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#1 Only took me 3 years

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:29 pm
by jivili
Hi All

Thought I might share my experience with my series 3 project here in the Series 3 section as opposed to the restoration section...(If Admin want to move it then I won't complain)
This is my experience and it was only going to take me 6 months max.
3 years down the line and I am 99% complete.
(In my defence I have also renovated a house in the same period and work full time with my own business)
To complete:

Factory hardtop to repaint
Couple of items to find and fit on the interior

I bought my 1973 ots from a guy on ebay as a LHD auto from Texas.
I decided to convert to RHD and manual and this is how it went

First a few words of wisdom, or rather the pitfalls I made and overcame
Feel free to follow/ignore at your pleasure


1:Take LOTS of photos before you begin to take anything apart. I took 1800 photos during the project and still found that I didn't have all the ones I needed when I came to put it back together again
2:Buy yourself a workshop manual and perhaps as important the parts catalogue. I found that the parts catalogue was often as helpful as the manual when putting things back together.
3:If you need some help then the E Type Forum is a great source of knowledge but DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH FIRST as your problem will have undoubtedly have been met and solved by someone else before
4:Be prepared to have to change every rubber or plastic item on the car because these will undoubtedly have perished and be unusable when you start to rebuild.
5:Replacement nuts and bolts are available a lot cheaper from specialised fastener distributors than from the usual big 3 suppliers
6:Get your original rad re-cored even if you think it looks ok and flushes well. A more modern radiator core makes such a difference to the cooling ability.
7:BUY THE VERY BEST EXAMPLE THAT YOU CAN AFFORD. I had 1 small hole in the boot about the size of a 50 pence piece and no more rust anywhere.
8:When refitting the Torsion Bars use the setting link as per manual, rotate the bar until the bracket fits, mark the bar/bracket position and then remove setting bar and move bracket round another spline by dropping the bottom suspension arm...if not the suspension will be too low at the front no matter how much adjustment you put on the cams
9:Have a bit of confidence in yourself...prior to this the only engine that I had worked on was a Briggs & Stratton on the cricket team's mower. When I made some enquires at local engine and gearbox specialists for pricing to rebuild the engine they all showed little interest in even quoting on work for the Jag.
10:I might get lynched by the heritage guys on here but after rebuilding my strombergs and spending the best part of 3 days trying to get them set up correctly I bought a set of SU's from Burlens and it was a piece of cake to get them running far better than I ever could with the Strombergs so my advice would be to ditch the strombergs and don't even bother rebuilding them.
11:After doing all the hard work to get your car how you want it drive the bloody thing and don't turn it into a trailer queen...yes I know they are rising in value but I didn't buy mine as an investment.

Just like to thank Marek, Stan and the countless other who have answered my queries and I hope that if you are beginning your own restoration that you have as much fun and and not as much frustration as I have had over the last 3 years

Anyhow here we go 3 years condensed into a few photos

How I bought it


The stripdown begins


Pulling the heads with home made extractor plate (1 side 30 mins the other side 3 1/2 hours)


Lots of bits in a v12 engine

Engine rebuilt prior to refitting


Getrag 265 5-speed manual fitted with adaptor ring


Panel fit sorted prior to paint


At the paint shop



The rebuild begins


Gearchange mk3 finally working as it should and in the right position (Thanks Stan)


Future Owner and technical advisor on paint colour checking on progress


On the Road, MOT at first attempt with no advisories and as of today 250 miles on the clock since rebuild


We like to call the colour Opalescent Dairy Milk...having missed the RBCD hopefully I will be in a good place to make the next one.
Before that I have a trip to Zurich which I will hopefully make next year.

Best Regards

Opalescent Dairy Milk S3 OTS

#2 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:23 pm
by MarekH
I think your two-tone door cards work quite nicely.

kind regards

#3 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:25 pm
by mgcjag
Hi really have put some work in there...a great job.....and how about that colour youll certainly stand out ..I like it and what a great reason to do it.....for the future owner :bigrin: .... make sure you bring it to Bicster next year (assuming we have another e forum outing).... all the best..Steve

#4 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:08 pm
by politeperson
Very nice Dean.

Deep Purple are my favourite band.

What rear axle ratio are you running?

How does she drive?

#5 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:05 pm
by jivili
Current ratio is 3.31 as I left the original diff in place.
I managed to acquire an e type 4 speed box after buying the getrag and also a 2.88 diff but figured that by mating the 5 speed with the 3.31 this would leave the 4 speed and 2.88 for another project.
TBH I haven't driven it very hard since being road legal as I figured I would 'run it in' a bit following the rebuild.
I will be able to report back on driveability after a few more miles.
The one thing that really stands out from my limited driving experience in the car is that the torque of the engine is really impressive which makes me wonder if the 5 speed 'upgrade' for the V12 is actually worth the effort....maybe the 4 speed with the 2.88 would have been as good an option

Time will tell....hopefully the getrag 3.31 combination will come into its own when driven with a little more gusto


#6 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:45 am
by SEJohnson95
Hi Dean

Fabulous looking car - I actually rather like the colour too, works well with the interior. It's different but that's a good thing :) We look forward to hearing of your adventures out on the road


#7 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:32 pm
by PeterCrespin
Very nice job. When I saw the gearbox pic I was surprised at the lever position but you answered that point. Id make the knob, at least, black and probably the gaiter too.

#8 Re: Only took me 3 years

Posted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 4:15 pm
by Double Six
Wow, fab colour Dean! It looks amazing - huge amounts of hard work there.

Seen lots of Series II's going from double Stromberg's to triple SU's. For your Series III tuning clearly easier, but probably difficult to tell how much extra horse power you are getting?