Monday, July 15, 2013

Really Nice Summer Day!

Dateline - 07/13/2013 - It was a wonderful summer day on Saturday which caused me to not spend a lot of time on the car!  Instead, went for a 40 mile bike ride.  But I did do a little work on the center console fascia.  I realized that I needed to built out the lip of the fascia so that it does not dig into the vinyl that covers the console.  So I masked all the vinyl off, wrapped it in saran wrap, taped the fascia in place and then fiber glassed a new, form fitting lip to the inside of the fascia.  This should give it a lot more support and make it easier to mount.

This morning I walked into my office to find the glove box door that had been at my friend Matt's house from when we worked on the maple dash.  What a beautiful piece of maple!  Now that the weather is getting into the 80's, its a good time to start working on the dash.  So I think this weekend I'm going to pull out the pieces and start the finishing process.  This should be really fun!  It really makes me feel like I'm getting this thing done!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Center Console Fascia Work

Dateline - 07/06/2013 - Beautiful weather this weekend so I spent some time working on the car on Saturday.  My focus was to work on the center console fascia.  The fascia needed to be built out to hold the radio, cup holder and climate controls.  All of these required brackets to be built and fiberglassed onto the back of the console.  Again, because I'm making parts fit that are not supposed to, some modifications and creative sheet metal work was necessary.  Yet, once again, I was able to find a good solution and I'm very happy with the results.  I even put everything in the car to see how it would work ergonomically.  Really nice.  All controls fall "right to hand" and will work very well together.

What's left?  Well, I need to add some more fiberglass around the edge of the fascia to strengthen it and make it less likely to cut into the vinyl of the center console.  I also have to add mounting hardware for the console.  I think I have a pretty good idea how that is going to work, but I need to execute it to see for sure.  Then a final fitting with the gear selector and parking brake handle.  If everything looks good I will do the final carbon fiber layup and finish it off with many coats of lacquer finish.

As a side note.  While waiting for the epoxy to dry, I put the sender unit in the driver side gas tank.  Still looking for the correct fittings for the tanks, but that is one more thing done!

Here are pictures of the center console:
Back of fascia with Radio (top) and climate control (bottom) brackets epoxied in.
Back of fascia with radio and heater controls installed

Fascia from Driver's seat, cup holder closed
Fascia from Driver's seat, cup holder open

Fascia from Passenger seat, cup holder closed

Fascia from Passenger seat, cup holder open

Monday, July 1, 2013

Emergency Brake Done!

Dateline 06/29/2013 - It's been a while since I posted last since I've not been working on the car much.  Summer is always a hard time for me to get car work done.  I want to do so many other things!  But, I put in a good effort on Saturday and got the Emergency Brake done.

Like everything on this car thus far, this was not an easy conversion to make.  The Emergency Brake (EB) on the Jag is not renown for being the best.  Like most cars from the 60's (remember, this car first came out in 1968) the EB was really more of a parking brake, something the keep the car from rolling down hill if the transmission let go! They often got out of adjustment, particularly after he brake pads wore down and became next to useless after awhile.

The original EB cable runs through a lever/pulley/handle under the dash, under the driver's side of the car,  into a 3' cable housing mounted at the back of the car then to the two brake activation levers, on on each of the disk brakes.  The idea is that you pull the handle under the dash, which pulls the cable which then squeezes the two levers together, pushing one brake pad in each caliber against the brake rotor.  Quite complicated and really didn't work well.

My challenge was that I want to remove the lever under the dash and use an aftermarket Lokar brake lever mounted in the center console.  I bought the Lokar handle ( and brake mounting kit ( some time ago, but didn't really think out how I was going to make the conversion.  After crawling around under the car, and seeing how I'd have to mount the cables, I realized that my best bet was to bring the cable into the car underneath the back seat and along the top of the drive shaft housing.  The real problem was that the original cable housing was about 20" too short.  fortunately the kit I bought had plenty of cable housing.  I ended up not using any of the cables and most of the housing that came with the kit, although I did use all the hardware. 

My next problem was how to keep the cable from kinking where the different housings meet.  That was a really easy fix! A run to McLendon's (local hardware store) for a 1/4" x 2" brass nipple and I was in business.  The nipple fits over the original cable housing end (with a little help of a file) and the new cable housing goes right in, nice and smooth!

My final bit of work was an enhancement to the brake handle mount.  When I created the mount a couple of years ago, I didn't know how the cables would mount.  I was more concerned with mounting the handle so I could get the console done. Now that I got the cables mounted, I realized that I needed one more brace on my mount so that that handle will not slide back.  So, I cut and drilled some steel that I had from another project and voila!

Here are pictures of the work:
Original cable routed through back of seat (right) under back seat and though body to brake lever (left)
1/4 x 2" brass nipple used to splice cable housings together
What cable housings look like spliced together.  Splice ends up inside the body.
View of cable looking from handle to back of car.  You can see the Lokar mounting hardware in the foreground.
The Lokar mounting hardware looking forward

Brake lever mounting.  New brace was added running from front of trans tunnel to the brake lever.  You can also see the Lokar cable mounting on the hand brake (far left)
So, the EB is done!  One more thing off the list!

I also spent some time on the gas tanks.  Since I last posted, I did some work on the gas tanks.  I now have two new tanks (yes!), both of which are painted and the passenger side has the sender unit mounted.  But when I looked at mounting them, I realized that the fittings for the fuel pickup is different then what I have on the car!  Not only that, but there are two fittings (one for the fuel pickup and one for a fuel return/surge line.  This was something that was put on the Series II cars that the Series I didn't have.  The tanks are a correct fit so I figured I could plug the fuel return line.  But I can not find the right adapters!  Standard brass pressure fittings have the wrong thread count!  So I have to find these adapters before I can put the tanks in!

I had one thing left to do on the body before I could put the tanks in.  There is a plate that fits into the cavity between the wheel well and the rear finder.  The plate is used as sound proofing and to keep water from running into the area around where the rocker panel meets the rear fender.  This panel was originally held in with a plumbers putty the was never supposed to harden.  Well, after 40 years, it did and the plates didn't do much to keep water out.  So, I purchased some 3M Strip Caulk ( which I think is the exact same stuff they used originally.  One box did one fender, so I now have the passenger side ready to go.  I need to get one more box to do the driver side.  Then, once I can find the adapters for the tanks, I can put the tanks in and button up the rear end!

I just keep telling myself, one more thing done means one less thing to do!