Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Master Cylinder Rebuild

Dateline – Sep 26 – Last weekend I noticed that my brake fluid was getting low, so I started to look around and found lots and lots of brake fluid on the inside fender below the brake master cylinder, merrily eating away at the original Jaguar paint. You guessed it! Leaking master cylinder! I ordered a rebuild kit form Terry’s Jaguar (again, very fast service) and today I did the rebuild.

The first thing was to get the master cylinder off the car. Not too bad. Things came apart easily and I soon had the cylinder on the workbench. Then the fun started. I pulled the feeds off the top of the cylinder and found a yucky, Vaseline like substance inside. Brake fluid and water mixed! NICE!

Then I discovered that there is no way to get the center plunger out without taking the “tipping valve” out of the top. This required a ½ inch Allen wrench. Who has a ½ Allen wrench? So a trip to Harbor Freight and now I own a ½ inch, ½ inch drive socket wrench mounted Allen wrench (along with 11 other sizes!). Good thing to, because it took that and a hammer to get the plug holding the tipping valve to unscrew!

After getting the guts out, I found what I most dreaded…RUST! Bad rust! The bottom of the cylinder was extremely pitted. This was not good! I got my trusty cylinder hone out (it saw a lot of use on the Spitfire) and honed out the cylinder the best I could. It is still pitted, but it would take machine equipment to get that out! I cleaned everything up, replace all the rubber with new stuff, put it back together again and hoped for the best.

I put the cylinder back on the car and tried to get the brakes to work, but could not pump up the fronts. So I had to take the cylinder back off, prime it with brake fluid, and then put it back on without all the fluid leaking out! I was up to my elbows in brake fluid and had it running all over the inside of the engine bay! What a mess, but I finally got everything installed.

Now for bleeding. This is when the inside mounted rear brakes become a real pain! You just can not get to the bleed nipples! Plus I had to replace one of the bleed nipples that had been flattened by the exhaust pipe that rubbed up against it (prior engine installation). Thanks again to Terry’s I was able to get the bleed valve. I’ve read about people building remote bleeding nipples for these cars since it is so hard to bleed them. I’m going to do this when I have the rear end out this winter! I’m not doing this again! The front brakes are easy, since you just need to take the wheels off and do a normal bleeding process.

Once everything was bled, I took the car out for a test and guess what, the pull to the right that I used to have under hard braking is gone! Even though I bled the brakes twice, I must have still had some air or something on the left hand side! I’ve also noticed a roughness to the brake peddle, which I know is the hard rubber plunger seal sliding over the pits in the cylinder. I suspect that this is going to weep brake fluid over time and I will end up getting a new $370.00 brake master cylinder at some point. But I’m keeping my eye on it, and hope it will last until next year.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fun Run

Dateline - Sep 12 - Once I got the car running well, I decided to take the car out for a fun run. All the driving I have been doing to date has been to work or to Seattle to see friends. I've never taken the car out to just have a fun drive in the back country. So in the afternoon, I washed the car, and took her out for a drive to Fall City taking the back roads. What fun! The car has never run so good, and I found some really sweet power bands in the V8. It feels like it is finally starting to break in, and the clean carb helped out a lot. Plus the sound of the exhaust being pipped through a 2 1/2 inch exhause with turbo mufflers is like music to the ears! It was 85 degrees, but I never felt so "cool"!

An interesting side note. As I was about 3 miles out from Fall City, I saw the Brown/Red XJ6 up the hill on the side of a driveway that was obviously not in running condition. I drove to Fall City and something kept nagging at me that I needed to check this car out. So on the way back, I pulled into the parking lot and the owner was sitting outside his house, just as I pulled in. I started chatting him up and found out that he was interesting in parting out this car and if there was anything I was interested in I should let him know. Well it was a '79, so a lot of the stuff would not fit, but the car has a really good headliner and a great looking back seat, the old style back seat! The leather is pretty hard, but it is not cracked and some good leather conditioner should bring it back with ease. After chatting for a while longer, he said that he would sell me the head liner and back seat for about $200. That's a deal! So I need to check to see if they will fit my car, but if they do, then I've just sourced at least two things I need for my car! It's good to listen to the voice in my head sometimes!

I Just Wanted To Make It Look Nice

Dateline – Sep 4 – 12 – Over the summer I have been parking the car in the garage when I got home and have really noticed a bad gas smell after it sits. With the new Methanol mixed gas, this smell is really noxious and that much gas vapor in the garage can not be a good thing! So I decided to rebuild the carb, assuming that there is gas leaking out of the carb into the engine, since I could not find gas leaks anyplace else.

I pulled the carb and tore it completely apart, including removing the butterfly valves and linkages. I then spent about seven hours polishing the entire carb body with aluminum wheel polish and a toothbrush, then using NeverDull to give it a nice polished look. Of course, during reassembly, I forgot how some of the linkage went back together (should have taken pictures!) but finally got it together and back on the car. Boy does it look nice (see pictures)!

The problem then was the

car ran horribly! I spent about three hours troubleshooting, adjust the floats, playing with idle speed,

mixture screws, etc., but could not get it to run well. Seems like it was either running rich on one side, or lean on the other! So, I pulled the carb off the car and disassembled it completely…again! I checked to make sure that the butterfly valves were installed correctly and closing completely (they may have been slightly off), the metering jets were in the right place on both sides (.098 primary, .095 secondary), which they were, and blowing out with carb cleaner and compressed air every passage and port on the carb. I assembled the carb again and put it back on the car, and voila, it ran like a top! Not sure what the problem was, since everything looked correct before disassembly except for the butterfly valves being slightly off, so perhaps that was it, or maybe some junk in a port that I could not see. At least it is running now and no longer smells of gas when I let it sit in the garage.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gas Pedal

Dateline - Sep 1 - I've always wanted a "Barefoot" gas pedal since I was a kid and saw them on hotrods and VW's in the early 70's. So I bought one! I figured this would be a good "period" piece. Now, I understand that most Jag owners would not have had this pedal on their cars, but most didn't have Chevy 350's in them either! Plus, it is really nice having a gas pedal instead of just a rod to push!

New Fuel Delivery System

Dateline - Aug 22 - The Edelbrock Performer 1406 Carburetor on the car has a fuel bowl inlet that is high on the top of the carburetor. With the lower profile Edelbrock Air Filter, the hose going into the inlet was being pressed down in a very unhealthy way! I didn't like the idea of this hose getting cut through and pressurized gas spilling out on hot engine parts. So I bought a chrome delivery tube at Schucks that has a banjo fitting that brings the hose under the carb. It also has a fitting that allows a pressure gauge to be attached, which I bought also.

Of course, the fun part was dealing with the existing fuel line. The mechanical fuel pump is on the front right side of the motor, and a 3/8 inch steel fuel line runs from the outlet of the pump, up the front of the engine between the timing chain cover and water pump, then up and over to the right. I then had a small piece of rubber hose, a fuel filter and then a longer piece of hose going to the carb. Of course, with the new pipe, I did not have enough room to get a fuel filter in-line, which I really wanted. So I pulled the steel hose off the fuel pump, which immediately started siphoning gas from the fuel tank out onto the garage floor. I didn't expect this to happen because most cars have a fuel tank that is lower then the level of the fuel pump. The Jags tanks are in the rear fenders, higher then the fuel pump so a siphon happened! I quickly had to pull the fuel pump inlet hose and get it above the tank level, and of course, clean up the gas from the floor and let the garage air out!

Then, I had to cut the steel hose down because it was bent and crimped and would not allow me to get a good round surface to attach the rubber hose. Finally, I got it cut to size and reinstalled. Installed the inlet hose, connected the rubber hoses, fuel filter and everything else. Started up the car and guess what, gas leaked out the of the outlet fitting of the fuel pump! Damned! I had to twist the steel hose around, with more gas on the floor, until I got it into a place that the flange seated correctly! What a pain!

This setup looks really cool and I found out that my fuel pump is pushing 7 lbs of pressure, which is higher then the carb really likes (between 5.5 and 6 lbs). High pressures can cause the engine to stall at standing take-offs because of carb flooding. I've noticed hesitation during take-off, so I am going to remove the mechanical fuel pump and put an Edelbrock pump in the trunk. There is already wiring there for the original fuel pumps, including the ability to switch the pump on and off from the dash switches. If I do this right, this would be a good anti-theft tool, since, no gas, no go!

I've also noticed a lot of gas smell when I shut the engine off and let it sit in the garage, which makes me think that I've got leaking float valves or bad gaskets on the carb. So I am going to buy a carb rebuild kit to see if that helps.