Project Jaguar Se­ries 3 XJ6

Our project Jaguar XJ6 has been laid up whilst a re­place­ment en­gine was tracked down and over­hauled by a West York­shire-based Jaguar spe­cial­ist. Af­ter trans­port­ing the Big Cat up to their work­shop, we re­ceived an up­date of how the work is pro­gress­ing.

Classics Monthly - - Contents - WORDS IAIN WAKE­FIELD

The re­place­ment en­gine for our oil burn­ing Big Cat has been stripped down, re-ma­chined and is now be­ing re­built.

W e last fea­tured our project XJ6 back in the June is­sue when it had a new ex­haust sys­tem fit­ted. The re­port ended with the car be­ing laid up at a South Der­byshire garage suf­fer­ing from a badly smok­ing en­gine. As the car couldn’t be driven due to the pol­lut­ing ex­haust, we needed to work out the best and most eco­nom­i­cal way to sort out the en­gine and get the car back on the road.

There had been plenty of warn­ing signs prior to this lat­est de­vel­op­ment. Our Jaguar had de­vel­oped a healthy taste for 20W50 oil and this com­bined with an in­creas­ing amount of tell-tale blue smoke puff­ing out of the ex­haust while on the over­run were sure signs of trou­ble ahead.

Be­fore the Jaguar was laid up, it had been up to West Rid­ing In­de­pen­dent for a re­place­ment head gas­ket to be fit­ted. While col­lect­ing the car, pro­pri­etor Dave Bye ex­pressed his con­cern about the con­di­tion of our Jaguar’s 4.2 litre straight six and reck­oned the mo­tor would ben­e­fit from a com­plete over­haul, as in his opin­ion the en­gine was on its last legs.

A cou­ple of thou­sand miles later, the en­gine started to burn oil al­most as fast as it could be poured into the sump, so we asked Dave if he could look into re-build­ing the Jaguar’s poorly en­gine. Un­for­tu­nately, we made our en­quiry just af­ter the start of the rac­ing sea­son and as Dave and his team had a full or­der book of Jaguar en­gines to re­build, we just had to be pa­tient and join the queue.

To soften the blow, Dave reck­oned he could pull an old 4.2 litre unit out of stor­age, over­haul it be­tween ma­jor jobs and then drop the re­built en­gine into our car. That was the route we even­tu­ally went down and the fol­low­ing steps show how the team at West Rid­ing over­hauled the en­gine that will even­tu­ally be fit­ted into our Jaguar XJ6. We’ll come back to how the re­built en­gine was fin­ished off and fit­ted to the car in a later is­sue of Clas­sics Monthly, but in the mean time the fol­low­ing step by steps il­lus­trates the progress so far:

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