Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Dateline - 12/26/2017 - Well another Christmas has come and gone and the Jaguar is still a project, all be it, now a running one!  We got snow Christmas eve and on Christmas day, so it was a white Christmas in Seattle for only the 9th time since records started in the mid-1800!

Cicka house, Christmas Day, 2017
I started working on fiber glass and carbon layup this week.  I purchased a bunch of vacuum bagging materials from Fibreglast ( one of my favorite on-line supply locations.  The materials I purchased were:

  • Stretchlon 200 Bagging Film
  • Low Temperature Release Film
  • Breather and Bleeder - 4oz
  • Econostitch Peel Ply
  • Gray Sealant Tape
  • Vacuum Connector

I also purchased a vacuum pump from Amazon and got a bunch of needed fitting at my local hardware store.

There are a lot of videos on the Fibreglast site on how to vacuum bag, but basically you use the Release Film or Peel Ply right against the layup.  Then you put Breather and Bleeder material above that to absorb the extra epoxy and allow the air to bleed out of the bag.  Then use the Stretchlon bagging film and the gray sealant tape to create the bag.  The vacuum connector goes through a hole in the Stretchlon.

My plan was to experiment with the window switch holders for the back doors because I print these out on my 3D printer and if I mess one up, I can easily print another.  My plan was to use a table surface for one side of the vacuum bag and attach the stretch bagging material to the table with the gray tape. I wanted the part to be elevated off the table so that the carbon fiber would hang below the printed item, so I planned to use two 3/8" sockets of the same height to elevate it.

I put together my bag materials before I started the layup.  I put the tape down on the table, put a piece of masking paper down, with the bleeder breather on top of that, then put the sockets down with the part on top.  I then cut the Low Temperature Release film, the breather bleeder that would go on top of the part and the Stretchlon for the outside bag.  I fitted the vacuum fitting into the Stretchlon and was ready to go.

My layup consisted of one layer of 3K 2 x 2 Twill Weave carbon fiber, which was the same as I used on the rest of the car.  I covered the part with a mix of West Marine 105 Epoxy resin with 206 Hardener then laid the carbon fiber on top.  I coated it with more epoxy to make sure that it was well impregnated then moved over to the vacuum bagging area.

I placed the part on the sockets, put the bagging materials on, sealed the bag to the table and then started the vacuum pump.  And sure enough, the bug pulled the material down and created a great fit, until I turned the pump off and the air leaked back in!  I found it very difficult to create a permanent seal!  My guess is that you can't really get a permanent seal with this process.  There is always going to be some leaking.

The other challenge I found was that, because I had the part elevated so much, the bagging material would stretch under the part until it popped!  I went through three bags before I finally got it to hold.  Lesson learned there.

Because the bag would not hold a vacuum, and I got tired of waiting for the epoxy to set, I cheated a little and tied a zip strip along the bottom to hold the bag tight, and put a piece of foam into the switch opening with a weight on top to keep the material pressed in.  I would go back occasionally and re-vacuum the bag, just to keep everything as tight as possible.  The part turned out okay, but I learned a few lessons that I applied on the next one.

Round two incorporated the things I learned from round one, namely:

  • Don't raise the part so far off the table.  This time I used nuts instead of sockets.
  • There is no need to use breather bleeder on top of the Stretchlon.  The Stretchlon is not permeable and there was no problem forming a vacuum on this part
  • Check for air bubbles.  If any air bubbles form between the layup and the Stretchlon, work them out.  Otherwise you end up with holes in the layup that need to be filled later.

Here are pictures of my second attempt as well as my vacuum rig.  

Materials: Peel Ply (top), Breather/Bleeder (middle), Streatchlon bagging material (bottom)
Vacuum pump with fittings
Valve to control flow
Bagging setup pre-vacuum application

With vacuum applied
As with the first one, air still leaked and I needed to use zip ties and weighted insert to help the bag keep the shape, however this one sealed much better and with what I learned, I got a much better part.  Here are pictures of the two parts right out of the bag.  The first one is on the right, the second is on the left.

Results of vacuum bagging.  First attempt on right, second attempt on the left

Same picture with flash.  Shows wrinkles prominently.

You can see wrinkles in both, but the first one on the right has far more and deeper, as well as a few air pockets. I think this is because I had the Breather/bleeder material covering the top and could not see how it was wrinkling, or the air pockets.  The second one did not have the breather/bleeder material and came out far better.

I also started working on other fiber glass work.  I glassed one of the armrests that I had formed out of foam a few weeks ago.  I was planning on vacuum bagging this also, but I ended up just doing the layup by hand.  I did use the Econostitch Peel Ply and the Stretchlon bagging film, but this time I just pulled the material around and used blue tape to hold it.  When I did this the first time several years ago, I used saran wrap without the Peel Ply, which worked okay but required a lot of finish sanding to and the saran wrap was very difficult to remove.  Using the Peel Ply and Stretchlon bagging film was much easier and I was able to remove the bagging film in one piece so I can use it again.   Here are pictures of the arm rest while wrapped and afterwords.

Right Armrest still in bagging material.

Right Armrest, back side, still in bagging material

Right armrest, bagging material removed

Right armrest, bagging material removed, back side.  Note: still have the glass the inside of the handle

Right Armrest with switch holder.
I've got another four day weekend coming up over New Years and hope to be able to get a lot more glassing done.  Look for my next report!

Until then, Happy New Year and welcome 2018!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Summers Over - Time to Get Back To It!

Dateline - 11/11/2017 - Well, Summer and Fall are over, at least it feels like it here in the Pacific Northwest, so it is time to get back to the car. 

Not much left to do now!  I need to finish up the back door panels and the center console and detail the trunk!  Seems like I can get that done this winter.

Saturday I was in the garage sawing and shaving pink insulation foam again as I started work on the door panels.  I didn't take any pictures, but I'll refer you back to this prior post ( since it is pretty much the same work.

I finished most of the panels themselves although there is a little more work to be done on each, and have carved the door handles.  I should be able to do the fiberglass work after the Thanksgiving break.  Once that is done, all that is left is upholstery!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gas Smell Fixed and More Interior Upholstery

Dateline - 07/09/2017 - Well, looks like I got the gas smell fixed.  I can only figure it was the fuel line I bought.  These new alcohol based fuels need special fuel line and the marine grade I purchased seemed to do the trick.  Here is a picture of the finished setup:
Trunk with fuel lines
I did more work on the back upholstery, finishing the filler pad on the left had back seat and the seat belt well at the base of the seat.  Here are pictures of the right hand side.  The left looks the same.

Right side back seat bolster with over-shoulder reading light 

Right side back seat bolster with over-shoulder reading light

Right side back seat belt pocket
Right side back seat belt pocket with belt in place.

I also worked on cleaning up the hubcaps.  They had rusted inside the caps so I used some Navel Jelly to get rid of the really thick stuff and then painted them with rust inhibitor paint.  I will paint them next weekend.  I also removed the chipped paint around the Jaguar Head emblems in the centers and will mask and paint those too.  The caps are not prefect and have a few spots of rust in the chrome, but I'm going to use them for now.  They really need to be re-chromed, but I can worry about that at another time.

That was about it for Sunday.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Still Chasing Gas Smell and Doing Upholstery

Dateline - 07/01/2017 - I'm still chasing that gas smell in the truck.  I've gotten frustrated enough that I've ripped out everything in the trunk and starting over.  This time, I bought five feet of marine grade fuel hose a West Marine at $5.50 a foot (YIKES!) and started by plugging the hose directly into the right fuel tank and into the fuel input in the front wall of the trunk.  Then I completely washed the back of the trunk with dish washing soap to get any gas residue out.  Then started the car, let it run for awhile and checked for leaks.  Then I closed the trunk lid and let it sit.  No smell.

So, next, I pinched off the hose with a hose pinch tool, cut the hose at the fuel inlet and inserted a new steel tube that I made to run along the bottom of the trunk up to the fuel feed selection solenoid.  Cleaned everything, let it dry, started the engine, checked for leaks, then closed the trunk lid for six hours.  No smell.

Next I inserted a fuel filter into the hose coming out of the tank by pinching the hose at the tank, cutting the hose, inserting the filter, cleaning everything, letting it dry, starting the car, checking for leaks, than closed the lid for six hours.  No smell.

So now I inserted the fuel feed selection solenoid by pinching the fuel hose after the new fuel filter, cutting the hose to size and inserting it onto the right inlet side of the solenoid.  Next I cut the hose connected to the steel tubing to fit and slipped it on the solenoid's output fitting.  I needed to make sure the left intake side was plugged so that I didn't get any gas leaks there, so I took the remainder of the hose, slipped it on the solenoid and plugged the other end with a bold. Clean, start the car, close the lid.  No smell.

Now, time to bring in the left tank.  The tank was already empty, so I just removed the old hose I had on the tank outlet, took the bolt I was using as a plug out of the hose and plugged it into the fuel tank.  Cleaned everything.  Put a couple of gallons of fuel in the left tank, started the car with the left tank selected and checked for leaks. Closed the lid.  Was there a smell?  Don't know yet.  Will check tonight!  If there is no smell, the last thing to do is insert fuel filter in the hose from the left tank.  Here's hoping this works!

Also this weekend I worked on upholstery in the back of the car.  I got the 70 degree angle drill that I had ordered from Amazon several weeks ago and used it to drill the holes needed to mount the back reading lights.  Worked like a champ!  Nice to have the correct tools!  After mounting the light on the passenger side, I decided to make the upholstery needed to fill the gap between the seat and the body.  I still have a bit of 1" foam left over from building the seats, so I cut, glued, and shaped it to fit the void.  Then I cut and sewed the upholstery to fit the foam.  It's scary how good I'm getting at upholstery!

I did have a little challenge in the pocket area that is formed between the seat bottom and the door.  I thought I would fill it with foam also, but the pocket makes a really good seat belt storage area. So, instead of filling it with a foam pad, I decided to glue vinyl right to the body.  I had to sew a bit of piping to the edge so that it would meet cleanly with the carpeting.  I've very happy with the results and it makes a perfect little pocket for the seat belt. I'll grab some pictures and update this post when I have them.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Gas Leaks, Lights, Center Console and Scuttle Bracing

Dateline - 06-10-2017 - As you can tell from the title, I did a lot of different things to the car this weekend.  First, I continued to trace down the gas smell in the trunk.  First, I pulled off the left outer fender valence to see if gas was leaking from the fittings in the take.  Nothing there.  So I replaced the gas filters in the tank with new metal based filters.  Not sure if that fixed the problem or not.  One thing I can say, this new gas, with all this alcohol in it, is really tough on plastic and rubber.  I put brand new Gates fuel lines in the car and they are now very soft!  And the plastic fuel filters I had in the car have really softened too.  I can't imagine what it its going to be line when they pass the E-15 standard.  I know they say it will ruin any car prior to 2000 because the alcohol will melt plastic and rubber parts.  I believe it!

I also worked on the two cross members that go from the fenders to the firewall.  I mentioned a couple of blog entries back that I spent some time grinding on the horrible welds that they did on these pieces.  This weekend I used some body filler to smooth out the finish and just need to do some finish sanding before I paint these up with gloss black paint.  They already look much better than what Jaguar put there!

I also worked on the back of the car.  I started looking at installing the reading lights in the back, but realized that I need a 90 degree drill to get to the areas I to mount the lights.  Wish I know about this before installing the back windscreen!  I guess I have an excuse to buy another tool!  Can't have enough tools.

Since I couldn't work on lights, I switched to working on the center console.  I got the cup holder I had ordered from Amazon that comes out of jeep and found that, with a little cutting, it worked perfect for where I wanted it.  Next, I broke out the pink foam and framed up the pieces for the center console, incorporating the cup holder into it.  Now that the framework done, I can break out the fiberglass!  More fiberglass!  Here are pictures of the center console in pink foam:

I have made the decision that I am not going to enter the car into the Greenwood show this year.  It was a close call, but with all that I have going on right now, and the state of the car, it just doesn't look like I will make it.  But next year the car will be completely done and it will be good and ready!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Power Steering Rack Replacement

Dateline - 06/03/2017 - This weekend was power steering rack replacement weekend.  After 40 years, the power steering rack seals had given up the ghost.  It was so bad that just sitting the car was leaking out all the fluid on the floor!  So I ordered a rebuilt rack several weeks ago, and have been waiting for it to come in.  Of course, it was special order, but it came in on Wednesday, so I had a big day planned for Saturday.

The replacement was pretty straight forward.  It would have been a lot easier if I had a rack and someone to help since it is a bit heavy (32 lbs) and awkward.  But I used a floor jack to hold it up while getting it out and putting it in and that helped a lot.  The biggest struggle was aligning the steering wheel shaft joint to the top of the rack.  I didn't want to take the dash apart to loosen the steering column, so I had to fiddle for about 30 minutes to get the shaft engaged.

Once that was done, it was a relatively simple matter of lifting the rack up and aligning the mounting points.  There are three (one on the passenger side and two on the driver side).  Of course, everything is a tight fit and really greasy, but patience ruled the day.  It only took about four hours, taking my time and doing it right.

Here is a picture of the old and new racks:

Old (on left) and new (on right) power steering racks

On Sunday, I took a little time to find out why I still have gas small in my trunk.  I was pretty sure it was coming from the left hand tank because when I only had gas in the right tank, no smell, but once I put gas in the left tank, I had smell!  Pretty simple troubleshooting!

So I drained the left tank again (fortunately I only put about two gallons of gas in) and pulled the hoses.  What I found was that I had tightened the hose clamps so much that the thin plastic fuel filter nipple had crushed!  Not enough to leak, but enough to let fumes enter the trunk.  I put a straight piece of hose in until I can get a metal fuel filter (will replace the one on the right side too when I run the tank down).  I think this will fix the problem, but I need to check today to see.

So, now I need to get he car insured and over to the paint shop to see if they can get the paint to match.

Am I going to make the Greenwood auto show at the end of the month?  We'll have to see.  It's getting tight now.  If anything, I would like to get to drive it some this summer.  I need to put some miles on to make sure everything is good and working correctly.  Lots of changes to the car over the last 7 years!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Initial Drive Issues Fixed and Video

Dateline - 05/14/2017 - Didn't work on the car on Saturday because I did a 20+ mile bike ride on Vashon Island (,_Washington), but did do some work on Sunday.  Wanted to focus on getting the issues we found driving the car, which was, no speedo, backup lights on when in park and flickering light on oil pressure gauge.

I decided to tackle the backup lights first.  This required that I take the shift lever boot cover and B&M plastic surround out so that I could get to the switches that are mounted on the shift lever.  It's fiddly work and requires taking the top part of the shift lever apart.  It's just two bolts and a clip and a spring, but it's still a bit of a PITA.  Once I had access to the switch I needed to do some troubleshooting.  There are two micro switches ganged together, one controls the backup lights (top one) and the other controls the ignition cutout (bottom).  The switches ride against the side of the shift mechanism which has lobes to close the switches depending on what gear you are in.  Easy system in principle, but it is very critical that the switches be the right distance from the shift body.  Well, they weren't.  Way to close.  In fact, both switches were engaged almost all the time.  I needed to get in with a big screw driver and lever the switches away from the body.  Once I got them the correct distance, all was well.  but this took several attempts to get it correct.

The second problem was that I had hooked the hot wire that goes to the LED lights on the dash and the one in the B&M console to the switched side of the backup lights.  Since the switch was on all the time, I never noticed the problem.  It was only after I got the switches working correctly that I noticed that the lights didn't work correctly.  That was an easy fix; just move the lead from one side of the switch to the other.  Done and done!

Next was the speedo.  I wasn't looking forward to this because I was pretty sure I had to take the dash apart!  Grrrrr.  Getting the dash out isn't that hard.  I needed to take the dash cover off, which just pulls out, take three screws out, and the dash comes right apart.  But once I put it together, I really didn't want to take it apart again!

Once I got to the back of speedo, I was able to troubleshoot.  I jacked up the rear of the car so that I could put it into gear and also get under it to get to the sender, which is right next to the exhaust.  I started tracing wires and realized that I forgot to hook the hot wire to the sender.  The wire was run correctly, I just didn't connect it at the speedo.  Two hours of troubleshooting (mainly because I had to wait for the exhaust to cool down), five minute fix!  Speedo now works.  Took about 10 minutes to put the dash back together,  

Before I put the dash pad back on, I looked at the oil pressure gauge light.  Of course, once I had everything apart, it worked fine and I could not get it to flicker!  So there is a loose wire someplace, but I've no idea where.  It will reoccur at some point.

So, now that the speedo is working, I need to calibrate it.  They have a really cool way to do this.  You press and hold the trip reset button then start the car.  The needle will move all the way to the right and hold at full.  You drive the car to the start of a measured two mile run.  Stop the car and press the button again.  The needle moves to half deflection.  You drive the two miles and stop, then press the button one more time.  Voila, it's calibrated.  It doesn't make any difference how fast you go or if you stop as long as you don't turn the power off.  It is measuring the number of pulses delivered by the sender unit over a two mile length.  The thing that will really impact the calibration is how accurate your measured two mile distance is.  Pretty cool! Fortunately, I have a couple of those "Your Speed Is" signs around that I can test the accuracy!

One thing I noticed while under the car is the power steering rack is REALLY leaking oil.  I mean, a lot of oil.  Looks like I need to replace that before I get to doing any serious driving!

So, as was promised in the last post, I have some video of the car.  Check these out on YouTube:

Thanks Matt for the video.

Monday, May 8, 2017

On the Road!

Dateline - 05/06/2017 - After almost seven years of being garage bound, the Jag finally drove under it's own power this weekend!!!!!!!  Matt and Karen came over to help me bleed the brakes on the car, which was a three hour job!  What a PITA!  But once we got it done, we took it out and drove it around the neighborhood!  Boy what a difference in driving experience.  Let's just say, it's not my Subaru WRX!  I have to remember that I'm driving a 1960's car!  I've got a video I'm going to post a little later, but here are just a few of the pictures that Matt took:

So there are a few kinks to work out.  My speedo isn't working.  The backup lights are on when I'm in park, and I have one bulb in the oil pressure gauge that has a faulty connection (flickers on and off).  Everything else is working fine!

On Sunday, I put in the new seat belts that I ordered last week.  Of course, it wasn't easy because the front passenger seat hit the auto retracter, which is just behind the seat on the rocker panel.  The driver side was fine.  So I had to fiddle with the height of the seat, eventually requiring me to pull the seat out completely and drill some new holes in the seat mounting bracket.

I also got the back seat belts installed, which required removing the seat cushions and drilling holes in the back firewall to mount the belts.  Nice that I used Velcro to hold the cushions on.  Rrrrriiiiiip!  They are out!  Fiddly work, but once it was done, it worked fine.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Back Seats are Done!!!

Dateline - Week of April 24, 2017 -  Spent every night last week sewing upholstery for the back seats.  Honestly, I'm gland I'm done for a while.  That was a lot of work!  Here are the seat pieces fully done.

Next was installation.  Easy to say, not so easy to do!  The plan was to mount the bottom bolsters, mount the back bolsters, glue Velcro strips on the the bolster frames then put in the cushions.  Easy! NOT! The outside bottom bolsters were pretty easy.  Position, mark, drill bolt down.  The inside bolsters, different story.  They are directly over the mufflers!  I had about 1.5" to get my hands into.  Not fun.  Plus, I had to reach the top of the bolts too.  So I took a long screwdriver and zip stripped the wrench to it so I could reach!

The back bolsters were easier to install, but I still had the reach issue because I had to reach in the car and into the trunk.  So, lots of extensions on the socket wrench and the extension on the wrench got the job done.

Passenger back seat installed

Passenger back seat deal
Last was epoxying the Velcro and letting it dry.  Since I had already sewn the opposite side of the the Velcro the to cushions, all I had to do was mark were the Velcro needed to be and glue it down.  Here is the result:

Driver side back seat showing Velcro glued to the seat frames
And finally, installation of the cushions:

Back seats installed

Back seats installed
I still have to figure out what I'm going to do with the area between the seats and the open area along the wheel well hump.  But I think that will wait. I'm doing with upholstery, at least for a week.

On Sunday I worked on some odds and ends.  There are panels that needed to be installed in the front wheel wells that I thought I would install.  Unfortunately, I needed to do some more prep work in the wheel wells first, so they didn't get installed.  But the hardware did get sand blasted and tin plated (I really like my tin plating setup!).

While I had the front tires off, I took some time to clean up the front headlight/side marker wiring.

Finally, I did some work on the fender cross members.  There are bars that run from the middle of the firewall to each fender to keep the fenders and front scuttle from shaking.  These are right in plan view but are some of the worst welding done on the car.  Sharp edges, nasty welds...yuk!  So I got out the angle grinder and my metal files and went to work cleaning them up.  I also put both through the sandblaster.  I still don't like the welds, so I think I'm going to treat them to some bondo.  No since doing all the nice work in engine bay to slap on a couple of nasty looking pieces of metal!

So, next weekend is the scheduled first drive!  Very exciting!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Seats, Tires and Gas

Dateline - 04/22/2017 - Another weekend of working on the back seats.  Did a lot of upholstery this weekend.  I finished 3.5 of the four side bolsters.  These take about four hours a piece when you take into account creating the templates, lay out, cutting, sewing, fitting, gluing and finishing.  It's just a lot of work.  To be honest, I'm going to be glad when I'm done!  Here are pictures:

I also got new tires for the car this weekend.  I got Bridgstone tires at Costco.  I figured that there wasn't a lot of reason to get expensive tires since I'm going to end up using them up doing burnouts! ;-)  I bought five because the old spare was in pretty bad shape (Like "A Christmas Story, "My old man's spare tires were actually only tires in the academic sense.  They were round, they had once been made of rubber.") and since the spare tire is on a nice chrome rim, I figured I could rotate it along with all the rest.

I spent a good portion of the day on Saturday cleaning and shining chrome wheels.  They really needed the time and attention.  The chrome, like the chrome on most of the car, is good but starting to pit and rust.  I cleaned them up, but they really need to be rechromed at some point.  Something that is not going to happen anytime in the future.

I also worked on the gas leak in the trunk.  I think it may be caused by using fuel line that is too large, so I bought a smaller size (5/16" instead of 3/8") and pulled all the fuel lines.  It is a good thing the gas tanks have drain plugs because, since they sit higher then the fuel feed, there is a strong siphon effect that wants to drain the tank into the trunk.  There was no gas in the right tank but about three gallons in the left one that I had to drain.  More used gas!  Hopefully this will fix the gas leak!  It was never very much, but it sure filled the trunk with gas fumes.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Another Weekend Working On Seats

Dateline - 04/15/2017 - Continued work on the back seats this week.  Worked on the upholstery for the passenger side seats and in doing so, I used the last of my material!  So I had to buy another three yards.  That should be enough to finish off the car...I hope!

Saturday I spent working on the bolsters.  Much easier to do the second set since I had a set that was already complete, I just needed to reverse them.  It still takes time.  It's a lot of cutting and gluing and trimming and gluing and cutting and fitting, but eventually you end up with all the pieces.  I did manage to dull the blades of my electric carving knife to the point that they barely cut now!  I can't get replacement blades for the knife so I'll end up throwing it away.  It's a shame really.  The handle and motor are fine.  It only cost $11, it's just such a waste.  Oh to live in a "throw away" world!

On Sunday I worked on the metal backing plates that are attached to the foam.  These are what will be bolted to the car body to hold the bolsters in place.  In those will be glued the Velcro that will hold the seat bottom and back in place.  It should all go together nicely, and I can remove the seat bottom and back easily if need be.

Here are pictures of all the seat parts sitting on the floor.  The different black and red paint doesn't mean anything.  I ran out of red, so used black.  Trying to use up some of these rattle cans I have lying around!

Once I get the rest of the material, I can start on rest of the upholstery.  In the meantime I need to get ready to drive the car in about three weeks, so time to put tires on order!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Back Seat is Coming Along

Dateline - 04/08/2017 - Continued to work on the back seat this weekend.  I finished the bottom cushion and the thigh bolsters.  Then I sandblasted the sheet steel backings to get them clean and to have a little tooth, then glued the upper and thigh bolsters to their respective metal backing.  I then painted the exposed bare metal to prevent rust.

In the afternoon and evening on Saturday, I started the upholstery work. First, let me say how nice it is to have good tools!  A good pair of sharp sheers, a 24" transparent quilting ruler with guides, a good pair of snips, a magnetic guide for the sewing machine, an magnetic LED light so I can see what I'm sewing, the digital variable speed motor on the sewing machine, and most of all, basting tape! What a difference!  It was an actual pleasure to do the upholstery instead of a challenge!

So, I started with the easiest piece first, the upper seat cushion.  Using paper patterns, I cut the material and using the basting tape, was able to put everything together so that all I had to do was run it through the machine.

After sewing and fitting, I realized that I'm going to need a little filler foam so that you don't feel the seams.  So using some headliner material that I had left over from the XK-8 headliner repair, I cut pieces to fit and glued them in.

I also needed a back panel so that I can close everything up.  I didn't want to use my expensive upholstery material, so I used some vinyl I had from another project that worked perfectly.  It's not the same color, but it's on the back, so no one will notice.

I plan to close everything up with Velcro, which I have on order.  Once that comes in, I can sew it into the cover and call it done.

Next I worked on the bottom seat cushion.  Same process as the top cushion only there was no need for sewing flat seams on this one.  However, the shape was more complex than the top cushion, which provided it's own set of challenges.  Here are pictures:

Upper seat cushion with sewn cover.  Note foam backed headliner material on head rest.

Upholstered upper and lower set cushions in situ

Upholstered upper and lower set cushions in situ

Next, with be the bolsters.  Stay tuned...

Monday, April 3, 2017

More Back Seat Work

Dateline - 04/02/2017 - Over the week, I received my 9" electric carving knife and a large role of rebond foam, so I went to work turning the pink foam forms into soft foam seat cushions.  First though, I needed to created the metal backing plates.  I bought four pieces of 8" x 18" 22 gauge sheet metal at the hardware store.  Three of the four pieces needed to be cut to shape, so I created templates out of paper, transferred them to the metal, and got out the trusty saber saw.  Two hours later, I had all four metal frames ready to go.  They will need to be painted, but I will do that after I mount the rebond foam to them.

Creating the foam cushions was an easy, if somewhat slow process.  I bought both 2" and 1" foam so I was able to use the appropriate thickness that avoided a lot of piecing.  All the foam was glued together with 3M 77 adhesive.  The electric knife really made cutting the foam easy.  It just chops right through without complaint.  

I'm really glad I made all the pink foam forms ahead of time because I could really see how the layers fit together and could easily mark them out on the rebond.  That saved a lot of foam from being wasted! To do the other side, which is reversed, all I have to do it separate the layers of the forms and draw them upside down on rebond.  Should be pretty straight forward.

I got the back and two upright bolsters done before I called it a day.  Here are pictures of the work:

Note in the two bottom pictures you can see the bottom bolsters with the paper patterns I made for the upholstery which I mentioned in the last post.  I got all my tools for the upholstery work last week also, so I'm ready to go with that as soon as I get the foam done!

I've also worked on some of the remaining instrumentation.  The center "Information Center" piece has gone through lots of transitions.  I bought some black ABS and printed the information center again on the 3D printer.  Then, I tried out a method for "chroming" it using fingernail polish and rub on chrome flakes.  It had real promise, but it just has a little too much "glitter."  I'm still looking for a chrome method that will work.  I don't want to paint it black since all the other gauges have chrome bezels.  I may just have to sent it out to be chromed.  Considering the time and money I've already spent, it probably would have been cheaper to do it already!