We are delighted to report this beautiful Jaguar is purring like the pedigree cat she is.
Despite having been told that the engine was rebuilt prior to our customer acquiring the classic car, we felt it was essential that we at least take off the cylinder head and undertake a thorough check of the engine (which includes the use of endoscopes) prior to it going back into the car. In our experience examining the engine first is essential to identify possible problems, as once returned to the car it becomes increasingly difficult or impossible to rectify major faults.
For example only a few months ago we replaced what we were told was a 'rebuilt' 3.8 litre series one Jaguar engine into a concourse shell that Glamorgan Classic Cars had rebuilt. On starting up the engine oil sprayed out of the crankshaft rear end and the whole drivetrain had to be removed with all the dangers to paint and body damage!
The customer took the decision however not to have a full assessment of the engine, and we proceeded with caution! Having checked the engine for faults we then took the engine bay back to bare metal and repainted it in its original gray paint. The engine was then replaced.
Just "start it up" we were told. No luck, first no fuel could get through the mud in the petrol tank, then the reservoir poured the petrol over the floor where the cork gaskets had rotted away completely. Despite attempts at purchasing these gaskets we were told they were no longer available world wide - "Just take out the reserve valve, throw it away and jump the defect with a petrol hose." Under no circumstances were we to do this. We made new cork gaskets and they now work beautifully.
So petrol and engine, no petrol leak, still the Mark IV would not start. There followed a carburettor rebuild with an identical result. Finally distributor out, timing redone, lots of teething problems, the car burst into song! The engine starts even without a choke and rather than purring now roars as we are replacing the silencer completely barring its downpipe.
The owner is delighted and so are we. However we do feel that fortune was on his side as without a full engine check you never know what mountainous problems could be ahead (including having to take the engine back out again of the car body.) Experience has taught us always to take with a pinch of salt that 'the engine has been rebuilt there are no problems'.
The Mark IV is now ready for painting - we will keep you up to date as she returns to her former glory.