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
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.
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.
I took the drawing, pipes and cooler to Unimaster. it will take about a week to make up the new pipes.
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 ½" 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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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 ½", 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Gear Lever & Knob
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.
Total Hours this Month = 62 hrs
hours to date =