3.8 Block Cylinder Cracks

There seems to be a lot of success stories about repairing cracked 4.2 blocks with top hat sleeves in the archives. However, there are only a few posts about people contemplating or in the process of putting top hat sleeves in their 3.8 engines. And there doesn’t seem to be many (if any) posts about how successful the 3.8 repairs have been.

My 3.8 Mk 2 block has 3 cracks as can seen in the pictures below.

My machine shop has done several friends’ XK engines to their satisfaction, but they don’t seem too optimistic about being able to repair this one. They say they talked to a representative at LA Sleeve, and they were less optimistic than the shop is. They suggested that I talk with suppliers myself regarding advisability of doing such a repair. As I am more inclined to trust the JL membership, can anyone with a 3.8 engine tell me about their actual repair success or failure experiences?
Also, although LA Sleeve says they can custom make sleeves, they do not list them for this application in their products. Other US suppliers can supply 4.2 top hat liners, but not 3.8 (to my knowledge). Is there a US source for the 3.8 top hat liner?

At least this will bump your post !

does show a 4.2, but there is a lot of contact details for the shop listed

You would think an expensive engine that is specced for early E-type would be repairable

If custom sleeves can be made with tophats, I cannot see why it would not be repairable based on the depth of the cracks shown in the attached Youtube video

I have heard that some gasoline engines can be repaired using various standard diesel sleeves, that have been machined to fit

good luck


Not in the USA, but Rob Beere Racing sells 3.8 cylinder liners.

Rob Beere-Engine Components (rob-beere-racing.co.uk)

Perhaps Bill Terry at TT Engines would have a solution. He’s a long time Jaguar engine builder for race and street. If anybody in the USA had 3.8 liners or knew where to get them, he’d be one of my first choices.

Tt Engines : About (ttraceengines.com)



Thank you for your replies Tony and Dave. The video does provide some excellent tips for a successful repair. I’ll be sure to pass those along to my shop. And Bill Terry and Rob Beere (along with Westwood Cylinder Liners) will certainly be on my list for the next round of enquiries to suppliers. Your input is much appreciated.

My block was done by CJ a few years ago. I’m 99% sure top hats were installed, not because of cracks but because they always remove the liners to clean out rust, and top hats are as good at preventing cracks as repairing them. You might want to speak to them. I think they are a US distributor for Beere stuff.


And too,
The shop that did this video is East of Greeley Colorado…very close to where Paul Wigton lives…So, any recommendation?

1 Like

Good leads, Erica and Mitch! I’ll definitely contact CJ as they are only about a 90 minute drive away. JAMSI would certainly be a good information resource as well. I’ll start contacting suppliers and possibly other installers when my shop provides measured bore dimensions. Thank you for your help.

Wonderful attention to detail!

I’l haft look these guys up, if indeed they are near me.

EDIT: about 45 minutes away, so I see a road trip in the Jeep’s future… :blush:

1 Like

Hi Erica, yes Dan almost always installs top hat sleeves. He did my 420 engine stage 1with top hats. CJ also did my rolling restoration on my 65OTS.


As an update to this thread, enquiries were sent to most of the entities referenced above. The unanimous feedback was that when done properly, top hat sleeves would with a high level of confidence satisfactorily repair 3.8 cylinder cracks such as these. Custom made sleeves in dimensions specified by my machine shop were procured from LA Sleeve. The engine has been assembled, and first trial driving runs have begun. So far, results seem to be good. Again, thanks to all who provided input.


I have some small block cracks between two of my cylinders on my 3.8. If this is a dry sleeve motor like I’ve read, is it an issue?

Thanks for the update, very helpful.

Wish I lived near that machine shop!

I called to discuss getting work done on our 4.2 but their voicemail said they only take work from Colorado since they’re busy and a small shop (I’m paraphrasing). Prob for the best. We were in Rocky Mountain National Park last week and my wife rolled her eyes when I asked if we could drop an engine off while in Colorado :laughing:


Seems like a perfectly normal thing to do, while on vacation.