,

March 2006

Date Event

1/3/2006

4hrs

Windscreen

Floor boards

Gear Lever

The centre windscreen pillar securing nut and cap arrived today.  I fitted the centre pillar to the body using a packing piece between the scuttle and the bulkhead , to stop the scuttle pulling down when the post was tightened up.  I also needed to pack the underside of the bulkhead with washers  to take up the length of the shank so that the pillar could be fully tightened and secured up. Despite packing the side pillars with spacers to get the recommended distance between the top of the pillars and the "B" post within tolerance I could see  that the slope of the centre pillar was greater than the side pillars.  This would undoubtedly put a twist the windscreen with the possibility of cracking the glass. I will need to address this when I fit the windscreen itself.

I refitted the floor boards with longer stainless countersunk screws.  It improves the fitting all round and makes the screw heads less obtrusive under the carpet. 

I removed the gear lever assembly from the gearbox.  It took a little while to separate the lever itself from the bracket since the circlip was a little stubborn.  Once I had got the lever free I took it round to John Hopkins to see what we could do with it. The lever is really in two parts joined by a rubber bush crimped to the upper part.  I would have been easy to turn a new thread on the upper part if we could get the lever apart. Several thumps with a large hammer whilst the lever was held tightly in the vice did nothing. then we discovered someone had welded the two halves together and covered the weld with heat shrink sleeving.  To cut along story short we could not get the lever to run true in the lathe as it so we decided to make a sleeve to fit over the upper part of the lever. Cut a new thread on the top of the sleeve to match the knob.


2/3/2006

2hrs

Gear Lever

The new gear lever knob arrived today with a new XJ6 top hose for the radiator.  The knew knob has the gear lever pattern stamped on the top. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is not the correct one for the Getrag gearbox.  However it does fit the remains of the screw thread on the lever.  I had a design meeting with John this afternoon. We thrashed out all the options again but settled on the sleeve again but build in to it the possibility of  adjusting the height of the gear lever for optimum gear change and comfort.  I left the lever and knob with John.  

4/3/2006

5hrs

windscreen

Cooling system

Radiator Top Hose

I spoke to Nostalgia on Wednesday  to discuss the windscreen alignment and order another length of 45mm stainless tube to join the bottom hose and the water pump inlet . During the conversation it transpired somebody has had a failure of the cooling system caused by the tube blowing off from the hose.  I must admit It had crossed my mind as a possibility but  considered it unlikely if a significant amount of the steel tube was inside the hose and the whole thing tightly secured with a "jubilee" clip. As a result  I ordered some two 45mm pipe joiners from Merlin Motor Sport. These arrived yesterday.  I Started dismantling the water pump hose and inserting a new 76mm x 45mm joiner.  The new joiner has unit blow off ridges at each end and so should be fine when in operation. I got Merlin to make another joiner 250mm x 45mm.  This will fit the gap between the water pump hose and the radiator bottom hose. This is where the automatic transmission cooler would have fitted on theXJ6.  To get the two pipes aligned I remove the bottom  radiator hose and cut the last elbow from it (furthest  away from the radiator connection). I cut as little from the pipe as I could to make sure I could fit as much of the new joiner inside. Once all the pipes were connected and secured I refitted the radiator stays and tightened the radiator to the AV mounts.  The new pipe runs neatly across the car , without fouling chassis. 

Back to the top hose.  I spent the rest of the day. cutting measuring and trial fitting the new XJ6 top hose between the radiator and the thermostat housing.  Later in the day it was obvious that the hose was too long in the centre section to fit and that further modification would always result in the hose being flattened and restricting coolant flow. To prove the point I butchered the centre section of the hose  to fin out if  using 2 x right angled elbows would workIt almost does but the hose joiner needs to be very short.  I'm going to take some time and see if I can work out another solution that overcomes this problem.


5/3/2006

6hrs

Windscreen

Windscreen day.  A couple of days ago I decided that there was too much flex in he mounting of the central pillar, not only in the GRP scuttle but in the bulkhead.  I decided to make a stiffening plate that would sandwich the bulkhead plate between it and the spacer  under the scuttle. I found a piece of 3mm aluminium sheet just the right size to fit under the bulkhead mount. I drilled a hole in the centre for the pillar mounting stud put the packing washers in place and tightened the whole assembly up.  It certainly improved the rigidity of the plate and established the true angle for the windscreen.  I needed to remove the outer pillars to fit the windscreen glass and I could shim these to match the angle of the centre pillar. I believe that it is more important to get this angle right and ensure there is not twist in the glass than it is to meet the 715 mm +/- 5mm dimension in the build manual.  Why? because this measurement is subject to variation caused by: manufacturing tolerances of the GRP body, position of the "B" post and rear body, position of the bulkhead.  I fitted the N/S windscreen panel to test the fit and see how much and where the seal needed to be trimmed to fit. This involved a number of trial fits followed by trimming the seal and then refitting.  I was quite conservative in my trimming of the seal each time to make sure I got a good final fit. you can always take more off but you can't stick it back on.  I ended the day with the windscreen fitted in the pillars. It was necessary to tap the screen frame with a rubber hammer gently to get it to seat fully down in the frame. Be very gentle if you do this.  Once the windscreen was together I couldn't get the bottom mounting bolt on the drivers side windscreen pillar to engage in the keep plate.  I'll look at this again tomorrow.

6/3/2006

3hrs.

Windscreen

I wasn't aware before I fitted the windscreen that the seal overlaps the windscreen wiper shaft.  If you have fitted your Windscreen wiper wheel boxes remove them before fitting the windscreen. Once the windscreen is in place cut the seal around the holes where the windscreen wiper shaft emerges. Then refit the wheel boxes  so that the rubber washer and chrome sleeve fit over the windscreen seal and hold it in place. I removed the wheel boxes and trimmed the LHS windscreen seal around the hole in he GRP.   I can't do the RH one until I have fixed the windscreen panel in place. I spent the rest of the afternoon working out why I can't get the mounting bolts on the RH pillar aligned with the keep plate. It seems to be caused by a number of factors. The holes in the  double skin of the bulkhead not being aligned and restricting the amount of position adjustment. The pillar being pulled inwards to get correct alignment of the frame.  Possibly I need to open out the hole in the Scuttle for the side frame to make sure it is not restricting the position of the pillar. ...To be continued.
 

8/3/2006

4hrs

Windscreen

Gear Lever

I struggled to get the RH windscreen pillar and keep plates aligned.  Finally by a combination of taking about ⅛" off the top of the keep plate and opening out the holes in the bulkhead I got then aligned and the mounting bolts engaged. There was enough free play to pull the pillar inboard and screw it to the windscreen.  I ended up with 4 spacing washers on the RHS bottom mounting bolt and 3 spacing washers on the LHS bottom mounting bolt. . This got the measurement from the top of the pillar to the "B" post to the minimum, 710 mm.  I still had to fit the centre pillar capping strip.  I could fit the screws that fitted to the front and back of the pillar with a little persuasion from a rubber hammer to align the holes.  There are two holes in the top of the centre pillar cap which are meant to align with two nuts inserted in the top channel of he windscreen.  As delivered mine were set too far outboard and needed to be moved under the capping strip. With the cap removed,  to move the nuts inboard  it is necessary to remove the two securing screws set in to the windscreen channel. The nuts are a actually ordinary hex nuts with the sides ground off to fit in to the windscreen channel.  I found it was necessary to remove them and grind the ends off as well to clear the channel securing screws and get then to align with the holes in the cap. Once modified the windscreen channel securing screws were tightened up. The cap refitted and the nuts lined up with the top screws and all the screws tightened up. I trimmed the seal around the hole for the RH windscreen wiper wheel box. I refitted the wheel box with the gasket and securing nut on top of the seal and holding it down.   The windscreen was fitted.  I am not going to do any more, for the moment, because it will have to come off again for painting after that  it can be finally fitted and adjusted.   

I reassembled the gear lever and fitted it to the gearbox. the new gear knob and fitting worked well. As I suspected though the pattern on the top of the knob did not match the gearbox selection.  The knob was marked with the reverse ass extreme right and back (the same as the " Ford", Borg Warner T5 pattern Part No: C23007X ).  The Getrag box has reverse completely opposite i.e. extreme left and forward. I contacted SNG Barrette and they have agreed to exchange it with the  correct pattern Knob (part No: C23007G)

9/3/2006

2hrs

Radiator Top Hose

Last Tuesday I had another attempt at fitting the XJ6 top hose and finally came to the conclusion it would never fit to my satisfaction.   I contacted Merlin Motorsport and ordered  2x 38mm 90 elbow Hoses and a 50mm hose joiner.  These arrived today.   Of course they were much to long but I was able to fit them to the radiator and the thermostat housing such that they overlapped at the centre.  I shortened each hose in turn with a sharp Stanley knife refitting after each adjustment until  they were short enough to meet and approximately aligned.  I then fitted the hose joiner to the top hose and worked it in to the bottom hose until they were joined with an equal amount of the joiner in each.  I then secured all the hoses with jubilee clips.  It is not he most elegant of installations but it does the job of connecting the radiator to the engine.  the Hoses supplied are standard blue ones. I will order two black ones when I have proved the installation is sound.
 

11/3/2006

6hrs

Rear Bulkhead

Today's task was to fit the rear bulkhead.  This fibreglass panel fits between  inner rear wheel arches and encloses the lower half of the chassis. below the fuel tank and the floor.   This involved a lot of fitting and removing to drill holes in the bulkhead and corresponding holes in the chassis rails and floor boards.  the bulkhead is a tight fit and some mild force is needed to get it to fit in between the inner body , seat belt mounts and the chassis cross member.  Also mine was not a particularly good fit but the build manual wars you of this. with the best fit I could get, I drilled the lower flange on the panel the chassis rail and floor boards  with pilot holes. I took the bulkhead out and opened up the holes to accept M5 screws and nuts.  The two outer holes next to the seat belt mounts go in to the side chassis rail. these holes were temporarily set to accept spire bolts and will be changed to M5 rivnuts when I finally fit the floor boards.  I put the panel back in and tightened the bolts to hold the bottom flange of the bulkhead flat to the floor. The top of the bulkhead was now some 10mm away from the cross member, I to could be pulled back by the securing bolts but it would have put some strain and tension in to the bulkhead.  It is caused by the angle moulded in to the bulkhead not being quite correct for my chassis.  Since the bulkhead is not structural but merely a closing panel I decided to cut the sides of the bulkhead down to he apex  of the angle. This would increase the flexibility of the panel once hate panel is secured in place the cut will open up and can be filled with resin filler to correct the angel and restore the integrity of the panel.  I marked and drilled pilot holes  the top edge of the bulkhead to  and transferred these marks to the cross member. I removed the bulkhead again and opened out ht holes to accept M5 Screws. I drilled the cross member to accept  and fitted M5 Rivnuts. I cut the bulkhead as described above. I refitted the bulkhead and secured both top and bottom flanges. As predicted the quality of the fit improved especially along the top edge. the cuts in the side did open up, but there is less tension in the panel and they can be easily filled with Resin filler.
 

12/3/2004

3hrs

Today I did some tiding up jobs like inserting some missing rivets from the "B" post fixings. I removed the masking tape from the edges of the doors and around the locks. I adjusted the bonnet lock.  the rest of the time I spent assessing a variety of jobs like the dashboard bracket fixings, the fixing of the vent boxes and sill guards, Gearbox  cover and transmission tunnel.

13/03/2006

3hrs

Gearbox cover

Demister Pipes & vents

Part of the reason for not much progress yesterday was the items I looked at all raised questions over their fitting.  I spoke to Simon at Nostalgia today.  The prop shaft / transmission cover fits over the rear bulkhead but under the gearbox cover. Also the prop shaft cover needs trimming to fit between the seat belt brackets.  The gearbox cover needs a hole cutting for the gear lever and the hand brake. The hole for the gear lever depends on the gearbox and it's position in the  car, but obviously needs to be big enough not to restrict the gear selection. The hand brake hole is in the side and is an approximate wedge shape,  with approximate dimensions ,measured from the flange, 50mm from the back of the cover, 50mm high , 125 mm long and 100mm high at the front.  the procedure for cutting both holes  is start small and enlarge to fit.  I also asked about fitting the vent boxes and got clarification of the fitting instructions in the manual which is broadly correct.  The only point not covered is that these boxes are to the original spec and therefore need packing behind the flap to cope with the thickness of fibreglass, Also make sure the thickness of fibreglass is even around the rim. Thin the fibreglass to an acceptable thickness.  Lastly I asked about the dashboard brackets. These fouled the pipes and fishtail vents of the heater. I surmised the vents needed to be pushed forward to allow the heater pipes to pass through the cut out in the brackets and allow the brackets to sit squarely on the bulkhead.  When I tried it there was aloud crack but no visible damage. I presumed it was the edge of the vent catching on the slot in the fibreglass  scuttle.   Nostalgia's answer is to trim some metal from the fish tails to allow the fishtails to pushed forward without cooing in contact with the slot.   I took the vents pipes and fish tail off this afternoon. I cut about 3mm from one side of the fishtail that fits up under the scuttle. This is now designated the forward edge. The fishtails are held in place by extensions to the "mounting ears"  so that they match the  mounting holes in chrome vents on the top of the scuttle and to avoid drilling two holes very close together. My extensions were pop riveted in place but could have been welded. when I took the fish tails off the extensions were slightly loose and able to pivot on the pop rivet. I decide to remove them to get a rigid fixing by a combination of bonding them in place with epoxy resin and a pop rivet. This I have done and I'm wafting for them to cure before fitting them and retrying the dash board brackets

Later on the resin had cured enough to refit the fishtails to the scuttle. the modifications worked well and the dash panel brackets now line up with the heater vent pipe passing through the cut-out.  Before I can finally fit them I need to fit some M6 steel Rivnuts to the bulkhead.  I'm not sure my hand riveter will be strong enough to  pull up the steel Rivnuts. I have an idea of how to make a tool similar to the M8  Rivnut Setting tool I make earlier.  I'll try and talk to John Hopkins tomorrow.
 

14/03/2006

2hrs

Rivnuts

I was right the "Laser" rivnut insertion tool works fine with aluminium rivnuts but can't cope with steel ones.   You can't exert enough pressure on the two handles to pull up the rivnuts for two reasons pure strength and also in this position tucked up under the scuttle and adjacent to the steering column bracket it is difficult to get the tool into the right position to use it effectively.   The only answer is to modify the home made tool I made for inserting M8 rivnuts.
 

15/03/2006

4hrs

Steering Column

I went to see John Hopkins today to ask if he would make the parts to modify the rivnut insertion tool. I needed a new mandrel to the same dimensions as the previous one tapped to M6 on one end & the other M8. At the same time, since I have got the steering column lowered to the chassis for access to the dash brackets, I asked John to make two spacers for the lower steering column bracket, to replace the pile of washers I had used to gauge the size of the distance piece required (9.1mm).  I spent the rest of the time marking the chassis to position the gearbox cover  and prop shaft cover.

16/03/2006

1hr

Gearbox Cover

I grabbed a few minutes today to mark the gearbox cover for the handbrake cut out and cutting out the flange of the prop shaft cover so that it fits between the set belt brackets.

17/03/2006

1hr

Gear Lever

The new gear knob turned up from SNG Barratt today.  As soon as I opened it I could see it was the wrong one. I checked the invoice to find that they had replaced the one I sent back with one that was exactly the same. I called them and they were full of apologies and put it down to a plain mistake.  They have plenty of the Getrag gear knobs in stock and have promised to put the correct on in the post.  We will wait and see.
 

18/03/2006

3hrs

Gearbox cover

Steering Column

Today was always going to be a bitty day, interrupted by qualifying for the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix.  I removed the gear lever again because I think it will be easier to get a good fit for the gearbox cover if I only have one hole to measure and cut at a time.  So I intend to start with the handbrake. Once this hole is cut and trimmed to size and the gearbox cover in place, I can then work where the gear lever hole  needs to be cut more accurately.
The new spacers for the steering column and  parts for the rivnut tool won't be ready until tomorrow. I set about painting the dash panel brackets and of course whilst these were drying I couldn't make a dust by cutting the gearbox cover.
I made up my time by removing the masking tape from the "B" posts used to the door lock potions and refitted the door locks. I also completed fitting the remaining rivets in the "B" post.

 

19/03/2006

4hs

Steering Column

John gave me the new spacers and parts for the rivnut tool today. My first job was to fit an M6 stud for the rivnut and transfer the M8 operating rod from the M8 tool. I had already opened out the holes in the bulkhead to accept the rivets. This  wasn't easy since the bulkhead is very thin and the drill tended to bind and bite rather than cut a new hole. I finished them off with a round file and painted the bare metal to protect it.  Secondly the RHS holes are very close  to the steering column bracket which makes them awkward to reach and  drill.  The new tool worked well setting the rivnuts in place. Once a gain the RHS was more difficult and I had to use some spacing washers in the rivnut end of the tool; to get it  as square as possible with the bulkhead and work around the steering column bracket. Eventually I got as good a fit as I could get. completely secure but not quite square. There is enough tolerance in the dash board brackets to compensate for this.  I gave the dash board brackets several more coats of paint and painted the spacers.

20/03/2006

2hrs

Demister Vents and pipe work

It was good to actually finish some jobs today after all the preparation work over the past week.  The heater fish tails I repainted yesterday had dried and I refitted them the scuttle and refitted the heater ducting to them.  The dash panel brackets had also dried I positioned them so that the heater ducting passed through them. then lining them up with the rivnuts in the bulkhead, I secured them with M6 x25mm set screws , spring and plain washers. With the dash panel brackets in place, I refitted the steering column using the new  9.1mm spacers  in the lower bracket. 

I got some more M5 countersunk screws and "penny" washers from Unimaster. I used these to secure the sides of the rear bulkhead to the rear body section. I've completed the LHS and will fish the RHS tomorrow.
 

22/03/2006

3hrs

Gearbox Cover

Gearbox Mount

"The best laid schemes" began with an emergency phone call from the surgery, which took me most of the morning to fix. This afternoon I finished fixing the rear bulkhead to the RHS of the body shell.  Then it was time to tackle the gear box cover.  I had spoken to Simon at Nostalgia earlier and got approximate dimensions of the cut out for the handbrake.  It looked like it was going to be a difficult fit in terms of space to manoeuvre the gear box cover over the hand brake without cutting the flange on the gear box cover.  I called Nostalgia and spoke to Malcolm. My interpretation of the shape of the cut out, from my conversation with Simon, was entirely wrong. The shape is an  approximate ellipse, positioned higher at the front and the back some 5 " long, the flange is retained intact and the lower potion of the ellipse comes to about 1" above the flange.  Cutting the hole is a matter of trial and error . I couldn't find a way of accurately measuring the position of the hole and ended up making a guess,  well inside the limit of the cut out in the hope that once cut it could be enlarged to fit.   It is also easier to disconnect the handbrake cable. the Handbrake leaver cant hen be pulled up almost vertical and makes the fitting of the cover  and determination of where the to drill the first hole easier.  I drilled a hole and opened it up to about 1" diameter. I trial fitted the cover and opened out the hole towards the ellipse several times. Each time improving the fit and lowering the cover over the hand brake lever toward it's final fitting position.  I had almost got the cut out to the correct size and shape when I discovered that the cover was resting on the top of the gear box before it came in to contact with the floor boards.  In a way I was not surprised because the gear box tail mount was a new design, by me, because nobody has used the XK engine and Getrag gearbox combination before.  I suspect the tail mount is too high. I will need to disconnect it, supporting the gearbox on a bottle jack. Lower the gear box until it is clear of he cover and then make a new mount.  All of this should be reasonably easy to do proving the is enough space on the length of the splines that connect the gearbox and prop shaft together to accommodate it.
 

23/03/2006

2hrs

Gearbox mount

I didn't explain very well yesterday. Since the prop shaft length is fixed as the gearbox is lowered the prop shaft will be pushed further on to the splines at the back of the gearbox.  I'm sure that when I fitted the prop shaft it could be slid further on to the splines than was necessary.   I supported the back of the gearbox from underneath with a bottle jack. I disconnected the upper rear mounting bracket, The threaded rod and spacers that connected it to the lower bracket.  Gently and carefully I lowered the supporting jack to lower the back of the gear box.  I was right, the prop shaft just slid further on to the splines. As I lowered the gearbox I noticed that the Speedo take off was getting very close to the cross member, and likely to foul it once the gearbox was finally in position. I removed it and will need to look at modifying it or the cross member to get it to fit.  I lowered the gear box until I could get the gearbox cover flat on the floor boards.  I then returned to work on shaping the hole for the hand brake lever.  This was a case of operating the hand brake seeing where it came in contact with the gearbox cover  and trimming the hole until the operation did not foul the gearbox cover.  I continued with this until the hand brake lever could be operated freely over it's full extent. Observation showed that the gear box cover was still just resting on the upper gear lever mounts and could do with lowering a touch further.  However I can't do this at the moment because the casting web at the bottom of the gear box comes in contact with the anti-vibration mount on the cross member.  I have to think of a solution for this
 

24/03/2006

2hrs

Gearbox mount

The solution is simple. Abandon the single A/V mount  in the centre of the cross member in favour of two A/V mounts either side of the centre line. This avoids the upper studs coming in contact with the gearbox and gives sufficient clearance to lower the gearbox to the desired position.  I checked his out with Nostalgia to make sure that it was viable and there was no other reasons on the finished vehicle that would be compromised by doing this.  I also checked that the structural integrity would not be compromised by cutting a piece out of the side of the cross member to accommodate the speedo drive adapter.   It seems that his is the norm when using the Getrag gearbox.   I  also  found out the part number for the radiator a/v mounts  Bosal 255-333. these would seem to be ideal fro the new gearbox rear mounting.  I went to "Parts Direct" a local motor factor to see if I could source some. They could get them, but did not have any in stock. They did have Bosal 255-474. These looked like a good alternative. the are cylindrical "cotton reel" types shorter than the original mount and feeling slightly stiffer than the 255-333 mounts.  I decided to get these and try them.  Back at the garage I dismantled the gear box mount.  One advantage of the new mounts were that because there are two of them they are better able to compensate fro torque movement also because of there size,  I was still able to work within the confines of the existing gearbox mount rather than extend the lower bracket outboard this meant that I should not have any problems with it coming in contact with the gearbox cover.  used the bottom bracket from the old gearbox mount as a template and  made a new bottom bracket from 6mm x 35mm steel strip. I drilled 2 x 8mm holes half way between the centre line and the outer holes used to support the gearbox
 

25/03/2006

8hrs

Gearbox mount

I decided it was going to be easier  to remove the rear bulkhead and floor boards to remove the cross member. I duly removed them and the cross member.   I used the old bracket as a template to drill the cross member for the new A/V mounts.   I fitted the new A/V mounts and refitted the cross member. I fitted the lower bracket to the A/V mounts in I lowered the gear box to the approximate position (note with out the speedo adapter fitted.  In the new position the old distance pieces and the threaded connecting rod were too long. To determine the correct position and hence the length of the spacers, I fitted two extra nuts each side. One above the bottom bracket to hold the connecting rod in place when tightened against the lower bracket. The other below the top brocket  to provide a height adjustment.  I fitted he top bracket to the gearbox and tightened the securing nuts.  I now temporarily refitted the floor boards and the gear box cover.  The top gear lever mounts no longer touch the underside of the gear box cover and the bottom of the gearbox is clear of the cross member.  I removed the gearbox cover and the floor boards.  Using a pair of interior calipers I measured between the two internal nuts to determine the length of the spacers. (76 mm) I made new spacers out of  2x steel tubes pressed one inside the other.  I fitted the new spacers and  removed the supporting jack from underneath the car.  The gearbox was mow entirely supported by the new mounting,  I made some approximate measurements using the speedo adapter to determine the size of he cut out required in the side of the cross member.  Whilst I was at it I decided to measure the position of the bottom web of the gear box  with a view to cutting a slot in the cross member in case I needed to lower the gearbox further.   I removed the floor boards and the gearbox cover again . three now followed a period of removing the the gearbox mount followed by the cross member, cutting the shape required for the speedo adapter and the bottom web, refitting the cross member and the gearbox mount. (all the while the gearbox was supported by the bottle jack from underneath).   After each fitting the curt outs were tested for size, shape and clearance against the gearbox.   The cross member was marked to determine how adjust the cut out.  Then it was all removed again to cut the cut out to it's new shape and so on.  This operation was time consuming but done in easy stages, so that only just the right amount of metal was removed.  

26/03/2006

3hrs.

Gearbox Mount

I made one final adjustment to the cut outs in the cross member  followed by one last fitting.  I'm satisfied that there is sufficient clearance between the gearbox and the cross member and the speedo adapter and the cross member. The gearbox is secure and supported under it's own weight by the new mounting Time to take it all apart for painting.

27/03/2006

2hrs

Gearbox mount

The day was so wet and rainy that the paint was barely dry on the cross member. I put the heater on in the garage for an hour to try and harden the paint before attempting to fit it.  By mid afternoon the paint was still a little tacky but I decided I could fit the components together with care.  I refitted the cross member,  I found the easiest way to fit the new gearbox mount was to fit the A/V mounts to the bottom bracket followed by the supporting threaded rods. Secure the threaded rods in place with plain washers top and bottom, an M10 nyloc nut underneath and an M10 plain nut on top.  Feed the assembly around the tail of the gearbox and locate the A/V mounts in the cross member and tighten them up. Lower the gearbox to the approximate position by lowering the supporting bottle jack. Place the spacers over the supporting rods. Tighten them down with a M10 plain nuts, Fit plain washers over the threaded rods , followed by the upper support bracket. Secure the upper support bracket to the gear box with M8 Set screws plain and spring washers.  Secure the upper support bracket to the threaded support rods with plain washers and M10 nyloc nuts.  Remove the bottle jack and the gearbox is secured in position. I refitted the floor boards.  The next task is to finish fitting the gearbox cover. I deferred doing this until the paint is completely hardened
 

28/03/2006

2hrs.

Gearbox cover

I have been thinking about the best way to position the gearbox cover and drill the hole for the gear lever as accurately as possible.   I decide the best way was to remove the gear lever from it's mounting and refit the mounting only to the top of the gear box.   I put masking tape on the inside of the gearbox cover approximately where the gear lever would come. I refitted the gearbox cover and marked the position of the gear lever hole  on the masking tape, using the gear lever mounting as a template . I worked out the approximate centre and drilled a pilot hole.  I then use a hole saw to cut the hole to the Slightly undersize to that required. IO expect to have to adjust the size and position of the hole on final assembly.  I adjusted the brake leave hole to makes sure the gearbox cover was not being held back by the hand brake and the the handbrake would operate over its full range.  The final position of both of these holes will depend on the 25mm x 12mm seal fitted between the cover , floorboards and bulkhead. I've started to place the seal in place temporarily so that I can gauge any further adjustments I have to make.
 

29/03/2006

7hrs

Gearbox cover

 

Floor Boards

It seems that Wednesdays never go according to plan,  I started by looking at trial fitting the gearbox cover to the bulkhead and the floor boards.  I spoke to Chris and Simon at Nostalgia to check the fitting sequence. "Fit the rubber seals first, followed by bolting it to the bulkhead and finally attaching it to the floor boards.  I also checked if here was any reason I could not use rivnuts  for the bulkhead fixing. I can use them if I can fit them . The problem is where to start?  tightening down the gearbox cover will compress the seal which will misalign the holes Whilst pondering the problem of  aligning the gearbox cover with the bulkhead  I realised If I was going to be at all accurate with the  fixing holes I needed to have completed the fitting of the floor boards, rear bulkhead and transmission cover.   So that is where I started.  The LHS (passenger side)  floor board overlapped the bottom return of the front bulkhead.  This lifted the floor board  slightly proud of the chassis. Granted it will be finally fitted on a bed of sealer but I decided to trim the front of the floor board so that it would lie flat on the chassis and abut the bulkhead return.  I took the floor board out and trimmed it with a fine wood  saw.  I took the RH floor board out and trimmed it likewise.   I also trimmed about 10mm from the rear of the floor board because it was slightly too long and riding up the rear chassis upright. To my mind trimming the floor boards vastly improved the quality of their fit.  With the floor boards back in place it was time to look at fitting the stainless sill guards. the fit between the "B" post and slide under the "A" post. the fit tight to the chassis rail and up against the floor boards.  The top is higher than the floor boards and forms the carpet retaining strip,  I started work on the LHS. I found it was necessary to trim approx 7mm of the side of the floor board so that the sill guard would fit flush against the chassis rail. What you are trying to achieve is,  when the the floor board is in position, it is about   37mm from the edge and parallel  with the chassis rail, over the width of the door to  under the "A" post.  The back of the sill guard has to be trimmed to match the angles of the "B" post  for a flush fit.  I measured and marked the angles on to the sill guard with a bevel gauge and cut them with a hack saw. It may be easier to do this operation without the floor board in place. adjust he angles for accuracy and a flush fit with a file, I found it necessary to trim about 10mm of the floor board at the front and adjust the length of the sill guard to 740mm (measured along the edge of the chassis rail)  to get the sill guard to fit. The sill guard is retained with 6x M5, Button head, stainless ,  screws.  3 x 5.5 mm clearance holes are drilled in the side of the sill guard to correspond with the centre of the chassis rail, 3 more holes are drilled in the top of the sill guard to fasten it to the top of he chassis rail . I drilled corresponding 4.5mm holes in the chassis rail land tapped these to M5 thread.  I secured the sill guard to the chassis rail
 

30/03/2006

3hrs

Door sills

Instead of finishing off the fitting of the door sills today was disaster recovery day. Why? Because the sill guard I fitted yesterday was the wrong one.  You can ignore much of what I said yesterday as drivel.  The mistake arose out of the conversation I had with Chris yesterday, He said the sills were handed (and they are) "The narrow part is the front.  I misinterpreted this the sills narrower at one end than the other if you look at the side. When I looked then in the light of today they are also narrower at one end than the other if you look down on them from the top.  Chris meant the latter I interpreted it as the former.  The correct fitting is, from the top view, the narrow end fits under the "A" post.   From  the side the Deep part is at the front  and the narrow part is at the back.  It should match the depth of the bodywork at the "A" post  and the rear body shell at the "B"  post.    Effectively I had mounted the RH sill guard to the LHS.   I removed the sill guard I fitted yesterday. I cut and trimmed the correct sill guard to fit the angle of the "B" post and match the floor board user the "A" post at he front. Once consequence of yesterday was I had trimmed too much off the side of the floor board but not enough to be a problem and it is hidden by the sill guard anyway.  I then had to work out how to pick up on the tapped holes I put in the chassis yesterday.  In the end, I chose to take the head off  a long M5 screw insert it in the hole mark the end of it with engineers blue an carefully fit the sill. where the blue was transferred to the inside of the sill corresponded to the screw hole.  I drilled a small pilot hole in the centre of the mark  and  checked it's alignment with the corresponding  hole in the chassis. I gradually opened  out the hole with a "rat tail" file to accept the M5 securing screw, adjusting it's position  and alignment frequently until It fitted securing he sill in place.  

I can foresee a problem when it comes to fit the remaining sill I will need to trim each end to match the "A" and "B Post, with the possibility it may then be too short.
 

31/03/2006

4hrs

Door sills

Disaster recovery part 2. I was concerned that the RHS sill (the one I had incorrectly fitted to the LHS) would be too short once it was reshaped to fit the RHS.  I decided to tackle this early in case I needed to order a replacement from Nostalgia before they closed for the weekend.  I started by squaring off the front with try square. Trimming off a little metal as I could with a hack saw. (Correcting the angle I had cut to fit the LF "B" post).   I then marked the RH "B" post angles on the back of the sill guard using a bevel. Again I trimmed as little metal as I could but made sure the angles cut in to the sill matched the "B" post.  I tried the sill guard in place overall it was long enough to under lap the "A" post without cause fro concern.    Satisfied I returned to the LHS and drilled the remaining hole for the side. Trial fitted the sill to make sure all the holes lined up and the screws fitted.  I was now left with locating and drilling the securing holes in the top. I tried the same method as had worked for the side holes. Using a grub skew in the hole and covering the end  with engineers blue I carefully fitted the sill guard.   the transfer of die told me where the screw holes were in relation to the sill.  the problem was I could not get at them to centre punch the mark to stop the drill slipping off centre.  I spent quite along time pondering different solutions  Most of them presented the difficulty of accurately marking where the hole should be drilled when you can't see the hole in the chassis because it is covered by the sill.  I really wanted to use the same holes and avoid drilling additional hoes in the chassis.  Eventually I hit upon the using the RH sill guard which I had already drilled when I fitted it to the LHS  incorrectly. With it in place I could see the holes in the chassis and  accurately measure the position from  from the edge of the sill. I transferred these measurements to the LHS sill guard and drilled a small pilot hole. I fitted the LHS sill guard and tested the alignment of the pilot hole with eh chassis hole.  In two out of the three holes I was spot on.  For these it was just a case of carefully opening out the holes until the screws fitted perfectly. For the third I was slightly too far forward.  For this hole I adjusted the position with a round file and then gradually opened out the hole until the screw fitted.  The recovery was worse than the original fitting but I m pleased with the end result. I have managed to utilise the the same holes. the sill is a good tight fit against the chassis rail and contoured to match the "B" post.    The RHS should be easier to do,  since all that remains is to fit it to the chassis and drill through the pre-drilled holes . Thread the holes in the chassis with an M5 tap and secure with the stainless screws.
 

Total Hours this month = 91

 

Total hours to date = 1580.0