Engine - Running Again!

I once again, played hookey from work today (Friday, July 1... but given how much I worked between December and May, there should be no issue there!) and ran up to Chilliwack to ... get this... PICK UP my car. (happy dance!) I dropped off my Jetta at Bruce MacCormack's lovely house just outside Bellingham, and caught a ride with him up to Chilliwack. Bruce is a consummate gentleman, and was a most pleasant travelling companion. I provided him with all the background story of this car on the way up. I am significantly in Bruce's debt for providing an introduction to Geoff Pickard, and allowing me to take priority over his XK 150 project.

Crossing the border was no issue, but there was a HUGE lineup for the southbound crossing (Today was a holiday in Canada.) It was backed up from the crossing several miles... almost to the Trans-Canada highway in Abbotsford! I assured him I knew a way to bypass the majority of the queue for the return journey.

We arrived at Geoff's shop, English Classic Cars and I had a chance to go over the car with Geoff's guidance and see what had been done. It was a huge relief to see it reassembled. Geoff tossed me the keys, and I took it for a test drive while he changed the oil in the XJ that Bruce & I rode up in. Here are the pictures...

All re-assembled. Note "proper copper" washers on the cam covers. The "proper" dust caps on the brake fluid bottles. The "proper" splash shields (just visible under the air filters and frame rail) and the "proper" lack of a Ballast Resistor. It is looking "Right Proper." =) (Yes, I know Paul, those aren't "Proper" filters!)
The 65E in Geoff's shop. All ready to go.
I didn't take a picture, but this is what it looked like as I walked in. Words cannot describe the feeling of seeing it reassembled.
I took it out (Bruce took some pictures of me... I was too busy driving and smiling) and brought it back for a wee bit of carb tuning after a spin around the block. A couple of twists of the screwdriver and I was out again, this time quite happy with the car.
I stopped and bought my wife some Grower's Cider at a BC Beer Store, and drove it some more. It was wonderful. Here I am back at ECC after that drive. Geoff was doing an oil change on Bruce's wife's XJ, so I had a nice interval for a drive. On the left is Geoff's Series 3.
Greg Bilyeu's DS head from his Series 3. Greg & I dropped his car a few weeks back. Turns out he's dropped a valve seat.
Until today, I never knew the Jaguar V-12 wasn't a hemi-head like the XK. You learn something new every day.
Boy, those Jag V-12s sure are BIG motors.
Following Geoff out to lunch at the Chilliwack Airport.
Reserved parking for Jags only at the Chiliwack Airport. F-B: Geoff's Series 3, my Series 1, Bruce's (wife's) XJ.
Taking the back roads to the Canada-US border. Abbostford and Bruce MacCormack in my rear view mirror.
Looking out over the bonnet. The hills in the background are in the US. The border crossing is just ahead and to the right.
The box of bodged and butchered parts from my head. I'll document them fully later. For now, I'm just happy to have it running again!

The car ran *flawlessly* all the way home. But what struck me most was how *solid* it felt. Really for the first time ever. The cylinder head & valve train has always been noisy on this car... clicking and clacking along. Plus there were always other rattles. I just assumed this is the way it was supposed to be. Of course now I know differently. The head was a rolling disaster, and the car was inexpertly assembled.

Geoff has dashed those rattling thoughts and memories from my mind! He pointed out to me that the bonnet was missing two critical pieces that held it solidly in place. The driver's side of the bonnet along the bottom near the battery has innumerable paint chips in it, all from having rattled on the body for *years*. Apparently all for naught. If the orgininal restorer had just properly bolted on a couple of $30 parts, the multi-thousand $$ paint job would have been still pristine! Geoff installed proper splash shields, and my wheel mudguards no longer rattle! Instead of clicking and clacking down the road, I now just hear the deep throaty rumble of the XK engine, with a mere faint rustle of cams. I am hearing Sir William's Sixth Symphony now for the first time as it was properly composed! No longer is it being played by kazoos, rattles and xylophones! What a joyous sound it now is.

The sole noise left is an exhaust leak.. so there is a big bass drum in the orchestra that occasionally misses a beat, but we'll fix that later.

I drove home down Washington's Highway 9. A fine twisty route down the Cascade foothills, an alternative to Interstate 5, but not bore to drive like the four-lane close to Puget Sound. The engine is freshly assembled, so I kept it under 2500 RPM, which is a necessary evil. As soon as the car is properly run in, I'll start to push it like it was designed for. It is tough to not rev this engine though - it hungers to leap. Patience...

Stay tuned for more news.