Like so many beautiful cars these days, they spend much too much time sitting and not being driven. During the time sitting, the gasoline sours and turns to varnish and eventually to a nasty black tar, the cooling system crystallizes into lumps of electrolyte metals, the brake fluid turns to a black sludge, the clutch disc frequently attaches itself to the clutch pate or the flywheel and the tires fall out of date and develop flat spots.
This XK-120 came to us with a great personal story of having been bought in 1960, driven daily for 10 years while living in Texas, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Houston where it was too hot to drive every day in the mid-day summer heat. The car was stored for 4 ½ years while the owner was in England and Singapore. After putting a couple of kids through college, the owner sent the car for restoration. The restoration took a few years and after restoration, it was driven off and on. The owners wife died of cancer in 2013 and the car sat until 2015 fully restored and loved but not being driven… full of gasoline, brake fluid and coolant…. In 2015, the owner tried to start the car and found that gasoline was leaking out of the front carburetor and did not try to repair the cause. In 2021 the owner brought the car to Motorcars Ltd. to have the car repaired…..
We found that the old gas had accumulated on the intake valves and turned to molasses and stuck the inlet guides to the inlet valve stems; the piston rings had stuck to the cylinder walls and had eventually collapsed, the fuel tank was so full of rust that it could not even be boiled out, the inlet manifold was etched around the gasket and had started seeping….
We found problems with the wiring installed during the restoration, we found brake assembly issues, clutch linkage issues….
The work performed took six months and involved:
** In-chassis engine overhaul
** Install tappet hold down kits – both sides
** Resurface inlet manifold and head
** Install new thicker cometic head gasket
** Clean and install new valve guides and valves – inlet side
** Replace fuel system tank, lines, pump
** Overhaul carbs including starting carb and wiring to carb
** Flush differential, transmission and brakes
** Overhaul water pump
** Repair parking brake cable
** Fit rear brake shoes – adjust all four brakes
** Replace clutch linkage
** Rewire back end of car for lights and fuel pump
** Repair wiring at voltage regulator and turn signal flasher
** Repair multiple bad grounds throughout car.
** Dismantle trunk lid to repair wiring and license plate lamp ground