Following diagnosis of the wiring issue in the ignition circuit, it would have been straightforward to replace the ignition switch and wire it in. But once I was under the dash, it was clear to me that a lot of the wiring looked fairly grotty and worthy of replacement. I got lucky with the first wiring fire, in that the car didn’t burn up, and I wasn’t keen to repeat the experience with tragic results. Besides, there was a small dent in the bonnet from where some fool in a Ford Excursion had backed into me some months before and the car really could use a fresh coat of paint to move beyond “ten-footer” status. And the more I thought about it, the black paint under the bonnet looked sloppy, and should be re-painted as well. And thus, my descent into that affliction known as Shipwright’s Disease was assured.
First things first. Time to remove the bonnet, a job best done by two. Not hard to do, simply remove the bolts threading into the bonnet frame, and remove the slip bushings. Leave the hinge brackets bolted to the bonnet.
Once the bonnet is removed, you can move quickly to the business at hand of ripping the car into bits. You will find that car parts are best stored in the shape of an intact car, but failing that, it pays to be systematic as you take things apart. Take lots of pictures from every angle as you disassemble things, and take notes as well. I stored parts in marked ziplock bags, with my notes on paper shoved in the bags. Here is a picture of the under-bonnet, with many of the components removed. Note the caved-in tube frame on the bonnet support, the result of my incursion with the Excursion. When the intake manifold and carb assembly was removed after this picture was taken, a crack through the right-hand engine support frame was revealed. Fortunately, this discovery coincided with a group buy of frame rail sets from E-Type Fabs organized by the gents on Jag-Lovers.
Here’s a view of the boot before dismantle, revealing the source of that lovely petrol smell. Removing and replacing the fuel tank is one of the nastiest jobs on an E-Type.
Time to rip out the seats and carpets. Observe the fried remains of the ignition switch dangling from the dash.
Time to remove the engine. This can be done either by lifting the engine from the top, or dropping it out the bottom. For my money, the bottom route is best. Simply support the engine with a hoist, disconnect the mounts and the drive shaft, and lower it onto a dolly. Then, lift the front of the car with the hoist, and wheel the engine out.
Here, I’m using the engine as driveway art. Time to scrub it clean and paint it with POR-15 engine enamel.
Now the fun part begins, ripping out the interior vinyl.
Another example of why I had no confidence in the long-term reliability of the existing wiring harness.
Ripping out the vinyl at the rear of the body tub. Note the creative use of cardboard as a tacking strip. The strip should be wood.
Interior all ripped out – almost time to deliver to the body shop. Only thing left is to remove the dash. Since I was going to replace the entire wiring harness, I clipped the terminals off at the connections, rather than pulling them off. The little stubs of colored wire on each terminal would later save me tremendous time in re-wiring the car, since it was easy to see which wire went where.