July 2003

Date Event


4 hrs



We are back after the wedding in Finland. Time to re-familiarise me with the project. I finished painting the alternator and the inner wishbone pivots for the rear suspension.  I took some time to examine the rear  suspension, font wishbones and uprights  to determine what parts I need to order to refurbish them before I can fit hem to the chassis.  Then I dismantled the font left upper wishbone and upright, cleaning them and putting them in the anti rust bath.  I have made a list of the parts I need to order. I’m trying to get as much at one go as I can  to save on the carriage charge.   The bench press came in to it’s own today making short work or pressing out the stub axle.  I would definitely have struggled without it.





I have continued to de-rust and clean up both front and rear suspension components. This part of the work seems slow but the end result should be worth it.  It takes time for the de-rusting fluid to work, but cleans the components back to bear metal.  From experience it is best to, first, clean the component with a rotary wire brush and then to degrease it with a solvent or gunk. Place the component in a tray filled diluted (9:1) “Hammerite” de-rusting fluid.   Remove after 24 hours and remove any deposits with a wire brush. If necessary re-immerse in the fluid to remove stubborn rust deposits. You may need to repeat several times for heavily corroded components.  Eventually you will get back to clean bare metal.  Wash the component in clean water, scrub with a wire brush to remove any last deposits, further degrease the component and as soon as possible after  it is dry paint it, to protect it.  I tend to use an etching primer followed by “Hammerite anti rust paint. (Satin Black Smooth Finish).   One disadvantage of the Hammerite paint is that 2nd / 3rd coats must be applied within 1.5 hours. After that, the paint has started to cure and can not be recoated for 6 weeks. I use the spray can version of the paint. Rather than the brush on stuff since it is easier to use and gives a better finish. It does require several coats to give the same level of protection as the brush on finish. The front left upper and lower wishbones and the upright are almost finished.  I’ve taken many photographs and made copious notes on the fitting and position of various shims for caster angle, Camber angle adjustments. I’ve ordered new bushes and bearings for all of the suspension components I just seemed prudent to change them now while I have easy access and as part of the build process.  The hydraulic press proved invaluable in removing the front stub axles.  These are fitted to the uprights by a tapered shaft and a single bolt. I’ve no doubt that I would have struggled to remove these involving heating them up and much hammering.  The hydraulic press, pushed them out (with a bang) at about 2 tonnes pressure, easy!





Inspecting the RH front suspension components that were de-rusting in the bath (not literally) I was slightly dissatisfied with the finish. I was getting back to bare metal but it was more pitted and still showing signs of corrosion.  I changed the de-rusting fluid for fresh and gave them a further 24hr soak. This improved the situation but I decided to modify the finishing approach by painting them with “Kurust” to make sure and kill any remaining corrosion before using the etching primer.  So today, was again a suspension cleaning and painting day.  I ended up with upper wishbones, uprights and wishbone pivots, painted in etching primer,  that look no different from the LHS but I feel they are better protected against future corrosion.  I refitted the alternator and the fuel injectors to the engine.





I finished painting the RH front upper wishbone and upright. Cleaned the lower wishbone and steering arm and returned them to the de-rusting fluid for the last time.



Rear hubs


Drive Shafts




Cleaned the RH lower wishbone and Steering arm, Rear Suspension inner fulcrum distance tubes with the Dremel and wire brush.  Painted them with Hammerite Kurust to finally kill any corrosion.  Late this afternoon gave them a coat of etching primer.  The major work today was to remove the UJ’s from the rear hubs and final drive flanges.  This needed to be done so that the final drive / Rear hub flanges can be cleaned and painted. I  Removed the circlips that retained the UJ caps.  Make sure you remove the grease nipples too Otherwise they get in the way and there is a possibility of damaging them. I knew how UJ’s were to be driven out, having removed the other side of the UJ from the drive.  However, It took a little while to work out the best way of supporting them and the best way to drive them out.  Supporting the UJ between 2 pieces of wood and tapping the final drive/ hub flange with a soft hammer until the caps were flush with the outside of the flange,  proved to be a good way to start. This gives you a little more freedom of movement when you finally separate the UJ from the Flange. It is advisable to do this to start with because as the opposite side cap is driven out it is possible for the needle rollers to fall inwards under the UJ shaft at best it only restrict the UJ shaft movement at worst it can prevent the cap from being driven out without damaging the needle rollers.  Then with the UJ still supported between the pieces of wood drive out the cap  a hammer and a Ľ square drift by tapping down on the flange which causes the UJ to push the cap out of the flange. A little care and patience is needed because the nature of the UJ means it is not rigidly supported. Also makes sure you drive out the cap that is opposite the grease nipple.  It is easier to do it this way because the land where the grease nipple fits restricts you from driving out the cap completely.  Once the cap is free slide the UJ up and out of the opposite retaining cap.  Carefully remove all the needle rollers and keep the rollers and caps from each side together. Bag each side separately and label them, so that you can match them up again on reassembly.  If there is any sign of wear replace the UJ. You may have to replace the UJ anyway.   During the removal of 2 of my UJ’s The seal on the Cruciform side of the UJ got damaged, in the process of driving out the caps. It is easily done if the seals are old. The seals get driven out, through the flange, with the cap. These seals are not available separately you have to buy a whole UJ.



Rear Hubs

Another cleaning and painting day.  Cleaned up the de-rusted final drive & hub flanges. Degreased and stripped off any remaining paint. Treated them with “Kurust” to neutralize any remaining rust.  Kurust turns any rust it comes in to contact with black. Surprisingly, though the flanges have been stripped back to bright metal with no visible sign of corrosion, the Kurust turns most of the flanges black. Left them to dry. Painted the remaining parts of the right front suspension with Hammerite paint.   At the end of the day I returned to painting the flanges with etching primer.



Final Drive

Just a short session today to finish painting the RH final drive & hub flanges.  The suspension refurbishment stuff I ordered from SNG Barrett arrived today – At Last!  It is still not complete but I have sufficient to make a start.  I’m missing the fulcrum pins and the rear suspension fulcrum repair kit. I spent a little while re-acquainting myself with the rear suspension and final drive assemblies.  I found the Haynes manual useful, but the photographs I have taken were really useful in studying the detail and relating this to the new chassis. 




I felt sure I would mark today as a turning point and start fitting some of the components back together.  I identified all the new front suspension bushes and was getting ready to fit them only to realise there were a number of bolts from the XJ6 which needed to be cleaned and de-rusted before I could use them. I bought a rolling chassis fitting kit with the chassis which has provided some of the special bolts and most of the nuts. I dumped the bolts and some of the special washers in the de-rusting bath and will have to be patient for the next 24 hours. 


2 hrs.



The day has finally arrived – Let building commence!  Greg came over and we fitted the differential to the chassis. Later I fitted the rear inner wishbone carriers to the diff.  Again the photographs taken during dismantling came in useful   There are 4 holes in the carriers to line up with 2 holes in the differential casting. I could not remember which pair of holes was used on the XJ6.  The photographs came to the rescue, once fitted it was obvious which holes to use.  I torque tightened the 4 bolts securing the diff to the upper mounting plate on the chassis (75 ft lbf). You need a slim line socket and torque wrench to get at the front ones because there is insufficient room between the bolt and the chassis rail. The rear ones are easy.   The wishbone carriers have shims between the carrier and the differential. I had noted their position and thickness when dismantling them; LHS. 1 x 0.007” behind each bolt. RHS. 2 x 0.007” behind each bolt.  They seem to serve no useful purpose their thickness making little difference to camber or track. Nevertheless, I bought some new ones but I miscalculated the number I needed. However I was able to fit shims of the correct size to the LHS  (0.007”) and combine 2 shims (0.007” +0.005”) to make 0.012”. So the RHS is 0.002” short. I will check it at suspension setting time but I can’t believe it will make an significant difference. Torque tightened the carrier to differential bolts to 60 ft lbf.  Wire locked the differential mounting and wishbone carrier bolts The last part of the day was spent working out where and how the rest of the differential plates fit.




Drive Shafts


The new drive shaft universal joints arrived yesterday but are unpainted.  I could leave them, but they will show signs of rust quickly once in road use. I would be dissatisfied with that so I have painted them with etching primer and “Hammerite” black paint to match the chassis, which should give them a little more protection.   I have tested the bench press by fitting one of the bushes the front lower wishbone. I used a smear of copper slip inside the bush housing and on the bush, carefully lined up the bush, the wishbone and the press mandrel, pumped up the hydraulic pressure and in it went.   It was so easy, I managed to push the bush through too far but by turning the wishbone over and using a suitable socket to go over the bush and bear down on the wishbone I was easily able to push it back and centralise the bush in its housing.  When I think of how we struggled, on the Westfield, with long bolts, penny washers and nuts to achieve the same thing I am more than pleased I bought the press.  I continued cleaning up the washers and bolts for the front upper wishbone before I refit them.

Total hours this month =
33 hrs


Total  hours to date =
319 hrs