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Jaguar XKE E-type Restoration: Installing the Stainless Steel Exhaust

Now that the rear suspension was done and while the rear of the Jaguar was still high in the air it was time to install the new stainless steel exhaust. I had bought a complete set-up from the downpipes to the resonator tips from SNG Barratt.  Now, here is an important tip – I mentioned it earlier – when you take off the old exhaust system save and refinish the metal parts such as the bands that hold the two mufflers together and all their hardware including the small metal pieces than sandwich the . You will not get these  bands and other bits in most exhaust kits and there is a temptation to throw them away with the rusty mufflers. Don’t! Take the time to remove the bands and hardware before disposing of the old exhaust. I removed all the rust and crud and then used backed on high-temp paint to refinish all these pieces.

Hardware you should save when replacing your XKE E-type exhaust (black painted parts) and the exhaust mounting hardware that comes in kits (bright metal pieces and rubber)

While I was at it I decided to use some black high-temperature manifold paint to refinish the exhaust manifolds. Now, the E-type cam with a beautiful shiny black porcelain finish on the iron manifolds. It looks wonderful – but over any amount of time and with normal heating the porcelain cracks and falls away – so you end up with a combination of glossy flakes and cracks and large areas of rusty bare metal on the manifolds. New porcelain manifolds are very expensive – so given the ephemeral nature of the new finish I decided to simply clean and repaint.  The manifold paint is relatively flat in terms of sheen – so after I had applied a number fo coats I buffed it to raise a bit of a shine. They look better than when they came off the car in any case.

The manifold is held in place by a set of brass nuts. Mine were in excellent condition when I removed the manifolds and I thought I would use an old trick to clean them up. That was to immerse them in  Worcestershire sauce and let the acids work on the tarnish. It works great as you can see from the picture.

Painted manifolds a shiny brass nuts atttached back on the XK engine.

The installation of the stainless steel exhaust is pretty straightforward. Just make sure that you have clearance between the top of the mufflers and the bottom heat shield on the body. Also, make sure things are tight so that you don’t get any rattles out of the system.  Compared to getting off the old and rusty downpipes – the installation of the new system was a breeze.

New exhaust system from downpipes to mufflers in place.

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