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I don't know the full story here, but like an archeologist I am unearthing it bit by bit. As many of you know, the car was originally restored by Classic Jaguar of (then Lockhart, now) Austin, Texas, who has an excellent reputation in the Jaguar community for top quality work. As you will soon see that reputation may not be deserved. It subsequently was in a flood (Hurricane in Houston), and was once again (mechanically) restored by the Classic Jaguar, costing somewhere in the mid-five-figures (the agreed-value $ figure from the insurance.) The job was pulled from Classic Jaguar due to budget blowing issues, and some very poor treatment of my father by CJ's owner Dan Mooney. (I'll have to relate the whole sordid tale on my website someday) The interior was finished by a different shop, and a year later I came into possession of the car.

Now, less than 10,000 miles later, the engine has developed a knock. It started on my trip last fall and was getting louder everytime I fired up the engine. I investigated as far as my limited mechanical knowledge took me. It wasn't "easy" or obvious things like valve springs, or tappet hold-downs. I began to get a gut feel it was in the block, probably wrist pins. I needed a professional opinion before I could explore repair options. I enquired around my fellow Jaguar enthusiasts here in Northwest Washington, and had several suggest Geoff Pickard in Chilliwhack, BC. I towed the car up a few weeks ago, and within an hour had learned why so many folks trust Geoff. He was the real deal, a Yorkshireman with a lifetime's experience with these cars. He isn't running a resto-shop for trailer-queen concours cars. He is "retired" and does this work, all on his own, with - and for - a passion. I helped him check the car over, telling him what I had done to date to sort out the issue. He had a listen, and wanted to "have a think" ... so I left the car with him. A couple of days later, after listening some more he called me with a game plan. I agreed, and he started taking it apart.

Geoff wanted me to see, so I ran up to his shop today (6/10/05) to have a look. The wrist pin diagnosis was spot-on. The wrist pin bushes were basically shot. They had been installed upside-down, and were belled out by 0.007"... enough to rattle and hum like I was hearing.

Geoff also gave the car a good look, and presented me with a list of "concerns"... I'll eventually list them here, or on the E-type mailing list, but some are best seen, so here for your review is a photographic record of my visit to Geoff's shop today. We also brought Greg Bilyeu's '74 OTS up from Bellingham for some TLC. After a lunch with Geoff, I gave Greg a ride home to Bellingham.

Note. I made the thumbnails big, because the larger images are HUGE. Click an image at your peril... they are 2048 pixels wide. Will likely take ages to download, so be patient. They are big so details will be easy to see. --chuck

My Headless XK, at Geoff's shop.
Looking down from above at the three rear cylinders. The water jacket is looking tired and rusty.
Closeup of the grotty water passages.
Timing chain(s) and the front of the engine look fine. The alternator is the Hitachi I just put on in January when the Lucas self-destructed.
My head. Looks "ok" overall. Geoff had me look over the whole thing, and we did find some problems.
Trying to get a macro shot of the crazed cam lobes. The rod in the background is in nice focus (sigh).
A better shot. See the defects on the tip of the lobe? Yuck.
Another crazed lobe. 7 of 12 of them were thusly defective. That is an XJ6 rod back there that Geoff was using to show me how the wrist pins were damaged.
*Finally* a good focus shot. Doesn't that look ugly?
Another one.
My defective Wrist pins. All of them had badly worn bushes, that had been installed upside-down. ALL were rattling, but the one in Cylinder #5 was the really loud one that started this whole expensive adventure. #1 is missing here, as we had it in a piston.
When you shake an XK engine, this is what comes out. Top: Pistons. Geoff says they are the Finest Yorkshire Pistons made, and are in excellent shape. Barely used. The bad #1 wrist pin is in #2 there. Rods are in the top right. They are also just fine. You can see one of my bodged cams. Next to it are the replacement wrist pins, and the tach generator I installed on the car right after I bought it. First part I attached to the car.
Head gasket and grotty head studs. Yuck.
My head stud, after cleaning.
Crazed lobe.
Scored cam follower from the fscked-up cams. =P
Argh! This looks like hell.
Looks like it has been knawed on by beavers.
Do they have beavers in Texas? Or do armadillos knaw? (I'm trying to maintain my sense of humor) Note the follower has been chewed too.
Geoff informed me that the fluid bottles should have dust caps on them.
The battery area was half finished. Missing the complete hold-up kit. As a result the area below the battery is cracking. Grrr.
I like capturing angles like this. Trying not to dwell on my rusty water jacket... aren't thise bores pretty? (pay no attention to the rusty water jacket)
Geoff wanted me to see it all... before he cleans it all up, and puts it back together.
Ugh... look at the grotty water jacket...arrrrgggh.
My sump. Looks OK.
Awaiting cleanup and re-install.
I asked about this note, and Geoff showed me the coil, which plainly states: NOT TO BE USED WITH BALLAST RESISTOR. But sure enough, the famous resto shop installed it WITH a ballast resistor.
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