April 2004

Date Event
03- 04/04/2004

Fuel pipes

I had positioned the fuel pipes to the point where they passed through the chassis cross member and down the RH chassis rail. I positioned and drilled the places for the retaining clips. this allowed me to work out the route of the rear brake pipe to the master cylinder.   much of the time was spent teasing the fuel pipe in to position , through the cross member so that they did not foul the chassis, each other of the brake pipe. This turned out to be a complex bending shape and operation. Eventually I got the pipes to fit and secured them in place.  I have to say that I'm not pleased with the end result and I will review the position again later.



Fuel / Brake Pipes

Having thought about the pipes all week. I decided that even if I got some new pipe I probably could not improve on the installation. What was really needed was an anchor point in the region of the chassis cross member and the diff to ensure the pipes did not flex or touch the cross member under load or vibration. This is. At this point where the chassis bends upwards and there is a weld and strengthening plates which makes it difficult to drill, also the run of the pipe out of the cross member was too far away from the chassis rail to fit "P" or "multi"-clips to anchor the pipe I decided to make a bracket, out of 25mm x 2mm Ally strip,  to span the chassis rail such that I did not need to drill in the vicinity of the weld and strengthening plate. Then attach the pipes to it using "P" clips.   I spent most of the day manufacturing the bracket. It took 4 attempts before I got the angles right.  I trial fitted the bracket  riveting it to the top inside of the chassis rail and underneath the rail at the bottom.  Temporarily secured the pipes with  the "P" clips. It looked OK.  Afterwards I removed the bracket to paint it.  Sorted out the steering wheel, steering column, mounting brackets and accelerator pedal from the store of XJ6 Bits.  Started work on cleaning up the accelerator pedal. Dismantled the assembly and cleaned up the pedal arm with "Autosol" , the chrome was in good condition.



Accelerator pedal

Fuel / Brake pipes

Upper Steering Column

I finished painting the bracket I made yesterday. Overnight I had de-rusted the accelerator pedal bracket. I cleaned up the pedal, with a wire brush fitted to the Dremmel and sprayed it with primer.  I started work on cleaning up the upper steering column. Reading the Haynes manual it would prove difficult to dismantle because of the steering lock. It looked in good condition apart from being a bit dusty . On the principle of if it "aint" broke don't fix it I cleaned it up with a brush and some detergent and left it. I will grease it wherever I can reach before fitting it. I lubricated the ignition lock and the column turns freely and the lock works.  I touches up the black paintwork where the mounting brackets fit.  When the pipe fixing  bracket was dry I riveted it in place and secured the rear brake pipe and fuel pipes to it. I am now satisfied the pipes are secure and can nor come in contact with the cross member under any conditions  I secured the fuel pipes in the engine bay using a multi-clip backed with a piece of 2mm ally to create sufficient clearance as they cross over the front brake pipe, then cut them to length. I removed the brake servo again so that I could bend the rear brake pipe horizontally also I need to fit the the accelerator pedal bracket.    Finished the day by de-rusting the engine mounts. 

1.5 hrs

Accelerator Pedal

Fuel / Brake Pipes

Finished assembling the accelerator pedal and fitted it to the bulkhead. When I started fitting the brake and fuel pipes I ran some masking tape down the inside edge of the chassis rail as an aid to marking where the pipe clips should be placed. Today as I started the final phase I removed all the masking tape and made sure all the clips were straight and secure.  Then I removed the master cylinder again to facilitate the final bending and routing of the brake pipe across the bulkhead towards the master cylinder.



Brake Pipes

Master Cylinder

Continued mounting the  brake pipe. Refitted the master cylinder to work out where to bend the pipe. The pipe was obviously  too long  so while i was at it I worked out how much I needed to shorten it by.  It then took some time to work out how to clamp the vice and the pipe flaring tool to the chassis  in the right position, so that I could remake the end on the pipe. However with the vice mounted on a board; The board clamped to the chassis and the flaring tool mounted in the vice; I remade the end.  Carefully bending the pipe around a 24mm socket I positioned the pipe and connected it to the master cylinder.  Then it was a question of tidying up the pipe run, securing it to the bracket. Once all secured I had to undo it all again to remove the bracket for  painting.  While the paint on the bracket was drying I started work on the steering column, refitting the covers and  working out how the modified upper bracket and the mounting hardware,  from the XJ6,  fitted to the bulkhead. I also wire brushed the engine mounts, which had been de-rusting overnight, then gave them a coat of Kurust to ensure all the corrosion was neutralised before painting.




I phoned Phil Stewart at Road and Race Transmissions today to arrange the refurbishment of the gearbox. Phil was very helpful. pointing out that invariably, 5th gear is damaged when refurbishing the box and this could be expensive. Because of this he was not keen to do the job. citing that these gearboxes are pretty reliable and advising me to take the risk and fit it.  He knew somebody that fitter these gearboxes to "E" types and they all were fine without refurbishing.  Based on this I decided to clean up the gear box and fit it without refurbishing it, and hope it is OK.  Trial fitted the upper steering column.  Carried on painting the engine mounts and the master cylinder brake pipe support bracket.



Brake Pipes  / Servo

The paint had dried on the brake pipe support bracket so I set out to refit the brake servo, sealing the bulkhead joint with translucent silicon sealer. Connected the brake pipes to the master cylinder and riveted the supporting clips to the support bracket.  fitted the remote brake fluid reservoir.  Connected it  to the master cylinder with plastic (neoprene ) pipe. Fitted the steering column grommet  to the bulkhead.  Trial fitted the steering column from the upper universal joint (XJ6) to the bearing mounting on the chassis.  finished painting the engine mounts.



Steering column

I had decided that the unpainted steering column would soon show signs of rust if left untreated and fitted to the car. I Removed the intermediate and lower steering column shafts for painting. I gave them a coat of etching primer and a couple of coats of Hammerite satin black to match the steering rack and upper column from the XJ6. I unpacked the steering rack to find that the steering links were modified but unpainted. I decided for similar reasons the steering column to paint them to protect them . They were left to dry whilst we attended the first club meeting at Gaydon.



Steering Column

During  the  week  I checked the paint on the column and steering rack and repainted where it was a bit thin. I had been mulling over the trial fitting of the steering column. Particularly  where the column and rack join and the fitment of the lower bearing.  I had read and re-read the build manual and fitted the columns according to the instructions. but with everything only finger tight and hanging loose I was struggling to get the universal joint to engage correctly and the bearing was too close to the end of the final shaft. I decide there was only one way to tackle the job. The position of the steering rack, and the lower bearing are fixed and my problem was cause because the XJ6 steering column was not fitted in the correct position.  The only thing for it was to work backwards from the steering track.  Using the a dab of paint on the steering rack  the position of the input shaft I worked out that the rack was just over 3.5 turns from lock to lock.  I positioned the rack to the mid point. Then fitted the tack rod ends exactly the same number of turns on the track rods.   I fitted the steering rack  and aligned the front hubs dead ahead using the Mk1 Eyeball.  I adjusted the track rod ends equally until they were in line with and easily fitted to the steering irons ( a total of 21 turns each).  Next was to fit the rubber coupling to the steering rack shaft and then loosely fit the lower column shaft and the bearing, followed by fitting and tightening the rubber coupling. the bearing could now be bolted in position.  All of this is fixed in position so the adjustment need to be made in universal joins and the positioning of the upper steering column.  the intermediate column was passed through the bulkhead grommet and mated to the lower shaft.  I removed the upper steering column and refitted it to the intermediate shaft.  There is plenty of adjustment on the upper steering column to align it with the mounting points.  Originally I had been to far forward. I loosely fitted the upper steering column mounting bolts leaving the lower mounting bracket to find it's own position with respect to the bulkhead grommet and the UJ. I then packed the lower bracket with (7) washers as spacers to ensure the steering column passed thorough the centre of the grommet. I finally fitted the steering wheel to test the steering lock and the steering linkage.  It's not all tightened up yet but works OK without binding. I know I will have to play around with it again to adjust out the clearances around the oil filter and inlet manifold when the engine is fitted but at least it is in the ball park and reasonably secure.


Rear Suspension

Tidying up jobs on the rear suspension. Remove the RH hand brake mechanism to make room to drill underneath the upper chassis cross member to fix the brake pipe. with a right angled drill and short drill bits ,you can get enough room  to secure the pipe either side of the brake disk. Torque tightened all the suspension bolts, the rear hubs and drive shaft flanges. 



Front Wheel Bearings


I finished the rear of the car by tightening up the diff support plate, and the boomerang bar to the correct torque settings. turning my attention to the front I adjusted the front wheel bearings as directed in the HM, secured the nuts with the castellated retainer and split pins. refitted the grease caps .  I decided to look at the hand brake because I wanted to use it when the chassis has been lowered to the ground. The build manual is not very illuminating. So I contacted Malcolm at the factory to ask what the right angled bracket was for and where it fitted. several e-mails later I finally understand where all the bits fit and the routing of the hand brake cable fitted the handbrake lever. I had to remove the RH hand brake mechanism from the calliper again to remove the clevis block where the XJ6 cable would have attached. The block can be prised out when the mechanism is clamped in a vice.  Fitted the right angle bracket to the cable.  (to be continued)

Total hours this month = 44.5 Total hours to date = 579