[pre-xk] Re:SS 1-1/2 litre Engine Details


Can you confirm that your 1-1/2 litre car is fitted with alloy connecting
rods and white metal main bearings? It is possible to fit a later crank and
steel rods, however the original main bearing arrangement must be maintained

The 1936/37 1-1/2 litre cars were supplied with a Standard 12 side-valve
engine which had white-metal main bearings where the bearing metal was run
into removable bearing holders and the assembly line-bored once the bearing
holders were fitted in place. In a similar way the (alloy) connecting rods
were re-metalled and machined to suit the crankshaft

With the 1938 OHV engine came replaceable slippers for the main and crank
bearings, while the respective diameters were increased by approximately
0.25" (main) and 0.2" crank. Not surprisingly, these changes were also made
to Standard 12, Standard 14, Triumph and Jaguar engines which were all
produced by the Standard Motor Company

I can certainly help you with some of the parts you need


Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 09:49:19 +0200
From: “David Shield” d.shield@sbcglobal.net
Subject: [pre-xk] More 1.5L sidevalve questions

Hi all,

Background: This '36 SS Saloon was rebuilt by a shop in ~1980. It
only logged a few miles before being parked in a museum for 17
years - with absolutely no prep for the storage. Thus, the engine
clearly had serious rust problems. The engine has been removed
and torn down. The head is unsalvagable, but Steve Byles has
rescued me with a really decent head and gasket. Read futher…

The machine shop called today. They have taken the engine apart
and they have a few questions:

    • Are the con rod big ends to be shimmed? If not, they are .006
      out of round. If they are to be shimmed, then there is hope.
    • What are the basic dimensions? Bore, line bore, all the bearing
      sizes. With that info they will know what they are dealing with.


    • One intake and one exhaust valve must be replaced. So too the
      valve springs - all of them.
    • Need valve guides.
    • The camshaft is worn (I didn’t get specific data.)
    • Need a thrust washer.

Might be other problems, but initially we need those basic

Thanks in advance!


David Shield

End of Pre-XK Digest V1 #462

In reply to a message from S I Byles sent Mon 6 Sep 2004:

Hello Steve,

I am certain that the rods are alloy - they are white in color and
do not take a magnet. As for the bearings, I don’t know. I had
the machine shop take the whole lot apart, so I’ll go visit them on
Tuesday and see what we’ve got in front of us.

Just fyi, the block is the one that came with the car: 59401. It
says Standard 12 right on the side.

I’ll report back on dimensions and damage…

Thanks again, and best regards,

David Shield
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from David Shield sent Tue 7 Sep 2004:

Steve, Ed, and all,

I’ve posted some pictures taken on Wednesday at the machine shop.

The block needs to be decked a little. The valve seats need work;
so do two of the valves. The bores have not been miked yet, but
there is little doubt that a set of pistons is on the shopping
list. Con rods, too. The big end clearances are all over the
place - oval by .006, for example.

Note the camshaft and thrust collar (I guess that’s what it’s
called.) They are pretty well worn, and unless the tolerances are
OK, I’ll be sourcing replacements. The lifters either need to be
spot-faced or replaced. The distributor shaft is badly corroded at
the top, but maybe not down lower where the tolerance is

The shop will check all the clerances against the data that Steve
sent to me. Then we’ll know what exactly is needed.

Cheers, all.

David Shield
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from David Shield sent Fri 10 Sep 2004:


Nice pics but alittle sad subject matter.

The crank pulley appears to be the same as all pushrod engines
except the postwar 3 1/2 litre.
The cam shaft front bearing looks to be the same as all pushrod
engines.There’s probably no reason a new one couldn’t be machined
from solid cast iron stock.
The cam followers were chilled cast iron; hardened be chilling
when still hot.
If faced again, you need to be sure that doesn’t go through the
hardening. I have one in front of me reground by a Sydney parts
seller who swore it hadn’t gone through the hardening. My calipers
say .030’’ concave profile NOW instead of the recommended .002’’
convex shape.Plays hell wit the tappet adjustment and not good for
the cam lobe.
If grinding [ any of the side valve or pushrod] cam followers,
they need to have a radius of 6’ on top. This is so they will
rotate and not wear in one spot.

One consolation I have when reading your posts , is to say, ‘’ there
but for the grace of God goes my wallet’’–
Ed Nantes SS
Melbourne, Australia
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

In reply to a message from Ed Nantes sent Fri 10 Sep 2004:


Thanks again for all your assistance. I’ve been very busy with
work and family this week and have not done a good job of

The status of the engine so far:

  • The piston bores are over by .030, with a .005 taper. So the
    machine shop recommeneds that the bores be taken to a total of .060.
  • Two of the valves (one intake, one exhaust) must be replaced.
    The others are serviceable.
  • The cam shaft and front bearing are worn at the thrust bearing.
    The lobes are OK, or at least the shop did not mention anything. I
    think they are anticipating a replacement camshaft.
  • The lifters are worn at the cam lobe side and especially where
    they meet the valve stem. Need replaced.
  • The studs have been removed - some are serviceable.
  • The distributor/oil pump shaft is badly corroded - should be
  • The front pulley oil scroll is battered - but probably usable.
    Steve Byles gave advice about how to align it w/respect to the
    timing cover.
  • Valve guides need replaced. They do not like K Line at this shop.

What I understand from this list:

  • I need to replace the alloy rods and cankshaft with steel con
    rods and crankshaft from a later model.
  • I should consider using Chevy 350 mains.
  • I should consider using a timing sprocket/chain from a later
    model motor.
  • Make sure the studs are perpendicular to the block and that the
    threads are in good condition.

The work involves most of the innards.


David Shield
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

I need to know how may main bearings are in a 1938 jaguar ss1. I know it is a 6 cylinder. I see pics from a customer wanting rods and mains rebabbitted, but the language barrier is a small challenge. Looks like possibly 7? TY , John Kohnke with https://www.kohnkerebabbittingservice.com/

Welcome John.
The model identification is another challenge barrier.

The SS1 model stopped production in 1935, though the last few were sold as '36 models. This has seven main bearings, but I don’t know whether they are babbits or shells.
This is from the 1934 Instruction Book.

If he has a '38 SS Jaguar 6 cylinder model, it may be a 2-1/2 Litre or 3-1/2 Litre, but both have seven main bearings and they are shells, not babbits.

1 Like

Welcome, indeed!

The last poured bearing concern in Denver ceased doing business in the early 80s: if ever I find myself needing of being asked about a shop like yours, I’ve made a mental note of yours!

Where are you located?

EDIT: I see you are in Ioway!

Iowa. Over 50 years, 2nd generation. Tin base high speed babbitt only. 0 lead, precision machining. TY, John with:

1 Like

If you post a picture or two we can certainly identify it.
Is it a flat head or overhead valve?
But start a new topic, as the 1-1/2 Litre is a four cylinder and you said your customer is asking about a six cylinder.


If it’s a 1938 it would be OHV even if it was a four-banger. But this is definitely the wrong thread as all six-bangers were 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 litres anyways. They all had seven main bearings (the 4-cyl only has three main bearings) and I have never seen one without clipped bearings, but would be interested to see photos of it.