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Jaguar Repair/gearbox dismounting


Dear Howard
I read in one of your answers that you and a friend changed a gearbox on E-Type 1970 in about 6 hours.
I am about to do this and i was wondering a bit more about the procedure. have you documented this in any way? I didn't fully understand how you did it being an amateur.
I found the answer here:
would this be applicable on SII 1969 as well?
Best regards

Hi Frank,

The "E" type 2x2 has a welded in cross member under the transmission where the 2 seat "E" has a removable cross member at the rear of the transmission and that is the key as to weather you can do my procedure or not. The car we did was an early 60's "E" not a 1970 and we did this the first time in 1964 so the first car was either a 63 or 64. In the next few years we did several but when we started to try it on a 2x2 we couldn't because of a welded in cross member under the transmission. Not sure what year model that was. We never tried it on a V-12 "E" so I don't know if they also can be done. Also over drive models could be a problem too.

Here is how to tell if it can be done. Put the car on a lift or on jack stands and look at the back end of the transmission to see if it can be dropped straight down without cutting anything only unbolting things. If the rear transmission mount is removable and the tail shaft flange will clear and drop down it can be done. You can't slide the engine forward very far due to the birdcage frame.

I don't know if you are familiar with the normal removal or not but you still need two 3/8 inch hardened steel rods to preload the front suspension and get the cross plate off at the rear of the engine. We removed the motor mounts and lowered the engine straight down. It will not go down very far due to the carburetors etc as the "bird cage" frame prevents that. But it will drop down several inches. You have to remove the air filter duct and as I remember there is a support at the rear of the engine up top that needs to be removed and the exhaust system.

The rear of the torsion bar mount has only two bolts on each as I remember so you have to leave the inner (close to the bar) bolts tight and only remove the one outer (further from the bar) on each side and grind a small taper on the end of each hot rolled or hardened steel 3/8 inch rods and drive one in each of the one outer holes you removed the bolts from the torsion bar mount. Don't drive your bar in too far as you need to drive the cross plate off of the end after each rod is in place. After the steel rods are in place you can remove the other inner bolts.

The first "E" Type I put a clutch in, I went by the book and it took me 16 hours work and I also didn't know about using hardened rods and I got cold rolled steel rods to preload the torsion bars and it almost sheared them off. Even with the front wheels hanging there is a very strong preload on the torsion bars.

This removes the steel plate. Now with the motor mounts off the engine can be dropped down a few inches but not far. But it is just enough to use long extensions and "U"joint sockets to remove the upper bell housing bolts. Once those bolts are out you just remove the transmission off of the engine for clutch or gearbox work.

In our shop we used jack stands and we found that coke crates stacked up and were just the correct height to set the engine on so we didn't need to leave the engine hanging from the engine hoist while working. Since Coke crates are collector's items now you won't be able to use them and need to find something else to set the engine on.

We were doing these under warranty and the factory paid us 16 hours to do the job and we were on commission so we got paid for 16 hours work when we were able to complete the job in 6 hours. No, we did not feel guilty about that because there were many other jobs we did that took several hours to do and the factory would only pay one hour.

Sorry if I gave you the impression I was an amateur. At that time I had been a Jaguar dealership mechanic for over 5 years. I worked on XK-150's when they were new. I serviced two Mk-II Jag sedans for Eleanor Roosevelt to give you a idea when I started working on Jaguars.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


Jaguar from the XK 120 to XJ-6 ser. 3 1987


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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