Chuck's Jaguar D Type Build


Loving this build thread Chuck! Lovely work. As an aside, I'm building a Mk1 GT40, and am going to finish it in the same metallic blue as yours. What paint code did you use?
The GT 40 was painted Guardsman Blue with Wimbeldon white. These colors were used on the Shelby Cobra 427 as well as several GT40s. Tell your painter those color names and the codes should pop up. If not let me know and I will dig a bit deeper.


Front Suspension, Assembly

With the suspension reassembled and installed, the camber was approximately negative 1.5 degrees and the caster was approximately three degrees. Here is how we got there.

The head of the four hex head bolts holding the lower ball joints had chaffed the rubber boots even with the little bit of handling done to date. We did not replace the ball joints since the chafe was minimal, but if replacement is needed the lower ball is a Jaguar unit that is available from several sources. (Summit Racing, Moog #K9699).

As an aside, RCR did something pretty cool when they designed this reproduction. The brake rotor and both upper and lower ball joints are actually Jaguar parts. The shape of the upper and lower control arms are visually similar to the original. Cool!


Button head bolts, 5/16” x 1 ½” were obtained from McMaster Carr (Part #91306A410) which will prevent damage to the boot. They were torqued to 20 pounds.


Four bolts hold the hub to the upright. The bolts need to be inserted from the outside in. So, you ask, how does one get a bolt through the hub? That is what the hole is for!


The nuts were torqued to 40 pounds and marked with Torque Seal to confirm.


The brake caliper bracket was installed, using a bit of Red Lock Tite. Since these bolts are being screwed into aluminum they were made tight, but not torqued.


As has been said before, every single fastener needs to be removed and replaced to confirm it is the correct type, properly positioned, and properly secured. Once the control arms are joined with the upright and the other parts are in place, the completed assembly was ready to install.
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Front Suspension, Installation

The suspension was set in place and the four 5/8” fine thread bolts on each side temporarily inserted. Next each bolt was individually removed and the spacer washers placed.

RCR supplied bolts for the upper control arms longer than the needed length so the smooth portion of the shank will extend through the Heim joint, which is a good thing. The excess, approximately 3/8”, was removed with a cut off saw and then dressed. Here is a before and after picture.


Getting the washers in place can be a challenge. They like to slip out of place and roll across the floor in different directions, typically under a cabinet, never to be seen again. A little trick to simplify the task is to wrap the number of washers needed with masking tape and then set it in place. Once the bolt is passed through, the tape can be removed and the bolt tightened.


The forward lower chassis opening had a weld bead which prevented the adjacent washer from lying flat. Although not really necessary, we took the time to grind down the weld with a Dremel tool so the surface was flush, then touched up the exposed metal with a bit of silver paint.


The 5/8” nuts on the control arm brackets were tightened until the washer – spacers were snug. There is no need to torque these nuts since they are in shear and the amount of tightening will vary based on the force needed to remove the slack between the washers. Both of the upper and rear lower bolts were placed from the front to the rear, which is standard protocol. The front lowers, however, where placed from rear to front since the radiator could make removal difficult if installed the usual way.


With the front suspension assembled and the wheels in place we were able to finally check to see if these modifications would permit the wheels to turn. The body was set in place once again. The wheels turned to the full limit permitted by the temporary steering linkage – greater than 20 degrees in both directions – without any contact between the tires and the body. There was a minimum of approximately half inch clearance.


When viewed from the front, the tires on the original D Type clearly set in a significant distance. With these modifications it comes closer to capturing the general appearance of the original.


Compare the foregoing with the set back seen in this original example; not exact, but captures "the feel."

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Emergency Brake, Part I

The emergency brake on the original D Type is a dominant feature. We wanted to duplicate it in this reproduction. Here is a photo of an original.


With a bit of searching we found a Lokar hand brake which captured the look very nicely, part number EHB 7016, available from Summit. It is 16” long, made in the USA, and a quality piece. It is a bit pricey. We opted to use it rather than the brake handle provided with the kit.


Our plan is to revise the transmission tunnel cover provided with the kit to more closely match the look of the original and clear the shifter at the pivot point. In order to determine the location of the brake handle a card board mockup of the proposed tunnel cover was needed. With it in place the location of the two 3/8” holes for the bolts that secure the handle was determined. The measurements appear in the photo.


With the hand brake in place the cables and hardware needed to connect it to the brake calipers can be determined.




Emergency Brake, Part II

Cable kits to connect the parking brake are available from Lokar, Wilwood and Summit. The latter two are the same but the Summit label is the least expensive, so that is what we used. Part number SUM 761001.


Two 5/8” holes were cut to pass the cables. The locations are noted in the picture.


Grommets for 3/16” thick material, 3/8” inner opening, and for a 5/8” hole were obtained from McMaster Carr. Part number 9307K59. Of course one has to purchase a bag of 100 since they are not sold individually, but a bag is cheap so this was not an issue.


The cables were routed between the upper and lower trailing links in a gentle arc and the outer cables were then cut to length. Before the inner cables were tightened in the retaining block the aluminum sleeves and bolt were shortened to prevent interference. The location of the cable retaining bracket was determined by applying three notches on the brake handle with the cables temporarily in place and using that as the optimum ‘average’ location for the bracket. Quarter inch holes were drilled. Spacers a quarter inch thick from the local hardware store were used as standoffs.


Once in place the inner cable ends were trimmed with a Dremel tool and a short length of heat shrink tubing sealed the end. There is a bit more to sort out before this project is done.


Emergency Brake, Part III

A simple bracket was made to support the right side brake cable. A short piece of 1/8” steel rod was bent to shape and then painted with Eastwood Extreme Chassis paint. A suitable grommet was slit to slip it over the cable, after which it was set in the wire loop and then the loop was pinched closed. A quarter inch bolt secured it to the differential through an existing hole.



Four inch long sections of 3/8” ID hose were slit and set over the brake cables where they touch the lower trailing links to protect against wear.


The brake cables are now in place. We will revisit the routing and securing of the cables once the remaining bits and pieces are in place.


A simple shield was cut from 22 gauge aluminum to cover the brake cables to protect against interference with the seat cushion. Holes were tapped for the screws.


The emergency brake project is now finished.



Alternator Bracket, Part I

RCR has done a nice job using actual Jaguar parts in its design of the D Type. Where possible, we wanted to do the same. Our original plan was to mount the alternator in the same location as on the XKE which would be forward of the headers and high on the engine in a visible location. Accordingly we decided to use a Jaguar alternator.

Several suppliers sell an aftermarket reproduction with Denso internals that matches the original for much less cost. Ours came from SNG Barratt, Part number C25073. It came without a cooling fan or pulley, which created another set of issues. Note this is a single foot alternator.


The Jaguar XKE had a Series I and Series II setup. The Series I used the single foot alternator while the Series II used a dual foot. Different brackets were required. We ordered the Series I bracket expecting it to simply bolt in place. Unfortunately the frame interfered. The bracket was cut down in the hope it would work, but it would have required welding on a revised mounting point. Another option was explored.

A Series II bracket was ordered. It came close to fitting, requiring only a notch being cut off, but that notch would interfere with the hole that the alternator bolt went through. Again a lot of modifications would have been necessary.


After destroying a pair of Jaguar XKE alternator brackets that cost nearly $200, we decided to make a bracket from scratch.

The two failed Jaguar XKE brackets were of stunningly poor quality. The supposed right angles on the Series I bracket were crooked. The bolts holes were misplaced. Even if they could have been used, a lot of grinding and enlarging of holes would have been needed. A lesson I have learned is that sixties Jaguar parts are typically overpriced and of poor quality. But I digress.

A test bracket was designed that used the same attachment points as the Jaguar brackets; two holes on the front water pump and one hole on the side of the block. The forward piece was cut and bolted in place with the alternator and all looked good until we slipped a belt on it. It hit the frame. To remedy that issue the alternator would need to be raised substantially and a much smaller pulley found. This did not seem like a good solution.


The original D Type located the “dynamo” low on the left side rather than high, as on the XKE. It cannot be seen in most under the hood pictures of original because of this location. That possibility had initially been ruled out on this reproduction due to the space constraints, but we decided to explore that option further. Using wire ties to suspend it, we experimented to check the fit.


Although the dimensions may be tight, this location does indeed appear to be a viable option. Now we need to come up with a suitable bracket design.

Randy V

Lifetime Supporter
A number of Street Rods use Alternators driven off of the driveshaft yokes - either front or rear. Granted they do not charge when not moving. Would that be an option? Or are you looking for more original esthetics?


A number of Street Rods use Alternators driven off of the driveshaft yokes - either front or rear. Granted they do not charge when not moving. Would that be an option? Or are you looking for more original esthetics?
Interesting idea. I had not heard of that before. There is likely space in the tunnel for such an arrangement.

I have test fitted the alternator in the location shown in the picture with a prototype bracket. Since that is where the original was located I am going to pursue that option. Appreciate your suggestion. Great thing about this weekend is I had time to work in the shop. Should be able to post details shortly.


Alternator bracket, Part II

After a lot of measuring and experimenting we came up with a design that should work. Here are the details.

There are three attachment points to the engine. The same two water pump bolts and engine block bolt used on the Series I bracket were used.


To properly locate the connections to the water block so the pulley lines up, a pair of spacers are used, SNG Barrett, part number C24424. A stack of seven 1/16” washers could also be used and save $30, but we did not know the dimensions so we ordered a pair.


The bracket was cut from a 3” wide, two-foot-long, 3/16” thick section of bar stock ordered from McMaster-Carr. Part number 8910K542. I am always amused by the data sheets they send documenting the precise content of the steel they sell, as if this piece of metal was going into a space ship where such data would matter. All four pieces were cut from this single piece of steel using a sabre saw after which a bench sander was used to assure perfectly straight sections.


The front and side pieces were placed on the engine and then tack welded. The dimensions of the holes shown are tight, unlike original Jaguar parts, so tack welding while in place assured there would be no fitment issues. A step drill was used for the last bit of drilling to the final dimensions shown.


With the pieces tack welded together it was temporarily set in place. Clearances appear to be adequate with enough space for adjustment. The goal is to have about an inch clearance from the chassis frame.


bracket was designed so that two washers are needed between the alternator foot and the bracket. This adds a bit of adjustability of the alternators position fore and aft to assure the pulley aligns with the crank and water pump pulleys.


There is still much more to do before this project is done.


Alternator bracket, Part III

An adjusting bracket is needed. An adjustable bracket was found at Summit, part number MCH-RA4-375. It has an adjustment range from 6.375 to 7.875, which was the range needed. Black painted steel would have been fine, but this size was only available in stainless steel; a bit of bling no one will see.


The alternator has a 5/16” threaded hole, but the adjusting bracket calls for 3/8” bolts. We drilled and rethreaded the alternator for a 3/8” bolt, but will also use a nut on the back side to assure a solid connection.


An alternator pulley was needed. This was a challenge since the shaft is 15mm and slotted rather than the more standard 17mm. We originally purchased a slotted 15mm pulley used on Lucas Generators. It fit and is slotted, but the diameter was too large and it set too far forward. A smaller 3” diameter pulley with a 15 mm shaft, but not slotted, was found at Part number B9028-026. It was a simple matter to add a ‘slot’ with a file. To space it properly washers with an ID of 15mm were used, again using a file to add the needed slot.


Final welding and paint remain to complete this project.

Follow the progress on Facebook and at Instagram @constant_speed37


Great stuff Chuck, made lots of notes.
Placed my order for an RCR D last week.
Great news Dino! Glad to have another D Type builds on board. Where are you located?

I presently have in the works a battery holder, exhaust system, steering system, and alternator bracket. Perhaps I will have a running chassis by the time your kit is ready. Is it getting close. Details will be posted as these projects come together.
Hey Chuck
I'm up in Canada, just outside of Toronto.
The engine is a spare 4.2 from my e type that's currently being built, I'll probably source the 5 speed from 5speeds.
I'm currently sourcing the fuel system, looks like I'm leaning towards the Jenvey Heritage Throttle bodies, yes FI....
I did the conversation with the normal Jenvey TB's to my E and love it.
Going with the Sebring hump and leaning towards EE flag metallic blue.

I have 3 pages of notes from your build to date, thank you!
Hey Chuck
I'm up in Canada, just outside of Toronto.
The engine is a spare 4.2 from my e type that's currently being built, I'll probably source the 5 speed from 5speeds.
I'm currently sourcing the fuel system, looks like I'm leaning towards the Jenvey Heritage Throttle bodies, yes FI....
I did the conversation with the normal Jenvey TB's to my E and love it.
Going with the Sebring hump and leaning towards EE flag metallic blue.

I have 3 pages of notes from your build to date, thank you!
Dino, I'm in suburban Buffalo, NY. Once the travel ban is lifted, we will have to get together and compare notes.