide slippers wear out and the chain will rattle against them. Replacement is ideally a head / oil pan off job. You can cheat but inevitably you will have some undesirable minor oil leaks when you’re finished.

Other than that, XKE engines are sound. The 71 E’Type has much improved cooling air flow and doesn’t need a larger radiator unless you are planning any competition work. The lighter flywheel may provide some benefit depending on the type of driving you do but will reduce low rev torque and driveability. E’ Type’s that have been pushed hard by bad drivers do have a tendency to crack or laminate their flywheels, but if yours isn’t slipping or juddering I’d leave it alone and focus on more pressing problems.


#12

Mechanical systems are the least expensive to repair or replace. It gets worse if you plan any body work, frame work, or interior work. You need to go over the car with each of the restorers, see what they have in mind, and what the anticipated cost is. You should check the interior and exterior completely, including on a lift. Don’t forget the boot and engine compartment. There could be hidden rust there. And ask for references. They don’t necessarily have to be Jaguar references, but it doesn’t hurt. Also find out why each one is uniquely capable of restoring your car. A fully restored XKE 4.2L could be worth over $50,000. But it will cost a lot to get it to that point. Just make sure you understand exactly what you are getting yourself into before you start. There can be surprises; make sure you minimize them.