V12 engine rebuilders

From several recent posts I believe many on this forum have incredible knowledge and experience with Jag v12s. I acquired a 73 e-type 2 years ago and I really love many aspects of the S3 having owned a S2 OTS and currently own a 64 coupe. But due to engine issues on this 53000 mile OTS like burning oil from one or 2 cylinders and unclear history, I’m torn between further improvements or terminating ownership. Ideally I’d like an engine rebuild with selected upgrades and swap to a 5 speed. But I do not have skills/knowledge to do this myself. I’m hoping you can suggest potential well qualified V12 engine rebuilders. My goal is to end up with a reliable, dry, smooth power plant with the sound we expect from a v12. I know it sounds like a shotgun approach but I’m 71 and don’t want to do this incrementally if I take this on. So I’m hoping for some recommendations on qualified shops hopefully in northeast US or Ontario canada (I reside in buffalo NY). Thanks for any and all input.

I do (or pretend to do) V12’s out in Colorado, which is understandably much outside your envelope of area, however, I would urge you find a local shop that is familiar with the cars, and get a health report on the engine before having it torn down.

Is it visually burning oil or just using it? Does it run strong otherwise? Reason I ask, it’s a fairly expensive endeavor to do tops to tails on that motor, and aside from head gasket failure / internal damage due to overheating, they can usually always be coaxed to an enjoyable level.

My 2 sense!


I’m currently in this process with my 1971 E Type restoration. I ended up taking the V12 to Bob Knodt (robert@jaguarpreserve.com) in MN (just outside Minneapolis). I also spoke to Jeff about the build and he was extremelyl helpful but Bob is a lot closer. In my mind these are probably the two guys to do it but that’s just my opinion. Bob has a great Youtube channel on the topic as well.

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Bob is great - well worth the cost to ship him the motor.

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Thanks Jeff. I will check out the utube channel. I really like your outlook for “ unnecessary but required augmentations”. I think I’m “using” oil somehow since I don’t see a lot of leaking evidence but I’m adding about a quart per 200 to 300 miles. Blue smoke is evident and annoying but doesn’t really really seem excessive. I got thinking about going to a 5 speed gearbox so since I’ll need to drop the engine for that maybe create a beautiful and high performance v12 while I’m at it. My s1 coupe I will build toward originality and reliability.

Getting notable gains from the early V12’s, aside from the perk of the flat head, which can be worked around on later motors, are really tough to justify, as your limit is usually always due to the carburetors. Webers can give you some extra juice and when coupled with head work, displacement increases, etc., are great, but it changes the personality of the car rather drastically, and the pros generally don’t outweigh the cons for a road car.

I would suggest getting a leak down and compression test done, and then forge a path towards reliability as well. The problem with the E is heat; it’s directly proportional to the lack of intake area on a stock setup, and once you start adding go-fast bits, all the supporting bits need to have custom attention, and you get the pitfalls there.

I’m happy to discuss via phone at anytime as well…


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Thanks Jeff. I’m sure I would enjoy a conversation on this topic. Perhaps I can reach out after the holiday. But a quick question; assuming oil is bypassing piston rings, wouldn’t a fix require an entire engine tear down?

Chances are it’s leaking on the head side, not the bottom end, but a good old leak down will pinpoint.

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I would take all of the suggestions above before jumping into a complete rebuild, but if you do, Stew is the man. http://www.jaguarv12etype.com/


I am in the hopefully final stages of putting my V-12 back together and can attest to the fact that a full rebuild is a lot of work and not cheap, even with my labor valued at zero. What I found in an engine with similar mileage that had been sitting for over 30 years was a lot of gunk in the water channels, deteriorated head gaskets and rings that had seen better days, but the rest of the engine was in surprisingly good condition. But I figured that since it was coming apart anyhow, I might as well do everything. Jeff is the expert so I would listen to that advice.

Best of luck


Pity you’re the wrong side of the pond. I stripped and rebuilt about 200 whilst in Jaguar cars Ltd factory recon dept! Not a diff ie fine but HATES standing especially sans antifreeze!
69 now, STILL building the damn things :joy::joy::joy:


Sorry “difficult engine” stupid iPhone keyboard!

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Stupid spell Czech.