January 2006

Date Event
04/01/2006

7hrs

Bonnet Release Cable

 

 

Bonnet Safety Catch

Before Christmas I made a drawing of the ferrule for the end of the bonnet release able and John Hopkins kindly turned one up on the lathe.  I drilled the retaining bracket ot accept the ferrule. In the process of trial fitting the bonnet catch mechanism and safety catch I discovered that it is  easier to assemble the safety catch before fitting it. This in turn introduced a difficulty of trying to hold the catch in place as well as  tighten up the securing bolt at the same time as adjusting the height of the catch was nearly impossible.  I thought the job would be made easier by fitting a rivnut to the bracket (one less item to hold). I fitted an M5 Rivnut but discovered the catch could not be aligned with the pivot holes in the bracket because the rivnut was too long.  

A heavy cold and Christmas holiday forced me to take a break, so today was the first day back in the garage.  I had worked out a solution to the problem.  Make a new bracket  but instead of clearance hole for the (M5) securing bolt, tap it to a matching thread size. Screw in the bolt and secure with thread lock.  so this was today's task. It took a couple of attempts to make the bracket. mostly because it you use the donor car securing pin, then the dimensions are critical. The bracket must be wide enough so that  the internal dimension of the bracket accommodates the catch and distance pieces, but  after allowing for the thickness of the bracket that it is not too wide so that the securing clip will not engage in the groove of the pivot pin,  Also care must be taken when drilling the bracket to ensure the the pivot pin is parallel to the bracket both horizontally and vertically.  One tip I learned from John Hopkins was when tapping metal which is relative thin compared to the size of the thread, (as in this case) to ensure the hole is tapped square,  put the tap in to a pillar drill and use this to hold the square to the metal.  Guide the pillar drill with one hand whilst turning the chuck and tap with the other. (For safety reasons, make sure the drill is isolated from the electrical supply). The new bracket made I did a trial fit and I'm happy to say it works.  

Whilst I was waiting for the thread lock to dry, before I paint the bracket I started work on  fitting the oil cooler.   I have some ex Renault 12/16 exhaust mounts which will do as anti vibration mounts. But I've got to work out the mounting position and the necessary brackets.
 

11/01/2005

8hrs

Bonnet Catch

 

Oil Cooler

All the components for the bonnet catch and slam plate are now painted but not yet fitted.  The oil cooler has been giving me some grief over the past few days.   I know Nostalgia do not fit it as being more trouble that it is worth.  I've been  a fan of oil coolers ever since I fitted one to our Mini back in the 60's.  The Mini would start at  50 psi but drop to about 20 (at Idle ) once the engine was warm.  Fitting the oil cooler and changing to Duckham's  20W/50 kept the oil pressure at 50 psi regardless.  I know oil technology has improved and viscosity is maintained over a wider temperature range but the XK engine was fitted with an oil cooler in the XJ6 so why not use it.   My problem was to source some 40mm x  3 or 4mm strip steel, top make the mounting brackets, without having to buy a truck load.  All my usual sources didn't have any or anything that was close.  8mm and 10mm  were much too heavy for my needs.   I eventually hit in the idea of  using box section and splitting it in to  2 channels .  This had the added advantage that I could use thinner metal than than that required for flat brackets because the turned up edges of the channel would act as stiffeners.  I got some 40 x 20mm box section form B&Q. Cut  the length of the bracket (138 mm ) of the end.  Split the cut pike in half  ( using a hack saw) to end up with two 40mm x 10mm x138mm channels.  I cut corners off  the ends of the sides  (25mm x 10mm) to remove the sharp edges.  I drilled 2x 6mm holes in one end to match the mounting holes in the oil cooler.   I cut  4 pieces of M6 threaded rod 150mm long.  I cut  distance pieces   30mm and 88 mm for each rod.  These position the mounting brackets  at the side of the cooler  by passing the rod from top to bottom of the cooler and threading the short spacer, mounting bracket then lastly long spacer in sequence.  the oil cooer needs to be mounted as low as possible, in the air flow, without obstructing the radiator. I have positioned the brackets to compensate for the anti vibration mounts  such that the middle of the oil cooler is in line with the top of the chassis rail.  I've got to drill the chassis rail to accept the M8 studs of the A/V mounts tomorrow.  I intend to use M8 rivnuts in the chassis but I've got to make an insertion tool because my current one only goes as far as M6.
 

13/01/2006

4hrs

Oil cooler

Friday the 13th... no comment.   I started work on the M8 insertion tool yesterday but did not make much progress. My first thoughts were, to could I modify an old insertion tool I had to take M8 rivnuts.  I won't bore you with the detail because it is not relevant but I managed to modify it. however I found that with M8 steel rivnuts I could not exert enough leverage to pull them up.  However the basic modification was right, if I could  change the lever action to straight pulling action.  The theory is  to screw a nut down a threaded rod. The nut. being prevented from travelling down the rod by the head of the tool, effectively pulled the rod and piston up inside the body of the tool. the rivnut mounted on the  M8 stud in the piston is pulled up and deformed to fit.  I cut up the old tool leaving me with part of the lever to which the m  the mandrel was shrill attached and the internal sliding piston. I had already drilled the piston to accept an M8 stud on with the rivnut would be located.  I now drilled the other end to accept an M8 threaded rod to be the operating rod. I cut a 150mm length of 20 x 20mm steel box section to make the body of the tool. This tube was just the right size to slip inside what remains of the old operating lever still attached to the mandrel. This  is the locator  and the bottom pressure point to form the rivnut.  .  In order the the piston and operating rod don't rotate, but are pulled up inside the body of the tool .  I cut a 17 x 17 x 6mm square, drilled an M8 hole in the centre. Threaded the square over the operating rod and locked it in place on the back of the piston  with an M8 plain nut.  Some filing  of the square was necessary to ensure the rod an piston slid up an down the body.   I have to make head a head for tool tomorrow  I've already worked out the basic idea.
 

14/01/2006

6hrs

Oil Cooler

M8 Rivnut Insertion tool

The head of the tool was made out of two pieces of 40x30x6mm wrought steel. I cut a 20x20mm square out of one to fit the body of the tool.  The second piece acted as a cap. The two pieces were fitted together by drilling and tapping the lower piece to accept M4 set screws.  An 8.5mm hole was drilled in the centre of the cap to accept the operating rod  With the whole thing assembled a M8 plain nut and washer was screwed on to the rod. Tightening the nut pulled the rod upwards, deforms the rivnut and secures it in place.  I tested the tool on a scrap piece of metal. Placing the rivnut on the and inserting it to the hole. Keeping pressure on the rivnut to hold i in place in the metal. .Gripping the body of the tool with an adjustable wrench  I tightened the M8 nut at the head of the tool. it worked fine.  However I decided the tool was too long, this caused some instability when tightening the tool.  I cut the length of the boy down to 50 mm, which improved ,matters.   I completed the day by drilling M8 clearance holes in the oil cooler brackets. 25mm in from the end which should correspond to the centre of the chassis rails.
 

15/01/2006

6hrs

Oil cooler

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnet Safety Catch

I started by placing masking tape on the top of the chassis rails . Then placid  the oil cooler assembly in position across the chassis rails, making sure it was central between the chassis rails . I marked the position of the holes  on  the masking tape.  I realised I needed to remove the radiator stays to mark and drill the chassis.  I did this one side at a time.  I marked the hole centres  25mm from the wing stay mounting bracket and central to the chassis rail. Drilled a 3.5 mm  pilot hole followed by a 10 drill to open the hole out.  The rivnut body was just under 10.5mm in diameter, so I carefully opened out the hole with a rat tail file to accommodate the rivnut. The M8 rivnut was inserted and secured using the tool. I replace the radiator stay and repeated the operation on the other side.  I fitted the anti-vibration (A/V) mounts to the chassis and tightened then up.  I fitted the oil cooler assembly on the top.  It fitted exactly but I decided it was too low down and was partially masked by the chassis cross member.  This  was easily rectified by changing the distance tubes on the cooler to reposition the mounting brackets.   I opted for moving the brackets to half way, by making all ht mounting tubes 58.5 mm in length. I trial fitted the oak cooler again and I'm satisfied with this position. 

I reassembled  the bonnet safety catch, and refitted the bonnet slam panel now that they  are  all painted.  I  Fitted the safety catch to the cross member. As expected the safety catch is over vertical, when in contact with the chassis cross member, which  prevents it operating automatically when the bonnet is lowered.  The fix for this is to make a stop plate to prevent the lever going past the vertical,  I made a plate and positioned it so that stopped the lever travelling past the vertical. I drilled the plate and the chassis to accept 4mm blind pop rivets.  I chose to rivet the stop plate in place because of space limitations  and I did not think that the stop would need adjusting in the future. If it proves necessary I can  drill out the rivets, fit M4 rivnuts and slot the  plate to provide adjustment.

Hopefully I will finish the bonnet lock and operating cable assembly tomorrow.
 

16/01/2006

2hrs

Oil cooler

Progress today got hampered by the need to get some more gas for the heater in the garage.  Still progress of a sort was made.  I recapped the fitting of the top steadying bracket on the oil cooler. It seemed the easiest solution was to fit a bracket be the top of the oil cooler and the RH radiator stay.  I placed  the oil cooler in position and measured from the oil cooler to the stay at 3" (76mm).  A simple right angle bracket will do, mounting on the front, top securing stud of the oil cooler. I guessed that 2" (51mm) would be needed as the vertical leg of the bracket.  I cut a 5" ;length of 25 x 2mm strip steel. I bent this in the proportion 3": 2".    I drilled a hole in the 3" leg to match up with front securing stud on the cooler. I fitted the bracket and trial fitted the cooler. It was exactly right. I marked the bracket where it met the radiator stay.  I removed the cooler again and drilled an M6 clearance hole in the bracket exactly in the centre of where it would meet the radiator stay.  

Tomorrows task is to mark the radiator stay, remove it and drill it. 
 

17/01/2006

2hrs

Oil Cooler

 

 

 

 

 

Bonnet Release Cable

True to plan fitted the oil cooler in place with the intention of drilling and marking the radiator stay.  To be sure I fully secured the cooler to the A/V mounts. I checked the position of the hole in the support bracket against he radiator stay and decided I had drilled the hole in the support bracket too low. It wasn't far off but I decided to make a new bracket.  I made a new bracket fitted it to the oil cooler and  secured the cooler in place again.  I re-measured where the hole in the bracket should be in relation to the radiator stay.  Took it all off again and drilled the support bracket accordingly.   At this point I got an interrupted by an emergency call from work.  the Practice nurses had somehow managed to invert the display of their computer. the only way they could use it was to turn the monitor upside down........  don't ask I intend to dine out on what followed for years.

It was dark by the time I got back but I managed to refit the cooler securely again mark the position of the hole in the radiator stay , remove it and drill it.   I needed to touch up the paint work on the stay and whilst that was drying I started work on determining where the hole in the bulkhead needed to be for the bonnet release cable.  The idea is to keep the pull on the cable as straight as possible.   I fitted the cable to the hole in the  Dashboard /  Scuttle support structure to see the angle.  Once it was firmly in place I could see it was angled upwards more than I expected and to determine exactly where it would pass through the bulkhead would still be a guesstimate.   To be more accurate I removed the cable and fitted a length of M8 threaded rod in its place. I extended the rod forward until it touched the inside of the bulkhead and secured it in place with 2x plain nuts and washers so that it followed the angle of the cable. Now I could see exactly where the needs to be in the bulkhead, but I will need to check in the engine compartment tomorrow to see that it is safe to drill in this position.

18/01/2006

6hrs

Bonnet Lock & Safety Catch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oil Cooler

I almost have a fully working bonnet lock and safety catch.  As I thought, if I use the position indicated by the rod to drill the bulkhead, the hole will interfere with the edge of the windscreen wiper bridge plate.  I could either drop the hole down slightly , so that it would be entirely within the bridge plate, or move it up slightly to miss the bridge plate.  Upwards would be less of a deviation from the straight line indicated by the rod also it would be closer the top of the bulkhead and easier to achieve a smooth route.  Easiest way to drill the hole was to partially remove the windscreen wiper motor and drill from inside the engine bay.  I measured the position of the hole from inside the bulkhead and transferred these to the nine bay side of the bulkhead.  With the windscreen wiper motor undone from it's mounting and the drive cable loosened from the wheel boxes I could mover the motor to one side.  I drilled a pilot hole and then opened it out to 7.5mm to accommodate a rubber grommet.   I fitted the cable to the dash support structure and through the grommet in the bulkhead. the grommet and cable were sealed with translucent sealer.   The operating handle was secured to the dash support structure.   I refitted the windscreen wiper motor and secured the drive tubes to the wheel boxes.   The cable is in position to run down the LH inner wing  to the bonnet lock but not secured.  All the components of the bonnet lock  have dried after painting.  I fitted the spring retainer to the RHS of the cross member.  The easiest way to fit the spring and the bonnet lock was to fit the spring to the retainer and the other end to the lock , then pull the lock in to place, stretching the spring and secure with  2 x " UNF bolts , spring and plain washers.  I fitted the cable restraint in place but left the cable fitting to tomorrow as darkness approached.

The other job I did today was to jack up the front of the car. Remove the front RH wheel ,so that I could get at the oil cooler connections.  I tried to fit the existing XJ6 pipe work but it is too short and the radiator stays get in the way.  I must now research how to convert the "BSP connections to Metric or JIC A/N connectors as well as extend the pipe work by about 7" whilst t finding a safe and secure route.

20/01/2006

2hrs

 

Oil Cooler

I had a discussion with John at Unimaster yesterday about making new pipes for the oil cooler.   The first surprise came when he pronounced that the oil cooler connections were not BSP thread. IF I use the XK6 oil cooler I will need to use the existing connections from the old pipes.  He would braise new connections on to the pipe and then we could attach new pipes with new ends to the engine block, the overall cost would be about 60.  I did a bit of research work on the Internet and this looks to be the cheapest option.   I cut the ends of the pipes today and fitted them to the cooler. I refitted the cooler and secured all the brackets  so that it was held in its correct position.  This allowed me to look at ht clearances between the pipe work, the radiator stay and the inner wing of the body.  I'd noted a  while back that routing the oil pipes from the engine block to the cooler would not appear to be easy. The RHS of the engine is pretty crowded with the redundant power steering pump, inlet manifold, engine mount etc  all getting in the way of a straight and simple run of the pipe work.  I decided it might be simpler without the power steering pump, this was only fitted to provide a jockey wheel for the fan and the waster pump and to avoid moving the alternator forward (As Nostalgia had suggested in the first place.)  I've decided I'm going to go with Nostalgia's  suggestion remove the power steering pump, move the alternator forward and drive the fan water pump and alternator from a single belt.  When that is done I will be able to work out the exact route and length of the pipe work.
 

21/01/2006

5hrs

 

Bonnet Release Cable

 

Slam Plate & Catch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alterantor Bracket

I  set out today to complete the bonnet catch installation. I only had the cable to route and  cut to the required length to finish the job or so I thought.   I routed the cable down the top inside of the LH wing. I secured about every 9" with "P" clips held in place by 3mm peel rivets.  I regularly checked the operation of the cable, as I secured it, to ensure that it worked smoothly. the secret is to keep the cable a straight as possible and make any curves as gentle as possible.  I found the best way to attach the cable to the lock, was to remove the lock hold it in your hand  keeping the return spring connected to the lock and its keep plate. Thread the cable through the  its keep plate ensuring the ferrule is engaged in the plate.  Thread the cable inner  through the securing post.  Replace the lock and tighten the securing set screws.   Pull the cable inner tight with a pair of pliers. Make sure the cable outer is taught against the keep plate and tighten the securing screw (use a 5/8" AF spanner).  Job done!  It was now I found a major problem with my installation. the bonnet latch plate was too high. I could not get the spring plunger low enough to engage the lock with the bonnet fully closed.  I had set it early on where I thought it should fit, given the shape of the plate and the fibreglass.  but I was wrong.  I'm not blaming anyone else but me, however the build manual was not clear or even written in good English.  I quote ,  "  The positioning of the latch plate is made , the bonnet drilled and the assemblies secured"  I realise now that it was trying to say " Compete the assembly of the bonnet lock and secure in place."  "Fit the plunger from the XJ6 to the latch plate and secure".  "Fit the latch plate and plunger  to the bonnet lock and lock in in place."  "Close the bonnet guiding the latch plate in to place inside the GRP sides."  "Mark  and drill, corresponding securing holes in the latch plate and bonnet." Secure the latch plate ot the bonnet.  - You know it makes sense!  I'm not a happy bunny. My latch plate and bonnet have got more holes in them than Swiss cheese which I'm not prepared to live with.  Holes in the GRP I can fix with some filler and you will never know they were there.  I'll order a new latch plate from Nostalgia on Monday.

I removed the alternator and drive belt. I removed the power steering pump.  The task now is how to reposition the alternator approx 50mm forward, to line up with the crank shaft and cooling fan pulleys.  I have a couple of questions to ask Nostalgia. What drive belt to use?  Do I modify the existing bracket or make a new one?  I think it is possible ot modify the existing bracket.  

The power steering pump removed , frees up a lot of space on the RHS of the engine it will be an easy matter to route the oil cooler pipes.
 

25/01/2006

5hrs

 

 

Bonnet Slam / Latch Plate

The new latch plate arrived yesterday along with the transmission tunnel and the gearbox cover, and a new alternator belt. I'd spoken to Nostalgia on Monday and decided to send my alternator bracket back to them for modification. I despatched it Monday afternoon - 1st Class post. It remains to be seen how quickly they can turn it around.

I marked the new latch plate to accept the spring plunger. Since I knew the position on the old one was OK, I just copied the measurements to the new one. I drilled the hole 9.5mm and fitted he plunger. To mark the securing holes in the sides I place masking tape on the inner face of the bonnet sides and on the corresponding  outer sides of the plate.    I engaged the plunger in the bonnet lock and lowered the bonnet making sure the latch plate was inside the bonnet sides.  I checked the plate was as central as possible, fore and  aft, over the cross member and parallel to the cross member across the car.  I used a wooden spacer block to achieve the latter because the plate is  balanced on the spring plunger an therefore free to pivot.  Once the plate was correctly in place I clamped it to the plate to the sides of the bonnet.  I marked the position of the lower securing holes  by inserting  an M6 bolt dipped in engineers blue through the GRP to mark the plate.  I took the plate off marked the centres with a centre punch and drilled  4 x  6mm holes.  I refitted the plate using M6 bolts penny washers and nyloc nuts.  I tested the bonnet catch it the bonnet down. It released when the cable was pulled and the safety catch held the bonnet.  I removed the plate again to mark and drill the upper mounting holes.  These 6mm holes were drilled on centres 10mm from the top and side edges. I remounted the plate and tested the bonnet  lock and release again, all satisfactory.  I removed the plate once more to remove the fibreglass and fill in the redundant holes in the sides of he bonnet.  Once filled and painted these won't be noticeable;
 

Total Number of Hours this Month = 53 hrs

 

Total Number of hours to date =  1427.0hrs