ENV axle access door

Hello List,

My early steel bodied XK120 has a Salisbury 2HA differential installed and I wish to install 3.27:1 ENV axle I acquired a few years ago. I am looking for information on the access door which I understand is located in the battery box area. The battery box sheet metal was replaced in 1979 as the original had rotted out. Also, I am confused about the aluminum axle wedges that were used on the ENV axles. I understand they were only used for lowering the car if it was to be raced. If that is incorrect and they are to be fitted to all ENV axles, does anyone have dimensions or a supplier!

Thanks in advance!

My FHC has an ENV axle but no access door. I wish it did, would make it easier checking the dipstick and adding oil. This is the first I’ve heard of one. Anyone else know more?

Here is a thread about wedges from 1997 and picked up again in 2017.
I remember we noticed there was a difference in the height of the saddle welded to the axle.

Hi Geoff –

If you read that part about there being an access door in Viart’s book then know that it doesn’t exist. I’ve never seen one. Also, the axle wedges were not solely some sort of aftermarket race modification. Both the factory maintenance manual and parts catalog call for these wedges on certain early models. Someone once mentioned Viart’s book as not having been peer reviewed and thus, one man’s opinion. I’ve found some truth in that. Anyway, what seems to determine whether you will need wedges or not will be a look at the saddles at each end of your ENV axle. Is there a visible gap between the bottom of your axle housing and the top of your saddle bottom? If so, you have one of the later type ENV axles like Rob Reilly’s and may not need the wedges. If there is no gap then you probably have one of the earlier axles like mine so then you would need them. Post a picture of what you have in this area so I and others can better determine what you need or don’t. I have just finished installing my rebuilt rear end and still have the wheels and fenders off so if you still need dimensions for the wedges I can provide them when I’m next at the garage.

Hope this helps.

Well here is my access door . I actually removed it today . It looks factory fitted , if not some one has gone to a lot of trouble cutting the square holes for the screw clips . It is aluminium and well rotted so I assume it to be original .

What is the make and model of the car in your picture? It doesn’t look anything like my Jaguar XK120, especially with the tube shocks.

Thanks for the responses everyone. I don’t own Viart’s book. Unfortunately, I am away from the car on an extended business trip and won’t be able to verify in which book, (Porter’s or XK120Explored), I recall the reference to an access door. On my return home I will verify where the reference was seen and take photos of my ENV axle supports and post them.

Yours in the sport, Geoff

Mine is a XK140 SE FHC 1955

Son of a gun. Must be something that came about with the XK140’s then(?). Thanks for posting this Jim. I’m thinking that when Viart wrote his XK120 Explored book, he attributed what’s on your car to the XK120’s as well. Unless this was something that came about on the very late production cars – like the rarely seen curved parking brake handle.

I’m finishing the installation of my rear end so before everything gets buried/ covered over with brake hydraulic lines, parking brake cables, dog bones, etc. – here are the dimensions of the aluminum wedges should you (or others) need to make them:

Length: 4.890"

Width: 1.750"

Height: 1.000" (at rear) and 1.250" (at front)

Also, center and drill a hole to match the diameter of the pin that holds all of the leaves of the leaf springs together. This will keep the wedges in place after installation.

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Thanks Christopher, much appreciated.

Regards, Geoff

Hello Christopher,

I have verified that the ENV axle has two spring mounts that are on my ENV axle position the axle 1 1/8” above the springs. Would this match your ENV axle and require the wedges to be installed?

Regards, Geoff

Here is Chris’ early ENV axle with shorter saddles and wedges.

Here is my later ENV axle with taller saddles and no wedges. You can see a large space between the axle tube and the base of the saddle. Thus the tall saddles eliminate the need for the wedges.

Are not the wedges used to ensure the proper angularity of the driveshaft yokes?

Thanks Rob, your axle looks exactly like mine, so no wedges required.

Regards, Geoff


Yet another odd anomaly, if 670203 has the later axle, where the SPC says cars up to 671097 should have had the early axle and needing the wedges.

Yes, the wedges ensure front/rear shaft parallelism, and are apparently only needed on the early axles which presumably had the saddles welded on at not quite the right angle to suit Mr. Heynes.
The later ENV axles presumably have the saddles welded on at a more correct angle.
The idea is that the gearbox output shaft and differential input shaft should be parallel at normal riding height with average passengers. But they can be offset by quite a large amount as long as they are parallel.
If it had been just a matter of saddle height, simply to adjust the riding height of the car, they would not have needed to be wedge shaped, a straight block would have done the job.

It would be good to take some measurements of these parameters on a few cars to ensure that we have really nailed down all the aspects of this 20 year old question.

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Hello Rob,

The ENV axle I am installing is not the original axle as somewhere in the cars history a previous owner replaced the ENV axle with a 3.77:1 Salisbury 2HA axle. I wanted a lower ratio axle and acquired the ENV axle which is a 3.27:1 ratio.

It is newer than the car and explains why it has the higher supports and does not need the wedges.

Regards, Geoff

I’d love to know the numbers on your 3.27 ENV axle, Geoff, if you made a note of them. I’m collecting all the ENV numbers I can.


Hello Terry and Chris,

I am on the road at present but will confirm the numbers later this week.

Regards, Geoff


Geoff you could stop and check! :smile: