This is my alternate work station. On the bench are pistons, rods, bearings and the crankshaft for a Jaguar 4.2 litre engine which is just out of sight behnd the camera. on the left on the top tray are a couple of dial indicators which we use to establish settings like piston Top Dead Center and cam timing, which is measured in degrees before and after top & bottom dead center.
Next to it on the right is our Churchill BMC “B” and “C” series main bearing cap puller, and at the other end of the tray next to a can of WD40 is the tool we use to centralize the 4.2 rear crankshft seal. Here on the right is Patrick performing the essential starting task of measuring up the engine main bearings. Later on he will be taking Plasti-gage readings on them to ensure that the running clearances are correct. We record all of this information on the build sheet as we go along so that we know what our working tolerances are.
But sometimes errors can creep in. This is a particular favorite: the 23rd production E-type engine(R 1023-9) still with traces of left over XK150 S engine paint on it, recorded on the chassis plate (also left over XK 150) as R 1033-9. Was this the product of work stress or a pint of stress relief ? It was 1961 and we’ll never know.
Right around the time of the British Invasion of Stowe I was contacted by a Mini enthusiast from Seattle who wanted me to take a look at a car which was stored in a small town a little way north of Burlington, Vermont. Being an active Hunter-Gatherer, which is a prectical means of supplying Sports Car Services with a steady steam of work, the timing of the request lined up pretty well with a trip to return a completed E-type to Stowe, which put the Mini just an hour up the road, instead of three hours up the road. I went up and looked and strongly advised the putative buyer to buy it, but ended up hauling it down to Westminster for a closer inspection which only served to reinforce my initial judgment. In any, event the sale fell through, so we did what we do in special situations like this, and rang up our friends at Hemmings Sports & Exotic Cars, and Dave LaChance trotted over pretty soon thereafter because afterall, how many Italian-built Innocenti Minis are still out there with 17,000 kilometers on the clock ?
Next week we’ll be back to our regular diet of engine teardowns, chassis buildups, Jaguar & MG assembly work etc. but right now I’m using up some file photos because we’re still slogging thru inventory.