This is a step-by-step instruction on assembling the E-Type subframes, suspension, steering rack, sway bar, control arms, uprights and lots of brackets/spacers/loop clips which need to be installed at these steps. The installation of the engine subframes is a crucial step in the assembly of the E-Type, and requires careful attention to detail to ensure proper alignment and function.
Please read through the steps in their entirety before proceeding.
The Engine Frame Assembly of the Jaguar E-Type are constructed from bronze-welded Reynolds 531 tubes which rigid mounted to firewall of the car. Reynolds 531 is used for both the right and left frames (C15030, C15029) and Picture Frame Assembly C28922. They are known for their strength and durability, however, these tubes can suffer from cracks and internal corrosion over time.
One of the most common areas to find cracks on the engine subframe is on the lower engine frame tube where the engine mount is located. This area is subjected to a significant amount of stress and movement from the engine which can cause fatigue and eventually lead to cracking. In addition, surface corrosion can also be found underneath the brake fluid reservoirs. This is a result of exposure to DOT4 brake fluid that compromises the paint.
To prevent these issues, it is recommended to apply cavity protection spray inside the engine subframes before assembly.
If the car shows any signs of needing steel panel replacement in the body monocoque of a Jaguar E-Type, then the subframes must also be replaced. This is because the subframes and the body monocoque are closely interconnected structural components that work together to provide the vehicle with its overall strength and rigidity.
There are many aftermarket sources for the right and left engine sub frames of a Jaguar E-Type, including some with upgrade options that include thicker 14 SWG steel stock and Martin Robey lists their top version Uprated Engine Side Frames for Jaguar E-Type MRE93RHU / MRE94LHU built with T45 Carbon Manganese Steel. These updated units have an additional gusset bronze welded between the formed engine mounting post.
The Picture Frame Assembly C15014 C25368 is a structural component of the Jaguar E-Type subframes that is sandwiched between the engine subframe and bonnet subframes. It is a mild-steel pressed unit that uses fulcrum blocks to prevent crushing of the structure and serve double duty as suspension mounting points.
Like the subframes, the Picture frame is also available in updated form Martin Robey with gussets and fillets which are round tubes welded between the trailing and leading edge that where not part of the original design.
When made at the factory the picture frames were first painted then later stamped with the chassis number on the right-hand side near the telescopic shock absorber. This process would have caused some damage to the paint and this is often seen as a sign of an original picture frame stamping.
The picture frame uses many 2-4 inch-long 5/16-24 GKN bolts and these are available as a set.They are retained by long skirt 5/16-24 nyloc nuts plated in silver cadmium. Large circular punches can aid in locating the bolt holes when installing the picture frame.
Almost all the subframe hardware on Series I Jaguar E-Type cars is electroplated with silver cadmium, which provides a durable and corrosion-resistant surface. As production passed, Jaguar increasingly used gold cadmium plating for the Series II which was mainly limited to the bolts.
The first 13 steps will be all mounted with loose bolts, until the entire subframe assembly is built and then tightened as a complete unit.
The torsion bars are responsible for maintaining the factory-specified ride height, which is essential for proper suspension geometry and handling performance. When the torsion bars are removed and reinstalled, it is crucial that they are located in the same position as the factory setup to ensure that the ride height and spring rates are correct. If an adjustment needs to be made to the torsion bar suspension on the Jaguar E-Type, it is important to ensure that the left and right bars are correctly located on their respective sides, they are stamped RH and LH respectively on the front leading face. The torsion bars have 24 splines on the front connected to the lower control arm and 25 splines on the rear connected to the reaction plate through a bracket. These splines allow for fine vernier adjustments of the ride-height to be made.
STEP 13 – Adjust the sway bar bushing to be equal on both sides then tighten the two bolts.
STEP 25 – Mount up the sway bar with the links that extend down to the lower control arm.
Ok well that wraps up this guide to installing the E-Type engine subframes. If you have any comments/corrections or thoughts please include them in the comments section.
Torsion bar reaction plate, channel bolt, one each side, are they 1/2 inch ? They look fatter,
I wrote ½x3½ bolt, if you can help me update this post I will add your contirubutions. Thanks.
I’m just about to start assembling my frames and found this guide. Absolutely brilliant, thank you.
Thanks. If you have any corrections/ammendments/comments I would be happy to revise.
This is a very well done document and guide. Here are my notes:
In Step 4, the 5/16″ bolt should read, 7/16″ bolt and step 6, 5/16″ lock washers should probably read modern 5/16 nylocs.
Some where along the way between step 5, 6 or 7, you should show the small 90 degree radiator brackets installed under the upper / outer bolts that holds the bonnet frame. I seem to recall that the bonnet frame has to be presented to the picture frame with the two upper / outer bolts and rad brackets in place on the bonnet frame. If you forget this step, the bonnet frame will have to be removed from the picture frame to get the bolt out to install the brackets. These two bolts are not removable with the bonnet frame in place. …. I hope that helps!
I should have mentioned that my previous comment on the Rad brackets probably applies to S2 cars.
And there is an engine ground strap that should be mounted on the 7/16″ engine frame bolt to floor rail. I believe it goes on the LH side.
Thanks I added all your great suggestions!
My error… In Step 4, the 5/16″ bolt should read, 3/8″ bolt not 7/16″ as I previously noted in my other replies. And the same for the ground strap on a 3/8″ bolt not a 7/16″ bolt.
It’s been 4 years and I still don’t have my ’66FHC running !
Did you Etype have a long metal pipe under the triple carbs that fed coolant from the water pump bypass port to the bulkhead ? Mine has internal rust and don’t want to re-use it on my rebuilt 4.2.
Yes this coolant return is available in stainless steel. You can see it in one of my latest videos: https://youtu.be/iLiwfyHC_wM?t=450
This guide will be really helpful while I assemble my 64 etype roadster. What year is the one in this post?
Also, who supplied the fastener kit?
Al, thanks for commenting. The Red Car is 1967 the Blue one is 1970. 1964 will have several different details.
Would you happen to have a source for the front subframe GKN bolts? Mine are in horrible shape.
Not to be picky but the safety wire between the brake caliper bolts should form an s shape with the single wire strand around the lower bolt back to the thru end at top and clockwise twist starting there then continuing to the lower hole on the top bolt single wire around upper side to meet the thru wire and final twist with a tail bent over then excess wire cut off. The idea is a continuous tensioned twisted wire section between bolts counteracting each other against loosing. Years of aircraft and racing equipment with safety wired bolts and tech inspectors seared this into my brain
Thanks for the comment. I copied the original layout, but you’re right. I will update this with the next car.
Just about to re assemble a S2 2+2 .. you have saved my bacon with this guide ..the car was taken apart some years ago ..Thank you so much for you time and effort in putting this together.
Your picture of the front swaybar shows a black spacer between the swaybar mounting rubber bushing and the cast aluminum spacer. Does this exist on a 64 3.8 model? Thanks for doing this, it’s been a lot of help.
Alan, the last 1965 3.8 I did had them on.
Excellent reference putting my 61 back together after 12 months in pieces. Thanks
Amazing post. This will be very helpful.
Do you have any similar post for the IRS rebuild?
Life saver! I am re-assembling my ’70 Series II and never take enough photos or notes!