August 2011

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Masterly inactivity

I really want to pull the IRS off but I need my hoist to arrive and it STILL hasn't been delivered yet.

If the damn thing's not here by the weekend I can see myself trying to  remove it without the hoist which is far more likely to end in tears.  Problem is I have visitors coming on Saturday afternoon and after a few beers the job might start to look easier...

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Monday, 29 August 2011

Wax on wax off

Unable to do anything constructive at the moment as I'm waiting for parts from the UK and the brakes to be ready, so I decided to wash and wax the car.

I haven't had to do this to a car for 25 years and it's hard work!

Q:  Can you walk into a shop and buy an E Type fanbelt in Austalia?

A:  Of course not, silly.

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Saturday, 27 August 2011

First bit of reassembly

Well nothing major, but I have put the horns back on resplendent in their new gloss black paint; and they still work!

I got the radiator back from Mick the radiator bloke today.  Radiator is in good condition having had the top and bottom taken off, cores cleaned out and then reassembly and leak tested.  Mick's opinion is that it's original and in good condition.  Once I get my new RHD steering rack and install it the radiator can go back in.

I am bemused by the 2 little diecast taps, one on the block and the other on the radiator.  They are too small to act as a serious drain point for the cooling system. All I can see them doing is leaking at an inopportune time and making the car overheat, so I turned up two brass blanking plugs, removed the silly taps and replaced them.

I ordered all of the parts for the RHD conversion, plus a new Lockheed master cylinder and some other bits last night, from Barratts.  I sent an email for a quote to both them and XKs Unlimited in the US, but only got a reply from Barratts, so they got the business.

Hopefully parts will start to arrive within a couple of weeks and the real work can begin.

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Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Gloss black enamel hides a multitude of sins

I managed to spend about an hour removing and cleaning the radiator supports and the horns.

Evenrthing has had a good clean up and tomorrow I'll spray them in the car restorer's version of the Philosopher's stone; Kill Rust Black Enamel paint.

Turns s*&t into gold.  Or to quote my good friend Jarrod, who works in a car yard "Used Car Salesman's motto:  Paint It Black and Put It Back".

All things being equal I might actually do my first bit of reassembly tomorrow!

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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

JA: Jagaholics Anonymous

Phone call:

Andrew: "Rob, I was tempted today.  Really tempted."

Rob: "Yes?"

Andrew: "Well, I couldn't help myself."

Rob: "  It happens sometimes.  What did you do?"

Andrew:  "I bought a Max Jax hoist".

Rob: silence... then "Oh Andrew that's terrible! Don't you have any self control at all?"

Andrew:  (miserable silence)

Rob: "So when do you get it and can I come over and have a look?"


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Cooling system v1.0001

I managed to finish work early today, and despite it being the middle of winter the sunshine beckoned.

So I rolled the old girl out onto the back lawn and took out the radiator and the water pump.

Lots of fun was had with hoses and my new high pressure water squirty thing, flushing the block out as best I could and cleaning the previously inaccessible front of the engine.

I took the radiator to a local radiator place to get it cleaned out.  Fantastic.  Lots of solder and open gas flames.

Then the brakes were dropped off to Tony.  He did the "double teapot with head shake" (hands on hips) at the  condition of the MC and booster with the classic "Hmmm that's going to be expensive" head shake.  Apparently the boosters are a "frontbottom" and hard to get apart.  We'll see.

Got an email from a man about a set of SUs.

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Monday, 22 August 2011

Cooling System v1.0000

Not much time to play today, but managed to drain the cooling system with a view to taking the radiator off for a checkup.

After comparing the radiator with pictures in the Barratt catalogue I suddenly got worried; it doesn't look right.  Finally however the XKs Unlimited catalogue saves me.

Bought a high pressure water blaster and cleaned off the front of the engine, previously concealed by the bonnet.

I'm still in two minds about whether I do the RHS conversion before or after getting the car registered.
I calculated the cost of parts for the conversion today; around $2k plus freight etc.
My cracked windscreen probably won't pass registration, so it needs replacement. As it really needs to come out for rewiring access, it may be that I'll bite the bullet and do the conversion first.  This would also mean that I will have a new wiring loom which should sort out any other electrical gremlins.

Watch this space.

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Brakes are broken..

Once the decision is made, action is easy.

First the pedal box, complete with brake and clutch MC comes out.  Then the booster.  Finally off come the front calipers.

Calipers look fine but the pedal box is full of what looks like crystals of dried brake fliud and both MCs are leaking.

Brake fliud also pours out of the vacuum hose ports of the booster. Apparently this is bad.

The lot are off the the local brake place tomorrow.

brake bits

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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Them's the brakes...not

A very busy week at work has prevented me from any play in the shed.  Rob rang me yesterday; hadn't heard from me; was I dead?

Back brake bleeding commenced and took under 30 mins.  Shock removal was easy and the little one man brake bleeder worked well.  Did the clutch slave cylinder too for good measure.

Once I got to the front brakes though it all went bad.  No pedal after first flush of RHS front and the fluid reservoir level isn't going down so the master cylinder isn't filling.  Sometimes the piston can jam when it is pushed to full travel, maybe the filler hole is blocked or maybe all the seals are shot.  Regardless of the reason the MC will come out and be rebuilt.

Started her up after not running for a week.  First go off the key with full choke, runs beautifully.  The fanbelt is squeaky still; time for a new one.

Martin is out there now with his buff, giving her a bit of a makeover.  2 hours later and he's finished.  And the paint is beautiful!  Sure there are chips and blemishes and a few bubbles but he is a genius.  The car looks lovely.

A couple of hours later Rob, and then Ron arrive.  There is much poking and prodding but the general consensus seems to be that the car is pretty sound.

I turn my back and the bonnet is off!  Just like that.


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Sunday, 14 August 2011


Old tyres are about to be retired.  Once the rims are cleaned and re-tyred Rob can have his wheels back.

Eventually I'll put 6" wheels on the car but for the time being the 5" wheels will do.

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