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XKs Motorsport gearbox rebuild fiasco


Jedi Trainee
Over 30+ years I have kept a TC, Elite, Healey BJ8. ’95 Caterham (self-built) in fine running order along with the subject of this post, ’67 Etype Rdstr. Self-taught wrencher enabled by this forum, for which I am eternally grateful. I am not an investor just a lover of these cars, I have no children, enough said.
Got old, so now I only do basic stuff. Jag synchros gone 2-3 upshift. I live in Orange Cty. Tried Dr. Jaguar and other Jag friendly shops. Rolls shop wanted $11,000. Called Moss Motors, given a name to speak with in resto department. $7800 gearbox plus clutch, and they have a guy who will transport, sent $4K deposit.
Car arrives XKS Motorsport in San Luis Obispo. Discuss my wants. After work starts begins series of texts/emails about “extras strongly recommended,” about 7, totaling just over $1500. Typical was a complete tune-up and all its fittings. Told Mark, head of shop, did it all 500mi. ago enjoy working on the car, not a concourse guy I allow one or two things of a functional nature and say no to all others mostly cosmetic. I had rebuilt the little generator at back of cam that sends signal to tachometer, carved my own carbon brushes (C cell rod), tach has been fine for past about10 years. “Could be sealed better” Mark says
Car finished, called Mark for itemized bill to avoid any conflicts when trucker wants check. He made words and said they needed another $5000. I said let me go over the bill and glad to send it to you. Well no such bill seemed to exist. I was very unsure of this and even said “every time I do a not “good business practices” event I live to regret it. He says he needs money now, Friday. So instead of mailing a check just put it on your credit card,
I did and the trucker arrived on schedule wanting another $680 to release car, no itemized bill, Just piece of paper, "due $680".. I told trucker “NO,” call Mark, he did and a very strange call ensued with in background head of XKS Motorsport, new entity separated from Moss, says he did not want to get involved. Mark Emails bill that makes no sense, I told Mark lets split it, $340 each, he said no. I said ok you have chosen getting lawyers involved, lets just wind it up and split it. He said ok on speaker. So listening trucker finishes unloading my car and off he goes and I get in for a drive, gas pegged on E, barely turns over but does.
So never have to deal with Mark and XKS Motorsports again. Overnight I put charger on battery, takes an additional 8 hours to get it charged. Battery at most a year old. It has high-torque Japanese starter from the people in New England so it did start once to get to gas station.


Darth Vader
That's why I do them myself. Started on Spits, moved to my Jags. Just rebuilt one for a 53 MK7. Cost a couple hundred as I had to buy a unit for the gears. Easy trans once you get thru one, just have to shim and follow manual proceedures.


Jedi Knight
XK'S went out of business for being a terrible place to do business. I went there in person in 2004 to get some parts for my 3.8 'S'. I was surprised it wasn't a dedicated building but a number of side-by-side storage units. Old parts dumped all over the place. A junkyard? The parts I purchased were garbage, they did not last 4 months without failing. All failed. I still have those parts as proof of the garbage they were selling. Now Moss Motors bought their inventory. WATCH OUT!


Darth Vader
Only problem I had with XKs parts is the fact their website says two in stock. Order and get email for backstock. Not good considering there are not many MK1s being restored int the states. 4 months later get part with shipping. Was a small panel replacement part. So, I called panel maker in England and got everything I would need at once. They said we have all but one part, should we ship now or wait for part. I said if not too in the way I'll wait. He said 4 weeks. In 4 weeks, shipped $3200 of panels (XKs price ) for $1800 with $400 UPS ship and another $100 import fee. Now I have an account in England and will be permanent panel place. The new Moss site, so far has been good, shipping is more costly though.


Sorry to hear this tale. In my long experience, more damage has been done to these cars by incompetent or crooked mechanics than the average owner could ever do. I rebuilt an MG TD gearbox all by myself, W.E. Blower workshop manual in hand. Made one mistake on rebuild, couldn't get into 3rd gear, took apart again at 2 am and fixed it. Gearbox perfect after that.


Darth Vader
I had not touched a tranny in maybe 10 yrs. I rebuilt a blown Jag MKVII box. He bought used and I kept his case for numbers, rebuilt with the better gears. First drive it kept popping out of 2nd. Pulled and redid, had clocked the first,second gear wrong. Reversed to slots and put together, shifts fine. Blew a Triumph 4-speed on way to work, 3pm, called in and got my spare, pulled both apart and put one out of the two together and had it driveable when wife got home by 9pm. Her DD, I just took it, she drove next day.
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