Under dash trim panel fitting

Hello, My December 1952 XK120 has a ‘T’ section de-mister duct fitted to the front of the heater. The T section and trunking prevents the 3mm plywood trim panel from being fitted correctly. Any ideas will I have to remove and blank off the windscreen de-mister T section?

If it’s the original heater unit and original panel, there should be no fitting issues. The T section going to the defroster will be above the panel causing no clearance issues.

If it’s a replacement panel, that could be the problem. Last year a friend, who was restoring a 120 OTS, could not get the replacement panel to fit. I brought my original panel to his shop, and we found the replacement panel was not cut correctly. Using my panel as a template, he made two minor slices in the replacement panel and it fit perfectly.

If it’s a replacement panel, try posting some photos.

This may or may not help.
There’s likely more than one way to do this. Here’s my left side…

Something tells me having the duct going back up through the trim panel is wrong I believe its all tucked behind with under dash panel ballooned out.
I purchased the panel from the legendary Suffolk and Turley 20 plus years ago and I am sure it doesn’t have these holes.

Thanks Terry, yes the panel I bought from Aldridge trimming is ballooning out. I just wanted to know if this was normal. I’m going to the Jagfest in Kent this weekend so I’ll be examining owners trim panels! John

Thanks for the picture Dick but looking in all my reference books I haven’t seen the de-misting hoses coming through the trim panel.

I suspect that they should all be hidden behind the panel. But this makes the panel distort. I wanted to know whether this was normal. Early 120s don’t have this problem as. The panel only requires a hole for the heater. John

These are from my late roadster, if my memory is correct, the original panel for all 3 models had a hole for the heater and perforations to allow it to be trimmed for the defrosters, radio or tray.

Thank you very much for this, I’ll have to modify the panel & recover it again! Pictures of this area on line and in books, are sadly nowhere to be found! John

Below are photos of the original panel for my November 1953 roadster. This panel has no cutout for the defroster T-piece or the two defroster hoses. The defroster components stay out of sight above the panel. In the first photo, the upper edge of the panel screws in a flat plane across the bottom of the metal instrument panel support. This edge is secured by #4 self-tapping trim screws and cup washers. The lower edge of the panel rests on two 90 degree brackets screwed into the firewall.

The second photo shows the curvature of the edge that rests against the firewall on the two 90 degree brackets. This edge angles downward (towards the floor) at both ends. It also curves downward in the center (towards the gearbox).

Urs Schmid, Volume 2 indicates that panels were shaped/cut differently for different year and model XK120s and differently if a radio was installed. So it’s possible some original panels were cut exposing the defroster hoses. However, for a later XK120 roadster without a radio, the defroster hoses would have remained out of sight above the panel.

Hi Mike, thanks, there seem to be many different opinions as to where these hoses go, above or below. The book you mentioned is ‘The Anatomy of a cult object’ one that is on my shopping list.

To me having the hoses below looks untidy for a Jaguar, my panel fits well but bows a little to clear the T section from what you say this was as intended! My ots is Dec 52. J

Could you show the back side of the panel?
I am trying to find the original panel that World Upholstery used as a pattern.
Mike May

I found the original panel World Upholstery uses as a template for the non defroster car which had a plug instead of a tee in the heater. You can see the where the factory expected it to be cut for the radio.

oes your panel have the same markings?

My panel has no markings to show where to cut for a radio, and it is made of thin plywood.

so this will be for a roadster with heater but no demisters as all FHC/DHC have demisters

and the original panel is NOT plywood! there are also … at least on my '54 OTS… two long pointed screws that secure the panel which protrude into the horizontal panel each side of the heater box. Don’t ask me how many times I skinned my knuckles on these whilst detailing the engine bay … look carefully at the posted image of the red panel… you can see the holes in it were the screws are located. These are one of the things that I look for when judging a late 120… as they are a swine to install… you need two people… and are nearly always missing.

there are certainly 2 metal thread setscrews that go through horizontal section of firewall and through panel with I guess nut on bottom whilst difficult impossible to reach both ends to put in and out not sure how you can skin your knuckles on them?

The red panel is only showing one on bonnet cable release side there should be one on either side?

Hello Terry yes there is one each side… I skin my knuckles on the point… it is point up into the engine bay. look carefully you will see each in the enclosed images… the second is somewhat difficult to see as it is almost underneath the steering tube.

thanks for pics very familiar with holes
you suggest they are pointed/tapered metal threads I would have said and from couple I have seen they were square ended?
what is the extra hole to the wiper side of ID plate?

These were in the car when I purchased it in 1976… I had a friend with a very low mileage one owner car that was only about 200 serial numbers away from mine which confirmed the same screws… in the same configuration…point up… The screws visually are the same heads as the CORRECT screws used in the windscreen posts… a chrome slightly domed brass slot. longer of course… there is also NO cup washer behind the head. Have no idea re the hole beside the data plate… I’ve often wondered that too. You will notice that the data plate is backwards… don’t know why but that was the way the car was delivered…

Hello, I was able to examine another XK120 ots today this one was a late 1954 model. He had the T section of his heater and the hoses above the panel, it was perfectly flat without any distortion I wondered if my whole heater assembly which is an original has been mounted slightly lower on my car. When I bought the car this panel was missing so I ordered one and covered it myself.