December 2006

Date Event

Front wing closing Panels

10 hrs

I finally managed to get out in to the garage today. The video project is done and on its way to Australia.  What work I've managed over the past month has been, in some ways non productive  but has contributed to the work I've done today.  If, like me, you have a pair of Nostalgia manufactured front wing closing panels  you ill find that they need to be fettled to make them fit. I should explain there are two panels each side. A triangular panel  which bolts to the inner GRP side /engine bay wall. and to the second panel.  The second panel is cut to the inner contour of the wing and bolts to the wing stay, the inner wall and the first closing panel.  If that isn't clear imagine the triangular panel as and extension to the sides of the engine bay with the base of the triangle to the rear.  The contoured panel closes off the battery and bulkhead void from Road dirt thrown up by the wheels.  The rear contoured panels are fitted first.  As I said the Nostalgia  panels will need to be modified because every car is slightly different and the inner wing wall is not part of the body shell mould and is fitted afterwards. I started work on the LHS.  The contoured edge of the panel is fitted with a seal. Offering the panel up in to position , I found two difficulties the panel already has two flanges, at the bottom for  fitting to the wing stay and the top fro fitting to the inner wing wall.   My wing stays are shaped to line up with the mounting point on the chassis and the wing to prevent any vertical stress on the wing.  The panel flange was straight and not a good fit to the contour of my wing stay.  The second, top flange, was too far inboard and needed re bending to match the position of the inner wall.  This was pretty much as far as I got last weekend. I recent the top flange  to get a better fit to the wall but I was unhappy with the bottom flange that joins to the wing stay.

To resume - during the week I resolved to abandon the flanges , reduced the panels to flat panels  by hammering out the bends  and make brackets out of aluminium angle to fit the panels.  This solution will work if you make your own panels out of sheet aluminium.

Another point of note is that it may be better to fit the closing panels before fitting the expansion tank and the washer bottle, to avoid their fixings interfering with the fitting of  the panels.

 Today I flattened the bottom flange and offered up the panel (make sure you have th4e seal fitted. I drew the contour of the wing stay on the panel and cut off the surplus.  I made a bracket from 25mm aluminium angle, putting a "V" cut in the vertical face of the bracket at the points where it needed to bend to follow the wing stay.   I drilled and secured the bracket to the wing stay using M6 bolts.  I offered up the panel again the clamped it in place making sure the seal was tight against the wing. You any find it necessary to remove the seal,  trim the contour slightly and refit the seal to get the best fit.  Once I was  satisfied I drilled through the panel and the bracket  and secured them with 4mm blind rivets.  With the panel secured at the bottom I measured the gap between the inners wall and the top flange. I Removed the panel flattened the flange transferred the measurement to the the panel and cut off the surplice. I've made the new bracket for the top but not fitted it yet.



35 hrs



Front wing closing panels.

























Windscreen Washer





Heater Fan  Motor








Fuel injection

Here we are, the last day of 2006 and the end of my part of the project is in sight. I've made arrangements  to hire a trailer and take the car to Nostalgia or painting and finishing, next Wednesday - 3 January 2007. I still have lots of jobs to do which is partly the reason for my silence over the past 2 weeks  as I've concentrated on getting them finished.

The Front wing closing panels are fitted. What have I learned from this process.  Use flat panels cut to shape.  Make the angle brackets  to follow the contour of the wing stay, by marking where the bracket needs to be bent and putting "V" cuts in the vertical face then bending the bracket to shape.  I chose to make my bracket in one piece but note it will eventually have to be cut so that the panel can be removed.   Make a Top bracket to fit the inner wing . This bracket is bent to less than a right angle to match the position of the inner wing.   Fit the seal to the rear closing panel and offer it up in to place clamping it to the lower bracket.  Draw the shape of the wing stay  on the back of the panel whilst holding it in place. Trim the lower edge of panel to shape. Bolt the bottom bracket to the wing stay. Offer up the panel again and adjust the position for the best fit of the seal to the wing. You may find that you need to trim the slot cut in the bottom of the panel to allow for the chassis bracing strut.  Clamp it in  place. Drill through the panel and the bracket secure the panel to the bracket with either rivets or bolts.  If you make the bracket in one piece and chose to rivet the panel in place. Mark the bracket where the slot comes. Remove the panel. Remove the bracket cut it and refit it.  Refit the panel. I found it best not to fit the top bracket at this stage but fit the inner wing closing panel next.  These are triangular in shape with the front and lower edges folded back to radius,  blunt and stiffen them.  These panel have a right angled fold down the back edge, which hooks behind the rear closing panel and the two are bolted together.  Firstly this fold needs to be flattened slightly, to less then a right angle, to match the angle of the inner wing.  Offer up the inner wing closing panel, hooking it behind the rear closing panel and with about 25mm overlap at the top with the GRP and mark  top and bottom, where it comes on the rear panel.  Remove both panels. Place the rear panel on a work bench with the edge where the inner panel fits  align it with the edge of the bench. Fit the inner closing panel aligning it with the marks made earlier and let it hang down over the edge of the bench. Clamp the two together. Make sure they are aligned and the inner panel is a a snug fit with the edge of the rear panel.  Drill 6mm holes  (4 should be enough) though both panels and  secure them together with M6 bolts washers and nuts to check the quality of the fit.  Once satisfied undo them and refit the rear panel to the car.  Once it is place hook the inner wing panel behind the rear panel and bolt them together.  At this point you will find that the top of the inner closing panel needs to be bent along it's entire length, to match the angles of the inner wing panel and the rear closing panel.  Position the inner closing panel so that it has got approximately 25mm  overlap with the GRP  inner wing panel. The rear closing panel will take up it's natural position.  Mark the inner wing closing panel at the front and back just below the  GRP,  Remove the panel and draw a straight line between the two marks .  Make a small cut  in the fold at the front, on the line. Just cut the fold not the panel it will make bending the panel easier.   Bend the panel on the line so that when the panel it fitted it matches the inner GRP panel . This can be done with 2 pieces of 25mm angle iron placed on the line and clamped in a vice.  2 "G" clamps can be used to hold the angle iron tight against the panel at the ends. apply gentle pressure to the panel just above the angle iron to bend it to the required angle.  Trial fit the panel and if necessary  remove and adjust the bend until the correct angle is found.   Fit the inner panel securing it to the GRP with M6 bolts and nuts.   On the LHS, if you have already fitted the expansion tank and the washer bottle it may be necessary to remove them and drill through  their  mounting holes and the panel to secure them both.  I still needed to fix the top bracket of the rear closing panel. I found it necessary to move the washer bottle mounting bracket  because it interfered with the  fixing of the top mounting bracket.   With the washer bracket  removed   I positioned the top bracket snug against the back of the panel and up against the GRP inner wing panel. I had already pre drilled the mounting holes in the bracket.  I drilled through the panel  and secured the the bracket with M6 bolts and Nuts.  I fixed the panel to the bracket  with 4mm blind  pop rivets.  The process can be repeated to fix the RHS closing panels .  The only difference is that the RH inner closing panel has a cut out in it for the fuel injection air flow meter.   Fixing the panels my way produces a neat and tidy finish and allows any of the panels to be removed for access or painting.  I had to take my LHS rear panel off  to re-fix the washer bottle bracket I moved it towards the rear of the vehicle by about 35mm. Sufficient to be able to get at the closing panel top bracket mounting bolts whtout disturbing the washer bottle.  Don't go too far back, leave enough space to be able to remove the battery without disturbing the washer bottle. 

I proved the theory of being able to remove the rear closing panel independently  because it was easier to fit the washer bottle bracket and the "P" clips to secure the washer bottle hose  without the panel being fitted.  I fitted the Bracket with M4 set screws, plain washers and nyloc nuts. I fitted the washer pipe to the GRP inner wing pane l with M4 set screws, plain washers and nyloc nuts.  The washer pipe is then run along the top front of he bulkhead. secured at intervals with "P" clips and self tapping screws.   I removed eh washer jets fitted to the bonnet earlier and drilled down through the hole in the the lower face of the bonnet.  I passed the washer tube through the lower hole leaving a generous loop I cut it off.  Make sure you pass the tube through the washer jet securing nut and washer. I connected the tube and secured the washer jet to the bonnet.

The additional heater motor  fits to the back of the RHS rear closing panel. My panel came pre drilled and with a hole to accept the central  bulge in he motor cooling.   I cant remember who I had the conversation with about the units from the XJ6 but they are handed left and right.  However I was told it did not matter which unit you use.....  I chose to use a LH  unit (viewed from the Motor) because the ducting hose would be tucked up nicely  out of the way against the inside of the wing.  Also it was in better condition than the other unit.   Well, it does matter if your panel is predrilled and cut, like mine.  When I came to fit my fan unit the cut-out was in the wrong place and the mounting holes did not line up.  It had clearly been cut to accept the other handed unit.  Unfortunately I had scrapped the other unit ages ago.  I got around the problem  by opening out the circular cut out to a slot. Sufficiently to accept the unit and line up with the mounting holes.  In the process of fitting the unit I discovered one of the mounting studs was stripped.  I replaced it by sawing off the stud drilling and tapping the base to accept and M6 bolt. I fitted the bolt from inside the cowling and finally held it in place with Epoxy glue so that it formed a new M6 stud.  The unit mounts  with  outlet of the cowling pointing upwards.  I fitted it, connected it up and tested it, OK!


Whilst I've been working on wing closing panels I've also been stripping and painting the air flow meter mounting brackets, the air filter canister and air intake trumpet.   I've been studying the mounting of  the air flow meter  I modified the mounting bracket and made the additional brackets  a while ago. I have to confess that at the moment   I am at a loss as to how they fit .  O know that the air flow meter fits in the wing and I have the Nostalgia supplied protection cover already. But the mounting diagram and instruction manual  are far from clear. This is compounded by the fact that the RHS rear closing panel upper bracket, appears to come in the middle of where the air flow meter should fit.  with my deadline approaching I suspect these components will not get fitted until The Car is at Nostalgia.

Total hours this Month = 45 hrs

Total hours to date = 2016.0 hrs