Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I've spent the best part of a week trying to make a new frame for the recently acquired second hand boot lid skin.  It didn't go well.  In desperation I drove to Harrogate to borrow a proper band saw then ruined a few more pieces of plywood practising my technique, snapped the blade and eventually came to the conclusion that it would be bordering on criminal to waste the countries Ash reserves in a vain attempt to succeed.  The final point of submission came, when browsing eBay for XK120 related bits.  I came across an offer for 140 Ash door frames and whistled off an email asking if a 120 boot lid frame was possible - answer - absolutely no problem and £250.00.  So around 30 wasted hours - hind sight is a wonderful thing.

Now behind schedule, some real progress is required, calling for a few easy tasks.  Brakes are usually pretty straight forward and I think I have all the requisite parts to hand.  The master Cylinder presents no problems, re sleeved with a stainless liner at a cost of £60.00 and rubber seal kit, it's really just a pleasant assembly job.

Brake master cylinder presents quite a few opportunities to fit
bits in the wrong order or wrong way round.
To save a little time, I have acquired a brake pipe kit, and go about allocating each pipe to it's respective location but something is amiss.  In April 1952 the single output master cylinder was replaced by a more complex dual circuit type, and my brake pipe kit seems to be for this later set up.  Its quickly replaced with another kit, but this induces further head scratching before I notice the letters LHD on the label.  Again it's replaced, but the third kit has a genuinely random selection of pipes.  Returned, but this time with a note saying "I surrender, please credit".
The spares manual contains part numbers for each pipe and each version - Early / Late / RHD / LHD.  The part number actually includes the pipe length in inches so not difficult to get right.  My eventual solution is a 25ft length of Kunifer pipe and a selection of brass unions.  It actually cost more than the made up kit but at least I am back in control.  For some good information on brake pipe : 

Master cylinder and brake pedal assembled.

Kunifer pipe, 90% copper and 10% nickle but not easy to work with.
Joint at mid point to feed rear brakes.  Why?
Interestingly, the later dual circuit master cylinder apparently caused Jaguar quite a few headaches due to reliability issues and they reverted back to the original 120 type when they launched the XK140.

Miscellany - related topics
Sporting Bears organised a cracking good day out for poorly and handicapped children on Friday 6th April, at our local Motor Sport Park just one mile from my workshop in South Bank Middlesbrough.
The general format was to take passengers including mums, dads and carers around the race track in a selection of posh, performance and classic cars.  The turn out was remarkable, with numerous Lamborghinis, Porches and a couple of brand new Bentleys.  Understandably, the children loved the Lambo's, with not much interest in old Jags, but a couple of mums did comment on my XK140's wonderful walnut furniture.  Our caution on the track soon turned to some minor 'gung-ho' behaviour, mainly egged on by even more enthusiastic passengers.  All great fun and very safe of course.

Sporting Bears at Teesside Motor Sport Park.  Never seen so many
Lamborghinis in one place before.  The children loved them!
The UK Classic car season gets into gear around now with numerous events and gatherings scheduled over the coming months. Next is a Track day at Croft on May 7th.  Just hope it warms up a little.  I know it's an Englishman's prerogative to complain about the weather, but for all of April, here in North East England it has not once reached 13 degrees centigrade and it seems to have rained almost continually.  Wife Angie's penchant for holidays in southern Spain is starting to make sense.

Next Post mid May.