Monday, November 14, 2016

There is a light at the end of the tunnel!

Dateline - 11/12/2016 - It's hard to believe, but I'm almost done!  I finished both front doors this weekend sans the speakers which need to be painted.  Here are pictures:

Right front door panel installed sans speaker

Front passenger area with door closed

Right door window switch
Left front door panel sans speaker

Driver side with door closed

Drive side dash, steering wheel installed

All I have left is:
  • Paint and install the front speakers
  • The center console shifter boot cover  
  • A little finish work with both glove boxes
  • Install the dash dimmer knob
  • Install the arm rest glove box and arm rest
  • drop in the last of the carpets
  • Install the front wing to body cover panels
  • Tie up a few wires in the fender wells
  • Bleed the brakes
  • Mount the bumpers
  • Paint and install the fender braces
  • Install the hood safety latch
Just odds and ends really!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Still Working on Door Panels

11/05/2016 - What can I say!  Still working on door panels!  Getting close though.  Spent most of the day Saturday wiring the four window switches together and making new window connections.  I did get everything done and all four windows work.  I was also able to install both door panels.  The challenge now is how to mount the arm rest pads and the switches to the actual arm rests.  I think I have an idea, but need to get some brass stock to try it out.

I also worked on he steer column cover.  I'm close on that too, but again, need to get some stock at at the hardware store.

Finally, worked on the center console some.  I mounted the emergency brake lever cover and started working on the shifter cover. 

Honestly, I'm running out of stuff to work on without starting a new batch of work for the back!  It's  a pretty good feeling!  I think I need to take a breather and do a through clean of the garage.  It really needs it!  Time to clean out a lot of the cruft I have laying around and organize a bit better before I start more work on the car.  Seems like a good thing for December!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Upholstery and Window Switches

Dateline - 10/29/2016 - Didn't spend a lot of time on the car this weekend.  What I did do was work on the window switches, the steering wheel cover and some upholstery.  For the passenger side window switch, I decided to de-solder the original leads, which are pretty small gauge wire, and solder on new leads of 12 gauge wire with appropriate bayonet connections.

On the driver side, I de-soldered the four switches from the original motherboard, but when I tried to put them into the new holder, they did not fit.  I spent about an hour reworking the holder to hold the switches.  I needed to solder on new leads, but it was getting late and decided to pick that up later

As I wrote about last week, the steering column cover has been a bit of a pain, but I think I have figured out how to mount it.  I have added a pin to the upper part of the cover that hooks behind the turn signal switch frame.  I'm going to add a screw on the bottom that will screw the cover to the fascia and that should hold everything in place.

Finally, I worked on the upholstery for the arm rests and piping that goes around the window switches.

It doesn't feel like I got much done, but every little bit brings me that much closer!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Still Working on Door Panel

Dateline - 10/22/2016 - Well, my fishing trip was a washout.  Drove four hours to find the rivers blown out!  So came home the nest day and worked on the car over the weekend.  This weekend was focused on door panels again.  Last week I did some modifications to the right side front door panel so that it would fit.  This modification required more fiber glassing.  This weekend I cleaned up the work and re-attached to vinyl that I had removed.  Once I got that done, I was able to fit the panel on the door.  It looks really good.

For the driver's side door, I got out the industrial sewing machine and sewed the new vinyl cover.  I spent most of the day Sunday installing the cover on the door panel.  It takes a lot time because I have to adhere some places with rubber cement and let it dry, then glue other parts with 3M 77 adhesive.  Overall it took a good four hours to do.  Now both door panels are done!

Since I had the sewing machine out, I also did some sewing of the passenger side arm rest.  I had the frame done for a long time, but did not get around the sewing the cover.  That's done.

I also sewed the cover to the steering wheel cover and glued it to the frame.  Now I just need to finish figuring out how I'm going to mount it.

Finally, I have to work on the power window switches.  I bought aftermarket switches that are back lit and should  be pretty cool.  The front passenger and two back door switches are single switches that are easy to deal with.  The driver side though is ganged together via a back-plane circuit board with all four switches side-by-side.  I need to etch a back plane that allows me to put the switches the way I want them (two rows, front windows forward, back windows behind) then solder all he connections.  Should be fun.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Door Panels and Miscellaneous Fittings

Dateline - 10/16/2016 - It's getting hard to believe, but I'm running out of things to work on!  This week I got a shipment from SNG Barratt that had some items I ordered including the chrome wings that sit next to the trunk lock, the right rear door seal and the plastic fittings that hold a little chrome piece on the back doors.  So I installed all of those this weekend.  Man I'm glad the door seals are done!  They sure are PITA!

With all those miscellaneous things out of the way, I started working on the door panels.  I had finished the right front door panel many years ago, but the left one I had to tear apart because it did not fit with the new dash.  Good thing because after I had put in all the trim, wind-lacing and kick panels, the panel no longer fit in the door opening!  So I went at it with my Dremel tool and saber saw and cut away quite a bit of the door panel to get it to fit.  It took most of the day Saturday to cut, sand, fit and cut again.  But I finally got the panel to fit, including the scrapers.  Now I have to saw a new vinyl cover and glue it all together.

I tackled the right front panel on Sunday.  This one was "finished", but like the left, it no longer fit in the opening either.  However, this one required a lot less modification.  I was able to pull away the vinyl and foam backing without much problem and again with the Dremel and saber saw!  Once I got it to size, I needed to re-fiberglass a portion of it, so I broke out the epoxies and went to town. Because I had not done any epoxy work in over a year, I had to spend some time getting my epoxy pumps tools to work correctly.  That was a messy job!  But I prevailed and finally got the door epoxied.  Now, all I need to do is sand a bit more and glue the vinyl back and that door panel should be ready for installation!

Also, I installed the new rear view mirror.  The old one was attached to the trim piece that span across the front window. It was in pretty bad shape and so I decided to buy a window mounted mirror that had map lights built into it.  I installed it and it works perfect!  Very pleased!

The last thing I did Sunday was work on the fiberglass piece that covers the blinker switch and steering column.  I got it sanded down so that it doesn't interfere with the steering wheel anymore, but now need to figure out how to mount it and saw a new vinyl cover for it.  I think I know how I am going to mount it, but that will have to wait for a couple of weekends because next weekend, I'm going fishing!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Getting Close and Closer

Dateline - 10/08/2016 - This weekend and put the car back on its wheels so that I could work on the passenger side front door.  I had to put the car on its wheels because I needed to push it forward about 18 inches in the garage to clear the center post.  I still need to bleed the brakes and change the tires for new ones.  So it will be back on jack stands soon!

I spent most of the day on Saturday putting the door back together.  After doing three of them already, I had pretty much figured out all the tricks, but it still very fiddly work.  It took about four hours, but I got most of it back together.

I also took care of some side projects.  I needed to paint the inside of the air collector in the front scuttle, so I finished that and installed the grill and front windshield wash nozzles.  I also installed the window wipers too, now that I have a front window!

I also changed the dash somewhat.  I took out the clock in the center of the dash because I realized that, if I use the battery cut off a lot, resetting the clock is going to be a pain.  So instead of the clock, I installed a Jaguar badge that I purchased to go on top of the shift knob but was too big.  It's off a modern jaguar and looks really good in the center of the dash!

I also re-installed trim that I had to take out to put the front window in, as well as installed the window trim that goes around the sides of the front window.  Finally, I installed the dash pad.

The interior is coming along really well.  Next weekend I'm going to work on fitting the door panels.  I know I'm going to need to modify them to fit.  I really guessed wrong on the shape of the door opening once all the trim is in.  Oh well.  Everything is custom, so all it takes is time to fix.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Front and Back Windows Are Installed

Dateline 09/24 and 09/25 2016 - Big task this weekend was installing the front and back windows.  I knew this was going to be a challenge but I had no idea how hard it was going to be!  I started with the back window first.  I thought I would put the rubber gasket in the car then force the window in.  I spent about two hours fighting that with no success.  So I took the window out and put the gasket on the window, then tried to get the window in this way because the back parcel shelf was in the way.  So I had to remove the speakers and the parcel shelf.  Once I had everything out of the way, I was able to finally work the window into place.  It was very slow going but it finally just "fell" into place.

Next I put the chrome trim in, which required working it into the rubber molding.  What a royal PITA!  Finally, after a full four hours I got the window in.

Sunday, I worked on two items, putting the front window in and trying to bleed the brakes.  I started with the brakes.  I bought a new brake reservoir cap because the fluid sensor in the old one was shot.  I took the old one apart and drilled a hole big enough to thread a compressor hose fitting into.  I was then able to connect the air compressor and put low pressure to the system.  This pushes the fluid through when you open the nipples at the brake calipers.

This worked great for the front brakes since they are easy to get to.  However, as I wrote about here, the back brakes are a total pain!  I didn't have a hose of the correct size and length as was just not able to get the hose on the nipples.  So I need to make a run to parts store to get the right hose.  Something to do next week.

The last part of the day I spend putting in the front window.  After figuring out the tricks on the back window, I was able to get the front window in relatively quickly, about two hours.  By the time I had the front window in, my fingertips were so sore from pushing and pulling on the rubber seal that I had to give up for the day.

So, just that much more done.  I still have the passenger side front door to do, but I need to get the car on its wheel to do it because the post in the middle of my garage is in the way.  This means I need to get new tires mounted.  It really is coming together though!

Here are pictures of the installed windows.

Back window installed.  Still need to screw down the speakers

Front window installed with dash pad in place.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Power Windows and One More Door

Dateline - 09/18/2016 - Wasn't  feeling too into working on the car this weekend, but wanted to keep some progress going, so Sunday I spent putting in the window regulators on the driver side of the car. The power windows in most foreign cars are always a problem point.  All the mechanical parts get wet and dirty being in the door and exposed to 45 years of grim and dirt.  The driver side front window also wears a lot because it is used most often.  Mine is no exception.  After fighting the getting the regulator in, I found out that it jams bringing the window down.  It looks like the mechanism is just worn out.  Unfortunately, these are truly unobtanium!  I'm going to need to put in an ebay search and hope for the best.  I am looking to see if I may be able to convert the passenger side to work.  If not, I may need to do some rebuilding.  I don't want to, but that may be my only recourse.

The back left window went in easy and works fine.  But, like all things Jaguar, the back regular is nothing like the front ones!

I also worked on the passenger side back door.  I got it all together including the window and regular.  However, when I went to put on the door seal, I realized that they sent me a front door seal in a bag marked for a back door.  I purchased these seals five years ago, so no hope of returning them.  Now I have to find a back door seal.  I hope this isn't unobtanium too!

So, what's left?

  • Passenger front door
  • New tires so I can put the car back on its feet
  • Front and back windows
  • Bumpers
  • Bleed the brakes
Then I could potentially drive the car!

I am noticing that the front power steering rack is leaking.  That isn't good, but I should expect things like this.  The car has been sitting for a very long time.  This is something I can work on this winter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Long Weekend - Got a Lot Done

Dateline 09/03 - 09/05 2016 - Spend two of the three days this long weekend working on the car.  First off was the headlights.  I ordered new 7" headlight buckets from SNG Barrett which I got in last week.  Installation was pretty straight forward although I had to swap out the wire harness since the one that came with the buckets supported the non-sealed beam headlights.

After I got the headlights installed, I started working on putting together the doors.  There are a lot of parts that make up the doors including door handles, mirrors, locks, closure mechanisms, levers, window track, windows, chrome, screws, rubber scrapers, rubber seals, screws, nuts, bolts, rivets.  And it all needs to go back together in a certain order.  The driver sides doors (front and back) took a day and an half to get done and even that wasn't enough to finish them completely.  I'm still waiting for clips to arrive from SNG Barrett that hold the back trim pieces on, I need to do some work with the inside door handles and there is still some chrome to put on.

My last gasp on Monday was putting the lettering on the back of the car.  I purchased modern jaguar lettering as well as a Jaguar V8 badge and an aftermarket 350 badge.  Here are pictures of all the finished work.
Driver side doors
Trunk badging

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

No Car Work This Weekend - It was RACE WEEKEND!

Dateline - 08/27 and 08/28 2016 - Didn't work on the car this weekend because I spent the weekend racing!  You may remember that I drive with Team Odin back in April ( ) and believe it or not, they invited me back!  So this weekend I got to get some serious time behind the wheel of a race car and we had a great run to boot! We did the entire weekend without removing the hood or coming in for mechanical issues except for one black flag for a fuel leak (more on that below). 

We did have a rocky start though.  First, there were over 70 cars signed up to race and LeMons didn't do much in the way of organization in the paddock area so by the time Chris got there (around 1:00 pm) the entire paddock area was completely full, so we had to park way out in the dirt!​

Next was car tech inspection.  Two things failed.  We needed a passenger door roll bar cross member (new to 2015 rules and only needed for LeMons) and the fuel cell vent needed to end below the bottom of the tank.  Ours was terminated in the fender above the tank.  The argument was that if the car rolls over and the vent valve does not close, fuel will drain into the car.  It's a fair cop, but LeMons is the only one with this rule and the car ran for five years as it was.  But you have to fix what they tell you to or you don't race!

So ​Friday we went running around trying to find a piece of non-seam 1-3/4" roll bar stock that we could weld into the car.  After purchasing a piece at the junk yard, and finding a good piece from someone in the paddock, Derek spent a couple hours cutting and welding the pipe in place into a very cramped space, in 90 degree heat! 

The fuel cell vent was pretty easy to fix.  We just ran the hose down the fender and through a rust hole that was already there, but needed a little widening with a pair of pliers. Tech inspection the next morning went fine and both items passed. 

Because we had a "very special car," we got to line up to be first on the track Saturday and actually lead a couple of laps (picture below of Chris sitting in the paddock ready to go out) but very early in the run, we got black flagged for a fuel leak.  Apparently our re-routed vent hose was siphoning fuel out of the tank when we took a hard right turn.  We were told, "Fix it and fix it right.  If we black flag you again for fuel leaks you are done for the weekend."  So we re-routed it back where it was before at the top of the fender and added a bunch of fuel line from there back to the hole at the bottom of the fender. No more fuel leaks.

Car 54 - Team Odin getting ready to launch on Saturday
A look at the cars behind us at the start
The rest of Saturday was pretty uneventful until the last hour of the race.  We had four drivers, Chris, Jeromy (new),  me (almost new) and Derek driving in that order.  We each got a chance to drive twice for one hour except for Derek who's last run was 30 minutes and he took the checker.  About 20 minutes before the end of my run, we lost the brake booster and all of the sudden the car wouldn't stop.  In the process, because I was still driving hot, I cooked the brakes and so by the time Derek got to drive, there was very little stopping left in the car, but we did get to the finish in one piece. The funny thing was that when Derek got out of the car, he said, "You told me that the brakes were bad.  WHAT BRAKES!"

We brought the car in, changed the brakes on all four corners and rotated the tires, and were good to go for the next day.  We didn't have a spare brake booster with us so we knew Sunday was going to require a lot more shifting and right leg work.

Sunday we started off early and had a very solid run.  Car ran fine, speeds were pretty good and the weather didn't get hot enough for us to put on the Cool Shirts.  Chris drove for an hour, Jeromy drive for a hour, I drove for a hour, Derek drove for a hour.  Then, because it was a shorter race, Chris and
Derek sat out their turns, letting Jeromy and me drive for the last 1.5 hours.  I got the chance to take checker, which was surprisingly more fun and exciting than I thought it was going to be!

By the end of the day, we were really clicking as a team.  We had timing down, driver changes down, no black flags (except for the first one) and we didn't hit anyone (but there were some serious close calls!)

So, some stats:
  • Total Laps: 298
  • Total Miles: 750
  • Place overall: 37 out of 67
  • Place in C-Class: 3rd out of 14 and only 2 laps down from 2nd.  The car in 1st place had ~15 laps on 2nd, so there was no catching up.
Milestones for the team:
  • Most number of laps run in one race
  • First race that didn't require major (hood off) mechanical repairs
  • First race that didn't require tire changes (Did 3 race days on the same set of Cooper Zeon tires and they were really sticky!)
Milestones for me:
  • ​​3:45 hours of racing.
  • First Checker flag
  • Full one hour stints behind the wheel
  • Didn't go off track!
  • My fastest lap time - 2:30
  • And feeling much more comfortable flogging a car around the track and really taking it to the edge at times.
The next race is in October, again at The Ridge, but this time with Lucky Dog, like the April race.  Unfortunately, I have a fishing trip planned for the same weekend (21/22) so I will not be able to race.  So this may have been the last race for me this year.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Putting It All Back Together

Dateline - 08/20 and 08/21, 2016 - Spent the weekend putting things back on the car.  I wanted to concentrate on one area at a time so I started to work on the trunk early in the day before it got too hot.  I was able to put on most of the chrome and license plate before it got too hot (with the garage door open I'm in the direct sun.  It took longer then expected because, well just because.

Once it got too hot to work on the trunk, I closed the door and moved to the front of the car,  I installed the side markers and front blinker/driving lights.  This was a pretty straight forward if fiddly job.  Having all the gaskets I needed helped a lot.

I also fiddled a bit with the doors and the headlights but didn't really finish anything.  Here's a picture of the front of the car with side markers and front blinkers.

Front with side makers and turn signals installed

By about 2:00 pm it was too hot in the garage to work comfortably so I went into the house and relaxed for a few hours.  In the evening, I pulled out all the chrome and found some of the pieces I had not finished polishing and went to work cleaning them up.  I also cleaned and reassembled the front quarter lights.  I had purchased new gaskets for them so had to get everything fitting correctly.  I also put new seals into the outside window scrapers.  This was also fiddly work that took more time then one would expect.

Sunday, I was able to spend more time on the car because it was a lot cooler.  I was able to put time into finishing the truck which included mounting latch mechanism and the knob.  I had bought a good used lock from a guy parting out a series 1 and swapped out the the good handle for the badly pitted one that was on my car.  I then mounted everything so that the trunk now closes!

I also worked on the backup lights and the license plate lights.  The left backup light worked fine, but the right one had a bad connection that required that I pull the light off the car and reset a connection.  After fixing that, I ran all the wires into the trunk lid to the hing and wired everything up.  Both the backup lights work now as well as the little LED license plate lights I'm using.  These are small lights that make up the top two license plate bolts.  These should work pretty well.

I have put some Jaguar lettering and a Jaguar V8 symbol on order to fill in the blank spaces on the trunk.  Here is a picture with what I completed this weekend:

Trunk mostly completed
For the rest of the day, I started installing some of the chrome pieces, starting at the rain gutters and the passenger and drive side door.  I also placed but did not install the quarter lights.  There is a lot of chrome on this car!

That was it for the weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Major Milestone! The Car Has Doors (And Hood, And Trunk Lid)

Dateline - 08/13/2016 - This was panel hanging weekend.  Matt and Karen came over and helped me hang all the panels.  It was a hot day on Saturday and we sweated a lot in my hot garage, but managed to get the trunk, hood, all four doors and the back fender valances hung and except for one small cut finger, no major accidents or injuries!  Matt and I were pretty knackered by the end of the day though and so we all went out to Outback Steakhouse for dinner (because yours truly didn't get the stakes out of the freezer in time to thaw completely!).

Matt brought his cameras over to log what was going on and took some really cool wide angle lens shots (the wide angle makes my stomach look bigger then it really is.  Honest!)  He also set up a camera that took a picture every 15 seconds and made a really cool time laps video.  All are included below:

Mounting trunk lid

Trunk lid mounted

Taking off hood latch so we could close the hood for fitting

All the relays in the dash

Interior dash

The usual state of my workbench!  Okay! Not the cleanest work area in the world!

Interior with doors closed

Dash from the top

And here is the video on

On Sunday, I did some more fitting.  I ended up taking the hood off again because I could not get the latches to work.  I had welded down the tongues on the hood which took away the flexibility needed for them to engage with the latches.  So I had to take the hood off and beat in the area of the hood that meets with the hinges.  This positioned the hood back about 1/2 inch when closed, and allowed the tongues to insert correctly into the latches.

I also mounted the front valance piece that runs between the fenders under the bumper.  This wasn't too difficult but we had run out of energy on Saturday to do this.

I was really sore on Sunday and it was getting hot again, so I ran out of steam pretty quickly, but I did manage to get one door seal mounted on the driver side front door.  Then I called it quits!

Still have a ways to go, but big progress none the less!

Thank you Matt and Karen for the help!!!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Made Great Progress on Interior

Dateline - 08/06/2016 - Worked two days this weekend to get the dash and center console in.  The center console was tricky, but because I had fitted everything so much before hand, everything fit pretty well.  The tricky part was re-figuring out how the vacuum connections needed to go together to get the climate controls to work.  But after about five hours, I had everything in and working!  Climate controls, air flow, heat, fans, switches and radio.

On Sunday I worked on the driver side dash.  I needed to rewire the information center because I had changed how the lights worked and which ones did what.  It took some figuring, but fortunately, I had a diagram I had put together originally that stated which wires did what, so it was a matter of transcribing the old and new and soldering the wires back together.  Once that was done, I was able to mount the dash.

After mounting the dash, I tried the lights and everything worked until I tried the dimmer. I noticed that the center gauges did not dim.  It was then that I realized the I had screwed up!  The dimmer that I am using for the lights needs to have both the hot and ground go to the dimmer switch.  When I wired the gauges, I ganged all the grounds together back to chassis ground.  So I had to take the gauges out again and rewire them so that the ground ran back to dimmer.  This meant that I had to pull the driver side dash out one more time.   After an hour of rewiring and refitting, I had everything in the car and it's all working correctly now.

I still have some work to do on the center console to get the gear selector lights working, but that should be a minor amount of work.  I'm also sewing new shifter and parking brake boots out of the tan vinyl to get rid of some of the overwhelming black center console.

Here are pictures:

Center console installed sans shifter and e-brake boots
Complete dash

Monday, August 1, 2016

Another car had my Attention

Dateline - 07/31/2016 - This weekend I worked on the Team Odin Race Car in preparation for the upcoming race on August 27/28 at The Ridge.  This is a LeMons race, and my first in this series.

After the engine replacement during the April race, we had a very bad vibration in the car.  We didn't know if it was the engine or something connected to it.  So Chris and Derek put the car up on the stand and we removed the transmission and started it to see if we could feel the vibration.  It was there.  So we removed the clutch and pressure plate and ran it.  Still there.  So then we started swapping flywheels.  We found that a Rover flywheel had the least amount of vibration through the entire range.  Of course, the rover flywheel would not match the clutch we had, but Chris had a low miles rover clutch in house, so we put everything back together and it felt very good.  So the car is ready for race day!

As for the Jag, I did do some work.  I drew up and etched yet a third circuit board that took out the load resisters and depended upon the 12 volt diodes I originally used.  I'm waiting for a couple of diodes to come in that I ordered to finish that.

I also worked on carbon center console.  I finished sanding and put four coats of lacquer clear on it.  After a good wet sanding, polishing compound, Cleaner wax and final waxing, it looks really good.  Not perfect, but hay, it's all done by hand, not machine!  I put all the components into it last night (Radio, switches, lighters, air vents, cup holder) so now it is ready to mount in the center console!  This is a big deal!  I've done a lot of work to get this part done, and I'm happy to be at the point that I can install it.

I've only a few things left to do inside the car.  We are planning on hanging panels in two weeks, so it is getting down to the wire!  Very, very cool.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Light Work This Weekend

Dateline - 07/24/2016 - Did light work on the car this weekend.  I spent some time working on the circuit board for the information center.  I'm not really happy how it is turning out and am probably going to do it one more time.  I'm going to change back to using 12 volt diodes and remove the load resistors.  It's a pretty tight squeeze to get everything on the board and I really am not happy with the results.

I also spent some time painting the trunk and resetting the fuel delivery system.  I didn't take pictures but I'll post some later.

That's it for now.

UPDATE: pictures:
Trunk after painting and installation of new fuel system

Close up of new fuel system.  Note fuel filters on each tank to keep dirt from getting into the valve system.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Took a Break This Weekend

Dateline - 07/16/2016 - Took a little break from the car this weekend.  I was invited to go to Crescent Lake on the Olympic Peninsula for the weekend.  What a fantastic place!

I did do some work on the car though.  I finished rubbing out the steering wheel, which came out really nice!  I also sanded and smoothed with Acetone the Information Center housing.  And I worked on he circuit board.  I hand drilled all the holes for the components, and test installed them to see how they fit.  It's close quarters, but everything will work.  It helps that the resistors are installed on the back side of the board.  I'll have pictures when I finish soldering everything together.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Fuel Leaks, Stripping Paint and Odds and Ends

Dateline - 07/02/2016 - 07/04/2016 - The week started off a bit rocky when I found out that the wonderful relay system that I had installed in the trunk to control flow from the two tanks leaked, badly!  Gas had been flowing down into the spare tire area and basically stripped the paint!  Here is a picture of the damage.
Paint damage done by gas leak in trunk.
So I went on line and purchased an actual auxiliary tank control valve that is a replacement for exiting valves for Ford and GM trucks and installed that.  This is actually a better solution because it is a three way valve so I only need to power it when I have gas coming from the right hand tank.  With no power, gas flows from the left tank.  I did loose the ability to shut gas off completely when the power is off, but that is a small price to pay to know that it is not going to leak!

Since the paint is pretty much destroyed in the trunk, I decided to strip it and paint the trunk with POR15, which is a very tough, solvent resistant primer.  This should seal the bottom well and be a good base for the new paint.

Another item I ordered was a replacement for the radiator filler.  The one I had was leaking badly from the overflow tube.  I purchased an aluminum replacement part that fits in the same place in the upper radiator hose.  So, while I was waiting for the paint stripper in the trunk to work, I got the engine running and hot enough to try out the electric radiator cooling fan.  Took some time to get it to come on around at 180 degrees, but I finally got it to cycle correctly.  It is good to know the fan is work correctly.  I have the manual override in the car also, but I definitely wanted these to work correctly via the thermostat mounted in the radiator.

While the engine was running, I noticed that I had a transmission fluid leak from the radiator.  One of the new lines I created did not seat correctly, so I had to put some more turns on the fitting.  I'm keeping an eye on that to make sure it is fixed.

I also worked on the Information Center circuit board.  I had to etch a new board so that the brake and oil warning lights would work correctly.  I also read that I should put load resisters in place to make sure I don't burn out the diodes, so I created a new board design with the correct changes, printed out on the laser printer, and etched a new board (see prior posts on the process here and  I'm still waiting for the diodes and resisters to come from Amazon.  Here is the new board layout:
New circuit board for Information Center that has load resisters and positive power to brake and oil warning lights
I also worked on the plastic surround for the information center.  I did a 3D print a long time ago in PLA plastic, but wanted to do one in ABS because I can get a much smoother finish.  The problem is that I lost the original model I used to do the print, so I had to take one that I had modified and reshape it to the correct size and shape.  That took about four hours, but I did get one printed out finally.

Taking care of some other odds and ends, I sand blasted and painted the outside headlight bucked, painted a defroster vent I bought on ebay to replace the one I had that had a broken frame.  I also finish sanding the steering wheel which I had stripped and filled last summer, and put five coats of clear lacquer on it.  And I mounted the rear deck panel and rear speakers.  I didn't get around to mounting the center brake light yet.  I want to wait until I get the window glass in place to make sure it fits correctly.

Now I have to paint the trunk bottom again and reinstall the new gas flow system.  I also need to finish the center console fascia, but the list is getting really short now! I'm starting to run out of things to do on the car that don't require having the body panels installed.  That's a really cool thing!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Rewire is DONE!

Dateline - 06/26/2016 - Spent Friday, early Saturday and most of the day Sunday finishing up the wiring.  Surprisingly few problems after moving the relays.  Once I got everything hooked up correctly, it all work.  Go figure!

Here are before and after pictures.

Relays prior to wire cleanup
Before wire cleanup - Driver side
Before wire cleanup
After wire cleanup
Relays with temp labels
After wire cleanup - Driver side
After wire cleanup
After I got the wiring done, I reinstalled the center console and the right hand dash.  I can't installed the driver side until I get the new information center made.  Once that is done, all I have left to do is finish the center console fascia and the the dash will be done!