June 2004

Date Event




Speedo Drive

Engine Cooling Rail


I seem to be making progress towards fitting the engine at a snails pace.  Last Friday  I attempted to fit the new angle drive for the Speedo to the gearbox.  It was definitely the right one, the threads on each end were compatible with the Speedo cable and the gearbox. However the Bendix square drive was too large to fit in to the drive gear in the gearbox. Not by much it was clearly intended to fit so I set about trying to enlarge the square shaft  in the end of the drive gear, using a square file. I was close to getting a fit but did not want to enlarge the hole too much so I tapped the angle drive using a hammer. It was almost fitted but I decided to take it out and enlarge the shaft a little more. To my horror I discovered it was stuck in place and in attempting to free it I mangled the Bendix drive.  So back to the drawing board by ordering a new one.  Over the weekend I fitted the water rail and stated work on renewing the fuel pipes on the injectors.  I refurbished the gear lever and fitted it today. There are 4 rubber bushes, comprising 4 rubber top hat washer and 4 plain rubber washers, centred on a steel bush. The originals were perished and I replaced them with new ones to make sure the gear lever was firmly mounted and thus positive in gear selection.  I renewed the wiring loom with spiral wrap and then fitted the ignition amplifier box to the end of the inlet manifold. I still have quite a few jobs to do fitting the engine fuel cooling pipe work as well as ignition leads.  I also put spiral wrap around the brake line as it passes through the rear chassis cross member.




Engine Fuel Pipes / Injection

Most of today was spent dressing the engine with fuel pipes, and sundry fuel injection bits that bolt on the inlet manifold most of which needed to be pieced together like a jig saw puzzle.  It was over a year ago that these components were removed so it was a good job I had the photographs to refer to.  I spiral wrapped the connection to from the distributor to the ignition amplifier, fitted a new rotor arm and distributor cap.  I was doing this whilst waiting for the paint to dry on the coil bracket, clutch return spring bracket and the cold start injector.  I spent quite a bit of time working on the fuel rail, connecting up the injectors. It helped to piece together the fuel connections , vacuum switch air flow switch. I will need to disconnect the injectors later to have them tested. 

The new Speedo angle drive arrived today and to my surprise was an easy fit in to the Speedo drive gear.  I needed to pack the drive housing with a copper watcher because the angle drive would not do up tight.  It proved that the original angle drive was faulty in that the Bendix drive must have been oversize. If I had realised this I could probably have returned it for another and saved myself 35.00.  Since I had broken it trying to remove it there was no way.




Fuel Injection



I spent most of today dressing the engine making sure the injectors and cooling pipes were correctly connected and tight. the photographs taken when the engine was stripped from the XJ6 proved a great help, but there were still some areas , particularly the vacuum pipes, which seemed obvious at the time, where I could have done with another photograph. I assembled the accelerator cable bracket on the manifold, fitted the throttle switch and set it up to it's correct position. Refitted the throttle vacuum switch and re-soldered its connecting leads.  Fitted new spark plugs and HT leads.  I had carefully noted the position of the HT leads wrt to the distributor when I removed them but when I cheeked the diagram in the HM the position of the leads was 180˚ from the position where mine were fitted.  The engine ran perfectly before I removed the leads. I have photographs to show how my leads were fitted so why the discrepancy? There could be a number of reasons. I have a breaker less ignition, whilst the HM diagram is for a conventional distributor and this may cause a variation in the fitting of the leads.  Was the engine put together by a bunch of Cowboys that had fudged the  distributor position and hence timing.  I'll check the static timing once the engine is in.




Just washed and cleaned off the XJ6 wheels and tyres to fit them temporarily to the car during engine fitment. Whilst the tyres were in reasonable shape tread wise they were showing signs of perishing deep in the tread pattern.  Also the steel wheels were in need of some refurbishment to get them up to an acceptable standard for  SVA.  I did not what to do too much to them since they will be changed for wire wheels after SVA. however it looked like I would need to strip off the tyres, refurbish the wheels and fit new tyres for MOT and SVA




I had thought about the wheels and tyres and decided to check with BJC whether they had got some half decent alloy wheels.  Anthony said they had some decent ones (pepper pots) that had been refurbished for 100 with at least two very good tyres.  I considered that was cheaper than refurbishing the steel wheels and did the deal. I'll pick them up tomorrow.   Last thing, Greg helped me get the engine off of it's stand and lowered on to a wooden pallet ready to fit the flywheel and gearbox.




Having had a less than pleasing day at work I took the old steel wheels and  wheel trims to Anthony at BJC and picked up the alloy wheels. Two of the tyres were definitely knackered, one with a nail sticking out of it. The other two were cheap tyres (Corsa, Never heard of them) and only H speed rated.  the two duff tyres were also 215/ 70 as opposed to 205/70. Still I'm not complaining because the alloys are in very good condition and will have saved me hours of work getting the steel wheels up to a decent standard.


3 hrs.



I went off to Micheldever Tyres with the two duff wheels to get some new tyres.  Pirelli P400 205/70 R15 95W @ 63 +VAT .  I thought very reasonably priced and will replace the two other tyres at a later stage. for now I have 4 decent alloy wheels and tyres to support the car during engine fitting.  Le Mans is looming this weekend. It is my one day when I vegetate in front of the telly top enjoy the racing.  My ambition is to take the Classic 120 there when it is built.  This means I have got to get my skates on fitting the engine and gearbox.  I  started by collecting all the bits to fit the flywheel.  I cleaned up the flywheel bolts and inspected them they look almost new , the upshot is I will re-use them rather than replace them and hope I don't live to regret it.  I got a new tab washer some time ago and checked it's alignment with the Flywheel.  I also checked the two dowels for cleanliness and wear.  Later XJ6's don't have them but since mine look in good condition I will refit them.   Lastly the spigot bearing. This needed to be fitted in to the end of the crank shaft.  I tried tapping it in place but it is tighter than a push fit and difficult to keep square. Obviously some kind of press was needed. Rummaging through the old hub and flywheel pullers in the tool box I came across and old flywheel puller for a Metro which looked like it might do the job.  I worked out I needed to buy 3 x 7/16 UNF x 3" bolts, too late to do it today, so off to Unimaster tomorrow.




Cleaned the alloy wheels ready for fitting and went to Unimaster to get the bolts.  Tools are never a waste and old tools  will always pay you back some day. The metro puller is a triangular shaped piece of metal, 20mm thick with a threaded bolt through the centre. At each angle there is a slot to accept the 7/16 UNF bolts and it just happens to fit the crankshaft  by  picking up 3 of the flywheel mounting bolts and holding the puller central. The puller mandrel fits between the centre screw and the bearing and with the aid of a couple of washers , presses the bearing in place as the screw is tightened.  It worked like a dream. The bearing is in place, flush with the end of the crankshaft and the bearing rotated freely  in it's housing once the puller was removed.  I tested the spigot bearing on the end of gearbox and it was an easy fit. I suspect to will be tighter now that it is slightly compressed after fitting.  Fitted the flywheel torque tightened the bolts to 67 ft-lbs. Locked with tab washer. News came today the the body will be ready for collection on 18/19/June. The engine has to be in the car by next week!




Fitted the clutch. Centralised it using the Sykes-Pickavant tool.  Cleaned up the wheel nuts and fitted the alloy wheels. Lowered the chassis to the ground.  Loosened the anti roll bar because it was touching the front suspension. I will adjust it again after the engine is fitted.




The bell housing to Engine mounting bolts have been soaking in anti rust fluid for nearly a week. Not that they were badly corroded but I wanted to make sure they were re-usable. Cleaned them up today and they look OK.  I arranged with John Hopkins that we would try and mate the engine and gearbox tomorrow.  I've explained to John my concerns over the spigot bearing. Before fixing it to the crank shaft it was a comfortable fit on the gearbox spigot and on the clutch centring mandrel. Since being pressed in to the crank shaft it is a tight fit. John and I will do some measurements before we fit the gearbox to check it is OK. Dismantled the engine stand and cleaned up the garage ready for tomorrow.




John came over armed with vernier and micrometer gauges to check the size of the spigot, following my concern that we had a problem with the bearing as fitted to the crank shaft.  It turned out that the clutch centring mandrel was 0.002" oversize. This was on the good side since it meant that the gearbox spigot was more likely to fit John rubbed down the mandrel with emery cloth until it agreed with the gearbox spigot. It was a much better fit and looking good for the gearbox spigot.  We next rubbed down the gear box spigot with emery cloth to remove any trace of dirt and corrosion. then it was time to mate the gearbox to the engine.  We rested the gearbox on a trolley jack and sued this to adjust the height to align the gearbox.  We also adjusted the position of the engine, to level it by inserting wooden blocks underneath the sump.  Two attempts, and try as we might we could not get the gearbox to fit. it seemed seemed to hit something solid and did not engage the clutch and gearbox splines.  Now we were asking ourselves questions about the size of the clutch the bell housing and if we had the correct parts.  We decided to remove the bell housing from the gearbox, this entailed removing the clutch thrust bearing as well.  WE offered the bell housing on its own to the back of the engine over the clutch and it fitted perfectly with no fouling or interference. Next we offered the gearbox to the back of the bell housing, this time we could see the input shaft engage with the spigot bearing and the clutch splines, once aligned ti was a perfect fit. Reassured that we had got all the right parts we reassembled the gearbox,  bell housing, and clutch release bearing.  This time the gearbox came closer to the rear of the engine than before. The dowel on the LHS rear of the engine was preventing further forward movement but once aligned we were close enough to feel the splines in the clutch engage. Rotating the crank shaft using the nut at the front of the engine turned the output shaft when the gearbox was in gear. Now we were able to insert mounting  bolts through  the bell housing and in to the engine block and with a little persuasion, by rocking the gearbox up and down and side to side,  pull the gearbox in to place. Finally it was fitted. I need to get some more mounting bolts from Unimaster tomorrow.  with a plan of then fitting the engine to the chassis.



Gearbox / Clutch

We should have fitted the engine today. Needless to say we didn't! I got some gearbox mounting bolts from Unimaster and called John to say I would be ready in about and hour.  His reply was he thought we had a problem and proceeded to explain that the clutch cover we had, would tear the carbon release bearing to pieces very quickly because the release bearing was directly applied to the spring diaphragm.  The clutch cover would work  fine with a ball / roller release bearing as was used on later XJ6's and XJ40's. I agreed immediately that we had a problem, one that I should have realised, before we  got this far, when I had to return the release bearing that came with the clutch kit.  I spoke to Simon at Nostalgia cars  who went off to consult Malcolm Rolfe. In the mean time I spoke to Kully at SNG Barratt, who supplied the original clutch parts. It soon became obvious that we had the either the wrong clutch cover or clutch forks and bearing.  In the event, we opted for the easiest option which was to change the clutch cover for a Series I or II XJ6 or E Type.  Having settled for that and haggled over the price because it was only available as part of the clutch refurbishment kit, Simon came back to me and confirmed we had done the right thing. John came over and we removed the gearbox and removed the clutch cover. The driven plate is is OK just the cover plate needs replacing tomorrow.





While I was waiting fro the clutch kit to arrive.  I fitted the heater return pipe that runs under the inlet manifold from back to front.  I fitted the gearbox to engine lower mounting brackets.  I also measured the gearbox rear mounting  The clutch kit arrived about 3:00pm but not before I had contacted SNG Barratt and the courier to find out why it was  late. The usual story of going to the wrong house and nobody was in.  The clutch kit comprised a Series 1 / 2 cover plate, driven plate and carbon bearing. We only needed the cover plate the rest we will dispose of privately. Sure enough the cover plate has a boss in the centre of the diaphragm to match the carbon bearing.  I fitted the clutch and called John to come over.  He was much happier at seeing the new clutch cover.  Together we fitted the gearbox. It was much easier than when last we tried it probably because we had already done it and knew it would fit.  Once we had worked out the alignment the gearbox slid in to the engine quickly. It took a little while to fit and tighten all the bolts, the lower ones had to be shortened. whilst I was doing that John fitted the weather shield to the bottom of the bell housing.  Then it was time to fit the engine. We ran in to a number of problems.  The car had to be jacked up slightly at the front to get the lifting frame past the lower wishbone bolts. The gear lever had to be removed to get the rear of the gearbox  under the bulkhead and in to the driving compartment. Finally we found that approaching the car from the front the hoist could not reach far enough back to align the engine mounts. We had a potential clearance of 15" but needed  24" to get the engine in to it's mountings.  We discussed a number of possible solutions which involved moving the chassis rather than the engine to align it  We decided to call it a day and tackle the problems tomorrow. After John left I had a brainwave. Jack up the front of the car with a trolley jack. Remove the front NS LH wheel and fit the engine from the side. Moving the chassis backwards and forwards  on the trolley jack to align it fore and aft.  We will see if this works tomorrow.



Engine Fitting

Today is a real milestone the engine is in the car!  Not bolted down but resting on its engine mounts  with the gearbox supported on a wooden cross beam .  John and I began by testing we could manoeuvre the car with the front supported on the trolley jack, It moved surprisingly easily. We removed the front wheels, central and upper steering column to make sufficient space to get the the engine and hoist in place at the lhs of the car.  We decided to lower the chassis down at the front to ensure we had plenty of head room to lift the engine over  the front suspension turrets. Then with a lot of raising and lowering of the engine and likewise the chassis, rolling the chassis forward when required, starting at and angle across the chassis, we fed the tail of the gearbox through the bulkhead, slowly rotating the engine until it was  in line fore and aft in the chassis. Carefully and with much more detail than stated here, complicated buy the fact that the centre of gravity of the engine / gearbox combination meant the the gearbox hung down at an angle , we pushed pulled and moved the chassis and engine until it could be lowered on to the engine mounts.  Extreme care had to be taken to avoid marking the chassis and bulkhead as we manoeuvred the engine in to place.  Part way through we found that the heater pipe I had fitted on Tuesday was fouling the bulkhead and would have to be removed to position the gearbox in line with the prop shaft and diff.  Finally with the engine in place, we supported the tail of the gearbox with a piece of wood across the chassis so that we could remove the hoist and replace the front  wheels.  the whole thing will be tightened up tomorrow.   The hoist we used had removed the engine from the XJ6 easily but struggled to reach the right position in the "120".  with hind site it would have been easier with an engine lifting bar instead of the chain attached to the top of the engine. Also it would have been easier with a frame or roof supported crane so that we did not have to worry about the wheels and suspension getting the way of the wheels of the hoist.  making it easier to move the car fore and aft.


Heater Pipe

I removed the heater cooling pipe that runs underneath the manifold and curves around the back of the block, it was fouling the bulkhead and I needed the space to make sure the gearbox could be aligned to the correct angle. I cut the end off the pipe so that it is now a straight connection to the heater.  Much more sensible,   I began to work on the gearbox position to align the prop shaft.  It was clear the rear mounting I has selected before the gear box was fitted was too far forward. I needed to rethink the method of mounting the gearbox. I could still use the Nostalgia "U" channel and engine mount but I would need to make a bracket that used the mounting points on top of the gearbox rather than underneath.


4 hrs.


I spoke to John this morning and he confirmed the idea I had of making a bar that bolts to the engine mount fitted to the "U" channel and a matching bar that the bolts to the top of the gearbox with suitable length spacer tubes between the two,  I thought of bolts running up the centre of the spacers, but settled late in the day, for threaded rod that would allow the height of the gearbox to be adjusted using washers if necessary.  So today was spent making two 51/2" x 30mm x 6mm bars.  The spacers were made using 16mm and 14mm tube pressed inside one another.  Finally I had some M12 rod to make two 6"  connecting  rods.   At the end of the day I think the gearbox is still too low and will investigate further tomorrow when I talk to Nostalgia


6 hrs

Gearbox Rear Mount

Over the past 2 days I have been talking to Nostalgia to find out the height of the output drive from the gearbox above the U channel and support mount. Nostalgia measured 2 cars, one with a Leyland Gearbox @ approximately 6" from the centre line of the prop shaft to the bottom of the "U" channel. Another, with a Mk1 gearbox @ 6" .  I had had to raise the back of the Getrag box in order for the Speedo drive to clear the "U" channel. This meant that the spacers I had made earlier,  were too short and I had to make some new ones.  The new ones were 120mm long and the centre of the drive shaft to the bottom of the "U" channel was 5". I cheeked this with Nostalgia and they thought it was OK, providing it cleared the handbrake cable.  Overnight I had thought that the thickness of the spacers in relation to the 12mm hole in the brackets was a bit thin with a corresponding high point load when bearing the weight of the gearbox. It would probably benefit from being made from thicker material. Rummaging through the scrap box I came across some old suspension bushes from the XJ6. These were and exact push fit over the spacer tubes. I fitted them to each end of the spacer tubes and feel much happier about their load bearing capacity. I positioned the gearbox centrally in the chassis and dismantled the brackets for painting. I tightened up the engine mounts and touched up the scratches on the chassis and bulkhead cased during the fitting of the engine. I fitted a new engine oil filter. Then  I started to refit the steering column, remounting the bottom bearing with 3/8" UNF x 1" bolts and Nyloc Nuts. Next  I refitted the intermediate column adjusting the position of the bottom bearing to ensure the column cleared the filter.  It is very close even with the bearing pushed upwards to then end of it's slots.  I rang Nostalgia to check the clearance 3/16" - 1/4" is typical. Mine looks to be less  than that. I decided to elongate the holes in the bearing mounting bracket on the chassis to get a bit more adjustment and  clearance.



Clutch Hydraulics

Spoke to Nostalgia again today to determine the pipe work configuration, route and mounting for the clutch. I was originally thinking of rigid pipe from the master cylinder to a transition bracket on the bulkhead and then a flexible pipe from the transition bracket to the slave cylinder. After talking to Simon I decide to do the whole thing in braided flexible hose, with a banjo fitting to the master cylinder to save space.   I measured the length of pipe required as 30". I had to take the clutch master and slave cylinders off the car and take them to Unimaster to make sure I got the correct fittings . The will make the pipe for me. I fitted the painted gearbox support bracket to the car and the gearbox is not secured to the chassis but is supported by the chassis. Refitted the clutch slave cylinder.



gearbox mount

steering column

Inlet Manifold


I positioned the gearbox support cross member making sure the gearbox was central and the cross member did not foul the fuel  pipes.  I refitted the clutch master cylinder. reconnecting the clevis pin was a bit tricky but easily done in the end.  I returned to the fitting of the intermediate steering column and noticed that the vacuum take off point at the bottom of the plenum chamber was in line and likely to foul the steering column.  I thought this  take off point was for use with the full load vacuum switch which meant I had to use it. there was no way of it not coming in contact with the steering column once the vacuum pipe was connected.   I thought long and hard about it. I considered that the back of the engine might be too low but I did not want to raise it because it would have affected the clearance of the steering column and the oil filter and these were pretty close anyway. Also I wanted to keep the prop shaft as straight as possible. nothing for it but to take the manifold off and investigate if the takeoff point could be moved or adapted.  I called John to ask for his advice and took the manifold round  to him, for him to have a look at.  First piece of good new was that the manifold was aluminium so it could be worked easily. Secondly I noticed there was another take off point I could use so the problem one could be removed and blanked off.  John and I took the offending take off point out with a pair of mole grips it was only a push fit. I then found a suitable screw,  fixed it in place with epoxy glue to seal it and left it overnight to cure.



Starter motor

Whilst I have got the manifold off, I decided to fit the starter motor. From something that Malcolm had said earlier that because the bell housing has been changed, there is a doubt that the XJ6 starter motor will fit.  I did some research and all 4.2 XJ6 seem to user the same starter motor,  Part No: LRM156, Lucas 3M100.  2.8 versions have different starter motors for manual and automatic.  XJS  E type S2 also uses LRM156.  This is no consolation since I do not know the source of my bell housing. However the pitch of the mounting looks right but the X J6 starter has a spigot plate and this does not fit my bell housing.  Also the shape of the bell housing casting is different, smaller on my bell housing.  The implication is that I need a different starter  motor. LRM156 is a pre-engaged starter motor and it looks like I need an inertia driven starter motor.  Despite this I cleaned up the starter motor and will investigate further



I took some measurements of the depth of the flywheel ring gear relative to the face of the bell housing. the starter motor gear is free of the ring gear but looks as though it will engage when the solenoid is energised. I next decide to test the solenoid with battery from the XJ6 to check the movement of the gear and be sure it would engage. It took some time to find the wire and a switch and make up the test leads only to find the battery was flat.  nothing for it but to charge it up. I got sufficient charge in to it to move the starter motor gear forward, before it stopped working again. I'm not sure why it stopped the connections and the winding resistance look fine but the battery voltage falls to zero.  Probably the battery is knackered.  However the test was enough to convince me it should work. I cut the spigots off the sandwich plate to make the starter motor a flush fit with the bell housing.   I then masked off the drive and end plate ready fro painting. Painted with etching primer, 1 coat and Hammerite Satin Black  finishing coat. Whilst the battery was charging I went back to the gearbox mounting and this time used a steel rule and a try square to measure and ensure the gearbox output and the  cross member were central to the chassis. Clamped the cross member in place drilled the holes in chassis brackets and bolted it in place with 6 off, 1"x 5/16 UNF plain washer and nyloc nuts.   Yesterday I located the missing exhaust manifold studs, today I freed the rusted nuts and de-rusted the studs.  Lastly I reconnected and tightened the anti roll bar.  I am concerned that even with the engine in the car, it is still very close to the suspension on the RHS. 



Front Suspension


I spoke to Chris at Nostalgia today too get some measurements about the  suspension clearances, with the car loaded there should be about 6mm. I enquired about the ARB bottom brackets but mine are fitted the same as on the car that was being measured and as they were fitted to the XJ6. For reference they are fitted with the curved edge inboard and the straight edge outboard.   I removed the ARB and the turrets. Refitting the turrets and ensuring they were squarely seated on their rubber mounts.  Next I fitted the ends of the ARB to the top of the turrets also ensuring that the rubber mounts were square. This should ensure that the ARB is centred its natural position. Then I fitted the rubber hinge mounts and keep plates. This involved pushing back on the ARB to align the holes in the chassis and bolting it in place.  I had the required 6mm approx on the RHS between the ARB and the suspension,  but the LHS was almost touching the suspension.  I undid the hinge rubber mounts again and held the ARB in it's natural position , there is plenty of clearance but the ARB is forward of the mounting holes. Another call to Chris to check the chassis holes were in the right place. The correct distance is 95mm from the front of the chassis and mine agree with this. I had another go at fitting the ARB just in case it was a positional error, with the same result.   The RH hinge mount aligned fairly easily and although it pushes back on the turret, as you tighten up the keep plates it has an acceptable clearance at the end. The LHS requires considerably more push back around 6mm which is want consumes the clearance when it is tightened up.  the ARB is also displaced to the left, measuring from the chassis to the first bend of the ARB the distance is LHS 50mm , RHS 70 mm.  I believe the ARB is not symmetrical and will need to be replaced. 




I Spoke to Chris at Nostalgia again this morning and have agreed to return the ARB for them to examine when I collect the body.  So this afternoon I removed the ARB again. I have to say that whatever is wrong with it is pretty subtle because I cannot see any difference from side to side. I suspect it is an accumulation of bends and angles that make the difference when it is on the car.  I fitted the starter motor and started to examine the engine wiring loom to determine how to clean and refurbish it.   I also elongated the holes for the steering lower bearing, a bit more, to give a slightly better clearance of the intermediate steering column over the fuel filter.



Engine Wiring


I spent most of the afternoon cleaning the engine wiring loom. It was in a pretty tatty state covered in engine grime and the woven sheath was frayed and broken in places.  I removed the sheath to expose the wiring. Underneath it wasn't too bad. With a with wipe over washing up liquid and not too much water the grime came off easily. I had to get a bit more energetic with the injector leads giving them a gentle scrub with a tooth brush. the wiring insulation looked good, just one earth wire  will need replacing.  I checked all the insulation binding was secure so that all the wires and flying leads were in their correct positions. While I was doing this I checked I knew where all  the connections were to be made.  I replaced the woven sheath with spiral wrap and then covered the spiral wrap with black loom tape.  The loom now looks as good as new.  

Total hours this Month=79  

Total hours to date = 651.5 hrs