Welcome to my website covering the restoration of my 1962 2.4L Mark 2 Jaguar Saloon, otherwise known as the Mk2 (or MkII) Jag.
I’ve owned this car for nearly 37 years. This is what it used to look like back in the day!
Quite a few years ago, the Jag was languishing in a damp lock up, covered in dust and unloved. It was decision time, does it stay or does it go? My partner uttered the fateful words “You can’t get rid of that car….”
Given the length of time I’ve owned the car, I have some pretty clear ideas about what I want to modify and why. These line up with the intended use of the vehicle which is as a weekend warrior rather than a daily driver.
Summary of planned modifications:
- Upgrade braking system. On introduction, the Mk2 came fitted with four-wheel disc brakes and sported a small triangle on the rear bumper announcing “disc brakes”. This was presumably to warn following drivers (with good eyesight) to expect impressive stopping power. However, Mk2 brakes are no longer up to modern road and traffic conditions. The best option looks to be an aftermarket kit.
- Replace the dynamo and regulator with an alternator.
- Add additional fuses to protect wiring and components. The original system has only two fuses. This seems insane by today’s standards.
- Update other electrical items, e.g. headlight relays and LED lamps where possible. I hope to be able to reuse the existing headlights which I have already upgraded to sealed beam halogens.
Suspension and steering
- Upgrade to power steering? I’m not sure about this. On the open road, which is the intended use of the vehicle, the standard steering is pretty good (with new bushes etc). However, it’s a long time since I drove a car without power steering.
Heating and cooling
- Upgrade the heater, the standard heater is marginal at best.
- Add an electric cooling fan, this is more of a placeholder rather than a firm plan and will depend on how things progress with the planned engine swap.
- My car is a 2.4 litre with the standard non-overdrive Moss gearbox without synchromesh in first gear. I have a couple of options here; add a manual overdrive gearbox of the right period to my current motor, or change to a 3.4-litre motor with corresponding Jaguar all synchromesh gearbox (from an XJ6). I have the parts for both these options, the current plan is to install the 3.4 litre motor and all-synchro gearbox.
Look of the thing
- Upgrade steel wheels to wire wheels and cutaway spats.
- Change colour. The car came in Opalescent Green – the new colour is a big decision yet to be made.
Online resources and site organisation
There are a number of fantastic resources available online for restorers of these classic vehicles, two of the most comprehensive are: Lin Rose’s Valve Chatter and Kriss Motors Jaguar Mk2 Restoration.
The organisation of this site is based loosely on the approach adopted by both the blogs mentioned above. Unfortunately, some repetition is inevitable as we are restoring the same vehicles, where possible I have tried to avoid this. One key difference is that I completed the disassembly of my Jag before launching this website, so I’ve documented the key aspects of that work as a historical account.
To navigate the content click on the menu items above or on the sidebars. The menu item Restoration is the chronological blog detailing progress …
I hope you enjoy looking through my site, please tell me what you think.
I recently restored my 1961 Jaguar Mk2 3.8Litre matching numbers. I’m in the process of restoring my other Jaguar 3.8Litre also matching numbers. Any advise and or tips on restoration will be most appreciated.
Hi Nathan, well it sounds like I should be asking you for advice! If you want anything let me know and I will try and help. Have you got any pictures of your cars, sounds like you have two great vehicles there?
Good luck with the project, looks like your in good hands! I’d go the 3.4 with the syncro gearbox, a wonderful engine and very capable without being as highly strung as a 3.8.. looking forward to reading more
Yep, I think the 3.4 will be great. Thanks for stopping by!
Hi Phil, just stumbled on your site this evening. What a great job you are doing to help us other members. I’m doing a running restoration on my Mk2 3.8litre, and have just removed the upper steering column, to get access to the lower steering column, because both the lower U/J and the upper U/J have excessive free play ( nylon rollers at the top ). Having removed the upper steering column completely I have found that a botch job has been done on the horn pickup and the workshop manual is about as good as a chocolate tea pot. However your photos are fantastic and although I’m still scratching my head over how exactly it works, you have given me a good idea. Thanks Phil, may I contact you later if I get stuck, Patrick
Hi Pat, Thanks for your kind words. I have received lots of help from enthusiasts from many parts of the world, most far more skilled than me, so I’m more than happy to help in anyway I can. That horn circuit is tricky. It’s amazing it works at all, not that it occasionally proves troublesome! I’ve added a little explanation at the end of the post just in case it helps. Good luck with the restoration and please let me know how things go.
Hi Phil, I see it’s been a few years since you posted, so hope you’re active with this. I’m in Te Anau restoring a 65 Mk2. I’m having particular trouble removing the chrome dish backing behind the fog lamps. The backing nut reached from within the wheel well is particular tight, compounded by the hex directly behind the lamp being very thin so as to be difficult to get a grip on it. Did you have this trouble? If so, any tips on how to dismantle this without destroying something that is probably no longer available?
Yep, still active as you can see from the Recent Posts pane in the sidebar 🙂 Anyway it’s been many years since I last removed the Fog Lamps, but I don’t remember there being any particular difficulty. I do have mine here and can send you a picture if that’s useful. Sorry I can’t be of more help, other than the normal things like CRC etc.
Very well done!
I have a Mark 2 3,4L from 1961
Looks like you have minus connected to the chassie.
Drawing: “Mk2 – Front light circuits Simplified diagram” and “1962 2.4 litre wiring layout”.
I have plus.
Is it possible to just to switch plus and minus from the batteri for the normal cars equipment? I guess the radio do not like it.
Yes, I changed the polarity of my car so I could fit a radio as mine didn’t have one.
It’s quite simple to change the polarity from positive to negative earth as long as the vehicle is in original condition. However, if your car has been modified over the years then you should check things carefully. You will need to change the polarity of the dynamo, reverse the leads on the ammeter and the primary winding on the ignition coil, and disconnect the clock (most don’t work anyway). You should check your fuel pump for a capacitor as well. If you are a member of Jag-Lovers, the Saloon Ebook describes this very clearly.
You are correct your radio will NOT like it, so the only thing to do is fit a later radio designed for negative earth, or get yours modified. Another option is to completely isolate the radio and antenna from the vehicle chassis and ensure its wired correctly, and fused … I think this approach is asking for trouble, we don’t want short circuits in our precious classic cars!
Hope this helps,