March 2005

Date Event

01/03/2005
1hr
Boot Lid
 

Refitted the boot lid.  It will need further trimming and adjustment when I return to finishing the body work

02/03/2004

1hr
Instruments

It doesn't feel like today was constructive.  I bought a dehumidifier fro the garage which was a bargain.  full price was 99.98 which I got for 52.66. I've set it up temporarily to see how well it works.   I also got news that the refurbished instruments will be despatched today.  In terms of direct progress on the car it wasn't productive but indirectly it was. The dehumidifier should mean that I can control and hold back any rust  (particularly on the brake discs ). The instruments will be ready when I'm ready to install them.
 

4/03/2005

1hr

Instruments

The refurbished instruments have returned and are fabulous.  It got me thinking about the dashboard layout.  The original demonstrator that I drove had the XJ6 warning instrument cluster in the middle. In fact it was a cut and use version of the XJ6 dashboard underneath.  I have more or less decided not to use the XJ6 warning cluster, many of the warning lamps would not be used anyway.  I'm going to look for small, neat individual warning lamps, probably plain circular ones. I think the modern rectangular ones containing the ISO symbols would look out of place.   I will need to provide the following warning lamps: Indicator (2), Hazard warning (1), Ignition (1), Oil Pressure (1), Brake Fluid level / Handbrake On -  combined (1) Main Beam (1), Fog Lamp (1).   I could use the indicator warning lamps built in to the Speedo and Rev Counter. I'll leave the decision to do this until I see how much space I have to fit the warning lamps. The hazard warning lamp may be built in to the switch.
 

11/03/2004

2hrs

Front dumb irons

Supporting Stays

 

Last weekend was a disaster in terms of progress on the car.  I spent all weekend trying to fix the lock on the passenger door of the Land Rover which refuses to unlock without manual intervention.  I failed to fix it.... and NO progress was made on either count. 

Earlier this week I fitted the front dumb irons and started to fit the front supporting  stays between the dumb irons and the chassis.  The build manual says they will need tweaking. It's right!  The angle of the end of the bracket that attaches to the chassis too tight in both the horizontal and vertical planes.  At 1" wide and " thick they are too tough for my puny vice and "lump" hammer and my blow torch is OK for plumbing, but not good enough to make a decent job of re-angling them.  I phoned John Hopkins to get the use of his blow torch and big vice but he is away so it will  have to wait. I've checked all the measurements and angles to determine how they need to be bent and come up with an angle of approximately 130.  It's not much different from the original but is slightly complicated by the fact that there is a slight twist in the angle from top to bottom to take account of the angle between the bumper iron position and the chassis bracket.  It's a start but I suspect it will come down to trial and error and the  Mk 1 eyeball in the end.

During the week I've decided to fit overbraid to the pipes from the master cylinder to the fluid reservoir and to the fuel injection and fuel pipes in the engine bay. This is purely for cosmetic reasons.  I've been talking to SPEEDFLOW Braided Hoses, to work out what size braiding and end finishing covers/clamps I need. Not cheap, but hopefully worth it.
 

12/3/2005

4hrs

Filler Cap

Marked the centre position of the fuel filler cap on to the outside of the body work.  This was quite time consuming.  Using a long steel rule and a try square placed on the rear cockpit combing I measured the distance from the combing to the font edge of the tank on each side as near to the outside edge of the tank as possible, as 11".  This measurement  was transferred on to masking tape stuck on the outside of the body work.  I drew a line between the two marks on a strip of masking tape stretched across the body. This represented the position where the front edge of the tank  was underneath the body work. I next measured the width of the tank 824 mm.  Holding the metal rule to the side of the tank  and placing the tri square up against it I determined the position of the outside edges of the tank. This was also transferred to the masking tape.  To find the position of the filler neck relative to the front edge  would have been easier if it was measured before the tank was fitted.  However taking several attempts  at measuring the front edge of the filler neck in relation to the front edge of the tank m and observing the result gave 139mm  The filler neck is nominally 2". Dividing the distance between the edge marks of the tank by 2, I found the centre line of the tank. Extending this point at Right angles and rearwards gave the centre line.  Measuring 139mm + 29 mm is the centre point of the filler neck.  I decided as little while ago to abandon using the XJ6 filler caps  because this entails bonding a well in to the rear body shell  to accommodate the cap.  By recessing the cap in this way it does not project more than 5 mm from the body and is thus not subject to the 2.5 mm radius rules for exposed edges.  I'm going to use the 2" Monza cap. This cap is not SVA compliant straight out of the box but if you use the polished aluminium version can be shapes and polished to comply and has been successfully used before.  The SVA Inspection Manual can be found by referring to the relevant page in the "Garage Section"  I have not ordered the fuel cap yet so it was time to turn my attention to fitting the rear dumb irons
 

13/03/2005

4hrs

Rear dumb Irons

I started on the rear dumb irons yesterday. Having read and re-read the paragraph (about 6 lines in all ) and studied the diagram I decided that The references and data were so subjective and variable That I could not be confident that I had an accurate position for them to enable me to drill the body. I decided to sleep on it overnight and return to it today.   I  began by marking the centre line if the dumb irons on some masking tape placed in position  in the region of the mounting holes that would secure the dumb iron to the chassis.  I correspondingly marked the centre line of the chassis bracket.  I offered the dumb iron up to the chassis bracket and aligned the two centre lines by looking through the mounting holes in the dumb iron and lining up the pencil marks on the bracket and the dumb iron. I positioned the dumb iron fore and aft, such the upward angle of the dumb iron was clear or the body shell and the rear vertical part of the dumb iron was as close to the body as could be achieved.  The dumb iron was clamped in place and position re-checked, adjusting if necessary. The operation was repeated for the other side.  Now I'm confident that the dumb irons are symmetrically placed on the chassis and I have as good a datum point as I can get to mark hte body work.  The upper portion of the dumb iron is held by an special offset bracket with a " UNF threaded bar and a chrome spacer. The body must be drilled to accept both and in line with the hole i the back of the dumb iron.  Place masking tape on the body in the region of where the hole is going to be cut.   I used a piece of " UNF studding about 3" long.  One end of the stud was angled to approximately match the curve of he body work .  The studding was inserted in to the hole in the dumb iron and secured finger tight with plain nuts and washers either side of the dumb iron. The studding was adjusted to length such that the angled end just touched the body work, ensuring there was no strain on the body  work or the dumb iron.  The position of the stud in relation to the body work  was marked using a fine felt tip pen.  I stopped at this point because I want to check the positioning of the special brackets  and the final position of the dumb iron, with respect to the dimensions on diagram 3-1 in the build manual, with Nostalgia

 

14/03/2005

2hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

Today was a voyage of discovery! . I spoke to Chris Boyer at Nostalgia about the fitting of the dumb irons.  He inspected and measured a vehicle for me as we spoke.   When positioned correctly the dumb iron clears the bottom of he body work by about 10mm.  At this point the dumb iron is positioned approx, 83 - 85 mm from the forward edge of  the chassis angle bracket.  The upper special bracket can be fitted with the  threaded bar offset inboard or our outboard depending on the best alignment with the dumb iron. Likewise the upper bracket can be fitted between the chassis bracket and the body shell or boot side of the chassis bracket, again depending on the alignment of the dumb iron. The chrome spacer will need trimming to about 75mm. This is only a guide and will depend on the position of the dumb iron and how far it is from the vertical position when finally fitted.  I had an e-mail from Martin Halliday about fitting the dumb irons with useful hints on alignment. Armed with al this information I can confidently tackle the job.   I've started by drilling  the passenger side of the body with a stepped drill  and opening the hole out with the Dremel fitted with a sanding drum.  I was speaking to Chris about fitting the rubber grommets and the thickness of the fibre glass, he said that it may be necessary to thin the shell by taking  some material out of the back of the shell.  I've just realised ,whilst writing this, that it may still be necessary  but not as bad as I thought, because I've drilled the hole in the horizontal plane, which means it goes through the body at an angle, making it appear thicker.   Once the hole is getting to the size of the grommet it can be shaped in the vertical plane and the thickness will be thinner. The flexibility of the grommet will adjust and take care of the chrome spacer passing through it parallel to the horizontal plane.

I've ordered all the parts for the Monza fuel cap from Think Automotive
 

16/03/2005

2hr

Rear dumb Irons

I did a little more work on opening out the hole for the dumb iron spacer on the passenger side. I decided I needed to get some 1/2 UNF plain nuts to connect the dumb iron to the upper bracket so that I could test the alignment.  it helped by holding the upper bracket rigid so that I could test the alignment with the offset inboard or outboard in relation to chassis bracket.  Whilst I was getting the nuts from Unimaster, John Hopkins to see if I still needed his help.  I lost no time in taking the front wing stays too him to bend them to the angle I had measured earlier.  It was fairly easy to bend them by hand using his large engineering vice. I also took the rear dumb iron upper brackets and chrome spacers to be modified.  As supplied the spacer butts up against the weld  joining the threaded part to the flat part of the bracket.  I got John to bore a countersunk recess in to the rear of the spacer, using the lathe,  so that it covered the weld and now butts directly against the flat part of the bracket. 
 

17/03/2004

2hrs

Front dumb iron &  Support Stays

 

I trial fitted the front support stays after our bending exercise yesterday. It was better but not correct.  I decided two heads were better than one, so called John to come over.  Between  us we decided that the RHS bracket needed to be twisted anticlockwise, at the chassis end,  to improve the vertical alignment in relation to the chassis bracket. The LHS needed a correction in the clockwise direction fro the same reason. The problem was how to twist them, we could not hold the end firmly in the vice and twist the body of the stay.  John found an old crank shaft with 2 webs about the correct width apart in the centre of the shaft. Holding the main part of the stay in the vide and fitting the crank shaft over the end gave us plenty of torque to twist the stay. Another trial fit showed the the right hand side needed a slight twist at the  top (dumb iron ) end.  This was done again using the crank shaft.  The LHS was misaligned, placing the chassis end of the bracket too far back and not parallel with the chassis bracket (front to back). This was corrected by bending the wing stay in the vice, lessening the bend on the upper (dumb iron )end and increasing the bend on the chassis end.  More trial fitting showed the RHS to be close enough but we had lessened the bend on the upper LHS wing stay too much, a simple matter ot adjust in the vice. this time the fit was almost perfect. Not tension is applied to the body by the stays and no shims were necessary.  We were lucky to find the old crankshaft but could have achieved the same result, with a couple of long metal bars bolted together to sandwich the end of the wing stay.
 

19/03/2005

5 hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

The front wing stays are painted and ready to be fitted.  While I was waiting for the paint to dry I've been working on the rear dumb iron. Starting with the passenger side I opened out the hole in the rear wing  sufficiently to pass the threaded portion of the upper mounting bracket through it. The flat portion of the bracket is fitted between the chassis bracket  (visible from inside the boot)  and the body. I mounted the dumb iron and clamped it in place.  I slipped a plain nut on to the upper bracket passed it through the hole in the dumb iron and put another plain nut on the back. the two nuts were done up finger tight to hold the upper bracket in position. Working from inside the boot I could now align the flat portion of the bracket with the chassis bracket.  With the bracket in position you cant see where the holes are to drill the chassis bracket. I  had made a thin card template of the flat portion of the dumb iron bracket. I put masking tape on the chassis bracket, carefully aligned the template with the dumb iron bracket and drew the position of the mounting holes on the masking tape.  I drilled a pilot hole first and when this looked as if it was  in the correct position I drilled a 10mm hole. I checked the alignment again and rechecked the position of the second hole. Satisfied I drilled the second hole.  Using 2 x 3/8" UNF bolts I checked than alignment of both holes , the bolts fitted perfectly and the bracket alignment was OK bur will need a shim at the rear to obtain the correct horizontal alignment.  It is virtually impossible to nuts on to the bolts, there simply isn't enough room to fingers and nuts o position to do them up. I believe Nostalgia use rivnuts but I decided my rivnut tool was not man enough to fit 3/8 UNF rivnut to the bracket.  My first idea was to weld a couple of plain nuts to the flat portion of the bracket but decided it would simpler and easier to glue the nuts in place. It is perfectly safe to do this because it is only required to hold the nuts in place during the tightening process after that they are under no more stress than nuts fitted without gluing them in place.  I cleaned the paint from around ht holes on the back of the bracket. I cleaned the face of the nuts and glued them in place with "Araldite" epoxy resin.   Once the glue was set I trial fitted the bracket it was easy to align the holes and tighten the bolts. 

It was all going so well......  I rechecked the alignment of the RHS ( driver side ) dumb iron and marked the body where the hole needed to be drilled.  The alignment looked good and I drilled a small pilot hole. Using a stepped drill to open out the hole. it was quickly obvious  the hole was nowhere near the correct position, horizontally, being far to far outboard in relation to the upper chassis bracket.  I do not know how or why this error occurred. It is far enough out that I will need to to a fibreglass repair. The dilemma I have is whether to correct the positioning the hole and the build up the body to fill the gap or complete the repair marking where the correct position should be, and start again.  I suspect  the latter will be the best solution in terms of appearance and strength. I stopped to think about it and will tackle it tomorrow.
 

20/03/2005

4hrs

Rear dumb Irons

I thought about the problem overnight and decided to fit the LHS dumb iron distance piece and grommet so that I could determine the size and position of the hole and assess the problem.   I fitted the LHS upper bracket and apart from a slight adjustment to the holes in the chassis bracket could take it on and off at will.  With the upper bracket in place and aligned with the dumb iron the dumb iron was removed so that I could fit the distance piece. This showed the hole to be to high and too small.  I marked the position of the distance piece on to the masking tape on the body. I carefully opened out the hole until I could fit the distance piece on to the bracket and through the hole. At this point I realised that I could not fully insert the distance piece up to the weld, as I had intended because the rear of the wheel arch would get in the way.  I prefer the way the bracket is mounted to moving it further rearward so that the distance piece fits, so I will look at this problem later.  I returned ot fitting the grommet. This has a 44 mm and a groove 2mm deep. This meant that I needed to open out the hole in the body work by about 2- 3. mm all round, It was also necessary to thin the fibreglass shell to accommodate the groove.  This was achieved using the sanding drum fitted to the Dremel.  I trial fitted the grommet but could not fit the distance piece because one of the nuts became detached from the bracket and had to be re-glued.

I have decided to fit the RHS dumb iron and distance piece before I repair the bodywork. I think that once this is done only a minimal repair will be needed.
 

21/03/2004

2hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

The fitting of the dumb irons is turning in to a right pig of a job!  I refitted the lhs upper bracket and tried fitting the distance piece. It looked like it needed opening out more at the top and bottom to take account of the fact that the grommet fits at an angle ot the spacer.  Several attempts to get hits right have resulted in the grommet being loose at the top and bottom and only being forced in to place when the distance piece is inserted and and angled to match the bracket.  it seems that  the real problem is using a circular grommet that is required to fit and oval hole. To cap ot all in attempting to fit the grommet and the  distance piece I managed to chip the top edge of the hole.  At this point frustration set in and I decided to quit for the day.
 

25/03/2005

3hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

I still haven't managed to get the rear dumb irons fitted properly.  I have been pondering the problem why, with the dumb iron positioned and centralized on the chassis bracket, I can't get a decent alignment and fitting to the upper bracket, particularly on the drivers side?   I decided not to worry about this and concentrate on the passenger side.  I Decided that the important thing was to get the upper bracket in place. In the process of doing this one of the nuts glued to the back came off and had to be refitted.  Once dry I decided to paint it before refitting it.

26/03/2005

4hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

I think part of the problem I was having was because I was trying to get as much of the flat part of the upper bracket in contact with the upper chassis bracket. This meant I was getting to much of the distance piece in side the car. I remembered the conversation I had had with Chris Boyer which indicated that only 5 mm of the distance piece was inside the car. So I took the bracket off and drilled the chassis bracket to move the bracket further rearwards. This got me over the problem of the distance piece coming in to contact with the inside of the wheel arch. With the bracket bolted in place the alignment of the dumb iron and distance piece had changed. After careful thought I positioned the dumb iron on to the chassis bracket such that it was central and 85 mm from the forward edge. and clamped it in to position.  I checked that I had plenty of clearance between the dumb iron and the bodywork. I drilled  the chassis bracket through the mounting hole in the dumb iron and secured it.  I fitted the upper bracket and the alignment was acceptable.  The hole in the bodywork is now nowhere near right and I will have to use some body filler on it and re-shape it.  Back to the drivers side with the intention of doing the same thing.   What ever I try  I cannot get the dumb iron to align.  With the dumb iron mounted as the LH (Passenger) side The upper bracket is too far outboard. I could shim it but this  will not give me enough room to fit the securing nuts between the bracket and the body.  If I secure the upper bracket to the chassis The dumb is too far inboard to mount on the lower chassis bracket.  I will need to talk to Nostalgia to see if they can  shed any light on why the alignment is so far out.
 

27/03/2005

2hrs

Front Support Stays

By  the end of yesterday I needed to fit something to get at least some sense of proportion and progress.  I unpacked the front bumpers to fit them. I checked the front wing stays and these were now a decent fit and newly painted  following our bending exercise earlier.  I fitted the studs to the bumpers and trial fitted them. They are a tight fit because of the curve to the outboard end of the dumb iron The knack is to start at the outboard end  and work inwards.  I thought the studs when fitted were too long, being easily visible at the back of the bumper. I removed the bumpers and shortened the studs by about " on the outboard stud and " on the inner studs.  I refitted the bumpers.  However with the bumper in place and tightened up, I noticed there was some tension introduced in to the bodywork and wing stays. I think this can be resolved by lessening the bend of the the outer edge of the dumb irons. I'll find out tomorrow.
 

28/03/2005

5hrs

Radiator & Cooling System

 

It's Easter Bank Holiday Monday, In a vain attempt to complete something this weekend I've decided to fit the radiator.  Carefully unpacking the radiator I realised I did not know exactly which way up it fitted or how the expansion tank and the plumbing connected up I guessed (correctly as it turned out ) that the bottom hose is the one with the additional connector going in to it.  Working from the cooling diagram from the XJ6 Haynes manual and some photographs of the Nostalgia demonstrator  I could deduce where most of the connections fitted and had a good idea about the rest, but  I decided to check with Nostalgia tomorrow.   In the mean time I checked the fitting of the radiator. it is a very tight fit at the top. I was having difficulty with the radiator coming in to contact with the fan. I decided to remove the fan to make it easier to feed the radiator down past it.  I fitted the Anti vibration (AV) mounts to the chassis and the lower right angled mounting brackets.    I removed the front bumpers and dumb irons  and will bend them on John Hopkins big vice tomorrow. Lastly I noticed that the front brake disks were looking a bit rusty. I jacked up the front of the car and removed the wheels. It was only light surface rust but it would have delayed bedding in of the disk pads or possibly caused some uneven braking effects if left. I cleaned the brake disks with chrome polish and one of those green pot cleaning cloths. This though slightly abrasive does get all the rust off.
 

29/03/2005

3hrs

Rear Dumb Irons

 

 

 

 

Radiator

A phone call to the factory resolved my problem with the rear dumb irons. U can shim the upper brackets to get the correct alignment and drill the body work to accommodate the nuts on the back of the upper bracket.   I also asked about the radiator fitting and the coolant plumbing to confirm my work of yesterday. I was correct in both orientation of the radiator and connecting the expansion tank plumbing.   This done I returned to fitting the radiator. Radiator cores are very delicate, without the fan in position it was easy to carefully feed the radiator down from the top. However once in place it was obvious I would not be able to refit the fan.  I managed to drop the radiator right down past chassis front cross member on to the floor. With the radiator safely down there I refitted the fan.  I protected the back of the radiator by placing a towel over the fan blades. Then I very carefully worked the radiator back up past the fan blades until the lower mountings in the radiator core were n line with the brackets. While I held the radiator in place Mary put the bolts in finger tight.  This is where the next problem appeared. The radiator was hard against the side of the engine bay aperture tilted back at an angle ( as expected) but was touching the fan blades. (2nd call of the day to Nostalgia to discuss the options).  We decided the only solution (it had been done before) was to cut two small triangular pieces out of the body work, where the radiator was touching. This would allow the top of the radiator to come further forward and clear the fan blades. Chris bowyer looked at a car in the workshop and said the the fan blades were clear of the radiator by about ".  I put masking tape on the body where the radiator was touching and marked a line parallel to the side of the radiator about " long.  I then drew a line parallel with the front to the radiator across the body  to the edge of the engine bay. ( To form  a small right angle triangle) these were cut out with a pad saw. The radiator moved forward free of the radiator.  To get the distance between the fan and the radiator correct it was necessary to extend the cut out by ". this was done in two stages to make sure that the minimum amount of material was removed.  now to fit the upper stays to the radiator, These connect to the top mounting hole and connect to the upright bracket on the chassis that is used to mount the inboard front body fixings. It fixes to the inboard inside of the bracket. It was necessary to drill and 6mm hole to mount the stay with an M6 bolt , 2 penny washers, spring washer and plain nut.    the last job of the day was to take the front dumb Irons and bumpers to John Hopkins and bend the outboard section of the dumb iron so that it was as close a fit as possible and not stressing the bodywork when mounted.  We held the dumb irons in the vice taking care the mounting holes were protected by being clamped in the jaws.  With some good thumps with a large hammer taking care the we were bending solid metal and not the mounting holes be persuaded the dumb iron to fit the back of the bumper. The will need repainting.  At last, it feels like some progress has been made.
 

30/03/2005

2hrs

Radiator

I've finished the mechanical part of fitting the radiator. I need to paint the stays and brackets.  I've started painting one of the stays.  I trial fitted the front dumb irons and bumpers. A much better fit now that I have bent the outboard ends to agree with the alignment of the bumper.  The bumpers are easier to fit and there is next to no stress introduced in to the body work when tightened up.   I took a few minutes to start working on the shims for the rear dumb iron upper mounting brackets. It looks like I might be able to drill the bodywork with a right angled drill and a stepped drill bit.  The driver side is still a cause for concern with a guesstimate of a 7mm shim required between the transition bracket and the chassis bracket.  It looks like I will have to compromise on the position of the dumb iron and the upper bracket to get an acceptable fit.
 

Total Hours this month = 49

 

Total hours to date = 1028