140 grille to bonnet chrome trim

Just checking my 140’s grille to bonnet chrome strip alignment. Is this correct/acceptable?

Both grille and trim strip are the originals, which have just been rechromed as I really want to keep as many original parts as possible. There’s definitely a step here, though. The plater is excellent but the parts had been rechromed previously, I think, but not very well.
Not sure what’s best to do if this is considered unacceptable. I don’t really want to grind the grille casting and have it rechromed yet again, but a new central bonnet trim is expensive and there’s no guarantee it would be any better. Does anyone know how tall this bonnet strip should be?


My 140 FHC had the same problem: a difference in height between grille and bonnet trim. But not as big a gap as yours: see photo.

I see “some light” between the grille casting and the bonnet. Can’t you tighten that section of the grille a bit more? Or as an alternative: just lower the grille as a whole within the slots?

Bob K.

Thanks Bob - It will probably pull down a little bit more, but not to nearly level. I don’t want to file the holes if I can avoid it because grille, trim and bonnet are all original, and the grille should fit very nicely in its current position. Annoyingly, the very tip of the grille casting appears to flip up next to the flatter trim strip. It must have been like this since new, but probably aggravated by polishing for chroming.
I’ve had a look online, and new trims are not easy to find, and expensive if you can. I think this will be just another ‘quirk’ of a more original car!

Jaguar didn’t seem to be too concerned about this type of detail as evidenced by the chrome spears behind the headlights not matching their counterpart on the rims. It would have been easy to size them correctly, but they didn’t bother.

This issue brings back memories from the past…
When I purchased my Sep 1955 OTS back in 1988 car was exceptionally original/low mileage, but aged/tired - chrome was mostly good, but chrome on grille was a little spotted, but not corroded, but eventually need rechroming. The guy I purchased car from - had a spare grille on his garage wall that if not new maybe, was in perfect condition including chrome; so I asked if I could swap grilles over as part of my car purchase deal. Yes, happy to do so, so I immediately removed my original grill and fitted as-new spare grille, but low and behold - same problem as now discussed - the badge extension piece sat proud of the bonnet as per Roger Ks photo. So removed new grille and compared them, and yes, clearly a distinct and measurable difference in two grilles… So I refitted my original grille and left NOS one, back on the garage wall… Twenty years later, I now have had all my chrome redone to ‘as-new’ condition, including my original grille, but then recalled this difference found back in 1988, and never seen anywhere before, any mention of it until now this thread.
I had a close look at mine, and recorded all the casting numbers on the rear, so a record if in case this is an undocumented casting variation with XK140 grilles - several possible explanations, maybe an age related improvement to better fit the bonnet metal shape, maybe a variation to better suit the FHC bonnet which although known to be shorter than the common OTS/DHC bonnet may also have a slightly different profile. Maybe just a quality control batch issue, re molds used for the die casting - who knows, and indeed after 60+ years later of restorations, mix and match grilles/bonnets who really knows…
See attached two photos of back of my original - sits properly on 1955 OTS - grille;
On the left side - cast in 7’ 91984 and a badge - I am guessing the 7’ 91984 may be the significant identifier. The badge includes letters W and B and more, with BIRMINGHAM underneath…

On the right side, just a company badge, which I doubt will be significant unless of course there were two different foundries…, and to date, I have yet/nor tried to identify the badge/foundry with its distinctive W B and S letters and the underneath 1004

So as a starting point - if anyone has an XK140 grille handy/accessible to check the rear side, are numbers/badges the same as mine or different…
And Roger K - given your grille seems to be the different casting (as per the NOS wall hanging in 1988), would be telling what’s on yours…

Bending the grille extension is not an option - die cast aluminium breaks and doesn’t bend…
Sourcing/finding another grille may be an option, if indeed there is something such as these cast in numbers that differentiate…
But I wonder about two different bonnet profiles or not - to suit two different grilles…

2 grills for XK140 FHC have same casting numbers and badges as shown. Same issue of sitting higher than chrome bonnet strip.

I’ll check my grille for numbers tomorrow, for reference.

Chrome headlight spears - I have known originals from my Mark V and my XK120 and reproductions I got from Moss in the 1980s. The originals are taller than the repros by about 1/16" at the forward end. I had a feeling the repros were actually for Mark 2 and shared that once on this forum years ago.

WB logo in Roger’s first picture - That is Wilmot-Breedon which made chrome parts for Jaguar. Here is one on a Mark IV/V grille badge.
I don’t know the heart shaped logo on Roger’s second picture, but it reminds me of those on windshield glass, which as I recall we concluded was a dating system.
I don’t know that it is such on chrome, I merely offer it as an avenue for further research.

At the very top rear of the grille is a threaded hole to accept a fastener.

The arrow points out the hole, which is in a raised boss formed into the grille casting. Since the head of a fastener screwed into the hole would be raised above the bonnet sheet metal, it would do no good.

Does anyone know if there is supposed to be a dome shaped washer which would make the hole useful?
Or is the hole deliberately unused?

Maybe if a fastener could be used there, it might pull the very top of the grille down against the sheet metal a little bit ?

My grille sits fairly well against the bonnet, but the very tip top of the grille has been damaged, deformed slightly upward.

I examined the back of my grille this morning, and as below, the markings are exactly the same as Roger P’s. Obviously a bit harder to read, as it’s just back from the plater’s.

Believed original to my June '55 DHC, which was put away in a garage in the US in 1982 and left undisturbed.

Good question, Gary. When I dismantled my car, there were just four 10UNF hex head screws holding the grille in place. That extended boss at top centre is threaded, but there was no fastener in place. I would expect a pressed domed washer to help locate. Nothing in Viart about fasteners for the grille, so does anyone have an answer?


So much for that possibility - with markings/numbers the same, it would seem its not a deliberate change or different manufacturer. Certainly when I compared the two grilles there was a measurable difference but was not visually evident until fitted to the bonnet… Must be a batch variation, or maybe a deterioration of the mold - hard to believe such a quality control issue was not rectified at time, albeit maybe it was a bad period for Wilmot-Breeden as with the headlamp spears…
And PS. For those into obscure originality detail, these grilles were originally painted mat black on the rear of all the vanes - not visible from the front of course with the polished chrome front - I suspect part of the deliberate cooling considerations to absorb radiator heat, rather than reflect heat back into the radiator…

Gary’s question about the boss with the green arrow - there was a very deep cup-washer that fitted over the threaded boss, with the cup then up against the underside of aluminium bonnet, so when screw is tightened it does indeed pull the grille top down onto the bonnet… Don’t know if I have a ready photo or details, as when I was doing all the detail work for XK140 EXPLORED, after doing a lot for the many Chassis related fasteners, the publishing deadline significantly curtailed intended detail on body related fasteners - there is only so much you can do… This Cup Washer and securing screw are not listed in the SPC, so I cant say for sure whether fitted to all XK140 or not, but I assume so given the protrusion of the boss and the threaded hole provided. The cup washer was like a cylinder with one end fully open, and the other end closed off with just a small screw hole - the edge was rounded.

That would be a similar cup washer to those found on some sixties door handles, boot handles etc. and a few other bits of trim I’ve fitted in the past. I’ll have a look in the old small parts bin and see if there’s anything there. I can’t remember a specific alternative application at the moment.

Roger x 2,

Found these pictures, made during the restoration of my August 1955 XK 140 FHC. It had a U-shaped bracket that was just a bit lower than the boss sticking through the bonnet (pic 1).

The XK 140 FHC has an additional Alu strip running at the center of the bonnet underside (front to rear; pic2) and the U bracket doesn’t damage the bonnet when the screw is tightened. It might be specifically used for the FHC (as the bonnet is also different)…

There is also a special opening in the stiffening cross sections on the bonnet (pic 3) but this is only for fastening the chrome bonnet strip, not for the screw in the boss on the grille which is further down. Don’t remember the thread type. .

I was never able to trace these parts (nor the setscrew, nor the bracket) in the SPC, but this was in the car as I received it and it looked original.

Bob K.

Bob, thanks for the pictures - the ‘U’ section spacer is much easier to make than the pressed variety, so I’ll go with that!
I wonder why the FHC has an aluminium strip on the inside of the bonnet skin?
I’d guess the fasteners for the chrome strip and grille might be no.8 UNF, or maybe 4BA, or something in that ballpark.


The “other Roger " refers to No 10 ANF setscrews with 0.1900” OD in “XK 140 Explored” but the SPC says NS.119/3 meaning ANF 3/16" or 0.1875". .I assume that the “top boss” will have the same thread

Bob K.

Yes, having a quick look at Viart reveals them to be 10ANF. In the UK most fastener suppliers for this sort of application supply 10UNF and 3/16" as interchangeable. Whilst they are not strictly so, I’ve never had a problem with fit.
Which is more than can be said for the dangerous practice of supplying 10mm copper sealing washers as 3/8", which has given me a lot of problems lately in braking systems.

I never put this cup washer back on because I didn’t know what it would accomplish. Obviously adjustable with a regular flat washer on top.20211013_1453061