What is the overall width of 69 S2 OTS at Bulkhead Side Panels close to Bonnet

I am in the process of aligning, reshaping and fitting the bulkhead side stiffener (MRE9BLH) , bulkhead side panels ( MRE9LH) top skuttle panel (MRE116) and doors on a new sub frame assembly.
The new outer sills are screwed in place and I am pretty happy with the alignment of them so far.
I have found that the shape of all of these panels requires some panel beating to get the curvature and position to match the doors and a straight line down each side of the car.
I thought it would be preferable to get the shape and position of the front edge of the side panels to match the bonnet at least as far as the blending of the shape up from the sills is concerned whilst checking there is a straight line front to back measured just above the rear wheel arch.

I tried making a template of the bonnet but found this was not much help as the bonnet shape is so variable given it is not rigidly assembled and is not bonded.

What I believe will be most useful would be to have the "correct " overall dimension across the bulkhead side panels in the plane of the firewall. see Photo

In my search of the forum I could not find any reference to this dimension but I suspect that those experienced in e type bodywork may have at least a reference dimension to which they work in building up a body.
I am very much a novice at this and hence any advice and information would be appreciated.
PS. I have run out of You-tube videos to watch that a more specific on the alignment issues - perhaps I have missed one?

Interesting, that’s the widest point of the body. The Service Manual gives the overall width as 5’ 5 1/4". It’d be intersting to see what it actually measures, difficult to do with all the attachments on the bulkhead, perhaps someone has a bare shell they can measure.

1 Like

Thanks for the quick response. That 5’ 5 1/4" equates to 1657.4mm for us down under.
I have some dimensions I have used initially at 1643mm as measured on the bonnet however it appeared a little too big considering the shape on the door blending to the top scuttle.
It will be interesting to see what others have found.
I shall have another try using the 5’ 5 1/4" if there no other info from the experts.
Any and all help is much appreciated.

1 Like

Use a square from floor up the side of car on both sides….measure the internal width…… not too difficult if you have a welder to make the square!

This will still have quite a bit of flexibility when it’s together …… the final adjustment of width is done by the peg locating bracket by moving it incrementally towards the centre or outside of the car…… note it will also change when you change the front shims vertically and horizontally …… I’d start with the front getting the gaps for the sill , bulkhead etc correct ( about 5 mm ) ……bugger of a job but very satisfying when a good result is obtained

I’d start by fitting the bonnet. When you have the bonnet centered, adjust the lower wing to match up to the sill. Then fit up your side panels and adjust their lateral location to the wings. Shim the bonnet back (or forward) to match up with your bulkhead and side panels, then check your straightness along the sides again, and repeat as needed until it all looks good. Then weld it all. Shouldn’t take much more than a week. Lol

I just measured my Series II FHC by measuring the distance between each side of the scuttle and the uprights of my two post lift and them measuring the distance between the two uprights. I arrived at 64-1/5 inches ± 1/2 inch

Plus or minus half inch and you’ll end up with a crooked EType.

Those bulkhead side panels are very difficult to get aligned just right as well as the ones behind that determine the distance from the upright reference on the bulkhead.


No doubt, That was as close as I could measure it with what I had. :smile:

1 Like

You are correct Clive, the backing panels need to be shaped and positioned to allow the side panel to fit to suit both the door and the bonnet
I have made some good use of old x-ray film to make accurate templates of the door curvature and the bonnet curve to assist in getting the shape right for the side panels - that is why I thought having the overall dimension would help by giving another reference point as well as the sill. Thanks for your input.

Thanks for your suggestions on measuring - The measurement technique is not so much the problem as knowing what the actual measurement should be.
As you point out the bonnet final adjustment is mainly guided by the pins and shims but I am still struggling to get the inner /outer side panels to be somewhat close to their final location.

If only I were up to that stage - the body is still on the jig to hold everything in place until the all the panels are aligned. I can not trial fit the bonnet until I remove the front jig bracing so I was trying to get the main body at least screwed in position and welded before I removed the bracing and fit the bonnet.
From the videos I have watched this seems to be the sequence -or am I missing something?

Fantastic -that measurement is exactly what I was looking for - but alas the tolerance gives me some concern.
That dimension is 3/4" smaller that the Jag Service Manual dimension for the overall width of the car however I expect the 65 1/4" Service Manual dimension may be further forward on the bonnet as I believe the width of the sills taper outward back to front and perhaps the upper body panels also taper outward a little???

Grahame, I think you’re on the right track. I did this over 25 years ago using some Robey panels and some that I made. Also, my bonnet was in pieces so that was no help either. I wish I had some dimensions to give you but I can’t find much in my notes. This was on an early '62 Coupe, built before the major revisions and the body panels were awful, even different side to side.

My approach was very similar to yours. I made an extensive set of cardboard templates and noted them similar to yours with “1/16” gap", “no gap” etc. to be as accurate as possible but Robeys panels didn’t match the curves very well anyway. There is some adjustment between the vertical lock panel and the bulkhead side panel where the former is spot welded behind the lip of the bulkhead panel. That is difficult to establish, but once done, work can move on. I had the benefit of a mostly intact scuttle panel to help with location, and sills and floors that I’d already installed.

One suggestion before committing to welding would be to put a couple of long straightedges horizontally fore/aft across the centre of the bulkhead panel and measure each end across the car to check they’re parallel. I’m not certain that they are supposed to be parallel but it would be a good starting point. I used long straight edges a lot during the bodywork, together with reference strings.

BTW, I found using 1/8" Clecos a lot faster than using screws for temporary fixing.


My experience of welding the closing panel on before mounting the bonnet did not go well. I was forced to cut it off and try again.

I wish you better success!

You are right about the Robey panels not matching the curves. It is luck that they fit at all given the changes I had to make to a new LH rear guard to fit around the boot lid.
Nice to see your photos and it is reassuring that you had similar problems in the alignment given your end result. The light reflection along the side of your car is a true “reflection” of your workmanship.
BTW what is the blue stuff beside your welds? I presume it is something wet to stop warping and weld splatter?
The straight edge check is a good idea - I presume you also checked the door fit on both sides while you were adjusting the side panel positions fore and aft and inwards and outwards.
On my car, I am working with a new MR subframe and the LH side has all new panels including a new door so one would think this should be relatively straight forward but it is proving to be just as challenging as the RH side where I have done extensive panel beating on the rear guard and door.

I shall continue to persevere and try not to be too pedantic about getting it all just right with very limited filler needed. If I did it like the PO with 1/2" of filler it makes everything very easy!

1 Like

The blue stuff is just a heatsink. I got it from the welding gas supplier. Nothing to do with spatter. A more skilled welder might not need it though.

I take your point and that is why I am trying to match the side panels as best I can to the bonnet and doors-
I think you may have prompted me to get the alignment with screws, Clecos, and welding of the inner panels and perhaps a light tack weld on the side panels and then try the bonnet before fully welding side panels.
I think I am safe to fully weld the sills before removing the bracing otherwise I would be concerned there may be too much flexing.

1 Like

Thanks - had not seen the heat sink material before- I shall do some research as I am sure I fall into the less skilled welder category, at least with sheet metal.

You can use copper blocks on the back side for heat sinks
Try it on some practice butt welds to start when happy with the results move to the car
You’ll get better with practice so when moving to the car start in less obvious locations