Weakest Link

One of the issues we spotted when trying to rebuild the engine was the carburettor linkage. The need for a solution to the original system was discussed in “suckers” posted earlier in the blog.

It was a tricky problem and one that needed a clever solution. The original installation had connected to the spindle of the carburettor nearest the bulkhead. The other side of this spindle had been used to drive the shaft under the manifold which operated the remaining two carbs.

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If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the linkage to the first carb

There were two principle problems with this system.

  1. The first carb spindle carried the stresses of operating all three carbs. This had caused the spindle bush to wear.
  2. Due to the inevitable slack in the linkage the other two carbs would operate after the first, making balancing the carbs virtually impossible.

In essence we needed to find a way to use the under-manifold linkage to drive all three carbs. the solution was to engineer a new linkage to join the throttle movement to the existing linkage.

The bits of linkage were collected and some thinking followed…

Challenger throttle linkage

Jerry’s solution was as follows:-

Challenger carb linkage

This seemed just the job and so it was this design that went into production.

challenger linkage

Once installed on the engine it worked a treat.

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Of course the real test would be how it worked when the engine was running. How the modulation transferred to pedal travel, for that only time would tell.

Here’s a final shot of the installed linkage from the underside on the engine once installed.

E type linkage

In this shot you can also see the installed individual carburettor return springs. These were mentioned in an earlier blog, but not shown on the car.

another job jobbed…..

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Lucas-Aid

Not many people realise that Joseph Lucas developed the first anti theft device, a 50:50 chance that the car would start…

Being the proud owner of a car so equipped I could marvel at the intermittent wiper and the world famous panel light modes, dim, flicker and off.  Lets not forget the self dimming headlight too.

The rebuild of lady Marilyn is, in the truest sense of the word, a nut and bolt rebuild. I do not believe that there’s a single bolt that hasn’t been out over the last three and a half years. The exception to this was the harness. The mighty electrical system and its two, yes two, fuses had served the car well. It must have done as it hadn’t burned to a crisp when I made the mistake of using the window washers with the headlights on. In fact, the harness had stopped smoking at all, which meant either topping up the harness smoke reservoir, or changing it completely.

Harness smoking

Jerry Preston-Ladd has developed a new harness for the Challenger E, this is the reason it originally went to him. This update is the story of that harness.

The old harness was stripped out of the car and any usable parts retained (such as the headlight relay) the rest of the junk was consigned to the bin.

There were some oddities with the wiring which I can’t blame on Lucas. The headlights for instance, these were “joined to” (read twisted around) the indicators. The front side lights were attached to nothing at all. The total rewire was a mandatory feature of the rebuild.

NS light wiring

What was going though their mind? I know Lady Marilyn was used as a publicity car for a time and maybe this was a desired feature, but the execution was truly pants…

The biggest concentration of harness activity happens around the centre dash. This is where the gauges and switches are afterall and this is also where the fuse blocks were located. The brown power leads went in first. The dash is wired through an ammeter so everything goes through that first before shooting off to its various locations.

E type dash wiring 1

In this picture the finished heater controls can be seen. another lovely job and the proper look for the car. As a new heater had been fitted the levers now drive a microswitch which operates an electric water valve. A neater solution than the cable operated alternative.

 

The signal wires went next as most of the functions are relay operated to cut down on the switched load.

E type dash connections

Connector blocks were added for the engine and gearbox (makes removal a doddle) and also for the bonnet – which needs to come off if you’re doing anything much more that peering under it.

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Jerry also added a some antitheft devices to the harness. I’m not quite daft enough to detail them, but there are clever and add a degree of protection against Mr Scumbag Car-thief.

Once the wiring was in place, it could be extensively tested before being taped up for good.

There was one particularly joyous moment when Jerrry sent me a phote of the front lights. They were:-

  1. On
  2. With sidelights
  3. Controlled by a switch
  4. Not on fire.

I may have shed a tear at that point.

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So, the wiring was complete, better than the original, fully fuse protected and installed with a quality that old Joseph could only dream of. Job done, happy days.

 

Clutching at Straws….

You have no idea how hard it is to find a clutch kit for a series 1 or 2 XJ6… There are some specialists who’ll relieve you of many hundreds of pounds for one because it fits an E Type, therefore you must have one and ergo you have more money than sense. I have more sense than money and my sense is rapidly becoming incensed.

Twice I’ve hit the buy it now button from the well known retched hive of  villainy, otherwise known as E-bay. Twice I’ve been told “we don’t do them any more” so take the twatting listing down you moron – I thought.

Finally I came across a listing claiming to have the very part in stock, and cheaper than the others too. Northern Components were the vendor, I clicked the link, paid (again) and sat back for the “we’re sorry we don’t have that part in stock” email. But No, the next email was a dispatch notification, followed by a txt advising when the driver would be here and shortly after a new clutch kit was in my office. Thats office, not orifice, which, incidentally is where I was going to shove the ebay’ers non existent listings.

E Type Clutch kit

Genuine parts, and a snip of a price. Rear water jacket cover fitted…

XKE engine rear

Next job was to replace the flywheel, this had previously been skimmed and balanced by W Drake in Bradford. New locking plate, of course, just the six bolts and ta-dar…

E-TYpe flywheel

The Pressure plate locating holes needed opining out a little to accept the three flywheel dowels, just a paint thickness, and it all bolted up nicely. I kept the pressure plate finger tight so I could still move the friction plate as the alignment is tricky. The friction plate to gearbox clearance is bugger all of nothing and I needed to ensure adjustment.

E Type clutch

E-Type clutch

I also did the last few minor jobs and we’ll call the engine complete as it need to be at this stage. I’m using new mountings and this will need adjustment, hence the manifolds are going to stay off until after the rewire (which is the next major job).

For now I just want to take a minute to compare where we came from….

 

Rebuilding the engine has been a journey interspaced with long periods of inactivity. Meanwhile the end is in sight and once the wiring is done – along with new brake lines – the engine and box can go back in and after a few smallish jobs are tackled, I’ll finally be driving the old girl!

Can’t wait…..