Members Tips


This section wont be the answer to all your woes but hopefully will provide a few helpful tips provided by members. If you have any tips of your own please send them to the webmaster

* Etype Series 1 Brakelight switch modification

* Etype Home restoration Blog

* Etype Handbrake modification

* Battery Charging


Series 1 Brakelight modification

If you drive a an early Etype and have found whilst driving that the car behind you often drops back a long way – the probable cause is the hydraulic brake light switch not functioning as Jaguar intended. In all likelihood it *does* work but only once sufficient pressure has been applied to the brake pedal. Modern cars of course have an electrically operated switch and a light touch on the brake operates the lights. The series 3 Etype was the first model to have the electrical switch.

The good news is that for early Etype owners there is an easy solution requiring about an hour to install. Its invisible to the eyes of judges, its simple to fit and I for one have the modification on my car.

All you need do is make up a simple bracket (dimensions in the diagram below). The bracket uses one of the studs from the pedal box – there is plenty of thread on it to take the thickness of the bracket adjust the position of the switch so that when you press the pedal the switch fully operates. I recommend that only a small amount of pedal movement operates the switch.

Purchase a ‘release to operate’ switch from your favourite electrical supplier (they are even available on fleabay), run a 12v feed to one side of the brake switch and connect the other side into the loom. Jaguar made the connection simple for you as the loom to the rear lights connects to the dashboard loom very close to the steering column. Simply replace the female-bullet that ‘connects’ the rear lights with a double connector and run a wire to the other side of your new switch.

You CAN even leave the old wiring in place on the hydraulic switch so the engine bay still looks right.

13 Dec 2015, 14:13

Home restoration blog - Series 1 Etype

Some of you will know that Chris Connor undertook a full nut and bolt restoration of a Series 1 Etype “at home”, he signed up to evening college to learn welding, panel beating and paint spraying then started on the car. Granted it took him ten years to complete but other than trimming the seats and laying on the metallic colour coat - he did everything himself including all the bodywork, mechanical rebuilds, wiring, plating of components, trimming + a number of sporting improvements.


Below is a link to his blog that captured the whole story. There are a lot of how-to’s and more than a few whoops moments. It is a lighthearted read but quite useful if you are restoring an Etype. Chris wont confess to be an expert and is not a mechanic by trade - just an enthusiast like yourself. If this tickles your curiosity take a look - there are certainly a large amount of reference photos...


Etype Restoration blog

3 Jul 2015, 20:19

Etype Handbrake Mod 2

The Etype handbrake in its early form was as all owners will confess - pretty poor, with tiny pads and the handbrake cable pulling first one pad onto the disk and then the other in a squeezing manner. You could give certain specialists a portion of your hard earned cash for an upgrade kit or you could do this simple (and MOT verified upgrade)


What does it do? The modification effectively converts the side pull mechanism to be a centre pull which if you ask any cyclist is MUCH more efficient as the brake pads are applied on both sides at once… during my latest MOT, the mechanic came out and said he was surprised at its efficiency saying it was "80% MORE effective than it actually needed to be for the cars weight” and "actually it meets modern standards!”.


Difficulty: Easy.

Time: 1-2 hours

Result: smiley face and a noticeably better handbrake


The job can be done with the rear axle in position simply jack the car up, put it safely on axle stands and remove the rear wheels for easy access. 


Wriggle under the car until you can get to the handbrake compensator mounted on the rear axle cage. Remove the handbrake cable, then the whole assembly (the handbrake assembly not the whole rear axle!). Next cut the round support bar of  the compensator bracket, then (preferably) weld or braze a piece of 3/8”ID x 2¼” tube onto the mounting plate to the remaining part of the bar. This is to enable the remainder of the bar to slide inside the tube. If you dont have access to welding equipment - you *can* drill through the tube and the bar and insert a split pin to hold it together. This is okay because the bar and the tube are not under any load. Trust me, I’m a doctor (ok fair cop, I might have lied about being a doctor)


Once you have placed the tube onto the bar - that is it… bolt it all back onto the car. Attach the cable and adjust as preferred. I like 4 clicks to fully on.


Below is a picture of where to cut the bar and then a picture of the finished job.

3 Jul 2015, 20:09

Battery Charging

With our Modern Jaguars requiring a lot of battery power I wanted to share with you some information about charging.

A number of weeks ago the electronic hand brake would not release on my 2004 S type.  Our car batteries need to be fully charged, but carrying out lots of relatively short journey’s with everything running or not using our cars frequently enough saps the power away.

I put my optimiser battery charger on my battery for 24 hours thinking it would charge my battery, it did but not to full capacity, let me explain.

Modern batteries are now quite large; for example, my battery is a 12v, 150amp / hour unit. I have a 6amp hour normal battery charger, this means:

150ah / 6ah  = 25. Which means to fully charge my battery I would need to charge it for 25 Hours. 

Lets assume my optimiser is a 0.1a trickle charger:

150ah / 0.1ah = 1500 (hours), so that would take 62.5 days to fully charge the battery.

So realistically I had only charged my battery for 24hrs x 0.1amp = 2.4amps obviously enough to release the hand brake but not to fully charge the battery. I thought at this point that the battery needed replacing, it was only when I connected my 6a charger for 24hrs that it fully charged the battery, it’s been fine ever since, until next time!

Taking these things into account you would need to know the battery amp size (different amp hour batteries can be fitted) and the amp hours of your charger (Written on the charger and battery), Please note, some large chargers can be as big as 25ah meaning it would take only 6 hours, these however high amp hour chargers can cause the battery to overheat which may shorten the life of the battery.

So make sure you also have a decent charger if you have not got an optimiser permanently plugged in.

~ Dave Knockold ~

3 Jul 2015, 20:09

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