E-Type V12 Engine Removal

This article by Allan Linglebach appeared in two parts in the November 1982 and February 1983 issues of the Ontario Jaguar.

The V12 engine before removal
Spring, 1979, marked the completion of a one and a half year restoration of a 1962 E-type. The original cost and ownership of the Jaguar was split between my brother and myself. This arrangement worked well as long as the car was out of commission. Restoration costs, labour, frustrations, etc. were shared equally. Once the Jag was completed though, the easy to swallow shared workload concept became a bitter pill when the exhilaration of driving this E-type had to be shared. By the fall of 1979, 1 had sold my interest in the car to my brother. We decided that our partnership consisted of one too many partners.
A diehard E-type fanatic like myself cannot be without one for very long. I wanted to try something slightly different though V12 power. In April 1980, I bought precisely the model I was searching for: a 1972 Series III E-type roadster. The prepurchase "flight" check showed everything to be in relatively good condition, considering the mileage and price. The transmission seemed noisier than I might have anticipated, but, having never driven a V12 E-type before, I had nothing to use as a guideline. The summer driving in general and the October Kavartha rally in particular convinced me that this noise was not only uncharacteristic of V12 power trains, but it was also becoming noticeably worse.
Most E-type owners are aware of the fact that major transmission or clutch repairs require pulling the engine and transmission as a unit. I have been told that, by removing the rear mount and lowering the rear of the engine/transmission unit, the bolts around the bell housing can be reached without removing the whole assembly. I have not seen it done this way, nor have I tried it, so I cannot confirm that this method works. I have seen E-types where whole sections of the transmission tunnel and floor have been cut away such that the transmission could be removed without disturbing the engine. Considering that the E-type is built around a central stressed steel monocoque, this kind of "shortcut" should be avoided at all costs. In iffy case, the discovery of a slight head gasket leak on the engine convinced me that there was only one option - remove the whole engine and transmission unit.
The sight of a V12 E-type engine compartment can be very intimidating to first time spectators. It is awesome enough just sitting there. The task of removing that sucker brings on the image of manoeuvering a bull through a china shop.

Outsiders assume that only one of three types of people would tackle that job:
  • (a) a highly trained and PAID professional;
  • (b) someone professional or not, who has done it several times already and survived; and
  • (c) a first time novice, whose seven day pass from the local institution is about to expire!
Combination of the above is considered to be an asset.
The first and most important step is to acquire a factory manual. The British Leyland "Repair Operation Manual" is the best and is worth the extra cost relative to trade manuals such as Clymer,Haynes, Chilton, etc. It is available through Jaguar dealers. Every step is quite clearly described and amply illustrated.
Most of the hands-on procedure is quite obvious. The number of items removed before actually lifting out the engine depend on the reason for removing the engine in the first place. In my case, a complete drivetrain overhaul and body restoration was decided upon, so I removed as many parts as I could before I disturbed the motor mounts.
Begin by driving the car onto 6 to 10" high ramps.
Disconnect the battery and remove the bonnet.
The engine will come forward and out through the front, so everything ahead of the power plant must come out. This means draining the cooling system, disconnecting all hoses and wires from the radiator and header tank, and removing the radiator/fan/cowl assembly. If your car has air conditioning, the condenser and compressor must be removed before the radiator can be detached. This must be accomplished without disconnecting any portion of the air conditioning system.
Withdraw the front cross member, upon which the-header tank is bolted. Detach all wires that run to the oil pressure sender unit, starter motor, and alternator, having marked their location.
Disconnect the two hoses from the heater and the hose running between the left intake manifold and the brake vacuum reservoir. The air cleaners must be removed. This will allow you to loosen the choke cable pinch bolts at the right and left hand carburettors. Pull the left choke cable out of the clips which are attached to the cross over pipe.
Detach the throttle cable from the pedestal mounted on the engine behind the distributor. The hydraulic clutch system must be disconnected and this is best done at the bulkhead or firewall bracket. Unbolt the power steering pump on the left side of the engine and swing it aside. The air pump on the right should be removed altogether.
A carbon canister is mounted on the right hand side footwell facing forward into the engine compartment. The pipe connecting this canister to the balance pipe must be detached. The balance pipe can be identified as the pipe which runs to all four carburettors and spans the top of the engine.
The last operation within the engine compartment for now is the removal of the left and right hand fuel lines at the cross over pipe connection.
It may appear as though the work is nearly over, but it only now begins in earnest. The second stage takes place beneath the car.

Don Linglebach lends Allan a helping hand to remove the V12 engine

To Be Continued

Part 2

This is the second part of the article, by Allan Lingelbach, concerning the removal of a V12 engine, continued from last month.


Remove the exhaust system from the downpipe connection on back. If it is "rust welded" like most, this will be the hardest chore and brings forth numerous profound adjectives. Mine ultimately had to be cut off.
The three asbestos heat shields are now removed. They are located around the transmission area. Unbolt a cross member which is beneath the engine and attached to the left and right side of the engine compartment frame. It is found just behind the oil filter. A ground wire will be spotted joining the bellhousing to the car chassis. Of course, this must be disconnected. Now for a change of scenery, stage three requires one to get inside the car.
The gearbox console must be withdrawn, which requires the prior removal of the gearshift knob and armrest. This will reveal a transmission cover which must also be unscrewed. With easy accessibility, the speedometer cable and the reverse light wires can be disconnected. Fold back the floor carpets on either side of the transmission tunnel. This will reveal a bolt on either side of the tunnel which holds a second cross member. This one is just ahead of the bellhousing and must be detached. Remove the four bolts securing the driveshaft to the transmission.
Back out of the car into the sunlight and ignore the growing crowd of chuckling and pointing bystanders. One cannot help but conjure up parallels between himself and Noah. If you are slow like me, the above will have used up the better part of a day.
Since the next stage involves renting or borrowing a portable engine hoist, as well as a warm body willing to give assistance, it is beat left to another day.


You are now psyched up to actually remove the engine. If you are planning a major overhaul, I recommend removing the intake manifold/ carburettor assemblies. There is so little room between the manifolds and the frame that the slightest miscue with the hoist could do considerable damage. The same applies to the power steering rack. The pipe entering the top of the rack looks extremely vulnerable and is easily forgotten in the heat of the battle when the engine is dangling above it. In my case, all of the above, including the alternator was removed to give me better accessibility. The book claims that these last three points are not necessary, but errors at this stage of the game do not come cheap.
Wheel in the hoist and attach the chains to the four engine lifting eyes. The hook to eye chain length should be 6 or 7" greater from the rear than from the front. This will give the engine the proper angle as it is lifted through the front. Raise the hoist enough to take some of the weight off of the front mounts.
Two jacks are needed next. Position one beneath the rear of the transmission. The second one must support the rear engine mounting plate. Remove the five bolts from the plate and lower the second Jack very carefully. There is a spring pushing down on this plate which is under substantial pressure and can be quite dangerous. Disconnect this plate completely by withdrawing the large nut in the centre. Unbolt the front engine mounts from the car frame.
Gradually lower the Jack supporting the transmission until the entire weight is taken by the engine hoist. Hopefully, the men in white coats haven't come for you yet, since we are now at the enjoyable part. With the help of your assistant, simultaneously raise and pull the V12 plant forward. The block and heads may be aluminium but the straining hoist is a reminder that the engine alone weighs 680 pounds, not counting the transmission, and accessories. This is not something you want to drop on, or wedge in, the car body.
Once the assembly is clear of the car, set it down on a dolly preferably. This is the only way you will be able to move it later on. I rigged up a dolly so that the weight was not carried by the aluminium sump. I don't know if this is important, but there is no point in taking chances.
So, there it is. It may take us amateurs 2 to 3 times longer than a seasoned pro, but the satisfaction is worth it. It does not hurt to know that the money saved can go a long way towards repairing the problem which caused the engine pull saga in the first place. In my case, the noise and vibration problem turned out to be a badly torn up transmission countershaft and, of course, bearings. The whole engine received the benefit of a major overhaul while it was out, since the above is best done only once in a lifetime.
On closing, I must note that, having pulled a Jag six and a Jag twelve, us V12 owners may have more work to do, but can take a certain measure of comfort in knowing that there is no torsion bar reaction tie plate lurking beneath, which must be removed and, worse still, reinstalled !
Allan Lingelbach.

The V12 engine after removal
All Photos By Allan Lingelbach.
Sept 12, 2011 by Webmaster