The Series 2 E-Type was the 'fixed' replacement for the Series 1, with many subtle changes to the structure, power plant, suspension and myriad updates to resolve the issues the S1 had.
This example of the pedigree is the 4.2L manual, which has come over from America, where it spent its life in Florida, with the hot, humid weather being less than kind to it.
Having made its way home, we have been asked to completely restore it, from an acid dip upwards, to bring these beautiful lines back, but better than they ever were.
The chassis is in rather poor condition, with the floor pan having detached through rust from both sides and starting to go at the toe boards. The left inner and outer sills are rotten, as is the rear arch and tub, however, the rest of the chassis is looking strong; the acid dip will reveal anything we can't see...
Once cleaned we will cut out the main floor, boot floor, sills, rear arches and tubs and see what we can see, once we're back to strong metal, we'll replace the panels and bring it up to spec, achieving universal 6mm gaps for every panel.
This sizing allows for paint to reduce the gap to c.5mm, giving an even and aesthetically pleasing look all round.
As with all of our builds, the suspension will be stripped, all metal work shotblasted and powder coated, all bushes replaced, new springs and shocks fitted (which for this beast is no mean feat!) and everything rebuilt better than new.
The exception to this will be the rear suspension cage and bonnet frame, both of which will be acid dipped and E-coated, to ensure they are strong inside and out.
The differential looks to be fairly dry, which is rare for these cars, but regardless it will be stripped and fully rebuilt. This car is inteded to be a regular driver, so reliability is key and that can only be done by making sure everything is as good as it can be.
The old Moss gearbox was never a great unit for these cars, so it will be replaced with a modern 5-speed unit. There are a couple we use, predominantly the Getrag box, but this decision is yet to be made.
The drive shafts and propshaft are in good condition, with no cracks or rust, they will be stripped, shotblasted, powder-coated and rebuilt with new universal joints.
The 4.2L engine is the stretched descendant of the earlier 3.4 and 3.8 blocks. It was said to have been running a couple of years ago, so we're hopeful the block and head will be strong and can be rebuilt. This car is numbers matching and we will do all we can to ensure it remains that way.
It will be fully built, with a few of our customary updates, such as multi-angle valve cuts, flowed head, balanced bottom end, modified rear seal and a number of other small, but important changes to add some reliability to this classic power unit.
One major change will be the fuelling. In order to improve reliability, cure cold and hot start issues and make the car simply nicer to drive, fuel injection will be added. Our system retains the original SU carbs, adding injectors underneath, out of site, but utilising the carbs as throttle bodies. This provides the smooth, powerful running provided by injection, but the looks of the standard carburettors, a perfect combination.
Cooling has always been issue on this engine, the large water jackets contain an inordinate amount of coolant, which runs through a radiator that was never ideal, with mechanical fans that never really drew in enough air.
We don't like the cooling systems of this era and with any of our builds, we always upgrade this element to make sure things never get too warm.
A larger radiator will be fitted to allow for greater coolant flow and thus exposure to the increased cooling fins, taking more heat out of the fluid. This will be coupled with an electric water pump, replacing the standard unit, electric fan and an intelligent controller, completed with waterless coolant.
Mechanical pumps have the main issue that they only run at engine speed, meaning that when the car is stationary, or slow moving, the pump is turning at engine tick-over, when the coolant may be rising in temperature and in need of more rapid cycling. The electric pump enables flow to be as fast or as slow as needed.
Likewise the electric fan can be run whenever is required at whatever speed is deemed appropriate, which is often much faster than a mechanical fan at idle, when the car isn't moving.
Controlling these elements will be an intelligent module that reads engine temperature and runs the fans and pump as much as is needed to maintain a constant temperature.
This controller has the added advantage of being able to slow the use of the pump when the engine is cold, allowing a quicker warm-up and reducing emissions and fuel usage. Equally, when the engine has been stopped and the engine bay temperature rises (the bay acts like an oven, when the engine stops, the latent heat is no longer being removed and the insulation of the bay causes the temperature to rise for a time before it dissipates), the pump and fans can be run for as long as is needed to reduce the temperature. This greatly improves the longevity of the engine.
Waterless coolant is used in all of our builds. Containing no water it prevents oxidisation and thus no rust forms in the channels. Additionally, it has a higher boiling point, meaning that even in hot weather, with the engine under load, there is no risk of gas being released from the coolant and creating hot-spots.
The other main advantage of these fluids is that they gain and release heat more quickly than standard coolants and thus draw the heat from the engine more efficiently and release it via the radiator in the same manner.
All in all, this combination of elements tames the heat of this incredible engine and makes for a more reliable, more enjoyable car.
The body is generally in good order, while the sills are gone, one of the doors, boot lid, most of the bonnet and apertures are devoid of rust.
This will all be stripped back with the acid dip, all plate work re-done and finished correctly, treated and then painted with the rest of the car.
The car left the factory coated in Claret Red, however at some point in its past it was re-paintied in black. The owner has yet to decide on the final colour, but regardless, it will be sumptuous.
The interior is very poor and will need a complete restoration with new trim for the seats, new door cards, carpets, dash trim, gauges, the whole lot, but when complete, will look incredible.
This beautiful piece of English heritage deserves to be restored, it is an icon of the 70s, a revered worldwide example of how luxury should be done and we will bring it back to life.
Check back soon and we will update this page with progress photos and details of the restoration.
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