Monday, November 18, 2013

The Other Kitty is Sick

Dateline - 11/16/2013 – Not much work done on the car this weekend because my other Jaguar broke down on the freeway coming home on Monday!  Total electrical failure.  Fortunately, I was able to get across three lanes of rush hour traffic with no lights, brake lights, turn signals or headlights, get off on the shoulder and call AAA.  I found out when the tow truck guy showed up that I don’t have the tow hooks that should be in the emergency kit in the trunk.  When the car is brought into the country, the tow hooks are supposed to be put in the trunk, but often get thrown away or misplaced.  Without the tow hooks, they could not pull my car onto the flatbed!  Well, they could, but they would have to hook to the cast aluminum suspension members, running a high risk of bending something badly.  So I had to wait for a regular tow truck to show up.  Overall though, the response was fast and courteous. 

Of course, when I got the car home, it started right up!  So I was able to back it into the garage.  After trolling the JaguarForum site, I got advice that I should replace the alternator.  I also decided to replace the battery.  $250 for the alternator and $150 for the battery!  These things aren’t cheap!

The alternator took me about two hours to change.  I took my time and did it right.  It’s a tight fit, but it does come off from the top if you remove the air box and air box bracket.  So I didn’t have to do a lot of crawling under the car.  So, we shall see if this really was the problem.

As for the project car, I have been working on interior parts.  I’m getting real close to having the center console fascia ready for the final carbon fiber.  I now have the radio, cup holder, climate controls and switches ready to mount.  I have to do a little more fiber glassing for the shift level cover to fit correctly.  I also decided to move the cigar lighter so I had to cut a new hole and fiberglass that.  But it’s moving along.

I have also completed the left and right hand window switch consoles for the doors.  I’m going to do a feature on this as a blog post soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Wood Work

Dateline – 11/09/2013 – This weekend I focused on the dash.  My buddy Matt, who I bought the car from and who has helped me with all the woodwork on the project (see post invited me over on Saturday and so we got a chance to do more work on the dash.  It’s been almost a year since I’ve worked on the wood and it is getting time to start finishing things up.  I had a bit of a shock a couple of months ago when I pulled the pieces out and found that a rag covered in silicone tire dressing had been sitting on the unfinished center wood piece!  I thought the piece was ruined.  But fortunately, we were able to run it through the sander and remove all the silicone except for a spot about the size of a pencil eraser in the upper left corner.   I’m very pleased about that!

Another thing we worked on was adding more wood to that center piece so that the wood wraps around the center console.  At the time we did the initial woodwork, I wasn’t sure how all the pieces would fit together.  Now that I have everything fitted, I found that I needed more wood added to the center piece so that it wraps down the sides of the console.  Matt came up with the idea of shaping a piece of plywood to fit and then gluing that to the center piece.  Once dry, a piece of veneer would be glued to that.  After sanding, filling and finishing, there may be a small seam, but it will still look good.  We got as far as gluing the plywood to the center piece but ran out of time to glue the veneer.  I’ll do that later.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Both Tanks In

Dateline – 11/02/2013 – Saturday was devoted to getting the left side gas tank in.  But first, I realized I had to pull the right side tank out because yours truly forgot to install the drain hose that drains the filler cap depression on the top of the fender!  Can you say, “D’OH!”  Fortunately, the tank came out pretty quickly, and now that I know how to install it, went back in quickly.

The left side tank couldn’t go in until I put the soundproofing panel into the fender.  I think I explained in a prior post that this panel is held in using strip caulk.  It’s a pain to do this work because you have to reach way up into the fender.  But I got the panel in.  Then it was just a matter of putting the tank in screwing it down and putting in the fittings.  Pretty easy actually!

The latter half of the day I spent doing a final fitting of the center console fascia.  I needed to make sure that the shift lever and hand brake lever all fit correctly before I did the final work on the fascia.  It’s pretty close, but I still have a few minor adjustments to make. 

I also took the time to determine how the new hand brake cable is going to run through the original air box that is located in the console.  A pretty advanced feature for this year of car, the Jaguar had airflow to the back seat area.  It has a vent in the center of back of the console, plus airflow vents going down to the passenger’s feet that have separate controls.  All of this is controlled by an air box that sits under the center console armrest pocket.  Two hoses running from the main air control in the dash feed the air box.  Pretty neat and easy system.

Because I now have a handbrake cable running through were the air box sits, I had to make some modifications.  The good news was that I just need to drill some holes through the air box to allow the cable to go through.  I’m not worried about air leakage, since the box isn’t designed to be airtight.

So, next week looks like a good time to put down the sound proofing!  All I can say is that it is really coming along!