Jan 012010
 

As soon as the car arrived and I began the dismantling, I was already starting to look at various ‘upgrades’ that could be made during the restoration. The changes ranged from changing the steering geometry by installing one of the various handling kits on offer, vented front and rear disc brakes, stiffened springs, roll bars and torsion bars, 6″ wheels, ‘sportier’ cams, engine upgrades etc etc. The list was getting to be quite extensive …. and expensive!

The E-Type forum is a great source of information, especially for E-Type newbies like me. The forum has a very informative upgrades section covering a multitude of modifications made by other owners. So there is plenty of information available should you need help in weighing up your options. However, I slowly came round to the view that I was possibly missing the point of E-Type ownership. I was proposing making changes to a car I’d never driven in anger.

I had no baseline to determine whether an upgrade was necessary in the first place and then the actual improvement over a standard car. It would be far better to drive the car as designed before making any major changes. The view that if you want a car that handles like a modern car then buy a modern car made perfect sense. Also I’d get far more performance out of the car by learning its characteristics and improving my driving skills than opting for expensive engine performance upgrades.

Also several from the forum point out that an upgrade often compromises another aspect of the car. I think ‘changed’ is often more appropriate than ‘upgraded’.

So, for now, I’m limiting my deviations from standard spec largely to cosmetic or subtle changes that do not affect the original driving experience:

  • Convert existing fuel pump to electronic actuation – purely for improved reliability
  • Halogen Headlights – for safety
  • LED dash illumination – admittedly an indulgence
  • Alternator – internal changes within the existing unit to remove a reported weak link, the 3AW relay
  • Heat/Sound Insulation – to improve driving comfort
  • Mechanical Brake Light Switch – again for safety
  • EDIS/Megajolt ignition – hopefully improved efficiency and reliability
  • Mangoletsi throttle linkage
  • Modern front suspension ball joints – to reduce on-going maintenance
  • Possible switch to Silicone brake fluid – more investigation is needed so the jury is still out on this one
  • Suspension bushes – still undecided on whether polybushes will be fitted

I had already purchased a set of polybushes for the car by the time I’d decided to keep to a more original spec. The aim of polybushes is to provide more precise handling by maintaining the correct alignment of caster, camber and toe. They should also outlast standard bushes.

The downside would be a firmer ride and the tendency for the bushes to squeak after a while. At the moment it’s 50:50 whether they will be fitted.

The heating insulation is another contentious upgrade debated on the forum. Some have no heat soak issues and view it as a waste of money while others report gear levers getting hot to the touch. I decide to include it in my rebuild as it would be much easier to install now than retro-fit it later and once installed it would all be hidden under the carpets.

However the first thing that needed to be installed was the new chassis plate ….



I have since decided to use DOT brake fluid rather than Silicone and also to fit the original Metalastik type front suspension bushes rather than the Superflex polyurethane ones.

 Posted by at 12:02 am

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