Fed up with bleeding knuckles


Is there a special tool for turning the engine over by hand - my ring spanner keeps slipping off the crankshaft bolt and I’ve run out of sticking plasters.


(Robert Wilkinson) #2

There’s a lot in the archives although I don’t seem to be able to find it right now. Briefly, a socket is required–the bolt head is Whitworth but very close to 1 5/16 inch, which works fine. If in situ on some cars, the depth of a socket/breaker bar fouls the radiator fan, making it impossible to use. Folks have made their own sockets, and posted photos (which I can’t find). One was made from a pipe fitting, with a piece of bar stock welded on for a handle. The idea is to fabricate a socket/handle that will fit between the harmonic balancer and whatever is in front of it.

Hopefully others will have better memories or ideas.


My sockets are too deep to clear the radiator cowl and the problem with the 10 degree ring is that it fouls the smaller bolt heads on the pulley and slips off. In the absence of anything better I was going to get a 1 5/16 deep offset ring spanner so that the ring sits deep in the pulley recess and (hopefully) the offset handle will sit between the front of the engine and the rad cowl and fan blades. If that fails I’ll cut down a socket and weld a bar on. I haven’t been able to find a ratchet ring spanner that will do the job.


(Robert Wilkinson) #4

Could work. I tried that but the offset (though adequate) of the spanner I bought is slightly too gradual, so that the angled part fouled on the balancer. If one heated and bent a box spanner at a steeper angle it should work–basically the same thing as welding a handle to a shallow socket. A 3/8 drive short socket might fit with a 3/8 breaker bar, but all I’ve found have been either 1/2 or 3/4 drive. Let us know what you find.

Forgot to mention…I made the top part of my radiator cowl removable. Helps, but the fan is still a bother.

(69 FHC ) #5

On my car with the socket and extension shown in the below photo, the breaker bar (or ratchet) fits between the anti-sway bar and picture frame.

(Paul M. Novak) #6

Solutions will vary depending on what year and model Jaguar you are working on. It’s pretty simple on my 1969 E-Type FHC (4.2L), but much more of a challenge on my 1984 Series III XJ6 VdP.
What year and model Jaguar are you working on?


(Mike Spoelker) #7

I have an XK120. There is only an inch or so between the end of the crank bolt and the radiator. The crank end bolt is 3/4"-16 thread. I replaced the Jaguar Whitworth 1-5/16" hex head bolt with a 12 point aftermarket ARP crank bolt for a Chrysler big block V8 (426 Hemi, 440 Wedge, etc). It takes a 1/2" drive (my 1-5/16" socket required a 3/4" drive) 1-1/16" 12 point socket and has a much smaller head. I can also use a box end wrench. you can see the difference in the size of the sockets in the photos.

(Robert Wilkinson) #8

Great idea! I special ordered a 1/2" drive 1-5/16" socket, but it was shaped just like a 3/4" drive, only with a smaller square hole! No cigar.

I wonder if the threaded hole in the crank is identical to UNF, given that the bolt itself has a Whitworth head? Wrong pitch for Whitworth, though.

(Mike Spoelker) #9

I don’t think that the threads in the crank snout are actually Whitworth. As you point out, 16 tpi is a UNF pitch, while a Whitworth would be 12 tpi BSF.

All of the fasteners in the attached photo are 3/4"-16. All of the major and minor pitches, thread roots, etc, mic up the same. The UNF NAS 12 point nut threads onto the Jaguar bolts the same as it does the SAE and NAS stud and bolt.

Left to right in the attached photo:

  1. Jaguar, long, dished, 1-5/16" hex head. I think this came from a 4.2?
  2. Earlier Jaguar, 1-5/16" hex head, not sure of origin, 3.4L or 3.8L
  3. Grade 8 SAE stud with NAS 12 point airframe nut, 15/16" across the flats, (Boeing military surplus), 150,000 psi minimum
  4. NAS 1952C5 jet engine bolt, A286 stainless, 1-1/16" hex, (military surplus), 180,000 psi minimum
  5. (bottom right) SAE Grade 8 cap screw, 1-1/8" hex, 150,000 psi minimum

(Mike Spoelker) #10

You can also get an ARP Chrysler crank bolt that is broached in the end with square hole that accepts a 1/2" drive ratchet or breaker bar. No socket at all is required to turn the crank.


The clearance behind the fan and shroud of my S1 XJ is too small for a standard socket and/or ratchet head so I made up a tool to save as much space as possible. I cut down a standard 1/2 inch drive 1 5/16 socket, fitted a loose 1/2 square drive shaft, and bolted a 15mm ratchet ring spanner to a length of flat steel bar. Not exactly a tool of beauty but it does what I want it to.


(Robert Wilkinson) #12

Very nice! How difficult was it to cut down the socket?

(Mike Spoelker) #13

That’s nice work, but why go to the trouble when you can change the bolt for less than $30?

(Nick 53 XK120 OTS) #14

that is a nice made up tool, I made one, not as cool as that,just a large wrench, then cut off enuf of the end so it would clear the floor, heated and bent it,trial-error to fit on, clear the pulley etc,as others have said, in situ the clearance for socket was not sufficient,downside is the wrench has to come off, back on each part of a turn, BTW.,made a tool for the distributor clamp nut…handy to have an easy one,

(Phil.Dobson) #15

Are the Spark plugs out

(tony) #16

when my hands were good, I could rotate a 4.2 by pulling on the fanbelt, with plugs out.

I have several old Whitworth ring spanners of the correct size, ended up cutting one down slightly, and its crank offset is perfect for sliding in there.

Where access is tight, I find it easier to lay on the carpet, and do it from below, no need to lift the car


A thin metal cutting wheel in a 4 1/2 inch angle grinder did the job with little difficulty. The Chrome V was not as hard as I thought it would be. The difficult part was getting the cut aligned so that both ends joined up at the same point, but a couple of minutes with a grinding wheel sorted that out.


(Robert Wilkinson) #18

Thanks, Frankie. I was thinking of an abrasive wheel too. Hard to saw I imagine.

(Paul Wigton) #19

Boy… does THAT statement bring it all home, about the passage of time, and why my time doing much of anything on cars is coming to an end.