Monday, October 29, 2018

Post #200 - DONE!

Dateline - 10/27/2018 - I just noticed that this is Post #200 in my blog, and it just so happens that this is also, what I consider, the LAST post of the restomod!  Yup!  I put the bumpers and the nameplates on this weekend, and now, I can officially say that the car is 99.9% done!  You really can't ask for more then that on a restomod because there will always be some tuning, shakeout and slight tweaks to be made.  But, for I'm calling it done!  So there!

So, bumpers.  This turned into an all day affair on Saturday.  I ended up needing to get all new hardware, so several runs to the local hardware store were in order.  I started with the front, since that appeared to be the easiest.  The bumper is held on by two large nuts that screw onto studs in the front of the car.  There is a steel bracket that mounts to the bumper and also holds the front over rider in place.  The over rider has a rubber strip that fits between it and the bumper.  Fortunately, I had purchased that a couple of years back, so it just required cutting and fitting.  Once I got the bumper together, it was a simple process of fitting it on the car and bolting it down.  Easy!  Here are pictures of the front bumper in pieces and together.

Parts for the front bumper
Front bumper bracket and over rider installed
Next was the back bumper.  This turned out to be more of a challenge.  On this bumper the over riders bold on to the bumper with a spacer behind the bumper. Not too hard.  There are also brackets that fit on the sides of the bumper that also bolt to the car.  I put those on the car first so that they could support the bumper as I put it on. Now I put liberal amounts of masking tape on the car body to keep from scratching the paint and started fitting the bumper. 

Parts for the back bumper
The bumper mounts to the back of the car with two 2.5 in, 1/2 x 20 thread bolts that screw right into the body.  The hard part is that there needs to be spacers in between the bumper and the body to align it correctly.  The car originally had a rubber 3/4" hard rubber doughnut on each side, but I only had one from the original and these are no longer made.  So I used flat washers instead.  But the car had been hit from behind in its past so getting the correct number of washers in pace was a serious challenge.  Finally, after about an hour of fiddling, I finally got the back bolts in place. 

But the challenges didn't stop there.  I didn't know it, but the brackets that mounted on the side of the car are side specific (one was modified by the body shop as part of the rear end repair!), and of course, I put them on the wrong side.  I did have a 50/50 chance!  AND, I had completely fitted one side, which worked fine, before I found out that they were side specific.  So I had to undo the one I had just finished to swap things around!  Another hour gone!

Next it was time to install the license plate light on the bumper.  I'm not going to use this light, opting for the lights in the plate bolts that I had purchased, so this is just being used to plug the hole in the bumper.  I had found on ebay an good light housing and internals, and the lens from the one on the car was in good shape, so I put the two together got one good light.  I mounted that with a piece of rubber channel gasket between it and the bumper, and it looks like factory!

Finally, I put the Jaguar and V8 / 350 badges on the car.  I had these mounted before I had the paint redone, but I'm glad I took them off because I had them centered on the sides and it didn't look very good, so this time I favored the outside edge of the trunk, which looks a lot better.  It's subtle, but makes a difference.

Sunday was overcast and rainy, but I did get a clear moment to put the car in the driveway and take some pictures.  Here they are:

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

There is always something!

Dateline - 09/01/2018 - Working a few odds and ends on the Jag this weekend.  First, I worked on installing the rear window seal lock bead and chrome.  As I've said before, I really hate working with rubber seals.  What a PITA!  As it is, I got the lock bead in place and half the window chrome before my hands got too tired to work on it anymore!

Second, I wanted to get to the Jay Leno benchmark of "Done," which is a working horn.  I had already installed the horn relay when I detailed the engine bay (, but I never installed the actual horns.  So I was rooting around under the car, trying to figure out where the horn was installed before but I couldn't figure it out, so I decided to hang it off of the bottom suspension cross brace.  I also wanted to make a bracket to brace the transmission fluid cooling lines to the radiator because they are just hanging out there and vibrating while the engine is running.  So, I did both with the same job.  Came out pretty nice too!

Next was wiring the horn.  Since I didn't modify any of the electrical system for the horn, I figured this would work right out of the gate.  It didn't.  The Jaguar has an interesting electrical system (surprise!) in that the ignition needs to be on for the horn to work.  I didn't realize this until I did some research and looked at the Lucas horn relay and the Jaguar wiring system. So, after an hour of tracing, reading on-line and looking at schematics, I figured it out and got the horn to work. worked from under the hood, but not from the horn switch in the steering.  So, I pulled the horn switch out and realized that the brass rod that is supposed to run from the center conductor inside the lower part of the steering column that makes contact with the switch is missing!  MISSING!  I have no idea where this rod is!  I looked in every box, every cubby, every place I could think of and nothing!

Center Conductor in fixed part of Steering Column
Missing connector from center conductor to horn button.
Fortunately, I was able to create a conductor our of 12 gauge wire with a crimp splice that slides over the main conductor at one end and connects to a socket on the switch on the other.  It will work fine, but I can't believe I lost this part!

So, to make sure that I really did lose the piece, I decided to clean my entire garage!  Yup.  I cleaned the garage that had not been cleaned in NINE YEARS! I opened very cabinet, cupboard, drawer, box, package, crate, sleeve and plastic bag!  I sorted.  I packed, I moved and I organized. 

After 16 hours of cleaning I filled up two 33 gallon garbage bags full of junk to go to the dump and now know where everything is at in my garage.  Everything, that is, except that damned horn connector!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Bumpers are in!

Dateline - 08/23/2018 - I got the bumpers back from the chromer!  They came in two boxes.  One had the front bumper and the four overriders, and the other had just the back bumper.  When I saw the box that had the front bumper was in, I was thinking, "I'm going to end up sending that back, I know it!"

Crush box with front bumper in it
But after opening it up, everything was fine.  They sure did a lot of packing of these though.  They were wrapped in plastic, white butcher paper then heavy padding wrapped in packing tape!  The back bumper had a wood brace placed between the arms to make sure that they did not get bent in shipping.  Very impressed with the packing.

So, after getting the bumpers out of the significant wrapping, I test fitted them on the car.  Back bumper was fine, but when I put the front bumper on, I thought they had re-welded the mounting brackets in the wrong place!  They did not align with the mounting bolts.  So, now I'm thinking, "I have to send that front bumper back. That's a real pisser!"  But then I thought about it for a moment and realized I better research this before I get too upset.  So I pulled out my trusty SNG Barratt catalog (great reference) and saw that there are brackets that are mounted on the bumper.  I did some digging in my parts boxes and sure enough, there were two brackets that I had already sandblasted and painted and had ready to go, I had just forgot about them!  That's what happens when you pull something off a car and then have to remember how it goes back together, nine years later!

Here are the bumpers:
Bumpers and over riders.  Back bumper is closest.
I'm not going to install the bumpers until I can get the car back to paint for that final buffing, polish and glaze.  Hopefully next week.

Wow!  I really have just about everything done!  

Monday, August 13, 2018

So Close!

Dateline - 08/10/2018 - Spent the weekend putting the car back together.  As in my last post, I only had a few things to do, but they took a lot of time.  I started Saturday off by going to the Department of Licensing and getting the car registered under the old plate (see  So, now my car is officially a Collector car!  $45 to register.  Not bad.

Next I picked up where I left off on the trunk.  I needed to install the backup lights, the chrome strip that runs under the the trunk lip between the backup lights and the license plat with its LED lights.  This all took about an hour to do.

I started working on installing the latch for the trunk, but realized I needed to tap some threads and I didn't have a tap the right size, so I put that off until Sunday.

Next I started working on the back right door.  This door proved to be a total PITA.  Nothing was going right and I struggled with it.  It took about three hours of just fiddling and I finally got it all together and realized that the window was binding.  I had to take everything apart again to find out that the door lock rod that runs from the inside door handle to the door latch was getting hooked by the window regulator.  I just needed to bend it back into the correct location, but again, what a pain to put everything back together again!  I just hate doors!

There was one good thing that came of all the work on the door.  I had a problem with the back door latch.  Once I opened the door, the latch would not move back into place and I had to manually reset it before I could close the door.  I thought it was the door latch and was going to buy a new one.  But as I was fiddling with the door, I unscrewed on the latch bolts and the latch snapped back into place.  I realized that there are two lengths of special screws used for the door latch.  A short one that used for the latch, and a slightly longer one that is used for the inside door handle.  I used the wrong one (too long) and it was catching on the mechanism inside the door latch.  Easy fix!

As I posted last week, I ordered LED lights to replace all the running and direction lights on the car.  When I installed the lights and tried them, I found out that I don't have any turn signals or hazard lights.  This has to do with the old flasher relays that are in the car (one for turn signals, one for hazards).  How these things work is they have a bi-metal strip in them that heats up as current is pulled through it. The heat causes the bi-metal to bend and break the circuit (and make the sound you hear with a turn signal).  When the metal cools, it pops back into place and turns the signals back on.  This works great as long as there is enough current being pulled to cause the metal to heat up.  Unfortunately, LED lights pull almost no current, so the flashers don't work.

There are three ways to fix this: 1) Leave some original bulbs in the car (some people opt to leave the front bulbs original and the back bulbs LED), 2) buy a LED specific flasher unit, and/or 3) buy load resistors that you can put in parallel with the LED bulbs to put enough load to heat the the flasher unit.

Since my flashers relays are in the dash, and I could not even think of taking the dash apart again, I opted for the load resistors.  I bought four of them and installed two in the back (one on each turn signal) and the turn signals work great.  However the hazard lights are not working. If I put a regular bulb in the front, the hazard does work, so I need to install the two remaining load resistors in the front turn signals.  I didn't get to that this weekend though.

On Sunday, I started work on the left front door.  This door went somewhat easier as far as putting all the window pieces together.  It was still a very fiddly job and you really have to do things in the correct order, but after several hours, I got everything together, just to find out that I broke a wire off the power window switch that activated the back left window!  So I had to take everything apart again (is this a theme!) and resolder the wire.  Finally, I got the door together!  And there was much rejoicing (!

When I was going through all my chrome pieces, I realized that there was a bunch of chrome that went around the windows inside the car.  I left that off before, but decided to put it on.  This took about an hour of fiddling, but I does look a lot more finished now.

Finally, I ended the day working on the trunk.  I got a tap for the holes in the body that the latch mounts too,  mounted the latch, adjusted everything, and now the trunk closes and locks.  But I didn't like the grinding noise it made when I opened and closed it.  I originally thought it was the result of all the work I did rebuilding the trunk hings (see, and it turned out that it was, but not because of the hinges, but because the bolts I used to put it back together where rubbing against the inside of the trunk sides!!!  Now, If I was brave, I could have taken the trunk lid off, removed the hinges, ground the bolts down, then remount everything.  But I'm not brave, so several strong hits with a hammer on the trunk sides, and the lid moves like it should.

So, not much left now.  I'm still waiting for my window molding lock tool to come in.  Once I get that, I can installed the window lock and the chrome that goes around the windshields.  I've got a new Jaguar lettering for the trunk on order since I destroyed the one I had pulling it off for paint. So I need to install that and the "V8" and "350" badges.  I should also have my bumpers soon, so will need to install those.  Then it's time to get the front end aligned and start driving it.  I still have a few fiddly things to finish, but its very, very close to "done"!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Putting It All Back Together Again...Again!

Dateline - 08/04/2018 - Now that the car is back from paint, it's time to put it all back together again.  I started in the front with the grills, headlights and side markers.  Then I moved to the right back and installed the right tank cover, tail light and side marker.

I was going to start on the window chrome pieces, but there is a "locking strip" the is supposed to be inserted into the window seal that presses the rubber tight against the window and the body.  I didn't install this originally, but I thought better of it this time and wanted to install it.  After working on it for about an hour, I thought to myself, "There must be a tool for this."  Sure enough, I found out that there is a tool for this and ordered it on Amazon.  Should be here next week!  Then I started on the doors.

The doors are such a pain.  They really are.  Tight spaces.  Sharp edges,  just not fun.  Starting on the front door, I had to install:

  • Rear view mirror
  • Door Lock
  • Door handle
  • Vinyl water barrier
  • Outer Window scraper and chrome trim
  • Outer Window chrome edging
  • 1/2 of the B-Pillar Chrome (half is on the trailing edge of the front door, the other half is on the leading edge of the back door)
  • The window
  • The 1/4 light (e.g. "Vent window") and frame
  • Power window motor and regulator
  • Widow stop (lowest down position)
  • Door panel
  • Arm rest
  • Window Switch
  • Arm rest pad
  • Door threshold
All sounds easy, but of course, it wasn't.  The first challenge was doing things in the correct order, which I didn't.  The second challenge was the vinyl water barrier.  What a PITA.  All together, it took me about two hours to get the door together.

Then I started on the back right door.  Things to be installed on that door are:
  • Install rear 1/4 light glass into frame.
  • Install 1/4 light
  • Door Handle, 
  • Water barrier
  • B-Pillar chrome
  • Window scraper and chrome
  • Window
  • Power window motor and regulator
  • Window frame top (comes out so that you can pull the window out)
  • Re-install door seal that I had to take off to get the 1/4 light and window out.
  • Window outside chrome
  • Chrome piece below the 1/4 light
  • Window stop
  • Door panel
  • Arm rest
  • Window Switch
  • Arm rest pad
  • Door wind lacing
  • Door threshold
This door went slightly easier but I got about 2/3 of the way done when I got to 7:00 pm and decided to call it quits for the day and finished it on Sunday after my bike ride.

On Sunday, I finished the door, installed the rain gutter trim, then moved to the back left of the car, installing the left fuel tank cover, tail light and side maker.  I then started working on the trunk lid by installing the trunk knob, chrome "wings" on either side of the knob, and the trunk seal.  At that point, it was getting hot in the garage and I was burning out, so I spend about 1/2 cleaning my workbench, and called it a day.

Since I have all the side markers and lights off, I decided to go ahead and buy LED bulbs for all the running, direction, brake and backup lights.  Not cheap, but they should look good on the car.

So, what is left?
  • Backup light frames
  • Trunk chrome strip that runs between the backup lights
  • Trunk emblems (need to buy new ones)
  • License plate and frame (need to get the car registered with the old plate - See
  • Left front door
  • Left back door
  • Left rain gutter trim
  • Front windscreen seal lock
  • Front windscreen chrome
  • Back windscreen seal lock
  • Back windscreen chrome
  • Front bumper - still need to get back from chromer
  • Back bumper - still need to get back from chromer
The list is getting smaller and smaller!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Car is Back from Paint!

Dateline - 07/31/2018 - July ended with another hot day in the Pacific North West, and with my car returning from paint.  They were still polishing out the paint when I got to the paint shop at 3:30 and said that they would not be done until 5:30!  We talked it out and they said they can finish the buff-out by 4:00 ish, but I would need to bring the car back for a final polish and seal. We went with that plan and by about 4:15 they had finished and had it loaded and back to the house by 4:45.
At the paint shop getting polished
On tow truck leaving from paint
Arrival at the house
In driveway
Back view
Rear - right view
Moved the car into the sun for left side
Front left side
And front side - Oooo!  Shiny!
And...its favorite spot in the garage!
Also, the chromer contacted me to let me know that the bumpers are done.  Now I just need to get them shipped back.  Waiting on a quote for that.

I will start putting it back together this weekend.  Now that I have the door panels off and the windows out, I am going to spend a little more time fixing some items that I didn't take care of before, like putting a plastic vapor barrier in the doors, which the original had, but I didn't put back in.  I also have a few wire connectors to the front headlights that I'd like re-do.

I can't believe this car is almost done.  I hope to get some drives in August and September.  Let's see how it goes!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Back to Paint

Dateline - 07/07/2018 - The car went back to paint on Friday!  The paint shop expects to have it for two weeks.  Once it's back, I can put it back together and drive it!  In the mean time, I need to register the vehicle with it's new-old license plate, and find out the status of the bumpers.  Hopefully they will bee coming soon!

Here are a couple of pictures:
Back of car just before leaving for paint
Right Side
Left side
Very blurry picture of car at paint.