1953 XK120 FHC engine installation

(Bernard) #1

Hello everybody,
From an expert point of view, when putting the engine back in the car, what makes more sense? 1 - install the engine alone, then bolt the transmission to it from inside the car or 2 - install the engine with the transmission already attached to it from the engine compartment.
I’m asking this question because I didn’t take the car apart myself and I’m quite sure one way is better (or easier) than the other.
Thank you,


(jdjagguy) #2

I have always done number 2.
Good luck with your project.


(Lee140FHC) #3

I would at least remove the gear lever, if not the top cover, FWIW.


(Morris Barnett) #4

I also would do number 2. Its about a 600 lb lift.


(jagmg) #5

Number 2. Definitely. Mine went quite easily. Good luck .


(Rob Reilly) #6

I’ve done it both ways. I don’t really have a preference, it more depends on what lifting equipment you have available. At the time I did not have the angle adjuster shown by Morris.
Using both methods I had the carbs, oil filter, generator and exhaust manifolds off.
Method 1, I had the seats, floors and gearbox tunnel off, and supported the rear of the engine on a stack of wood blocks.
Method 2, I had the gear lever off.
There is a method 3, having the gearbox in first and fitting the engine up to it dangling from the chainfall, but I have done that on a BMW and I found it a lot more troublesome.

Another thing to be aware of, if your 120 is LHD, there is a big coil spring on the clutch operating shaft, and it should have 2 big flat washers, one on each end of this spring, which act as bearing surfaces so the sharp end of the spring doesn’t dig into the bushing in the chassis. If you pull the shaft out one of these flat washers will drop inside the chassis and you’ll have a difficult time getting it out. If yours is missing, it may have already dropped inside. Guess how I know.
Anyway check for those two washers before you put the engine and trans in.


(Phil.Dobson) #7

method 2 is what i went with.I dont have the adjustable angle device and didn’t have an issue with angles. i can send a video if you are interested. Rob makes an excellent point regarding the clutch operating shaft


(Morris Barnett) #8

Although my picture shows an engine angle adjuster I found it useless as I could not get enough angle to lift the engine out, and also I had too much chain and ran out of height adjustment, I then connected a small chain between the second row of head bolts and used a come -along to lift and lower the tail of the gearbox, this system worked perfectly.


(Bernard) #9

@Rob_Reilly @jdjagguy @Lee140FHC1 @Phil.Dobson @myfdun @jagmg

Thanks to you all for your input. It always scares me to look at a picture of a complete engine being dropped back in an XK. I’m thinking at this fresh paint job and how little it takes for a disaster to happen.
Best regards