Monday, October 28, 2013

Welcome to the 2013/2014 Project Car Season!

Dateline - 10/26/2013 - I’m officially kicking off the 2013/2014 Project Car Season.  Last weekend I cleaned up the garage and workbench and changed the status of the Jag from SUV (Storage Utility Vehicle) back to working project, which set me up for this weekend of work.

To catch you up, last year left off with a few things that needed to be completed before the car could be painted.  They included:

  • Gas Tank installation
  • Final fitment of the center console
  • Fitment of new mirrors and hood latches
  • Interior sound proofing
  • Undercoating of insides of fenders
  • Final mounting of fenders, doors, boot and hood
  • Degrease the engine bay
  • Final sanding of the exterior

So, not a lot to do to finish up.

You may remember that last year I ordered two new gas tanks.  The tanks I ordered were supposed to be straight replacements, but when they came in, I found that they physically fit in the car, but the tanks have different fittings for the gas line, and have an added return port that my car did not use.  You would think that these fittings would not be hard to find, but you would be wrong!  Apparently, the fittings are an English standard and are just about “unobtanium”.    I was able to get a plug for the return from Barret Motors, but the fuel line that I got from then did not fit.  So after looking at everything I could, I finally contact the tank maker to see if they sold the fittings.  They did not, but they did give me the specs for it. It’s a 9/16 x 24 UNEF fitting.  Now, to say these are hard to find is an understatement.  Hours and hours on the internet turned up only a few sources.  So finally I was about to get the fittings, from of all places, a marine hydraulic steering system.  So $50 later I have the fittings in hand!  The moral of the story is that if I count up the time and money spend to find these fittings, I could have bought the correct tanks from a Jaguar supplier!  To be fair to myself though, everything I could find said that these tanks fit my car.  I just didn’t realize that “fit” means that it physically fit the car.  The fittings don’t count!

So, Saturday was spent putting the right side tank in.  First I putting the fitting in the tank, sealing them with Rectoseal 5 just to make sure there are no leaks.   The tank fit easy in the space, all the mounts lined up and screws worked fine.  It was a bit fiddly because I also have to line up the filler neck, which screws into the body and drops directly into the tank.  So getting that right took a few adjustments, but easy enough to do.

Once the tank was installed, I ran a copper 3/8 pipe from the tank into the trunk.  This is where I spent the rest of the day because I now had to build the “fuel management system.”  The car has two tanks, but only one fuel gauge.  The original car had two fuel pumps, one for each tank, that fed into a single Tee fitting that then went to a fuel filter then to the engine.  When the driver selected a tank using fuel selection switch, the appropriate pump would be activated and the sender unit for that tank would be routed to the gauge. 
With the engine conversion, the engine mounted fuel pump was used and the old fuel pumps were taken out of the car. When I got the car only one tank was being used because the other leaked, so there was not need to worry about the tanks.  Now that I have two tanks and I needed to be able to control the fuel flow.  I could just connect the tanks together via the tee, but I worried about possible fuel starvation and problems when filling the tanks.  So I decided to buy two fuel cut-off valves that would be activated by the fuel tank selection switch in the car.  The wiring already existed for this.  It was just a matter of installing the valves and plumbing everything appropriately.  Of course, this took much more time than I thought it would, but as you can see from the pictures, the results look nice and professional!

Tank with Fittings.

Right hand tank in car

Tank and fitting.  Looking toward front

Fuel Management System.  Looking toward rear

Fuel Management System.  Looking left to right.

So, you may be asking, why didn’t I install the left hand tank?  That’s because I still have a lot of work to do on that side.  As I talked about in this post ( there is a panel that needs to be installed in the fender and sealed in so that sound and water don’t make it to the rocker panel in the back.  I completed it on the right side of the car, but ran out of sealing material for the left side.  I got the material in over the summer but I have done no more work.  So this weekend I painted the inside of the fender in prep for putting the panel in and sealing it.  I’m thinking I can get all that done next weekend, plus get the tank installed!

So, starting the new Project car season off with a lot of success!