living with a smoky MK2 for 2 1/2 years I had contemplated all the
Rebuild the 3.8 myself;
Get someone else to rebuild it for me
Replace it with a later 4.2 engine.
the months went by option 2 seemed to be the one that made the most sense.
Then just as I was nearing a decision I saw an ad for a modified Series 3
XK engine. I went to investigate and discovered the previous owner had
installed Holden commodore fuel injection and ignition. The whole thing
was controlled by an after market Haltech Computer. He had the engine in
an S-type, which he now wanted to fit with a lexus engine. At first sight
I wasnít terribly keen on the idea. It looked like a very tricky
install, there were cables, wires and pipes going everyehere. But as the
weeks went by I convinced myself it was the way to go. The plan was to
perform a simple engine swap, if it was in an S-type then it should just
drop into a MK2?
thing was to remove the old engine and gearbox as a single unit, this was
fairly easy with the aid of an engine crane. This revealed the full extent
of the 40 year old grimy engine bay. Of course this was the perfect
opportunity to clean things up. So off came every single component,
carefully remembering where each piece belonged. As it happened this was a
waste of time because I think I had to relocate just about everything.
hours of wire brushing later and I had a gleaming bare metal engine bay.
Next I trial fitted the engine and did a bit of guard reshaping so the
throttle body would fit. Then it was ready to be sprayed. Not the best
spray job ever, but most of it canít be seen anyway.
was a joy to finally start reassembly.
The initial parts went in quite easily,
the pedal box, brake servo and new brake pipes. Next I fitted the engine,
although this made the fitting of the other parts more difficult at least
I knew what space I had left. It quickly became apparent that the battery
wasnít going to fit and had to go in the boot. There was no hope for the
windscreen wipers, they would have to be mounted on the left hand inner
wing. The new altenator was where the old washer bottle was so that had to
be moved too, It was like a chain reaction. Chopping the old
heater box in half saved some more space. There is no way the old
fan would fit so I installed an electric fan on the grille side of the
radiator. I had a lot of trouble fitting the power steering pump in.
Perhaps the S-type is a little wider at this point.
previous owner had fitted the Commodore air filter arrangement
top of the engine, I was keen to keep the
old XK visible so spent many hours searching for an air filter of
sufficient size that would fit in the remaining space. One major issue
that I hadnít considered before buying the engine was that I would need
to fit an EFI fuel pump and a fuel return system. Because of the pressures
involved this meant replacing all the old fuel lines from the tank to the
engine and the fitting of a suitable return pipe to the tank. A club
member bravely volunteered to drill and braise the pipe in to the tank -
actually he thought better of this and ended up soldering it. Another
member pitched in by braising a nut to the side of one of the exhaust down
pipes in order to fit the CO sensor.
just about rewired the front of the car in an attempt to keep all the
extra EFI wiring as neat as possible. The wiring for the Commodore
altenater had to sorted out along with new supplies for the electric fan
the EFI fuel pump and the computer itself. The computer was installed in
the passenger foot well. After a few electrical issues the engine started.
However there was a terrible squealing sound, this was finally tracked to
a power steering belt alignment problem.
I had to find away to connect the Jaguar accelerator pedal to the
commodore throttle body. The easiest solution was to get the whole pedal
assembly from a commodore. At last the car was ready to road test, I
decided to do the right thing and inform my insurance company of the
modifications. They said that they required an engineers certificate which
in turn required a CO test and exhaust noise test. Because the engine had
been changed from original I had to fit 3 point rear seat belts and the
boot mounted battery had to be fitted in a sealed container that was
the car was 'street
legalí. The previous owner assured me that the computer
was set up and
would not need adjustment but with my larger exhaust and K&N air
filter the engine was breathing far easier and so adjustment would be
required. I experimented myself and
after a fair effort got the car to a drivable state. But without feedback
fine tuning is near impossible so the search was on for a Jaguar tuning
specialist with Holden injection and Haltech computer knowledge. Somebody
mentioned that Gavin King of Concours Restorations may be able to help. As
luck would have it Gavin has recently moved to Tuggerah and his local Dyno
shop has experience with Haltec computers!
a very interesting morning followed first inspecting Gavinís C type
replicas, Mk2 ute and many other spectactular cars followed by the
unforgettable experience of watching an XK engine under full load at over
5000 rpm. The boys at the Dyno workshop
modified the fuel and ignition maps at a speed that had to be seen
to be believed. The final result yielding 166 hp at the rear wheels and a
constant 13:1 air fuel mixture. This is a pleasing result as a XK engined
E type in good tune will only make about 150 hp.
the verdict? Well if I had known the problems I was going to encounter
then I wouldnít have started. I have learnt a lot about fuel injection
(This is the first car I have ever owned that has fuel injection.)
With the aid of a laptop computer fault finding is very straight forward
as all the input sensor values can be easily monitored.
This is also the first time I have had to call upon the services of
a motor vehicle engineer.
My advise to anybody modifying anything on their car is to contact
an engineer before you spend any money. It could save you a lot of time
and money. Because of the modified fuel system I very nearly ended up in a
position where I could not get a certificate. As I said before talk to
them before you start.
here to see Engine Video