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Ken Hiebert
Toronto Ontario
(255 posts)

04/23/2008 11:43AM

Main British Car:
1972 TR6 1994 5.7 L GM LT1

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Ken Hiebert's 1965 Jaguar E-Type with GM LS1 V8, "Part 3"
Posted by: TR6-6SPD
Date: April 26, 2013 01:15PM

Here is a link to "Part 1" of the project:

Here is a link to "Part 2" of the project:

Please note: The photos in this thread are displayed at 600x450 pixels. If you see a little box-in-a-box logo in the upper right hand corner of the photo, click anywhere on the photo to blow it up to full size - in a new window. This new window can then be maximized for a still larger image.

Mounting the A/C Evaporator
I needed to mount the Vintage Air, Compac II A/C unit as high and forward as possible to preserve dash and transmission tunnel space. The biggest interference was with the windshield wiper linkages. I ended up remounting the blower, lower in the evaporator assembly and notching the ducting on the unit itself to provide clearance for the linkages. Then it was just a matter of hanging it from my 3/4" square tubing attached to the cowl.

Slicing up the A/C unit and lowering the blower:
I added a piece of plate aluminum to stabilize blower:
Finished unit all seam sealed:
Unit hung from cowl:
Laying out dash area. Lots of empty space. No floor, no footwells.

In order to fabricate my transmission tunnel, I first needed the evaporartor in place. Clearance looks good.
I looked at using Vintage Air's "Mini" A/C unit but considering it was only 1/2" less deep and 1 1/2" less long, I opted for the Compac II with the larger evaporator. Bigger is better.

I still can't fabricate my transmission tunnel/mount until the exhaust is in place. I'll work on just the front half of the exhaust system at this point. The layout for the system is two 2 1/2" into a single 3" muffler then spliting back into two 2 1/2" with two resonators at the back as per traditional E-type form. The first step was to weld the SS V-band clamps to my single 3" Magnaflow muffler.

SS V-band Clamp:
Setting up to weld V ring to muffler:
Centered and levelled:

All my 304 stainless, 16 guage exhaust tubing came from Columbia River Mandrel Bending: []
Quality products, reasonable prices. Using their 2 1/2" 180 degree mandrel bends, I pie cut sections to piece together the offsets and angles I needed to stay close to the transmission and join up to the merge collector that I bought from them. I used 308 SS filler rod for the TIG butt welds. The bottom of the 2 1/2" exhaust is level with the bottom of the front section floor area and the 5" OD. muffler is 1" lower which is level with the rear section floor area. Assembly:

Positioned muffler and then I fabricated forward from there:
Laid out bends needed to keep within 1/2" of transmission and proposed transmission mount:
Pie cut pieces from 180 bends:
Creating rolled offset:
Tube in position measuring for last pie cut section:
Just before butt welding:

After welding it all together, I ended up with a slight twist in the 2 into 1 assembly which caused one end to lift up by 1/4". A big stick fixed that:
Side view showing offset rolled by 1/4" to bring muffler higher:
Y pipe done:
In place. Next will be 90 degree bends to flanges and manifolds:

More Exhaust
Next up was joining the Y pipe to the block hugger headers. The angle of the header collector flange didn't exactly match the angle of my exhaust down pipe but it wasn't anything I couldn't accommodate in the mounting of the collector flange. I ended up doing the weld on the inside of the flange since it was a tighter fit, using less weld filler, less heat and less distortion.

90 degree bend needed between flange and Y pipe:
90 degree bend trimmed with SS flange:
Right side done:
Left side done:
Back on the bench to add hanger brackets:
5" SS Magnaflow muffler fits tight to driveshaft. This portion of the exhaust hangs from the transmission:
Took a grinder to all the welds on the inside of the pipe:
Flange was welded on the inside:
Bottom of pipe is level with floor and oil pan is 1" above that:
I have no idea how it will sound:

Transmission tunnel and mount

Without the option of running the transmission mount underneath the exhaust, I needed to use a bracket, offsetting up and over the exhaust, mounting to a strong transmission tunnel.
I first fabricated a skeletal structure that will have 20 gauge sheet metal welded to it. The main interferences with fabricating it were the electrical plugs on the transmission and the reverse lock out solenoid.

Structure fabricated before installation:
Four separate components:
Tabs for offset transmission mount bracket:
Welded in place:
Reverse lockout solenoid the biggest problem:
Transmission mount detail:
Driveshaft tunnel needs to support weight:

Driveshaft Tunnel

With the tunnel framework in, I could now start sheeting it in with 20 guage. I figured it was easiest to do it in two sections, front and rear. Each back half had 48 plug welds. I decided to integrate a center console on top of the drive shaft tunnel.

Fabricated panels:
Weld thru primer applied:
Aluminum stiffeners were bonded to inside on 20 guage panel for center console:
Finished for now:

Transmission Tunnel and Right Side Footwell

I decided to put the battery in front of the right footwell. It will intrude into the interior space somewhat but after putting the seat in place and testing the leg room, I thought it was minimal. Mounting the battery there saves the heavy copper length and of course preserves trunk space.

Fabricated front transmission panel and forward footwell panel:
Photo before panel install:
Photo after panel install:

Right Side Front Floor

Without a sheet metal brake in the garage, I used clamped angle iron to make my bends:
Finished piece:
Welded in place:
Photo from above showing notch for battery:

Transmission Tunnel and Left Side Footwell

The complication on the left side was the clutch master cylinder and the pedal assembly mounting. In addition, I fabricated a bracket to stabilize the clutch hydraulic hose and provided an access panel to service it with.

Three panels fabricated:

Panels standing up in approximate position and showing clutch access panel:

Bracket supporting clutch hydraulic hose:

Before photo:

Before photo:

After photo:

After photo:

Left Side Front Floor

I've finally established an efficient method for panel fabrication. Working with a tip from Lazze, I find if you "English Wheel", (stretch) the area you want to bead roll, the panel will end up more flat than if you don't. Here's a link to Lazze's video explaining the theory:
Here's a link to how I fabricated my English Wheel:

Accurately lay out area to be wheeled (stretched), then bead rolled:

Wheel in strips:

It's good to have a helping hand on the bead roller, (note: it's still cold here in Canada)

Panel fabricated:

Welded in:

Transmission Top Panel fabricated:

Prepared for welding:

Finished for now right side:

Finished for now left side:

I'm back.....

Transmission Mount

I hate doing things twice but I wanted to redo my transmission mount. To get the Energy Suspension polyurethane transmission mount to fit, I had to move it's mounting holes. The welder fixed that.
I added a 2" wide x 3/8" thick length of aluminum flat bar to run between my two 2"x2" tubes coming off the frame rails.

Transmission mount bracket with new polyurethane mount, (bottom left) next to GM rubber mount:

Bracket in place:

Aluminum flat bar bolted up:

Time to update....
A friend of mine was looking at this Project Journal lately and commented that it would be good to do an overall update. OK

So basically, the body is welded to the frame, front floorboards, footwells and transmission tunnel installed. Engine and transmission mounts are in and the front half of the exhaust is done.

I'm now working on what I call the rear deck, then it will be on to the boot floor. After that, I'll step forward to the bonnet area.

Overall photo with rear wheel mounted:


Transmission tunnel with front floors and footwells:

I sliced and diced the rusty rear fenders to fit my wheels with full suspension travel and found I could retain the original inner fender wells which is a great time saver.

Wheel well opened up:

The rear deck will have a removeable panel for service but the sides still need filler panels to join the frame to the inner fender wells. These panels have to accomodate the travel of my watts linkage and sway bar arms.

Rear deck area behind seats:

Right side panel in:

Left side area open:

Left side panel fabricated:

Door Hinges

Although not a pressing issue, I thought I should restore the door hinges sooner rather than later since I had borrowed an undersized reamer from a co-worker some time ago and knew it was about time it was returned.
The Jaguar E-type door hinge is a cast aluminum unit using a 7/16" pin, no bushing. Naturally the aluminum bore wears creating slop. The standard fix is to go to a 1/2" pin and use an adjustable reamer to sneak up on the the exact 1/2" bore size. I couldn't get my hands on an adjustable reamer but I had a slightly undersized reamer (.497) available to me.
The process is well explained here on this website:

I went one step further and added a grease nipple to make sure I won't have to do the job again.

Completed left and right door hinges assemblies:

Machining boss in aluminim hinge for grease nipple:


Hand Brake

I wanted to finish the hand brake system before I completed the floor and boot area so I would have better access to work on it.

I had a hand brake that I salvaged from a Nissan 240 SX and figured I should be able to adapt it.

There's a 2" wide space between the driver's seat and the transmission tunnel alocated for the hand brake. I could see no other place to put it.

Mounting the handle was straight forward enough but because of the tight confines, there was no way I could use the Nissan cables as such. I ended up forming 5/16" fuel line tubing to suit and using the inner cable through it.

The Wilwood caliper required a return spring bracket mounted to caliper itself in order to keep the floating caliper from being twisted by the spring.

Hand brake end:

Caliper end:

Hand brake mounted next to transmission tunnel:

1 into 2 cable split in transmission tunnel between driveshaft and muffler:

Rear brake caliper and hand brake on their mounts:

Detail of caliper with return spring and bracket:

Calipers as a pair:

I can't believe how much fabrication went into mounting and controlling these calipers. In the end, I think they'll work well.

The Boot

Like everything else on this car sheet metal wise, the boot was in pretty sad shape. Fortunately, I got a Martin Robey boot assembly with the car as it would cost me over $2800 CDN to get one of these puppies shipped to me. However, after trimming all the unwanted sheet metal out and trail fitting the assembly, nothing fit. I had to remove the number plate panel and stiffeners in order to get it to sit straight. Iíll weld them back in later. What was that thing priced at???
My plan was to fabricate a front vertical panel, mount it, adjust the assembly in place then fasten the two together. The front vertical panel is moved rearward from stock position due to my IRS design which moves my fuel tank rearward. Change one thing, change another.

Boot area to be replaced:

Martin Robey "Rear End Assembly":


Number plate panel and stiffeners removed:

Unwanted sheet metal trimmed:

Front vertical panel in place attached to aluminum "spreader bar" between two frame rails:

Tight spacing (1/4") to IRS components:

Getting the replacement boot assembly to fit proved to be more problematic than I had first anticipated. On a stock E-type, the rear bumper covers the pinch weld and any discrepancies in the lining up of the top and bottom halves is hidden. Since I'm going with a bumperless, smooth look, my welded joint needs to be very close. I tried reshaping the boot using a shrinker/stretcher but no go. Only by trimming the pinch weld flange off and providing a relief cut, could I coax the bottom to match the top.

For a joint, I first plug welded 26 tabs, 13 a side, to the top inside, then plug welded to the bottom inside. Then it was just a matter of butt welding the outer skins together using a hammer and dolly to keep things in shape. Anything close to the rear fender was left alone since that's a separate project to be tackled later.

For what was a floppy piece of sheet metal laying on the floor, it turned out to be a drum tight, eggshell like structure when all welded together.

Boot with front panel attached, ready for installation:

Joiner tabs welded to body:

View from inside:

Boot finally mounted:

Flanges trimmed and butt weld done:


If you've got a lot of sheet metal work to do, a pneumatic punch/flange tool is a real time saver. Most punch a 5/16" hole for plug welding and a perfect flange for lapping 20 ga. sheet metal.

Here's a typical application fabricating filler pieces to connect the boot to the inner fender well:

Astro Pneumatic Tool Company:


Welded in:

Front section of boot filled in:

Thanks for looking.

Here is a link to "Part 4" of the project:

Edited 19 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2014 04:39PM by TR6-6SPD.

Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4577 posts)

10/12/2007 02:16AM

Main British Car:
71 MGBGT, Buick 215

authors avatar
Re: Ken Hiebert's 1965 Jaguar E-Type with GM LS1 V8, "Part 3"
Posted by: Moderator
Date: March 10, 2022 03:13AM


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