Saturday, 19 November 2011


Encouraged by almost three thousand views to date, from December this year I am going to try to post around the beginning and middle of the month, so by say the fifth of each month there should be a couple of posts to view.

Due to pressure from my real job, I've had very little time in the past three weeks to do much XK stuff.  If I was starting over in business, I would definitely consider the relatively hassle free and predictable world of classic car restoration as an alternative occupation.
So - following are a small selection of "hinge" related items, completed in past months, but not previously mentioned.

If you've ever wondered what exactly goes wrong with XK hinges making
doors drop / sag then this picture will help explain.  The hinge pin rusts and seizes
in the hinge arm causing the pin to rotate between the upper and lower
plates making them oval.  This picture shows the arm hole enlarged with a brass
 bush fitted. The worn oval plate holes have been taken out to 1/2" I/D

Top Hat shape washers have been made to interference fit into the
1/2" I/D holes, effectively creating new hinge pin locations in the plates.
The new pin has a nipple to allow grease into pin / bush bearing and is
an interference fit into the top hat washers.

Hinge assembled.  The important bit is to ensure that the arm rotates
on the pin and that the pin does not rotate in the top hat section washers.
 This is all well and good, as long as you can actually access and remove the hinges, which is only really possible in most cases by cutting away some part of the wing.  I am told that there is however an alternative solution (bodge)  to stop doors dropping / sagging due to oval hinge plate holes.  Before trying this, make sure you read and fully understand the last highlighted sentence of this section!  Also be aware that unless your very lucky or very clever, it will probably alter the original shut lines / panel gaps.
First try to get some easing fluid into the hinge pin.  Then with the door not quite fully open, jack up the back edge to the correct height / position.  With extreme care and much difficulty, weld the top and bottom of the hinge pins to the hinge plates to prevent them moving in the worn oval holes. 
The next part of the operation depends on your religious leanings but should certainly involve prayers of some sort before proceeding. 
The door is of course, now stuck open.  The hinge can't move because the top and bottom of the pin is welded to the plates and the centre part is seized in the hinge arm.  Gently rock the door too and fro (a lullaby might help in easing the stress at this point) and hopefully the pin will gradually free in the arm and rotate as it was designed to.  If it doesn't, then your well and truly buggered.

120 / 140 modified bonnet hinge
When I restored my 140, I had endless problems getting the bonnet to fit, until I realised that one worn and one almost seized hinge made the bonnet twist and and finish up in a different place every time I closed it.  The solution, whilst a little time consuming was actually very straightforward.  Flushed with my 140 success, I decided not to prat around with the 120 hinges and give them the same treatment. 
I drilled out the ends of the stepped pins which hold the two halves together and binned them.  Next I took out the worn 1/4" holes in the assorted remaining bits to just under 8mm to make them a nice fit for the shank of a stainless 8mm allen head bolt.  I had eight new stainless spacers and 32 x 1.8 mm thick stainless washers made up, then using lots of grease re-assembled each hinge.  I used nylocks (sacrilege !!!) to get an exact and equal amount of friction into each hinge.  The result is a really nice smooth movement with zero lateral play making bonnet alignment much less of a hit / miss affair.  Lots of minus points I should think, if I ever consider joining you concours nutters!  I will eventually paint the stainless spacers and fasteners black.

Another interesting little job.  Around 48 parts make up the door catch
assembly.  I always restore pairs of parts one at a time to save remembering
how it all goes back together.  After fully dismantling, cleaning, painting,
lubricating and re-assembling, the whole mechanism worked beautifully.
Jag Lovers Forum recently had a post from a bloke from Monaco asking about accommodation for the Goodwood revival next year.  All the usual and expected answers re. Posh Hotels at £300 /Night, Sailing Clubs, B&B's etc. so I couldn't help posting my genuine "recommendation"  Interestingly, UK readers will probably "twig" where it is before the link, whilst none UK readers will see it as the bargain it actually was.
Anyway, my reply to the question was :

This may be an interesting alternative to the usual suggestions and will also allow you to experience a far broader and possibly more typical insight into the average Englishman (and Englishwoman) than you will find at the Revival meeting. 
A few years back we stayed at a complex close to the seaside (like Monaco) within a small town with many Royal connections (also like Monaco.) It was around thirteen miles from Goodwood, had a choice of eateries, adequate parking, spa, swimming pool and a very large nightclub. I seem to recall that a four bed apartment within the complex, booked at quite short notice, for 3 nights cost around £250 – Just over £20.00 / person /night.  Beer was very reasonable, but choice of wine somewhat limited.  It was an interesting weekend and you should try everything at least once in your life.