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
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.
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.
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 ¼" 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!
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!
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ½" 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 ½" to ¾" socket drive adapter that snugly fitted the
drain plug and allowed me to use a ¾" AF spanner to remove the plug,
the filler plug is similarly a ½" 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.
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