Re connect dist cap

Will do the flywheel line up in am.I have been messing up changing the plugs to the firing order.I gather its either #1 or #6 and counter clockwise from there with the firing.I think I know which part of the rotor you are talking about.If it was #1 you would where rotor was pointing as 1 then follow 53624 with the plug wires?

Here is mine with the brass arm on the rotor pointing approximately where #6 plug wire will be on the cap.
This is with the exhaust cam like this.

It’s actually slightly past the firing point.

Great.the you start there counter clockwise and change the plug wires to firing order as you go around.Fly on tdc?

Running at last.Rob,thanks for your patience working a beginner thru this,Pat also.No doubt another problem is on the horizon.If you need free neurological advice maybe Ican help.Thanks again,Spooky Durham

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That’s great, Cecil! Now, the question is: Did you cure the misfire?


Seems to at least in the garage,about to take it out to see what happens.Whatever youall have taught me a lot in the past 2 yrs.

Oops.slow start 1st time missing but then appeared to smooth out on 6 cyls.2 hours later delayed start runs on 3-4 cylinders then shuts off.Has gas dist cap and plug wires secure,any suggestions?

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Coil wire loose,back in business hopefully


hope it is purring…I sensed some firing order confusion in my read thru. #6 is the front most cylinder…toward radiator. The XK is ignition timed to fire #6 spark plug, when #6–front most is at TDC, (set to proper advance) on compression stroke of #6. So…that means…get #6 piston to TDC on compression. I like to disregard timing marks at first–the piston at TDC and closed valves RULE. So I use a rubber stopper in the #6 plug hole…(all plugs out makes the rotation easier), rotate in proper running direction turning engine by hand–which ever way works, big nut on crank front, fan, car in 4th and push forward…when the stopper blows out it is #6 nearly at TDC on compression. Now check the damper or flywheel timing marks…OK?? if so good…now set timing advance to your spec 5deg, 7deg, 10deg ?? Before TDC. one tooth is 2.5 deg. Now rotor will be pointing at #6 dizzy cap wire position with points fully open at correct gap, say 016. Good. I’'d replace cap with a new, paying attention to firing order 6 2 4 1 5 3 in counter clock, be sure wire ends are good and dizzy cap screw nuts get the end to contact in the dizzy cap, may as well replace rotor. New plugs back in correctly gapped, some antiseize sparingly, tighten firm finger tight and then 1/3 to 2/3 of a turn tight…no more…firm by socket handle…but that is it. Set and time to #6, front. not #1 rear. Engine rotates counter clock from driver position–that is however clockwise if at front of car looking back turning the cranknut. Time only when turning engine in proper rotation direction.

Nick,thanks but that is way over my pay grade. I did go off 6 with the firing order.Rough when idling to point of me being afraid it will stop.Was doing better late yesterday.What does the micrometer on the dist do?

It allows for fine tuning the timing once the engine is running on all six, for this you need a timing light.

I will say: setting up the engine to tdc on compression on number 6 is not difficult at all…I gave the steps…then adjust for the desired static timing. No timing light is necessary. Each tooth is 2.5 degrees. 2,5 teeth before the TDC timing marks align is a good start. At this point set distributor so points are open–set gap. SImple. The micrometer can be used…if set first at middle or I like just a little on the retard side if you set the static at 5 or 7 deg…, engine warmed up to 70C, a nice day, drive up a hill in 4th–press gas a bit…does it pull well and not ping (a rattle sound)…advance a little, do it again…until a slight ping–now back off (retard) to no ping doing the uphill drive test: next is…go drive and have fun. The factory service manual says the same. B52 and elsewhere as well.

I think I can do that,what is the static thing.I set it with tdc at 0 using 6 as 1.Cranked after a fashion but had trouble at idle.Today won’t start even with ether,puffed at me a few times.Will have time after Sunday to start over.No doubt will require more help,thx

With the engine at TDC the timing is retarded if that is where you sent it initially, it should be a few degrees before TDC so that the flame front has time to propagate through the fuel mixture.

Static timing for standard 140 is 8 or 10 degrees before TDC.

One tooth on the flywheel is 2.72 degrees so you would have the flywheel arrow about 3 or 4 teeth before the mark on the bell housing.

It is tricky to get the flywheel to stop at the right place just by bumping it with the starter motor, and difficult to turn by the fan, so I usually put a socket on the damper bolt and turn it with that.


Here is the TDC timing mark on the flywheel.

I can deal with fan turning the fly and will try that.Have been leaving it TDC then looking around the csm and roter and if things are lined up with river using that as 1 then following the firing order.

Had to leave,will start over and try to get it right.Approx 2.5 clicks before TDC then try to line up other stuff.2 days ago it ran well,all 6 etc but then ,without me touching anything it won’t start.It could be the Ghost of Jaguars Past-just a thought.

so the flywheel, teeth visible thru the inspection hole…has a tdc line…that will line up with a tiny line groove on the housing when at tdc…you line that up…check via the oil fill hole that the cam lobe front most–slightly visible points outward–toward left fender side of the car. This is tdc of #6 on compression. But we don’t time our distributor to fire on TDC…we want it to fire slightly before tdc…lets go with 8.16 degrees before…this means (appx) 3 teeth BEFORE tdc…(each tooth precisely 2.72 deg–call it 2.5 if you want easy math) so…by turning the engine backwards…this one little time…by either fan clockwise as you look from front of car, or crank nut in front turned clockwise at you look at it from front of the car, .or car in 4th gear and push the car backward just a little…we want to carefully, looking in the inspection hole…see the visible teeth move UPWARD…the tdc mark on the flywheel will disappear UPWARD…go about 5 teeth…then come back…teeth moving downward , proper engine rotation, to 3 teeth before the flywheel tdc mark would line up again with the housing line. I like to put a dab of white and silver nail polish on the teeth tops. and at the tdc line. Proper engine rotation will have the teeth coming from top toward bottom…so you want 3 teeth before the flywheel tdc mark lines up. When that 3rd tooth before is lined up with the housing line…good…Now that is when you go to the distributor, clamp loose, and turn the whole dizzy body so that the point gap is open, micrometer dial set in the middle. Tighten the dizzy clamp. (a note;;I like the final setting to be with engine rotation in the proper direction…in fact I never want the engine to turn backwards…except in a tiny few teet amount when setting dizzy timing, or cams timing.) At 3 teeth before tdc…the tooth you line up will be at the housing timing line…the flywheel tdc mark may be just barely visible or not quite visible yet-- UPWARD in the inspection hole…it is ok to set 2.5 teeth before–so instead of a tooth edge lining up with the housing line…it is a valley lining up…that will be 6.8 degrees before TDC.

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Im starting that Sunday.I understand most of it will re read.I have made arrangements for a psychiatrist to stand by.Thx