The Jaguar E-type is Now on Auction!

March 21, 2018

The Motorphile Jaguar E-type featured on this site is now on auction!  Check it out and perhaps score an outstanding E-type with history documented online here.   Below is the link –

BaT 1969 Jaguar XKE Auction



Jaguar XKE E-type: Removing and Replacing the SU Fuel Pump

September 21, 2017

The Jaguar XKE / E-type has an electronic SU fuel pump typical of many British cars of the 1950’s-70’s.  These pumps are simple devices that work on a set of points that activate an electromagnetic field and cause a rubber diaphragm to move and pump the fuel. They are low pressure, relatively robust and can go for long periods of time.  Problems typically include worn points and electromagnetic apparatus, failed gaskets and perished diaphragms.  The ethanol content in modern fuels is thought to be destructive to the older rubber diaphragms.  New ethanol-resistant diaphragms are available as are solid state SU pumps that recreate the look and function of the originals, but without mechanical points.  It is debated whether the old points-based systems are better because you can replace worn points, but when a solid state circuit fails you are stuck.

Failure of the SU pump on an E-type Jaguar can be detected in a couple of ways. First if you turn on the ignition, do not hear an initial set of clicks from the pump as it supplies fuel to the carb bowls and you have no fuel coming to the glass filter bowl you can suspect the pump.  In this case sometimes a sharp tap on the pump body with a spanner or small hammer will free it up and get it working for limp-home use.  Be careful though – it is quite likely the pump will fail quickly while you are driving, the car will stall and the consequences can be deadly if this happens in traffic. Call a tow.

In other cases when the SU pump fails you will hear continuous clicking that does not cease. If you are driving the car it will stall.  You should shut the engine down immediately if the pump starts running on and on.  This can signal several potential problems. First, you have run out of gas and the pump will burn itself out sucking air.  Second, you have some blockage in your fuel line feeding the pump. Again, turn off the ignition.  Third, the rubber diaphragm may have perished and it no longer can move the fuel.  Shut the ignition off. Finally, and potentially most dangerously, you have a leak at the pump gasket or along the lines, filter or carbs and you are pouring fuel out somewhere.  Shut the car off at once and determine where the fuel is leaking.  This can be a huge fire hazard and potentially deadly.  Sometimes leaving the car laid up can allow the float activated valves in the SU carb fuel bowls to seize open and overfill the bowls.  The fuel will then pour out in the engine area.  In some cases though the gasket on the SU fuel pump will fail and in the case of a Jaguar E-type Series II the fuel will then be pouring out at the rear of the car where the pump is located.

The good thing is that on Series II E-types replacing the SU fuel pump is very straight forward and the pump itself is readily available and not too expensive.  You can rebuild the old points type pumps with new points, diaphragm and gaskets – but in terms of time versus cost it might be easier to buy a new unit. I am sure there is plenty of debate on how good the new replacement units are versus the original ones…. you decide. The 1965-1971 E-types use the AZX1307 SU Pump and that will set you back around $130 or so.

Location of SU fuel pump in rear compartment of Jaguar XKE E-type

I had run my 2+2 on the pump it came with during the rebuild and early shake-down driving around the local area. I figured on replacing it as a matter of course.  I bought a new pump ready to install when I got around to it and certainly before any lengthy driving. Well, as luck would have it one day I went to start the car to move it in the shop and there was that continued clicking.  I shut it down, smelled fuel, looked at the carbs and saw no leakage, looked at the back of the car and saw a puddle. It was a gasket failure at the pump. It happened suddenly and lucky for me in the shop.

On my 2+2 the fuel pump is located behind a small panel along the side of the right rear storage area (looking at the car from the rear).  That it is mounted behind the trim panels towards the back of the car above the

spare tire well. The little oblong panel is removed by removing two chrome finishing screws.  This panel also gives access to the radio antenna by the way.  If you were going to replace that – now is the time.  Before proceeding make sure that you have disconnected the car’s battery and there is absolutely no other potential source or flame or spark around.  By the way, if the pump failure was signaled by fuel on you garage floor – push (do not start and drive) the car out and clean that up properly first.  I find removing the spare tire cover panel and the spare tire provides better access to the pump than just the little cover hole – and if gas has leaked in the fender well or tire compartment you want to clean

Jaguar SU fuel pump and banjo connections.


it out. You may get some fuel leakage down to under the car when you remove the connections – so you should put something to catch that. Now remove the chrome screws and take of the oblong panel to see the SU pump in all its glory.

The fuel pump is held by a metal mount and there are two banjo type connections that join the fuel pump to the line in and the line out.  There is also power and ground electrical connections.  Make sure to mark these all so that you do not mix them up when reinstalling the pump.  Once the banjo connections and electrical wires have been removed you can unbolt the pump mount and withdraw the pump and mount.  On my pump you could see the gasket that was leaking.  The next stage is to remove the pump from SAM_4568its mount, place the new pump into the mount and reinstall.  There are aluminum crush-washers on the banjo connections. Make sure to replace these with new ones.  Once all is back in and the wires connected, but before replacing the spare tire and oblong cover plate, reconnect the battery and turn the ignition on to test the pump. It should click quite a few times to get fuel from tank to carbs and then quiet down.  You are ready to roll again.

Pumps can be rebuilt. In the case of my pump the holes for the screws that hold the brass cover on the aluminum body of the pump had worn and stripped over time and it was impossible to achieve a seal. So,  installing the new pump was definitely in order.



Jaguar XKE E-type: Engine Won’t Run? Could Be a Faulty Low Tension Lead

September 21, 2017

Here is a problem that is is pretty common in 1960’s Jaguars and other British cars with the standard Lucas points and rotor distributor.   You are driving along and the engine simply stops or you decide to go for a Sunday and drive and the engine simply won’t start.  Sometimes this problem can be intermittent, but often it is a sudden failure.  You can hear the fuel pump ticking, see gas in the glass filter bowl and know fuel is not the issue. You then test for a spark on one of the plug leads and there is nothing.  The coil and distributor leads are firm, the coil tests ok and the distributor rotor and cap look fine. What is going on?

It is very likely, particularly on Jags of this age that the low tension lead inside the distributor has broken.  This lead is a


special highly flexible wire that connects the condenser and the coil negative terminal to the points.  With time this wire becomes brittle and will eventually break – severing the connection between the ground terminal on the coil and the points.  No connection equals no spark.  The good thing is that the low tension lead is easy to replace and cheap – these can be bought for $5 to $7.  The same replacement low tension lead serves everything from Aston Martin DB6’s and Jaguar E-types to humble Austins and the Triumph GT6. Although a regular piece of thin wire can be used  as a very temporary patch if you stall on the road – regular wire will break relatively quickly as it flexes.



You can check if the wire and points are functioning by connecting a test light between the low voltage positive lead coming into the coil and the low voltage negative lead coming into the coil from the distributor and then crank the engine over.  First test that you have power in the low voltage positive line by attaching one line from test light to it and turning on ignition and grounding test light to the engine. If it does not light you have no power coming to coil – check upstream in ignition system. If it does light, then connect test light to the ground  lead from distributor to coil, crank the engine and if the test light does not goes on and off as the distributor cam rotates than you can assume that the problem is in the points or the low tension lead.



As originally equipped the Lucas distributors had a plastic collar between the cap and the body and the lead was attached to this.  Replacement leads typically just clip to the side of the distributor.  The low tension lead is also connected to the condenser – so this is a good time to replace that also – of course you may want to look at your points, rotor and cap. The replacement low tension lead and condenser being installed in a distributor is shown below and should provide many more miles of motoring at a reasonable price. This is the kind of replacement that should be done as a matter of course if you do not know the history of the car.



Jaguar XKE Has Moved –

December 28, 2015

I have combined all of my automotive posts including Jaguar related articles and images to the online magazine site – The Motorphile.   Please visit and follow using one of the links below for all past articles on Jaguar E-types and many other classic and sports cars!





Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Fitting Bumpers

December 28, 2015

IMG_9399The front and rear bumpers on the Series II E-types are pretty easy to refit. This is in contrast to the rear bumper on the Series I which requires removal of the gas tank.  All of the attachment bolts are accessible and can be inserted and tightened from under the car.  The rear bumper is a three piece



section that bolts together and bolt to the body. There is play in the connections that allow fine fitting to get the gaps right. I found it easiest to fit the bumper rear bumper loosely on the car and make sure the gaps were correct before tightening the bolts that hold the three pieces together.  Both the rear and front bumpers take some fiddling to get the fit right. It is wise to protect the body with thick tape near where the bumper fits to avoid gouges and scratches.





Jaguar Repair and Restoration – Now on Motorphile

December 28, 2015

I have combined all of my automotive posts including Jaguar related material to one site – Motorphile.   Please visit and subscribe for further information on Jaguar E-types and many other classic and sports cars!



Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: OMG – Almost a Year Since I Last Posted! What is the State of the E-type?

March 19, 2015

I cannot believe that it has been almost a year since I last posted on the site!  Too many distractions with a new house and workshop, change in my position at work, travel, and spending time on other projects – most notably a 1949/50 Bentley and a 1953 MG TD.  Well  – just to let you know the E-type is in fine shape and I hope to show it this summer.  After some shake-down driving and tuning there are a few things I have attended to that I will post on.  In case you were wondering – here is the car today.   I will update with more pictures and details on some of the finishing work shortly.