|Before doing anything with the intake manifolds, the first step was to have them acid cleaned and etched. A decade or two of grease, fluids, and dirt does not come off easily. More importantly, any surface oils would be driven into the pores during sanding and polishing, and would be visible later. To prevent that, an extra couple weeks and $50 or so is a worthwhile investment.
|I was warned about probable pits, but jeez! Most pits are air bubbles or impurities, but I think someone at the casting factory flicked his cigarette butt into the aluminum vat. It even smelled funny as the sanding drum went across it. Nothing to do but grind it out until I broke through. Then off to the welder to fill the hole.|
|This repair actually took two trips to the welder. The first weld wasn't built up enough, so it left a circular depression after it was sanded smooth. This is a picture of the second attempt at filling the pit. A second runner was also welded due to an area with lots of little pits.|
|In this picture, the initial grinding/shaping is done and both weld repairs are visible. This shaping took many hours using dremel cut-off wheels, dremel cutting bits, bench grinder, files, and dremel sanding drums. It is now ready to grind down the welds and start hand sanding everything with 220 grit sandpaper.|
|A close-up of the middle runners and center of manifold, before work began.|
|Here is the same view after the grinding, shaping, and hand sanding was done. The "webs" between the runners have been ground out and rounded, the connection towers are removed, and the big casting lump at the crossover connector is gone. The hand sanding is completed here to a 400 grit stage.|
|The same view after polishing on the buffer wheel. It's worth noting this is the manifold that had the pits weld-repaired.|
|Here is a different close-up view, showing the three end manifold runners. This is after acid cleaning, but before any grinding.|
|A close-up of the same three manifold runners when the grinding and polishing was finished.|
|Next, it was time to work on the ribs. I've seen several people remove the ribs by grinding them off, but I actually like them. They have a nice retro look, but definitely needed some work. I widened, deepened, and straightened the grooves by using a mini-file. I then used a dremel attachment to smooth in-between the ribs.|
|After the ribs were deepened and smoothed, I used a dremel to grind a section out and create a space that would fit the new V-12 emblem.
To make it look more factory-made, I left a piece of one rib for the dash between the V and 12.
Hmm...piece of one rib. Creation process. Why does that sound familiar?
(deep voice booms)
LET THERE BE MANIFOLD!!!
|After the emblem space was ground out and smoothed, it went off to be powdercoated.
I used the exact same red that I used on the cam covers, balance pipe, and linkage clips.
It's Dupont "Little Red Wagon," which is a very close match to Jaguar "Signal Red."
|The next step was to file off the top of the manifold ribs. Then came sanding with the usual progression of 220, 320, 400, and 600 grit.|
|The manifold is prepped for polishing the ribs.
The powdercoating has to be taped off or the dremel mini-polishing wheel will scratch the paint and drive polishing compound into it. For polishing the ribs, I used brown tripoli then green rouge compound.
|The final step was to carefully place the emblems. I used Mercedes V12 emblems, because they were the right size and a nice neutral style. They use a REALLY strong adhesive. Place them perfectly the first time, cuz they don't come back off.|
|Here are close-ups of the reshaping I did on the back of the manifold. It curves down and matches the throttle body shape.|
|The sloping of the back took a lot of slow, careful work with a cut-off wheel and sanding drum to shape. This part of the project felt more like sculpting than polishing.|
|Here is a progression of manifold pictures as each stage was completed.
This is the dirty manifold straight off the car.
|Shaping and sanding finished.|
|Emblem space ground out and powdercoated.|
|Ribs polished and emblem in place.|
|At this point, I would like to take a moment and express gratitude to Ted DuPuis.|
Over two years ago, I mentioned to him that I would love to have a spare set of intake manifolds to play with, because I had a little project in mind.
(Who knew at the time?)
Ted graciously sent me a pair of manifolds and would not even let me pay for shipping.
To make it even more interesting, one of them was off of Ted's old car and the other was off his dad's car. Ted's dad is John Napoli, a name that is well known on the Jag-Lovers XJ-S forum. One of the first little modifications I did years ago was to eliminate the unnecessary
A bank fuel pressure regulator. John Napoli has a write-up on that modification in the archives entitled "Simplify and Add Lightness."
I like that line.
I have endeavered to make changes to this engine that are simpler and also add lightness, both mechanically and visually. My goal was to do this in such a way that stayed true to the original design and would still be instantly recognizable as a Jaguar V-12. The minor mechanical and aesthetic improvements were meant to be striking and allow this engine to appear as impressive as I know it to be.
The manifolds were the first and hardest part of this project and really show the spirit intended.
So with thanks, I dedicate them to Ted Dupuis and John Napoli.