Chuck's Jaguar D Type Build

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!
It is my understanding that the RCR use of the thicker aluminum for the tub renders it strong enough to eliminate the square structural tubing that Jaguar used in the transmission tunnel to connect the front and rear subframe. The RCR tunnel was designed large enough to accommodate an automatic transmission. Or so I was told. I'm using a Tremec 5 speed so I cannot verify based on my own experience.

Good luck! Keep us posted!
 
Thanks for the great info. From my studies, it looks as though the RCR D-Type doesn't have power steering or power brakes. My 57 Chevy was that way before I added the upgrades. It's a 4,000+ pound car with drum brakes, so it was irritating at low speeds and sometimes genuinely frightening at higher speeds. I would imagine that a smaller car with half the weight would be easier to maneuver at low speed and, with disc brakes, would stop pretty well. If I am not accurate, please let me know.

As for auto transmission options, my guess is that it's the transmission bell housing width that might be a potential issue. If it is convenient, could you post some measurements? I would love to know the width between the aluminum foot wells, the length and width of the engine area, and the height from the engine mount to the bonnet. Or if it's easier, just the length, width, and height of the Jag engine and transmission that you're using. I have done countless online searches for the measurements of an XJ6 or XK6 engine and transmission and have yet to find it.

Thanks for letting me post. I promise not to clutter this build thread too much after this.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Doug

No apology needed! We are here to share information so your request ain't no "hijack."

My expectation is the finished Jag will tip the scales in the 2200 pound range. That is just a guess based on the weight of the GT40. Speaking of which, the GT is manual steering and brakes and at a curb weight of 2450 neither is an issue. Even at low speed steering is light. A bit more foot force is needed for the brakes, but it is a non issue.

The engine is currently setting in the chassis so taking measurements of the engine is a bit of a challenge, but here are some numbers you can play with. Measurements are approximate. The engine mounts are used as a reference:

Engine mount to top of engine (which is less than an inch from the bottom side of the clip): 18"

Engine mount to rear of engine: 23"
Tunnel width at rear of engine: 18"

Width of tunnel, measured 29" aft of engine, at backside of firewall (see picture): 16"

Width between foot wells: 18"

Width of matting surface, engine / bell housing, measured at level of crank: 15"

Tunnel width 46" aft of engine mount: 10"

Hope this helps.

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Chuck

Supporter
Transmission Support, Part II

In a previous post it was noted that the foot supporting the transmission was canted at an angle and that typically this should be machined level when used in a Jaguar. My original plan was to modify the support to match the angle of the foot and use a Ford Mustang transmission mount, but the space was too tight, so I took up the offer from American Powertrain to return the transmission to have the foot machined level.

Instead of shipping the tranny I made a trip to American Powertrain, Cookeville, Tennessee, where I visited with Gary Bickle, shipping manager, and Robert Hall, one of the owners of the business. Within twenty four hours the job was done and I returned home with the revised transmission – very impressive service.

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Robert Hall spent some time discussing the nuances of the Jaguar drive train. The T5 transmission typically requires two modifications to be used with a Jaguar. First the input shaft needs to be shortened. Second, the support foot needs to be machined level. How that is done depends on the Jaguar drivetrain being duplicated. Third, the bell housing, which is a custom unit to mate the T5 and the engine, is designed to be slightly shorter than the original to keep the total drivetrain length as close to the original as possible. Some of the internal components, such as the aluminum flywheel, are custom made, although original Jag parts could be used. The ratios of the T5 are essentially the same as a Jaguar four speed – but with a fifth gear added.

With the transmission modified to level the rear foot, work on the transmission bracket can begin.
 
Chuck, thank you very much for the measurements. If I could politely ask for three more, I'd like to know the inside dimensions of the engine 'bay'. Picture should be attached. I'm only 6 hours away from RCR, so at some point I might make a trip up there to give it a thorough examination, assuming Fran has a D-Type to look at.

Have you found a solution to the hard to reach oil filter dilemma?
D-Type Under Hood.jpg
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
So this must be a GM T5 from a Camaro then?
The Ford T5, I think, has a straight tailshaft mount as I recall...
 

Chuck

Supporter
Chuck, thank you very much for the measurements. If I could politely ask for three more, I'd like to know the inside dimensions of the engine 'bay'. Picture should be attached. I'm only 6 hours away from RCR, so at some point I might make a trip up there to give it a thorough examination, assuming Fran has a D-Type to look at.
View attachment 101899
Have you found a solution to the hard to reach oil filter dilemma?
Dimensions (approximate):
A = 10
B = 20
C = 30, to the firewall

Oil filter issue is resolved. It is accessible below the Weber carbs. More details will be posted shortly
 

Chuck

Supporter
Transmission Support, Part III

The modified transmission foot was intended to follow the design of a specific Jaguar application which used a single support – the same support used on the engine. We decided to follow that approach.

A 1 ½ length of square steel tubing was used for the bracket. End plates were cut from 3/32” steel and welded in place. This will give us the ability to set the height properly using bolts to attach the brackets. Dimensions are in the plans.

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A single ½” hole was drilled in the center of the 1 ½” square tube to hold the Jaguar engine mount. Since this could be difficult to access from the underside, one of the cross ribs was cut away from the tunnel.

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It will need to be temporarily installed to confirm fit and locating the four mounting holes so they can be drilled for the 3/8” bolts. A single Jaguar engine mount is used to support the transmission on the bracket. XKs Unlimited, Part number CO 4794.
 
I bought this Haynes ‘Owners Workshop Manual’ for the D-Type. True, it’s not an actual workshop manual, but it has lots of information and is fun to flip through. It does feature a reasonably in-depth overview of the restoration of XKD 570 at CKL Developments after a crash at the 2015 Le Mans Support Race. Not too sure of the history of XKD 570… book says that it is ‘an original-specification car’ but I don’t know if that means it’s an all metal exact replica or a period original that never raced at Le Mans. Regardless, it gave me even more appreciation for Fran’s work because the RCR version looks spot on aside from small modernized details and the fiberglass body (which also looks spot on, but just not metal). There is also a chapter on the restoration/rebuild/resurrection of John Pearson’s XKD 543 from the parts that survived the factory fire of 1957.


One interesting detail of the XKD 570 restoration is that the engine is canted at an 8.5 degree angle. Do you know if this was common practice or perhaps just specific to this car? I’m assuming it was done to solve clearance issues like the one you encountered. I could be wrong though.


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I bought this Haynes ‘Owners Workshop Manual’ for the D-Type. True, it’s not an actual workshop manual, but it has lots of information and is fun to flip through. It does feature a reasonably in-depth overview of the restoration of XKD 570 at CKL Developments after a crash at the 2015 Le Mans Support Race. Not too sure of the history of XKD 570… book says that it is ‘an original-specification car’ but I don’t know if that means it’s an all metal exact replica or a period original that never raced at Le Mans. Regardless, it gave me even more appreciation for Fran’s work because the RCR version looks spot on aside from small modernized details and the fiberglass body (which also looks spot on, but just not metal). There is also a chapter on the restoration/rebuild/resurrection of John Pearson’s XKD 543 from the parts that survived the factory fire of 1957.


One interesting detail of the XKD 570 restoration is that the engine is canted at an 8.5 degree angle. Do you know if this was common practice or perhaps just specific to this car? I’m assuming it was done to solve clearance issues like the one you encountered. I could be wrong though.


View attachment 102014View attachment 102015
Clearly the most useful book to the dedicated!
 

Chuck

Supporter
Doug

Yes that book is a must for anyone building a D reproduction. I reference it often

The engine was canted in all the D types for clearance purposes, despite the dry sump. Indeed a close look at the hood on the original will reveal that the center hump is actually off center. Canting the engine leads to other issues, like a 'shim plate' for the three side draft Webers so they remain level. It is not really practical to tilt the engine in our reproductions with their wet sump, etc.

Chuck
 
Doug

Yes that book is a must for anyone building a D reproduction. I reference it often

The engine was canted in all the D types for clearance purposes, despite the dry sump. Indeed a close look at the hood on the original will reveal that the center hump is actually off center. Canting the engine leads to other issues, like a 'shim plate' for the three side draft Webers so they remain level. It is not really practical to tilt the engine in our reproductions with their wet sump, etc.

Chuck
Canting the engine like that would come with a freebie or two, perhaps unintended, windage from the crank wont be as likely to be thrown up into the cyls, and the offset of the hood scoop help fwd vision slightly ( at least for Right Hand Drive ).
 

Chuck

Supporter
Alignment check

The engine and transmission were set in place a second time to check the status of the engine and transmission mounts. We are pleased.

Washers were added on each of the right side (driver side) engine brackets: five washers on the two forward bolts and four on the rear. On the left side (passenger side) engine brackets one washer was added on each of the two forward bolts. The difference in the number of washers, front to rear, is to compensate for the angle at which the chassis mounts are placed. The difference in the number of washers, left to right, is to shift the engine to clear the oil filter, discussed in prior posts.

The bolts holding the engine brackets to the chassis are positioned the same in the slotted opening on both the left and right sides. All that testing and measuring paid off.

The clearance between the oil filter and chassis is about half inch and should be sufficient.

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The photo of the left side engine mount shows the additional washers between the engine block and the bracket on the front two bolts only. Also the bolt securing it to the chassis is nicely centered in the oval bracket opening.

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The transmission bracket fit perfectly. With the engine mount bolts in place, the transmission was perfectly centered on the transmission bracket. (The two ¾” blocks are temporary support for the bracket.) The four bolt holes will be drilled and the transmission bracket permanently installed after the transmission is removed. Again.


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Setting the drive train in place and taking it out is a big project, especially single handed, but confirming the fit and alignment of the engine and transmission mounts was critical before moving on to other projects.
 
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