Junk Engine Rebuild by Richard Owen

Richard Owen was the Project Manager for my E-Type. I gave him a 7 month window to complete the job, Shell off, total rebuild, which ended up as everything I asked for, a stunning job end to end. Out of that, I quite liked him and was very impressed with the shop’s dogged attention to detail, run by his Dad, Mike Owen.

As an aside, he had what he called a “Junk” 4.2 that he got for $1000, initially for parts. It was seized but looked complete. With a lot of patience, he decided to rebuild it with the original parts, and is putting it all up on YouTube. For the hands on folks here, I think you might enjoy spending an evening following along to where he is now, with more to come. Here’s the link:

Richard’s Junk E-Type Engine Rebuild

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I’ve been watching the episodes of the rebuild on YouTube and have enjoyed them. He’s not only entertaining, but seems to know a lot about his work without crowing about every nuance like some folks. Pretty down to earth for a specialist.



His Dad (in some of the episodes) is also a most interesting and modest guy, full of technical wisdom, great judgement and a lot of experience on the nuances of these damn things. He also raced some British “stuff” for quite a while.

I documented the refresh of my car here , and Richard’s straightforward style is pretty recognizable in the videos in that thread. The whole Owen experience was a treat for this old man and his “E Type bucket list item in a hurry”. :slight_smile:

Beautiful car and thanks for the link to your restoration. I like his videos a lot and I believe I watched your engine install earlier today when @L.Lynn sent a link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JajeP90-tI0

I see you are in Victoria, BC. A bunch of us on an Oil Leak were up there for Jaguars on the Island a few years ago. We were driving all the bug covered E-Types that were out on the field. Beautiful place for a car show.


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Yes, that’s mine. Victoria / Vancouver Island is a great place for a Canadian… South of Bellingham, as we say, warmest place in Canada. The only way I’ll leave here is in a pine box. I put the car in the JOTI for 2018 and got this, even tho I didn’t enter the car in any category …

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He’s not using it correctly Paul.
Scary workshop practices…

Nice trophy! Was that you removing the dipstick in the video just before they lowered the body onto the engine?


No… that was a guy who supplied the barn find hard top who took an interest in the build. There was a fairly big cheering section that followed the project at Owen’s shop for the 7 months, and generally met there. Slowed up the build, but it was a lot of fun telling war stories by all. We shared the same thing… a long time on the planet bus.

The only test that matters is that it doesn’t leak…

Just watched the 7 episodes thanks for posting. That was great photography and very informative.
I was wondering why he didn’t change the scalloped drive gears for the stronger all teeth gears.
That’s what I did to mine, I got the gears from Dick Maury.004

He did on mine, but he’s keeping it all historically original just because it’s for himself. Even the pistons. Different story for customers.

Has there ever been a documented case, of the “weaker” toothed sprockets, ever failing?

I certainly never heard of any.

Interesting video. Wish there was something similar on a V12.
Thanks for sharing … Ole

[quote=“Wiggles, post:13, topic:372022”]
Has there ever been a documented case, of the “weaker” toothed sprockets, ever failing?

I certainly never heard of any.
Why not make them twice as strong and not worry about them.

Knock yourself out, mate!

STILL never hear of a failure.

Chances are that you wouldn’t.
It was only in production for a year or so before Jaguar elected to replace it with the 4 hole adjustment plate with the full compliment of teeth.
Presumably they had problems or else they wouldn’t have replaced it.

My take is it’s one of those areas where you don’t want to court failure, even failure with a remote chance of occurring. My engine builder recommended replacing the scalloped sprockets with the full version while the engine was being rebuilt, based on his knowledge and experience. It’s not an expwndive enhancement if one has that part of the engine apart, so it makes sense to do it.

Hi Dana,
Just want to thank you and pass my appreciation on to Richard O. I have always removed and installed my engines from below but it was often problematic, after watching the episode that Drew alluded to ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JajeP90-tI0) I realized what I had been doing wrong. I have alway had the front of the car up in the air at an angle (no lift-yet;-) and I would have to pull it (engine) up to get the rear of the engine past the torsion bar ‘ears’, having installed an engine today I can/will attest to how easy it is with the car horizontal.
I just rolled the engine under the car, dropped it down to horizontal and raised the engine up. There’s not a lot of spare room but there’s enough! Thanks!


I’ll be seeing him soon and will pass this on to him. He’s doing a barn-find video for 5 jaguar xk120’s that look interesting.


Here’s the final episode of his Junk engine rebuild.

Junk Engine - Final episode (No 11)