There are a number of repair procedures that can only be accomplished if the front suspension cradle is removed. Unfortunately the primary function of this cradle is to support the engine. The Jaguar Factory offers an engine support device. Since I was not about to actually purchase this device, I decided to fabricate one.
If you decide to fabricate this engine support, do so at your own risk.
I visit to my favorite store, Home Depot in the US, allowed me to acquire all the raw materials I needed.
A single 6x2 inch wood beam 12 feet long, cut in equal halves. (yellow arrows)
Two 1/2 inch eye-hooks 12 inches long with washers. (blue arrows)
Two metal brackets used to secure 4x4 posts. (red arrows)
Not showed, 12 inch long angle iron, carpenters glue and a box of wood screws.
The eye-hooks will be responsible for supporting the engine. I used 1/2-inch hooks. They must be at least 12 inches long.
Assembly the wood beams in two identical 6-foot lengths. Using 1/2 inch plywood stock as spacers, (red arrow) screw the two pieces of lumber together at each end.
In order to keep the exact spacing along the entire length on the wood beams I attached a center support with four wood screws, making sure to maintain the 1/2 inch spacing.
The completed support beam structure. The beams are screws together at both ends (blue arrows) and the center (red arrow). I was not exactly sure of the load rating, however I was convinced it was more that enough to support the engine.
The engine support needs somewhere to rest. I fabricated "feet" (blue arrow) designed to fit in the "gutter" where the fender bolts to the frame. This device was designed to support the engine. The support "feet" needed to be as wide as the gutter location would permit. In addition I wanted the support beams level. Starting with 2x2 inch wood stock I modified it to fit in the gutter location while the top was level to the garage floor.
Note: The front of the support "feet" can be no more that two inches measured from the base of the fender "gutter". Any higher and the 12 inch eye hooks might not reach the engine pull brackets. Finally both "feet" needed to be the same dimensions.
Once the feet modifications were completed, I installed the wood beams and support feet on the car and marked their exact locations, front and back. (blue arrow) These locations are critical. The wood beams must be centered directly above the engine support brackets that the eye-hooks will connect to.
Using screws and glue, I installed the support feet to the wood beams at the exact, marked locations. Although not necessary, I used wood glue at all join locations. Note that the support feet are at an angle to the support wood beams. This reflects the angle of the fender gutter at the location the support will be used. Counter-sink all screws to protect the fender gutter.
The eye-hooks I purchased were closed. In order to be able to hook them to the engine support brackets, they would have to be opened. Using a vise I cut approximately 1 inch off the ends. (red arrow)
The cut eye-hooks are passed through the right and left engine support brackets just beneath the cam covers. (blue arrows)
I cut two pieces of angle iron the width of both beams and drilled holes to accept the threaded portion of the eye-hooks.
The 4x4 metal post supports are installed over both beams. These not only help to equalize the load, it ensures that the beams could not move apart as this location. The angle iron rests on these metal supports to ensure that the load is equalized across both support beams. The two beam design allows me to insert the threaded portion of the eye- hooks between the wood beams, through the 4x4 metal posts supports and through the angle iron before attaching the nut.
The completed engine support installed on my car for a project: Replacing the gaskets and suspension cradle mounts. The red arrows identify the support "feet" The blue arrows shows the eye-hooks supporting the engine.
This engine support has been holding up my engine for the last six weeks, and as the above photograph indicates, with no problems.
This is not a difficult project. Time, a couple of hours. Cost $20.00 US.
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