Untitled Document
  • 10th March 2018 – Windscreen washer jets, reservoir, pump and piping


    Mounting the screen washer reservoir.

    We had sourced a really nice aluminium 2L reservoir tank and we decided the best place to mount this was on the bulk head inside the engine bay. The feeder pipe would then run through the bulkhead to the washer pump, this was to be mounted behind the dash and the connected up to the jets with washer pipe. We marked the position of the tank drilled the holes for the M8 bolts and a smaller hole for the feeder pipe directly underneath the tank.

    Before fixing into position we thought it best to attach a strip of neoprene on the back of the tank to prevent the tank rattling and rubbing against the bulk head. We also installed the outlet connection to the base of the tank and connected the feeder pipe.

    Mounting the screen washer pump.

    This was fairly straight forward. The modified brackets we made for the heater box were a natural position to mount the washer pump. We decided to mount this using M5 bolt and rivet nuts. We could then connect this up to the wiring harness.


    Mounting the Washer Jets.

    The gelcoat on the body had small position marks showing where to mount the washer jets in front of the windscreen, so we drilled holes and mounted the jets in place. Behind the dash we could then connect up the pipes from the pump to the end of the 2 jets using a T-piece this also had a one way valve to stop the wash fluid running back. By dipping the ends of the washer pipe into boiling water this made the pipe more supple and made it easier to push the pipe on to the connections.

    Once we were confident everything was connected up, we filled the tank with water to test. Initial it worked well but the water pressure soon dropped. We tried to work out why but soon realised this was down to the seal on the reservoir tank. When the water was being drawn through, the seal was causing a vacuum inside the tank. So we realised that we needed to drill a small hole in the filler cap reservoir tank to allow air in and for the water to be pulled through.

    The final job was to fit the dash. Rather than using the nuts and bolts we used previously, we decided to put rivet nuts in the chassis which makes the dash feel really solid now it is fitted. The cover for the dash is temporary at this stage until will get through the IVA test, which is when we intend to install the glove box and cover the dash with a real leather finish.


  • 8 July 2017 – Suspension Set up – Introduction

    The next job for us was to look at setting up the suspension including, the Ride height, Toe and Camber. This was a job that we had been putting off as we both weren’t too confident about how to get the best set up for this. Fortunately Richard, Mark’s colleague at JLR had some experience doing this in racing teams and helped us out.

    The suspension set up can take some time and involve a lot of trial and error before you achieve the setting up you want. Often by adjusting one setting then changed something else, so it is important to measure and re-measure every time you make an adjustment. As we thought, this became quite fiddly job and took us a full day to get right. Eventually we got a base set up as we wanted it. This might be something that we will have to readdress later once we have done a few miles and the suspension settles properly.

    I hope the next few posts will best describe the process we went through.

  • 8 July 2017 – Suspension Set Up – Ride height set up

    Before we started doing any setting up it is important to first check the tyre pressures are all consistent. We set this to 30psi all round. We also placed the 4 wheels on to grease plates which are essentially just two circles of aluminium sheet metal with grease painted between them. This was important so we could remove any friction between tyre and ground and allow the wheels to move freely. This would then let suspension to sit without tension on it and would then give us a true measurements from the wheels.

    Ride Height

    We decided the obvious place to start would be to set the ride height. Initially we contacted Stuart Clarke to ask him the ride height measurements on his 289 build to give us a rough idea what to aim for. He confirmed measurement from centre of the wheel to top of the wheel arch were rear: 375mm front: 365mm. We had the jaguar XJS rear axle as opposed to the MG back axle set up on Stuarts build and we had been told previously that the Jaguar rear axle can often ride slightly higher than the MG equivalent.

    We firstly used a Plum line (string with a weight on the end) and used a sharp to mark the centre point of the wheel and wheel arch which gave us a consistent position to measure from.

    We could visually see the rear was riding way higher than the front and the first measurement confirmed this; O/S/F: 349mm, N/S/F: 355mm, O/S/R: 410mm, N/S/R: 410mm.

    Rear Ride Height

    We started by adjusting the rear. Firstly we marked a position on the platform adjusters to count the number of turns we made when adjusting the height. We knew the thread on the shock absorber had a 3mm pitch so each turn would reduce the ride height by 3mm.

    We set the platform adjusters to one thread from the bottom of the shock absorber which we worked out would give us a rear height of approximately 375mm. We soon realised that when the shocker was at maximum extension the strings moved slightly so we discussed whether we might need to add additional helper springs to keep spring location when at full droop. This is something we will add later. This is assuming that we ever drive so fast that we get air!

    Front Ride Height

    We wanted to achieve a ride height set up with an approximate 10mm rake. Knowing that we had a ride height of 375mm at the rear this would set the ride height at the front of 365mm. The front shocker absorbers also had a 3mm thread pitch so we adjusted them accordingly to achieve the 365mm measurement at the front. This meant adding height to both front nearside and offside.

    Once adjusted we lowered off the jack to confirm the measurements. We bounced the car on the turn plates and also rolled the car backwards and forwards several times to allow the suspension, tyre and chassis to settle before re-measuring.

    We went through this process a few times before we got the ride height set up correctly, eventually getting a 10mm rake with Rear: 375mm Front 365mm,

  • 8 July 2017 – Toe set up


    Next was to set up the wheel toe, Richard had some poles with grooves cut into them. These were based on the ‘Smart String 4 Wheel Toe Alignment System’ that he had previously used when working for some racing teams. The Smart strings works by attaching brackets to the vehicle, supporting transverse pole on the front and rear of the vehicle. Then parallel lines are ran from the front to back to measure from. As we only had the poles we supported the poles on 4 axle stands 2 at the front to at the back. This really helped us set up a string box around the car to take measurements from. We didn’t have any geometry settings for the car so talking with Richard we decided a good base to start from was to have the front and rear toe in 1mm each side. This would give an overall toe of -2mm on the front and -2mm on the rear. By doing this the car would drive straighter and the back end would not kick out as easy on corners.

    You can read more about the Smart Strings system here.

    Front Toe

    We firstly we had to find the centre on the steering rack and set the steering wheel straight. Next we set up the box around the car using the poles, one pole at the front one pole at the rear. We then ran weighted fishing line from the front pole to the rear pole creating a box around the car to measure from. Firstly we measured from the centre of the hub to the line on all 4 hubs, this was to get the same measurement from the hub to the line on all 4 hubs to make sure the lines parallel.

    Once the lines were exactly parallel this allowed us to get a precise measurement from the front and rear of the wheel to the line to work out the toe in millimetres. The front toe was a reasonably straight forward to set up. With the steering rack set centrally it was a case of shortening the track rods either side until we got the front wheels to toe in by 1mm on each side with an overall toe of -2mm. One issue we had was that the track rod was too long and bottomed out in the track rod end. As there was plenty of thread on the rod we took 10mm of thread off the end of the track rod on both sides with a hacksaw. This stopped the track rod bottoming out in the track rod end and we could get the toe to measure correctly.

    Rear Toe

    The first measurement of the rear toe showed we had -4mm on N/S and -1mm of the O/S. Unfortunately the rear toe set up was more difficult to sort out. With the Jaguar XJS rear axle this meant adding or removing shims between the front and rear mounting points of the lower suspension arms to the solid mounted Jaguar rear diff. We ended up adding some shims to the front mounting and removing them front the rear mounting point of the N/S lower suspension arm. This was to push out the toe on the N/S rear to give us -1mm on each side.

  • 8 July 2017 – Camber Set Up


    After setting the toe front and rear we looked at setting the camber. To measure this we used a bar with 2 bolts sticking out, each bolt measured the same distance off the bar. Placing the bar with the bolts up against the wheel with one bolt on the top of the wheel rim and the other bolt on the bottom of the rim. This then gave us a flat surface to measure the camber on.

    We had a magnetic angle gauge that we stuck to the bar this gave us the number of degrees camber that the wheel was set to.

    We were aiming for -1 degree camber on each wheel this would give us better cornering.

    Rear Camber

    For the rear the camber is set by adding or removing shims between the drive shaft and the diff. There are 2 sets of shims between the diff and the drive shaft on each side. One set between the inboard brake discs, this is for centralising the disc with the calliper. The other is between the outside of the disc and the drive shaft, these are to set the camber.

    So as the drive shaft also acts as the top suspension arm the more shims you add the less camber you get and the more shims you remove the more camber you get.

    The N/S/R had -2.5 degrees and the O/S/R had -1.5 degrees so we add some shims to both side to get the -1 degree on both sides.

    Front Camber

    The front camber was a lot easier to set this used a cam bolt off set the position. So by loosening off the nut of the bolt then turning the bolt this ether made the lower mounting closer or further away from the chassis altering the camber. Once we got the correct setting we tightened the bolts.

    Once the camber was set front and rear we knew this could affect the rest of the suspension set up so we rolled the car forward and backwards bouncing the suspension to settle it.

    We rechecked all the suspension measurements again and just had to adjust the front toe correctly again.

  • 21st November 2016 – Getting ready to turn the key.

    We had previously connected up the dash and wiring looms as well as mechanical gauge connections, water temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature. These all run directly from the gauges through the bulkhead onto the engine.

    We also had to consider where to run the battery feed cables. As battery shelf is located on the near side of in the engine bay between the foot well and front wheel arch, we drilled a hole through the bulkhead behind the wiper motor unit and fed the battery cables through to connect onto the starter.

    We added some fuel to the tank and we were now, in theory at least, ready to start up. Mark tried and turned the key but realised that something wasn’t quiet right as the engine started but cut out straight away. Knowing that we had fuel pressure, Mark rechecked the wiring to the coil and ballast resistor finding the positive feed to the coil was being pulled down to ground by the wire from the starter. This then killed the coil and the spark. Upon rechecking the wiring on the starter Mark realised the wire for the coil was connected to the incorrect terminal on the starter for the ballest resistor bypass.

    Once this was rectified, the engine started perfectly. We haven’t got any exhaust fitted at the moment so I think we got the attention of most of the neighbourhood. What a noise!

  • November 2016 – Upgrading the fuse box

    Things haven’t moved on as quickly as we had hoped over the last year or so, but we both knew that we weren’t too far away from a big milestone on the build of actually turning that key and getting it started up. We spent a day back in August getting the wiring loom sorted and connected up but with the wiper unit not being finally installed, this had prevented us getting the wiring loom fully connected up and the dash in.

    We had also decided at this point that we weren’t so happy with the older bullet type fuses in the fuse box as these open up and can lose connection when warm. So we decided we would prefer to replace the original fuse box that was part of the wiring harness with a more modern blade type fuse box. We felt this was a good addition at this point as it will be behind the dash and won’t be visible. We also decided to reposition the new fuse box underneath the relays to make them more accessible when the dash is installed.




  • 6th August 2016 – Wiring up

    We spent another day on the build and thought it was time we got on with the wiring. Wiring up the outer components such as the lights, fuel pump, was all quiet straight forward as we had run the front and rear parts of the wiring loom previously. We also created an earth to the chassis which we did underneath the rear axle.


    The main challenge is to connect the front and rear parts of the wiring loom to the central part which is eventually located behind the dash and connects to all the gauges and switches on the dash, as well as the fuse box and relays. This can easily become like a mass of spaghetti and a little overwhelming. Fortunately we had spend time previously labelling all the wires and connections separately which made it easier to follow the wiring diagram. We decided to connect up the gauges and switches before bring the dash back into the car.





  • 29th March 2016 – Installing wiper motor & mechanism

    Next up is the Windscreen wipers. We had already drilled and fitted the wheel boxes (you can read about this post here) but we had to fit the motor and driver cable. Originally we used wooden blocks to temporarily mount the wheel boxes at the correct angle but as part of the motor kit we also sourced rubber spacers that sit underneath the body to replace these wooden blocks which are a much neater solution.

    Firstly we assembled the whole motor mechanism running the cable through the bundy tube and wheelboxes. It is important to ensure that the window wiper rack is well greased before it is all assembled. The drive cable that connects the motor to the motor boxes sits inside bundy pipe. The 3 sections of pipe all came as part of the kit and were cut to the correct length with the ends already flared to fit.


    The motor is designed to be positioned on the top of the passenger footwell with the driver cable running through the bulkhead and behind the dash. It is important to ensure that the bend in the bundy pipe is sufficient enough to pass through the bulkhead but not severe enough to impact the motion of the cable inside. This means positioning the motor unit at an angle and quiet far underneath the wing. We drilled one hole through the bulkhead for the bundy pipe and gentle bent it to shape before connecting it all up to mark and drill the motor mounting holes in the top of the passenger footwell. It’s virtually impossible to measure everything accurately to find the final position and drill the holes before hand.


  • 20th Feb 2016 – Repositioning the heater box

    While we were looking at installing the wiper box motor, wiper mechanism and wheel boxes, we realised, not for the first time, that we had a problem. We had originally installed the heater box directly to the back of the bulkhead behind the dash  using rivets (read the post here). When looking at installing the wiper mechanism, we realised that the position of the heater box didn’t give us any room above it and thus compromised the position of the wiper cable mechanism and bundy tube that houses it. The only solution was to rethink the position of the heater box and reinstall it.
    Firstly, we had to roughly mount the dash to work out how much room there would be behind the dash once this is installed together with the wiring loom. As we suspected the space behind the dash is very tight and doesn’t give much room to play and to find the new position for the heater box. After some fiddling and some discussion we thought that moving its position back and down while also tilting the angle slightly  forwards would probably work best. Firstly this gave us enough clearance above the heater box for the wiper mechanism but also allowed the angle of lower heater outlets to be aimed more into the cabin rather onto the lower bulkhead. 2 positive outcomes!
    In order to install the heater box in this new position we realised that we would have to make 2 new brackets as well as extend the pipes from the back of the heater in order to connect it back up to the heater matrix on the other side of the bulkhead within the engine bay. This took some time to get the angle of the pipes just right to get them to protrude correctly. Once complete we then remounted the heater using rivets to secure the heater and the the new brackets back to the bulkhead.