January 2005

Date Event


Speedo Calibration
Exhaust manifold

This is cumulative time over Christmas and the new year while I have manoeuvred the car to determine the circumference of loaded tyres, tests and measurements  to calculate the data required to calibrate the speedometer. The quote for Cermakrome finish for the exhaust is over 250.  I've started to clean up the exhaust manifold, painted it with Kurust and will treat with high temperature paint for the time being. I've also got to work on getting the studs replaced where the down pipe mounts before I paint the manifold.



Rear Body shell

Some time back when I was fitting the boot lid, I noticed that the bottom of the boot lid was not parallel with the rear chassis cross member. I suspected that it was because the rear body shell was not sitting square in the chassis.  I had spoken to Chris Bowyer about it. Nostalgia do not pay much attention too the dimensions given in the build manual drawing but prefer to check the rear of the body alignment by eye. Standing from behind the vehicle if it looks right then that will do.  It is hard for me to do that, in the confines of my garage. I had been very careful during the fitting of the rear body shell to check and recheck the measurements and to get the body ( as I thought) square on the chassis. However last week when the vehicle was outside for calibration of the speedometer. I took a good look from behind. Again it was hard to tell since the driveway sloped away to the right. It didn't look too bad but I was still bothered by the bottom of the boot lid not being parallel to the chassis. Today I decided to see if I could correct it. I removed the rear offside wing and unbolted the body shell.  It was also necessary to loosen the boot lid but I keep it in place to aid alignment.  I slotted the body mounting holes on the RHS and moved the body up slightly. I trimmed the sides of the boot lid at the bottom, correspondingly trimming the boot lid aperture to improve the fit.  I ended the day putting it all back together again but still have to secure the boot lid again before I can tell if I have improved it.



Exhaust manifold

The exhaust manifolds, as removed from the XJ6, had 2 bolts and 2 studs securing the down pipe to them. I'm pretty sure it is supposed to have 4 studs.  I attempted to remove the existing studs the other day but could not get enough heat in to the manifold to help shift them.  I spoke to John Hopkins yesterday about this and he agreed to help to get them out using a stud extractor and his propane torch.   I turned up at his place this afternoon armed with both manifolds and 8 x  3/8" UNF bolts to turn in to new studs.  John's propane torch was much more powerful than mine and we soon had plenty of heat in to the manifold. Using a 10mm stud extractor we attempted to remove the studs. Despite being careful we managed to snap 3 of the studs and extract one.  Then it was a long haul of drilling out the centre of the broken studs and attempt to extract them with an "Easiout"  I've never had much success with "Easiouts" and so it proved.  Plan "B" was to drill out the centre of the studs until we could just see the threads ,then break the thread out with a small chisel or a scribe.  Even with the largest drill we could safely use, we could still not see enough of the threads to break them out. We ended up using diamond grinders fitted to a Dremel to finish opening out the holes until the threads were just visible. Then we used a 3/8" UNF plug tap carefully inserted in to the threads to make sure we did not cut a new thread but  clear out any old thread and corrosion.   The end product was perfect new threads that looked better than the originals.  John is going to make the new studs tomorrow.


Boot Bridge

Adjusted the boot lid bridge and hinges.  Painted the fuel tank and the front rear wing stays with undercoat.



fuel Tank

Exhaust Manifilds

Front Dumb Irons

I may have said in the past that I am not a fan of unpainted aluminium. I know it does not corrode in the accepted sense that steel rusts but it does oxidise. This is my reasoning for painting the fuel tank. it is out of sight and out of mind but with a good coat of paint it is protected from salt, and wet.  I finished painting it with Hammerite Smooth Black paint today. Yesterday I cleaned and painted the new exhaust down pipe curing the rust, which had already started to form, with wire wool and Kurust paint. I finished it off with 2 coats of Silver very high  temperature paint. Today, I got the exhaust manifolds and  the new studs back from John Hopkins.  The Manifolds I degreased with Hammerite Paint Cleaner and painted the manifolds again with Kurust.  While I was waiting for them to dry I started work on fitting the front dumb irons. These brackets are used to mount the front bumpers. They mount on to the front body  - chassis mounts (fitted when the front body was fitted). The outboard attachment points have to be drilled in the body and then attached to the body / chassis stays.  I began by jacking up the front RHS of the chassis, checking it with a level to compensate for the slope on my garage floor. This was a precaution to ensure that I got the dumb irons mounted straight and level with the chassis and the body.  With the dumb irons mounted on the inboard mounts and tightened up sufficiently to hold them in place but their positions could still be adjusted. I placed a long spirit level across the top of them to get them in to line and level. I had put masking tape behind the dumb irons  where the outboard mounting points should be and marked the position of the brackets with a pencil. I was going to mark the position outboard mounting hole through the dumb iron on to the body when I realised that the hole would be spaced away from the body when finally mounted and thus position of the hole would move.  I stopped at this point to consider the best way of accurately finding the position for the hole.



Fuel Tank

Exhaust Manifold


Not much to show for my day off.  I was planning to get the fuel tank, the exhaust manifolds and front dumb irons  fitted.  I was getting ready to fit the tank when I noticed the paint on the sides of the tank was a bit thin. So I had to give them another coat. the paint seemed slow to dry today and I wanted to be sure that it  was hard before I fitted the tank which meant that I had to abandon fitting it.  I did manage to get the exhaust manifolds fitted.  I fitted a couple of new studs in the block and greased them with copper slip. I fitted the new studs that John Hopkins had made for me to the flanges again lubricating them with copper slip. Then it was fit new gaskets to the block and secure the manifolds top the block with new plain washers, spring washers and new brass nuts. It will probably need tightening with a torque wrench, before the engine is run.  I got a new battery from Halfords today having used the previous one on the Land Rover after its battery died last week.  It was just a happy coincidence that the "120"  and the Land Rover use the same battery.



Fuel Sender Access Panel



I had one of my support phone calls to Nostalgia today to clear up the purpose, shape and size of the access hole to be cut in the inside rear wing panel.  It is to facilitate changing of the fuel tank sender if it were ever to be necessary. Secondly to discuss the details of marking and cutting the outer hole for the front dumb irons. The factory mark the hole immediately behind and straight  through the dumb iron on to the bodywork. Then open out the hole to 25mm to accommodate the chrome mounting rod.  I rechecked the position of the dumb irons to ensure they were straight and level. I marked the position of the holes using a length of studding dipped in engineers blue and inserted through the dumb iron. 

I had been unhappy with the fit and position of the bonnet ever since I first fitted it. Whilst I was talking to the factory I discussed  it with Chris Boyer.  During the conversation I described the position and the fact that the bonnet appeared too wide and too high at the back next to the scuttle.  We realised that the bonnet was too high and that the position of the hinges on the bulkhead was the problem.  The factory further elongate the holes in the bulkhead downwards to lower the hinges which should fix my problem. 

I took the bonnet off to fix the hinge problem. This was no hardship because I realised it would have been better to have fitted the exhaust manifold and the down pipe before the bonnet was fitted.  Whilst the bonnet was off I took the opportunity to fit the down pipe. It was still a fiddly job for one person but much easier without the bonnet.





I removed the bonnet hinges and by a combination of a cutter fitted to the Dremel and a round file I elongated the slots in the bulkhead about " downwards. This enables the hinges to fit lower.  I repainted the bulkhead to cover up any scratches and the bare metal edges of the slots.  Whist I was waiting for the paint to dry I returned to the fitting of the dumb irons.  I rechecked the position of the dumb irons with a long spirit level to ensure they were straight and aligned across the front of the car.  Using the marks I had made earlier as a guide I drilled the body  through the dumb irons at the centre of the hole in the dumb iron.  Lowering the dumb Irons out of the way I drilled a 25mm hole centred on the pilot hole.  I fitted the chrome mounts and the body washers springing the dumb Irons in to place. I lightly secured the dumb irons and the mounts in place and rechecked the dumb iron positions. It was necessary to adjust them upwards slightly by shaping the upper part of the 25mm hole woth a half round file.





The paint on the bulkhead was now dry and I refitted the bonnet hinges.  Whilst I had the bonnet off I decided it would be easier to fit the heater connections to the engine.  I found that the heater hoses from the XJ6 were in good condition and with a little modification could be used.  I cut one of the hoses to give me a right angled connection. I then made up and adapter pipe from 15 mm copper pipe and 2 right angled  solder plumbing fittings, to connect between the lower hose at the back of the engine block and rubber right angle hose.  The adapter pipe was cleaned and painted with etching primer and left to dry.

I spent some time examining the fit of the front wing stays. According to Nostalgia these stays will need to be tweaked to get them to get and to ensure they do not put a strain on the body.  Nostalgia is right they will need adjusting but I can not decide exactly the best lace or angle to bend them to get them to fit.  they are pretty substantial to bend and I decided to sleep on the problem and take another look at it tomorrow.  

I ended up trial fitting the bonnet now that the hinges are lower.  The bonnet is a better fit and there is plenty of room between the underside of the bonnet and the hinges.  I'll finish the cooling system tomorrow and then refit the bonnet.




Rear Wing Stays

Fuel  Tank Sender

Refitted the front stays to the rear wings.  Painted the heater pipe, satin black, and left to dry.  Checked the fitting instruction fro the fuel tank sender.  I measured the depth of the tank. This is required to work out the length of the arm for the float.  As  usual the depth of the tank 320 mm was not an exact match to the data in the instructions. The advice given is to choose the number closest and set the arm correspondingly.  I plotted the data in to Excel. The relationship between  depth of the tank and the length of the arm turned out to be a straight line. This enabled me to work out the equation  and determine the exact length of the arm 176 mm. It probably makes no discernable difference to the accuracy of the fuel gauge, whether the figure in he table is used or my calculated value. However I've decided to go with my value.




Removed the bonnet and fitted the hoses and the pipes between  the engine and the heater.



Fuel Tank Sender

Today seemed to flash by and I have little to show for it.  I started by recalculating the length of the float arm fro the fuel tank sender.  I decided to work  correct to the nearest whole number, which worked out to be 177mm. I cut the wire of the arm and the float to give maximum overlap.  I cleaned the wires with fine wet and dry then fitted the retaining clips and re-measured the length. I clamped the wires together using a needle nosed pair if pliers held closed with an elastic band round the handles. Rechecked the length again and soldered the retaining clips in place.  You need a fairly big soldering iron in order to heat up the wires quickly and locally to prevent overheating by prolonged application of the soldering iron during the process. I used a 65W soldering iron.  I then fitted the float to the end of the arm and made one final check of the length.  I covered  the gasket with a thin bead of h "Hylomar Blue" on both sides. The sender was fed in to the tank via the hole in the side ,making sure the sender was the right way up and the gasket aligned with the holes in the securing plate. The tank was already fitted with M5 rivnuts . The sender was secured to the tank with 6 x M5 x 15mm bolts , plain and "shake proof" washers.  finally I fitted two strips of close cell foam rubber to the mounting flanges of the tank to act as a gasket.

During a break in the proceedings this afternoon I contacted speedy cables to enquire why I had not had a response to my e-mail of last week . I got a reply within the hour with a quotation for refurbishing the instruments from the XJ6.



Fuel Tank fitting


I cut the holes in the cell foam gasket for the tank mounting bolts, then set about mounting the tank.  Mounting the fuel tank is really a two man job but it can be done single handed.  the tank is fed up from underneath the car. I find the best way was to feed the top of the tank up and past the boot hinge bridge and the slide the bottom in to position. Take care not to catch  the fuel gauge transmitter on the fuel tank mounting rail. What  is needed now is to  hold the tank and the support bar in position whilst feeding in the mounting bolts and loosely tightening up the nuts.  This is still awkward but achievable with two people. If like me you are on your own the following will work. Make 2 wooden supports for the tank  from  2 x 8" pieces of wooden batten (2x1 will do) and 4 x 2" pieces of (4"x 2")  Screw a piece of the 2"x 4"x2" to end of 8" batten. These act as supports for the tank and loosely bridge the support bar whilst it is located and bolted in place.  I placed 6 breeze blocks (3 each side) under car. I placed 2 bottle jacks (1 each side on top of the breeze blocks). The wooden tank supports were placed on top of the jacks,  then raised under the tank by adjusting the bottle jacks until they were supporting the tank in position.  the mounting bolts were loosely inserted and tightened finger tight. The bottle jacks were lowered so that the mounting bolts took the weight of the tank.  The support bar was now placed across the wooden mounting supports and the bottle jacks raised again to support the tank.  Because the wooden supports are deeper than the support bar the tank is supported but the bar can be moved at=round quite easily. The mount bolts were removed and the tank support bar offered up in to position  The mounting bolts were reinserted and tightened up finger tight again.  The wooden supports, bottle jacks and breeze blocks were removed.  The tank and the support bar remaining in place. It was then a simple matter of  fully tightening the mounting bolts.




It was time to put the bonnet back on today after my fitting of the exhaust and extending the hinge mounting slots in ht34 bulkhead.  It was a fiddly job the first time around but I seemed to be having exceptional difficulties aligning the hinges with the holes in the bonnet. Eventually I took the bonnet off again and removed the hinges from the bulkhead. Fitted the hinges to the bonnet just about finger tight.   I Replaced the bonnet, with the hinges fitted, on to he bodywork aligning it centrally and pushed as far back as it will naturally go.   I fitted the top hinge bolts   to the bulkhead by reaching through the scuttle in to the engine bay.  The bolts are secured with penny washers. spring washers and plain nuts on the inside by reaching up through  the cut outs in the underside of the bulkhead.  Tightened the bolts finger tight and rechecked the alignment of the bonnet.   Final securing of the hinges is a two person job, I will do this tomorrow.  






This is all the time I've managed to find to spend on the car as the domestic chores of helping my daughter and son in law move house has demanded much of my time.  I've put the bonnet on and secured the hinges to the bonnet. Securing the hinges to the bulkhead has still to be done.  I've worked what to do about the instruments from the XJ6. I've sent the Speedometer and the Tachometer for refurbishing and ordered replacement Fuel, Oil Pressure, Water Temperature and voltmeter gauges. The cost of refurbishing the smaller instruments was about 2.00 dearer per instrument than buying new ones.  I sent the order and the instruments off to day.   I also dismantled the XJ6 dash board and cut the instrument console out of it.  This can be used as the central dash panel  and I have salvaged it in case I decide to use it and not make a new one.


Total Number of Hours this Month = 51 hrs


Total Number of hours to date =  946 hrs