Knock-Off Knock-Offs
By Dick Maury

   This article is about the Knock offs for the Series 2 & 3 XKE models, that is the ones without the ears. They use a special brass tool to grab hold of them allowing the use of a hammer to take them on and off. With age, they need to be re-chromed. The aftermarket has come to the rescue with reproduction ones with fresh chrome and no dents at a price that is less than the cost to get the old ones re-chromed. Clicking on any of the pictures will give you a larger image.
    The only problem is that they do not fit the brass wrench that is used to take them on and off. If you try to use the wrench adaptor, it can dislodge and go flying off and hit something. If it does not come loose, it will leave a ring around the face of the knockoff where the brass has dug in trying to stay attached. Originally, the adaptor is supposed to go on and turn, locking onto the three ears. The reproduction ones have a top area that will not fit into the opening of the tool so as to allow the recess on the tool to lock onto the ears.

    As can be seen on the picture on the left above, an original knockoff goes into the recess on the tool. In the next picture, you can see that the knockoff cannot turn because it does not go down into the tool far enough. Obviously not a problem with the tool as it fits the original knockoff. In the middle picture above, you can see the reproduction on the left and an original one on the right. Note the difference between the ear and the base (which is on the top as these are face down).
   This is important to notice to understand the next two pictures. The two pictures on the right show how far the tool goes down over the knockoffs, the original on the left and the new one on the right. With the shorter base, the new one should just about not be showing. The reason it shows is because it cannot fit into the circular opening on the tool.

   The fix other than finding some that fit is to modify the tool. The opening has to be ground out to fit the new knockoff. The picture on the left shows about how much needs to be cut. The middle picture shows it after finishing and polishing. The right picture shows the new knockoff being able to fit into the tool and lock into place as designed. There should actually be a slight amount of free play or wiggle room once locked onto the knockoff. If not, then you need to grind a bit more. If there is not enough clearance, you run the risk of damaging the new chrome where it hits the center opening of the tool. Wrapping tape around the opening does not fix the problem but only makes it worse by closing up the opening even more.
   It seems that all of the usuals are selling the same knockoffs as they all seem to have the same problem. Be aware and check before you damage your new knockoffs to make sure they fit the tool. Although this was a new tool, it is correct and the same as an original tool. The good news is that modifying your original tool or a new one does not effect the way it works on original knockoffs.