Maintaining Mk2 Motors
The Mk2 Jaguar is one of those classic cars that has wide appeal. Its E Type-rivalling performance and svelte looks place it outside the box normally reserved for 1960s saloon cars. So it is probably no surprise that our sister company, Great Driving Days, has two on its hire fleet - a gunmetal grey 3.4 and a petrol green 3.8. And both cars work very hard.
During 2019 we spent quite a lot of time taking engines out and putting them back into both cars. In between we also worked on several other Mk2s owned by customers - so we've got to know these cars very well.
Here's a quick potted history of the engine work on both cars during the year.
Jaguar Mk2 3.4
One of the problems with old hire cars is that the clutches tend to wear out disproportionately fast. Classic cars are unfamiliar, the drivers are often more nervous and there is usually nowhere to rest your clutch foot. Consequently clutches and gearboxes get more of a hammering.
So it was with this 1965 Mk2 3.4. To replace the clutch you need to remove the engine. While everything was out we took the opportunity to get the gearbox rebuilt too. This car has the older 'Moss' box, with no syncho on first. It's a generally very robust box, but time takes its toll and it made sense to fettle this while the car was apart. We use a trusted gearbox specialist in the Midlands - a small one-man firm that we like because the man we explain the problem to is the man who does the work.
We've probably removed and refitted this Mk2 engine and box 3 or 4 times over the last few years. Practice makes even more perfect.
Jaguar Mk2 3.8
This 3.8 Mk2 has been on the Great Driving Days hire fleet for about 10 years. In 2019 it threw a wobbly during a hire - something on the road flicked up and destroyed the radiator. The car lost all of its water but, regrettably, the customer drove on. This caused the engine to seriously overheat and the rubber bung between the carbs and the airbox to self combust, causing a small engine fire.
When we got the car back to the workshop we checked it over thoroughly and realised that the head gasket had failed. The head was skimmed, gaskets replaced, radiator repaired and the bodywork resprayed. An upsetting experience, but one we were luckily able to salvage.
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