Monday, June 12, 2017

Gas Leaks, Lights, Center Console and Scuttle Bracing

Dateline - 06-10-2017 - As you can tell from the title, I did a lot of different things to the car this weekend.  First, I continued to trace down the gas smell in the trunk.  First, I pulled off the left outer fender valence to see if gas was leaking from the fittings in the take.  Nothing there.  So I replaced the gas filters in the tank with new metal based filters.  Not sure if that fixed the problem or not.  One thing I can say, this new gas, with all this alcohol in it, is really tough on plastic and rubber.  I put brand new Gates fuel lines in the car and they are now very soft!  And the plastic fuel filters I had in the car have really softened too.  I can't imagine what it its going to be line when they pass the E-15 standard.  I know they say it will ruin any car prior to 2000 because the alcohol will melt plastic and rubber parts.  I believe it!

I also worked on the two cross members that go from the fenders to the firewall.  I mentioned a couple of blog entries back that I spent some time grinding on the horrible welds that they did on these pieces.  This weekend I used some body filler to smooth out the finish and just need to do some finish sanding before I paint these up with gloss black paint.  They already look much better than what Jaguar put there!

I also worked on the back of the car.  I started looking at installing the reading lights in the back, but realized that I need a 90 degree drill to get to the areas I to mount the lights.  Wish I know about this before installing the back windscreen!  I guess I have an excuse to buy another tool!  Can't have enough tools.

Since I couldn't work on lights, I switched to working on the center console.  I got the cup holder I had ordered from Amazon that comes out of jeep and found that, with a little cutting, it worked perfect for where I wanted it.  Next, I broke out the pink foam and framed up the pieces for the center console, incorporating the cup holder into it.  Now that the framework done, I can break out the fiberglass!  More fiberglass!  Here are pictures of the center console in pink foam:




I have made the decision that I am not going to enter the car into the Greenwood show this year.  It was a close call, but with all that I have going on right now, and the state of the car, it just doesn't look like I will make it.  But next year the car will be completely done and it will be good and ready!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Power Steering Rack Replacement

Dateline - 06/03/2017 - This weekend was power steering rack replacement weekend.  After 40 years, the power steering rack seals had given up the ghost.  It was so bad that just sitting the car was leaking out all the fluid on the floor!  So I ordered a rebuilt rack several weeks ago, and have been waiting for it to come in.  Of course, it was special order, but it came in on Wednesday, so I had a big day planned for Saturday.

The replacement was pretty straight forward.  It would have been a lot easier if I had a rack and someone to help since it is a bit heavy (32 lbs) and awkward.  But I used a floor jack to hold it up while getting it out and putting it in and that helped a lot.  The biggest struggle was aligning the steering wheel shaft joint to the top of the rack.  I didn't want to take the dash apart to loosen the steering column, so I had to fiddle for about 30 minutes to get the shaft engaged.

Once that was done, it was a relatively simple matter of lifting the rack up and aligning the mounting points.  There are three (one on the passenger side and two on the driver side).  Of course, everything is a tight fit and really greasy, but patience ruled the day.  It only took about four hours, taking my time and doing it right.

Here is a picture of the old and new racks:

Old (on left) and new (on right) power steering racks

On Sunday, I took a little time to find out why I still have gas small in my trunk.  I was pretty sure it was coming from the left hand tank because when I only had gas in the right tank, no smell, but once I put gas in the left tank, I had smell!  Pretty simple troubleshooting!

So I drained the left tank again (fortunately I only put about two gallons of gas in) and pulled the hoses.  What I found was that I had tightened the hose clamps so much that the thin plastic fuel filter nipple had crushed!  Not enough to leak, but enough to let fumes enter the trunk.  I put a straight piece of hose in until I can get a metal fuel filter (will replace the one on the right side too when I run the tank down).  I think this will fix the problem, but I need to check today to see.

So, now I need to get he car insured and over to the paint shop to see if they can get the paint to match.

Am I going to make the Greenwood auto show at the end of the month?  We'll have to see.  It's getting tight now.  If anything, I would like to get to drive it some this summer.  I need to put some miles on to make sure everything is good and working correctly.  Lots of changes to the car over the last 7 years!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Initial Drive Issues Fixed and Video

Dateline - 05/14/2017 - Didn't work on the car on Saturday because I did a 20+ mile bike ride on Vashon Island (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vashon,_Washington), but did do some work on Sunday.  Wanted to focus on getting the issues we found driving the car, which was, no speedo, backup lights on when in park and flickering light on oil pressure gauge.

I decided to tackle the backup lights first.  This required that I take the shift lever boot cover and B&M plastic surround out so that I could get to the switches that are mounted on the shift lever.  It's fiddly work and requires taking the top part of the shift lever apart.  It's just two bolts and a clip and a spring, but it's still a bit of a PITA.  Once I had access to the switch I needed to do some troubleshooting.  There are two micro switches ganged together, one controls the backup lights (top one) and the other controls the ignition cutout (bottom).  The switches ride against the side of the shift mechanism which has lobes to close the switches depending on what gear you are in.  Easy system in principle, but it is very critical that the switches be the right distance from the shift body.  Well, they weren't.  Way to close.  In fact, both switches were engaged almost all the time.  I needed to get in with a big screw driver and lever the switches away from the body.  Once I got them the correct distance, all was well.  but this took several attempts to get it correct.

The second problem was that I had hooked the hot wire that goes to the LED lights on the dash and the one in the B&M console to the switched side of the backup lights.  Since the switch was on all the time, I never noticed the problem.  It was only after I got the switches working correctly that I noticed that the lights didn't work correctly.  That was an easy fix; just move the lead from one side of the switch to the other.  Done and done!

Next was the speedo.  I wasn't looking forward to this because I was pretty sure I had to take the dash apart!  Grrrrr.  Getting the dash out isn't that hard.  I needed to take the dash cover off, which just pulls out, take three screws out, and the dash comes right apart.  But once I put it together, I really didn't want to take it apart again!

Once I got to the back of speedo, I was able to troubleshoot.  I jacked up the rear of the car so that I could put it into gear and also get under it to get to the sender, which is right next to the exhaust.  I started tracing wires and realized that I forgot to hook the hot wire to the sender.  The wire was run correctly, I just didn't connect it at the speedo.  Two hours of troubleshooting (mainly because I had to wait for the exhaust to cool down), five minute fix!  Speedo now works.  Took about 10 minutes to put the dash back together,  

Before I put the dash pad back on, I looked at the oil pressure gauge light.  Of course, once I had everything apart, it worked fine and I could not get it to flicker!  So there is a loose wire someplace, but I've no idea where.  It will reoccur at some point.

So, now that the speedo is working, I need to calibrate it.  They have a really cool way to do this.  You press and hold the trip reset button then start the car.  The needle will move all the way to the right and hold at full.  You drive the car to the start of a measured two mile run.  Stop the car and press the button again.  The needle moves to half deflection.  You drive the two miles and stop, then press the button one more time.  Voila, it's calibrated.  It doesn't make any difference how fast you go or if you stop as long as you don't turn the power off.  It is measuring the number of pulses delivered by the sender unit over a two mile length.  The thing that will really impact the calibration is how accurate your measured two mile distance is.  Pretty cool! Fortunately, I have a couple of those "Your Speed Is" signs around that I can test the accuracy!

One thing I noticed while under the car is the power steering rack is REALLY leaking oil.  I mean, a lot of oil.  Looks like I need to replace that before I get to doing any serious driving!

So, as was promised in the last post, I have some video of the car.  Check these out on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/RR2jBWBEI0I

Thanks Matt for the video.

Monday, May 8, 2017

On the Road!

Dateline - 05/06/2017 - After almost seven years of being garage bound, the Jag finally drove under it's own power this weekend!!!!!!!  Matt and Karen came over to help me bleed the brakes on the car, which was a three hour job!  What a PITA!  But once we got it done, we took it out and drove it around the neighborhood!  Boy what a difference in driving experience.  Let's just say, it's not my Subaru WRX!  I have to remember that I'm driving a 1960's car!  I've got a video I'm going to post a little later, but here are just a few of the pictures that Matt took:















So there are a few kinks to work out.  My speedo isn't working.  The backup lights are on when I'm in park, and I have one bulb in the oil pressure gauge that has a faulty connection (flickers on and off).  Everything else is working fine!

On Sunday, I put in the new seat belts that I ordered last week.  Of course, it wasn't easy because the front passenger seat hit the auto retracter, which is just behind the seat on the rocker panel.  The driver side was fine.  So I had to fiddle with the height of the seat, eventually requiring me to pull the seat out completely and drill some new holes in the seat mounting bracket.

I also got the back seat belts installed, which required removing the seat cushions and drilling holes in the back firewall to mount the belts.  Nice that I used Velcro to hold the cushions on.  Rrrrriiiiiip!  They are out!  Fiddly work, but once it was done, it worked fine.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Back Seats are Done!!!

Dateline - Week of April 24, 2017 -  Spent every night last week sewing upholstery for the back seats.  Honestly, I'm gland I'm done for a while.  That was a lot of work!  Here are the seat pieces fully done.



Next was installation.  Easy to say, not so easy to do!  The plan was to mount the bottom bolsters, mount the back bolsters, glue Velcro strips on the the bolster frames then put in the cushions.  Easy! NOT! The outside bottom bolsters were pretty easy.  Position, mark, drill bolt down.  The inside bolsters, different story.  They are directly over the mufflers!  I had about 1.5" to get my hands into.  Not fun.  Plus, I had to reach the top of the bolts too.  So I took a long screwdriver and zip stripped the wrench to it so I could reach!

The back bolsters were easier to install, but I still had the reach issue because I had to reach in the car and into the trunk.  So, lots of extensions on the socket wrench and the extension on the wrench got the job done.

Passenger back seat installed

Passenger back seat deal
Last was epoxying the Velcro and letting it dry.  Since I had already sewn the opposite side of the the Velcro the to cushions, all I had to do was mark were the Velcro needed to be and glue it down.  Here is the result:

Driver side back seat showing Velcro glued to the seat frames
And finally, installation of the cushions:

Back seats installed


Back seats installed
I still have to figure out what I'm going to do with the area between the seats and the open area along the wheel well hump.  But I think that will wait. I'm doing with upholstery, at least for a week.

On Sunday I worked on some odds and ends.  There are panels that needed to be installed in the front wheel wells that I thought I would install.  Unfortunately, I needed to do some more prep work in the wheel wells first, so they didn't get installed.  But the hardware did get sand blasted and tin plated (I really like my tin plating setup!).

While I had the front tires off, I took some time to clean up the front headlight/side marker wiring.

Finally, I did some work on the fender cross members.  There are bars that run from the middle of the firewall to each fender to keep the fenders and front scuttle from shaking.  These are right in plan view but are some of the worst welding done on the car.  Sharp edges, nasty welds...yuk!  So I got out the angle grinder and my metal files and went to work cleaning them up.  I also put both through the sandblaster.  I still don't like the welds, so I think I'm going to treat them to some bondo.  No since doing all the nice work in engine bay to slap on a couple of nasty looking pieces of metal!

So, next weekend is the scheduled first drive!  Very exciting!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Seats, Tires and Gas

Dateline - 04/22/2017 - Another weekend of working on the back seats.  Did a lot of upholstery this weekend.  I finished 3.5 of the four side bolsters.  These take about four hours a piece when you take into account creating the templates, lay out, cutting, sewing, fitting, gluing and finishing.  It's just a lot of work.  To be honest, I'm going to be glad when I'm done!  Here are pictures:




I also got new tires for the car this weekend.  I got Bridgstone tires at Costco.  I figured that there wasn't a lot of reason to get expensive tires since I'm going to end up using them up doing burnouts! ;-)  I bought five because the old spare was in pretty bad shape (Like "A Christmas Story, "My old man's spare tires were actually only tires in the academic sense.  They were round, they had once been made of rubber.") and since the spare tire is on a nice chrome rim, I figured I could rotate it along with all the rest.

I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday cleaning and shining chrome wheels.  They really needed the time and attention.  The chrome, like the chrome on most of the car, is good but starting to pit and rust.  I cleaned them up, but they really need to be rechromed at some point.  Something that is not going to happen anytime in the future.

I also worked on the gas leak in the trunk.  I think it may be caused by using fuel line that is too large, so I bought a smaller size (5/16" instead of 3/8") and pulled all the fuel lines.  It is a good thing the gas tanks have drain plugs because, since they sit higher then the fuel feed, there is a strong siphon effect that wants to drain the tank into the trunk.  There was no gas in the right tank but about three gallons in the left one that I had to drain.  More used gas!  Hopefully this will fix the gas leak!  It was never very much, but it sure filled the trunk with gas fumes.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Weekend Working On Seats

Dateline - 04/15/2017 - Continued work on the back seats this week.  Worked on the upholstery for the passenger side seats and in doing so, I used the last of my material!  So I had to buy another three yards.  That should be enough to finish off the car...I hope!

Saturday I spent working on the bolsters.  Much easier to do the second set since I had a set that was already complete, I just needed to reverse them.  It still takes time.  It's a lot of cutting and gluing and trimming and gluing and cutting and fitting, but eventually you end up with all the pieces.  I did manage to dull the blades of my electric carving knife to the point that they barely cut now!  I can't get replacement blades for the knife so I'll end up throwing it away.  It's a shame really.  The handle and motor are fine.  It only cost $11, it's just such a waste.  Oh to live in a "throw away" world!

On Sunday I worked on the metal backing plates that are attached to the foam.  These are what will be bolted to the car body to hold the bolsters in place.  In those will be glued the Velcro that will hold the seat bottom and back in place.  It should all go together nicely, and I can remove the seat bottom and back easily if need be.

Here are pictures of all the seat parts sitting on the floor.  The different black and red paint doesn't mean anything.  I ran out of red, so used black.  Trying to use up some of these rattle cans I have lying around!




Once I get the rest of the material, I can start on rest of the upholstery.  In the meantime I need to get ready to drive the car in about three weeks, so time to put tires on order!