Chuck's Jaguar D Type Build

Chuck

Supporter
Engine Mounts, Research and Development

The engine brackets that mount on the engine are Jaguar XKE hardware, available from a number of Jaguar parts suppliers or from Ebay. The challenge was the rubber engine mounts that go between the engine and chassis. The engine mounts provided by RCR are 1.5” tall and will not fit.

In order to determine what would work, six spacers two inches in diameter, were cut from half inch plywood. Experimenting with these spacers suggested that engine mounts about an inch thick would be optimal. A bit of research revealed that original Jaguar engine mounts, used on many cars including the D Type and XKE, happened to be an inch tall.

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Once satisfied we were on the right track, a pair of original Jaguar XKE rubber engine mounts were ordered from XKs Unlimited, Part number CO 4794. This is one of the most inexpensive parts we have bought for this project. The difference between the RCR supplied mounts and the Jaguar mounts is apparent in this picture

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Blue tape was placed on the chassis and engine supports and reference points marked with a Sharpie so that we could assure the two sides were symmetrical as we experimented with the set up.

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The oil filter bracket and filter on the right side of the engine bumped against the chassis when the engine was set on the Jaguar mounts. By adding about a half inch stack of washers on that side, the engine could be shifted to the left enough to add about a half inch of clearance. This shift should have no practical affect either cosmetically or functionally, other than providing the needed clearance for the oil filter. We are going to explore the option of either using a remote filter or finding an alternate oil filter with a smaller three inch diameter, which should clear the chassis.

If anyone has any suggestions regarding remote oil filter adapters let me know. I need a unit approximately three inches wide, not too tall, lines out the side, and likely with -10 fittings.

At this stage measuring, experimenting and checking things with the level is ongoing. Not a single hole has yet to be drilled.
 

Neal

Lifetime Supporter
Chuck, not aware of any contemporary remote filter kits. Plenty of spin on adapters that you could work off to adapt to a remote although the stack up and sealing would be a challenge. Tecalemit made remote adapters for XK's back in the day. I've seen a number of them, banjo fittings and all. They are a bypass style filter. A web search should pop these up. Vintage speed!
 

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
Supporter
Hi have a look at FH3 I believe this is the type of thing you are looking for, this is for Triumph not sure if it is same fitting as the Jag


Ian
 

Chuck

Supporter
Neal and Ian: Thanks for the tips. After some more thought and work, I am leaning to replacing the existing filter with one that is narrower in diameter and modifying the engine mounts to add another 1/2" space for the filter. So I will likely keep the existing mount and not go with a remote filter. More details once I sort out the issue.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Transmission Support

To support the T5 transmission a stock Mustang Tremec T5 was used. We ordered it from Summit Racing, Part Number SDK-C4DZ-6068-A. A frame will be needed to raise it and support it at the proper height above the floor of the tunnel. In the meantime we made an interesting discovery.

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With the engine setting level, left to right, the shifter housing also sat level. That is a good thing. But the mounting bracket on the base of the transmission, directly below the shifter was 5/16” higher on the left side than the right. Gary at American Powertrain, Cookeville, TN, answered the question. A stock T5 was intended to be canted to the driver’s side on left hand drive cars. Typically American Powertrain would machine the base to set level in Jaguar cars, but this one somehow slipped by. Although they graciously offered to address the issue I declined. It will be easier to adjust the mounting bracket to accommodate the tilt than packaging and returning it. Moral of the story: when ordering at T5 for this application be sure to remind the sales person to level the rear mount.

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Chuck

Supporter
Body Alignment, Part I

With the drivetrain still setting in the chassis it was time to check body fit and alignment. To do so the tires need to be in place and the D Type sitting at its expected ride height. The rear suspension was temporarily assembled.

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Some rear section design work was started before the body was set in place. A mock-up of the fuel tank and supports was made from foam core board to check fitment – it being much easier to work with light foam core board then heavy metal pieces. More measurements and design work remain. We plan to fabricate a steel sub frame to support the fuel tank and some other items.

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The front suspension was next assembled and wheels temporarily placed. The preliminary location of the upper and lower A arms documented in a prior post was followed.

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With the wheels, engine, and fuel tank mock-up in place we are almost ready to test fit the body.
 
Body Alignment, Part I

With the drivetrain still setting in the chassis it was time to check body fit and alignment. To do so the tires need to be in place and the D Type sitting at its expected ride height. The rear suspension was temporarily assembled.

View attachment 100750

Some rear section design work was started before the body was set in place. A mock-up of the fuel tank and supports was made from foam core board to check fitment – it being much easier to work with light foam core board then heavy metal pieces. More measurements and design work remain. We plan to fabricate a steel sub frame to support the fuel tank and some other items.

View attachment 100751

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The front suspension was next assembled and wheels temporarily placed. The preliminary location of the upper and lower A arms documented in a prior post was followed.

View attachment 100753

With the wheels, engine, and fuel tank mock-up in place we are almost ready to test fit the body.
Some day I will be able to apply these learnings to completion of my RCR D.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Body Alignment, Part II

Before the body could be test fit, attention turned to the aft edge of the front clip where it mates with the center section. There is a thick lip, nearly a half inch in places, which prevents the front clip from fitting properly. We opted to solve the problem by grinding away the fiberglass on the aft edge to an even eighth inch.

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This was a time consuming project using a grinder with a flapper disc, 80 grit sandpaper. The key is to assure an even edge without taking off too much. Here is a little trick to assure the proper amount is removed.

Blue plastic trim tape, 1/8” wide, was applied along the edge flush with the exposed surface. This provided a nice guide for removal of the glass.

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Later when more extensive fiberglass prep is done the inner surface that was ground away will be reinforced with a thin layer of fiberglass. But for now the goal is simply to assure that the clip will mate properly so we can test fit the body.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Body Alignment, Part III

Setting the body in place for the first time with the engine in place, rear suspension installed, and wheels in place was a big deal. Suddenly it looks like real progress, even though this was just a test to make sure we had the necessary clearances.

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The rear wheels lined up nicely. The front wheels will need to be adjusted back about three quarters of an inch. The engine clearance is close over the Webers on the aft end, but appears to be adequate.

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I was most pleased with the fit of the front clip. Many hours were spent trimming the aft lip so it would fit flush – and it did. The door sills fit flush with the body on both sides – a good bench mark of a straight and true chassis.

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The lower edge of the body lined up nicely with the return on the aluminum chassis on both sides. This is another reflection of a straight and true chassis.

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I will spend a lot more time studying the fit and planning future details before removing the body and storing it out of the way so work on the chassis can continue, but for now the preliminary fit of the body looks good.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Engine Mounts, Research and Development, Part II

Keep it simple (stupid); great words to live by when building a car. Hours were spent contemplating how to mount the engine to provide clearance for the oil filter. I won’t dwell on the options contemplated and parts fabricated; only the solution. It is embarrassingly simple.

The objective was to move the engine to the passenger side about a half inch. The issue was solved simply by placing washers between the engine mount and the engine. That was it. No fabrication, not cutting, no modifications to the chassis, no modifications to the engine mounts; just some Grade 8 washers to provide the needed half inch of space.

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Jaguar XKE engine mounts, which are available from several suppliers and on E Bay, are used. Note they have three bolt holes and are different, mirror images, left to right.

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With these issues sorted, we pulled the engine out and installed the engine mounts permanently; finally drilling our first holes on this project. Note the mounts are biased upward to provide the needed spacing necessitated by the washers on the driver side of the engine mount.

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Chuck

Supporter
Engine Mounts, Research and Development, Part III

We still needed to find a filter that matched the width of the bracket to replace the oversized Jaguar filter. Our search for a filter led us to a Canton canister style with replaceable filter element. Canton 25-214. It is a bit pricey, and a color other than baby blue would be nice, but it is a nicely designed, quality unit. It fits perfectly and the base takes up no more space than would a remote filter adapter. This provides a good half inch of space between the filter element and the adjacent chassis bolt.

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Another option is a disposable oil filter, such as O’Reilly’s MGL 51228.

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With these filter options and the addition of the washers shifting the engine to the left, the issues with placement of the engine have been resolved. With the engine and body off and stored away, progress on the chassis can proceed.
 
I don’t want to hijack this build thread too much, but after much Googling, this is literally the only build info I can find online for the RCR D-Type, so I wanted to ask Chuck, Barry, and anyone else with knowledge a few questions.

Point of reference. This would be a street car for me… cruising two-lane country roads… no track days planned.

Chuck, since you’ve probably been all over this car with a tape measure, do you know if a reliable automatic transmission can be used? I realize that notion is sacrilegious to many of you reading this, but I am an amputee and it’s neither practical nor safe for me to use a manual transmission (as much as I would like to). Since an automatic tranny is the linchpin for me when it comes to this potential project, it seems like any small(ish) 4 or 6 cylinder inline engine (Ford, Toyota, etc) might work, it’s just a question of fabricating the mounts. Yet another sacrilegious statement, I realize… just exploring options. My car style has always been a ‘time capsule’ exterior and reliable low(er) maintenance innards.

Overall, everything I’ve read here seems within my skill level. I got the impression from somewhere else that RCR delivers it as a rolling chassis (minus wheels). Chuck, are you modifying yours in a particular way? Or is all of the front and back suspension fabricating and adjusting part of the normal build process?

And does it not come with parts for the trunk and fuel cell support? Or did you decide to do that yourself for a lower cost kit?

Thanks!
 

Chuck

Supporter
Doug

Welcome to the D Type club! Good questions. I am away until Tuesday, so I will respond when I return.

In the meantime It would seem that a Jaguar straight six, likely a 4.2, with a stock automatic would work. We would need to compare dimensions with the manual to be certain.

Chuck
 

Chuck

Supporter
Steering, Part I

Perhaps the most challenging part of installing the steering was the design. Once the design is established the actual installation is straight forward.

While the engine was temporarily in place a few weeks ago we took a number of measurements, including the amount of space between the bottom of the Weber side draft carbs and the top of the foot well. The five inches measured was more than sufficient. With the engine out of the way, planning proceeded. Small test holes were drilled and straight welding rod was used to plot a possible location of the components. The goal was to obtain a proper angle and location for the steering wheel and also keep the rod connected to the steering rack approximately level and parallel to the chassis.

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Consideration was given to the type of bearings, their location, and a steering column crush zone. Once a design was settled upon, a template was drawn locating the two holes.

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The front hole was cut with a 2” diameter hole-saw. The oblong hole on top of the foot well was cut with two 1 1/8” openings which were joined with straight cuts using a jig saw. All openings were filed and sanded smooth.

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Two steering bearings were purchased from Summit. Borgeson Universal 700010, ¾” bore. They were secured with black stove bolts, taking advantage of the square openings in the bearing brackets to ease single handed installation. The bearings are on the aft side and the nuts on the forward side for both aesthetic and spacing purposes.
 
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Chuck

Supporter
Steering, Part II

The steering rods were fabricated using 3/4” solid rod and 3/4” I.D. tube. We ordered two 36” lengths of the solid rod from Summit to give us enough with which to experiment. The tube was provided by RCR.

As with the holes, the biggest part of the project is establishing the design. Dimensions are shown in the photo. Once determined, cutting the sections to length with a cut off saw and properly dressing the ends was straight forward.

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A small detent must be made to accommodate the universal joints (provided by RCR). This was done by making two small parallel groves with the cut off saw and then carefully using a rat tail file to smooth the detent. The goal is to remove just enough to permit the screw to pass and not more. The end fits flush with the universal joint inner opening.

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Three 3/16” holes were drilled in the upper end of the inner rod to facilitate adjusting the location of the steering wheel, as shown in the plans. A 3/16” nyloc nut and bolt secures the connection. The lower connection was secured with a roll pin to avoid any clearance issues and since it will not be adjusted once in place. This arrangement will permit the steering column to collapse in the event of a collision.

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The final assembly turns smoothly and is tight with no rattles. The final length of the upper steering rod will be confirmed once the driver’s position is determined after which the hub will be welded in place. Thereafter the steering rods will be painted black.

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