Thursday, 2 February 2012


With holidays owed from 2011 (plus 3 days from 2010!) and with my business partner firmly back in harness, it would be foolish to miss the opportunity to take some time off and get the project back on schedule. 
The next major target date is early April when I get the chassis back from Alex and should by then have the axle and all suspension parts fully refurbished and ready to fit.  With any luck, I might also have the engine built and ready to install.
Right now its all a bit messy, lots of activity, but with quite a few sub assemblies being worked on simultaneously, while I wait for parts and outside contractors to complete various specialist bits.

Its probably most appropriate (if a little boring) at this point to simply include a selection of un-themed pictures to give a flavour of the different jobs in hand.

Off Side Front Suspension ready for re-assembly with all new
Poly Bushes and Ball joints.  All metalwork powder coated
and all fasteners zinc plated.  Note new shock absorber bottom
mounting pin (RH side of pic), now with thread, instead of that
really naff washer and split pin arrangement. 

Bonnet back from Leaping Cats with 48 perfect louvres pressed in.
Problem with this is that the vee between the cam covers can
fill with water in heavy rain if parked pointing down hill. Ali plate
bonded to underside will allow fixing of a thin aluminium sheet
to hopefully drain water down the sides of the engine.
Simple fabricated ali sheets will resolve rusty spark plug problem
caused by water "ponding" in centre of engine Vee.

Rear brake parts for one side, ready for assembly.  Shoes supplied turned
out to be for a later version 120 (post Feb 52) so I had the originals
 re-shod with bonded linings at half the cost.  Unfortunately two had
the linings bonded in the wrong place so I am still waiting for them
to come back.  All too typical a parts supply saga.

ENV Diff dismantled and looking good with all bearings replaced
as a matter of course.  This was done by Gearbox and Axle specialist
and generally good bloke, Paul at Lagonda Garage, Billingham.

Another conundrum.  On re-assembling the rear axle, the clearance
for the tapered wheel bearings had increased from the specified
5 to 8 thou to around 20 thou.  Checked all the obvious causes and
was contemplating having the 62 thou shims ground down to correct
the problem when it suddenly dawned on me - around 12 thou of powder
coating had been added, instead of the usual vestige (2 thou) of Jaguar
 factory paint.  It took the best part of an hour to sand back.

All is well again.  0.13mm - just over 5 thou will do nicely. Just
enough to give a barely perceptible feeling / indication of end float.

Another "fill in" job is to sort all the bits for re-chroming.
Extreme care was needed to remove windscreen frames from
the glass,but they are in pretty good shape and should
re-chrome to perfection.

Quite difficult to see but if you look closely (enlarge the picture) you
can just make out the date code of the triplex toughened windscreen
glass, with a dot against "D" - the ninth letter of "TOUGHENED" and
one against "I" - the third letter of TRIPLEX so most likely made in
the third quarter of 1949 or just possibly replacement glass made in 59.
  As both pieces are identical my guess would be the former.  Unfortunately
the glass is quite badly scratched but may respond to the services of
a professional glass polishing operation, or may even have ago myself.

Parts ready to go to S&T Electroplating in Bristol.
S&T did the chrome on my Healey 3000 and XK140,
both to a superb standard.  Windscreen surround eventually
removed from glass with great difficulty and the help of a heat
gun to soften /melt the rubber U shaped channel to glass seals.

So - this is the view of the workshop at the beginning of February
2012.  Can't wait to get the engine parts and chassis back and start
putting things back together.  With most of the really dirty work
completed, I've even taken my "stand up by itself" boiler suit home
 for a wash.
After my visit today (Feb 2nd) to see Alex at Auto Bodycraft, he feels its quite likely that he will no longer need the chassis by early March (a month ahead of schedule) which will give me around four weeks from now to  finish the major sub assemblies, but excluding the engine rebuild.

I was given fair warning that engine machining specialists, AMAC whilst having an excellent reputation for high quality work would take a little "chasing" to have my engine parts back for the end of January as agreed, and this is now the case.  Its just a matter of them prioritising my job over somebody else.   With so many other diverse jobs to do, it isn't an issue right now, but I know from experience that it will need some pressure, which if not applied now will be all the harder to apply, say 3 months from now when the season is in full swing.  It's always the case that the very best people are always too busy.