Monday, November 13, 2017

Summers Over - Time to Get Back To It!

Dateline - 11/11/2017 - Well, Summer and Fall are over, at least it feels like it here in the Pacific Northwest, so it is time to get back to the car. 

Not much left to do now!  I need to finish up the back door panels and the center console and detail the trunk!  Seems like I can get that done this winter.

Saturday I was in the garage sawing and shaving pink insulation foam again as I started work on the door panels.  I didn't take any pictures, but I'll refer you back to this prior post ( since it is pretty much the same work.

I finished most of the panels themselves although there is a little more work to be done on each, and have carved the door handles.  I should be able to do the fiberglass work after the Thanksgiving break.  Once that is done, all that is left is upholstery!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gas Smell Fixed and More Interior Upholstery

Dateline - 07/09/2017 - Well, looks like I got the gas smell fixed.  I can only figure it was the fuel line I bought.  These new alcohol based fuels need special fuel line and the marine grade I purchased seemed to do the trick.  Here is a picture of the finished setup:
Trunk with fuel lines
I did more work on the back upholstery, finishing the filler pad on the left had back seat and the seat belt well at the base of the seat.  Here are pictures of the right hand side.  The left looks the same.

Right side back seat bolster with over-shoulder reading light 

Right side back seat bolster with over-shoulder reading light

Right side back seat belt pocket
Right side back seat belt pocket with belt in place.

I also worked on cleaning up the hubcaps.  They had rusted inside the caps so I used some Navel Jelly to get rid of the really thick stuff and then painted them with rust inhibitor paint.  I will paint them next weekend.  I also removed the chipped paint around the Jaguar Head emblems in the centers and will mask and paint those too.  The caps are not prefect and have a few spots of rust in the chrome, but I'm going to use them for now.  They really need to be re-chromed, but I can worry about that at another time.

That was about it for Sunday.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Still Chasing Gas Smell and Doing Upholstery

Dateline - 07/01/2017 - I'm still chasing that gas smell in the truck.  I've gotten frustrated enough that I've ripped out everything in the trunk and starting over.  This time, I bought five feet of marine grade fuel hose a West Marine at $5.50 a foot (YIKES!) and started by plugging the hose directly into the right fuel tank and into the fuel input in the front wall of the trunk.  Then I completely washed the back of the trunk with dish washing soap to get any gas residue out.  Then started the car, let it run for awhile and checked for leaks.  Then I closed the trunk lid and let it sit.  No smell.

So, next, I pinched off the hose with a hose pinch tool, cut the hose at the fuel inlet and inserted a new steel tube that I made to run along the bottom of the trunk up to the fuel feed selection solenoid.  Cleaned everything, let it dry, started the engine, checked for leaks, then closed the trunk lid for six hours.  No smell.

Next I inserted a fuel filter into the hose coming out of the tank by pinching the hose at the tank, cutting the hose, inserting the filter, cleaning everything, letting it dry, starting the car, checking for leaks, than closed the lid for six hours.  No smell.

So now I inserted the fuel feed selection solenoid by pinching the fuel hose after the new fuel filter, cutting the hose to size and inserting it onto the right inlet side of the solenoid.  Next I cut the hose connected to the steel tubing to fit and slipped it on the solenoid's output fitting.  I needed to make sure the left intake side was plugged so that I didn't get any gas leaks there, so I took the remainder of the hose, slipped it on the solenoid and plugged the other end with a bold. Clean, start the car, close the lid.  No smell.

Now, time to bring in the left tank.  The tank was already empty, so I just removed the old hose I had on the tank outlet, took the bolt I was using as a plug out of the hose and plugged it into the fuel tank.  Cleaned everything.  Put a couple of gallons of fuel in the left tank, started the car with the left tank selected and checked for leaks. Closed the lid.  Was there a smell?  Don't know yet.  Will check tonight!  If there is no smell, the last thing to do is insert fuel filter in the hose from the left tank.  Here's hoping this works!

Also this weekend I worked on upholstery in the back of the car.  I got the 70 degree angle drill that I had ordered from Amazon several weeks ago and used it to drill the holes needed to mount the back reading lights.  Worked like a champ!  Nice to have the correct tools!  After mounting the light on the passenger side, I decided to make the upholstery needed to fill the gap between the seat and the body.  I still have a bit of 1" foam left over from building the seats, so I cut, glued, and shaped it to fit the void.  Then I cut and sewed the upholstery to fit the foam.  It's scary how good I'm getting at upholstery!

I did have a little challenge in the pocket area that is formed between the seat bottom and the door.  I thought I would fill it with foam also, but the pocket makes a really good seat belt storage area. So, instead of filling it with a foam pad, I decided to glue vinyl right to the body.  I had to sew a bit of piping to the edge so that it would meet cleanly with the carpeting.  I've very happy with the results and it makes a perfect little pocket for the seat belt. I'll grab some pictures and update this post when I have them.

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 (,_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:

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.