Craig Restores a Series III OTS - Part XVII


Part I - Introduction of Hobby Shop and removal of engine/transmission

Part II - Removal of all wiring harnesses, dropping fuel tank, stripping the car of all ancillaries and cleaning asphalt coating from under-body/bonnet

Part III - Engine Tear Down, Removal of Heads, Chrome to Chrome shop, Prep for and actual Painting of the Jaguar

Part IV - A comprehensive matrix of nickel and cadmium platers // Procedure for removing crankshaft // Removing timing chain, guides and tensioner // Repair Timing Chain Cover (aluminum welding) // V12 Exhaust system options // Removal and ultimately Replacing Oil Pump ($$) // Checking Cam Sprockets for reuse // Challenges of removing 6 stuck pistons/sleeves (significant portion of this thread) – including a trip to a machinist; spread over a wide range of posts // Discussion of glass beading and/vs vapor blasting // Return of Chrome

Part V - carbs and dizzy return from rebuild (with contact data) // options for A/C compressor // installed left and right side wiring harnesses and Bulkhead Harness // challenges attaching Bulkhead Harness Grommet (C30670) // Elastrator as a possible tool to solve issue // more on vapor blasting – a definitive discussion // purchased a non-Series III boot lid seal during a group buy to use as a boot lid seal // started install of distributed compressed air from the compressor.

Part VI - processes of wiring new bulkhead harness to the 4x new fuse boxes // variations of Series III Wiring Diagrams // MarekH: Jaguar Wiring 101 // how-to regarding Home Made Circuit Tester for less than $10 // Comparo of newly cadmium bits and tubes to old // rebuilding wiper motor // new Exhaust System // comparo of incandescent bulbs to LED equivalent // camparo of mechanical brake light switch vs hydraulic // tricks to re-installing pick-up/return lines and the ins and outs of the in-tank fuel filter // receipt of all bits to rebuild heads and choosing a machine shop // YouTube videos covering the wiring of the 10x switches on the gauge panel // a source for better than new Front Upper A-Arms (AKA wishbones)

Part VII - the Terminal Post on a Series III is Whitworth (a 1/4 Whitworth Spanner will be correct) and the proper sequencing of the cables // the utility of grounding straps including photos of OEM grounding straps locations // do’s and don’ts’s of applying Dielectric Grease // heads are refurbished – machining done // a schedule of lead times for out-sourced procedures // application of ceramic coating on my fresh paint // definitive identification of Horn Relay Bracket // installing LED panels in brake/tail lamps and front turn signals // a pair of restored Upper Wishbones arrive from Australia // THE definitive discussion of dealing with hydrogen embrittlement on cadmium plated parts //

Part VIII - the need for special washers or rivets to attach side chrome on door // testing fuel sender // installing X-Mat sound-heat barrier on floor pan // receive crankshaft and ConRods back from balancing / polishing // the utility of DEI heat shields // return of ½ the front suspension pieces from cad Plater // Interior Kit receives // the complete solution of the placement of unmarked underfelt pieces

Part IX - applying ACF-50 on aluminum pieces, pressing in Front Suspension Bushings, installation technique for C30670 firewall grommet, stripping radiator cowl. dealing with inner and outer seals on window crank handle.

Part X - assembly of Pistons onto Rods, deciphering A and B pistons vs A and B Head on V12, beginning to reattach front suspension, front horseshoe frame can go on two ways but only one is correct, techniques to plug the air Injection Ports on exhaust side of V12 heads, powder coated cam covers, locknuts vs lock washers, repair options for A/C evaporator and condenser, repair options to rebuild PS rack, A/C compressor replacement options, relay on switches of A/C evaporator, window regulator and various door seals, installing pistons on crankshaft, no need to clock gaps in piston rings, correct version of timing chain tensioner, PDWA install, renewing Radiator Fan Motors, and Bulkhead Layout diagram.

Part XI - how to re-attached hard lines, sources for Belleville Washers, correct assembly order for washers/spacers/etc on upper/lower front suspension, THE definitive discussion about window regulator - where seals go (and where they don’t) - lube points - winder spring - how to insert the regulator - sequence of insertion, Lesson Learned about trusting vs verifying (ref machine shop setting valve lash), dimensions and obstructions for hard wood spacer insert in the bottom of the picture frame, adding a duct fan to fresh air hoses, grounding strap(s), and it’s a tie down point used during shipping not a towing eye.

strong textPart XII - upper and lower door glass stops, applying DEI Heat Shields to Trans Tunnel, importance of cleanliness of regulator spring, Terry’s for long and short PS Rack lines (plan on 3-5 weeks for delivery), orientation of motor mounts (and the challenges of mounting them), installing boot matting and the mat that doesn’t belong on an OTS (lots of photos of original matting), conducting a gas leak test of valves sets, short block → long block, powder coating results.

Part XIII - Sources for Brake Line Kit, trials of 2x small head studs that stripped during head torqueing procedure (biggest coverage), dimension of lower window stop, 1986-92 dead Pedal from RX7 works/fits in Series III XKE, install of duct fans, install of fresh air vents in cabin, items to check on steering column before reinstalling it, reassembly of heater matrix with new matrix, new valve and sealing kit.

Part XIV - restoring/rebuilding the Gauge Panel, differences between original harness an British Wire harness, option for boot-mounted seat belt system, digital IVR, mechanical oil pressure gauge, restoring and ball bearing size for choke mechanism, leather cover for center console, cleaning upper half of steering column, ED bulbs for instrument panel, the trick to removing the Brake Light Switch, removing torsion bar brackets and sound deadening pad, dropping the IRS (do’s and don’t’s), sources for Series III Brake Line Kit, attaching points for brake and fuel lines.

Part XV - initial clean up IRS, attempt at a chemical rep[air of the 2x small head studs that tore out some of he aluminum FAILED, magnafluxed 9x exhaust manifolds (only 2 passed muster), a visit by @REBUILD61OTS results in installation of the Series III fuel tank and the rear bumper assembly, assembly of radiator cowl assembly onto radiator, installed cooling fans with relays and new wiring harness, a lengthy and detailed discussion of the disassembly and (my attempted reassembly) of the upper steering column with incredible input from @angelw regarding which kit to use and NOT to use along with in-depth guidance on do’s and don’t’s during reassembly. Pretty shot listing – easily 60% of Part XV dealt with the upper steering column.

Part XVI - Buttoned up fuel tank (installed and wired fuel Level Float and Fuel Pick-Up/Return lines openings), tested fuel pump, plumbed fuel lines in boot, sourced wiring bullets and bullet installation tools, test fit 3x dash board panels, applied Jet-Hot coating to headers, built list covering the sequence of reassembly, learned I can reuse flywheel bolts (C4855*) (thanks to @Wiggles and @Jeff_Schroeder), attached demister cable to driver- and passenger-side control knobs (learned not to lose the half-high nuts but if ya do, they are British Standard Cycle thread - Thank You to @davidxk)


So - let’s open Part XVII with a question or two regarding speedometer cables.

I was gonna run the cable from the gauge panel, secure it the trans tunnel below the dash and leave it hang in the hole for the Transmission.

I opened out my box labeled “Transmission” and pulled out a cable, then another . . . one more. I have my original cable and four (FOUR!!) replacement, new ones. Good LORD! – where was my mind.

The good news is that three of the four match the length of my original: 49"
But one of these things is not like the others – it is 66.5" long and has a weird trumpeted end:

Clearly doesn’t belong

The other three have minor differences - don’t know if it matters:

Option 1: This cable is the correct length, the metal clamps on the ends have different sized “collars”, and both cable ends have spirals

OPTION 2: This cable also has the correct length, however, the “collars” are the same thickness, and one cable end has spirals the other is smooth:

OPTION 3: The cable still in a bag also has the correct length, the “collars” are the same (just like the cable described in Option 2), but both cable ends has spirals (just like the cable described in Option 1)

QUESTION 1 - does it matter which of the three correct-length cables I use?

QUESTION 2 - I was gonna ask if it matters which end goes in the speedometer and which goes in the transmission. I answered this one myself while comparing the three above cables.
Turns out one cable end is secured with a hex nut while the other end has a knurled, round fastener – apparently finger tight on this end is good enough atbth3 speedometer.
The hex nut goes to the 90° drive on the tranny
The knurled round fastener attaches to the back of the speedo.

So – that breaks down my questions to:

  • the sensitivity of the inner cable shape (smooth or with spiral cuts) and
  • the dimension of the collars on the cable ends.

TIA - Craig

PS - any one need a replacement speedometer cable? Cheap! Seem – I have a few choose from

Craig, I could use one. I have a 72 - 2+2 … will one of your extras fit ?


According to SNG Barratt’s site

the cable fits both OTS and 2+2 which makes sense since both are on the same wheelbase. Once I figure which one I need (if there is ANY difference at all between them), one of the remaining cables is yours.

Watch this space

Craig this is a great resource for anyone doing a detailed restoration and the trials and tribulations….maybe worth thinking about doing an “e book” when your finished…”How to restore a XKE v12 step by step” …my journey into the great unknown!


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Thanx Danny

That has been my intent from the very beginning. I would guesstimate that 85-90% of the posts on here apply to the Series I and IIs - the “true” XKEs. Sure - postings on carbs, IRS, hydraulics, gauges etc can apply across all 3 of the Series, but I have the red-headed step child of an engine/wiring harness with A/C. That is why I really REALLY appreciate the true Jag technicians chiming in (@angelw, @Jeff_Schroeder, @Wiggles, @Ray_Livingston, @davidsxj6 to mention some of the frequent posters - I’m sure I missed someone) - they lend the profession responses we all crave.
By bundling their combined experiences and expertise in a series of threads dedicated to the V12, those J-L’ers with 12 cylinders will hopefully have one source shopping for most of their V12 answers

If you think my OCD has been apparent so far, just wait until I start reassembling the engine in earnest – that’s were I believe this series of threads will really benefit the Series III-ers on here. I started to do a detailed deep-dive on setting up the cams when my heads were being assembled - but I didn’t know enough to give it decent coverage - and most on here will sub that joyful job to a machinist. Same same when @Wiggles traveled to my shop to lay the crankshaft, to install the heads and timing chain, etc - he moved too fast for me to follow and I missed the nuances as the jobs were wrapped up.

I don’t know if I’ll have the energy (or expertise) to do an “e book” when I’m finished. Didn’t somebody do that for the XJ-S V12?? – @Kirbert . I think he is still in recovery. If I do have the dedication and gumption to do so, you have already provided me with the perfect title
”How to Restore a XKE V12 Step by Step . . . My Journey into the Great Unknown!"

The rest of the title…

"How to Restore a XKE V12 Step by Step . . . My Journey into the Great Unknown, And How To Make A Small Fortune Doing So: Start With a Large Fortune!"


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I continue to install small bits on the chassis that will not get in the way when installing the engine/transmission assembly back into place.

My next area of reassembly turned to the brakes forward of the firewall. (To apply the new undercarriage coating, my painter needs temps in the 70s F. When that is accomplished, I can spend sometime under the car with brake lines, fuel lines, heat shields, et al). So I started laying out the brake lines with the 3-way union as a known starting point.

And I stopped. Stymied again.

I have the original brake lines zip-tied to their new counterpart. I intended to reuse the bronze 3-way brake union that distributes fluid from the master/slave cylinder to the L/R front brakes.

This is as far as I can extract he original 3-way brake union

  • I can NOT unthread/remove the original 3-way brake union off the original brake line.
  • I can unthread it about 2/3 of the way and then the fitting spins but does not continue to come off
  • I can tighten the original 3-way brake union back onto the brake line - so the back 1/2 of the threads are not buggered.
  • I sprayed PB Blaster into the threads - no improvement
  • as seen above I clamped a line wrench in a vice and steadied the line with one hand and turned/pulled the original 3-way brake union with the other trying to remove it – NO JOY

Replacing the original 3-way brake union is no problem - the usual’s carry them, they are in stock and cost only $12-15 each - but CHINA, fitment of replacement parts, etc

So – is there a trick to removing the original 3-way brake union?
(It is now a point of pride and the last few orders for parts I submitted, the cost of shipping exceeded the combined cost of the 4-6 small parts.)

Often times, the flare gets mushroomed out from over-tightening, and other than grabbing the tee with a pair of vice grips gently and turning and pulling at the same time, that’s about all you can do.