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XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!

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Old 10-05-2017, 07:10 PM
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Default XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!

Been advised to start my own thread here concerning converting this 1956 XK140 FHC into a V8 powered car.

To begin with, and to forestall the purists' concerns, here is the rationale behind the conversion decision:

1) The car is complete, BUT lacks engine or transmission;

2) It had previously had a Ford 302ci engine and auto transmission installed, and therefore retains most of the important hookups for that setup (engine mounts, trans rear mount, and a drive shaft, which I hope is the one modified for the Ford).

3) The car has already had certain non-original modifications by a prior owner that take it several steps away from an easy restoration, to include: modern dual master cylinder; custom rack and pinion steering and power steering pump/reservoir/etc; custom and chromed steering column from IDIDIT, to include 15" steering wheel; aftermarket auto trans floor shifter; alteration of the pedals (elimination of clutch pedal and new brake pedal);

4) Good things about the car include: brand new aluminum repro gas tank; perfect front and rear chromed bumpers; the rest of the chrome is in very good condition and all present; 2 1/2" dual exhausts and mufflers are new and in place; there are many new parts in boxes, to include rubber window gaskets and weather stripping, fender welting; all the other parts to put the car back together seem to be present, although disassembled and in boxes -- making for easy and thorough paint job; a Ron Francis wiring harness and distro box was installed, with most wiring still intact; the car's body and frame are SOLID! It once was a show car in its original form, and was very well kept.

5) The bad: The interior is shot; the wood well-weathered beyond restoring (only possibility is to recut wood pieces and cover them with vinyl or leather), interior panels terrible, and seats chewed up - disgraceful what happened to this previous show car. The wiring needs to be completed. There is NO radiator. There are no window regulators (prior owner stole the power window setups that had been installed). There is no air conditioning!!!!

6) The intention is to make this car into a frequent and reliable driver (with AC!), if not a daily driver. No intentions EVER to make this into a show car by any means. AND, the main focus is to get the car on the road as quickly as possible -- not a one-year-or-greater project, but rather something within 3 months, even if it means duct taping in some lawn chairs and using 6V battery lanterns as headlights!
In addition, NO INTENTIONS WHATSOEVER of making this into a high-HP hotrod.

7) The cost of restoring the car would require an investment in time that would far exceed my patience level and availability, and require an investment in money that would far exceed the car's worth, ever.

8) The budget is $10,000 (well, absolute max is $15,000). Perhaps I should have mentioned this first?
Oh, yes, the purchase price of this car and parts was quite a bit above this number, ahem…


CAVEAT #1: If someone out there WANTS to buy this car to "save" it, I'm willing to sell it, but at a cost of $2500 ABOVE the amount of money that we have spent on it already (which, so far, is purchase price and cost of shipping here). I think that any complaints about the direction this car is headed are justified. SAVIORS WELCOME!!!

CAVEAT #2: If anyone would care to assist in overcoming any of the mentioned obstacles, help will graciously be accepted.


SO, WHAT IS THE PLAN?
First is addressing the power plant.
While it SEEMED to be a natural and easy decision to just buy a running Mustang donor car with a mod Ford 5L or 4.6L engine with fuel injection, variable cam timing, coil over plug ignition, overdrive autotrans, with all the accessories (modern hi-output alternator, AC compressor, serpentine belt drive, etc) – but an 03 XKR within a reasonable distance popped up on Craigslist, and the temptation of transplanting a JAGUAR supercharged V8 with all those modern technologies has distracted the hunt for a Ford donor car – plus the price is RIGHT for that XKR!

So, the debate has only broadened, and it has not only raged at home, but also on a couple other forums.

The opinions vary considerably (not in any particular order):

1) Go with the easiest and quickest transplant and get a driving/fully operational 1995 or later Ford donor car (?Mustang), and scavenge everything possible, including engine/trans/black boxes, possibly seats, wiper motors, AC/heater evaporator box and ducting, AC hoses/condenser, steering column if it is telescoping and tilt, power window mechanisms and switches, etc. A running example of an XK120 with 302 engine was pointed out by Primaz of this forum at https://www.grautogallery.com/vehicl...2-jaguar-xk120

2) Install a more modern Jag inline 6-cylinder FI engine/trans, thus at least keeping the visual 1956 Jaguar context intact, while carrying FI, AC compressor, hi output alternator, etc. (…this has received a frequent vote)

3) Get an engine/OD manual trans from the 1950s era and transplant it to keep as close to original as possible. This has received several votes, of course.

4) Install a GM LS engine (?supposedly lighter and higher HP, who cares) and GM OD auto transmission. Same availability of parts, service, and aftermarket conversion kits as the Ford engine.

5) Install the XKR supercharged 4.2 engine and 6speed autotrans, to retain a semblance of being half-true to the Jag marque. (a sterling example being done by Doug Dooren on this forum at https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/m...6/#post1770135 )

6) Install a Nissan Skyline RB inline 6-cylinder turbo engine, which evidently is super reliable and can generate incredible HP (over 1000) when tweaked.

7) Other opinions involve installing V6 engines as well as 4-cylinder motors, with turbos. While these 4 and V6 options are probably EASIER to install, especially due to smaller physical footprint, I’m having an emotionally philosophical problem of installing anything smaller than a V8, unless it were an inline 6 (mimicking the original 1956 XK setup).


So, that’s where we are. A decision will happen within 2 weeks.
Opinions, advice, personal experiences, etc. are gratefully invited.

I am posting some pix of the car in its present state, as well as one or two from back in its heyday when it was a “show car”.
Attached Thumbnails
XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-20170926_130857.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-20170926_094356.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-20170926_094404.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-20170926_095002.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-20170926_the-vols-we-received-1-3-4-no-2.jpg  

XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-orig-show-pic-5.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-5.jpg   XK140 FHC - transplanting SOMETHING into it & getting it on the road!-2.jpg  
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Old 10-07-2017, 01:22 PM
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If it was lumped before, the quickest and easiest to re-lump, I would think.

For the kind of money you're thinking of spending though, (with hints that the car itself cost you rather a lot), the money you spend will come back to you on future sale if you put a 3.4 XK engine back in. However, how easy these are to come by in the USA I don't know. You could also consider an AJ6 or AJ16 engine and box. If it were me, I'd try to get estimates of the car's worth with each of the three options I have outlined. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on something that's not going to be worth it at the end of all that effort and money.
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Old 10-07-2017, 02:25 PM
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If it was lumped before, the quickest and easiest to re-lump, I would think.

For the kind of money you're thinking of spending though, (with hints that the car itself cost you rather a lot), the money you spend will come back to you on future sale if you put a 3.4 XK engine back in. However, how easy these are to come by in the USA I don't know. You could also consider an AJ6 or AJ16 engine and box. If it were me, I'd try to get estimates of the car's worth with each of the three options I have outlined. I wouldn't spend a lot of money on something that's not going to be worth it at the end of all that effort and money.
Frazier,
1) Prior lump, therefore easiest to re-lump - agreed. Temptation is to do as Doug did for his Mk2 -- put in a Jag XKR engine/trans (not the other stuff Doug is doing, such as complete updating of suspension, etc.)

2) Worth of the car: Tough one, in that much depends on the level of restoration. I have been seeing completely trashed, BUT COMPLETE XK's (w/matching numbers) on EBay for slightly over $30K. There is also a completely restored classic XK on EBay for around $115,000 -- but who knows for what price it will actually sell?

I would estimate that putting in a reasonable V8, with half-decent paint job and straight body, and some modern amenities (power windows, dual master cylinder and new brake lines, new gas tank, new custom rack/pinion with power steering ... and AC!!) should bring at least $40K.

We just were at a Mecum auction where an XK140 that had a solid good restoration went for $52K.

However, since this is a not-for-profit venture, intended to be a frequent driver to and from work (note, I'm not venturing the words "daily driver"!), just getting it on the road SHOULD be my focus.
Of course, when the time to sell comes up, THAT will be when regrets may pop up -- either regrets that so much was spent on the car to keep originality, versus regrets that originality was not pursued.

There are too many tempting as well as sobering options -- XKR engine; straight-6 but later Jag engine with FI; 3.4L original 1950s engine/box (even though NOT number-matched) -- they keep poking holes in my resolve to just git-er-dunn and stick in a Ford 302ci.

I think the tremendous technological unknown that is involved with an XKR transplant is preventing me from pulling the trigger on that local XKR donor car. I have to remember, this cannot be a year-long project! Must be on the road and out of here in a few short months!

Last edited by stasha; 10-07-2017 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:43 AM
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I saw that Beacham in NZ does XKR conversions for old XK140 and XK150s, so I contacted them. They said to containerize the car and send it over.

I explained that that was impossible (monetarily as well as practically), but asked for some tips on the "black boxes", as I am fairly sure I can handle physically installing the engine/trans.

Not sure if they will respond with any technical assistance, although I am hopeful that the expanse of the Pacific Ocean will make them "user friendly" and not think of me being competition.

BTW, the link to their XK150-XKR transplant is https://beacham.co.nz/beacham-xk-150-v8/

Last edited by stasha; 10-08-2017 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 10-12-2017, 05:27 PM
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For my penny's worth Stasha.

If you definitely want to keep to a 3 month schedule, I would rule out anything other than the Ford replacement, unless you are devoting the full 3 months to the project 12 Hr days and seven days a week, and have skills in everything from fabrication to electronics I can't see you being able to pull off a major conversion in that time.

With a 10K ish budget you will be looking at 4K for the interior if it is as shot as you say not much less and maybe a bit more. That leaves 6K, which means you will have to do most of this work yourself, I just can't see it's possible in the time frame.

The car has been Frankenstiened already, so although I prefer purity as and when it's prudent, the XKR would be my line of thought, if only you could give it a little more time. I just think you will come across too many obstacles or extra upgrades that you will need to overcome or include to stand any hope of completion in 3 months.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by TilleyJon View Post
For my penny's worth Stasha.

If you definitely want to keep to a 3 month schedule, I would rule out anything other than the Ford replacement, unless you are devoting the full 3 months to the project 12 Hr days and seven days a week, and have skills in everything from fabrication to electronics I can't see you being able to pull off a major conversion in that time.

With a 10K ish budget you will be looking at 4K for the interior if it is as shot as you say not much less and maybe a bit more. That leaves 6K, which means you will have to do most of this work yourself, I just can't see it's possible in the time frame.

The car has been Frankenstiened already, so although I prefer purity as and when it's prudent, the XKR would be my line of thought, if only you could give it a little more time. I just think you will come across too many obstacles or extra upgrades that you will need to overcome or include to stand any hope of completion in 3 months.
Yep, agree on all points.
3 month push; budget max to be $15K (but includes many sundries besides the big work (big work = engine/trans plus transplant, paint, interior -- and AC).
Too many other projects requiring finishing. deadline deadline deadline deadline deadline deadline.

Maybe in a few years, if an aftermarket ECU box is developed, we'll consider the XKR engine...
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Old 10-13-2017, 03:30 PM
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I would have thought that you could use the XKR ECU, if you can find someone that can map the ECU they should be able to turn off any modules that you don't want to fit, and then remap/tune the ECU to the XK, I know people here that could do this, so I'm sure they are around you too.

Look like the Ford 302 is the way forward re time schedule.
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Old 10-13-2017, 07:53 PM
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TJ,
Here's the problem: I have asked the XJR forum about how to make necessary mods to the XKR engine ECU to adapt it to my XK140. Universally, the response was "not possible."
No one stepped up with a reference to someone who could do this, or that stated that it was presently at all possible.

I really think "finding someone who can modify the Jag's XKR ECU" is like the old comment from my era: "anyone can make a nuclear device in their basement" -- i.e., NOT POSSIBLE for the ordinary person; takes a highly skilled person to do this, AND, even rarer, it takes a skilled person who is interested enough to spend the time to decode the XJR/XKR modules.

So, ANYTIME you find someone who has done this or who knows someone who has done this, PULLEEZE let me know. I will immediately pick up this 03 XKR with trans and allllll the associated modules in my local area, and will make that conversion into the XK140.

Maybe you have some connections who can solve this?

Last edited by stasha; 10-13-2017 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:31 AM
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I will speak to a guy I know here, he's ex Jaguar and does remapping, he was introduced to me as being "he knows all there is to know about Jags" I will find out if that is true !

I went to his shop with a problem I had with my X type, real "back street" place, and I have to say I wondered what the hell I was doing there, when I actually entered the workshop it was full of Bentley's, Jags, and an Aston, they say don't read a book from its cover. I had been chasing the problem for 2 months and the codes were telling me my ECU was shot, but after a chat with him, he told me exactly what it was and bingo car was sorted, it was an intermittent fault on a coil pack that was throwing all sorts of codes but not a code for the coil pack at all !

I will let you know what he says.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:36 AM
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STASHA,
Doug DID NOT fit a 4.2 jaguar engine and 6 speed auto box in his mk2 jaguar,
he did fit a 4L jaguar engine with a 5 speed auto box,
the 6 speed box is a lot a lot bigger and diver is at the top of the bow that makes it very tall,,
I do have a 4.2 v8 engine with manual 6 speed box in my mk2 jaguar
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by TilleyJon View Post
I will speak to a guy I know here, he's ex Jaguar and does remapping, he was introduced to me as being "he knows all there is to know about Jags" I will find out if that is true !
...

I will let you know what he says.
Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:10 PM
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STASHA,
Doug DID NOT fit a 4.2 jaguar engine and 6 speed auto box in his mk2 jaguar,
he did fit a 4L jaguar engine with a 5 speed auto box,
the 6 speed box is a lot a lot bigger and diver is at the top of the bow that makes it very tall,,
I do have a 4.2 v8 engine with manual 6 speed box in my mk2 jaguar
Daimler,
Yep, I guess I saw your comment maybe on the Mk2 forum (Doug's project).
Good info! Not sure if it would be a project ender, however. What would you foresee the problem with expanding the tunnel? Not enough vertical space?
Maybe I don't understand "diver is at the top of the bow"?

In regards to your 4.2 V8 in your Mk2, did you run into problems with the sensor inputs and the ECU? How did you surrmount what I see as the biggest unknown in a transplant of an XKR engine into an XK140?

Regardless, I am 51% convinced that the mod Ford engine is going to be my easiest solution -- must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months, must be done in 3 months.

HOWEVER, could be easily convinced to go down the XKR engine route....

Last edited by stasha; 10-14-2017 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:17 PM
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I have not run my engine as yet,you will need a stand along ECU to run the engine,
so no sensors,no ABS , no cats, no air bags,
I put a full new tunnel in my car,
the drive off the gearbox is high up at the top , so tunnel has to be very high.
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Old 10-14-2017, 04:21 PM
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BTW,i would love to be doing this to a xk140fhc,
be just right for me here in the uk,
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Old 10-15-2017, 04:41 PM
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Not the same vehicle but this is what can be done-with sufficient time.
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Old 10-16-2017, 11:05 AM
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ROBMAN25
the car is crap,it looks crap and been done crap,
what he did was cut the front out of the stype,and put the xjr front in place and patched in the make it look ok,and done same with the back end,
thing is you don't have to cut the car up to fit that engine,
v12 engines go in and you don't cut the car up,
just saying like.
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Old 10-16-2017, 10:24 PM
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Daim, didn’t say it was good, just noting that it had been done, I’m not sure how much cutting Beachams do to get the upgrades into their MK11’s but currently looking into the engine bay of my ‘S’ and there ain’t much room inside.
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Old 10-17-2017, 01:19 PM
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That is a nice looking dog in the vid!
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:24 PM
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GEORGE,thats about as good as it gets.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:28 PM
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ROBMAN,
beechems shave down the side rails,the ones that go from the back top to the engine mounts,and replace them with 10mm by 75mm steel,gives a bit more room.
I have a full file from beechems showing some bits,and this is what I sent to DOUG to do his.
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