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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Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Engine is Finished

Assembling a 250 engine

Ferrari 250 engine Assembly

Ferrari engine, 250 completed

Test run and complete

 

The Lusso engine is finished and running well. Nate did a nice job detailing it and once we take it off the stand we’ll do some more work to make it look super sharp. Mickey refinished the fuel rail that was mixed in with a huge order of 330 GTC and Maserati Ghibli parts and forgotten about for months but its all together now, making steam

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Overhauled Porsche 911 Engine

A very good customer showed up last fall with one of my favorite cars, an early Porsche 911 Coupe. While the car did run and propel itself down the road, it needed lots of mechanical attention to remedy oil leaks, weak compression on a few cylinders and a huge list of other things. We decided that in order to enjoy the car in the future, we needed to go through the engine, transmission, brakes, clutch and other less dramatic things such as the heat and vent controls and … windshield wiper blades!

Here is a video of the engine running on the test stand to check for leaks and the adjustment of the ignition system and carburetors. This engine has German made Solex/Zenith carburetors, an Italian produced Magnetti Marelli distributor in combination with a French S.E.V Marchal Alternator.

Early Porsche 911 Engine Test After Overhaul

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Laycock DeNormanville Overdrive Unit

We used to send these Overdrive Units off to a specialist to be rebuilt but something always went wrong on the first test drive. Come to think of it, sometimes they were leaking so badly that we had to take them apart and re-seal them before knuckle busting installation into the chassis.  Considering all the time to properly package the part, the cost to ship the 40lb crate as well as the weeks it takes to get it back, Nate decided to overhaul this Austin Healey 3000 Laycock deNormanville unit on his own. All the parts are available so once they arrive, he’ll slam it back together and test it by spinning it up on the lathe so he can be confident things are right before the installation.

Moss Gearbox

Moss Gearbox

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

Overdrive Repair and rebuild

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Ferrari 250 Engine Finished and Tested

Casey just finished assembling this engine after all kinds of people blessed it to make sure everything is in the required specification. The reason it came apart is because the valve guides were loose in the heads and allowing oil to flow right into the exhaust and eventually fouling out the spark plug. When we disassembled the engine we found that the cylinders were polished to a very high level of shine and couldn’t imagine that the piston rings would ever seat. In conversations with Hastings Piston Ring Company it was learned that the cylinders needed to be honed to a coarse 280 grit rather than the ultra smooth mirror polish. Since the engine was apart, we decided to have a specialist cut the rear “slinger” off the back of the crankshaft so we could install a conventional lip seal to prevent oil leaks.

The engine is running great and just today we took the car out for a drive in the Arctic Cold air where it performed perfectly.

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Porsche 911 Engine Finished, Other Photos Too

Here are some photos for Derek who seems to get very turned on by Ferrari engine photos, mostly the “basamento” which translates to “base” and in this context it stands for Engine Block.

Testa Normal

Testa Normal

Bassimento 250 GT Ferrari

Bassimento 250 GT Ferrari

Early Porsche 911 overhaul

Here is a early Porsche 911 Engine that Casey has finished and will hopefully be running later this week.

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A GTC

GTC for Sale 330

GTC for Sale 330

Here is a Super nice 330 GTC that a customer of ours is interested in selling. We’ve gone through all of the mechanical components within the last two years such as the engine, transmission and numerous other details. This car is outstanding and is ready to light ‘em up for 2012!

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I just don’t get it

This is a subject that I write about frequently because I just don’t understand why Ferrari Transmissions are bigger than the engine in front of it. We just had a transmission out of a 1955 Ford Pickup that was the size of a shoe box and a 5 speed ZF transmission out of a Maserati is tiny compared to the 5 speed out of this 330 GT 2+2. If I seem frustrated it’s because getting this Parthenon out of the car is a job that only Zeus can handle.

This transmission works well but the synchronizers are worn to to point of having a chrome plated polished look instead of the required rough cast finish but all the bearings and gears are perfect. We used to replace the operating sleeves on these transmissions but they take so long to “wear in” that I feel they are doing more damage than good especially considering how well they shift with the original parts re-installed.

5-speed 330 Transmisison

5-speed 330 Transmisison

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Runs Geat, Needs Everything

Head gasket and oil leaks

Head gasket and oil leaks

Since the late 80′s or early 90′s we have been servicing the car that goes with this engine and it has always been one of the best running examples we know of. I remember riding in the truck with my father to get the car on a cold and foggy night, probably around this time of the year, no, it had to have been early November. It was a brutal trip through that pea soup thick fog as we went over some of the mountains in the Berkshires on route 22.

The current owner of the car drives the wheels off of it and we have overhauled a number of components like the brakes, transmission, and fuel pump but now it’s time to address the engine. It runs great, starts instantly and doesn’t smoke but there are so many oil leaks that we have to break it down to clean it off in order to remedy them. We were blown away because as well as it ran, the compression and leak down numbers were bad displaying 30% loss in some cylinders where there should be no more than 5-10%.

So, apart it goes – it’ll run through our “process” that includes getting the rear main bearing cap cut and grind the crankshaft for a conventional lip seal, new forged pistons and a needle bearing roller follower set among thousands of other things. The motor mounts are blown out and the water pipes will likely have holes in them and will need to be replaced so we will be busy this winter getting all these 250′s back together for the spring.

As much as I hate to mention it for superstitious reasons, we’ve had great success with Ferrari engine overhauls over the last half a dozen years. A few times a week other shops call me asking how to get head gaskets to seal and how to make water pumps turn without leaking or how to make mechanical fuel pumps to work as intended. Their shops are struggling to find the exact formula, and we seem to have it locked down lately. Nate has assembled so many of these engines, he seems to have a real formula on setting the clearances, knowing the tricks to seal them up and making sure every detail is nailed down too.

Clutch housing on 250 engine

Clutch housing on 250 engine

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Bench Testing a Brake Master Cylinder

We often pick on people who say “all you gotta do is”, because there’s no such thing as “all you gotta do is”…. Anyone who says “all you gotta do is” either has never done it before or is trying to beat you up on an estimate. AKA, a looser

Most of the cars we work on have brand new brake components available to purchase which allow us to slam ‘em in and ship it. Unfortunately, we have to rebuild brake components on Ferrari’s which really sucks.  All you gotta do is…  Ugh. A guy sent me a totally blown out Master cylinder for a 330 GTC, rusted and stuck, terrible, horrible, so I sent steel fittings off to be cadmium plated, sent the cylinder to have a new sleeve installed in the bore, ordered an overhaul kit and when everything returned, I put it all back together. After assembling it the I noticed that the pistons were sticking in the cylinder so I took it all apart and the wrenches scratched the fresh plating and watched as the brake fluid stripped the black paint. I honed the bore and got the pistons to move freely, assembled it again and set it up to be tested on my high tech device that you can observe in the photo below. Now I am finding that the sleeve wasn’t drilled correctly and fluid couldn’t  into the forward chamber (that goes to the rear brakes) so I had to start all over again, scratching, chipping. Now, the cylinder is all back together and working perfectly after 7 hours of labor! “All you gotta do is”! Did I mention that the rebuild kit didn’t come with the correct first seal, there was a 30mm seal included when I needed a 25mm seal so after buying 3 kits, I resorted to making my own seal.

Ferrari GTC Brake Master Cylinder

Ferrari GTC Brake Master Cylinder

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