February 2006

Date Event

04/02/2006
6hrs

Oil cooler

Alternator

 

The past week and a half  has  been cold and I have been busy at work so not much actual progress has  been made on the car.  I've worked out in my head how to modify and get the new oil cooler pipes made.  The decision to  fit the oil cooler necessitated a change of mid about fitting the power steering pump as a jockey wheel for the drive belt and retaining the bracket and drive belt for the alternator as a separate drive system.  I  decided to implement the Nostalgia recommended solution and make a new bracket to move the Alternator forward and have a single drive belt for alternator, crank shaft and fan.  To save time, I ordered a new alternator bracket from Nostalgia in part exchange from my old one.  The new one arrived last Tuesday.  I was envisaging the new bracket a flat plate with the old bracket welded to it, which mounted on to the existing holes in the engine block moving the alternator about 50mm forward. The New bracket did all of that  the but also moved the alternator upward.   I started fitting the new bracket today only to find that the mounting holes were misaligned with the holes in the engine block.  In particular the front top hole was too low and too far forward.  (I'm not surprised because this hole would have been difficult to measured and mark from the original bracket  because it is partially obscured by the alternator mount)  however some judicious work with a round file opened out the holes and got the bracket fitted.  I mounted the alternator.  I had asked Nostalgia for a new drive belt, thinking that they would have worked out the correct belt to use.  They sent me a standard alternator drive belt the same as I already had from the XJ6.  I had questioned if this was long enough, to myself, before the new one came. Now when I came to fit it it was definitely too short in my opinion.  I tried every way I could think of to fit the belt,  including fitting over the alternator  pulley before the alternator was fitted then fitting the alternator, loosening the bracket but whichever way it was too short.  Not unexpectedly, since it was being asked to pass around three pulleys and designed for just two.  I measured the length of the drive belt from the XJ6 at 45.5"  definitely too long, The alternator belt a 35.5"  was too short even if fitted it couldn't be adjusted.   Off to Halford's  to see what I could find. I found one part No: H975a which was 38.5" long ,reputedly for a Mercedes  "S" type 2.7L.   I fitted it and whilst still being a little on the short side it did fit.   The Alternator  now fitted and belted up needed adjusting. I fitted the adjuster but the attachment hole in the alternator would not line up with the hole in the slider even though it was as far on to the threaded adjuster rod as possible. A longer belt, say 40" would fix the problem but to save going out again I tried the slider from the power steering adjuster. This had a step cut in the side, but even this was not enough to get alignment.  I cut the adjusting nut down to half size I since I didn't have a half nut) which gave me sufficient space and adjustment ot align the holes and adjust the belt tension.   Finally all was in place and secure when I noticed that the alternator pulley was not line with the fan pulley it was about 15mm too far forward.   I was not prepared to leave it like this because it would cause increased wear on the belt and strain on the pulleys.   I decided I could fix the problem by slotting the  holes in the plate for the engine block bolts and move the hole assembly back and in to line.
 

05/02/2006
5 hrs.

Alternator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oil Cooler

 

I marked the centre of the new holes , on masking tape stuck to the bracket,  15mm from the centre of the existing holes. the top left (upper front mounting) proved to be a pain again.  In its mew position the head of the bolt and the washer would foul the  actual alternator mounting bracket.  The alternator bracket was already had a curved section  ground out  to provide some clearance  but there was nothing for it but to grind out some more. I positioned a washer  over the centre of where the bolt would be and marked  where the edge would come in contact with the bracket.  I ground away the metal with a combination of grinding wheels and stones and a diamond reamer.  Luckily there was not a weld at the point where I needed to remove the metal.  After some careful work  I had enough clearance.  I then drilled the holes and cut the intervening metal, with a cutting wheel to form slots with the original holes> I finished them off with a combination of rat tail and flat files.  some adjustment was necessary  to get the best alignment with the engine block mounting holes and the full range of sliding adjustment. I mounted the bracket, followed by the alternators  having first threaded the belt and then inserting the alternator lower mounting bolt.  I shortened the adjustment screw thread by about 50 mm because it was too long with the alternator in it's newly mounted position. I fitted the adjustment bolts and screw just enough to put light tension on the belt. with the bracket pushed back to furthest extension in the slots the alternator was now too far back. . Loosening the mounting bolts in the engine block I tapped the bracket forward until, according to the Mk1 eyeball,  it was perfectly in line.  Satisfied that I could adjust the position of the alternator to tension the belt and in line with the pulleys I took it all off again to repaint the bracket.  

I finished the day by cutting the oil cooler pipes  to remove the right angles leaving just straight stubs to attach the new pipes too.  I want to attach couplers to them so that they will act as adapters for the new pipes I will get Unimaster to make.  This should neat up the installation  by lowering  the pipes  so that they run closer to the cooler.  I measured the pipe lengths at 39" and 46.5 "  I cleaned up the pipe ends  to remove all traces of paint and grease in case they need to be welded.  I made a  general arrangement drawing of the  pipe work,   and  I'll take this,  the cooler and the pipes to Unimaster tomorrow.
 

06/02/2006

1hrs

I took the drawing, pipes and cooler to Unimaster. it will take about a week to make up the new pipes.  

07/02/2006

2hrs
Alternator

I completed the fitting of the newly painted alternator bracket. the drive belt still has to be threaded around the pulleys before the alternator is fitted but it's a simple matter ot hold the alternator in one hand thread the drive belt with the other and then insert the lower mounting bolt through the bracket and the alternator.  Because of moving of the position of the alternator the packing piece of the adjusting rod  was too long. I managed to align the adjusting rod by packing it out with 4 washers.  I adjusted the tension on the drive belt until there was about " of vertical play in the  belt between the alternator and the fan pulleys.   The "Haynes" XJ6 manual is a good guide to the correct adjustment
 

08/02/2006

5hrs

Coolant pipes

I decided that I ought to fit the cooling pipes to the radiator and the engine block . I've had a set of  XL6, Kevlar reinforced. pipes for some time.   I anticipated that the bottom hose would be difficult to fit because there is not much room between the radiator pipe and the chassis cross member.   I thought I would take the easy option and fit the other end, the water pump connection first.  This proved to be a less than satisfactory decision.  the new Kevlar pipes are very stiff and tight and try as I might I can not get the pipe far enough on to the water pump to make a satisfactory connection.  I've tried heating it with hot water. Stretching it over the neck of a "Bovril "jar and allowing  it to cool.  Each time I get a slightly better fit, but not good enough.  I've tried rubber lubricant, which helps, particularly as the distributor is very close and makes it difficult to get a grip on that side. Currently I'm working on the theory of getting as much of the pipe inserted on the distributor side first and then working the rest for the pipe on to the sides I can grip.  The Pipe is  attached to the water pump. I'm going to leave it for a couple of days  to stretch it. It is a matter of perseverance just keep trying until it fits.
 

13/2/2005

1hr

Oil Cooler

I picked up the oil cooler and new pipes from Unimaster today.  The have not quite completed the job. They have braised some right angle fittings to the ends of the  pipes that fit to the top of the cooler and crimped these to new rubber pipe. These make nice low profile fitting to the top of the cooler.  They have braised two male screw thread couplers to the pipes that fit to the engine block  again this makes a nice neat job. The pipes they have given me are  just over 1m long so that I can do a trial installation, fit the pies and we can cut them to exact length.
 

15/2/2006

5hrs

Oil Cooler

 

 

 

Coolant Pipes

I refitted the oil cooler to it's mounting brackets. Bolted it to the A/V mounts on the chassis and attached the steady bracket to the radiator stay.  The new cooler pipes already had the fittings  for the cooler end attached. The engine block end was bare pipe. the idea was to trial route the pipes measure and cut them to length.  I fitted the new pipes to the cooler and the routed them between the radiator stay and the radiator.  I took a little time over this because I wanted to make sure this was the best route and what  potential SVA problems  there might be. It looks like there is plenty of clearance and once securely fitted with "P" clips and brackets there should be no SVA problems.  I fitted the engine block connectors. Laid the pipes along the route chosen and marked them to length.  I cut the surplus off the pipes and trial fitted the ends.  I took the pipes back to Unimaster and they crimped the ends on to the pipes. 

I still had the the water pump hose connected  supposedly stretching it in situ, to make the fitting easier. I left it and decided to work on the top hose.  I happened to be talking to Malcolm at Nostalgia about an NSCC, meet at Brooklands  and mentioned fitting the top hose.  nostalgia use a shortened version of the XJ6 top hose but I found this to be too long and too angular. I cold not get a decent fit without flattening the bends in the pipe.  Time to think again!

 

17/02/2006

3hrs

Coolant Pipes

I did some research work on silicon hose and discovered SAMCO do a super flexible hose, which might be suitable.   I've e-mailed them to find out the minimum radius that it can be bent too without flattening or encroaching on the internal bore.   I await their reply.

The rest of the day was spent painting the oil cooler, support brackets and distance pieces.

18/02/2006

 

5hrs

 

Coolant Pipes

The oil cooler bits were dry but needed touching up in places. I did this and set them aside.

Back to the radiator pipes.  I decide to tackle the bottom hose.  As I mentioned before it's a pretty close fit to the chassis cross member.  I loosened the radiator and lifted it up to get more clearance. Without this fitting the pipe was impossible to fit.   Using some rubber lubricant on the inside of the pipe and on the radiator with surprisingly little effort it fitted.  I've left the radiator loose at the moment until I get the bottom hose connected to the water pump. On the XJ6  the bottom hose connects to the water pump via the automatic transmission cooler.  This isn't needed on the Classic 120, so Nostalgia supply a length of  45mm dia x 1755 stainless tube.  Removing the water pump hose, where it has been sat for the last few days  I was back in to the cycle of heating the end in boiling water, applying rubber lubricant to the water pump inlet and trying to get the pipe to fit as far on to the water pump inlet as I can.  I was making some progress but not enough to say it was fitted to my satisfaction.  I decided to try the original pipe from the XJ6.  The two pipes look identical as far as dimensions are concerned. But the original fits easily.  However I discovered, using the old pipe that it was in my opinion too long. With the pipe in place it was hanging too low caused by the fact that the straight section after the pipe reduces from the coolant pump connecting and  fist bend in the pipe is too long.   I decided to modify the old pipe to see if I could get a better connection.  Cutting coolant pipe can be tricky to ensure you get nice smooth straight ends.  the trick is top put a hose clip around the pipe where it is going to be cut.  Tighten the clip until it just grips the pipe without slipping. Be sure not to crush or flatten the pipe. Cut the pipe suing the clip as a guide using a sharp "Stanley" knife. Voila! you have an ice straight smooth edge.  Piece by piece I cut 60mm out of the pipe. I cut the Nostalgia stainless tube in half and used this as pipe joiner.  The modified pipe sits  perfectly on the coolant  pump outlet and is well clear of the chassis member.  It is not quite aligned with the bottom hose and I need to get another piece of stainless tube to join them.   Once this is done I can see if  the bottom hose needs modifying.

 

19/02/2006

5hrs

Oil cooler

Floor Boards

To make any further progress on the cooling system I will need to get some pipe joiners and I can't do this until I have an answer from SAMCO.   

I reassembled the newly painted oil cooler and fitted it to the car.  I stopped at fitting the cooling pipes because I needed to grease to lubricate the new "O" rings

I've had the floor boards for some time. I could have made them myself but to save time, I got Nostalgia to supply them. The come cut out and pre-drilled for seat belt anchorages , handbrake bracket and securing holes.  Even so I found it necessary to trim them slightly around the rear body section and front bulkhead.   I also needed to open out the slots for the seat belt anchorages to make allowance for the welds so that the boards fit flat on the chassis floor.   Once satisfied with their fit I gave them a coat of wood preserver.

 

20/02/2006

2hrs
Floor Boards

I gave the floor boards a second coat of wood preserver.  I've temporarily fitted pipes to the oil cooler. I suspected that the connections to the engine block would be difficult because the inlet manifold gets in the way and the new "O" rings are tight.  I'm gong to have to investigate ways of fitting them without removing the inlet manifold

21/02/2006

4hrs

Floor boards

Coolant Pipes

 I touched up the edges of the floor boards and took a trip to "Unimaster" to get some self tapping screws. I found some No:10 x ", low profile flange head screws in black texacote. These should be enough to secure the floor boards and  be unobtrusive under the carpet.

 I had not heard from SAMCO  so while I was waiting  I decided to make a full scale drawing of the top hose connections to find out exactly what the angles and distances were. The drawing shoed the angles to be pretty tight with only 40 mm between the pipes to bend a 38mm (inside bore) those and connect to the opposite end. Whilst I was drawing I got an e-mail from SAMCO to the effect that "Superflex" hose would not be flexible enough and to use 2 x 90 elbow hoses.  This was pretty much the conclusion i had come to once I had done the drawing. 

 

22/02/2006

5hrs
Coolant Pipes

Oil cooler

 

 

 

Floor Boards

My first job was to e-mail SAMCO again to find out the length of the elbow joints. the web site gives 102mm but does not say how it was measured.  Once I have this and the length of the joiner I should be al set.  I'm also seriously considering using silicon hoses throughout and will need to work out exactly how I make up the other hoses before I place the order for the elbows for the top hose.

I had worked out how to get the oil cooler engine block connection s to fit. for a start I soaked the ends in engine oil to lubricate the "O" rings. The manifold gets in the way of pressing them in by hand ot tapping them in with a hammer.  With the connectors squarely fitted to the block and the retaining bare fitted , there is sufficient thread on the securing  stud to fit nut. Tightening the nut presses the bar down on the connectors and in turn presses them in to the engine block. Once secure I fitted the pipes to the connectors.  I've left he pipes free at the moment because I will probably have to disturb them  when fitting the cooling pipes.

Back to the floor boards. I touched up a couple of paint runs fist thing this morning and left them to dry.  The last job of today was to secure them to the chassis. the are predrilled so it was an easy job. the are a couple places at the front, where the boards are held slightly higher by the bulkhead flange these need slightly longer screws than the ones I bought yesterday. Luckily I had a few longer ones in stock.  The boards are fitted but will need to be removed again to seal them to the chassis.
 

24/02/2006

3hrs

Coolant Hoses

No answer from SAMCO was forthcoming so I spoke to Merlin Motorsport. I got more sense out of them in 20 minutes than at anytime trying to talk to SAMCO. it seems that elbow pipes are measured from one end to the centre of the elbow. The straight portion of the pipe of  some of the larger bore pipes are a bit short  to connect to. Pipe joiners can be made to any length from 50mm upwards.  I spent the rest of the time on the drawing board testing the solution that two elbow joints would do the job.  Firstly without knowing the exact radius of the bends  it looks doubtful.  At about 40 for two elbows and a joining pipe it is an expensive solution.   If I was to change the top hose I would want to change all the other hoses. I could not bring myself to use bright blue and to have the pipes made in black would take about 4 weeks.
 

25/02/2006

4hrs
Coolant Hoses

 

Windscreen

Back to the drawing board - not really. I've decided to abandon the SAMCO  solution as too expensive and I can't be sure it would be an improvement.  So back to modifying the XJ6 hoses.  I took off the original XJ6, water pump to bottom hose pipe I had modified.  I used it as a template to modify the new Kevlar pipe.  I soaked it in hot water to make it pliable and fitted it to the water pump outlet . I need to get a new pipe joiner to connect it to the bottom hose but I've stalled on doing this whilst I decide if and how to modify the bottom hose.  I will get a new top hose sometime during next week.. 

Trial fit the windscreen was next.  I started on the LH post.  Firstly it take a little  while to orientate the rubbers that fit between the pillar and the access hole in he body. Once this was sorted out I inserted the pillar in to the hole made sure it was a reasonable fit against the rubber and set about bolting it to the bulkhead.  I had made keep plates earlier and although these lined up with the bulkhead it was difficult to get the bolts aligned and started once the windscreen pillar and rubber were in place.   I was not sure if it was the plates the bulkhead or the pillar that is the problem
 

26/02/2006

5hrs

Windscreen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heater Ducts

I'd left he LH windscreen pillar mounted in position overnight. This morning I removed it.  I had decided that the keep plates were slightly to large.  The securing holes were correctly centred but plates were  coming in to contact with the bottom of the bulkhead during alignment which misaligned the holes woth respect to the bulkhead and the pillar.  I cut about 3mm off the bottom of the plates and this vastly improved the alignment though the top bolt was still slightly stiff to engage.  I found this was caused because the double skin of the bulkhead was mot aligned.  I opened out the hole with a rat tale file as small amount. The distance from the top of the pillar to the "B" post is supposed to be 715mm +/- 5mm. The fist measurement I did was without any spacers (washers) fitted was well below, meaning the  bottom of the pillar need spacing outwards.  By a process of trial and error  I ended up fitting 4 washers  to the bottom bolt ,between the bulkhead and the pillar.  This gave me approx 7i5mm. close enough while I worked on the RH pillar.  I modified the RH keep plate as before. This time I fitted the pillar and automatically spaced it with 4 washers on the bottom bolt.  The thing about the pillar to "B" post measurement is that it will vary as the bolts on the pillar are tightened up.  the RH measurement  finalized at 713mm well within tolerance.  I went back to the LH post and replaced one of the washers with a slightly thinner one until I got the measurement to agree with the RH pillar.   I'm sure I will have to adjust these again once the centre pillar is fitted but these will do for a start.   

I had drilled a pilot hole on the centre line of the scuttle, where the body is marked for the centre pillar, when I first fitted the front body section.  I made sure it was aligned with the corresponding hole in the bulkhead. I rechecked and marked the centre line when fitting the windscreen wiper wheel boxes. So I was pretty sure the position was correct. I opened out the hole in the body  with a step drill, till it was just undersize to accept the securing stud fro the pillar.  I finished it off with a rat tail file, making slight adjustments to the alignment until it was perfectly in line.  I fitted the stud to the bottom of  the centre pillar and tried it in the hole. .  I knew that I would have to make a distance piece/ spreader plate between the bulkhead and the underside of the scuttle. I tested the thickness required  with a number of pieces of aluminium sheet and found that 3mm was good enough. I made a plate, from an off cut, approx 3" x 2" drilled the centre out to accommodate the stud.   I slipped the distance piece in place between the bulkhead and the body  and aligned it with the hole.  I refitted the centre pillar and discovered you need 2 x large washers as packing pieces to take up the additional length of the stud before you can secure it.  I did not have an nut of the correct size to secure the pillar so I couldn't finish the  job.

I took a couple of minutes at the end of the day to cut the  heater ducting pipes to length from the heater to the windscreen vents. The corrugated plastic ducting is easily cut with knife and trimmed using scissors.   The ducting is routed from the rubber couplings on the heater,  through oval slots in the bulkhead to the heater ducts.

28/02/2006

2hrs

Gear Lever & Knob

 

 


Windscreen

Today was a preparation day of ordering parts that I need for work in the next few days.  I knew I was going to have to make a decision about the gear lever soon. It has been broken where the gear knob (which is also missing ) screws on to the lever.  I was going to modify it and fit a modern gear knob but all the designs for these look out of place.   I tried sourcing a new lever and knob from a local scrap yard by no joy,  I took some photographs  and an XJS gear lever parts drawing to John Hopkins to ask his opinion on whether we could cut another thread and fit an XJS gear knob.  We decided we could if we can get the gear lever extension apart from the main lever.  I spoke to SNG Barratt to order a new top radiator hose and whilst talking to them found out that  it was unlikely we would be able to get an XJS gear knob. We did a little research work over the 'phone and came up with the gear knob for a T5 gearbox conversion that should do the job.  I will wait and see.

I spoke to Nostalgia and they are sending me a new cap for the centre windscreen pillar. I've put the old one in a safe place and can't find it, despite searching high and low for the past 2 days- Doh!  They are also sending me an securing nut for the pillar.

Total Hours this Month = 62 hrs

 

Total hours to date =
1489.0 hrs