Alfa Ownership & Maintenance Blog

April 28, 2021

70,815 miles on the odometer

The door seals on the car are torn and discolored so I ordered replacements from Classic Alfa. The new seals are very similar to the originals. The two photos below show the discoloration and seal tear:

Discolored door seal

Torn Rubber Door Seal

The first step in the removal of the old seals was to remove the inner plate that holds the seal to the sill threshold. It is held in place with four phillips head screws. The rear of the plate lines up exactly with the rear of the outside threshold plate. Unfortunately, the front screw on the driver’s side had been broken off previously.

Seal Inner Securing Plate

The next step is to remove the B column vinyl trim piece that retains the seal. It has four Phillips head screws. The panel on the driver’s side is slightly different because it houses the trunk and gas filler pulls. The panels had been tampered with before and are not in great shape. I have ordered replacements. In both cases, the panels do not need to be completely removed – just loosened so that the seal can fit under or next to the panel.

RH B pillar trim panel

RH B pillar trim lower fastening screw

The next step was to remove the chrome trim cap on top of the door seal. This is held in place by only one Phillips head screw.

Chrome Trim Cap with Securing Screw

Access is then gained to the rear termination of the door seal.

Rear termination of Seal

The old seal can then be pulled away from the car. This photo shows the lip the seal grips when replaced:

Seal Mounting Lip

After installing the seal in the door, I screwed the trim panels back in place and cut the rear terminus of the seal with a hacksaw blade. Then installed the little rubber plug and replaced the chrome trim.

Cutting the Seal to Length

There is a rubber plug that fits into both ends of the seal to prevent water from entering the rubber tube. These were also sourced from Classic Alfa. I used a little rubber grease to make it easier to push the plugs into the seal ends.

Rubber Plug for Seal

Seal Plug in Place

Chrome Trim Cap and Inner Seal securing plate screwed back in place

Chrome Trim Cap Back in Place

RH Side Seal Installed

The RH door capping was broken and I ordered a replacement from Classic Alfa. The replacements are metal rather than plastic so they should hold up much better. I just tapped the capping into the six metal clips with a light rubber hammer. The finished product looks much better than the broken piece!

Door Cap Replacement

Door Cap Replacement

 

April 13, 2021

70,787 miles on the odometer

Original Romablok hose clamps don’t seem to be produced anymore. I did find a source for reproduced clamps that are very similar to the originals and are stamped romablok at Jens Putzier Tools in Germany. The clamps appear to be of slightly lighter gauge steel and they have hex head machine bolts (a good thing) rather than the original cheese head round screws. They have a yellow zinc finish. I ordered a variety of sizes of the clamps and used them to replace many of the clamps on hoses under the hood. I will also replace the fuel hose clamps under the car when I replace the hoses. More detailed information about the original Romablok clamps can be found in a previous post: https://valvechatter.com/?p=12820

The Spider has a number of vacuum hoses associated with the L-Jetronic Fuel Injection system. These all seems to be functioning just fine, but I expect many are original and are showing their age. I thought it time to replace many of these hoses before failure and to dress up the appearance of the engine. I did not replace all of the hoses yet. My plan will be to replace those that are somewhat hard to access when I get around to pulling the intake plenum for a clean up. On my list for the future.

I decided to use silicone hoses to replace the old vacuum hoses and sourced them from HPSI Motorsports. They make a very nice kit that contains all of the various sizes required for the Alfa Spider and also provide a helpful set of directions making the job quite easy. 

Plenum to Auxiliary Air Device  – Silicone Hose “F” with two 20-23mm Romablok clamps.

Plenum to Auxiliary Air Device

Air Intake to Auxiliary Air Device – Silicone hose “F” with two 18-20mm Romablok clamps.

Air Intake to Auxiliary Air Device

Plenum to Brake Booster – Silicone hose “A” with a 16-16.5mm Romablok hose clamp at the check valve and a 17-19mm Romablok hose clamp at the booster fitting.

Plenum to Brake Booster

Idle Speed Adjustment Port at Plenum to Air Intake Pipe – Silicone Hose “F” with a 13-14.5mm Romablok hose clamp at the Idle Speed Adjustment Port and a 15-16.5mm Romablok hose clamp at the Air Intake Pipe.

Idle Adjustment at Plenum to Air Intake Pipe

Rocker Cover Breather Port to the Oil Vapor Separator (OVS) – I did not replace the hose at this time, but I did replace both hose clamps with 24-27.5mm Romablok hose clamps.

Rocker Cover Breather to OVS

Coolant Hose from Thermostat Housing to the Top of the Plenum – I did not replace the hose at this time, but I did replace both hose clamps with a 17-19mm Romablok Hose clamp at the Thermostat Housing and an 18-20mm Romablok Hose clamp at the top of the plenum.

Coolant Hose from Thermostat Housing to Plenum

Air Intake Pipe to the lower port on the OVS – I did not replace the hose at this time, but I did replace the original 22mm Romablok Hose clamp with a new 18-20mm Romablok Hose clamp at the Air Intake Pipe. I left the original clamp on the lower port of the OVS and will replace at a later date.

Air Intake Pipe to the lower port on the OVS

Air Intake Pipe to the Charcoal Canister – I did not replace the hose at this time, but I did replace the hose clamp at the Air Intake Pipe with a 17-19mm Romablok Hose clamp.

Air Intake Pipe to Charcoal Canister

Coolant Overflow Hose to the Overflow Tank – I replaced the coolant hose for the radiator overflow port to the overflow tank and used a new 12mm Romablok Hose clamp at each end of the hose. The braided, clear hose was sourced from Classic Alfa.

New Radiator Tank Cap and Overflow hose

This image shows an overhead view of the “upgraded” appearance of the engine bay with many new hose clamps installed. While I was at it I also added the warning decal for the radiator cap, also sourced from Classic Alfa. Now I need to clean that hideous overflow tank!

Overhead View of New Hoses and Clamps

Radiator Cap Warning Sticker

I ordered a new coolant recovery tank and mounting strap rom Classic Alfa to replace my discolored tank and tired strap. Unfortunately neither fit! I will give cleaning the tank a try but I was able to shorten and reshape the new strap so that I could use it with the original tank. At least the strap looks better now!

The problem with cleaning, replacing or replacing with new items is that they make older components look even worse. Note the air conditioner drier below. It definitely needs some love.

Coolant Recovery Tank Strap

April 5, 2021

70,752 miles on the odometer

The original radiator was leaking around the lower lip of the upper tank. I pulled it out and took it to Sarasota Radiator Service, Inc., a local “old school” repair shop. Ron pointed out the very small white specs at the top of the core, next to the tank which are apparently tell-tale signs for solder joints going bad. We could have tried resoldering the unit as it was but instead decided to go ahead and order a modern core and installed it. Everything was accomplished in seven days. 

I sanded the tanks to remove the marginal paint that was on the radiator, primed and repainted it in gloss black. I then reinstalled the radiator in the car with a new fan shroud. The car, as I received it, did not have a shroud mounted. The shroud certainly makes the installation process a bit awkward and tedious but all was accomplished.

Alfa Fan Shroud

Radiator and Fan Shroud Installed

The air conditioner drier (air conditioning was an aftermarket dealer installed item) also made installing the upper right radiator mounting bolt a real pain to get to! The lower radiator hose clamp is also quite hard to access, but with considerable patience all was buttoned up.

I then installed a new radiator overflow hose to the coolant expansion tank and used a couple of new 12mm Romablok hose clamps. I also installed a new radiator cap sourced from Classic Alfa. I have taken the car for several runs making sure the car was under driving temperature. All seems well. The car runs at 175 degrees and I am experiencing no leaks.

Overflow hose and Upper Radiator Hose with Mikalor Clamp

New Radiator Tank Cap and Overflow hose

 

March 22, 2021

70,750 miles on the odometer

The Oil Vapor Separator (OVS) found on the Alfa was, I am sure, never designed to last thirty plus years. When dissected, one finds nothing but sludge and rust. New units are unobtanium, so one of the enterprising contributors to the Alfa Spider Bulletin Board designed and fabricated a kit made of brass to do the job of the original OVS. The down side of the kit is that it must be assembled requiring some artful soldering, but with a little practice the requirement is not too daunting. I put together a separate post on the OVS kit found at this link: https://valvechatter.com/?p=12619

There are more photos in the OVS post, but here are a few of the assembled kit:

OVS Painted

OVS Installed

 

February 15, 2021

70,747 miles on the odometer

In the last ten days or so I have tracked some of the low hanging fruit to fix on Alfie, I have continued my cleaning – but this time under the car, and I decided to trace the fuel system and vacuum hoses to inventory the types and sizes of hose clamps used on the car. Most of the original hose clamps are still on the car but a number have been replaced and usually with cheap inappropriate clamps. The clamp inventory project turned out to require a bigger effort and time commitment than I thought. I will make this the subject of a separate category and post at this location: https://valvechatter.com/?cat=2043.

I ordered an upper radiator hose and installed it only to discover that the radiator leak must be from the top of the tank rather than from a perished old hose! This will require some further attention, but it looks like either a radiator repair or replacement is in my future.

The handbrake did not function at all so I undertook a fault finding mission and the restoration of braking. As it turned out, the handbrake mechanism located at the rear of the differential was rusted in place and frozen preventing the operation of the brakes. 

This is a photo of the original cable mechanism. As the center cable is pulled (at the top in the image) when the handbrake arm is lifted, the two brackets with the LH and RH cables (in the middle of the swivel arms) are supposed to pivot and pull the drum brake cables tight. However, mine was rusted and frozen in place and consequently did not operate properly. 

Handbrake Center Cable Mechanism Mounted

I ordered a new mechanism from Centerline International and installed it on the car. The original part number is 605.17074 with Centerline’s order number being BC420. The item was $59.50.

Alfa Center Brake Cable

After removing the old assembly, I took the opportunity to clean up the differential a bit more  and I painted the two steel mounting blocks just to prevent them from further rusting.

Handbrake Assembly Mounts

I then installed the new assembly. I applied synthetic grease to the rotating components. Yes, that really nasty looking brake pipe is one of the next few items that will get my attention!

Handbrake Assembly Installed

At the other end of the cable I attached a new fork to the handbrake lever with a cleaned-up clevis pin and new split pin. The cable slides through a threaded fixture on the car chassis. It is the red item in the photo below. The cylindrical device is a rotary adjuster that is used to tighten/loosen the slack in the primary center cable.

brake cable adjuster

The first step in actually adjusting the handbrake is to place something heavy on the handbrake handle to keep it down (depressed) while making alterations to the system. I then lifted the rear of the car so as to remove both rear wheels/tires. This makes the rear brake rotors accessible. The handbrake works by expanding two small brake shoes inside the drum (rotor). There is a star adjustment wheel inside the drum that expands and contracts the shoes against the drum surface. Using a screwdriver the star adjuster can be moved toward the front of the car (loosen/contract) or toward the rear of the car (tighten/expand).

After removing the disc brake caliper one can loosen and remove two screws and then pull away the rotor/drum – AFTER CONTRACTING THE SHOES. However, in my case it was not necessary to remove the caliper and rotor drum. Because the handbrake is almost exclusively used when the car is stationary, the shoes actually have very little wear.

Rear Brake Rotor & Handbrake Drum

Brake Shoe Adjustment Wheel

Turning the Adjustment Wheel

I then turned the adjustment wheel on both the LH and RH wheels to fully tighten the shoes against the drum. I then loosened each adjustment wheel three clicks. This enables the wheels to turn freely or perhaps with just a slight friction or rub. Once this is accomplished, the next step is to turn the cylindrical cable adjuster to tighten (not overly) the center pull cable for the brakes. This process resulted in my handbrake working fully on the third click on the brake pawl.

I then reinstalled both rear wheels/tires and torques the lug nuts to 70 ft. lbs. I then tested the handbrake in the driveway and again after a short test drive and concluded that one more task could be checked off the list! 

The rubber door buffer on the RH door was broken and deteriorating. I ordered a replacement from Classic Alfa part number RB061 for $7.10 and installed it by removing two Phillips head screws from a threaded captured plate pin the rear of the door.

Rubber door buffer

Rubber Door Buffer Installed

The Alfa has power mirrors on each door. They are controlled by a small switch with a rotational stalk on the center console and each mirror is selected by turning a ring with a selector tab to one side or the other. Alfie was missing the selector ring but I was able to find one (and a spare) from a fellow Alfa owner who frequents the Alfa Bulletin Board. The little ring must be carefully positioned on the switch and then pressed into place. Once installed Alfie’s mirrors both functioned properly!

Power mirror control

Power Mirror Switch

Power Mirror Selector Ring

 

January 31, 2021

70,735 miles on the odometer

After a longer than expected storage at the Madison Automotive Apprentices Shop in Harrisonburg, VA I finally transported Alfie to our home in Florida. We don’t really have the space for him, but we will make do. I need a project, Alfie needs some work and the time is right!

Passport Transport (Camille) moved the car to Florida. The process took about four days. here is a shot of the car being unloaded in Bradenton.

Passport Transport Delivering Alfie to Florida

Alfie Unloaded in Bradenton

While he looked good in the Florida sunshine, he was actually quite dirty. He started just fine. The brakes felt a little squishy, but I drove Alfie the 2-3 miles home from the delivery point.

The first thing I did was wash, polish (with a buffer) and wax the car just so it had some protection and, of course, he looks a lot better too. I then began a process of inspection and discovery to see what worked properly and what did not. I began with the interior and exterior while the car was on the ground and then followed that with putting it on the garage lift to clean and inspect the underside. I took literally hundreds of photos and made a few videos of the entire car. I can use these to compare my car to others and to answer my own questions about how things were BEFORE I started tearing things apart. My experience with this is that you can never have enough photos. More is always better.

After Wash and Wax

I was pleased, and surprised to find that most things electrical worked as they should. A few needed some cleaning and coaxing such as the courtesy lamps. I have spent a lot of time on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board and learned a great deal. One of the contributors suggested that I should snap the door jamb switches a few times and spray them with some electronics contact cleaner. I did just that, and like magic the courtesy lights are now working! 

I am sure that I will discover many other items that need attention but this is my first list of things that need to be addressed. Should be fun!

  1. The upper radiator hose leaks. I installed a new heavy duty clamp and really cranked it down but it still leaks so I have ordered a new hose to try it before I conclude that I have a radiator problem.
  2. Both power windows are slow (probably from lack of use), and the driver side window will only operate with the door open suggesting that I may have a wiring issue in the door jamb where the wires pass from the body to the door.
  3. Both of the door upper trim pieces need to be replaced – especially the RH side.
  4. The car has a fairly strong fuel smell that seems to be emanating from the trunk as opposed to the engine bay.
  5. The car is missing its radiator shroud. I have a new one to install at some point.
  6. I need to locate the water temperature sensor that is typically located on the shroud.
  7. The dash pad has a couple of bad cracks on the top – very common.
  8. The windshield is slightly fogged on the “A” post LH side.
  9. The front license plate mount is still on the car. A front plate is not required in Florida so I will remove the bracket.
  10. I do not know the age of the fuel hose and vacuum lines in the engine or from the fuel tank to the front of the car. These will all need to be replaced. Most of the hose clamps look pretty well used or weathered so I will look into replacing them as well.
  11. The mirror control switch is missing its bezel that allows the operator to select the LH or RH mirror for adjustment. These apparently break fairly easily and they are hard to find. I located a couple and have ordered them.
  12. The front, under dash speakers appear to be Alfa originals – at least the speaker grilles have the Alfa Romeo name. They don’t sound very good so I may see if I can find some improved speakers that can use the same grilles. There are also some rear speakers located on the rear parcel shelf that are not working.
  13. There is a lamp at the rear view mirror. I really do not know how it operates so I will need to explore that a bit more.
  14. The speedometer needle does twitch especially at lower speed so I may need to look at the cable?
  15. The heater blower does not work at all and I discovered a brand new heater blower motor in the trunk of the car that was purchased by a previous owner. Some of the Bulletin Board posters have suggested reaching up to the fan opening under the dash to see if the fan action can be freed by starting it with a finger push. I will give that a try. Everyone says that accessing the heater and its motor is a royal pain in the _ss, so this job will be put off for a while. 
  16. The air conditioner blower works just fine but apparently the compressor does not and I am sure that it needs a coolant conversion and refill. The crank/compressor pulley belt is not on the car.
  17. Under the car there seems to be a slight leak at the brake pipe joint located near the fuel filter.
  18. The pinion seal on the rear differential appears to be leaking. the casing was quite oily and dirty. 
  19. It is hard to tell at this point, but I am obviously experiencing a pretty good leak from the engine rear main and/or the transmission.
  20. The flex disk or guibo looks to be in satisfactory condition. I don’t see any cracks in the rubber. However, I know that the center driveshaft support bearing and housing is bad and needs to be replaced. Again, a previous owner purchased new items and they are in the trunk of the car. Looks like I get to be the lucky one to replace them!
  21. The welded front muffler bracket that attached to the brace on the transmission has been broken off and is missing completely.
  22. A number of the mounting brackets and clamps (fuel filter, fuel pump, exhaust) located under the car are quite rusty, they are still functioning as they should but look pretty bad.
  23. The rockers or sills on both sides of the car a quite rusty and will need to be repaired/replaced at some point. The front floor boards and the spare tire wheel well have also been patched – probably Bondo. I will need to remove all of that and properly patch with metal.

I am sure that I have only touched the surface of issues with Alfie, but it is a start and gives me a list of parts I need to order and install or repair.

July 10, 2017

70,600 miles on the Odometer

Ignition Update

I am experiencing some starting problems that seem to be due to a partial discharge of the battery after the car has been sitting. Not knowing the car and what others may have changed/updated/disconnected or connected, I thought I would begin by replacing components in the ignition system including the distributor cap, ignition wires, rotor and coil. I ordered these components from Centerline International.https://www.centerlinealfa.com/store

Centerline International Invoice

Old Coil to be Replaced

New Bosch Coil to be Installed

New Bosch Coil to be Installed

 

I began the task by removing the old coil. There are a total of six wires connected to the coil terminals. The (-) terminal has four wires secured to the mounting post with an 8mm nut: a larger cream-colored wire, a white wire with a black tracer, a yellow wire, and a white wire. The (+) terminal has two wires and both of them are light green with black tracers.

Wiring to the Old Coil

Wiring to the Old Coil

To access the mounting bracket nuts for the coil, I found it easier to first remove the coolant recovery tank. This was accomplished by loosening the screw in the bracket connection and then lifting the tank temporarily out of the way.

Coolant Overflow Tank Mounting Bracket

I was then able to remove the old coil and install the new one:

New Bosch Coil Installed

I then carefully marked each ignition wire with a number to designate its location for replacement, and after also marking the old distributor cap for location purposes, I snapped the top off of the black plastic loom to free the wires.

Ignition Wiring Loom Harness

I then disconnected each wire at the spark plugs and popped free the two securing clips on the distributor cap. I could then lift away the old cap and wiring. I had previously disconnected the coil wire while replacing the coil.

The new wiring came with numbers on each wire. After properly locating the wires in the appropriate place on the new distributor cap, I pushed the wires into their seats. This is a tight fit and they were somewhat difficult to fully seat. The coil wire included a rubber cap to press fit over the top of the coil.

New Bosch Distributor Cap

Alfa Spider Ignition Wiring Kit

I then removed the old rotor and installed a new Bosch rotor on the distributor shaft.

New Bosch Rotor

New Bosch Rotor Installed

The new distributor cap and ignition wiring assembly was then reinstalled to the distributor and to each of the spark plugs and to the coil. The coolant recovery bracket was replaced, the coolant tank was restored to its mounted position and the bracket was screwed back together. 

The task was then  completed with a successful test drive.

However, I discovered the next morning that the battery discharge issue remains and I will now begin my sleuthing to try to discover the source of the problem.

Battery Clamp Set

My battery bracket/clamp was pretty rusty and partially consumed by battery acid. I could have replaced it with a universal clamp for considerably less expense, but I chose to purchase and install the proper clamp set from Alfaholics in the UK. https://www.alfaholics.com/parts/105-series/electrical/battery-clamp-set/

Battery Clamp Invoice from Alfaholics

This is an image of the battery clamp set as it was received:

Alfa Battery Bracket

I just did not have the space at our home to keep Alfie and not having the time to work on him, I decided to relocate Alfie to a friend’s shop. After some sleuthing about, it was discovered that the start-up injector in the fuel injection system was not functioning properly and it was replaced. This solved the start-up mystery and the car now starts without any hesitation!

Heater

Heater

The heating and ventilating equipment consists of a heating element and an electrically driven fan mounted on the engine side of the scuttle. Air from the heater unit is conducted to a built-in duct situated under the instrument panel, to the rear compartment via twin pipes, and to vents at the bottom of the windscreen to provide demisting and defrosting. Either fresh air or air from the interior of the car can be introduced into the system at the will of the driver. FRESH AIR is introduced into the system by opening the scuttle ventilator and switching on the fan. Air from the interior of the car can be RE-CIRCULATED by closing the scuttle ventilator and switching on the fan.

Heater Schematic

Heater Schematic

Heater Operation

Heater Operation

Heater in Engine Bay

Heater in Engine Bay

Heater Control Levers

Heater Control Levers

Heater Box

Unfortunately, my heater box assembly seemed to be in a poor state. The drain tube from the plenum must have been clogged which resulted in the system holding moisture combined with the fact that the mice set up home inside the heater casing. The case was pretty rusty, the squirrel cage (fan blower) was completely deteriorated and worst of all the air control flaps were “frozen” in place.

Bonus Mice Nest

Bonus Mice Nest

I decided to try to restore the box and get the frozen flaps working, so I disassembled the heater and media blast the box to so that I could see just how bad it was.

These are some images of the heater before I began disassembly:

Heater Box 1

Heater Box 1

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box 1

Heater Box 1

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

Heater Box

 

These images show the foam rubber seals around the flaps:

Flap Seal

Flap Seal

Flap Seal

Flap Seal

Flap Seal

Flap Seal

There was a rather thick foam rubber seal between the Heater and the Dash at Volute. This was removed and will be replaced with a new seal. I then removed the Water valve Assembly form the box by removing two cheese head slotted screws #10-32 x 1/2″ with split washers, and the rubber seal that seated the valve to the radiator pipe.

Foam Seal to Body

Foam Seal to Body

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Assembly

Water Valve Mount

Water Valve Mount

 

Heater Seals to Firewall

Heater Seals to Firewall

There were 11 slotted #5 x 1/4″ self-tapping screws that held the Lid for the Heater Case to the body of the casing. I removed these to then gain access to the radiator.

Lid for Heater Case

Lid for Heater Case

There were two Springs on the outside of the Case identified as Spring, Steadying Air Control Flaps. These were removed and set aside. There were also pieces of felt that provided a cushion between the casing and the radiator. These were removed.

Springs

Springs

Felt Seal

Felt Seal

Felt Seal

Felt Seal

I then lifted out the radiator:

Water Radiator For Heater

Water Radiator For Heater

Water Radiator For Heater

Water Radiator For Heater

The motor removal was the next step in the disassembly. To get at the three mounting screws for the motor, one must first remove the fan “squirrel cage.” This might normally be done as shown in the image below that was borrowed from another web site. Because more than half of the “fins” in my fan were rusted away, I couldn’t do this. So, I used an air impact wrench which worked like a charm. When the cage or basket is removed, three slotted #10-32 x 1″ machine screws are visible. These can then be held while removing the nuts, rubber and locking washers from the motor side of the case.

Squirrel Cage Removal

Squirrel Cage Removal

This image shows the mounting nuts and the wiring for the motor. After the three nuts were removed the motor could be lifted away from the case.

Heater Motor

Heater Motor

Felt Washer

Felt Washer

Motor Casing

Motor Casing

Motor Removed

Motor Removed

After stripping out the components it was then time to blast the case with aluminum oxide. This process did reveal several rust pinholes. However, the bad news is that the two movable flaps are both “frozen” in place. I have soaked the hinge rods in Kroil to hopefully release the hinges over time.

These are a collection of images of the box after blasting. The brown in the images on the flaps is not rust. It is adhesive used to secure the foam pads to the flaps:

Inside View

Inside View

Air Flaps

Air Flaps

Assembly Case

Assembly Case

Blower Box

Blower Box

Assembly Case

Assembly Case

Blower Box

Blower Box

Air Flap

Air Flap

Air Flap

Air Flap

Air Flap Rod

Air Flap Rod

Heater Lid

Heater Lid

Heater Lid

Heater Lid

The Kroil did not work so I queried the various email lists and forums. One person suggested heat which I unsuceesfullt tried with a torch. another person suggested a water/molasses solution, but that takes a long time -at least a week. Another suggested electrolysis.

I watched a few YouTube videos on using electrolysis for rust removal, and thought I would give it a try. I emulated this particular video: http://youtu.be/54ADeB6V1rQ

I put the heater box into 14 gallons of water with 14 tablespoons of sodium carbonate. The videos recommend using Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda, but good luck finding it in a store! I ended up “cooking” baking soda at 200 degrees for an hour to release the carbon dioxide, and thereby turning the sodium bicarbonate into sodium carbonate. Worked like a charm.

I then attached my battery charger and let the magic begin. I put the box in the solution at 9:15 PM and after two hours I was surprised at how much the water color had changed from clear to rust given how clean the box already was from blasting. The solution just gets into places the aluminum oxide blast abrasive cannot. I then let it all sit until about 8:00 AM this morning.

I cleaned up my mess and put the box on the work table expecting to be disappointed, but I was not. One flap started working immediately, needing little coercion. The second required some pushing and pulling and a little lubrication but it now functions properly as well!

I would use this process again in a minute. Very inexpensive and easy. One more original Jaguar part saved. I have a little pitting to fill with body filler, but otherwise should be a very serviceable unit.

Try it – you will like it.

In the images below the light colored water image was at 9:00 PM almost exactly when the Box went in the solution. The darker colored water image was taken at 8:00 AM the next morning when the Box was removed from the solution.

9PM Start Bath

9PM Start Bath

11PM Bath

11PM Bath

8AM Finish Bath

8AM Finish Bath

The Clayton Classics Upgrade

I ordered the upgrade kit for the MK2 heater from Clayton Classics in the UK.

Phil Beveridge.
Manager.
Clayton Classics.
Hunter Terrace,
Fletchworth Gate,
Burnsall Road,
Coventry.
CV5 6SP
Tel: +44 (0)24 7669 1916
Fax: +44(0)2476691969
E-mail:phil@claytonclassics.co.uk

-OR-

Liz Chandler
Sales Adminstrator
Clayton VS Limited
Phone: 02476 691916
email: salesadmin@claytoncc.co.uk

While awaiting delivery, I had the bottom of the heater box braised to take care of the worst of the pin holes in the bottom of the blower body. The kit arrived with everything necessary to enhance the performance of the original box.

Clayton provided pdf versions of two articles from Jaguar World Monthly that detailed, through photographs and narrative, the removal and dismantling of the original heater box assembly as well as the modifications required. The article was begun and completed over two month’s publication of the magazine. They also included a pdf of their own assembly directions. These are referenced below:

Jaguar Mk2 Heater upgrade installation instructions

classic workshop XK120 Heater Mk2 Heater dec09

Mk2 Heater Upgrade classic workshop jan10

Four modifications to the original box are required.

  1. The air inlet opening in the blower casing must be increased in diameter to 120mm to permit the introduction of the larger fan supplied by Clayton. A perfect cut is not required as the surface will be covered by the seal between the heater and the dash at volute.
  2. A 10mm hole was drilled into the blower casing to permit allen wrench access to the motor shaft to tighten the fan to the shaft. A rubber plug covers the hole after the fan is installed.
  3. Three small holes for self-tapping screws to secure the motor mounting bracket needed to be drilled in the blower casing.
  4. Clayton suggests the original design that incorporated the inner flap was simply a bad design that permitted the dilution of hot air with cold before entering the cabin. Their recommendation is to seal the flap with silicone and to disconnect the flap controls so that the flap remains permanently closed.
    Heater Flap Control Cables

    Heater Flap Control Cables

    120mm Diameter Heater Box Modification to Allow Larger Fan

    120mm Diameter Heater Box Modification to Allow Larger Fan

    Access Hole for Fan Shaft Allen Screw

    Access Hole for Fan Shaft Allen Screw

    Clayton Motor Upgrade Installed

    Clayton Motor Upgrade Installed

I completed the first three modifications before powder coating the entire box.

I test fit all of the components and then tested the electrical wiring and connections. The new motor was wired for a positive ground car. To have the fan move in the proper counter clock-wise direction, these wires must be reversed in a negative ground car.

[NOTE]: My wire colors are different than the original wiring scheme.

The orange wire from the motor is connected to ground. The black wire to the “inside” post (closest to the heater box) of the resistor. The slate wire from terminal #6 on the switch is connected to the “outside” post (closest to the blower fan) of the resistor. The white/green wire from terminal #8 on the switch connects to the “inside” post on the resistor. The green/yellow wire from the #4 terminal of the switch is connected to the fuse position #11 for power. With this wiring in place, the lower position of the switch is “off,” the middle position is “Low Speed” and the upper position is “High Speed.”

I created a pigtail (seen blow) from the resistor for the heater fan wiring. Two wires in the pigtail are connected through two-way snap connectors to wires of the same color which route through the firewall and ultimately back to the Fan Switch. The black wire goes directly to the fan motor.

Heater Fan Wiring

Heater Fan Wiring

I contacted Clayton to determine the amperage draw for the upgraded motor and received this response from Phil Beveridge:

Dear Mr.Rose,

At 13.5 volts, running at full speed, the motor will be drawing 10.8amps.

Kind regards,

Phil Beveridge.

Per the Clayton instructions, I used silicone to seal the inner flap in the closed position.

Silicone Sealed Flap Shut

Silicone Sealed Flap Shut

And, added foam to the inside of the bottom flap:

Foam Padding on Flap

Foam Padding on Flap

I then installed the motor and the heater matrix after wrapping it with foam:

Renewed Heater Box

Renewed Heater Box

Clayton Heater Matrix with Padding

Clayton Heater Matrix with Padding

The next step was to install the heater box front lid:

Heater Box Lid Installed

Heater Box Lid Installed

Water Valve

I ordered and installed a new water valve and rubber “O” ring seal.

Original and New

Original and New

"O" Ring Seal

“O” Ring Seal

Valve Installed

Valve Installed

Heater Pipe Mounting Clips

Two spring clips are pop riveted (1/8″) to the angled face of the heater box. These are used to secure one of the water circulation pipes to the box. The Clips were originally painted black so they were media blasted and then painted with POR 15.

Holes in Heater Box for Pipe Clips

Holes in Heater Box for Pipe Clips

Heater Pipe Clips Riveted to Heater Box

Heater Pipe Clips Riveted to Heater Box

Trial Fitting of the Heater Box

I need to install the heater box for completion of the wiring harness and to see how the box would fit with other “non-original” items in the engine bay. I was particularly curious about any conflicts that might arise from the addition of the power steering pump.

There are several foam insulation seals that need to be installed between the scuttle, firewall and base of the heater. These were sourced from Clayton, XK’s Unlimited and McMaster Carr and installed temporarily.

Heater Blower Firewall Seal Installed

Heater Blower Firewall Seal Installed

Closed Cell Seals at Heater Flap & Hose Openings

Closed Cell Seals at Heater Flap & Hose Openings

Three rubber “bobbins” serve as cushions and mounting posts for the heater box to the firewall.

Heater Mounting Stud and Heater Cable Firewall Grommets

Heater Mounting Stud and Heater Cable Firewall Grommets

These are actually two 1/4″-28 hex head cap screws molded into each of the three rubber cushions. I used a 1/4″ – 28 x 1″ machine hex head screw on the lower right mount at the heater’s base and a 1/4′ – 28 x 1 1/4″ machine hex head screw on the lower left mount. Before placing the heater box in position I also installed the two firewall grommets for the heater control cables. These are visible in the image above. In the final assembly only one of these will be used due to the permanent closure of one of the circulation flaps as recommended by Clayton in their upgrade kit. Both heater hose rubber elbows were installed in the bulkhead.

Heater Box Installed

Heater Box Installed

Air Distributor Box  

My next task was to clean up the air distributor box that is mounted in the center and below the dash with two 1/4″ – 28 x 1″ hex head bolts and two 1/4″ – 28 x 1/2″ hex head bolts with flat and shakeproof washers. As the images show, a felt gasket is glued to the edges of the box. A small piece of black electrician’s tape was found placed over two holes in the box. The box was blasted with aluminum oxide and powder coated gloss black.

Air Distributor Box

Air Distributor Box

Air Distributor Box

Air Distributor Box

Felt Gasket

Felt Gasket

Tape Blocking Holes

Tape Blocking Holes

Tape Blocking Holes

Tape Blocking Holes

I media blasted the box to prepare it for powder coating:

Clean Air Box

Clean Air Box

Clean Air Box

Clean Air Box

Powder Coated Air Distributor Box

Powder Coated Air Distributor Box

To prepare for the trial installation of the Air distributor Box, I cleaned the mounting surfaces and applied some self-etching primer. This will, of course be removed when the car is blasted.

Mounting Location for the Air Distributor Box

Mounting Location for the Air Distributor Box

The Air Distributor Box had a felt gasket around its perimeter when I removed it from the car. I made and glued a closed cell foam gasket to the Box before mounting.

Foam gasket for the air distributor box

Foam gasket for the air distributor box

Air Distributor Box Foam Gasket

Air Distributor Box Foam Gasket

Air Distributor Box Installed

Air Distributor Box Installed

Air Distributor Box Installed

Air Distributor Box Installed

At the suggestion of Eric Kriss, I also concluded that given the somewhat poor performance of the MK2 heating system, it made little sense to send heat to the rear of  the car. What heat was produced would be best restricted to the front seats! He closed the two vent outlets in the air distributor box with expandable rubber plugs, and I followed his lead. I picked up two 1-3/8″ plugs from my local ACE Hardware and they work perfectly.

Expandable Plugs for Air Distributor Box

Expandable Plugs Installed in Air Distributor Box

Front Heater Return Pipe

Hot Water Circulation

The hot water circulates through the heater via steel pipes and rubber hoses. Though not as original, I used stainless steel pipes available as a kit form SNG Barratt or XKs Unlimited. They should be painted black but I am going to just leave them unpainted since they would probably just get scratched anyway.The Rear Return Pipe, on Scuttle, At Rear of Cylinder Block connects to the Front Return Pipe and then to an adaptor at the Water Pump. The pipe is secured by a clip bracket on the firewall and by two clips on the heater box:

Heater Pipe Clip

Heater Pipe Clip

Heater Pipe Clipped to Heater Box

Heater Pipe Clipped to Heater Box

The feed pipe via a rubber elbow connects to the heater radiator inlet pipe, and to the water outlet on the intake manifold. The image below shows two of the pipes installed in the engine bay and connected to the heater:

Rear Heater Pipes Installed

Rear Heater Pipes Installed

The Front Return Pipe is secured parallel to the RH side of the engine block with brackets mounted to inlet manifold studs ( the third stud from the front of the engine and the third stud from the rear). The Brake Servo Vacuum Pipe is paired with the Front Return Pipe held by the same brackets.

Two identical elbow hoses part C16655 are used to connect the pipes to the heater matrix and water valve assembly.  An accordion type hose, part C21961, connects the feed pipe to the adapter at the rear of the inlet manifold. This hose can be seen in the image above.

The front return pipe and the rear return pipe are connected with a straight piece of hose, part C14999/3. A shorter straight piece of hose connects the front the front return pipe to the adaptor on the water pump. All of the hoses are secure to the hard pipes with Cheney clamps that were sourced from XKs Unlimited.

The offset in the Front Return Pipe is to the front of the car.  I removed the two Brackets On Studs of Inlet Manifold by loosening the two 3/8″ – 24 stud nuts. At the front of the pipe I disconnected the hose 9/16″ hose clamp and pulled the pipe away with the 3 1/2″ Hose, From Front Return Pipe to Adaptor on Water Pump. The hose uses two 9/16″ clamps to connect the hose to the pipe and to the adaptor. The Hose From Rear Return Pipe to Front Return Pipe is 8 1/2″ long also secured with two 9/16″ clamps. For ease of removal, I disconnected the Vacuum Pipe Assembly from the top of the Inlet Manifold, and could then lift away both pipes and brackets from the engine block.

The Front Return Pipe and the Vacuum Pipe were then separated by loosening each of the mounting brackets components held together with a hex head #10 – 32 x 1″ machine screws, nuts and shakeproof washers. Two  1″ long pieces of rubber hose (slit length wise) wrapped around the vacuum hose to keep the two pipes from rattling against each other.

Front Return Pipe at Side Of Cylinder Block - Rear Hose

Front Return Pipe at Side Of Cylinder Block – Rear Hose

Front Pipe Hose

Front Pipe Hose

Front Pipe Hose

Front Pipe Hose

Front Return Pipe

Front Return Pipe

Pipe Brackets

Pipe Brackets

Front Return Pipe

Front Return Pipe

Front Heater Return

Front Heater Return

Hose from Front

Hose from Front

Hose from Rear

Hose from Rear

Hose from front return pipe to adaptor on Water Pump 1

Front Return Pipe Hoses

Brackets prepared for painting:

Brackets-on-Studs-of-Inlet-Manifold-for-Fixing-of-Heater-and-Servo-Pipes Ready to Paint

Brackets-on-Studs-of-Inlet-Manifold-for-Fixing-of-Heater-and-Servo-Pipes Ready to Paint

Cover Plate Over Pedal Mounting Cut-out on Centre Dash

Cover Plate Over Pedal Mounting Cut-out on Centre Dash

I am replacing the Front Heater water return pipe with a new stainless pipe:Stainless heater Front Return Pipe

I also purchased a new foam rubber seal from the the heater to the dash volute.

Rubber Seal from heater to Dash Volute

Rubber Seal from heater to Dash Volute

Heater Control Lever Assemblies

Two levers mounted in the central control panel in the console control the temperature and distribution of air into the cockpit. The temperature control – marked “Hot” and “Cold”situated below the instrument panel operates a valve which controls the flow of air through the heater. When the control is placed in the “Cold” position the supply of air from the heating element is completely cut off so that cold air can be admitted for ventilating the car in hot weather. Placed in the “Hot” position the maximum amount of air passes through the heating element. By placing the control in intermediate positions varying degrees of heat can be obtained.

The distribution control –  marked “Car-Screen” controls the proportion of air directed to the windscreen or the interior of the car. Placed in the fully upward position the maximum amount of air will be admitted into the car interior. Placed in the fully downward position the maximum amount of air is directed to the windscreen for rapid demisting or defrosting. By placing the contra in intermediate positions varying proportions of air can be directed into the car interior and to the windscreen.

The lever controls consist of the mounting brackets and control arms with chrome bezels and inscribed instructional plates. A plastic knob is screwed into each control arm. Cable attachment hardware and two distance pieces for each chrome bezel mounting post is located on each control arm and bracket. Both assemblies wherein reasonably good condition. I will try to replace the inscribed plates if I can locate a source. I cleaned both assemblies, polished the chrome, lever knob and instructional plates and primed and painted each.

Temperature Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Temp Control Lever

Distribution Control Lever

Distribution Control Lever

Distribution Control Lever

Distribution Lever

Distribution Lever

Distribution Lever

Distribution Lever

Distribution Lever

Distribution Lever

Temperature and Air Distribution Levers after Renewal

Temperature and Air Distribution Levers

Temperature and Air Distribution Levers

Temperature and Air Distribution Levers

Temperature and Air Distribution Levers

Windscreen Demister Nozzles

Each of the demister nozzles is attached to the scuttle with two #6 x 1/2″ pan head screws. Flexible hose connects each nozzle to rubber elbows in the firewall that access the heater aperture in the scuttle. Each nozzle was primed and painted gloss black.

RH Demister Nozzle with Hose

RH Demister Nozzle with Hose

Rubber Elbow

Rubber Elbow

The hose fits inside the rubber elbow. It is a very tight fit. I boiled the elbows in water to make them more pliable and then forced the hose inside. To open the passage and remove any hose restriction I pushed a broomstick up the hose to the elbow.

Hoses Installed in Elbows

Hoses Installed in Elbows

While the RH Demister Nozzle fit into the bodywork quite easily the LH side was very tight so I opened up the sheet metal with a dremel to improve access.

Tight Fit Modification

Tight Fit Modification

Rubber Elbows in Firewall

Rubber Elbows in Firewall

RH Demister Installed

RH Demister Installed

Battery Relocation to the Boot

Battery Relocation to the Boot

Installing the RetroAir air conditioning kit requires the relocation of the battery, and the most commonly used place is the shelf in the MK2 boot. The RetroAir kit provided a plastic battery box, battery cable and various connectors, but I chose to “upgrade” the kits components.

Battery Cable Lugs

First I decided to use battery lugs to take the battery cable through the boot floor rather than taking the cable directly through a rubber grommet in the floor. I used Waytek’s “Battery Feeder Stud” for this purpose. http://www.waytekwire.com/products/ One in black for the ground cable, part# 36663, and one in red for the power cable, part# 3662. I located these to the right of the battery mounting.

Waytek Battery Lugs

Waytek Battery Lugs

Battery Lugs Mounted - Under Carriage View

Battery Lugs Mounted – Under Carriage View

Battery Lug Rubber Covers

I found some rubber covers for the battery terminals and lugs that work quite well. They were sourced on-line from the Electrical Hub.

http://www.electricalhub.com/battery-terminals-and-lugs/insulator-battery-boots

Battery Terminals and Lugs Rubber Covers

Battery Terminals and Lugs Rubber Covers

Battery Hold Down Mount

While the plastic box provided in the RetroAir kit would certainly work, it took up considerable space as well as not being very attractive – even if it does go in the boot! I chose to use a Billet Specialties product http://www.billetspecialties.com, part# 248910, that in my opinion is both attractive and space saving. I mounted this as far to the right side of the car as possible. The tray mounts to the boot floor with four 1/4″ – 24 x 1″ hex head stainless bolts, flat and shake proof washers.

Markings to Locate Battery Tray

Markings to Locate Battery Tray

Billet Specilaties Battery Tray Mounted

Billet Specialties Battery Tray Mounted

I intend to make a carpet-covered plywood panel to hide the rear compartment of the boot. Similar to this one:

Boot Panel

Boot Panel

Battery Isolator Switch

And, I will install a Waytek battery Isolator Switch with a detachable key, part# 44075, in the upper right corner of the panel. It certainly won’t stop professional car thieves but it does provide one more deterrent to the criminal. The lower photo shows the Optima Red Top battery (borrowed from my Austin Healey for fitting purposes) and the approximate location of the isolator switch. A 20″ red power lead  part #35976 also from Waytek was used to provide the connection from the battery to the red lug. A 15″ black ground lead, part number 35965, was used to connect the battery to the black lug.

Waytek Battery Isolator Switch

Waytek Battery Isolator Switch

Battery Mounted with Isolator Switch

Battery Mounted with Isolator Switch

Battery Cable to the Engine Bay

I debated about running the battery cable along the RH frame rail or to route the cable through the interior to the engine bay. I ultimately decided to mount it on the frame rail. The brake line to the rear axle and the fuel line from the fuel filter in the engine bay to the fuel pump also run along the RH frame rail.

I used a combination of single and double stainless steel clamps to secure the battery cable, brake line and fuel line to the frame. http://tinyurl.com/kuzn3k8  The upper clip was used for the battery cable and the fuel and brake lines were housed in the lower clip.

Double Line Clamp

Double Line Clamp

I used #10-24 rivet nuts or nut serts set into the frame rail to attach the clamps. The rivets require a 19/64″ hole in the metal stock and conveniently the holes already in the frame for the original brake/fuel line spring clips were that size of at east very close to it. This meant that I did not have to drill any new holes. The rivet nuts are easy to install using an inexpensive little tool. The nuts are screwed on to the threaded rod and inserted into the frame hole. One holds the larger nut (7/8″) stationary while tightening the outside smaller (11/16″) nut. This pulls the nut firmly against the frame rail creating essentially a captive nut.

Rivet Nuts and Tool

Rivet Nuts and Tool

#10-24 Rivet nut installed in frame

#10-24 Rivet nut installed in frame

The following images show the installation of the cable and brake/fuel lines. The battery cables runs from the lugs below the boot floor. the black ground cable is securely bolted to the frame while the red cable runs to the engine bay.

Wiring From Battery Lugs

Wiring From Battery Lugs

I left some slack in the cables because I still need to install the rear suspension torque arm and panhard rod which may require moving the cables a bit.

Spaghetti?

Spaghetti?

Battery Cable Routing from Rear Lugs to Starter Solenoid

Battery Cable Routing from Rear Lugs to Starter Solenoid

I will cut the cable to the desired length, solder a terminal on the end and mount it on the rear-most solenoid terminal post after more engine bay items are mounted.

Battery Cable Routed from Boot to Starter solenoid

Battery Cable Routed from Boot to Starter solenoid

The image below shows the battery cable trimmed to the proper length, covered with Techflex F6 wire sheathing and mounted to the front-most post on the starter solenoid. The cable to the starter is mounted to the rear-most post on the starter solenoid. Total cable length was about 150 inches.

Starter Solenoid, Battery Cable, Starter Cable

Starter Solenoid, Battery Cable, Starter Cable

This image shows the final cable locations in the rear after the rear suspension components were installed:

Battery Cables from Boot Final Adjustment