August 2004

Date Event
01/08/2004

2hrs
Front body section

The body was in position overnight. Once again, slowly and carefully I adjusted the position of the body to meet the measurements in the build manual. With everything clamped in place and the body apparently symmetrical on the chassis I still had two problems. Despite filing outer edge of the pedal box down flush with the support bracket front mounting bolt it still touches the wing valance.  Also the adjustment of the bulkhead had not improved the fit of the LH upper hinge bracket. Time for another rethink
 

02/08/2004

4 hrs.

Front body section

I decided overnight to remove the front body section, yet again. This time I removed the front pedal box support bracket mounting screw  slotted the hole inwards as far as possible using a round file. Repositioned the bolt and cut the excess material off the outside edge then filed it smooth.  There is definitely no more room for adjustment.  Way back I had noticed a slight weep from the pipes that connect the brake reservoir to the master cylinder.  Over the past 2 days the outside of the pipe has looked clammy with oily `condensation on the outside of the pipes.  I've decided the pipes are not suitable and are perhaps porous to hydraulic fluid.  I removed the reservoir and pipe work. I got some replacement braided pipe from Unimaster fitted it and refilled the reservoir.  The replacement accelerator cable cam today I will fit it later.   Once more it was time to put the front body section back on the chassis. This time I started with the LHS and   clamped the body in place using the top hinge brackets rather than the bottom.  Working my way around the body I positioned and adjusted each piece to the measurements in the manual. Again the measurements are right and symmetry looks OK. 
 

04/08/2004

6hrs

Front Bulkhead
Measuremts

 

Front body Section

I noticed ,once again, that the pedal box was touching the wing valance. This could only mean that the body was not central. I could see this because the central windscreen pillar hole was not central on the bulkhead and there were unequal spaces between the ends of he bulkhead and the body.  I slackened all the clamps and mounting bolts and pushed the body towards the pedal box to creates a gap  between the pedal box and the valance.  I gradually went round clamping the body back  in position, continually checking he position all looked well until I tried to fit the RH "A" post and achieve the 120mm measurement from the chassis rail to the outside of he body.  Pushing this in place made the body move and the pedal box touch and also opened up the gap between the "A" post and the top RH hinge bracket again.  I started again this time I raised the body to it s upper limit of 580 mm I improved the situation but not completely cure it. I called Nostalgia and had a long chat to Simon.   I measured my car at my end while he measured one at his end.  As we worked through the measurements it became clear mine were significantly different. Then we realised we were measuring in a different way.  We started by standardising on a tape, I had been using a steel rule  as we worked through the measurements again we clarified that the  the bulkhead should be visible and in line and equidistant with the the change in angle of the windscreen cut out. This indicated the my body was too high and 2 mm too far back. We moved on  and then I realised that the body measurement from the chassis rail was not measured vertically but at an angle which is why my body is too high. "The penny dropped", the same was true of the bulkhead. I had interpreted diagram 1-23 as being a vertical measurement to the plane of the chassis rail. In fact it is at an angle.  Nostalgia do it this way to make the measurement simple. Once you know this it is obvious but the diagram definitely show it as vertical. Simon thought we might get away with it, if we made sure the body was pulled forward by adjusting the front mounts.  With a much better understanding of  the final position of the body  I made another attempt  and the result was the best yet, but I was not satisfied.  I decided that the fundamental cause was the bulkhead position .  I did some calculations and determined that it was 6mm too high. Rather than try to overcome it by misadjusting the other measurements I decided to remove the body and adjust the bulkhead to the correct height then all the other measurements  should be within tolerance.  I took the body off . Undid the bulkhead side mounting bolts. Broke the mastic seal and the rear of the bulkhead dropped down. Using a bottle jack to support the bulkhead. I used a steel rule placed on the outer chassis rail and  adjusting the bottle jack to adjust the height of the bulkhead until the extreme corner above the windscreen mount was exactly 530mm.  Clamped the bulkhead in place, rechecking the measurement and re-drilling the mounting holes as required.  Final after a last measurement check re-sealed the joints with mastic. 
 

05/08/2004

6hrs

Front Bulkhead

Front Body Section

 

I started by rechecking the bulkhead measurements, they were all ok , and the mastic had dried.  Then refitting the upper steering column and steering wheel, took just a few minutes to do. It seems like I've done it so many times the I could do it blindfold.  Mary helped me refit the front body section. I systematically worked my way around it starting with refitting the front mounts.  Then moved on to the to the scuttle return and positioned the body section centrally by checking the alignment of the bulkhead through the windscreen cut-outs and the central windscreen pillar hole aligned with the centre scuttle support. I kept checking the pedal box was not touching the wing valance as before. It was close but not touching. Next I positioned the scuttle height. I placed some masking tape in the top of the outside chassis rail and marked the centre of the rail in the tape to get a datum mark so that I was always measuring from the same point.  Adjusted the height of each since and clamped it in position.  I checked the the 120mm dimension for the chassis rail to the outside of the body as before, by clamping a try square to the chassis rail. placing a straight edge along the body line and measuring where the try square and straight edge crossed.  At 120 mm on the RHS the pedal box touched the body again so I eased it off to 122mm and adjusted the lhs to agree. All these dimensions were much easier to achieve with the new scuttle position. From my discussions with Simon yesterday I knew the bulkhead  top  corner should align with the front edge of the windscreen aperture at the point where it changes angle. It was close, equidistant from the edge of the body, and at the right height . I adjusted the front mounts to pull the bodywork forward until I could just slide the straight edge of a ruler along the bulkhead and through the windscreen aperture without catching the body. A final check around of all the dimensions and it was time to bolt the hinge brackets to the "A" post.  Using a right angled drill I put a small pilot hole through  the hinge brackets from the inside. Then drilled  6.5 mm holes to line up with the hinge brackets from the outside.  Bolted and secured the hinge brackets to the body work with " UNF bolts, plain washers and nyloc nuts.  With the body secured and the clamps removed one final check on the dimensions and it was finished  - At last!
 

06/08/2004

4hrs

Door Hnges

Yesterday's violent electrical storm wreaked havoc with my computer system along with many others in the neighbourhood, including the GP surgery where I work.  When I eventually got started, having fixed the computer problems,  I marked the cut-outs for the hinges on the "A" post on some masking tape stuck between the hinge bolts. This operation is unremarkable except that the diagram in the build manual shows it all square and in line with the body. In practice it is not, but believe the the cut out aligns with the washers securing the body, as show in the diagram, and mark the masking tape accordingly. Measure the horizontal centre between the mounting bolts. mark 10mm either side and draw the rectangle for the cut-out. Cut inside the line and open out with a file to correspond to the aperture in the hinge brackets.  Place the hinges in the aperture. It will be necessary to tap them in, initially , but once in, they will freely move. Bolt the hinge in place with the grease nipple underneath on the top hinge and at the top on the bottom hinge.  Tighten until some slight resistance is felt to open and closing them  and there is no vertical play. )  Take note, and ensure the top hinge on the drivers side is pivoted about the front hole in the hinge bracket.  Now to fit the doors tomorrow!

07/08/2004

5hrs

Doors

Today I started to fit the passenger door. I made some 2mm shims from aluminium strip and taped them top he "A" post. I positioned the door up against the shims,  as close as possible to follow the contour and position of the the front body section and the "A" post.  I supported the door on a couple of bottle jacks, adjusting the height to control the position of the door.  Satisfied with the position and shape I removed the door and put masking tape on the front of the door where the hinges would come. The edge of the hinges were then marked with engineers blue and the door replaced and taped in  position. The hinges were then pushed out to meet the door and retracted. The door taken off  had engineers blue marking the position of the hinges.  The first, & second attempts were not very successful. After each attempt I added more tape to build up the contact area for the hinges.  The 3rd attempt was good enough to give me a reasonable guide.  I made a template of the hinge and placing this over the marks on the door marked the position of the hinge.  I was still not really confident of hinge position so  I only drilled two holes in the door for each to trial fit the door.  With the door bolted up to the hinges and closed the fit was pretty close. I will need to make a small adjustment to the bottom hinge to correct a minor misalignment tomorrow.  The doors are secured with countersunk screws but the hinges are not countersunk. I will remove them and correct this later,

08/08/2004

4hrs

Doors

 

To start with I removed the door and slotted the holes of the bottom hinge to move the door inwards. Whilst the door was removed  I removed the hinges and countersunk the them so that the securing screws were flush. I noticed that the fitting kit had double the number of washers so it was intended to fit washers both sides  of he screw. I tried this and it looked worse than with it fitted direct to the hinge. Countersunk was definitely the way to go.  I refitted the newly countersunk hinges and refitted the door.  The bottom  of the door was still proud and the top of the door was to high. more work ensued slotting the lower hinge holes and slightly adjusting the top hinge holes.  I refitted the door again the bottom was correct but the top was much too high.   I just loosened the top and bottom bolts and pushed the top of the door closer to the profile of the scuttle.  There was a sudden movement and the door was closely aligned to the profile of he front body section.  It is not perfect but I think acceptable, given that I am going to have to  drill the remainder of the mounting holes and fit packing shims to get the back of the door  height right.  I am beginning to appreciate the wisdom of fitting the body unpainted. Unlike the Westfield which was` already finished, you had to be meticulous in fitting the body and the shut lines to achieve the end result right from the start. This way you can adjust contours and lines with filler and shaping at the finishing stage to achieve perfection.  I will talk to Nostalgia tomorrow to confirm that I have the best alignment and that minor blemishes and differences can be cured at finishing time.

15/08/2004

3hrs

Doors

I've spoken to Nostalgia and confirmed that a progressive misalignment at the top of the door and the scuttle, up to about 4mm is fixable at finishing time.  I needed to shim the doors to obtain the correct height at the back of the door above the chassis rail . Experimenting with aluminium  shims in the bottom hinge I managed to get to 405mmusinf a 3mm and a 2mm shim. However on tightening up the door finally this dropped to about 403 mm. I'm not to happy with the gap between the front body section and the door either and it looks like I will need to put a 1mm shim in the top hinge at least, and maybe increase the bottom hinge shim to 6mm.  However I decided to leave this for later and start fitting the drivers door,  So far so good ,but I need to remove the hinges to countersink them and after a lot of trials and and generally getting in a mess with engineers blue,  increasing thickness of masking tape, I have some marks to fit the hinges. 
 

18/08/2004

5hrs

Doors

Over the past few days I've made several attempts with engineers blue to mark the position of the drivers door hinges.  Each time I've been dissatisfied with the result that I was not confident to drill the doors.   I made a couple of more attempts today. This is a painstaking and, if you are anything like me, a messy job. I managed to get as much engineers blue on me and on the bodywork as I got on the hinges.  I finally managed to get sufficiently good marks to place the template and draw the hinge position on the masking tape.  I adopted the technique I employed on the passenger door of only drilling too holes for each hinge. when bolted in place the door was too far out at the bottom and too far in at the top. Only drilling two holes allows you to slot the holes and trial fit the door until the best position is achieved. Then mark and drill the remaining holes. followed by inserting shims to get the rear of the door to the required height.
 

23/08/2004

2hrs

 

Doors

Having had a weekend away visiting my brother it was time to get back to fitting the doors.  I fitted new shims totalling 4mm to the bottom hinge of the passenger door. Because I was concerned about the fit of the top of the passenger door and the scuttle I added a 1mm shim to the top hinge.  This gave a height of 403mm at the back of the door, just 2mm below the optimum height.  The top hinge of the driver door was fitted in the front hole as per the instructions, but the door was about 10mm below the optimum height. Despite having fitted 6mm shims to the bottom hinge and 2 mm to the top hinge the door  was still fouling the shoulder of the door against the "A" post when closed and still well below optimum height. The prospect was  increase in the thickness of shims in the bottom hinge compensated by ever increasing the top shims to compensate.  It did not seem right so I rang Nostalgia to find out the typical thickness of shims fitted to other cars.  It seems that this problem has occurred before and Nostalgia trim the font edge of the door. Nostalgia say that if I trim the front edge of the door I should able to remove the shim in top hinge and then shim the bottom hinge to adjust it to the correct height.  I needed to remove about 2mm from the shoulder of the door  I put masking tape on the door  and marked where I needed to trim the door. Removed the door and trimmed it back using the sanding attachment in the Dremel and sandpaper on a rubbing down block. I removed the minimum amount of material and made sure I followed the contour  of the edge, smoothly and maintained the angle of the edge of the door.   I refitted the door  without the shim in the top hinge but I had not removed enough material. The height of the door is better but not equal to the passenger door.  I will trim it further tomorrow.

 

24/08/2004

3hrs

Doors

I continued work on the drivers door today. I removed it and trimmed a further 2mm off the shoulder, tapering off  towards half way down the door. I refitted it and it was improved but not quite right.  I decided not to trim any more off the door until I have got the profile to a better fit with the front body shell. It looked like I needed to further slot the holes in the door for the hinges to move the top of the door out and the bottom of the door inwards.  I took the door off again an elongated the holes again I have improved it but need to slot the holes a little further. After that I looks like a little more will need to be trimmed off the door. The last measurement of the  height of the rear of the door, with a 6mm shim in the bottom hinge, was 405 mm. which was spot on. Once I have got the drivers door in it's final position I can adjust the passenger door to agree.

26/08/2004

2hrs

Doors

Once again  I took the door off and elongated the holes a little more. Then I trimmed another 2mm off the shoulder of the door to increase the clearance and  stop it touching the body shell "A" post when the door is closed.  Each  time I refit the door it is improved.  The door profile compared to the front body shell is better bur slightly too far in and too low but I now have sufficient movement in the slotted holes to improve and get the best compromise over the while of the profile of the door.  However the shoulder of the door will need further trimming.
 

27/08/2004

6hrs

Doors

I had marked the amount that needed trimming off the front edge of the drivers  door last thing yesterday afternoon. I took the door off ready to trim it.  Whilst it was off  I removed the bottom hinge and used it as a template to file all the shims down to the exact size and shape of the hinge plate. I also took the opportunity to make sure that holes in the shims  were  perfectly aligned with the hinge plate.  At the same time I did the same thing to the shims on the passenger door.  It is not that they were badly made but that they would look much better when finally fitted in position if they were exactly the same size and perfectly aligned with the hinge plate.  I removed the 1 mm upper shim from the passenger door as unnecessary and fitted a total of 5 mm shim in the lower hinge.  I carefully adjusted the position of the door to match the front body shell profile and tightened the hinges.  The rear of the door measured 404 mm (-1mm on the recommended height and well within tolerance of +/- 5 mm)   Returning to the drivers door a trimmed the front of the door yet again. Satisfied I had removed enough but not too much material I refitted the door with shims totalling 4mm. This time with the door hinges positioned  for  the best match of the door profile to the front body I marked the remaining holes  to mount the hinges  to the door by dipping her end of a bolt in engineers blue and passing it through the hinge and shim to mark the masking tape under the hinge.   I  remove the door and drilled the last remaining holes with a 6.5mm drill.  Refitting the door, all the holes lined up perfectly and the fit if the door to the door compared to the front of the body shell was as good as I was going to get. Any discrepancies will have to be rectified when finishing the body before painting.  With the door closed the gap between the front body shell and the door is still tight, but no longer touching.  Measuring the height at the back of the door there was less than 1mm difference between driver and passenger door.  To morrow I shall start work on the rear body shell.

28/08/2004

3hrs

Doors

Differential

 

Overnight I thought about how close the edge of the drivers door is to the "A" post and decided to trim a bit more off the front. So the first job today was to remove the door  remove a mm or so from the front edge.  It is fairly easy to do. Put some masking tape down the outside of the door adjacent to the edge to be trimmed. Draw a line on the masking tape to make the amount to be removed and then rub down the edge to the line with with sandpaper  wrapped around a  rubbing block (or block of wood).  I refitted the door and checked the dimensions again.  I decided it would be easier to drain and fill the diff before fitting the rear body section.  The drain plug is a " square drive which can be reached through a hole in the diff lower mounting plate. It's a bit awkward to reach with a conventional spanner but I had a " to " socket drive adapter that snugly fitted the drain plug and allowed me to use a " AF  spanner to remove the plug, the filler plug is similarly a " square drive and can be removed in the same manner.  The drained oil looked pretty old and tired. It had probably not been changed in the 63,000 miles of the XJ6. The capacity of the diff is 1.7 Litre. With the drain plug refitted and tightened up I refilled it up to the bottom level of the filler plug and refitted the filler plug. I took a few minutes to check the brakes, again because I thought it would be easier to bleed them before fitting the rear body section.  As far as I cold tell (without the vacuum servo) the brakes feel fine and it was not necessary to bleed them.
 

30/08/2004

5hrs

Rear Body

I put the rear body section in place today.  Much of the day was spent in aligning the rear body section and the doors. It was pretty obvious from the start that the drivers door was no where near alignment.  It wasn't rocket science to determine, that though I had trimmed back the shoulder of the drivers door, I would need to trim back the top of the door where it meets the scuttle because this was preventing the door from fully closing.   As is typical when dealing with GRP moulds a slight error in position in one place means that the mould does not fit correctly in another. It's a bit like dealing with a stiff jelly. You just have to systematically work at getting the position right and keep going back and rechecking until it's in the correct position and clamped it in place.  The rear body shell is approximately in place, for now, which will allow me to work on the drivers door so that it agrees with the passenger door closed position and is aligned with the rear body shell.
 

Total hours this month = 60 hrs

 

Total hours to date = 798.5hrs