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 JagTips Photo Album "B"

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JagTips Photo Album "B"

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MIKE BRANSON'S PAGE

 

 

Mike's Series I 1/2 1968 2+2. Here is his story:

As you can see below, the car I brought homes from auction was in very good condition with only ostensibly minor mechanical repair requirements - primarily those arising from a long period of lack of use

 

 

 

 

I was obviously very lucky on getting the number plate with the car (XKE 42M). You will note the non-original exhaust. A previous owner had at some stage modified the exhaust so as to install a towbar - the bolts were still there when I bought it.

 

 

   

Under the bonnet was very clean with the obvious lack of porcelain on the exhaust headers - a very common problem I am led to believe. You will also no doubt notice that the cylinder head was not gold. It appears to have been replaced at some stage - possibly as a warranty repair when replacement heads were not painted.

Recent overhauling of the engine identified a number of interesting facts. Firstly, the engine block had been rebuilt at some stage, cylinders honed by 20 thou, and the pistons replaced with 8:1 !!! The cylinder head ports had also been partly ported in so far as the inlet manifold gasket matched up. Current work on the head has fully gas flowed the inlet ports.

The underside of the bonnet also revealed some curious facts - all of which have now been rectified in the latest round of repairs. The bonnet had been given a nudge at some stage and the underside of the bonnet indicated hammer marks which were not obvious from above (above average amount of bog there and in the nose), and the underside of the wheel arches had not been painted the correct body colour.

   

   

The interior was very clean and presentable with only very minor repairs or refurbishment required. The headlining was replaced as the edges around the A pillars and windscreen were fraying and the fabric had become very fragile. Not too bad for 30 years though.

The work started in earnest with the most significant job being the removal of the cylinder head to repair a leaking head gasket and/or water seal. As you can see, even an engine joist with the aid of a bottle jack wouldn’t budge the beast. More severe efforts were finally required to quell the 5 days of frustration for a small band of dedicated mechanics.

The mechanical job is almost finished. Ceramic coated exhaust headers, rebuilt multi-core radiator, thermatic fan, rebuilt head and carburettors, fully rebuilt brake system, to name but a few of the "minor" mechanical refurbishments undertaken.

   

Even the body wasn’t left untouched with some minor cosmetic work to both the bonnet and around the rear where the towbar fittings were removed.

It took a while and some money to find, but here it is - the correctly installed Falken stainless steel exhaust. Note the mounting brackets for the mufflers. Contrary to the spare parts book, the stock exhaust did not fit the existing mounts and, in fact, appear to have never been able to accept a standard stock exhaust.

Back on the road for only two weeks after nearly 4 months of minor mechanical and cosmetic works, and some so-and-so decides that stop signs only interfere with effective traffic flow. The result as you can see it that the newly renovated bonnet collides with the front wheel of the offending vehicle. No damage to the other car, but the pivot point on the bonnet of mine os pushed back around 1.5" and so, once open, the bonnet is unable to be shut. In addition cracks appeared in the passenger side spaceframe, and the body under the rear driver’s side end of the bonnet is pushed out around 1cm. The expected repair bill for the other guy’s insurance is currentl running around $16,000.

   

   

When you see how much work is involved in stripping down the entire front end of the car to remove the frames, it is not hard understanding where all the labour costs go. Whilst the car is stripped down, I have taken the opportunity to do a few other jobs such as replacing the wiring loom, rebuilding the gearbox (please note the unsualy breather end - to be replaced of course)….,

   

   

rebuilding the engine (including some mods such as large inlet valves, lightened flywheel, gas-flowed head, hepolite pistons, balancing, etc), …and finally fixing up the bonnet correctly (ie no hammer marks and bog). The bonnet was surprisingly rust free and required only a small number of replacement pieces of metal to be installed. Nonetheless, there are an awful lot of curves on that bonnet - a job for a truly professional artisan. Bruce, the German panel beater, has a real passion and obvious skill in this area. The car has been promised to be back on the road for JDCA Show day - Sunday September 20. I hope that I may see you there.

   

 

 

 

 

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