My last post finished with the front and rear suspension sub-assemblies ready to be fitted to the car to progress the test fit.
This post updates progress in fitting these, and the remainder of the items needed to (hopefully) complete this phase of the project.
I’ll update this post as things progress.
There are no images of the front suspension installation, but this is a repeat of the previous exercise when the front cross member was installed to check the clearance between the sump of the XJ6 engine and the front cross member. Except now it’s the reassembled front suspension and steering, not just the front cross member.
With the heavier 3.4-litre engine in place, I had expected to see the car a bit “nose heavy” as for the test fit I had refitted the stock 2.4-litre front springs with new rubber bushes. As can be seen from the images, this was not the case, the front and rear of the car seem slightly high, this (I assume) is due to the body being light at this stage. Another cause could be that some of the suspension components should be tightened with the weight of the car on the suspension. For the test fit I haven’t done that.
I was keen to check the clearance between the anti-roll bar and the alloy sump as I knew from discussions on forums that this was likely to be very tight — and so it proved to be.
The most common approach to fixing this is to add additional spacers under the anti-roll bar mounts. As I already have “mystery spacers”. I will fit these and recheck the clearance.
Update 18/02/21 — Once the additional spacers were fitted, the clearances look to be much improved. It’s hard to tell from the images, but I think this is good enough for now, and something I can deal with later if needed.
Upper steering column replacement bushes
The power steering conversion requires modification to the lower steering column. To ensure everything lined up correctly, I first replaced the upper steering column bushes. I had removed and discarded the originals (well, the nylon replacements I had fitted many years previously) as part of the disassembly process.
It was a trial getting the new bushes into place, and as can be seen from the images the fit doesn’t look the best. I managed to improve the fit by forcing them into place with a socket, it’s not perfect but good enough for what’s needed at this stage. I remember this being a pain when I replaced the original felt bearings with the nylon type.
Power steering conversion — lower steering column
The lower steering column needs to be shortened to fit the power steering rack. The instructions from M & C Wilkinson state that this is achieved by removing a section (of the lower steering column) and re-welding. I didn’t like this idea, and neither do others as there is a long thread on the Jag-lovers Saloons forum detailing the use of Borgeson components which are more adjustable and eliminate the need for welding. Welded steering column components will be difficult or impossible to get through NZ vehicle certification.
I ordered the following Borgeson components, from Summit Racing in the US, based on the advice from the above forum and the notes on Lin Rose’s blog. These components together make up all the parts required to replace the lower steering column:
- 1x 409418 3/4″ DD shaft, 18″ long
- 1x 409536 1″ DD tube, 36″ long
- 1x 034937 steering universal joint, vibration damper 3/4″ DD x 3/4″ – 48 spline. Steering rack end.
- 1x 015237 steering universal joint, 1″ DD x 3/4″ – 48 spline. Upper steering column end.
The DD shaft and tube are 18″ and 36″ in length respectively, and are cut for the correct fit.
Update 26/02/20 —
The instructions also call for a small section of the RH front chassis leg to be removed, allowing the lower universal joint to rotate freely. The image below shows this, although it’s slightly hard to see.
The shaft and tube are then cut for the correct fit.
Rear suspension and axle
The rear axle and suspension needed to go back in to test the alignment of the driveshaft.
As part of the body repairs, we fabricated a reinforcement bracket to strengthen the panhard rod mounting. This can be seen in the images below.
I’m changing from a standard transmission to a compact manual overdrive (MOD) gearbox and need a driveshaft to match. The drive shaft from the standard (non-overdrive) gearbox has a splined extension on the front of the driveshaft which allows for movement, whereas cars fitted with the overdrive gearbox have a driveshaft with universals at each end and a sliding spline at the front.
Update 18/02/21 — Unsurprisingly, I couldn’t find a suitable driveshaft from a MOD Mk2 with compact overdrive (to match my new setup), so I had a driveshaft built to spec at Collier Motor Engineers, an engineering company near Wellington specialising in driveshafts and all aspects of motor engineering.
This was a straightforward process. I provided Paul (Collier) with the above diagram, the flange diameters, the required length (after checking this many times!) and shipped the existing driveshaft up to him for comparison.
When completed, the driveshaft was painted black and shipped directly to the Surgery where it was test fitted. It looks great and fits perfectly. One more thing ticked off the list!
As I’d seen from the engine test fit and from reading about similar conversions on various forums, I knew that the distance between the XJ6 water pump and the radiator in the Mk2 would be a tight fit. This sure proved to be the case once the radiator was installed and even with a custom (slimmer) radiator there still won’t be much room to spare.
I did look at fitting the water pump from my 2.4-litre engine onto the 3.4-litre, which would allow me to install the pulley and fan from my 2.4 engine, but after removing it from the (2.4) engine and eyeballing the clearances, I decided to go with an electric pusher fan rather than the engine-driven fan. Also, the impeller in the Mk2 water pump is, I believe, slightly smaller.
I decided upon the Revotec fan kit for my Jag. I like that Revotec supply a specific fan solution for the Mk2 with aluminium mounting brackets. For the Mk2 the fan is a pusher or blower, i.e. on the outboard side of the radiator. I purchased the kit from Moss Europe, reducing the freight charges to NZ. The kit comprises the fan, the aluminium mounting brackets, and the temperature sensor which mounts in the radiator hose.
Revotec also sell an optional “Jaguar styled” override switch which I didn’t see at the time I ordered the kit. I may purchase this, or use some spare dash switches which I have, depending on their condition.
I took the fan kit out to the Surgery and undertook a quick test fit, which again proved the value of taking the time to test things before final paint. There were a few points where the sheet metal bodywork around the radiator aperture didn’t align accurately with the metal brackets. This was quite minor but would be annoying once everything is painted. Better to be doing this now!
Test fit — to-do list
I now have a longish list of tasks to complete the test fit:
- Measure and get a driveshaft made up and fitted
Power steering conversion
- Electric pump — Check the location and drill holes for mounting the electric power steering pump bracket on the LH engine bay sidewall
- Hydraulic hoses — Test fit the hydraulic hoses to the rack and the pump
- Pancake air filters — I purchased a pair of pancake air filters to fit the HIF carbs I have on the engine, this is because they look better (to me anyway) and there’s no room for the standard XJ6 filter in the Mk2 engine bay
- Throttle linkages — Another area to be investigated is the throttle linkages and how all this is going to line up … or not
- Fuse panel — Position and fit the Classic Technologies fuse panel which I plan to install — where the regulator was mounted — reusing the original mounting bracket
- Alternator — Fabricate a bracket and test fit the alternator
- Upgraded brake servo — Rather than recondition my existing brake servo, I’ve decided to upgrade to the Lockheed LR18230 which has a boost ratio of 4.25:1 up from 3:1, and is available from various suppliers. The additional boost should match up well with the upgraded front and rear calipers I’ll be adding. From what I’ve read, this is not a bolt-on replacement and will require fabrication of adapter brackets, so it seems like a good idea to do this now.
That’s it for this update, as I progress with these items of the test fit I’ll keep this post updated.