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How hard is it to find suspension parts for a Jaguar MKVII?


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Short version of the story:

What would it take to convert a Jaguar MKVII back to drum brakes on all four corners, are parts available and priced within reason? Currently wearing MK IX discs.

 

Long version:

To qualify for vintage endurance rallies a car must be fitted with original style brakes and other bits as well.  I have located a suitable 1951 MKVII priced under $3000.  It has been converted to MK IX disc brakes which disqualifies for the event, but otherwise is as suitable as any other car of its age.  
 

Given the near free purchase price, would it be cost effective to replace the MK IX brakes with an original system?

 

 

IMG_0011.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Angelfish said:

Short version of the story:

What would it take to convert a Jaguar MKVII back to drum brakes on all four corners, are parts available and priced within reason? Currently wearing MK IX discs.

 

Long version:

To qualify for vintage endurance rallies a car must be fitted with original style brakes and other bits as well.  I have located a suitable 1951 MKVII priced under $3000.  It has been converted to MK IX disc brakes which disqualifies for the event, but otherwise is as suitable as any other car of its age.  
 

Given the near free purchase price, would it be cost effective to replace the MK IX brakes with an original system?

 

 

IMG_0011.jpeg

The original brakes are not good for this big car.

You find all parts in the UK, no problem.

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36 minutes ago, demco32 said:

The original brakes are not good for this big car.

 

And then there is that.  I can request an exemption for the brakes, but the rules specifically state that changing them is not allowed.   And even if granted an exemption would only hold for a single event with no guarantee it would carry to another.   

 

Other than that, it’s the perfect car.   Too much cost to restore properly but too nice to scrap.    Vintage rallying seemed a good way to give it a second life.  Bouncing through the Sahara in a big Jaguar saloon with a tea-set in the back seat. 
 

How bad are the brakes really?   Cars much more primitive than this run these rallies.  

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1 hour ago, demco32 said:

The original brakes are not good for this big car.

 

Not true!  I slalom race my Mark IV..  I can and do lock up the brakes when entering the stop box at the end of each slalom run.  And these are mechanical rod and cone brakes...not even hydraulic.  When properly adjusted they work as good as discs to stop my 3600 lb car...although with significantly more pedal pressure. 

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40 minutes ago, Angelfish said:

And then there is that.  I can request an exemption for the brakes, but the rules specifically state that changing them is not allowed.   And even if granted an exemption would only hold for a single event with no guarantee it would carry to another.   

 

Other than that, it’s the perfect car.   Too much cost to restore properly but too nice to scrap.    Vintage rallying seemed a good way to give it a second life.  Bouncing through the Sahara in a big Jaguar saloon with a tea-set in the back seat. 
 

How bad are the brakes really?   Cars much more primitive than this run these rallies.  

If you can afford to vintage rally {  a Sahara event is a HUGE expense } you can afford to keep the Mk VII as a road car and prep a MK 2 as your rally entry. Why degrade what your car already is ? Cheapish Jag's are reasonably easy to find. Mk 2 's are really great cars. Far more suited to any form of motorsports than MK VII's.

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30 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

If you can afford to vintage rally {  a Sahara event is a HUGE expense } you can afford to keep the Mk VII as a road car and prep a MK 2 as your rally entry. Why degrade what your car already is ? Cheapish Jag's are reasonably easy to find. Mk 2 's are really great cars. Far more suited to any form of motorsports than MK VII's.

I blame my rescuer complex and a general disdain for things that make sense.   This poor MK VII needs a second life, but as you say, removing the already in place disc brakes seems counterproductive.
 

 A MK 1 / 2 is undoubtedly a better choice.   I started by looking for a Mercedes-Benz 450SLC.  The big Jaguar just seemed right somehow.

 

But in the end I’ll probably pass on it and look for something that qualifies and just needs some maintenance.

 

 

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11 hours ago, George Cole said:

Not true!  I slalom race my Mark IV..  I can and do lock up the brakes when entering the stop box at the end of each slalom run.  And these are mechanical rod and cone brakes...not even hydraulic.  When properly adjusted they work as good as discs to stop my 3600 lb car...although with significantly more pedal pressure. 

lock up the brakes does not mean that they are good brakes.

They stop the car in normal city traffic  with no problem,

 but when you drive sporty or on hills they get too hot and braking becomes difficult because they cannot cool down properly.

I'm a Jaguar mechanic and have a shop for antique vehicles.

We have the 120 and the 140 XK type cars for competitions.

Also the 150 xk but these cars have disc brakes.

The MK1 have drum brakes and the mark 2 disc brakes.

 

  

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6 hours ago, demco32 said:

lock up the brakes does not mean that they are good brakes.

They stop the car in normal city traffic  with no problem,

 but when you drive sporty or on hills they get too hot and braking becomes difficult because they cannot cool down properly.

I'm a Jaguar mechanic and have a shop for antique vehicles.

We have the 120 and the 140 XK type cars for competitions.

Also the 150 xk but these cars have disc brakes.

The MK1 have drum brakes and the mark 2 disc brakes.

 

  

But the OP is not asking about an XK-type sports car.  He's asking about a sedan to be used for rallying, which is typically done under normal driving conditions, not involving extended braking in sporty situations where the brakes overheat.

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1 hour ago, George Cole said:

But the OP is not asking about an XK-type sports car.  He's asking about a sedan to be used for rallying, which is typically done under normal driving conditions, not involving extended braking in sporty situations where the brakes overheat.

Ok, I understand.

 

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I do want to thank you guys that share your knowledge here.  I haven't quite screwed up my courage to get into classic Jaguars but it will be a deathbed regret if I never do.  So there will come a day when I will have a lot of questions.

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2 hours ago, Angelfish said:

I do want to thank you guys that share your knowledge here.  I haven't quite screwed up my courage to get into classic Jaguars but it will be a deathbed regret if I never do.  So there will come a day when I will have a lot of questions.

Feel free to ask if you need technical info about the Jaguar's.

 

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Are you sure that car was converted? Someone may have made an assumption. With those bumpers it could be a late MK VIIM. My MK VII was earlier but the US registration was 2 years off. Check your numbers carefully.

 

If I had another, and I still could, I would look for another donor car rather than buy parts. The near nothing price you mention is close to the average. Under $2,000 should get you a whole car with brakes and a couple thousand worth of goodies to keep and sell.

 

There is a real tempting one near Syracuse on Marketplace. A little nicer, but I think a good deal.

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23 hours ago, Angelfish said:

And then there is that.  I can request an exemption for the brakes, but the rules specifically state that changing them is not allowed.   And even if granted an exemption would only hold for a single event with no guarantee it would carry to another.   

 

Other than that, it’s the perfect car.   Too much cost to restore properly but too nice to scrap.    Vintage rallying seemed a good way to give it a second life.  Bouncing through the Sahara in a big Jaguar saloon with a tea-set in the back seat. 
 

How bad are the brakes really?   Cars much more primitive than this run these rallies.  

Have you ever been in the Sahara?

https://www.hero-era.com/rallies/2024/09/sahara-challenge-2024

 

 

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The impression I get about events of the sort you are interested in is that the car itself is only the tip of the iceberg regarding expense. Jag's in general tend to be one of the more expensive British cars to work on. I was a British car mechanic for some years in the late 1970's - early 1980's and the sort of repair bills I routinely saw made me realize there would probably never be Jag ownership in my future. And so far there hasn't been. But a few friends have them with pretty crippling expense seemingly the norm.

 There are quite a few cheaper British saloons out there that you might try out before you jump head first into the deep pockets world of Jaguar motorsport.

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4 minutes ago, demco32 said:

Have you ever been in the Sahara?

https://www.hero-era.com/rallies/2024/09/sahara-challenge-2024

 

 

Notice the entry fee, 24,000 pounds, about $30,000.00 U.S. dollars. And that's just the entry fee, many other costs on top of this, many. 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Just now, 1912Staver said:

The impression I get about events of the sort you are interested in is that the car itself is only the tip of the iceberg regarding expense. Jag's in general tend to be one of the more expensive British cars to work on. I was a British car mechanic for some years in the late 1970's - early 1980's and the sort of repair bills I routinely saw made me realize there would probably never be Jag ownership in my future. And so far there hasn't been. But a few friends have them with pretty crippling expense seemingly the norm.

 There are quite a few cheaper British saloons out there that you might try out before you jump head first into the deep pockets world of Jaguar motorsport.

for 2024 the entry fee is $30500 for the Sahara rally.

It are good cars but the problem is good spare parts, aftermarket parts are not so good.

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Yes, the spare parts. A good friend rebuilt his 3.8 E type engine recently. Parts were far from cheap , but the aftermarket parts in many cases looked to be of a fairly low standard. Off shore parts are ruining the old car hobby.

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2 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Yes, the spare parts. A good friend rebuilt his 3.8 E type engine recently. Parts were far from cheap , but the aftermarket parts in many cases looked to be of a fairly low standard. Off shore parts are ruining the old car hobby.

Good original parts are still in production in the UK but quality has a prize.

For me in Belgium i have the same problem, the UK is no longer in the European union and import taxes and sales taxes are high.

But same for parts coming from the USA

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When I replied earlier I noticed you were from Belgium as I clicked away. I didn't think you guys on the continent wanted much to do with British cars. The only offshore interest I thought was in American cars. That Jaguar would put you in a minority bench racing in your location.

 

I am in the US where parts are readily available. It seems like here people buy them cheap, most of them, take them apart at low or no cost, then order a few expensive parts, and never buy anymore to finish them. I like the cars a lot but sold all I ever had. Styling and performance wise they are kind of a complicated Buick to me.

 

Good luck. I had a friend in Sweden who was reselling US cars. I would mention British cars to him and he would revert to his native language.

More pictures of your project.

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5 hours ago, demco32 said:

Have you ever been in the Sahara?

https://www.hero-era.com/rallies/2024/09/sahara-challenge-2024

 

 

No.  But I have been following the hero-era rallies for some time.   My son and I are in the first stages of looking for a suitable car.  This is a multiyear project that will take some doing to put together.  It's a fine line between something interesting (the above Jaguar), or a car that would actually be reasonably practical for the rally.  One of the rallies featured a mid-sixties Chevy Nova.  Comfortable, reliable, easy to fix, and as interesting as a refrigerator. 

 

We're currently half way through a frame off restoration of a 1957 Buick.  We're discussing using that.  I asked if he would rather inherit a pristine garage queen or bumped and bruised with great stories.   He said he'd take the bruises and stories.   But that first bruise is going to hurt.

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6 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

a late MK VIIM

Is VIIM what you meant?

 

This car has the split windshield of the MK VII so as far as I know it would predate the disc brakes.   It says 1951 on the title (so I'm told) so that's what we're going with. 

 

I have a soft spot for the ugly ducklings. 

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1 hour ago, yachtflame said:

If you’re still looking, give a call to Geoff Rogers of Rogers Motors in Shutesbury, MA 413-259-1722. He has several MK VII’ at his facility. 

Thank you.  I would not specifically choose the MK VII, especially if there was a comparable MK IX available, and I'd take a MK I or II over any of the big ones.  This one just happened to present itself.  The condition, if a little on the low end, is about what I'm looking for.  Good enough to run, bad enough that you're not destroying a nice car. 

 

I tend to feel bad for neglected machines and when I see one like this I want to give it a second life.  If I don't, who else will?  For a rally car, the big Jaguar really is not a good choice.  Lots of style but lots of trouble.   It's like the hot / crazy matrix.

 

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1 hour ago, Angelfish said:

Thank you.  I would not specifically choose the MK VII, especially if there was a comparable MK IX available, and I'd take a MK I or II over any of the big ones.  This one just happened to present itself.  The condition, if a little on the low end, is about what I'm looking for.  Good enough to run, bad enough that you're not destroying a nice car. 

 

I tend to feel bad for neglected machines and when I see one like this I want to give it a second life.  If I don't, who else will?  For a rally car, the big Jaguar really is not a good choice.  Lots of style but lots of trouble.   It's like the hot / crazy matrix.

 

The mark 7 is not the car for the sarhara

You need a better car, the rally is tough.

Edited by demco32 (see edit history)
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I saw a show the other night with a trio of English guys that talk about cars. No idea what the name is. They profiled the Ford Cortina. Millions sold in England. Sounded like the perfect rally car. I almost wanted to go look for one myself by the time the program had ended.

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Cortina's were popular for rally use. But it's the slightly younger brother MK 1 Escort that still rocks in rally circles to this day. One of the superstars of off pavement motorsport.

 

 

FORD ESCORT ford-escort-mk1-rally-car-full-historic-spec-2-0-all-steel-twin-cam-260-bhp  Used - the parking

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I have to say that as much as I like Jaguars, if I was going to try this rally, I’d probably look for a 1980-84 Toyota Corolla. A decently rigid car that was replicated thousands of times, parts are available everywhere and there is a decent back seat to pile crap in or take a nap in while your partner is driving. 
 I drove my family’s 1971 Corolla almost into the ground while dating in my senior high school year 1972 and there wasn’t ANYWHERE I wouldn’t go with that car while trying to find a secluded spot to park! 
You don’t have to look impressive in the desert….ya just have to get to the other side!

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10 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Cortina's were popular for rally use. But it's the slightly younger brother MK 1 Escort that still rocks in rally circles to this day. One of the superstars of off pavement motorsport.

 

 

FORD ESCORT ford-escort-mk1-rally-car-full-historic-spec-2-0-all-steel-twin-cam-260-bhp  Used - the parking

these are now very expensive to purchase.

https://www.gipimotor.com/en/racing/sale/ford-escort-mk1-wooding-original-1971.html

https://www.biesheuvel.nl/nl/ford-escort-mk1

 

 

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5 hours ago, yachtflame said:

I have to say that as much as I like Jaguars, if I was going to try this rally, I’d probably look for a 1980-84 Toyota Corolla. A decently rigid car that was replicated thousands of times, parts are available everywhere and there is a decent back seat to pile crap in or take a nap in while your partner is driving. 
 I drove my family’s 1971 Corolla almost into the ground while dating in my senior high school year 1972 and there wasn’t ANYWHERE I wouldn’t go with that car while trying to find a secluded spot to park! 
You don’t have to look impressive in the desert….ya just have to get to the other side!

but you need horsepower, the corolla is a good car not a lot horse power

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The big Jaguar sedans are a very well built car. They are a separate body on a heavy frame. The bodies are built by Standard Pressed Steel Company, the same supplier as the Rolls-Royce Standard Steel Saloon and very similar in construction. The front suspension is torsion bar, durable as is and quite open to modification. Parallel leaf springs and an open drive line are also good to modify for rally use.

If I thought of serious rallying I would probably go for a Japanese straight six engine from Datsun or Toyota. Money would go a lot farther.

 

I have toured every inch of those cars.

IMG_1623.JPG.f6a6cea7b5acc57a3e46577693146524.JPG

 

And spent some pleasurable moments sitting on that little blue stool contemplating the wonders of these cars.

IMG_1621001.jpg.03c23ed2b8914d6730f6471662396b1d.jpg

 

They attract others.

IMG_1028.jpg.e29114c6e312f5960098b0c6fae64c3b.jpg

Edited by 60FlatTop (see edit history)
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