Monday, April 28, 2014

Cat in the Sun!

Dateline - 04/26/2014 - Even though the weather forecasters said it was going to rain on Saturday, it never materialized.  So I rolled the cat out into the sun so I could start decreasing under the hood.  Getting the car out of the garage was easier then I had expected.  once I got it in the sun, I sprayed everything down with "Simple Green" which is my favorite degreaser.   I took a scrub brush and in some places a tooth brush and gave the fenders and firewall a good scrubbing.  Lot and lots of grease, particularly in the corners!  40 year of collection!!!! 

There were a couple of other items I had to remove off the fenders in order to get to all the corners.  The radiator overflow tank and the front brake lines which ran along the bottom of the fenders.  The overflow tank was interesting because I could not figure out how to get it off the fender.  The nut on the back side of the fender well was welded onto the fender well as a blind nut.  I tried everything I could think of the get the nut loose, but it was sold.   So I ended up hammering and prying the tank out.  It didn't hurt the tank and all I have to do is re-cut the treads on the tank bolt, drill out the nut on the fender and use a regular nut to secure it.  I still have no idea how that tank is installed!  Magic I guess.

The brakes lines were much more simple.  It's really funny though how the bake lines work.  It's very obvious this car was engineered to be a right hand drive.  The main pipe that leads to the back brakes and the tee the splits the front brakes are on the right hand side.  To convert the car, they ran two pipes from the master cylinder (front and back brake mains) to the rear brake tube and front brake tee the right hand side.  From the front brake tee, two hoses run, one to the right break, and one that runs to the front of the car, under the radiator and to the left hand brake.  Jaguar must have been getting a kickback from a steel tubing and pressure fitting company to use so much pressure tubing and fittings!

I also needed to degrease under the hood, and realized there was no way I could do that with the hood on the car, so even though I wasn't going to, I pulled the hood off.  It was surprisingly light!  Lighter then my Spitfire hood.  Easy to handle by myself, although I don't know if I want to reinstall it by myself once the paint is done.  Too big and bulky.  Once the hood was off, it was a simple matter of laying it upside down in the driveway and scurbbing it down.  I need to do a little welding on the hood latches.  Both had been welded before and one had come loose, causing the hood to pop open when driving.  I plan to weld them back and clean up the bad weld job done before.  Probably done with the hood on the car, which would be pretty hard to do well.

Of course, once I had the hood off, I realize that it really makes sense to take the radiator out.  It will make it infidelity easier to paint, and I can clean up the radiator supporting bracket that runs across the top to the radiator.

Once I finished up the degreese, I pushed the car back into the garage (again, easier then I expected), and went inside.

In the evening, I focused again on the windows.  I took the rear quarter lights out of their frames so that they can be painted and I can replace the rubber gaskets.  Again, rust was an issue and I did quite a bit of sanding to get ride of it.  I also pulled the front quarter lights of their frames, and pulled the gaskets, which appear to be in pretty good shape.  Rust again rich required yet more cleanup.  Finally, I all parts with rust inhibitor.  The good thing is that all of these parts or hidden behind chrome, so you really don't see them.  But I will not that everything is clean and in good working order.

So, next on the agenda is to weld the hood latches, fill in some gaps in the firewall with body sealer, rough up fender wells, hood and firewall to take paint, and put some rust inhibitor on some rusty areas under the hood.  Then, off to paint!

Here are some pictures from the weekend:

OMG!  Empty Garage!
Cat outside enjoying the sun!

Hood off, radiator out, fenders clean.

Hood off, radiator out, fenders clean, other side.

Monday, April 21, 2014

OMG! It's On Wheels!

Dateline - 04/19/2014 - I know some of you believed it would never happen, but it has.  The Jag is back on its own wheels!  For those of you who have followed this blog from the beginning, you will remember that the Jag went up on jack stands in October of 2009 (see post  Note the title of the blog post: "Down for the Winter."  Oh if I only knew then what I know now! Four an a half years later it is finally back on its own wheels and I have pictures to prove it:
Still on jack stands

On the ground at last!

So, now that the car can be moved, I need to get it outside and degrease the engine bay and do a little more welding, remove a few more items from the firewall and inside fenders, and rough up the paint.  Then it will be ready to go to paint!  Yes!  Paint!

Also on Saturday I cleaned up the garage. It was really a necessity because I forgot how much stuff I had stored under the car!  I had to find a place for it all so that I could park my other car in the garage.  So, with the wheels back on, I had a lot of room against the wall and was able to rearrange things and throw out a winters worth of stuff that had collected!  Nice to have a clean garage!

Sidebar:  I've not had the XJ6 on wheels since I purchased my XK-8.  Now that I have them both on the ground, I took a look at overall length and even with the bumpers on the XJ6, the 2002 XK-8 coupe is LONGER than the '71 saloon!  the XJ6 is significantly taller though.  It just goes to show that, even though these cars were considered "full size" they were never as big as others on the road. One just has to remember the England of the 60's (my car was designed in 1967 remember) to realize why.  Not many freeways, lots of B and C roads that are barely two lanes wide, parking was at premium, gas was very expensive (for the time) and you paid higher taxes depending on the weight of you car.  So there was a lot of incentive to keep cars small, light and economical.  Remember, the Morris Mini, MG Midget, Austin Sprite and Triumph Spitfire all came from England and these cars were built until British Leland went out of business in the early 80's.  

In the cleanup, I found all the side windows (eight of them in all) and brought them into the house for cleanup.  On Sunday evening I started the long process of cleaning the windows, window tracks and chrome polishing.  Someone in the car's past had Mylar window tinting installed, most of which had gotten pretty clouded over time.  So I peeled all of it off, which is a major job because the glue sticks to the windows.  The way you get that off is to soak the window is Windex, then use a single edge razor blade to scrape it off.  It turns into a gooey mess pretty quickly and I went though half a roll of paper towels before I finished.  Took about three hours.  I've also got some rust issues on the window tracks (Rust! Go figure!) that I need to take care of, and chrome to polish, but I can take care of that another night.

So, pretty productive weekend I'd say!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Headlight are done

Dateline - 04/05/2014 - Finished off the headlights this weekend.  Boy was that a job.  Again, trying to graft something from one car onto another is a real pain!  But I now have the headlights figured out.

The entire exterior of the car is now sanded to an inch of it's life!  All the doors are off,  hinges are off, fenders are off, boot lid is off.  Now, I need to get some air in my tires so that I can roll the car into the driveway and degrease the engine bay.  Once done with that, I need to rough it up with some sandpaper then the car will be ready to go to paint!  Hard to believe that this car will finally come back together!  It's been a long haul!