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The E-Type (XK-E) Forum

Engine very stiff after rebuild

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jdrubin David Rubin
Rochester, NY, USA   USA
At this stage it should be relatively easy to determine if the rope seal is a problem. I suggest you pick up the engine with a hoist or cherry picker, drop the pan, remove the rear crank seal section, then try to rotate the engine. I've never experienced a seal causing this problem. Another option, remove the valve covers, detach the sprockets, then try to rotate each cam. With the spark plugs removed you can tell where the pistons are. Keep your eye on the cam not being rotated so the valves don't hit. You need rotate the cam just a little tiny bit, like 5º. If one doesn't rotate, resolve the problem.

If a cam doesn't rotate, I'd loosen the bearing caps. Unscrew each nut about 1 turn. Make this pretty exact for each nut. If the cam then turns, you may have a warped head or screwed up bearing caps. I had a situation recently where the bearing caps had the correct markings but still didn't line up properly. The head wasn't warped. I didn't bother to install the cam. I dealt with the caps.

I'd be inclined to resolve the problem before installing the engine. The previous comments regarding lubrication are definitely pertinent. There may be a light coating of rust on cylinder walls.

Good luck. David Rubin

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M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Thanks, David. Actually you've joined in quite late in this conversation and much of what you have said has already been said by others.

Within a week or two I hope to try turning over the engine with the starter motor which will hopefully prove that the problem is now sorted. I'll report back in due course but thanks for your input.
John

kunstlerbild Avatar
kunstlerbild Dane B
Tacoma, WA, USA   USA
I got tired of reading every response so if this is redundant please disregard.
What should have been done on the short block before final assy is to plastigage all main and rod bearings. If this is done and specs out properly then the drag is simply new rings tight in the bore. At that time it would be appropriate to tow start the car with no reservations except to watch the oil pressure gauge. When the motor fires, and it will, allowing for other considerations such as spark and fuel, the oil pressure should already be up or then come up fast. Otherwise shut it down because there is another issue. I suspect that there will be none. I have done this on a few customers cars with no issues. Forget the rope seal and all the other distractions. Plastigage and then fix bearings/machining if required or tow start.
Cheers, Dane

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Mr. Barry Avatar
Mr. Barry Edward Wesson
Hiawassee, Georgia, USA   USA
X2 on tight rings or beariings.
Edward

kunstlerbild Avatar
kunstlerbild Dane B
Tacoma, WA, USA   USA
Hey, Personne, just curious as to how the recalcitrant rebuild is going?
Dane

M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Thanks for that; so much to take in from all the replies!

Like so many people here in the depths of SW France I am restoring an old house and unfortunately that continually gets in the way of restoring the E Type. When I do have some free time it tends to be spent taking out the XK on local events.

When I get back to it you can be sure that I will post an update.

Puddinhead Avatar
Puddinhead Patrick Forestell
Ocala, Florida, USA   USA
John, I have the same problem with my '66 FHC, with plugs out the starter turns flywheel with NO problems, but with plugs in, each compression stroke caused paused cranking, and on and off as each compression stroke occurs. By hand it turns fine with no plugs, but with plugs extra strength is required to turn FW by hand.

What did you find in your situation ?

Patrick
'66 FHC

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M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Hi Patrick.

I'm embarrassed to say that what with problems in re-wiring the car, and other distractions, I have not reached the stage where I can turn the key and operate the starter.

I'm hoping to get back onto it next week and with a bit of luck, if I can sort out the wiring from the ignition switch to the starter relay, I'll be able to see whether the starter can cope or not. I have to say that I'm not hopeful and fully expect to go the tow route, though the engine is so tight that I'm concerned that I'll pull the space-frame off the bulkhead!

I'm thinking that I won't actually try to tow start the car, but simply tow it for a few miles to see if it loosens up a little, keeping an eye on the oil pressure gauge as well, of course.

I will report back when I have made some progress.

John

M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Hi again, Patrick.

OK, so today I cranked the engine with the starter after squirting some oil down each plug hole. After a very slow start there was some increase in rotation but not, in my opinion, enough to do the same with the plugs installed.

However, this time I noticed something that had escaped my attention previously, which is that it is stuck in reverse gear, or at least it appears to be. I say this because when cranking the prop shaft turns and the wheels turn in reverse, so the starter motor would appear to be not only turning the engine but also the gearbox, diff and rear wheels. This can't be helping.

That's where I am at the moment. I can't budge the gear-stick and it seems that the two slides (1st and 2nd, and 3rd and 4th, are in the wrong position i.e. they are level with each-other and positioned rearwards beyond the reverse détente. I don't think they should be?

Maybe someone can comment on this?

Many thanks,

John

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DAWTRIJAG Avatar
DAWTRIJAG David Warr
St. George's, Newfoundland, Canada   CAN
Hi,
You must be very frustrated. The car must be up on jack stands. The transmission could very well be stuck in gear after being laid up for a long time. Even with the transmission in neutral you will often get the rear wheels to rotate a little, simply from the turbine effect of everything turning in the transmission. Just putting your foot up against a wheel will stop it. If it is in fact stuck in gear they you won't be able to stop the wheel with your foot.
I am not sure what you are seeing with the slides. It is really easy to get confused. Is the clutch working?
BTW I sold my E-Type last summer after owning it for 31 years. Still have two other Jags to keep me busy.
David

M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Hi David.
I hope to get on the car tomorrow and will try to prevent the wheels from turning while I crank the engine, but I'm fairly convinced that it is stuck in gear.

What I was trying to explain about the gear selector slides is this; in neutral I believe that the slots in the two slides line up with the spring loaded détente for reverse. Hence in neutral one can move the gear lever from side to side and push it further to the left against the sprung détente to select reverse.

However, both slots are rearwards of the sprung détente and are in line. I believe that when selecting first gear the right hand slide would be pushed backwards by the foot of the gearstick but the slide for 3rd and 4th would remain in the neutral position? As both slides are pushed backwards this suggests to me that both 1st and 3rd have been selected.

I'm probably talking nonsense or not making myself clear, but I know what I mean! I'll investigate further and may have to remove the top cover plate of the gearbox.

What a performance!

Regards,

John

DAWTRIJAG Avatar
DAWTRIJAG David Warr
St. George's, Newfoundland, Canada   CAN
Hi,
I have never heard of 1st and 3rd being selected at the same time or 2nd and 4th for that matter. I understand what you are trying to say. The slides are called striking rods by Jaguar. There is one for first and second, one for third and fourth and another for reverse and each has a fork to move the appropriate gear. I guess it is possible that something is stuck but two gears can't engage at the same time. You may be able to see something amiss if you remove the top cover. Maybe a fork tine is broken. You can at least lubricate all the mechanism.
When trying to turn over the engine with the starter, depress the clutch pedal. That may speed up the revs or not but it may help you to engage neutral. It should also stop the driveshaft and wheels from turning.
David

erlewis Avatar
erlewis Eric Lewis
Madison, USA   USA
You certainly can engage two gears at one time when the top of the trans is off ... but certainly not when the shift dogs are properly placed and the top cover bolted down ... at least that is how it is designed but if a dog breaks off somehow I can see how it could happen.

M. Personne John T
Champagne, Dordogne, France   FRA
Thanks for that, Eric, and everybody else who has contributed.

I'm embarrassed to say that I sorted that particular problem yesterday when I found that reverse gear was in fact engaged, and by locking the spring-loaded reverse détente out of the way I could fit the gear lever in its correct place and, once everything was refitted, it was easy to disengage reverse.

I then tried the starter again and found that it didn't seem to have made any difference to the speed at which it turned the engine. I'll now fit the spark plugs and see if it will still turn the engine.

In any case I still have the fuel tank and exhaust to fit before I can contemplate attempting to start it up, so it will now go quiet for a while.

DAWTRIJAG Avatar
DAWTRIJAG David Warr
St. George's, Newfoundland, Canada   CAN
Hi John,
So can we assume that someone took the cover off and put it back on with the shift forks in the wrong place?
Does the shifter now work properly?
David

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