Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The wheels aren't on just yet, but soon.

Wow, it's been quite a while since I last posted on this blog.  As many of you know, I have been waiting for several things to arrive from England.  Well...  they have all arrived.

The new 5-speed transmission looks outstanding, except for the fact that it is aluminum, it looks almost just like the original. I mounted the 3.8 bell housing to the gearbox and there were no fitting problems at all. In fact, there is no exposed bearing or seal in the front, therefore requiring no gasket between the bell housing and gearbox.  The pilot shaft bearing is sealed and will fit perfectly on either the 3.8 or the 4.2 bell housing.  After I got the bell housing mounted, and installed the clutch throw-out bearing, I then started to put the clutch disk and pressure plate on.

I had forgotten that I had requested a late model clutch from Uryk at E-Type Fabs (the same place I got the transmission).  He had gotten me to send him a picture of my flywheel some time ago to see which one I had.  It turns out that apparently there is a "transitional" flywheel that will take either the early coil spring type pressure plate or the later model leaf spring type.  As I started to mount the new pressure plate, I discovered that it required 3 dowels, whereas the older plate only needed 2.  Also they needed to fit a smaller diameter plate.  I thought I was in for a struggle, but then I remembered a bag of nuts and bolts and some other odd looking things that Uryk sent with everything else.  Well, after pouring the contents of the bag out, I found that the odd looking things were new dowels.  Uryk thinks of everything!

Without much trouble, I aligned the pilot shaft and stabbed the transmission onto the back of the engine.  This was a big step, I stood back and admired the whole package.

  Next I planned to tackle the rear brakes. 
I inspected everything, read carefully the instructions.  One of the first instructions, written in bold, was to put the driveshaft into the tunnel.  This is necessary because once you get the engine/gearbox and the differential cage in place, you cannot put the driveshaft in without removing one of them.  I immediately put my driveshaft into the tunnel.

The brakes were gorgeous works of art in my opinion.  I started assembling them, checking the centering of the disk in the caliper as instructed by Uryk.

Meanwhile, Mike Darby and Rodney McDonald were working on installing the coil springs onto the new GAZ adjustable shocks.  I had to borrow a spring compressor from Mike.  They got all the coils installed without losing any fingers, eyes or tearing anything up, I was proud of them.

  Installing the new shocks went well and the rear end was all together. Now I needed to put the brake tubing on.  these were supplied but not pre bent except for a tight 180 degree bend that would be difficult to do without a special tool.  As it turns out, I should have put the remote bleed pipes (the ones with U bend) in before I installed the shocks.  Rodney and I finally, after struggling a while, decided to just remove the top bolts on the shocks, move them out of the way and get good access to the tube fitting.   

With those all installed and tight, we replaced the shocks and made ready to put the rear end into the car.

Don Pritchett came over to see how we were doing and Rodney recruited him to help with hooking up the hand brake mechanism. I was busy talking on the phone.

 So with engine and transmission sitting on my rolling table and the rear end ready, I suggested to Rodney that we go ahead and put the engine in, since it was still early in the evening.  We raised the car on the lift and rolled the table under it. In less than 45 minutes, we had the engine mounted in the car.

That pretty much did it for us for that day, with the engine in, we sat down and reflected on our accomplishments and solved a few of the world's problems, while enjoying a glass of single malt.

The next day, if I remember correctly, I got started on installing the rear suspension cage.  This goes probably easier than putting the engine in, when you have a lift.  Simply sit the cage on a cart, roll it under the rear of the car and lower the car down.  Make sure that the rear mounts are attached to the car and the front mount is attached to the cage.  The top two nuts of the two rear mounts are nearly impossible to get to otherwise.  Plus, getting them all to line up is much easier this way.  Connecting the 2 radius arms are the next struggle. Using some chocks and a pry bar and some brute force, I
 finally got them bolted up. Then I connected the brake lines and the job was
complete.  Nothing to it.

Mike came over and we just looked at the underside .  While there he ran the bolts up on the transmission mount.

Now time to start hooking everything up.

Rodney wanted to sit in it too
First I wanted to get the interior put back together...  just because I wanted to sit in it.  I managed to get the center console in, then the seat belts, then the seats and when I started to put the radio console in, it appeared to me that it wouldn't go in unless I removed the center console, which meant that I needed to remove the seats, the seat belts (which bolt THROUGH the center console) and then the console. (the reverse of the installation, to coin a British phrase).  I got the radio console in, the radio hooked up and working and commenced to re-install everything again.  Once I got it all installed and looking satisfactory, the radio no longer worked.  It was at this point that I realized that with some persuasion, you actually CAN remove the radio console without taking the whole interior back out. Turns out that it was a ground problem and I got it rectified. I put the radio console back in and all is good.


 Now on to the torsion bars. The first thing I did was to fit check the reaction plate. The reaction plate is a heavy steel plate that fits between the 2 structural pieces on either side of the transmission tunnel.  It takes the strain of the torsion bars which exert a good bit of torque when the car is sitting on its wheels. A previous owner, or his mechanic, had left it off of my car and it wasn't there when I bought the car.  I secured a used one and as luck would have it, it didn't fit around the engine.
Now I have a pretty full history on this car and early on in its life it had the block replaced by the Jaguar Dealer in Jacksonville, FL.  The notes I have said it was replaced with a new block assembly after a connecting rod let go and destroyed the original block.  After researching the engine number on this block, it appears that it came out of a Jag 3.8S.  ANYWAY... the reaction plate had to be slightly modified to keep from being interfered with by some brackets on the engine.  A cut-off wheel did the trick.  It's not very pretty, but it's effective.  After installing that, I was able to, using the proper suspension links, install the torsion bars.  It all went about as easily as I had expected...  a little hammering, a big brass drift, some more hammering and I finally got the safety bolt in and secured.

 Next to go on are the carburetors.  As most of you know, the Series 1 E-Type has 3 big SU carburetors.  the linkage is a bit confusing and difficult to reach in many cases, but after several hours and a number of bad words, I managed to get everything installed (the accelerator stick a little right now, but I'll get that sorted out)

Now it's time to bleed the brakes.....  I'll leave that story until the next time I sit down to write.