January 2008

Date Event


A Happy New Year to everyone.

I got an update from Simon yesterday on the state of the engine refurbishment.  It seems that over the Christmas holiday the guy's doing the work were not convinced that it was the head gasket. They  checked it over and before stripping it down decided to run it. The engine block was covered in condensation and they thought that this may be the source of the steam.  Sure enough with extensive running the steam subsided and this looked as though it had solved the problem  The car came back to Nostalgia and all looked good.  Further tidying up work was done for SVA and the car driven for about 30 miles. ~ The problem with the brake light switch re-occurred, where despite heavy pedal pressure the brake lights would not operate. The Switch and it's original replacement, were sourced from SNG Barrett. This time the switch was replaced with a genuine Jaguar part and this fixed the problem.   Another problem showed up, that the tachometer sticks at the bottom and has to be tapped to persuade it to read.  The Tachometer has been refurbished by Speedy Cables  and it may just be sticky from lack of use. Not a serious problem, it can be fixed after SVA.  It was beginning ot look good again.

Yesterday  coming back to the Factory from another shakedown run, to top up with fuel and be ready for SVA once again, the steam problem reappeared. Current thinking is still focussed on cylinder head or head gasket  as the recurrent cause of the problem. The engine has to be rally warm before a crack in he cylinder head  or the gasket shows up.  The car will go back to the Jaguar Specialist on Monday and we may have an answer on Wednesday of next week.  The only light at the end of the tunnel is that, according to reports.  when it is running it runs, drives and handles well.



I've just had my weekly update on what progress we are making. The car went to the Jaguar specialist on Monday. In the absence of any news earlier in the week I was beginning to think no news is good news but it seems we are continuing to be dogged by bad luck.  Try as they might the garage have spent all week trying to separate the head from the engine block.  They have tried everything from hanging the engine from the crane and seeing if the weight would separate the head to to hanging the whole weight of the car  from the  engine crane but without success.  the next stage is to heat the cylinder head with an oxy-acetylene torch and see if that will free it.  

A secondary issue was the Exeter DVLA office have written ot us saying we only have 28days to register in which to register the car before the retention certificate expires. The certificate actually expires on the 1st March.  Simon has clarified this with the DVLA at Swansea and we have until 28th of February to register the car.  Lets hope we can get the car on the road before then.



Progress on getting the head off the cylinder block is slow.  The process is to alternately place the engine crane at the front of back of the engine and heat the cylinder head with oxy- acetylene let the engine hang .overnight ,and use the with of the engine to free it. This process was started last weekend with little success.  I was prepared to abandon the process today and search fro a new engine but the news is that yesterday and today it has started to move.  Luckily this time consuming process is not racking up a huge bill for labour as it is being done at the end of he day and in between other jobs in the garage.  We will see what tomorrow brings.



The head has separated from the block by 25mm but it won't come any higher and neither will it go back down. The car has to be  SVA tested and registered by 28th February. Faced with this deadline and the prospect that we may find some major disaster like a cracked block once the head and block are separated, we have decided to call a halt and  remove the engine and replace it with another one. Nostalgia are phoning round their contacts and we should know by tomorrow  if we have found a suitable one.



The plan is coming together. We have found a 2nd user engine which has been run and tested for CO2 and oil  emissions and pronounced OK. It comes with a 1 month warranty which is about all you can expect considering it is a 2nd user unit.  I've given Nostalgia the go ahead to obtain it.  The engine will be steam cleaned and delivered, complete, on Monday. The flywheel, starter motor,  inlet and exhaust manifolds, fuel injection system and wiring will be swapped over from my engine to the new one. Other cosmetic pieces like the rocker covers will be swapped as well.  The new engine will be fitted to meet the SVA and registration deadline.  Post registration I'll use the new engine while my engine is refurbished.  Once this is done I will swap the engines over again.  Then rebuild the "new" engine with a view to reselling it.



A further update on the engine today.  The engine has been run for 30 minutes in the same spot in the garage with no sign of any oil leaks. It will be left in this position and inspected in the morning to see if any  oil has been dropped on to the garage floor overnight.   The emissions have been tested with an exhaust gas analyser and pronounced perfect.  According to the speedometer the engine has done 98,000 miles. though not in the first flush of youth, in fact probably average mileage, it looks to be in good enough condition to get us through SVA and registered by the deadline. All being well it will be delivered by 9:00 a.m. on Monday.  SVA has been re booked for Friday 1st February at 8:00 a.m. So the pressure is really on to get the car running. Let's hope it is going to be a case of 3rd time lucky.

I must confess to being somewhat excited not only at the prospect of SVA but getting my engine back and reconditioning it. I'm sure once out of the vehicle, the restraints caused by the body and the new paintwork and upholstery, are removed. How to tackle splitting the head from the block enters a new phase of brute force but not ignorance.



The engine was delivered on Monday and worked commenced immediately to remove the old one.  One point of interest is that with the alternator, inlet manifold and exhaust manifold removed it is possible to split the engine from the gearbox and remove the engine leaving the gearbox in situ.  The flywheel and clutch have be swapped over and the replacement engine installed.  Simon contacted me this afternoon to say the engine was running and about to be taken for a road rest. Later I received another message to say all was well with the road test and the car drove and handled really well.   so with more than a week to spare before SVA we are back on the road. There are a couple of paint touch up jobs Nostalgia will do then one final look around to be sure we are ready for SVA.

Pictures taken during the change over have been added to the engine page in the photo album


Total Number of Hours this Month =  hrs


Total Number of hours to date = 

2146.0 hrs