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May 27, 2006

More parts restoration.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 12:45 pm

I’m calling it “parts restoration” because the car is for all intents and purposes “restored” already, despite my having to correct what seems to be an endless and very expensive stream of mistakes by the original restorer.

While not really a “mistake” I’m also putting some modifications made to the car back to “stock.” One of those modifications is the air filter setup. Like other pointless debates (mac vs pc, emacs vs vi, democrats vs republicans, etc) the subject of air filtration on the Jaguar E-type is usually a cause for a flame-fest on the Internet. In one camp are the “stock” people, who insist that the Jaguar engineers knew what they were doing and built an excellent system that allowed a LOT of cool, fresh, filtered air into the big triple SU HD8 carbs along an optimal path. In the other camp are another group who say that modern, washable pancake filters from a company called K&N are the bees knees. Oddly the folks in the latter camp seem to either be those who have bought such systems, or those who sell such systems.

The person who restored my car, Dan Mooney of Classic Jaguar, is one of the latter. He sells the K&N’s and like all in the “K&N camp” claim that they increase the performance of the engine. I’ve noted that the claims on his site have been toned down a bit of late, and now it seems he’s pushing the looks (Mr. Mooney has a fetish for billet aluminum it seems) more than the “added horsepower” and whatnot. Thankfully, everything that has ever been on the web, stays on the web:

These are the air filters that your E Type needs! Manufactured to the highest standards by K&N, they offer real performance gains and significantly increased engine life. No more costly replacement filter elements - these filters will be with you as long as you own your car. Beautifully encased in their custom made stainless steel housings and precut and drilled by Classic Jaguar's own technicians...
–Classic Jaguar website, circa 2000

(a tangent: Poke about various web archives and you’ll see that the earliest versions of the Classic Jaguar website prominently feature my car. I’ve said many times that this car went a long way to establishing the reputation of Dan Mooney. Perhaps it will continue to do so, but in the opposite direction.)

My engine did not see any increase in life whatsoever, since it ran for a bit more than 10,000 miles before requiring a very expensive rebuild. A rebuild that I had to pay for out of pocket with no help, or refund from Mr. Mooney or Classic Jaguar thankyouverymuch.

Given that everything else about the car, at least mechanically, has been a disaster, I have zero faith in these claims, and zero faith in the judgement and skill set of Dan Mooney. He may be a fine salesman, but I don’t believe his knowledge of mechanical engineering ranks very high. The K&Ns may have had nothing to do with the engine’s demise, but I’d like to remove all traces of Dan Mooney and Classic Jaguar from this car… much like he has removed virtually all traces of this car and it’s previous owner (my father) from the Classic Jaguar website. Dan can try, like Stalin, to rewrite history, but I can restore what has been retouched back into the historical record.

I’ve been slowly acquiring the parts required to re-install the stock air cleaner on my car. I showed the trumpets in an earlier post. You also got a glimpse of the plenum from the original eBay picture. You will note that they only showed the bottom.

Here is the reason why:

The top had been very crudely painted… twice. Once white, and then red. The red was likely overspray from the car it came from. So I’ve been slowly sanding the old paint away. The above photos were taken at a halfway point. I forgot to snap a photo before I started.

The remaining bit is the filter canister itself, which like the trumpets and plenum sell for way too much money. I’m not in a hurry, so I know I’ll find a good one eventually. When that happens I’d like to offer my car up as final, authoritative proof, that will settle the pointless debate once and for all. I’ll find a dyno and test the car before and after. The only variable will be the air filters, so we’ll know which side of the debate is right.


  1. One thing I’ve found regarding K&N filters is they do let a /lot/ of air into the system. If you look closely, though, they can theoretically reduce the life of your engine as they let more through the filter. A coffee filter made of a fence, so to speak. While most people say that K&N filter systems are a great add on to a car, and I have seen them increase performance on everything from a little Toyota Corolla to a Dodge Stealth TT, I simply can’t trust them on any of my vehicles. The last thing I want is even more crud entering my engine. I say good call on replacing it, but once again, it’s more pointless internet debate. 🙂

    Also, emacs sucks. 🙂

    Comment by outZider — May 27, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  2. I’m firmly in the stock camp, myself. I have a canister that you can borrow to have a copy fabricated at some point if you can’t find the real deal, Chuck. Lord knows it’s not going to be on my car anytime soon.

    Can’t wait to see the dyno. Incidentally, I have a device somewhere that has an accelerometer in it and can theorhetically tell you how many ponies you have by inputing the car’s weight. Might be fun to try it sometime.

    Comment by Roger — May 28, 2006 @ 1:46 am

  3. The standard argument WRT K&Ns on E-types is that the stock air intake has a large plenum that create a significant space for air and trumpets that act as velocity stacks. The air filter itself is a very large unit and in a cannister that is about 12″ in diameter.


    compare with K&Ns:

    So I suspect that in terms of air volume, the K&Ns are probably not even equal to the stock setup… while not filtering as much. The engineers say it is the short, hard 90° turn that hurts the pancake style filters.

    Comment by cg — May 28, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

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