What To Look For:
BODYWORK & CHASSIS
It’s expensive to restore a Jaguar E-type, sometimes the jobs are skimped on, so do completely carry out checking everything you can. A starter would be to look behind the petrol filler flap. If it’s rough then other areas may be dodgy as well.
Check the body panel gaps all round – more especially where the large bonnet meets the bulkhead area, this is the trickiest spot to get aligned. Other areas to look and check for any corrosion include the large boot lids on the roadster models and at the door bottoms; this is due to the blocked drain holes. Check out the boot for any collected water too. The Jaguar E-type tubular frame section in the front of the large bulkhead that actually supports the engine can also rust / crack and of course is a massive job to put right and rectify. The areas like bonnet nose, door sills, and the rear wing outer edges, as well as below the rear bumper are also very vulnerable. Underneath, do examine those 3 strengthening ribs you see there.
Look for any pitting of Mazak items, like door handles. And make sure you check of course the hood if it’s a convertible for any marks or splits as well as easy operation.
The Jaguar E-type V12 is extremely tough and probably a lot less stressed now than back in the day when Jaguar E-types were enthusiastically driven shall we say. Do look and listen carefully for any overheating and any harshness; the cylinder block and heads might have got warped at some time. Make extra sure that the thermostatic electric cooling fan actually cuts in as and when it should. Looking at the engine oil pressure gauge, please check for 50lb or more at 3500rpm. General oil leaks are common – but if it’s looking like its from the rear crankshaft seal, it’s a pretty expensive job.
Any rattle from around the front area of the engine most probably will be a worn timing chain, more especially if its happening when revving the engine. This can happen as early to cars after 35,000 miles.
Do check all the coolant hoses, there are 20 of them. While you’re there, also check the fuel lines too, which tend to go very brittle when exposed of heat. The carburettors are difficult to tune in properly, but do check if their diaphragms have perished first.
The Jaguar V12 E-types were often fitted with the automatic trusty Borg Warner Model 12 three speed transmissions. A very tough gearbox, but do lookout for any jerkiness or any slipping, thus pointing to more than a service, more like a full overhaul needed. The manual transmission cars are affected by very weak synchromeshes on normally 2nd and 3rd, but be concerned if you`re having real difficulty when selecting any gears if the gearbox is cold. Also be wary of any vibrations or clonks or a whining from the differential on your test drive.
Now the steering, which in fact is rack and pinion, ought and should feel very sharp. The significant play you might find points to a worn column or universal joint. The rear suspension and the lower rear hub pivots need to be greased. If your hear creaking they`ve been neglected. This means they’re badly corroded and will potentially be seizing up. Jack up the car and check for any play by pulling at the wheels. The rears should have a little – but if not, it`ll suggest that the bearings have actually been over tightened at some stage. There ought to be less play at the front wheels, but if there is quite a lot, this signals some worn bearings or indeed the lower wishbone ball joints.
The brakes affected by some leaking oil from a differential and getting onto the inboard rear discs. The rear diff will need to be removed to sort this problem, which is in fact very involved. Do test the handbrake, – it is self adjusting and the mechanism will need to have been greased and might seize if not.
The interior really isn’t something that you`ll need to worry over, because pretty much everything`s available. It just costs quite a lot. Don’t under estimate the cost though of putting it right if it has damaged leather.
Any electrical issues might only be poor earths or sometimes very brittle wiring, but DIY fiddling will and does also cause much trouble. But the heater motors can often stop working – so do make sure that you check it out thoroughly when you test drive the Jaguar E-type series III.