New XK120 owner

I just moved into XK ownership, being into E-types I am quite a newbie on these cars.

Here is the beauty

I am considering aeroscreen and bucket seats but else just keep it as is.

Any book recommendations for a (newbie) XK120 owner?
Need an originality book and service or workshop manual?

It has W1172-7 installed, the original W 2781-7 is on a pallet.

Did Jaguar stamp the engine blocks as well for the XK cars? Never seen (or thought about it) on the E-types.

First thing on the list, adjust the clutch and of course change all the fluids.

The handbrake got me fiddling a bit :grin:

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Looks fine.

The handbrake is what is known as the fly-off type, meaning you can slap it with the back of your hand and it will fly off, which is useful for certain driving situations, such as starting off on a hill. You push the button to put the brake ON.

Yes, the blocks are stamped with the serial number, at the place where the oil filter is attached.

XK120 numbers began with W1001. The “-7” suffix on the number means that the compression ratio is 7:1, and you can use regular lower octane fuel.

The workshop manual is available on CD-ROM or paper reprint from parts sources, and sometimes originals turn up on ebay. It includes Mark VII along with XK120 information.

Nice looking car…Jaguar parts catalogue… and Viart xk120 explored will both be very usefull… Steve

obtain the print parts catalogue for XK from Moss Motors. Of course Factory Service Manual. You will want to have the set of Factory Service Bulletins that revise the Manual in many topics and parts: IF you get XK120 Explored, there is a list of errata–to obtain. Use non detergent 30 wt in gear box…I have found best to be Millersoil Vintage 30wt non detergent. Great car–have fun…check in here often…and after a few posts–to become a tenured member, you can search archives using the magnify at top right…type in key words…select XK category…when drop down appears with posts…click More–at the bottom…you can find info on anything…
For info on the Service Bulletin set…send me a Private message–click on my name here.

Thanks for feedback, I ordered a a copy of the official workshop manual and a used copy of Kenneth Ball / Autobooks on the xk and mark 7-9 for having something smaller for quick reference on the desk in the garage.

I like to have a Hanes, Chilton or similar books laying around in the garage for quick reference. The originals workshop manuals are often rather big and bulky, well at least the E-type service manuals they are huge.

The car is also running way too rich and as soon as it has new fluids it is time for setting carbs, it looks rather straight forwards and slighly less work than the tri carb E-types. Seems like the approach is much like the HD8, 2.5 turns down, check for binding, top up with oil, use the sync tool and “lift the” tab and listen. Readjust as neccessary,

The oil filter seem to be missing some small parts surrounding the filter / in canister.
Dunno if I can get those parts anymore but I have a complete console from Mark X that may contribute. I would like to use the original style oil console and not a spin on kit.


If you are running on 98E5 it may need different needles. This is a long topic on the E-type forum, and IMO affects all SU carbs. I experienced this already 20 years ago with my ex S1 E-type and the same story with the XJ6C with 2x SU HS8’s. I haven’t had this issue so much with the MKV but that may also be due to less mileage and lower revs. :wink:

The problem with European 98E5 (and likely elsewhere) is that if you adjust it so mixture is good at 3.000-5.500rpm it will be too rich at idle with the original needle profile. If you adjust it so the idle is good and not rich, you may run lean beyond 4.000rpm and burn a hole in a piston or exhaust valve! :frowning_with_open_mouth:

This is best done at a dyno and measuring the AFR from the exhaust.


Hi Pekka…i cant remember seeing a long thread on this…can you post a link please…thanks…Steve

Hi Steve,

Sure, it may be that it was 15-20 years ago when the problem first emerged. :laughing:

Pls allow me to get back to the city and a computer so I can search easier than on my phone. :+1:


Thank, happy for any info on setting carbs. I am only cruising and 4000K rpm is not going to happen often if at all.

The current engine block seem to be from an early 60’s MK2 (KH2286?), the little I have driven it seem to go along fine with the early xk120 head but I plan to restore original engine.

Guess the console is mk2 then, the canister is angled, console indicate filter fa2744 / element fc2306. Maybe I can mount the Mark X canister, it is complete and should accept a much larger filter.

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The MKX canister does not fit without installing the whole console, but being a MK2 block & console the missing parts and the filter became much more available.

Edit: Not so easy, the filter I took out was approx 80 mm, the canister is around 115 mm. Looks like a mix of parts. The original MK2 canister would have touched the frame so I understand the need for using that shorter canister, however it makes for a puzzle when finding parts. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

KH is a 3.4 Liter Mark 2.
The original type oil filter head was also used on early Mark VII.

But check if your present head has an oil return hose going into the oil pan.

Yes, the return line is there, looks to be installed when they dropped in the MK2 block.
MK X console is a tight fit, less than an inch from torsion bar, not sure if I can go with that.

You appear to have the original early XK120 flat bottom sump (aka oil pan), but someone has drilled a hole and put in a copper elbow on the side. I suppose that was their idea of a return hose port. The larger hole with 6 screws is for the oil level sensor.

The correct oil filter canister is above the torsion bar.

When you remove your oil filter head, check to be sure you have all the oil passages in the side open, none blocked with a plug.

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Thanks, will check for blocked passages.

I will try to source an early console with the longer filter (late XK120) or “worst case” a spin on modification.

Blocked off, going to be hard to remove in situ.

I compared to a '63/64 3.8 Mark X engine, the holes seem to identical to the 3.4.

Also compared to a '67 4.2 E-type engine, that console with the spin on would fit but it does not have a return. Did not bother taking off that console and check the passages at this moment though.
(edit: yes it must have a return to the bottom of the pan, right? The engine is stored so close to the wall I did not bother dragging its out).

Suppose I will have to stick to a console with return line and possibly check the length and purchase a “mark2 spin on kit”.

There’s a lot to do before that console now. Way too much gasket cement so the pan is off. There has been a significant leak from the console (wrong/faulty seals) and it is going to take a healthy amount of brake cleaner to fix the mess.

It is snowing outside and this kind of work on a new to me car is satisfying. :+1:

'63/64 Mark X engine

'67 E-type engine with spin on

The XK, seem to have room for E-type style console/canister.

It looks like those screw plugs are staked in place so as to not fall out.
I guess they won’t hurt anything just leaving them alone.
So long as you have a return somewhere.

Yes, I think that is the way to go. Keep the console and get a spin on or find a filter that is fine with the 115 mm canister.

The sump gaskets seem to be same for early XK engines and up to the 3.8 at least.

I’ve never heard the filter head called a console. Are you translating from another language?

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In my native Norwegian we may noe even have a name for it, suppose we would have said “the whole oil filter” and not distinguish it being a part combined of various elements.

In the Porsche world it is no uncommon that we call the oil and fuel filter assemblies Console, guess I am using that in lack of a better fantasy.

The MFI Porsche’s" had the fuel console up to the left and the oil console down in the right rear fender, of course unlike Jaguar the Porsche oil filter sit in the rear fender together with the oil tank.

I do see that Google finds a lot of “oil filter assemblies” concerning the Jaguar version, maybe I am able to remeber that term for the future. :slightly_smiling_face:

Next on the todo list is to order gaskets, am pretty sure I have a few of the felt seals but it is perhaps a no-no to install a felt seal these days?