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1963 JAGUAR XKE RDST. BLOG UPDATE-MONSTER TRANS TUNNEL!!!


1963 JAGUAR V8 XKE 5 SPEED ROADSTER BLOG UPDATE by Mack Besser ZZAAPP Vintage Auto. September 22, 2011Summer has passed without a drive. Other “summer cars” took precedence; and several folks are now on the road in vintage sports cars!  The Edelbrock bolt on fuel injection kit had a perplexing issue with fuel starvation past idle. The new kit’s fuel pump had failed to deliver past start-up & idle. Placement of the pump (FYI), was not below the fuel tankcausing it to overload.  Another item to correct (as were many from it’s arrival). I wonder why????After a prescribed “period of consternation” the pump was relocated, to just above the right side mount of the rear sway bar. Looks factory. Justin did a great job rearranging the inlet & outlet fuel piping. Well, it started before, it should start now. It does-and on the first day of fall-we take the E-V8 out for it’s initial foray. First let me say, we are located on a farm, 200 yds. of (go very slow) gravel road-then the nice 2 lane paved county road. No traffic for miles, unless tractors & combines count. The first 1.5 miles, we took very slowly, making sure all 5 gears worked, the 4 pot alloy calipers, boosters, etc. were doing their job. All seemed well. We did run the car up to 4500 RPM’S in 1, 2 & 3, likely exceeding the speed limit by 100%! 4th and 5th  were a coast purely for safety reasons. Brakes were excellent; I had never driven a BRAND NEW Tremic 5 speed-now I know why the Mustang guys like ‘em!  What’s not to like! Much left to do-in reality-a proper exhaust, new seat belts, water temp gauge correction, bigger rear tires (!), front suspension alignment.  Oh yeah, then we have to put in the windshield & interior trim bits.  LOTS O’ POWER-from 2500 RPM’S on up. Good move on the owner’s part to maintain originality in all aspects of appearance.  A bit of the real tricky business was the shift console relocation and  tunnel console alterations; all the while adhering to unobtrusive modifications.  FYI, you folks with those old E 2+2s, especially the V12 cars, this would be a good swap. Using a Holley carb would save you about $2800 and a lotof plumbing work.  Ford 302 V8’s are cheap, not so the Tremic. However, you could actually enjoy an E 2+2.  They are very inexpensive & usually broken. 2 good reasons to make the purchase & proceed with this type of project.  Remember, the V12 cars already have decent brakes, and a slightly wider engine bay, making a header fit easier.

Will only bore the readers with a few lines with regards to the complete bell housing, trans & driveshaft tunnel fabrication. We used factory parts, adapting to fit, and strengthened the main cross member that someone had cut to clear the Muncie linkage.The trans tunnel was made 2” wider & 4” longer by some clever shaping on the English Wheel, it’s basis was an original piece.  We’ve included a picture of the monster tunnelthe car arrived with for comparison. Held on with 6 sheet metal screws. I wonder why??


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