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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 7"
Posted by: TR6-6SPD
Date: April 04, 2019 01:09PM

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

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

Here is a link to "Part 3" of the project:

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

Here is a link to "Part 5" of the project:

Here is a link to "Part 6" 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.

Lower rear fender repairs

These areas were rusted out, non-existent.
After installing the outer sills, I left these voids until I was further along into the fenders. Now was the time.
Left and right side, before and after:

With the 1/4" rod firmly in place representing the fender lips, I formed a few fender shapes in cardboard to see what I liked and would work with tire clearance.
Shaped 1/8" rod:

Cardboard taped in place:

After finalizing the end shape, I decided to go with four small panels in the middle and two larger ones at either end. The five 1/8" rods would mark the butt weld lines with the end panels lap welded to the body.
Final trim and body prep:


Wheel at full jounce with 1/8" rod providing fender clearance:


Wheel at ride height:

Now it was time to just fill in the blanks. I recorded the length and shape of each 1/8" dividing rod to carry over to the left side. The paper cut outs confirmed the panel sizes side to side:

Front panel formed:


Rear panel installed:

Center panels going in:

Finished for now:


With wheel at ride height:

Left side done:


Inner panels
Several different panels on each side were needed to join what was left of the old inner panels to the new fender. It may have been easier to complete this when the body goes on the rotisserie but I wanted to get it out of the way.
Panels cut and installed:


The doors on this car were in tough shape. After I removed the door skins, (heavy with filler and rust) I sent the inner doors, (shells) out to be acid dipped. This removes all the rust. Not much came back.

The structure of an automotive door is quite standard in the industry. You have a shell which the hinge is mounted to and it has flanges which the edges of the door skin is folded over on.

These door shells would need new hinge mount assemblies and flanges replaced where needed.

Door shell mounted as a test fit:

Typical flange destruction, top front corner:

Bottom front and hinge mount assembly damage:

Hinge mount assembly removed:

New assembly fabricated:


Repairing the door shell flanges entailed estimating what was there originally and what the new door skin would require. I fabricated angle sections and with a liberal use of the shrinker/stretcher, plug welded them to the shell.
Awkward to handle:

Left side, upper front finished:

Left rear:


Left lower damage:

Left lower, plug welding new section:

Right side door hinge mount-disaster:

Prepared for new assembly:

Ready for install:

Left side door lower flange rust:

Repair section prepared:


Power Windows
After hanging the repaired door shells, I decided to install the Spal power window kit now before the door skins go on.
The kit I choose basically is a motor driven cable loop that drives your original window regulator. Mount the motor where ever you can.

Regulator with motor:

Motor, inside view:

Motor, outside view:

Video of operation:

Interior door handle and lock
Changing the interior door lock to a late model style required fabricating a mounting assembly attached to the door shell that could be adjusted in or out according to the door panel that I end up with.
That was pretty straight forward, but the original handle used a push motion to lock the door. To get this motion, I added a push/pull rod on top of the door shell and fabricated a lever assembly to operate the lock trigger.

Interior handle in place:

View inside of door shell with handle mount and push/pull rod:

Locking lever assembly:

Video of lever operation:

Outside Door Handle
When I got the car, the outside door handle would open the door but there was no key and the locking function was not working.
Whilst investigating, I discovered the "barrel cup casting" on both sides had the top portion broken off.
Using 20 ga. sheet metal, I fabricated one left, one right, re-keyed the tumblers to my TR6 key I had and put it all together.

Broken barrel cup with spring exposed:

Building new barrel cup:

New part with broken barrel on right:


Door Skins

Chuck from Monocoque Metal Works says E-type doors are the bane of his existence. Fitting them to the body shell and getting the gaps correct can be quite a challenge.
When it came time to installing my after market door skins on my repaired door shells, I could see something wasn't correct on the right side. After conducting a survey of the two, I found the one skin had the crease line stamped 1/4" lower than the other. My supplier in the States graciously offered to do an exchange, but considering shipping costs, I elected to hammer form a higher crease line to match the shell and the other skin.

Two door skins:

Measurement discrepancy, 2 5/8" VS 2 7/8"

Shells siting on skins:

End view showing mismatch:

Had to shrink and stretch skin in various places:

Primed, painted and applied sound deadener at this time:

Installing skin, folded over edge with hammer and dolly:

Setting Door Gaps

Apparently, when these cars were made in England, as the car body went down the assembly line, they would have a row of completed doors available, and would choose one that best fit the car in front of them. After mounting the door, they would lead in the body to fit the door.

Well, not in my case. Here it was a matter mostly of making the door fit the opening and doing some modifications to the body shell where needed.

With a good reliable door hinge, I was looking for a 1/8" to 3/16" door gap. With the doors mounted, there was very little length where I needed it. Adding or removing metal would fix it.

The left side bulkhead between the bonnet and the door was sitting proud of the door by more than 1/8". This could have been compensated for by adding filler to the door but that is never a good option. I opted to cut and section that area to bring it in line.

- first, remove the factory lead in the seam.
- second, cut and slice
- third, weld back together
- fourth, grind weld

The upper front section of the E-type door has never appealed to me. The weather seal often doesn't sit right and a crisp, clean door gap is seldom achieved. I'm taking a chance on improving this.

- photo of red car shows weather seal mismatch
- set 1/8" rod in place
- weld rod to body
- finished door gap to 1/8"

The gap at the bottom of both doors was too small. I took it to 1/8" by cutting back a 2" length, welding and grinding then moving ahead another 2". My pace ended up at 6"/ hour.

Example of one 2" length:

Finished door gap:

Door Window Frame

Fitting the window frame into the door shell is a matter of making it fit the best you can in the space you’re given. Much like getting the door shell to work with the hinges and latch mechanism, the door frame must work with what it comes in contact with. A lot of variance of fit can be taken up with the door seal that this car comes with, except for one area and that is the contact between the rear edge of the window frame to the ¼ window or rear side glass window. This is a double seal that requires a gap tolerance of 1/16”.

Keeping these two windows in that relationship really limits how much you can move things around.

The ¼ window attaches to a B post that mounts with a limited amount of adjustability, top and bottom.

Using the rebuilt door shells and new door skins, I set about to try and make the window frame fit in the space with the correct gap to the ¼ window. It took a lot of study but I came to the conclusion that the mounting screws for the B post were never installed correctly from the factory to allow for a correct gap. This is especially critical since with the window being 24” long, a small angle changes the window position a lot. I knocked out the captive nuts and enlarged the two holes enough to move the B post to where I needed it. If it never fit properly before, it’s going to fit properly now.

Laid out, window frame and ¼ window relationship:

-¼ window installed
-lower mount
-enlarged holes
-B post seal

Installed correctly:

Back to the Bonnet

Having taken care of two major areas of concern, the rear fenders and the doors, I returned to the bonnet. As previously documented, all the metal work repairs have been done, it's hinged and sitting well. But it's far from complete.

On the job list are covered headlight lenses. Out of curiosity, I spoke to the previous owner about the fact that the right fender had the Series I flanges to mount the lens yet the left fender and center section was straight cut metal, as if open headlights had been installed. He knew nothing of all that. Odd arrangement.

So starting from scratch, I needed to keep to a similar plan form to original for the lens and make both sides the same, mirror image. I got one chrome headlight trim ring with the car so from that and sizing up the opening that was there, both sides, I came up with a CAD piece to represent the flange I needed to fabricate.

My plan was to bend 3/16" rod to the shape needed then weld it to the opening edge. I would add a sheet metal flange, stepped down after that, to match a formed acrylic custom formed lens.

-CAD piece in place to trim metal
-3/16" rod bent and in place
-rod split at fender/center section
-shaped rod

Welded in place:

Bonnet Assembly

With all the metal work completed on the four bonnet panels, I was looking forward to finally getting it assembled. After a good cleaning, I sent it out to be epoxy primed.

I was willing to add a reasonable amount of filler where the panels join in order to get a smooth transition from one to the other. In order achieve this and still be able to separate the panels, I slipped thin sheets of aluminum between them. The flange surfaces were finishes as well.

-panels cleaned
-work area
-panel dividers

I also took this opportunity to final shape the lower valance. This would be very difficult to do while it’s on the car and flipping the bonnet on its back is cumbersome.

All the flanges were epoxy primed again before final assembly.

I had to reconfigure my bonnet lift now that it was in one piece.

-shaping lower valance
-epoxy prime all mating surfaces
-bonnet lifting point
-bonnet on the move

Bonnet Splash Panels

With the bonnet assembled and on the car, I could now proceed with fabricating the inner splash panels. These needed to line up with the lower splash panels already mounted to the chassis. The 1/16” aluminum panels would be mounted to 20 gauge angle brackets attached to the bonnet underside with adhesive.

First step was to project up from the chassis panels and create a layout on the underside of the bonnet representing the placement of the bonnet panels. Along these lines, I cut cardboard, shaped to the bonnet and lining up with the chassis panels.

With these cardboard templates, I fabricated ¾” wide angle brackets with compound curves to match the shape of the bonnet. The compound curve required me to slice the one side of the angle and bend it inwards.

After test fitting the brackets to the bonnet, I fastened them to the panels temporarily then applied adhesive to the bonnet side of the bracket and secured it to the bonnet. Any discrepancies of fit would be taken up by the adhesive.

Originally, Jaguar fastened this type of bracket to the bonnet with a Sikaflex product. With some research within the Jaguar owner’s community, I ended up using a 3M product, Marine Adhesive Sealant 5200.

With brackets attached, I drilled through the bracket/panel and used 3/16” blind rivets to assemble everything.

Please note: Particularly with these photo collages, 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.

-shaping angle brackets using shrinker/stretcher and slicing
-brackets next to cardboard template
-aluminum panel layout
-test fitting

-brackets installed using adhesive
-trimming bonnet panels to match chassis panels
-panels prior to installation

Panels installed:


Sugar Scoops

Vintage kitchen flour/sugar scoops looked remarkably like the sugar scoops Jaguar used to fill the space in the bonnet ahead of the headlights. It’s obvious how this item acquired its name.

The bonnet I started with only had one scruffy scoop which was of little use to pattern off of so I would be starting from scratch. Aluminum was my choice of material.

The basic design structure would be the curved scoop welded to a flat panel, bolted to the flanges on the inside of the bonnet. This flat panel would have a cut out to accept the headlight that would be mounted on its own flat panel. This would enable me to remove the headlight for servicing without disturbing the sugar scoop assembly.

Corrugated cardboard model in the bonnet:

Setting up curvature on flat panel:

Shaping by hand, second scoop on steel tube:

Test fitting before headlight cut out:

Welding L brackets to fasten scoop to panel:

Both right and left assemblies:

Ready for installation:

Headlight Lens Covers

To fabricate my own lens covers, I’d first have to make a mold to form them off of.

My plan was to make the base of the mold from polystyrene rigid foam board then finish it with painted bondo.

I started with a stepped piece of foam, supported from the back and shaped it to the headlight opening.

(click anywhere on collage photo to blow it up to full size - in a new window)

-rough cut
-foam spaced inward
-foam mold

It was essential to support the mold from the back side to set it inward to allow for the bondo thickness. I started with the green fiberglass filler and finished with regular filler.

-backside support
-rough shape
-finished to meet metal headlight opening

Several layers to the mold:

Final painted mold:

Forming Lens Covers

With some extensive research, I choose 3mm PETG as my material to form the lens covers from. I built a vacuum former, plans copied from others on the internet. It turned out to be very effective in shaping to the mold but I got way too much “mark off”, imperfections from the painted mold, on the lens. I covered the mold with flannel but still had the imperfections.

After a phone call to a shop in California that fabricates canopies for aircraft, they suggested I try a drape form method instead of vacuum form. With some experimentation, I found a reduced time in the oven and concentrated pressure on the perimeter of the mold gave me a good shape and clarity.

In the end, a closely shaped blank, heated, dropped over the mold then pressed down with a perimeter press, worked. Using about 2 minutes in a 300 degree oven, was good.

Vacuum former components:

Vacuum former assembly:

Drape former components:

Drape former PETG hinged holder:

Drape former set-up:

Lens cover flanges

Happy with the shape of the lens cover, I needed something to mount them to. At this point, all I had was an opening lined with 3/16” steel rod.

I started by setting the lens in the opening, flush with the outer surface of the bonnet. From the inside, I tacked strips of 20 ga. metal where the 6 mounting screws would go. The trick was allowing for the 1/8” gasket and getting the angle correct to match the lens.

After the 6 sections were in place, I just filled in the blanks, metal finished it, then drilled and welded 6/32” nuts on the back side.

-lens opening
-lens set in place
-mount sections marked and tacked
-welded, mostly from back side

Filling in the voids:

Flange finished:

Finishing Lens Cover

Final trimming of the lens was done with a jig saw and a disc sander.

To finish the lens, I painted the outside perimeter black on the inside. The fastening screws I choose were rather specific, described here:

“#6-32 Phillips Flat Head Machine Screws in Black Oxide 18-8 Stainless Steel featuring a 100-degree countersunk head are often used for shorter length fasteners to allow for a greater threaded length. 100-degree taper screws are often used when fastening thinner materials.”

I cut gaskets from 1/8” neoprene and used contact cement, one side only, to glue it to the black painted side.

A small stack of heavier rubber rings went under the screws to allow more fastening pressure without distorting the lens shape.

The screw head counter sank successfully using a ¼” twist drill bit.

Trimming lens:

-marked and painted
-gaskets cut
-rubber spacers under screws
-counter sunk screws

Finished pair:

Lens installed:


Front Signal Light

After seeing someone else using Jaguar XK8 front signal lights in their modified E-type, I asked permission if I could do the same. Permission granted.

After purchasing the assemblies, I found the curvature wasn’t correct. Also, I wanted clear lenses as opposed to the orange ones supplied.

The first thing I did was establish the shape I needed, then gently heat the clear lens and coax it into place.
Changing the lamp body required some slicing and dicing, adding material with epoxy.
A sheet metal frame work was set in the fender to mount the lens body and finished with fiberglass filler.

-purchased lens assembly
-reshaping after market lens
-slicing lens body
-reshaped lens body before epoxy

XK8 signal light mounted:

Wiper Assembly Test

The original wiper motor that I got with the car came untested of course. I was relieved to find the motor ran well. In order to incorporate the GM wiper switch that mounts on the tilt steering column, I had to add two relays.

Interestingly enough, the self park switch is mounted on the center wiper arm. It has a remote adjuster that extends below to fine tune the park position.

Components involved:

Video of operation:

Steering rack limiters

Steering rack limiters provide an adjustable range of steering motion and eliminate any tire rubbing problems. I needed to keep the tires off the inner fenders so I fabricated some “doughnuts” to install inside of the inner tie rod ends and the rack casing.

Steering rack disassembled:

Left side spacers:

Right side spacers:

Also added some drilled 5/8” nuts tacked to the tie rod to make toe adjustments easier:

Thanks for looking.

Here's a link to "Part 8" of the project:

Edited 26 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2021 09:25AM by TR6-6SPD.

Curtis Jacobson
Portland Oregon
(4578 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 7"
Posted by: Moderator
Date: March 10, 2022 03:16AM


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