Jaguar XKE Engine Overhaul

4.2 Liter XKE

Overhauled Jaguar XKE Engine

Its been years since we have overhauled a Jaguar engine and are pleasantly surprised at how many high quality parts are available for reasonable prices with instant availability. We have been struggling to get parts for Ferrari engines over the years, each piston set has to be custom made which takes 10 weeks, hardware isn’t available, what a pain to keep the motivation. The only thing that takes time on the Jaguar engine is scheduling time with a machine shop to hone the block, perform a valve job, and grind the crankshaft.

The shop that sold us the parts had Mahle Pistons sitting on the shelf and kits to replace all of the hardware, core plugs, sealing washers, lock tabs and timing chain guides and sprockets. We were all blown away at how little clearance needed for these Mahle pistons to fit into the block, only .02″!

Of course there is the labor at our shop, first removing the engine and breaking it down which makes a huge mess, then cleaning all of the parts in our awesome new hot water dunk tank. With Ferrari engines, we have to drill out (destroy) the crankshaft plugs in order to clean the passages but on the Jag, the plugs are re-usable. Plus the passages are huge and easy to clean, have a look at all the metallic sludge built up in there. We also removed the engine block core plugs and got the huge amount of rusty crud out of there.

The engine is almost finished now, probably by the end of next week it will be finished up and ready to test run. I’m excited to hear it run again.

Plugs in Jaguar Crank

Crankshaft full of Sludge

Block for Jaguar

XKE 4.2 Engine block



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1 Comment »

  1. Robert Lamanna said,

    December 28, 2014 @ 5:31 pm


    My name is Robert lamanna,

    Maybe you can help me,

    I am putting together a 1967 Series I XKE, non matching numbers car.

    I have found a used 1966 4.2, standard bore, 9:1 compression engine, that was said to be running ok, when it was stored years ago.

    Since the bores are very nice, I can re size to .010 or .020 oversize.

    I stripped down the engine to bare block, and found fine cracks, between cylinders 1 and 2, and between 5 and 6.

    Please see attached photo above of the worst crack.

    My question is, can I simply just deck the top of the block, and mill the head and put this together with new head studs ( short stud block ), and rely on the top of the liners to do the sealing.

    I intend to improve the cooling by using a ” New” larger capacity aluminum radiator, along with drilling two small holes in the thermostat, to reduce the temperature ” Shock” , when the thermostat opens. ( slightly longer warm up time ).

    Some other suggestion I have herd is coating the inside of the cooling chambers with some type of ‘ epoxy” , do you know of any such epoxy?

    I have heard of replacing the liners, with ” top hat ” liners, that would increase the sealing area, would that be enough?

    Also I can stich the cracks with small drilled and tapped holes, that are over lapped each other, but if this is done , what material, should be used on the fill screws, I have heard of people using brass, cast iron, which is hard to find, and even nickel, please advise your though on this process, in this very narrow area.

    Any information on any or all of the above would greatly be appreciated,

    Best regards to you and yours,


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