Sunday, 4 November 2012


With the body correctly fitted to the chassis and an initial measurement of the door gaps also looking good, confidence is high.  Contemplating what to do next, I start thinking about the complexity of the front bumper mountings.  I have a vague recollection of the assembly being made up of quite a number of parts and have a dig around until I discover the the box of relevant bits and a few notes I'd made when dismantling.  The front bumpers are fastened through the body with extended screws to a heavy steel bar running inside the full width of the body and in front of the chassis.  I've had this bar powder coated satin black and decide to temporarily pop it into place to get a better idea of what's involved.  I was always pretty good at Chinese Puzzles, but there is no way that I can wheedle the damned thing into place.  Before giving up I post a question on Jag Lovers Forum asking if anyone can help.  Back comes the answer - yes its extremely difficult but possible. Only problem is, no one can remember how they did it.

Bumper support bar, henceforth known as 'That Bastard Bar'
Over the next few days, this develops into a 'Visitors Challenge' and many happy hours are spent with various restoration aficionados spending hours prostrate, skinning knuckles and cussing.  In the meantime I busy myself sorting out the various other bits and pieces for both front and back bumper installation.

Over 30 parts per side.  Body sits between rubber washers.
Note - Bumper Iron is body colour and support bars behind are black.
By the Weekend I've concluded that the only way to resolve this is to lift the body back off, which looks like a depressingly large amount of work.  In common with most restorers I absolutely detest retrograde steps, so clearly the best approach is a couple of days R&R in preparation for the task.

Months ago I committed to write a review of Bernard Viart's new XK120 Explored book for JDC Magazine, as soon as it became available.  I received an advanced copy on the 25th October so this undertaking served as a welcome distraction. By Sunday afternoon I'm thoroughly bored with my computer screen and ready for some retrograde action.  Including rigging up a couple of hoists, the entire operation took just two and a half hours and by 4.00pm I have the body suspended 18 inches above the chassis and the bar loosely fitted in place.

Body now swathed in protective flannelet and suspended on two hoists

'That Bastard Bar' finally in position
The only items I'm not entirely happy with are the four screwed extensions which hold the bumper brackets to the support bar.  Although only the hex-nut part is seen they do look a bit rough.  Rob at Romax Powder Coaters takes them in to see what he can do, and a couple of days later produces a brand new stainless set, knocked out on his lathe at home - amazing!

Thanks Rob at Romax Powder Coaters - Lovely surprise.
Fitting up the extension screws with the various spacers and sandwiching the body between the rubber washers whilst ensuring that all the angled bits are correctly orientated is fiddly and takes a bit of practice, but by the time I'd done the fourth one I had the job down to a few minutes.  I'll leave the bumper Irons in place to hopefully afford some protection to the body during the fit up.

Hard to believe that this

became this.

and then this

Water Pump Conversion
Still not got my bits back from the machine shop, but am advised that the new housing / inlet is being made up in stainless rather than aluminium.


MXK 120 - Another 120 OTS
Jill Thompson bought her 120 OTS project a few years back for her handy man Andy to restore, but it was delayed because a house restoration took precedence.  With both house and garage now completed, the time had come to awake the car from it's slumbers in a local farm shed and introduce it to its new home just a few miles from mine.  And so it was that last Sunday morning I gave Andy a hand to move it.  Fortunately for Jill, Andy's quite an conscientious sort of lad with a good work rate, so as long as he's kept focused and not distracted with his wood chopping and burning obsession, it shouldn't take him too long.

Deja Vu   Reg MXK120   XK120 OTS    660386
Photo - October 2012
My car Reg KRU600   XK120 OTS    660295
Photo - December 2010
Chassis Number 660386 was registered in December 1950, the same month as my car (660295).  It's remarkable that it lived the dormant part of its life in Teesside.  I actually saw this car as a stalled restoration at a local paint shop back in 1976 and often wondered what became of it.  As a project, it's fairly similar to my car but is complete with bonnet, boot lid and windscreen.  It has a light coating of surface rust but is generally quite solid.  It will probably need the same bits replacing, sills, B posts etc. but needs a bit more work around the headlamp pods.  Engine and gearbox are removed but came with the car.  Andy still has a few more jobs on his 'to do' list and tells me that consequently the most likely start date proper will be June 16th  next year.  Something familiar about that date.

Jill says it all looks pretty straight forward and Andy can crack
on just as soon as he's got rid of the rabbits and put the clock right.
    Note Registration Number.
This brings the total of XK120's that I know of, within say a 20 mile radius to seven, five of which are Roadsters (OTS), one Fixed Head and one OTS Replica but with mostly XK running gear and trim, also a C Type rep with a LHD 120 OTS Chassis plate. 

Next Post Mid November

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