Doug’s RCR Jaguar D Type Build.

Doug M

Supporter
Even though it’s not a GT40, I thought I would start my own build thread for my Race Car Replicas Jaguar D Type. This forum has some truly amazing people crafting perfect works of rolling art, and RCR is very prevalent in the GT40 world. This RCR D Type isn’t a rebuild or restoration of a Jag, but rather a custom kit manufactured with the spirit and methods used in GT40 reproductions made by RCR and other companies. Thus, it seems more appropriate, beneficial (for me), and educational to be here rather than a Jaguar forum.

I placed my order with RCR on January 10 of 2020, but the chaos caused by the covid lockdowns severely delayed the mid summer 2020 delivery date, which was not surprising. However, Fran has told me that it will be ready soon, and factoring in unforeseen hurdles, I am hopeful to have my D Type in my garage by the end of winter.

So in the meantime, I thought I would make occasional posts about what I’ve done since last January in preparation for receiving the D Type, my plans for it, etc etc. I don’t consider myself a novice when it comes to cars, but this will be my first car build. Any advice, suggestions, dire warnings, and constructive criticisms will be very welcome.

If you are finding this build thread thanks to a web search and have yet to see Chuck’s amazing build thread for his own RCR D Type, here is the link. He is a meticulous master craftsman with lots of helpful information that will be a benefit to myself and many more future D Type builders.


Thanks for reading.
 
Just keep posting news ; it's always interesting to follow different builds and may be what you plan to do differently from Chuck :)
Will follow your thread with interest
Good luck with delivery schedule .......;)
 

Doug M

Supporter
Well, it’s been a few months since I was told my kit would be finished, but as I patiently await my D Type kit to be ready, I thought I would write a bit more about the upcoming project.

My plan for this D Type is not a high horsepower (by antique Jaguar standards) track day car or weekend racer, but a fun, unique, very reliable (by antique Jaguar standards) cruiser that I can maintain myself. I plan to build it mostly stock as RCR designed it, but as the build progresses. I may take inspiration from Chucks extensive custom work on certain areas because of creative inspiration or structural and mechanical necessity.

Another major factor for my D Type build is that I am a double amputee with one arm and an artificial leg. Because of this, I will use an automatic transmission instead of a manual. I realize this is considered sacrilege by many of you and I totally understand, but a manual shift, especially in a right hand drive car, is just too impractical and unsafe for me.

I have two Jaguar BW-65 automatic transmissions in my garage. They are certainly not preferred, but they fit and they are my last resort backup plans. My hope is to use a well established adapter kit to mate a Chevrolet 700r4 overdrive to the Jaguar XK6 engine. I was lucky enough to acquire a 700r4 case for $25, so when the D Type finally gets to my garage, I’ll be trimming and test fitting to see if a proper fit is feasible before buying an actual 700r4.

All of this transmission planning is for my desire to use a Jaguar engine in this ‘pseudo Jag’. Years down the road, if and when a Jag engine becomes too impractical to keep going, I will probably use a Ford 2.0 or 2.3 EcoBoost and the typical Ford overdrive automatic.

Since many of you who haunt and surf these forums are brilliant DIY customizers and have probably built several cars, a question to ask you... How feasible is it to adapt a more commonly used and reliable automatic transmission or a more modern electronic controlled transmission to an older engine?

Taking a cue from the John’s Cars Jaguar adapter kits, I’m guessing that many engine and auto transmission combos are possible with a flat piece of metal if you can cut the right shape and drill holes in the proper spots. The Jag transmission has a detachable bellhousing... perhaps a plate can be fabricated that adapts a more modern overdrive to a Jag bellhousing?

Any words of wisdom or recommendations are welcome.
 

Neil

Supporter
I owned a stock Jaguar XJ-S V-12 that had a GM Turbo 400 automatic transmission that worked quite well but eventually needed a new torque converter. I took it to a repair shop that campaigned a FE dragster that ran the same transmission and they rebuilt it, added a bit crisper shifts, and the whole rebuild cost a fraction of what it would have cost at a Jaguar dealer.

A GM automatic transmission is a good choice for a Chevrolet powered car or even a Jag powered one. Early XJ-S had the Turbo 400 3-speed automatics but the later ones switched to the 4L80E 4-speed automatic. The broad torque curve of the V-12 made a 3-speed very practical. A 700R4 is also a very popular choice with lots of aftermarket support.
 
A possible solution is to use a Ford 'Barra' straight 6 engine and transmission package. These are Aussie produced and the 'Barra' is an awesome modern engine that is bulletproof and high performance. Its DOHC and should fit the engine bay quite well.
 

Doug M

Supporter
I am scheduled to pick up my D Type kit from RCR the week of May 16, which is great news. So, I thought I’d write briefly about what I’ve been doing since I first placed my order.

I’ve had some crucial parts arrive since my last post. My Smith gauges arrived last Fall from Nisonger Instruments in New York. Took almost a year but I’m glad I ordered them when I did. Proper size and look for the Tach, Oil, Water, and Speedo (except for the little digital screen, but oh well). My plan is to use a very small Dakota Digital multi gauge for fuel, voltage, and other functions that I’ll hide somewhere as to not distract from the period look I’m going for.


16 inch steering wheel came from Moto-Lita in the UK and it’s perfect. I wanted to avoid the “T” style wheel or Jag E Type wheel often seen on D Type replicas.

Also managed to get some fuse panel parts for the passenger side dashboard. Not sure how they’ll be used, but they’ll add an authentic touch.

I also rebuilt the XK6 4.2 engine that I got for free. My first engine rebuild and it took a while and some serious studying, but it runs on the engine stand and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to use it in the D Type with an automatic transmission. Otherwise, I’ll chock it up to a great learning experience and sell it.

So I’m anxious to start this project properly. I’ll post updates when it’s finally in my garage.


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Even though it’s not a GT40, I thought I would start my own build thread for my Race Car Replicas Jaguar D Type. This forum has some truly amazing people crafting perfect works of rolling art, and RCR is very prevalent in the GT40 world. This RCR D Type isn’t a rebuild or restoration of a Jag, but rather a custom kit manufactured with the spirit and methods used in GT40 reproductions made by RCR and other companies. Thus, it seems more appropriate, beneficial (for me), and educational to be here rather than a Jaguar forum.

I placed my order with RCR on January 10 of 2020, but the chaos caused by the covid lockdowns severely delayed the mid summer 2020 delivery date, which was not surprising. However, Fran has told me that it will be ready soon, and factoring in unforeseen hurdles, I am hopeful to have my D Type in my garage by the end of winter.

So in the meantime, I thought I would make occasional posts about what I’ve done since last January in preparation for receiving the D Type, my plans for it, etc etc. I don’t consider myself a novice when it comes to cars, but this will be my first car build. Any advice, suggestions, dire warnings, and constructive criticisms will be very welcome.

If you are finding this build thread thanks to a web search and have yet to see Chuck’s amazing build thread for his own RCR D Type, here is the link. He is a meticulous master craftsman with lots of helpful information that will be a benefit to myself and many more future D Type builders.


Thanks for reading.
Doug, did you order your Nisonger gauges directly or thru RCR?
 

Doug M

Supporter
The fuse blocks and voltage regulator will add a nice original touch.
Thanks Chuck! I’ve been building models since I was a kid, and spent many years making props and sets for theater and film. I’m approaching this project as a 1:1 scale model. I doubt I’ll go too deep down the detail rabbit hole like adding my own paint flaking effect around the rivets and roughing up the paint around the door handles, etc, but I’ll definitely be going for a lovingly used time capsule appearance.
 
Have to add door handles before you can scuff up around them!
Maybe the bonnet latches!

SO looking forward to the opportunity to get and play with the car!!

Clock ticking down for you!
 
The Collier D Type at the REVS Institute in Naples is more of a preserved race car than any other I have seen. But that includes some modifications consistent with the evolution of a race car.

Others are beautiful, but in the "restoration " mode vs the "preserved" mode
 

Doug M

Supporter
Have to add door handles before you can scuff up around them!
Maybe the bonnet latches!
I was referring to the inner side of the doors, which are basically cables and not handles, but the point is that I could really geek out with the weathering and make it look like it’s seen a few decades of weekend racing. Not sure what route I’ll take, but it’s fun to research it.
 
Doug, I am anxiously awaiting delivery of your D type, and looking forward to following your build. Please take lots of pics of your car at pickup and throughout the process. I'm sure you are excited that things are about to get going. Congratulations, and safe travels, Randy.
 

Doug M

Supporter
Thank you Randy. I’m picking her up about 9:30am Tuesday morning. Should be an interesting adventure. I’ll definitely take plenty of pictures.
 
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