Amazing Metalwork - XKE Restomod - Update 1/16/22

BBShark

Garage Monkey
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I saw this build and was amazed at the meticulous and well thought out process of Restomodding an XKE. This is the best documented build of any car I have ever seen. More to come!


Owner: Ken Hiebert
City: Toronto, Canada

Car Model: 1965 Jaguar E-Type FHC

Engine: 2002 GM LS1 V8

Cooling: Afco dual pass aluminum radiator

Exhaust: Dual 2 1/2" into one 3" Magnaflow muffler into two 2 1/2" Vibrant resonators

Transmission: Tremac 6 speed

Rear Axle: Salisbury 3.54:1 with Powerloc limited slip differential

Front Susp.: Fast Cars Inc. IFS

Rear Susp.: Modified Jaguar E-Type IRS

Brakes: Wilwood all around

Wheels/Tires: Americain Racing Classic 100 wheels with 245/45/17 front and 275/40/17 rear tires

Body Mods: Bumper delete

Interior: Mazda Miata seats, Vintage Air A/C

Electrical: Modified GM harness using all Delphi Metri-Pack connectors

This project is to create a restomod of a 1965 Jaguar E-Type FHC, (fixed head coupe). A restomod combines the performance, comforts and reliability of a modern car while retaining most of the appearance of the original car. Just my style, my passion.
I'm starting out with a very rough, original car, no engine, no transmission, a good candidate for this project. The car came with a dilapidated white Series II bonnet which can be seen in the purchase photos of the car and it also came with the original Series I bonnet. These photos I took when I viewed the car for the first time:

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My inspiration for this project comes from a few Jaguars already on the road. One of my favorites is Larry Ligas' full race car from Predator Performance Racing Inc. of Largo, Florida. That was listed for sale on Fantasy Junction, brokers of fine collector automobiles and vintage race cars.
[www.fantasyjunction.com]
It is pictured here:

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The car in my project, which I hope to finish one day, will not be a full race car, but will be driven and driven hard. Touring, autocrossing and the occasional track days will be it's duties.
I hope you find some interest and entertainment in this adventure.

One of the first purchases I made for this car was the engine and transmission package. This was shipped up to Niagara Falls, N.Y. from a dealer in Philidelphia. I rented a truck and brought my baby home.

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Frame Table:
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Construction begins:
With the chassis table leveled and squared, the first step in building the frame is establishing my ride height. This is calculated using the amount of suspension travel I want and where I want the wheels in the wheel wells. Everything on this car hinged on the bonnet height. I made the bonnet as low as I could and still have 3" of suspension travel. From there, I knew where the body would sit and where the IRS would sit, all at normal ride height. I figured building the frame rails 3" above my chassis table would give me good working room. It ended up, the front crossmember would be 3 3/4" above the table and the differential, 4 1/8" above the table. Then it was all a matter of placing them center on the table and at the established 96" wheel base. I welded lengths of angle iron under the exact wheel base lines, marked my hub to hub lines on them using a plumb bob, checked my 96" wheel base and checked corner to corner for square.

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With the differential sitting on the chassis table, I now needed to fabricate mounts for it. The upper mount would be poly bushed, bolted to an assembly of three 2"x2" tubes, what I call, the rear crossmember.
Diff mount
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Frame Rails:
Tying the front and rear suspensions together will be done with perimeter frame rails. The E-Type has large 7" high body sills which gave the original monocoque body it's strength. I'll be running my frame rails through them. I ran the 2x3" rails mid-height in the sill and ran a secondary shaped tube below it to join the bottom part of the outer sill and the floor together.
The lower shaped tube is 2x2"x .065 with a 1" corner cut from it. I did the cut in several sections but it still had to be straightened.
Tacked it to heavy angle iron:
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Next will be IRS upgrades.
P.S. I'm loving my chassis table so much, I gave'er a coat of paint.

Watts Linkage:
Under hard acceleration, the Jaguar IRS can experience wheel hop due to the lower control arm flexing. I'm going to try and lessen that by adding a watts linkage to the rear hub and I'll widen the spacing of the rear springs.

Modified rear hub
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To complete the watts linkage, I need to install the four attachment points for the heim joints on the frame. Those will come later.

Lower Control Arms
These, on the Jaguar IRS, do too many things. One thing you don't want them to do is twist. Under heavy acceleration or hard braking load, they do. To help lessen this, I picked up on a theory from a post on the Independent Rear Suspension Forum. In the first post of the thread, "Ralphy" states "The further outboard you mount the coilovers, the better. In the third and fourth post, "Tyrellracing" talks about a FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS done to show that the arrangement of the coilovers further apart, would give them a greater ability to act as a TORQUE COUPLE and resist rotation while supporting the weight.
I liked the theory, right or wrong, and implemented it on my lower control arms.
Widened the coilover spacing by a total of 3 1/4", (my width was limited by the placement of the fuel tank in the car):

Modified control arms
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To be continued...........
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
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XKE Build Part 2

XKE Build Part 2

Time to mount the bosses for the Watts Linkage on the rear crossmember, "end rails", as I call them. These are a 1/2"x13 threaded tubes that extend through the 2x3" rectangular section, welded both sides. I added 10" long, adjustable rear suspension bump stops while it was on the bench. That's a lot easier welding than trying to do it on the frame
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Ready to assemble the frame. I'm down to four major chassis components, that being the IFS, two side frame rails and the rear crossmember. A fifth is a 2x2" tube section connecting the two frame rails together at the driveshaft.
I set them on the floor, off the chassis table, got out the bathroom scales and recorded their individual weights.

Crossmember, frame rails and connector, set in place, not welded
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HOW MUCH DOES IT ALL WEIGH?

(the answer coming soon)

Brakes
In order to use the Wilwood calipers on the IRS, I needed to fabricate a bracket to mount them to. Simple enough. The vented rotors required another adapter or "hat" which needed an offset in it and access holes for removal. I could have turned one out of a piece of billet aluminum but decided to turn down the original Jaguar brake rotor and adapt it. A little extra weight but much easier to fabricate.
The collection:
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Backside of rotor and hat, (temporary bolts):
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The Wilwood emergency brake or "spot caliper", I think, are strange. They're a floating caliper design that are held captive with a slot at either end. I searched the net endlessly looking for mounting ideas from others and this is the best I could come up with. It's an aluminum assembly that bolts to the differential and the steel, main caliper bracket, to give it stability. These spot calipers don't hold the best of reputations so I'll be keeping it in mind when parking in San Francisco.
Assembly:
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Frame Assembly
With the four main frame components mounted on the chassis table, it was finally time to stick them together. Despite using a slow and careful welding process, I still had one corner lift up of the chassis table by 0.047' of an inch. I corrected that by fastening that corner to the table and using a hydraulic jack to lift the other corner until it all came out level.

I flipped the frame over to weld areas underneath that I couldn't access when it was on the table.
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Just for the record, the weight of the frame without the IFS was:
38 lb - rear crossmember
34 lb - left frame rail
34 lb - right frame rail
6 lb - frame connector
112 lbs Total weight as pictured above.

Engine Mounts
I fabricated aluminum adapter plates so I could use Energy Suspension GM motor mounts on the LS1 block. From here, I set the engine in place at my calculated height and at the determined 3 degree driveline angle. I made the connecter tube underneath the engine removable and set up a temporary transmission mount. The final support for the transmission will be two tubes extending from either frame rail and the transmission tunnel itself, much like the original Jaguar E-Type design.
Placing the engine in the frame when it was on the chassis table went well. I had to build leg extensions for the engine hoist.
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With the engine in place, I came off the frame rail with a flat plate:
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I fabricated the connector tube and boxed around it to compete the mount:
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Calculations for my driveline angle were done with full size cardboard cutouts of the engine transmission combination and the differential, both layed out on a large sheet of cardboard. The differential was fixed at 3 degrees due to the lower control arm mounts. With these representations, I shifted them around until I found the best numbers. Others would have used CAD on their computers.
Full size layout:
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On all Fours
I used the engine hoist to lift the frame off the chassis table to finish the engine mount welds. Assembled the IRS underneath it and got it on all four wheels.
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I'm thinking I should take it outside for some fresh air.

Rolling Chassis
After putting the engine in place, I was anxious to see the rolling chssis in full daylight. I have struts in place of the coilovers to keep the chassis at ride height. Ground clearance is 6" at the frame rails. The chassis may look a bit spindly here, but the coupe body, transmission tunnel and floors are all to be welded in giving the car torsional strength.

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Preparing the Body
What remained of the original floors, footwells, transmission tunnel and boot floor would all have to come out before the body could be mounted on the new frame. Before I started cutting, I diagonally braced the body on the inside, everywhere I thought was important. The main feature were two channels running between the two inner sills. These would be my main lifting points, close to the A and B posts. To drop the floor, I supported the body from those channels on 3/4" EMT stands.

Body on cart as it's been sitting in the driveway for what seems like forever:
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Floors and footwells dropped:
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Test Lift
I built a "spreader bar" type affair to be used above the roof to pick up my four lifting points. With a simple engine hoist and low garage ceiling height, it all needed to be quite compact in order to get it up and over the frame on the table.

Combined the two channel iron lengths between the sills into one lift point per side.
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Installing body on frame
This went really well, just myself and the engine hoist. I had to "walk" the body over the high points of the frame with the engine hoist boom nearly touching the garage ceiling rafters.
The outside inner sill dimension and the inside frame rail dimension are both 48"across. I installed supports on the frame for the sills to sit on. With the body comfortably sitting on the frame rails, it was then just a matter of adjusting my fore and aft position setting the firewall at a measured point within the wheelbase.
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Welding Body to Frame
I was relieved to see the body checked out level and center on the frame. It showed the body was pretty straight, at least what was left of it.
Happy with the body placement, I raised it again, applied weld through primer on the mating surfaces of the inner sill and frame rail. These would be plug welded along the full length of the sill after the body was again confirmed to be level and on center.

Checking cowl for level:
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Preparing plug welds along inner sills:
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Supports along sills:
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Reworking Firewall
The original Jaguar E-type firewall and bulkhead is a heavy, complicated structure. It provided all the strength for the front "space frame" mounted to it. It also ducted air for the heat and defrost functions. For now, I cut back enough of the firewall to get the engine transmission in, keeping in mind, my plan was to replace the firewall anyway. I kept the windshied wiper motor mount.

Slicing and dicing the A post compromised its integrity so I plug welded a section of sheet metal on the inside of it to tie all the horizontal layers together.

I installed a 2"x2"x .065' wall tube between the two A posts to build the new firewall off of. The tube has an offset to accomodate the pedal box.

Before:
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After:
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Before:
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After:
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Engine now slips in:
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Pedal Box
I had three sets of brake/clutch pedal assemblies to choose from for this build, 2002 Pontiac Trans Am, Nissan 240 Sx and Triumph TR6. I selected the TR6 unit because it's self contained, therefore easier to mount. The drawback to this unit is the extreme angle that the brake master cylinder sits at. That's OK if you use the TR6 master cylinder but with my Wilwood M/C, it becomes overly tilted up at the front. I went at the TR6 pedal box with a zip saw, decreased the angle and reworked the geometry to get the same stroke for the brake and clutch master cylinders This also required remaking the pedal arms.

Cardboard test patterns with original pedal arms after rewoking the sheet metal assembly:
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Steering Column
With the pedal box mounted, I could now install the Pontiac Fiero steering column. I welded 3/4" square tubing along the underside of the cowl and built a frame work between it and the 2"x2" firewall support tube to bolt my steering column to.

Channel welded to base of column:
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Assembly welded to cowl:
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Tilt up:
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Tilt Down:
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BBShark

Garage Monkey
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XKE Build Part 3

XKE Build Part 3

Mounting the A/C Evaporator
I needed to mount the Vintage Air, Compac II A/C unit as high and forward as possible to preserve dash and transmission tunnel space. The biggest interference was with the windshield wiper linkages. I ended up remounting the blower, lower in the evaporator assembly and notching the ducting on the unit itself to provide clearance for the linkages. Then it was just a matter of hanging it from my 3/4" square tubing attached to the cowl.

Slicing up the A/C unit and lowering the blower
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In order to fabricate my transmission tunnel, I first needed the evaporartor in place. Clearance looks good.
I looked at using Vintage Air's "Mini" A/C unit but considering it was only 1/2" less deep and 1 1/2" less long, I opted for the Compac II with the larger evaporator. Bigger is better.

Exhaust
I still can't fabricate my transmission tunnel/mount until the exhaust is in place. I'll work on just the front half of the exhaust system at this point. The layout for the system is two 2 1/2" into a single 3" muffler then spliting back into two 2 1/2" with two resonators at the back as per traditional E-type form. The first step was to weld the SS V-band clamps to my single 3" Magnaflow muffler.

SS V-band Clamp
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All my 304 stainless, 16 guage exhaust tubing came from Columbia River Mandrel Bending: [www.mandrel-bends.com]
Quality products, reasonable prices. Using their 2 1/2" 180 degree mandrel bends, I pie cut sections to piece together the offsets and angles I needed to stay close to the transmission and join up to the merge collector that I bought from them. I used 308 SS filler rod for the TIG butt welds. The bottom of the 2 1/2" exhaust is level with the bottom of the front section floor area and the 5" OD. muffler is 1" lower which is level with the rear section floor area. Assembly:

Positioned muffler and then I fabricated forward from there:
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More Exhaust
Next up was joining the Y pipe to the block hugger headers. The angle of the header collector flange didn't exactly match the angle of my exhaust down pipe but it wasn't anything I couldn't accommodate in the mounting of the collector flange. I ended up doing the weld on the inside of the flange since it was a tighter fit, using less weld filler, less heat and less distortion.

90 degree bend needed between flange and Y pipe:
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Transmission tunnel and mount

Without the option of running the transmission mount underneath the exhaust, I needed to use a bracket, offsetting up and over the exhaust, mounting to a strong transmission tunnel.
I first fabricated a skeletal structure that will have 20 gauge sheet metal welded to it. The main interferences with fabricating it were the electrical plugs on the transmission and the reverse lock out solenoid.

Structure fabricated before installation:
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Welded in Place
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Driveshaft Tunnel

With the tunnel framework in, I could now start sheeting it in with 20 guage. I figured it was easiest to do it in two sections, front and rear. Each back half had 48 plug welds. I decided to integrate a center console on top of the drive shaft tunnel.

Fabricated panels:
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Aluminum stiffeners were bonded to inside on 20 guage panel for center console:
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Transmission Tunnel and Right Side Footwell

I decided to put the battery in front of the right footwell. It will intrude into the interior space somewhat but after putting the seat in place and testing the leg room, I thought it was minimal. Mounting the battery there saves the heavy copper length and of course preserves trunk space.

Fabricated front transmission panel and forward footwell panel:
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Without a sheet metal brake in the garage, I used clamped angle iron to make my bends:
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Welded in place
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Transmission Tunnel and Left Side Footwell

The complication on the left side was the clutch master cylinder and the pedal assembly mounting. In addition, I fabricated a bracket to stabilize the clutch hydraulic hose and provided an access panel to service it with.

Three panels fabricated:
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Before
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After
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Left Side Front Floor

I've finally established an efficient method for panel fabrication. Working with a tip from Lazze, I find if you "English Wheel", (stretch) the area you want to bead roll, the panel will end up more flat than if you don't. Here's a link to Lazze's video explaining the theory:
[tinyurl.com]
Here's a link to how I fabricated my English Wheel:
[www.roddingroundtable.com]

Accurately lay out area to be wheeled (stretched), then bead rolled:
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Welded in place
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Transmission Top Panel fabricated:
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Finished for now right side:
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Finished for now left side
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I'm back.....

Transmission Mount

I hate doing things twice but I wanted to redo my transmission mount. To get the Energy Suspension polyurethane transmission mount to fit, I had to move it's mounting holes. The welder fixed that.
I added a 2" wide x 3/8" thick length of aluminum flat bar to run between my two 2"x2" tubes coming off the frame rails.

Transmission mount bracket with new polyurethane mount, (bottom left) next to GM rubber mount:
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Time to update....
A friend of mine was looking at this Project Journal lately and commented that it would be good to do an overall update. OK

So basically, the body is welded to the frame, front floorboards, footwells and transmission tunnel installed. Engine and transmission mounts are in and the front half of the exhaust is done.

I'm now working on what I call the rear deck, then it will be on to the boot floor. After that, I'll step forward to the bonnet area.

Overall photo with rear wheel mounted:
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I sliced and diced the rusty rear fenders to fit my wheels with full suspension travel and found I could retain the original inner fender wells which is a great time saver.

Wheel well opened up:
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Door Hinges

Although not a pressing issue, I thought I should restore the door hinges sooner rather than later since I had borrowed an undersized reamer from a co-worker some time ago and knew it was about time it was returned.
The Jaguar E-type door hinge is a cast aluminum unit using a 7/16" pin, no bushing. Naturally the aluminum bore wears creating slop. The standard fix is to go to a 1/2" pin and use an adjustable reamer to sneak up on the the exact 1/2" bore size. I couldn't get my hands on an adjustable reamer but I had a slightly undersized reamer (.497) available to me.
The process is well explained here on this website:
[newhillgarage.com]

I went one step further and added a grease nipple to make sure I won't have to do the job again.

Completed left and right door hinges assemblies:
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Machining boss in aluminim hinge for grease nipple:
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Hand Brake

I wanted to finish the hand brake system before I completed the floor and boot area so I would have better access to work on it.

I had a hand brake that I salvaged from a Nissan 240 SX and figured I should be able to adapt it.

There's a 2" wide space between the driver's seat and the transmission tunnel alocated for the hand brake. I could see no other place to put it.

Mounting the handle was straight forward enough but because of the tight confines, there was no way I could use the Nissan cables as such. I ended up forming 5/16" fuel line tubing to suit and using the inner cable through it.

The Wilwood caliper required a return spring bracket mounted to caliper itself in order to keep the floating caliper from being twisted by the spring.

Hand brake end:
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Rear brake caliper and hand brake on their mounts:
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I can't believe how much fabrication went into mounting and controlling these calipers. In the end, I think they'll work well.

The Boot

Like everything else on this car sheet metal wise, the boot was in pretty sad shape. Fortunately, I got a Martin Robey boot assembly with the car as it would cost me over $2800 CDN to get one of these puppies shipped to me. However, after trimming all the unwanted sheet metal out and trail fitting the assembly, nothing fit. I had to remove the number plate panel and stiffeners in order to get it to sit straight. I’ll weld them back in later. What was that thing priced at???
My plan was to fabricate a front vertical panel, mount it, adjust the assembly in place then fasten the two together. The front vertical panel is moved rearward from stock position due to my IRS design which moves my fuel tank rearward. Change one thing, change another.

Boot area to be replaced:
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Martin Robey "Rear End Assembly":
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Unwanted sheet metal trimmed:
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Getting the replacement boot assembly to fit proved to be more problematic than I had first anticipated. On a stock E-type, the rear bumper covers the pinch weld and any discrepancies in the lining up of the top and bottom halves is hidden. Since I'm going with a bumperless, smooth look, my welded joint needs to be very close. I tried reshaping the boot using a shrinker/stretcher but no go. Only by trimming the pinch weld flange off and providing a relief cut, could I coax the bottom to match the top.

For a joint, I first plug welded 26 tabs, 13 a side, to the top inside, then plug welded to the bottom inside. Then it was just a matter of butt welding the outer skins together using a hammer and dolly to keep things in shape. Anything close to the rear fender was left alone since that's a separate project to be tackled later.

For what was a floppy piece of sheet metal laying on the floor, it turned out to be a drum tight, eggshell like structure when all welded together.

Boot with front panel attached, ready for installation:
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Boot finally mounted:
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69427

The Artist formerly known as Turbo84
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
2,936
Location
Clinging to my guns and religion in KCMO.
Impressive sheet metal work. :thumbs:

I was amazed at the frame weight (112#), as I would be happy if my '69 frame weighed twice that. Scratched my head trying to figure out how he can make that work with a car roughly the same size as my C3, but then finding out that the bodywork gets welded to the frame, increasing the stiffness, answered that question. A major downside of our Corvettes is that the bodywork is all weight, and doesn't contribute to any stiffness. (IIRC what I read, back in the early 60s Duntov said that the body is just there to keep the wind and rain off the driver.)
 

SuperBuickGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
3,143
Location
Seattle, WA
Impressive sheet metal work. :thumbs:

I was amazed at the frame weight (112#), as I would be happy if my '69 frame weighed twice that. Scratched my head trying to figure out how he can make that work with a car roughly the same size as my C3, but then finding out that the bodywork gets welded to the frame, increasing the stiffness, answered that question. A major downside of our Corvettes is that the bodywork is all weight, and doesn't contribute to any stiffness. (IIRC what I read, back in the early 60s Duntov said that the body is just there to keep the wind and rain off the driver.)

good reason to make a carbon-fiber bird cage.... :stirpot:
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
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Impressive sheet metal work. :thumbs:

I was amazed at the frame weight (112#), as I would be happy if my '69 frame weighed twice that. Scratched my head trying to figure out how he can make that work with a car roughly the same size as my C3, but then finding out that the bodywork gets welded to the frame, increasing the stiffness, answered that question. A major downside of our Corvettes is that the bodywork is all weight, and doesn't contribute to any stiffness. (IIRC what I read, back in the early 60s Duntov said that the body is just there to keep the wind and rain off the driver.)

I weighed my bare frame at 285lbs so not to bad. He gets a lot of (torsional) stiffness from the raised door sill area.
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
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Part 4

PART 4

Restoring Boot area

Another major job at the back end of this car that needs attention is the licence plate surround. Although never heavily damaged from collision, rust has taken its toll.

I first cut out the basic layout that I would recreate and used templates to keep both sides centered and symetrical.
Then worked some 20 guage on the English Wheel to get the same compound curve of the original rusted panel.

Rust affected area on top:
461a292a96864f.jpg
461a292a97c1f6.jpg
Forming Replacement panel
461a292a98f45c.jpg
461a292a9a2b08.jpg
461a292a9b5faf.jpg
461a292a9c9a21.jpg
461a292a9de448.jpg
Welded in place
461a292a9f4152.jpg
461a292aa15aa8.jpg
The shrinking disc is a new one to me. I quickly found a need for one when working this panel's shape while welding. The concept is to heat the metal using the friction of the stainless steel disc rubbing against the high points of your panel, then spray the hot spots with water to shrink them in comparision to the surrounding area. I made this one using sheet stainless but might buy one of these:
[www.wolfesmetalfabrication.com]

Left with a thin 20 guage metal edge, I decided to use 1/4" round rod to finish the licence plate surround. Formed some solid rod to match the opening, tacked in place then welded.

The inner filler panel, as I call it, does an interesting transition. In trying to keep with the original Series I E-type look, the vertical sides should be a straightcut, 90 degree opening. The top inside opening should be offset upwards, creating a hidden filler area. I worked this sheet metal so it would lay on top of the 1/4" rod when installed rather than welding it to the bottom.

1/4" formed rod:
461a292aa2a8f3.jpg
461a292aa3d8a0.jpg
461a292aa52528.jpg
461a292aa7c6f2.jpg
Long ago, I removed the licence plate panel from the purchased boot assembly in order to fit it to the body.
Area prepared:
461a292aa6827a.jpg
100 Plug Welds
461a292aa8f819.jpg
Completed
461a292aaa2f67.jpg
461a292aab679a.jpg
Fuel Tank

A few changes were made to the fuel tank to suit my purposes. Jaguar was kind enough to feature a sump but I decided to go without. That was filled. The tank used to rest on three brackets. Because things were getting crowded at the front of the boot, I decided to "hang" it for those two front supports and have it "rest" on a bracket at the rear.

Tank trimmed:
461a295ee73cdd.jpg
Brackets
461a295ee87cae.jpg
461a295ee9b1d2.jpg
461a295eeae4a5.jpg
Done
461a295eec1c48.jpg
Steering Shaft

Finished up the steering shaft assembly. I got off easy on this build. It was pretty much a straight shot from the steering column to the rack. With a total of three U-joints, I had to use an intermediate bearing which was no sweat. The components are from 3/4 ton Chevy vans. I like them because in an OEM installation, they're enclosed in a plastic tube which keeps them clean and lubed. I included the vibration dampener and the sliding shaft.

I fabricated an entry port for the shaft to enter the interior fron 3/16" aluminum. This will have a rubber or foam seal.

Assembled:
461a295eed4e91.jpg
Accessory Brackets

I hate doing things twice, but three times, that's ridiculous. I had trouble providing clearance for the front tires at full lock and clearance for the bonnet. I'm pretty sure this version will work.

I used the original GM serpentine belt tensioner and bought one idler pulley. Otherwise, it was just alot of measuring and fitting. I'll pretty it up with polished fasteners and paint later.
461a295eee86d0.jpg
461a295ef07cab.jpg
A/C Pump
461a295ef1b123.jpg
Complete
461a295ef2e81f.jpg
Triangulation

Been working on a number of things lately, namely, the roll bar, bonnet, headlight covers, radiator, front sway bar and steering stops. Nothing finished. But I did manage to complete a pair of forward struts to add some triangulation to the front end. At the scuttle, I added two vertical 2x2” tubes on the firewall and tied things together behind the tubes. I didn’t have too many choices for routing of the struts due to tire, accessory and master brake cylinder clearances.
461a298f3a42e2.jpg
Relocating Front Anti-sway Bar

While laying out plans for mounting the radiator and bonnet hinges, it became apparent the original location of the front sway bar was more of a hindrance than help. I proceeded to relocate it to behind the front axle.

Original front clip with bar at front:
461a295ef42307.jpg
Two lower control arms, original on left. I had to keep the same heim joint mount angle when fabricating a new bracket for the LCA:
461a299c14bcb1.jpg
461a295ef6b550.jpg
Sway bar outer tube and bushing mounts were just trimmed from original front clip:
461a295ef7e68d.jpg
461a295ef92d1f.jpg
Roll Bar

I originally envisioned an 8 point cage for this car but despite a great deal of research, when I sat in the cockpit, I realized I'd be giving up too much comfort and space in a car that wouldn't be raced on a regular basis. So I settled on a 4 point roll bar.
Even that was a tight squeeze. I had to inset the vertical portion of the roll hoop into the rear wheel well to clear the back of the seat yet leave enough room for the rear tire.
I had a race shop bend the roll hoop for me then added the three braces. Fish mouthing the tube ends was made easier by first producing a paper pattern then transfering it to the final tube. Trim, test, trim, test.

Fitting angle brace to top left corner of roll hoop:
461a295efa75ae.jpg
461a295efbb4c7.jpg
For the rear braces, I used sliding tubes of paper that I could produce a pattern adjusting for length and orientation to each end:
461a29b19131f9.jpg
461a29b1926e48.jpg
With the roll bar installed, I could finally finish the sheet metal work around it for the wheel wells and the rear deck area. A lot of fitting and filling.

Two flat sections:
461a29b193a28f.jpg
461a29b194de51.jpg
461a29b196307e.jpg
461a29b1977d01.jpg
Exhaust Part #2

Something else on the list of things to do was finish the exhaust system. With the car on the chassis table and the new boot installed, now was the time. I ended Part #1 of the exhaust build with the single 3" Magnaflow muffler hanging just in front of the IRS.
461a29b198bb03.jpg
I now wanted to split the single 3" pipe back into two 2 1/2" pipes and into two resonators angling upwards in typical E-type style.
The two 18" long resonators that I bought, didn't leave me many options for placement so I started with these and worked my way towards the muffler. Setting my spacing and clearance under the IRS, I worked joining the 2-1 merge collector to the two 18 degree mandrel bends that I had already welded extensions to.

Setting width and level with 18 degree bends:
461a29b199603f.jpg
461a29b19a9c3b.jpg
Done
461a29b19bce29.jpg
The 3" pipe coming out of the muffler needed to be offset down 2 1/16" and kicked over 9/16" to bring it into the center line of the car. The muffler/driveshaft tunnel is off center towards the passenger side to account for the differential pinion offset. I used a 3" 180 degree bend to fabricate the required 2 1/8" rolled offset.

Collection of parts. 3" dia. 180 degree mandrel bend, 2-1 merge collector, V band clamp flange:
461a29cfec75f0.jpg
461a29cfedae86.jpg
461a29cfeee107.jpg
461a29cff0d3cc.jpg
I found the easiest way to join the offset to the merge collector was to mount the two in place, then trim them to fit, tack weld together, then bench weld. The offset was fixed to the muffler and the merge collector conveniently sat on the chassis table, level and at the correct height.

Offset and merge collector in place:
461a29cff20450.jpg
Done
461a29cff341e0.jpg
18 Degree upturn
461a29cff47dda.jpg
Resonator Mount
461a29cff5bdd3.jpg
Mounting the resonators

I welded 1/8" plate, front and back to the boot floor to mount the resonators, keeping them spaced and level. These plates accept the two different sized vibration isolator mounts.
The stainless brackets I fabricated use two 1/4-20 button head screws that fasten into the nuts I welded inside the 2 1/2" exhaust pipe.
I ran out of 18 degree mandrel bends so I'll order two more to mount at the end of the resonators to exit level.

Forward mounts, 18 degrees from level:
461a29cff6eeee.jpg
461a29cff81c06.jpg
461a29cff95717.jpg
The whole system as pictured weighs in at 38 lbs:
461a29cffa87f7.jpg

TO BE CONTINUED
 

69427

The Artist formerly known as Turbo84
Joined
Mar 30, 2008
Messages
2,936
Location
Clinging to my guns and religion in KCMO.
I like the front sway bar behind the axle. I tried that years ago in an effort to move any weight I could find rearward, but our C3 frames aren't conducive to doing that unless more weight is added in bracketry to span the space between the bar and the frame.
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
Staff member
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Messages
4,486
Location
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Part 5

Part 5:
Restoration/fabrication of rusty body and structure

Electric steering conversion

Exhaust fabrication and more


PART 5

One of the many components on this car either missing or badly rusted was the outer sills. The Jaguar E-types Monocoque body relies on the inner and outer sills to form a sort of chassis rail tying the A post and the B post together with the floors in between. I now have 2”X3” chassis rails running through the sills but will still have to replace the outer sills to complete the body. The inner sills were salvageable for my purposes and although good original replacement outer sills are available, they wouldn’t work on my car because I’ve lowered the floors by 1”. Up until now, I considered sourcing the use of a slip roller to form the 66” length of curved sheet metal but figured I’d first try bending them by hand.

My outer sill needed a frame work. The bottom was already there with the modified 2”X2” tube mounted below the frame rails. The corner cut out on the tube, accounts for the sill curvature. For a top frame work, I found 3/4X1/16” wall square tubing, if sliced open, would form a channel to house the proper E-type door weather seal. The sheet metal could be mounted to this. I split a few of these tubes to make an assembly that could be mounted to the B post, inner sill, A post and extend forward beyond the firewall to support the 18” length under the bonnet.

With no doors to measure from and only a vague idea of where the original sills were, I set out some dimensions and always measured from the level chassis table or a spirit level. Invaluable! The sills are level but came up ½” wider at the front than the rear. I was surprised at this but wasn’t going to argue with what works on this car.

Car as purchased. Outer sills mostly missing:
461c9a5bd9cded.jpg
Left side inner sill. Outer edge missing:
461c9a6cb09a26.jpg
Sill supports:
461c9a6cb1e981.jpg
Left side B post rust damage. Sill also deformed downward:
461c9a6cb329b5.jpg
Right side - had something to measure from:
461c9a6cb46c72.jpg
I clamped one side of the 66" length of 20 gauge to the table and pulled up on the other tube clamped side:
461c9a6cb5aea5.jpg
Bent edges on each side now in place:
461c9a6cb6f131.jpg
End view of 3/4 inch "sill channel" mounted and sheet metal sitting in it:
461c9a6cb82fc7.jpg
Both sill channels and outer sills fabricated:
461c9a6cb964cd.jpg
I made some intermediate sill supports to give some added strength to the 20 gauge metal. It gave me an opportunity to use my Eastwood metal shrinker. Shrinker/stretcher...they're so cool.

When it's time to install the sills, I'll use an automotive adhesive to secure them to the supports.

Shrinking:
461c9a6cbaa80e.jpg
Parts fabricated:
461c9a6cbbef32.jpg
Assembled:
461c9a6cbd2e4c.jpg
Mounted:
461c9a6cbe68f8.jpg
Two plus two end plates each side:
461c9a6cc066f3.jpg
Test fit, (view from inside):
461c9a6cc1a0fa.jpg
Post repair and sill end closing panels

Fixing the rust at both A posts and both B posts required the usual cut and replace method.

Driver's side B post cut:
461c9a6cc2d620.jpg
Plate fabricated:
461c9a7dc201f1.jpg
Welded in:
461c9a7dc343a7.jpg
In preparation for installing the sills, I needed to fabricate the closing panels. The rear tied into the wheel wells, the front into the sill extension framework. Each end of the sills have 1/4" round rod welded to them.

Right side rear prepared:
461c9a7dc47e50.jpg
Test Fit
461c9a7dc5b21d.jpg
Front sill extension framework:
461c9a7dc6e8a1.jpg
Test fit:
461c9a7dc81a05.jpg
Brake and Fuel Lines

Since I planned on running the rear brake and fuel lines through the sills, I would have to fabricate those lines before I could close up the sills. I'm using the stock GM in tank fuel pump which has the pressure regulator in it so all I needed to run was a single 3/8" line. My route was up and over the top of the rear wheel well, between that and the rear fender.

For now, I'm terminating both lines in front of the firewall. For the rear calipers, I could have used a hard line to both but opted on a flex line to make maintenance and removal of the IRS easier.

Lines fabricated:
461c9a7dc95304.jpg
Routing at left wheel well. Will be mostly sheeted in.
461c9a7dca827b.jpg
Both rear calipers:
461c9a7dcbb8a2.jpg
Mounted the master cylinder and bled/tested the brakes before closing them off.
461c9a7dccf05b.jpg
Sill Assembly

Sills on an E-Type are notorious for rusting out, returning to the earth. I wanted to make sure these would outlast me so I gave all internal surfaces a liberal coating of primer and color coat. After the car is painted, I'll use my access holes to spray in a wax like barrier coating. In both left and right sills, I added a conduit between the A post and the B post to run my wiring. From the A post, I can access the under dash area and B post, the back half of the car.

Black flexible conduit:
461c9a7dce2c62.jpg
Sill before adhesive applied on supports, (looks like red primer but is red color over grey primer):
461c9a7dd021e1.jpg
Top is bead welded, bottom, plug welded.
Using jack to ensure close fit:
461c9a7dd156bc.jpg
Front top corner will be finished to match the bonnet:
461c9a7dd28ccd.jpg
CAD rear fender shapes

I started experimenting with different rear fender designs. I installed lengths of coat hanger wire in position to clear the wheel's full travel, then covered it with cardboard, I haven't decided on a final shape yet but this is a start.

Wheel at ride height:
461c9a7dd3bda7.jpg
This wheel at full jounce travel needs a much higher fender because of its larger size and lower ride height:
461c9a9746b2d5.jpg
Old door skin is taped in place:
461c9a9747f228.jpg
I plan to reshape the front fender then finalize the rear fender:
461c9a974925b8.jpg
Finishing Exhaust System

When I worked on the exhaust system last, I couldn't finish it because I needed two 18 degree bends for the tips. With those in hand, I found the resonators were at 15 degrees off level so I had to wedge cut the bends to 15 degrees to get them level.
461c9a974a6693.jpg
Angled the ends to 15 degrees and bent some 3/16" 304 SS rod to match the angle cuts. Weld, grind and polish:
461c9a974ba41c.jpg
461c9a974cd483.jpg
Finished Resonator and Tip assembly:
Polished:
461c9a974e01a1.jpg
Steering Column, Version #2
Installing EPS

After installing electric power steering in my other LBC, I realized I had to have it in this car too.
Initially, a search on Google brought me to a well described EPS installation in a Pontiac Fiero. Perfect for me. This also went through the whole assembly process of the column itself. Included was a link to learning all you ever wanted to know about your tilt column.
EPS install in a 1986 Fiero GT:
[www.fiero.nl]
Inside GM Tilt Column:
[www.fiero.nl]

To fit the EPS to the column in the space available under the dash of my Jaguar, I had two choices, move the GM ignition switch further up the column or notch the firewall support beam. I choose to cut and weld.
Parts collected:
461c9a974f3d10.jpg
First off was to install the unit on the column.
Cut to length
461c9a97512b4b.jpg
I used a fabricated sleeve to adapt the salvaged Saturn Vue 3 hole mounting tube to the cut column:
461c9a975265aa.jpg
Fabricated adapter using salvaged female spline and machined tube for steering shaft:
461c9a97539461.jpg
Shaft assembly:
461c9a9754c476.jpg
Column complete:
461c9a9755f6a5.jpg
461c9a97572b4e.jpg
Mounting the column
The top mount stayed the same, the bottom changed.

Old bottom mount:
461c9a97585c34.jpg
Added torque plate for EPS unit. All the power steering torque force is applied to this bracket:
461c9ab16a6447.jpg
Tucks up high for clearance:
461c9ab16ba8a8.jpg
Salvaged the firewall shaft sealer from the Saturn. Solves that problem:
461c9ab16cec19.jpg
Finished tilt column:
461c9ab16e250a.jpg
461c9ab170217e.jpg
Boot Repair

Like all other panels on this car, it needed attention.
The outside skin was good, no damage:
461c9ab1715f48.jpg
Glass mount lip had rust:
461c9ab172983a.jpg
Pulled out the shrinker to form a new arch:
461c9ab173d194.jpg
The damaged area has a complicated curve that was impossible for me to form in one piece.
I did it in two:
461c9ab175110e.jpg
461c9ab1765014.jpg
After a coat of epoxy primer, it'll sit until final body work:
461c9ab1778c57.jpg
461c9ab178c881.jpg
After tiding up some loose ends with the project, I wanted to tackle the rear fenders but I can't determine the shape until I finalize the front fender wheel well shape. The bonnet I got with the car needs a lot of work but it has to be done some time so here goes.

But first, clearance for the front wheels should be done with my final suspension setting. From what I've read and experimented with, 2 degrees camber and 6 degrees castor is a good aggressive setting. The Fast Cars front suspension I'm using, gives some castor adjustment but I can't get 6 from the 3 degrees it came with. That means fabricating new upper control arms.

Replacement Uppper Control Arms

I wasn't going to change the original design much, just move the upper ball joint back 7/16" from stock.
Before photo:
461c9ab179fc8a.jpg
Flat washers are interchanged to move Upper Control Arm forward or aft to adjust castor. Camber is no problem:
461c9ab17c822f.jpg
DOM tubing cut to fit 1/8" flat bar and plate:
461c9bac7836b9.jpg
461c9bac79722e.jpg
I used a solid bar at the pivot points to keep them in line while welding. Worked well:
461c9ac437e383.jpg
Finished:
461c9ac43931b2.jpg
Bonnet Hinges
The hinges I got with the car were both damaged and due to a different mounting design, I decided to make my own. One feature I wanted was to be able to pull the hinge pins out and have the bonnet remain in place, not dropping down.

Original Jaguar hinge
461c9bac766180.jpg
I started with a 3X3" block of aluminum. All work was done on the milling machine. First step was to drill the hole for the bronze bushing hinge:
461c9ac43a7184.jpg
Next I used a boring bar to turn the 2" dia. surface that allows the hinge to rest on the support tube:
461c9ac43bb185.jpg
All other surfaces were cut out using a fly cutter:
461c9ac43cec5f.jpg
Hinges finished:
461c9ac43e2a24.jpg
The support tube is 2" thin wall. I plan on welding this to two 2X2" tubes coming forward off the frame rails:
461c9ac4402863.jpg
461c9ac4416497.jpg
461c9ac442a3a7.jpg
#63 Bonnet Reconstruction

Until I bought this car, I really didn’t know what a Jaguar bonnet consisted of. There are 4 essential pieces to it, which are the center section, two wings (fenders) and the valance (belly pan). These all bolt together. The whole assembly hinges forward from a Support Member which is a structure that is welded into the valance. The importance of a sound support member is obvious, however, it is common for it to be compromised due to rust and collision damage. Mine was hopeless. Time to make new.

Support Member

Old support member next to valance:
461c9ac443e0bf.jpg
Used my CAD method to get rough dimensions:
461c9acf63cc7a.jpg
The 62” length bends were a challenge to form. I used heavy wall 1 ½” square tubing and multiple clamps, hammering it down.
461c9acf650b49.jpg
461c9bac7aaa3c.jpg
I made the captive plates bolt in rather than weld in to facilitate painting. Added gussets for strength:
461c9acf66420d.jpg
Finished assembly:
461c9acf677b27.jpg
461c9acf68b4f5.jpg
With hinges and tube bolted in:
461c9acf69ed93.jpg
Valance Repair

I couldn't install the Support Member until I did some basic repairs to the Valance. Going bumperless meant filling the bumper attachment holes. Also needed to replace sections due to rust damage.

Cut out:
461c9acf6b25df.jpg
Repaired:
461c9acf6c5809.jpg
Larger cut out:
461c9acf6d8a7c.jpg
Repaired:
461c9acf6eba1a.jpg
 

Red77

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
166
This is some amazing work! Loving all the photos, cool tools, and descriptions. Thanks!
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
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I would have walked away from this:

461c9a5bd9cded.jpg

I wish I had the skills to turn it into this:

461c9a974925b8.jpg
 

bobs77vet

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
1,969
Location
arlington va
although this is a top quality craftsman for sure, for me its the vision that is the hard part. the skills are just individual tasks that have an accumulative effect. so its easy for me to repair/replace body work that has deteriorated away but much harder to envision what an alternative bulging fender would look like. i love looking at other peoples work like this it lets me know what i want to do when i grow up.
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
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I made a run at electric power steering a few years back. It's a big challenge electronically and packaging.
 

BBShark

Garage Monkey
Staff member
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NOTE: PART 6 BEGINS WITH THIS POST

PART 6

Reflecting back on this project, I went through my collection of photos and put together these two collages:

Collages.jpg

2015_04_07.jpg

I've come a long ways but still have far to go. I'm determined.

Carrying on from Part #5 of this journal, I welded the Support Member into the Valance or belly pan. This entailed many plug welds on the bottom:

IMG_3650.JPG

IMG_3651.JPG

Fabricated four angle brackets per side to make attachment to the curved section. The best I could do with my tools and time.

IMG_3665.JPG

Finished unit:
IMG_3664.JPG

I could now do a final session of hammer and dolly work on this piece as well as using the shrinking disc where needed. The hammer and dolly lets you moves metal but if it has been stretched, you have to shrink it back to size. Here's a short clip. You can see the steam coming off the hot metal:

Bonnet Hinge Brackets

Connecting the bonnet hinge support tube meant coming off the front frame rails with 2X2" square tubing. I came in low to get around the radiator and create a bit of a skid plate.

Parts cut and collected:


IMG_3674.JPG

Pre-assembly:


IMG_3675.JPG

Being a critical item, I added fish plates on the inside of the weld joint. These are plug welded each side:
IMG_3676.JPG

GO TO NEXT POST
 

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BBShark

Garage Monkey
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Joined
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NOTE: PART 6 BEGINS WITH POST #16

Looking from the inside, good penetration:


IMG_3677.JPG
Pair completed. Checked their weight. 39 ounces each:

IMG_3685.JPG

With the car on the chassis table, I went from the center line and level to locate them:


IMG_3689.JPG
Done:

IMG_3710.JPG


With valance installed:

IMG_3718 (1).JPG

Left Front Fender

I had some changes and repairs to do here. One was to fill in the original turn signal opening, (I have other plans). The other was typical rust damage repair to the corner.

Original turn signal opening:

IMG_3434.JPG

Filler plate:

IMG_3440.JPG

Tacked:

IMG_3441.JPG

Done:


IMG_3442.JPG
Rust hole area cut out:

IMG_3444.JPG

GO TO NEXT POST
 
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BBShark

Garage Monkey
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Joined
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Messages
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NOTE: PART 6 BEGINS WITH POST #16

Repaired:

Right Front Fender

The repairs on the right side fender were more extensive. Not only did I need to fill the signal light opening, but there was rust through where the flanges for the inner panels had attached to the inside surface.

Previous repair done with a patch brazed in just behind headlight opening:

Cut:

IMG_3470.JPG

Welded:

IMG_3471.JPG

One more rust through below the previous as well as the usual corner area:

2018_02_05.jpg

Bonnet Center Section

The nose area of the bonnet center section was the worst. It had a lot of poorly repaired collision damage. I counted 37 holes that had been drilled to try and pull the metal back into shape. There were a couple of long, deep creases. Daunting task.

My assistant, modelling with the bonnet:

IMG_6238.JPG

In an exploratory effort, I knocked off some of the bondo. Scary:

IMG_3408.JPG

IMG_3409.JPG

One of the creases after chemical dip:

IMG_3460.JPG

Spent many hours in the garage with the heat on, February and March, using a hammer and dolly to bring things back into shape:

IMG_3459.JPG

More shrinking disc work and slapper with dolly:

IMG_3505.JPG

GO TO NEXT POST
 

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BBShark

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NOTE: PART 6 BEGINS WITH POST #16


Almost there:
IMG_3506.JPG

Rear Brace repair

The profile of the Bonnet Center Section's rear edge needs to match the profile of the scuttle. Mine didn't. There's a brace welded in that area to hold the shape and it appears mine was damaged from a heavy weight above, collapsing it down. I couldn't figure out a way to reshape it in situ, removing the brace entirely from the center section skin would be way too much work so I elected to remove just the damaged area, reshape it then weld it back in.

Rear Brace:
IMG_3587.JPG

IMG_3588.JPG

Damaged section cut out:
IMG_3593.JPG

Cleaned up and reshaped:
IMG_3595.JPG

Splice to make butt weld stronger:
IMG_3596.JPG

Used a cardboard pattern of the scuttle profile to confirm a match to the new bonnet profile:
IMG_3597.JPG

Butt welded the brace and plug welded to the skin. Finished:
IMG_3598.JPG

Scuttle Closer Panel

This area of the body tub can be called the scuttle, cowl or bulkhead. I prefer the former. In any case, it had completely rusted away, both sides. Recreating the curvature would be the tricky part as it has to match the rear edge of the bonnet wing. That's why I'm tackling this job now, is because I need something to line the bonnet up to.

Right side damage:
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