Chuck's Jaguar D Type Build


Radiator and Header Tank, Part V

More time was spent researching the hoses than I care to admit. The odd ball sizes and difficult alignment issues made for some challenges. Here is what we ended up with.

The connections between the header tank and radiator are perhaps the easiest. A pair of hoses with an ID of 1 3/8” and about three or four inches long were needed. Of course, 1 3/8” is not a common size so we ended up ordering a silicone hose from Pegasus and cutting it to length along with the lined hose clamps.

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The connection between the header tank and the thermostat cover creates a challenge because there is about an inch off set. In addition, the thermostat cover is 1 ½” and the header tank is 1 ¾”, accordingly a hose reducer was used on the thermostat cover, Summit part number DAC-76950. Next a pair of 45-degree silicone elbows, 1 ¾” I.D. were ordered from Pegasus, part number E45.45, along with a joiner, part number HJ45.



The biggest challenge was the lower radiator / water pump hose. The water pump is 2 1/8” and the radiator is 1 ¾”. There are also clearance issues with the steering shaft and a frame member. We used two hoses, Summit part numbers DAC-70472 and DAC-70155. They were both carefully cut in strategic locations and then rejoined with a pair of coolant pipes, three inches long, Summit part number SUM-380602. Indeed the two coolant pipes will have the additional benefit of eliminating any chance of the hose collapsing! With the coolant pipe connections in place a very good alignment was obtained, clearing the frame and the steering shaft by about three quarters of an inch.




The silicone hoses have a bit of a shine that does not look vintage, but until I find something that fits as well in rubber hose they will work nicely. Now ready for anti-freeze and one step closer to first start.


Bits and Pieces

Now may be a good time to post pics of a few details as we are just about ready for the first start.

A plastic sleeve covers the threaded rod holding the radiator in place to provide a more ‘finished’ look.


The Smiths’ oil pressure sensor was connected to the oil galley with a number of specific components. I prefer not to connect the sensor directly to the engine block to reduce the risk of failure from vibration. Parts ordered from Summit include: Russell PowerFlex Stainless Steel Hose, Female -3AN to Female -3AN, 12” length; Fitting, Brake Adapter, Banjo Bolt, ½ - 20 in: Brake master cylinder replacement component, Banjo Fitting.


A clamp was ordered from McMaster Carr that wraps around the sensor. That assembly was then fastened to the frame using a strap as previously described for the coil. As on the original, components were often secured using straps rather than drilling holes into the frame.


Although the oil pressure sensor is grounded through the stainless-steel line, it was additionally grounded through the clamp which goes to the ground connection created when the ignition coil was installed noted in a prior post.


The engine was grounded using an available threaded hole on the block.


The temperature sensor was installed using an NPT adapter. Recall that the radiator is ‘suspended’ with rubber grommets at all four connection points and therefore is not grounded. So that the sensor would function a ground wire was added from the radiator to the ground connection created when the distributor wires were installed.



Just a few details remain before first start!


More wiring

Wiring has been a tedious project, one wire at a time, ends crimped and occasionally connections soldered, and wrapped in heat shrink.

The objective at this point is only to get the preliminary wiring done sufficient to start the engine. It will be cleaned up and more neatly organized later.

Most of the wires were tagged, even though the colors generally match the XKE wiring diagram posted previously.


A hole was drilled with a step bit, 1 1/8” at the outer corner by the frame member to provide a pass through. A corresponding hole was drilled in the foot well. An appropriate grommet was ordered from McMaster. (You have to buy ten even though only two are needed). The wiring for the alternator and coil / distributor passed through these grommets.

Access to the terminals on the back of the alternator is tight. Ninety-degree connectors helped with the two push on fittings. Ten-gauge wire was used for the alternator B+.


The collection of wires was temporarily tied together. Later they will be covered with an aluminized flexible cover. Only the forward portion of the wiring will be visible, which is the cloth covered wire.


Connections were made on the firewall including the starter solenoid. A round Lucas junction box, which were used on the original in several locations, was utilized to combine multiple connections. A small brass plate was cut and added to the bottom to join three of the terminals for the common connection point from the ignition switch.


The firewall wiring and the connections around the temporary instrument panel in these pictures will be substantially revised later.



So much work just to see if the engine will run!


Battery shut off switch

A battery shut off switch mounted in the circular opening between the seats was added . First, located next to the driver it provides a means of killing all power in an emergency. Second, it provides a degree of theft security (assuming the switch is covered with something when away).

Of course, a Jaguar / Lucas switch was used. Part number SSBU03.


The location was dictated by the presence of the rear frame cross piece. It will eventually set in the lower portion of the circular opening between the seats, out of the way and somewhat concealed.

A 7/8” hole was drilled using a step drill bit. The switch knob was separated from the switch by removing the tiny circlip on the rear (don’t lose it!). A pair of 8/32 screws with lock nuts holds in place.



The switch is wired to the negative battery terminal. One connection on the switch is grounded to the case making it impossible to place this switch in the positive circuit.

The connection to the battery is with a 4 AWG wire. The wire through the tunnel is 0/1. Both are black as was Jaguar’s practice, although red electrical tape was added on the ends to make it obvious which wire is positive. (The positive connection point will be covered with a protective boot and Adel clamps added to secure the wires).





Nearly $300 for fluids. You know you’re getting close to first start when the fluids are added.

Five Gallons of coolant. Eight quarts, initially, of oil. Two and a half plus quarts of ATF transmission fluid. Approximately two quarts of differential fluid, with friction modifier.

Pulled the plugs, disconnected the ignition, and cranked the engine to ‘prime’ the oil. The alternator light glowed brightly. It appears that the wiring is working. It took several thirty second cranks before the oil pressure came up. As soon as it registered on the gauge we quit cranking.

Just about ready for the first start.



First Start

More than a decade after this project started, nearly ten years after taking delivery of the 4.2 engine, it started.

This one was a bit higher on the anxiety level than our prior first starts. The wiring from scratch was complicated by the three external components needed to make the British alternator work. Would the oil filter and the alternator clear the chassis since the spacing was so close?


Rather than put fuel in the tank, knowing the car won’t be completed for a long time, the fuel line was placed in a one-gallon tank of alcohol free gas.

The fuel pump made its presence known as soon as the ignition was turned on and fuel pressure gauge quickly showed a couple of pounds. Hit the ignition and pumped the accelerator. After nearly ten years of sitting quietly in the corner of the garage, the side exhaust roared.


The engine was warmed up to operating temperature with no issues. No coolant leaks. No popping from the Webers. The minimal distance traveled confirmed the clutch was engaging smoothly.


Several minor issues will need to be sorted. There was a bit of sticking in the linkage when the engine was warm suggesting an additional return spring may be warranted. The tachometer is not calibrated correctly. Likely more minor issues will pop up, all of which will be addressed a long way down the road.

I suspect this is the first running chassis RCR D Type. Work on the body and interior will unfortunately have to await completion of a third Carbon Cub.

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Sir - you are now 8 days late in posting one of your famous ruses! ;)

Looking good and look forward to reading more about your new airplane and Classic Jag factories! ;)


Sir - you are now 8 days late in posting one of your famous ruses! ;)

Looking good and look forward to reading more about your new airplane and Classic Jag factories! ;)
Sorry Randy. Been overwhelmed with projects lately. If anyone says you have more time after you retire its not true. Next year . . . . . .

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Sorry Randy. Been overwhelmed with projects lately. If anyone says you have more time after you retire its not true. Next year . . . . . .
Congratulations on your retirement! Welcome to the week of 6 Saturdays and a Sunday!

I do know exactly what you mean though.


Steering Hub Adapter

Last fall when the British pound dropped to near parity with the dollar I ordered a Jaguar D Type Moto Lita steering wheel. It is a really nice, quality piece. But it does not work with the RCR supplied quick release hub.

The quick release hub bolt pattern with its five threaded screw holes does not match the Moto Lita steering wheel with its nine unthreaded screw holes. There was no way to mate the two directly based on the interference with the hole patterns. Ryan machined an adapter during his recent visit after the first engine start. (It was an awesome weekend!)

The project started with a 3 ¼” diameter round aluminum rod from McMaster Carr. Using the lathe, it was machined to the dimensions shown in the attached PDF. Using the digital mill readout, the screw hole locations were precisely located and drilled. Match drilling would also have been an option but not as accurate.



The center hub protrudes 1/8” from the surface of the wheel. It was polished while still in the lathe.

Button head screws were used to hold the adapter to the quick release hub using a shortened allen wrench. The steering wheel was secured with the supplied screws and acorn nuts.



It would be an easy project to mill an adapter that would slide over the steering shaft, secured with a screw through the shaft and hub, that would more closely resemble the original’s appearance. But retaining the quick release function was a higher priority.


  • steering adapter.pdf
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July 3, 2023

More than a decade after this project began, Ryan and I drove the chassis for the first time.

With a one gallon gas tank strapped on the back and a battery sitting on the passenger side floor, all went well.

A few mechanical tweaks, then work on the body and interior can proceed with earnest.

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Brake Fluid Reservoir, Part I

The D Type brake fluid reservoir is a dominant feature not seen on reproductions. Ryan snapped this picture of an original at Goodwood a couple of years ago.


We wanted to capture the look. Plans were drawn.



Ryan spent many hours fabricating the tank. Wooden forms had to be made to hammer out the end sections. A bead roller was used to add the two beads. A baffle divides the tank into two sections, separating the front brakes / clutch fluid from the rear brakes. The baffle assures that in the event of a brake line leak on either the front or rear the opposite end will continue to function. The clutch pick up is slightly higher, so a leak on the front brake line will signal the driver by a failing clutch before the front brakes fail completely.

Surprisingly a filler cap which appears to be identical to the original was found. Since this reproduction does not utilize a brake fluid hydraulic pump as on the original, the lines had to be placed on the lower section rather than on top.



Once the parts were fabricated Ryan welded and leak tested it.