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!