Putting the doors back on an E-Type is a somewhat daunting task. Even though a test fitting was done back before the car was painted, it still requires a lot of patience and some minor adjustments and, if possible, some help from a friend or two. First of all, the passenger door was off of our 1969 parts car. It was in much better condition that the original door, which had obviously been in a wreck and then filled with Bondo. Ther is only one difference in the 69 door and the 64 door that I could see. The 64 had an extra hole near the latch where an alignment post comes through. Evidently, this was not a requirement in 1969... seems odd to me. I had to make a template and then drill a hole in the door to accommodate the alignment post. I had 3 sets of eyes watching, Rodney's, Mike's and mine. Fortunately it and its accompanying screw holes were close enough to only need a little attention with a rat tail file.
My garage is a mess, I have upholstery scraps, foam scraps, boxes and all sorts of other stuff scattered about. I have work going on on 3 different tables.
I got the rubber seals installed in the door jams with little difficulty, and now it was time to mount the doors. Mike helped me mount the driver's door. We took turns holding the door and trying to get all the hing bolts started. They are positioned in a location where you can barely get 2 fingers on them. After a number of tries, we finally got it hung. I managed to get the passenger door hung the next day with not nearly as much effort for some reason. Probably because we took a good bit of time before painting to make sure that the 69 door would work.
I was anxious to make sure that my little modification to the 69 door would work properly, it did. I only had one minor problem with a screw that was 1/16 inch too long. Once fixed, the door worked nicely. I then installed the rubber seals into the window frames using a generous amount of Gojo to lubricate the seal so it would slide into it grove.
Having gotten all of the frame seals in, I put new felt into the channel where the window slides. On a recommendation from Mike Dollard at SNG Barratt, I used the Series 3 felt because it's already shaped in the form of a U and is much easier to install . I set about installing the windows and their winding mechanisms. Then I had to adjust he window frames so that the door would close and seal up... sort of. This all went surprisingly easy too.. but it still took the better part of a day.
With the window and door latch working, it was time to mount the door panels. They are kind of fidgety things, and putting the re-covered 64 panels onto the door from the 69 meant that I had to drill several new screw holes to get everything to fit. Opening and closing the door carefully while fitting everything is a much to make sure that nothing is scraping the upholstery inside.
I finally got the passenger door finished, opening and closing and with a window that will wind up and down. Whew!
Now the driver's door.. it went much easier because not only was it the same door and door panels that came off of the car, I had the benefit of experience on my side now. I got it done is probably one third the time. Let me add here that the experience I gained back in college while working at Freeman's Sports Cars, the local Triumph, Rover, Land Rover dealer I had little trouble with the door and window handles, but I can imagine that these things have given many people fits.
Now that both doors are done, and just about all of the rest of the interior is complete, I continue to do all the little things that can be done before the engine goes in.
I got the new radio in from Retro Sound. I installed it into the radio console, put the new "original style" speakers from S/M Electro-Tech. They have very small magnets, just like the originals but the magnets are Neodymium magnets (commonly referred to as super magnets) and are 1/10 the physical size of round ceramic magnets found on most modern speakers but provide the same or higher field strength. Side by side, they look just like the originals. The radio, in addition to AM/FM, it also has an analog AUX input and a USB/SD card adapter for playing MP3 files and it comes with a remote control!!! Pretty cool radio. I have it hooked up to a battery on my workbench and have been listening to my tunes.
I purchased two new exterior rear view mirrors a long time ago. I put them on with no problems at all. The holes for them had been drilled before the car was painted.
Now that I had done all I could with the interior, I mounted the rubber bonnet seals onto the mudguards, again, this went fairly smoothly. I still have to fix the pieces to the inside of the bonnet. That'll come later.
|Masking the piping|
Earlier today, I went up to the shoe repair place to pick up a pair of shoes that Donna was having repaired. While I was in there it just dawned on me to ask about dying leather. I had resolved myself to the fact that I would probably have to get the seats re-covered or I would never be happy with them. They had the old seat covers on them but re-covering them is a fairly expensive proposition. I asked the guy there about dying the seats in my antique Jag. He said that dying was no problem really. He then took me around the corner in his shop and showed me a rack that much have had a hundred different colors of dye. I saw several that had possibilities. I told him I'd be right. I returned with a seat cushion and the piece of leather that I had cut out of the radio console to install the radio. He took me to the back of his shop and
|Compare old on left|
|One seat cushion done.|
we tried several colors on the underside of the cushion, none were perfect, but one was close. I figured "what the hell", my choice was to spend $18 on spray dye or spend $1000 getting them recovered. I opted for the dye route.
At his suggestion, I cleaned the leather good with rubbing alcohol, let it dry good, masked the piping and began spraying.
The color isn't perfect, but it's a lot better than it was and the leather looks brand new. I was definitely impressed. At this point, I'm calling it good. It will remain to be seen if I am ultimately happy with the color. If not, I'll just spend another $18.