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Jaguar XK140 Restoration Project - Part 3 of 4

Since I wrote last about the status of the XK140 Project, I have a newly re-built 3.4 Litre engine in the car and a few extras.

Once Adam Redding at TEP Logistics finished the bodywork phase of the car, I once more moved it on, this time to Peter Lander at SIGMA Engineering in Gillingham, Dorset to work on a new engine re-build for racing and to strip and re-build the complete Drive Train.

This has taken some time as Peter and Tom have worked on their latest developments to squeeze the most out the engine whilst maintaining the original Bore and Stroke of the original engine.

The aim with gaining maximum output and reliability from any engine is to ensure that all moving parts are balanced and where we can lighten, such as flywheels, using electrical cooling fans rather than the original pulley-driven metal fans etc.

As part of the whole Drive-Train work, Peter stripped the original Moss 4 speed, 3 synchro gearbox for inspection. Luckily, the gearbox was in excellent condition and id didn’t need any replacement parts especially in the ‘Synchro’ area where the Moss Box is weakest over time. All we needed to do was to upgrade the Overdrive Unit for use in competition. But this is a strengthening exercise rather than modifying the unit, so that it remains original.

The prop-shaft was removed and, because the car had completed the Peking to Paris Rally in 2000 I thought it wise to replace the prop-shaft UJ’s to extend this part of the drive-train life and to balance the shaft.

Peter then dismantled the back axle and the differential for inspection. Everything was in good condition, such as the Crown Wheel and Pinion in the Diff. But while the whole rear end was in bits we upgraded the rear Half-Shafts to stronger versions, to sustain the massive torque levels sustained during standing starts on race days. Of course it also made sense to replace wheels bearings at this time.

Finally, with the car back together once more, he ran it for some three days on his newly installed Rolling Road, to tune the car for optimum performance and reliability, and to ensure that nothing dropped off, when it was running at a sustained 6000 RPM.

Having completed the power plant and drive train, the car is in it’s final stages at K&N Classics near Bosham in Hamphire.

Nigel has spent a lot of time on the electrics and the car’s body trim and done a fantastic job of cleaning up the car’s cosmetics with wood trim that I provided him that a friend of mine had restored and also with new suede green door trim or door cards.

The doors actually look like period Jaguar once more and, the electrics and wiring that needed to be stripped down further by another twenty feet is fully functional and hopefully this will lighten the car further. Every Kilo of less weight helps when you’re racing.

The car has moved workshops yet again for Keith to start working on the suspension and front brake conversion. If you remember, I wrote that the car currently has disk brakes fitted. Keith will convert these back to the original drum brakes so that it will fully qualify as an Appendix ‘K’, FIA specification car. But more of this final stage in Part 4 of the final pieces of this jigsaw.

I am hoping that the car will be completed in March and ready to Test at Goodwood as soon as possible after that.
John D Roberts

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