Saturday, 27 August 2011


I've become quite adept at taking the engine with gearbox attached, out of my 140, but it is a monstrous, time consuming and extremely awkward task with the engine lift angle being constantly changed to clear the bulkhead and other bits of body.  So I was quite looking forward to lifting the 120 engine off, rather than out of, the chassis.  Question is, can that lovely alloy sump take the weight of all that iron?  I decide not to take the chance and knock up plywood frame to sit it in.  This in turn sits on a handy, heavy duty trolley, I pulled out of a skip years ago.  Easy now to move around the workshop.  Skimming through my "XK120 in detail" book a few days later, I come across a photo of a the Jaguar factory warehouse full of early XK Engines - all sat on their aluminium sumps!

Looks very "purposeful" without body

Just need to remove the head studs in order to fix the lifting jig.
Something really good about tools that actually do what they say
on the box.  This new acquisition really works.  Also note excellent
"smart -guard" gloves now worn at all times following a spate of
 skinned knuckles, deeply ingrained unmovable grime, broken nails,
various other injuries and infections!

Makeshift lifting jig with balance point guessed at.  What did
we do before they invented uni-strut?

Should have been one slot back - probably, but engine drops
neatly into plywood cradle.

To improve storage options, next job is to split the gearbox from the engine, usually straightforward but not this time.  The bell housing separates around 20mm but refuses to budge any further.  Wood wedges are tried but to no avail.  It can only be the first motion shaft splines stuck in the clutch plate.  I raise the problem on the XK Engine part of the "Jag Lovers" forum (something really odd about that name) and the answer comes back in a trice.  Simply remove the bottom cover from the bell housing and unfasten the clutch pressure plate from the flywheel.  Now - why didn't I think of that!

Something jammed solid in there

Simply turn the bell housing with gearbox upside down and
remove the bottom plate to reveal the clutch assembly.
Undo six clutch cover bolts and bobs yer uncle

Once apart, the clutch assembly slides off the first motion
shaft without difficulty

Clutch plate is stuck solid to pressure plate but I
can't see why this would create the jam.
Engine and gearbox are put to one side until its their turn for attention.  If I decide to fit a five speed which is likely, then I must find the time to clean up the original Moss box and have it checked out at CS Transmissions in Thornaby (Proper expert on Moss Boxes) and fill it to the brim with new thick oil.  Pallet wrap it. Build a wood packing case with appropriate labels, mark it "THIS WAY UP"  and seal it up with all relevant history and info inside.  Hopefully it will stay with the car, and many many years from now some future owner will wonder why anyone could have swapped it for a Mexican Tremec T5!  They will hopefully be delighted to open the case and find the original Moss box, properly documented, in excellent condition and ready to go back in.