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1963 Etype Coupe

63 Etype FHC – Some Assembly Required

Whom among us have not seen the words Some Assembly Required and felt maybe a little pang of doubt, asking can I do this, how long is it going to take, do I have the right tools, etc? Just the other day my daughter sent me a text. She had purchased a bunk bed. She thought it would take 1 or 2 hours to assemble. It took her 4. She said something about a lot of “plastic nails”. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a plastic nail. Maybe something got lost in the translation. My son, a few years ago, sent a picture of several dozen small allen wrenches. He said each had come with a piece of Ikea furniture that he had purchased and assembled in his life. I’m just impressed that he kept a bunch of allen wrenches. He’s got my genes. Anyway, where I’m going with this is that I’ve reached a nice milestone on my Etype restoration. I’m ready to start putting things back together. If it came in a box (well, actually it came in many boxes) the label would say Some Assembly Required!

Since I didn’t take the car apart, this may be the ultimate 1000 piece puzzle. Except there are a lot more than a thousand pieces! By far, the most useful tool in this effort is the Jaguar Spare Parts Catalogue (SPC).

The SPC comes in several different generations. I have the original one that was printed around the time the car was released in 1961. It contains a series of wonderful exploded diagrams, which they call Plates. Each piece on the diagram is given an item number, which is listed in the adjacent pages giving a part number, a description, quantity required, and in some cases a deliniation as to which series of Car Numbers that the part is applicable too. There is also a very detailed Table of Contents. Just to give you an idea of the scale of the problem, I added up the total number of item numbers on the 55 plates. When multiplied out, that number came out to 2165! But wait, there’s more. When you go to the detailed listing of each part there is quite often more parts listed that are required to install the part. Typically a bolt, washer, and a nut. Maybe a gasket. This is of course very helpful but it only means that the number I calculated above is conservative. Maybe it was not a good idea to write this number down. It can be a little intimidating!

So what got me started on this topic is that I received multiple boxes this week from my bright zinc plater, Industrial Electroplating in Gastonia, NC.

This is in addition to a previous order that included the front suspension components and a metric crap load (MCL) of bolting hardware. Actually, in anticipation of this new load of parts, I spent several hours (days really) sorting out that MCL of bolts into specific piles. When sorted by diameter, length, fine or coarse thread, bolt or setscrew, nylock nut or regular nut, etc, I filled up over 90 unique paper cups. BTW “setscrew” is Jaguar terminology for a fully threaded bolt. They could have been further sorted by head stamp (GKN, BEES, etc) but that is not going to happen in my lifetime. Here is my organized collection.

Anyway, while on the organization kick, I decided to set up several folding tables in my assembly area for parts that are loose but will go on the car. Here it is with just the zinc plated parts.

So, as you can see, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Stay tuned, it should be interesting.

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