Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sometimes its better to live in blissful ignorance!

Things didn't go to plan today!

I drained the oil from the transfer box housing - its ATF, BUT a lot of water in it

Bit of a bugger really and may cause a rethink of my plans. No traces of rust, but is there damage to the gears and bearings?

I removed the one inspection plate / bearing housing that I could find

The bearing looks OK, a lot of emulsified oil in it. I had a look through the oil filler plug, and the drive chain seems OK, no trace of rust, but its what is hidden that matters. The front diff was Ok despite having water in it, but the rear one was U/S. So the conundrum is what to do, either strip and inspect the transfer housing, making all the gaskets, and hoping I can get it apart (and back together again!) without a manual, or refill with oil, drive it 500 miles and change the oil and see what happens. It will either be OK, or it will fall apart and what damage will it cause? I am going to mull this over for a few days before making a decision.

So I didn't mate the engine to the gearbox, but contented myself working on a few small but essential jobs - fitted the engine mounts (NOS from ebay) - I didn't realise that original left hand mounts have a void in the rubber that the repro ones don't have. Also fitted the auto gearbox to engine strengthners.

Then as I need to fit the steering column so we can manover the car, stripped and inspected this - no play in the shaft bearings so I am leaving the originals in place. However all the column electrical switches had seized so I stripped and lubricated these - good job they were hand made by Lucas, at least they are repairable, you couldn't do this with modern ones.

I also cleaned the dash, as I need this to mount the column to.

Then got the ABS vacuum valve out - I had stripped and cleaned this internally ages ago, and freed it off, but the case was a mess, mainly because it was covered with Zeibart fluid

here it is after cleaning but during derusting

So thats it for today while I decide what to do with the gearbox

681 hours now, 7 worked today.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Will it be ready in time?

I have been worrying if the car will be complete enough for the Classic Car show, even without the delays at the paintshop, all the little jobs that I need to do seem to be taking a long long time, and there's lots left to do, even to get a part complete car in a "showable" state.

First job this morning was to load all the suspension into my trusty Zafira and take it to the paintshop ready for fitment after the underside is painted.

Before I went, I ground off the protruding caliper bolt and had a quick look at the disk run out - its about 15thou on both disks, and I don't know why. Is it the hub, the bearings or the disks? It will have to be investigated properly later, but right now it won't stop it going onto the wheels.

Good progress at the paintshop, drivers rear quarter loaded and finished, rear valence finished and doors off as they prepare the door shuts.

The plan is to have it painted for next weekend. I also inspected the paint New Triumph White, its been mixed specially, and looks a little more ivory in colour than the original paint, but thats whats on the Heritage certificate, and is the same as a recently painted Stag that I saw of the same age.

Got home and the first job was to scrub the grot and grease from the bulkhead mats and tunnel lining, much work and degreaser later I ended up with this

The front bulkhead needs some boot polish or similar to restore the colour, but the others are OK, the foam backing is now damp, and I would like to bring them into the house to dry, but I don't think the smell of drying degreaser will go down well with Anne.

I have also cleaned off the wiring loom, and will inspect that when dry, it needs retaping in some places, but that can wait until one night in the week when I get some loom tape from work - its pvc tape but with no adhesive.

I gave the gearbox a final clean and degrease

and also notice a FF stamping marking it as VC011, which talies with their build records - which is nice!

I have also noticed a drain and filler plug on the transfer box, time to inspect and change this oil too, I think.

Bellhousing and surface rusty torque converter now fitted

and front diff sump pan now in place.

Next its time to mate the engine and gearbox.

Hours worked now 674 - 8 today
Money spent 14085 - £20 on powder coating

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Paintshop Progress

I had hoped to have the car back by now, but progress has slipped a little.

I popped in to the paintshop to inspect progress today and the leadloading is complete on the passenger side

The tail gate is now a perfect fit too now

So its just the rear valence, and the driverside lead loading to complete now, plus a few other finishing off bits prior to painting.

Now that Alan has revealed that the car is going on the 2000 register stand at the NEC, I am worring about the time that I will have left to work on it after it comes back from paint. I at least want to get the engine and front drive shafts in place, so I am going to dig out the wiring loom and bulkhead mat at the weekend and get them cleaned off and ready for fitment - there's no way (I hope) that the engine and box are coming out after fitment, so I must ensure these are ready to fit.

I cannot attend all of the NEC show myself - just the Sunday, I working on The Festival of Remembrance at the Albert Hall - so Alan and Colin will be looking after the car for me on Friday and Saturday, but if anyone wants a chat please pop along on Sunday.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Front hubs and disks

I haven't been to the paintshop this week - too busy at work, but I intend to have a quick look on Tuesday, I can't go tomorrow as its our 30th wedding anniversary and Anne and I are renewing our vows and having a party for friends and family - probably be a bit hungover Tuesday!

Anyway, got on with the disks today. First job was to position the newly made dust shields on the uprights and weld them in place. Then I fitted the disks to the hubs.

Then it was time to bolt the disks to the hubs and fit the bearings, and assemble it all with the outer CV joint.

It was a bit of a pig to get the bearings to seat correctly on the hub, I fitted the outer bearing first, then turned the hub and upright over, and gently drifted the bearing down on the hub (using a long thin drift through the back of the inner bearing - no race was in place for the inner bearing at this point) then I fitted the inner bearing and oil (grease) seal, and inserted the outer CV joint, gently drifting this into place, until I could fit the castelated nut and tighten it all up. I do not have a torque setting for this, so as it uses taper roller bearings I tightened to 5ft lb, and then undid the nut by one flat.

So both disks on, hubs assembled, time to fit the struts and the brake callipers.

After fitting the 2 brake callipers, I inspected the disk / calliper clearance. One side is fine, disk nicely central, although there is a little run out on this one. I'll get the dial guage out and see how much, and then try moving the disk round 90 degrees at a time against its position on the hub and see if things improve. I only noticed this as one of the lockheed caliper fastening bolts is too long and protrudes into the disk area - I could hear it just catching the disk as it rotated (its an uneven rub - so the disk / hub must be out of true), so this bolt needs removing from the caliper and shortening - its about 4mm too long

The other caliper is offset against the disk - it doesn't catch or foul anywhere, but the disk should be central, I need to take some measurements and see why, unfortunately its the "wrong way" to shim the caliper out, the caliper actually needs to be a little closer to the upright to increase the clearance. If worst comes to the worst I may get a 1.5 mm machined off the upright moutning faces where the caliper bolts on. I don't want to "butcher" the calipers as I may need to replace them at some time, so its better to correct the housing

Still it will all do for now to get the shell on its wheels when its painted. My november deadline draws closer and I have still got a lot to do.

6 hours worked today so thats 666 (wish I hadn't typed that figure) hours in total

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Differential Done

I suppose that I shouldn't have been so rude about Dave Pearson's painted differentials, I got my back on Friday with a lovely new crown wheel and pinion, and good quality bearings, but it was in a freshly bead blasted unpainted casing - no rust though.

new gears, and no clunks or excess play

a quick degrease, followed by 2 coats of engine laquer resolved the finish

and then it was a simple matter of pressing the hubs and bearings back onto the stub shafts, replacing the rear cover and bolting it into the rear suspension

That done it was time to carry on with the engine, so I turned it over and fitted the NOS water pump, I wanted to check this meshed ok with the jackshaft gears, and turned freely, hence doing it before the timing chains. While I was on top of the engine I also fitted 3 new coreplugs in the V, using some wellseal to ensure they are leak free.

Timing chains next, not a quick job on a Stag V8, I had got some genuine Iwis (used on Mercs) timing chains from LD Parts, together with their cam gears and jackshaft gear.

So that was enough for today, my front hub seals will arrive on monday, so I should be able to complete the front hubs and brakes then.

660 hours now worked, 7 today

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Estate Progress

I got the answer to the disk bolts, they are 3/8 BSF - so thats another type of fastner on the car, UNF, UNC and now BSF, still a quick trip to my local Fastner specialist in Coventry yielded some 3/8 BSF Cap heads, and on go the disks to the hubs

That done it was time to try and get the front diff onto the engine while its upside down, It fits, but what a close fit, I had a rag between it and the sump to protect the paint, but had to remove it to get it to line up. No wonder those 2 sump bolts had been ground flat, all I need now is the diff sump cover back, and I can then "right" the engine and fit the timing chains and cover.

I need the rear diff now, and the replacement oil seals for the front hubs, and all the suspension will be complete.

653 hours worked now, 3 tonight.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Paintshop and some other snags

I only managed to get a quick visit to the paintshop this weekend, due to work commitments, but have managed to do a few more hours work on the car today, firstly the paintshop have started the leadloading

I am very impressed with their work so far, its of an excellent standard.

Tonight I started to assemble the new discs to the hubs, as I wanted to weld my dust shields to the hub carrier and I needed the discs and hubs on so that I can fit the dust shields correctly, the discs fit the hubs well

but god knows what thread they have tapped the bolt holes to, I have tried UNF, UNC (thats what the originals were), and metric but nothing fits - I have telephoned them and they are calling back with details

So giving up with that I fitted the bearings to the hub carriers, that went well enough, but one oil seal is too small - will nothing go right?

I contented myself by fitting the CV joint clips

and the sump to the engine,

as tomorrow I intend to fit the front diff back on the engine, thats it, one evening getting nowhere fast.

650 hours now worked - 5 tonight

Thursday, 7 October 2010

New Bits

I had my own little round the midlands reliability run today collecting parts for the estate,

Finally got the new Brake Disks - nice, but expensive

and the rest of the powder coating, so with the brake dust shields back and the disks I can finally finish the front suspension this weekend.

and then I went to see Mick Dolphin, and got some shiny new bits for the car - its got to look its best you know!

I'm hoping to get my diff back tomorrow (I am just hoping its not painted bright red or some other fancy colour of Mr Pearson's choice), so I will then complete all the suspension this weekend, I must hurry as the paint shop have telephoned today and confirmed that the painting will be completed within 2 weeks, and they will need the suspension and wheels, as I am not dragging the painted shell home on old wooden pallets on my trailor.

Money spent now £14065 - the disks were £400, the rest is powder coating and shiney bits.

Where am I?