While there is a specific need to purchase the correct rubbers for certain areas of cars such as windscreen rubbers etc. there are quite a number of commercial everyday rubber applications such as spat rubbers which can be purchased from non original suppliers for a fraction of the cost of genuine articles.
While doing up the Winjeel I had to replace a number of cockpit seal rubbers. Now the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation [CAC] made heaps of military aircraft in WW2 and post war made Mustangs, Sabres, Winjeels, Jindivik target drones etc. Obviously they were military oriented and there is no civil aircraft aftermarket support as you get with Cessna, Piper, Boeing or Airbus.
I visited Universal Engineers in Virginia who used to be M.P.O'Rouke in Bowen Hills. They still sell assorted rubber strips and mouldings primarily to the bus, truck and trailer body building industry. However they advised that Clark Rubber in Sandgate Road Virginia also had a good assortment and would be worthwhile checking out.
To my surprise they were correct and at Clark Rubber, Virginia I was able to obtain all of the rubber sections I required. In addition they were quite willing to give me small 50 mm samples of their rubbers to try/fit against the problem seal area before I finally settled on the section that I needed. I found them most obliging and they also sell in fractions of a metre. Their prices weren’t too bad either
Please note that not all Clark Rubber stores stock the same items as I am advised that they are now a franchise system. The local store near me does not have the range I found at the Virginia store.
I have heard some horrific stories about the costs of re-plating bumper bars and I have seen receipts for over $1000 for a re-plate of a MK 2 front bumper bar. Being faced with the possible cost of replating the MK 1 bumper bar previously mentioned in this column I decided to checkout the local plating people at Pine Rivers Electroplating at unit 3/23 Paisley Drive in Lawnton.
I spoke to Mark who by sheer luck had a Jaguar S type front bumper bar in the workshop. He advised that the cost to replate that bar was $320 plus GST. He also said that they would quote for any bumper bar and prices would vary depending on the amount of work required to do the job. He said their company insisted on doing it the “old way” i.e. plenty of copper plating under the chrome. Failure to do this by other plating shops has led to premature rusting and corrosion of plated finishes.
One very interesting piece of news is that they have now have the process to treat die cast corrosion and are willing to carry out this specialised plating operation. They are also involved in plating in gold, silver, bronze nickel and zinc and are also capable of re- plating early silver reflectors in headlight units.
Overall I was impressed with the way this company presented itself and the prices quoted were within my expectations. I shall certainly be giving them a try in the future.
I have been refinishing old woodwork in pommy cars for most of my life. As I approach the 60 years of age barrier – [on the low side you are middle aged the high side you are geriatric] I have been approaching paint manufacturers about their products and the finish I could expect to use on woodwork.
Most urged me towards two pack finish techniques. From experience in the commercial industry this was not the way I wanted to go. Most two-pack systems are carcinogenic [cause cancer] and the finish looks like plastic.
The ever helpful people at PROTEC paints suggested using their CATALAC system of refinishing before they realised that I was going to use their furniture finishing product in a motor car.
They described their CATALAC product as having almost no ultraviolet resistance as it was formulated for indoor furniture. I responded that if one of my restored woodwork pieces spent 36 days a year in the open i.e. outside a garage I would be surprised. They agreed that a life expectancy of 20 years would be reasonable for that sort of exposure.
The system starts with a clear sanding sealer, which is used in exactly the same way as primer filler on metalwork. It apparently contains filler and about 3 coats are adequate to fill most wood grains. Note that it is very important to strain the filler as I kept getting white spots in my trial wood finish pieces. I thought it was coming out of a dirty spray gun but after much effort in cleaning a spotless gun it turned out to be a paint problem.
After spraying the sanding sealer it should be allowed to dry at least overnight and preferably 24 hours. There is a fair bit of contraction in most fillers and immediate sanding will not allow this contraction to settle into a stable configuration which will sand back and remain a level surface. The problem is known as “sink back” in the motor trade. After the sanding sealer is well and truly dry as previously mentioned it should be blocked down i.e. rubbed back with wet and dry paper supported by a sanding block. The best grade of paper to use is about 360 to 400 wet and dry papers. I have used 280 grade to get a fast cut but then used 400 grade to smooth off the finish.
Note that it can be rubbed wet with water but use it sparingly on Jaguar wood as water may affect the plywood or timber base used under the walnut veneer. Another small word of warning is we have discovered that you really need to rub the sanding sealer right back or very close to the wood. Otherwise there is a slight refractive effect in the finish if too heavy a coat of sanding sealer is applied and not rubbed back properly. It will come through the finished product as a suggestion of “milkiness”.
Once it is all dry the wood can be sprayed with 4 to 6 coats of CATALYC 7500 HG lacquer and a very nice finish results. Trials were carried out with less glossy finishes in this lacquer range which goes from matt to very shiny however we all agreed that the HG [hi-gloss] was the preferred finish.
Probably the best part yet to come is the price of the PROTEC product. A litre of sanding sealer is less than $10.00 and that is more than adequate for one car’s woodwork and it is a similar price for the high gloss 7500 HG lacquer. When I dropped into the PROTEC Geebung branch one Friday afternoon a week ago they were out of stock of 1 litre cans of 7500 HG lacquer but they had plenty of 4 litre cans at $22.00 + GST. I.e. $24.20 retail or just over $6.00 a litre. Since I have other projects on the go where clear lacquer is useful I thought to heck with the expense and lashed out on the 4-litre can
One of the biggest pains you can have in overhaul/restoration is trying to use old “hardware” as is a commonly used term in the aviation industry to describe the typical nuts, bolts and screws etc used to hold the thing together. In aircraft many nuts and bolts are “lifed” for relatively short periods more so particularly in helicopters where most are mandated to be thrown away when any disassembly takes place and also at amazingly short intervals where called up on specific service bulletins.
Why then do we restore some 40 to 50 year old motorcar to good condition but use the old hardware to hold it together? Rusty nuts and bolts take time to clean up and will always be suspect as to their integrity. It is easy enough to examine a used bolt by naked eye to establish if the thread is damaged but try looking inside a nut and you will really never know if it was OK. Is it because of the prices you see in local automotive retail sources on blister packs on racks in the store? I noted that a blister pack of 6 UNF ¼ inch nuts cost $2.50 [approximately 42 cents each] in a local retail store.
I recently started on the interior of the white MK 1 and found that there were a number of nuts and associated hardware missing from the wood dashboard panel areas. These nuts are typically ¼ UNF. I dropped into Queensland Fasteners in Robinson Road, Geebung and bought a hundred nuts for $6.40 [or 6.4 cents each.]. Compare the above prices and somebody is paying the 500% mark up in the blister pack.
While I was there I checked on the price of 5/16 UNF zinc plated nuts which hold the exhaust manifold on the XK engine head and they were more expensive due to the plating and worked out at $14.00 per hundred or [14 cents each]. Considering an XK engine exhaust manifold uses 16 of these nuts you would have an outlay of $2.24 to use new nuts when assembling it to the engine head. Pretty cheap isn’t it in the overall cost of engine repairs and overhauls? But you could cut costs by using non-plated nuts if you were really desperate as these are typically 8 cents each.
I also keep a couple of containers of 10-32 UNF nuts and appropriate washers on hand as they are commonly used on trim items in all Jaguars from the MK 7 onwards. The cost is around $3.00 a hundred for nuts and the washers come real cheap at about 1 cent each.
In the front-end department many of the early Jags used Nylock nuts to hold things together. That is a nut with a nylon insert which provides a friction hold to stop the nut from coming loose. I bought an entire set of nylock nuts for the front end of a MK 1 which is basically the same as a MK 2/S type /420 for under $20. In the aviation industry a nylock nut is a one-use device and I will always treat them the same in critical areas of a motor vehicle
Now before you all start phoning me and telling me I have got the prices wrong just do some basic homework and don’t – please don’t tell me the price you were charged in a miserable blister pack of nuts and bolts you obtained from your local automotive retail outlet. Go to a professional outfit and buy these parts at the right price and don’t get ripped off. Please note that the prices I have quoted are standard retail prices from Queensland Fasteners for small quantities and you have to be involved in the thousands of nuts and washers to get better [trade] prices.
If you are getting involved in an overhaul/restoration you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how little it costs to use new “hardware”.
A club member advised me that he had a pre-cut carpet kit for his MK 2 that had not been put into his car. That got my attention as I have been to several upholsterers attempting to get a new carpet fitted to the Mk 1 hotrod. When it comes down to the crunch of getting a start date they all seem to find that they are too busy to do it. This has been going on for over 12 months and at the mention of the pre-cut kit I thought here is an opportunity that should not be let pass. I'll have a crack at doing it myself!
Club member obligingly produced the kit and I had obtained a couple of sheets of 1/8-inch [or approximately 3 mm] plywood. We laid the carpet components out on the plywood and traced around them with a pencil. Some careful work with a band saw and subsequent sanding and a couple of coats of clear lacquer have left us in possession of a set of templates for a MK1/2 carpet. I went off to Daly's and bought 5 metres of "Fina" red carpet, which is about $20 a metre. It has a particularly good backing, which cuts well and does not need edge binding.
That all took place a few months ago and I have been trying to find time to get at the carpet problem. The Christmas break afforded the opportunity to grab a few extra days leave and after the usual household chores I was able at last to attack the car on Boxing Day. What I did not realise is the amazing number of pieces of carpet need to carpet a MK1/2. The kit contains no less than 17 pieces and even then I cut an extra 4 pieces where I believed carpet should be placed on the centre cross member supporting the front seat and on the face of the pressing supporting the rear seat.
So far I have spent about 8 hours on the job. This included removing the front seat mounting brackets, stripping them clean and recovering them in vinyl. I expect another day of work to complete the job. I am not aiming at concourse but simply want the vehicle to be neat and tidy.
I also have to re-carpet the white MK 1 3.4 and as have I advanced somewhat along the carpet laying learning curve I think it will be a much shorter job. For club members who wish to do their own thing with a MK 1/2 carpet I will eventually be willing to lend the template set.
Youngest son's hood lining in his XJ6 Series 3 was pretty bad. Previous owners had injected contact cement to hold the hood lining up but it looked awful and as it turned out the "card" i.e. the backing piece for the hood lining was quite damaged anyway.
After some months we finally got the tip off that someone in Beenleigh was wrecking a series 3 with a good hood lining. I ripped down there in the Falcon Ute one Saturday morning and the hood-lining card was as good as described. The deal was struck and I also picked up a dash panel upper that was not cracked/crazed etc for a reasonable price.
My son was more than happy that he now had two items which he had been chasing for some time but stated the colour of the cover on then hood lining was not "right". Hr then hived off to Daley's motor trim supplies at Rocklea just immediately south of Archerfield on the road into the speedway and secured enough material of his desired choice for about $60.00.
A couple of cans of spray pack contact later the hood liner was now finished in the right colour and ready to mount. The whole thing then spent some weeks sitting ion top of my MK 2 while he raced all over the country playing in his band.
He then approached me to remove the Series 3 front windscreen to allow the hood liner to be inserted. I refused and let me tell you readers do not fall for the trap of removing front windscreens from Series 3 Jags. They are actually glued into the body and I have spent an hour cutting the thing out of the car by use of a fine piano wire cutter. Leave it to the professionals who typically charge about $40 to $50 to do the job.
With only a moderate amount of bending the new hood liner can be inserted through the left hand rear door provided the rear seats are removed as well as the front left hand passenger seat with the right hand seatback laid flat. This also applies to series 2 XJ 6 vehicles provided they are the "L" series with then longer wheelbase. Get a tape measure and check for the widest part of the opening.
The hood lining was inserted and lifted into the supports and definitely looks much better than the original grungy mess. However youngest son has still not finished the job of putting back the seats that are cluttering up one end of the shed.
A club member contacted me recently about recolouring interior trim items. He had found a set of original door linings for a MK 2, which were in reasonable order but were the wrong colour for his car. Could I advise him if it was possible to change the colour?
My advice was yes it is possible to change the colour. There are however a number of considerations. Are the original backing boards in good order because it is a waste of time and effort to start off with a crook sub structure, New material for backing boards is quite cheap and obtainable at Daleys auto trim supplies just south of Archerfield aerodrome on the road leading into the speedway. New boards can be cut and the old door linings transferred onto the new bases,
I also advised him of the need to clean the old door lining up so that there is no grease or oil on the vinyl. Jaguar did not use leather on the door trims. It is just English vinyl known as "Alamba". Proprietary detergents will do the cleaning trick. The vinyl should also be wiped down with "prepsol" to get rid of silicon that was pretty common in interior treatments a few years ago.
The decision should then be made whether to use "vinyl" paint or automotive lacquer. Vinyl paint is available in basic spray packs and does a good job but has a limited colour range unless you can find a paint manufacturer willing to mix it for you. Automotive lacquer is more easily mixed and matched to the colour of your desire but there are two problems. It is shiny and does tend to be less flexible. These problems can treated by adding appropriate amounts of "flattener" to get rid of the gloss and "flex aid" which stops the lacquer from going rock hard.
The trick I have learned when using automotive lacquer is to etch the vinyl with a rag soaked in thinners just prior to coating.. Immediately after wiping it down and while the vinyl is still "tacky", spray on one thin coat of colour lacquer. The next coat should also be sprayed as soon as possible after the first coat has tacked off. It is important that not too much paint build up takes place, as the "grain" of the original vinyl will be lost in the paint build up.
Whilst not being concourse this system is relatively cheap and the results can be very good in restoring door linings, arm rests, under dash cover plates and front kickboards to a sanitary serviceable condition. Old faded vinyl can also be treated this way.
Very old windscreens are dangerous because they get badly worn with stone chips and general scratching. The windscreen in the red MK 1 looks OK but coming over the rise looking west just before sundown on the last lap home just like driving into a whiteout. I have had to put my head out the window to see forward.
I have also dreaded the possibility of getting a broken windscreen because I have only one spare. Repeated approaches to many sources for a new MK 1 windscreen have met with many rebuffs and continuous mix-ups as I try to explain that it is not a MK2 windscreen and YES THEY ARE DIFFERENT.
In addition some manufacturers have said that they will supply a MK 1 windscreen provided I give them a sample windscreen to make a pattern and order a minimum volume of 10 production screens. Heck there are only about 15 MK 1 cars in the club!
Finally I hit paydirt when I rang a local windscreen manufacturer by the name of “Moran Glass” at Tingalpa. [PH 3390 8855]. Peter Moran after the usual mix-up of MK1 versus MK 2 sorted things out and advised yes they could provide me with a MK 1 windscreen but would need a few days notice as they did not have any in stock. He had the dimensions off pat e.g. the MK 1 windscreen is deeper than the MK 2 and slightly narrower. He advised the price would be around $110 plus GST.
It was only after I put the phone down that I realised I knew the organisation I had been talking to. In fact my family and friends have done business in the past with Moran Glass. They replaced the windscreen in my son’s Toyota 4 wheel drive Ute, the Ford LTD and the Ford XF Ute we used to own and also a number of friends’ vehicles. We were all very happy with the service and the relatively low prices charged at the time. I also suspect that the new windscreen I fitted to the Series 3 some years ago came from there.
I recommend you check with this company if you need a windscreen. At least they are local for the Brisbane members.
While working on the MK5 I made an accidental re-discovery of a simple, cheap and effective way to get aluminium polished without resorting to power tools. I have previously mentioned the use of wet and dry sandpaper of various grades starting with quite coarse grades and then finer grades to cut the surface prior to polishing on a buffing wheel.
That is all very good if you can remove the part from the engine however in the case of the MK5 Jag there is an alloy water manifold which would require a major effort to get off the engine and I only wanted to clean it up.
Serendipity intervened and part of the water manifold was wet with penetrating oil when I rubbed it with some wet and dry. The results were quite spectacular and it subsequently took only 10 minutes to convert a grotty looking piece of alloy into something of which you could be reasonably proud . It took me back to my motorcycling days and some of the tricks I used on my “Beeza” [BSA 650 cc sprung heel Golden Flash] to keep the alloy engine and chain cover polished.
If you need to resurrect a bit of alloy such as a cam cover I suggest spraying it with penetrating oil and getting stuck into it with initially 400 grade if it is very rough and corroded.You then and work up through 600 grade and finally 1000 or 1200 grade paper cutting ” wet” all the way i.e. replenish the penetrating oil regularly. The final finish with 1000 or 1200 is reasonably good and from that point on a good shine can be achieved with cutting compound or metal polish. Note-You will get heaps of black “gunk” coming off by this method. That is OK as you are removing oxidised alloy as well as base material. Hint- where possible use a rubber sanding block to support the wet and dry paper and to avoid a “wavy” uneven surface. In short treat alloy like paint.
In previous articles I have always quoted using “dry” cutting techniques. I should have previously mentioned /evaluated wet or lubricated cutting techniques because they are usually more efficient. By the way you don’t have to use penetrating oil. Just about any petrochemical fluid will suffice for aluminium alloy including petrol, diesel, kerosene and mineral turps. For safety it would be best to use diesel or kerosene to reduce the risk of fires etc. Penetrating oil is preferred because it has a very low rate of evaporation and the oil assists in lubricating the cutting area.
I am currently involved in refurbishing the wood in my MK5. It is original but had some pockets of lifting veneer where time and moisture have done their damage. I have been able to salvage most of it but have had to completely strip the walnut veneer off the upper door rails as it was just too far gone and had suffered badly from previous attempts at refurbishment by unknown Canadian persons which included enthusiastic use of sandpaper.
The other night while doing some basic veneer repairs I grabbed the micrometer and measured some old [removed] and new veneer. It all measured in terms of 20 to 25 thousandths of an inch. I.e. 1/50 to 1/40 of an inch or in decimals .020 to .025 inches. Pretty thin isn’t it? The moral of the story here is don’t use sandpaper to remove old lacquer and varnish on Jaguar woodwork Paint strippers or acetone are better options for that job.
I had another problem while spraying some of the MK5 timber. I kept getting “fisheyes” in some panels even though they had been thoroughly cleaned with acetone and prepsol cleaner. This fisheye denotes a reaction between silicones or oils in the timber and the lacquer I was spraying and appears as a spot where the paint retreats from the surface leaving a hole in the finish. It is a common problem in the automotive spray painting trade.
I asked club member Ben Stafford who is a bit of a giru on timber if he had any ideas as to how I could beat the problem. He suggested it was most likely due to silicon products similar to “Armourall” having been used on the old timber and penetration having been made due to cracks in the old finish. He suggested use of an additive used in the motor trade and generally known as “ anti silicon drops”. I obtained some but it was not cheap at $8 for a 30-ml bottle. However it only requires 2 to 3 drops per litre of paint and it did work as advertised.
Ben has also discovered another source of burr walnut veneer on the northside of the Brisbane area. It is Veneer and Timber products, 28 Kremzo Road Strathpine. On the south side burr walnut veneer is available from Sharp Plywood in Wacol.