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!

Cooling/Heater

Managing the heat generated by the operating engine, whether in the engine itself, in the engine bay, or in the interior is an issue in the Big Healey. What may not have been an issue in more temperate Great Britain, is a different story in the U.S. Over the years Healey owners have gotten progressively better at managing the heat issues. I made a number of enhancements to The Bloody Beast to help with cooling or at least improved insulation from the heat.

 The Original Cooling System

The capacity of the cooling system, excluding the heater, is 21.6 U.S. pints. The original thermostat was 158 degrees.

Cooling System Modifications

Aluminum Radiator

Recoring the original radiator with a more efficient tubing system is one option pursued by many enthusiasts, another is replacement of the original radiator with an aluminum alternative.  I chose the replacement route with an alloy radiator sourced from Cape International. In addition to the benefit of improved cooling, the polished aluminum header tank looks great in the engine bay! I painted the core with black radiator paint so that the “X” brace in the front of the car would “disappear” when looking through the grille.

Aluminum Radiator

Aluminum Radiator

Air-Intake Deflectors

The Healey has a multi-piece air-intake deflector assembly as original equipment; however, I was not happy with the gap that exists between the assembly shrouds and the radiator. This permitted air to escape around the radiator into the engine bay. The original deflectors are also a bit of a pain to install. I decided to fabricate some deflectors from aluminum stock. After constructing cardboard patterns I had the aluminum bent at a metal working shop. The deflectors are slotted to fit alongside the radiator in the standard radiator mounts to the frame. The image below shows the fitting of the deflectors before the radiator core was painted. As you can see this produced a tight fit around the radiator sides – no air escapes now!

Radiator Baffles

Radiator Baffles

Upper Radiator Shroud

My friend, Mick Nordquist, had an upper shroud made for his Healey radiator to keep the air coming through the grill directed to the radiator rather than escaping over the radiator. He supplied the pattern for me and I had one cut with a plasma cutter from 2mm aluminum plate and installed it with four stainless steel #8 self-tapping screws. In addition to improving cooling, I think it also offers a nice cosmetic improvement.

Radiator Top Shroud

Radiator Top Shroud

Coolant Recovery System

The original cooling system design provided for no ability to capture coolant whether just an expansion tank or a true pressurized recovery system. Healay owners, particularly if they have filled their radiators to maximum capacity are use to their car’s “burping” in the parking lot after being driven. I purchased my coolant recovery system components from Cape International.

Coolant Recovery System

Coolant Recovery System

Six Blade Stainless Steel Fan with Spacer

A number of alternatives to the original fan are available to the Healey owner today. The “Texas Cooler” and the variable pitch stainless steel fans are probably the most popular. I initially decided to go with the stainless fan available from British Car Specialists. However, the fan is pretty noisy so I switched the fan in 2020 for a nylon/plastic asymmetric fan similar to the “Texas Cooler” fan. The new fan was sourced from AH Spares. Time will tell but the new fan seems to keep the engine temperature under control and it is quite a bit quieter than the stainless steel fan.

Stainless Fan

Stainless Fan

AH Spares Fan

Fan Shroud

The custom air deflectors improved air control on the intake side of the radiator. To help channel the air on the fan side of the radiator and to add a safety component (those stainless fan blades are very sharp!!) I added a two piece shroud also available from British Car Specialists. It did not fit exactly as it would to the stock radiator, but a little tinkering and it fit beautifully. Since it was added after the restoration of the Bloody Beast was completed, I can say that the shroud was definitely responsible for some additional temperature reduction.

Radiator Shroud

Radiator Shroud

Radiator shroud

Radiator shroud

The Original Heater/Interior Cooling

The original heater was a Smith’s hot water circulating unit, part # 8G9048. It was assisted by a fan blower secured to the right front wheel arch assembly. Fresh air was supplied to the driver’s side of the interior by a 4” paper/metal hose controlled by a fresh air assembly mounted at the front of the car.

Heater/Interior Cooling Modifications

Sealing all of the holes in the firewall is the first thing to be done if one is to keep the heat and fumes out of the interior. A helpful tip someone shared with me was to wait until dark and put a light in the engine bay. This way any holes or leaks can be easily spotted from the interior.

Dynamat Extreme and Aluminum Duct Insualtion

A number of products are on the market to help reflect heat and offer both heat and sound insulation. Dynamat Extreme is certainly on of the most popular. I applied Dynamat Extreme heat reflective and sound insulation material to my interior first. I then applied aluminum duct insulation on top of the Dynamat and under the carpet. All seams were sealed with aluminum tape. These two together have proven to be very effective in keeping the heat out!

Dynamat Extreme

Dynamat Extreme

Aluminum Duct Insulation

Aluminum Duct Insulation

Modern Heater

For those (rare) occasions when I would choose to have more heat in the interior spaces, I chose to replace the Smith’s Heating unit with a contemporary unit supplied by Cape International. This unit has an internal two speed fan.

Cape International Heater

Cape International Heater

Fresh Air Supply

The original design of the car provided for some fresh air being delivered to the LH driver’s side of the car. Given that the Cape International Heater has its own fan, that left the original Smith’s blower to be used to blow fresh air into the passenger side of the car. I installed an air intake valve (upside down) just like the one on the LH side of the car, on the RH side, and then wired the blower to provide fresh air on the passenger side when desired. To be honest, I have found this to be useful for some ventilation when one has the hardtop in place, otherwise I am not sure that it was worth the effort! There are more details about this project in the restoration blog.

Ventilation Hose Assembly

Ventilation Hose Assembly

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Chapter 29 – Cleaning and Trial Fitting

September 4, 2006

Initial Work on the Engine and Driveline

Clutch and Flywheel – Many who have used the Smitty gearbox conversion have suggested fitting a later BJ8 diaphragm clutch rather than the the spring actutated clutch originally used on the BT7. Now seemed to be the time to do it, so I ordered the clutch plate assembly from Moss. I also took the suggestions of others and sent my flywheel to Bill Bolton in exchange for a lightened (now 24 lbs.) BJ8 flywheel. The wheel that came back from Bill was pretty rusty in the non-contact surface area so a little time was spent with rust remover and the drill and wire brush. Even after cleaning, I still think I will give it to Jeremy to media blast the non-contact surfaces.

BJ8 lightened Flywheel 1

BJ8 lightened Flywheel 2

September 6, 2006

Jeremy Turner’s Work Continues

Rear shroud with filler 2

Rear shroud primed 1

Rear shroud primed 2

rear shroud final primer

Shrouds – Jeremy is working on the “Bloody Beast” with the idea of completing all the priming and final panel fitting withn two weeks. He is focused on my car completely. He has just completed the body filler and priming for the front and rear shrouds.

Front shroud bodywork 2

front shroud poly primed

Front wing final primer

right front wing final primer

Because Martin Jansen did not put the bumper bracket mounting tubes all the way through the frame, Jeremy needed to weld some short tubing into the inside of the frame rails to mount the Cape International driving light/tow hook.

tow hook mount

tow hook mount 2

And now, don’t those Lucas drving lights look nice!

Fitting driving lights 2

Fitting driving lights 1

Fitting driving lights 3

Final priming on doors and rear wings.

Doors final priming

Rear wings final priming

September 11, 2006

Jeremy Turner’s Work Continues

Before going any further, it was a good idea to check the fit of the radiator, fan and the body and bonnet grilles to ensure a good fit. The radiator cap did hit the bonnet so some more work was required to adjust the radiator and shroud. We ended up with about 1/8” clearance between the radiator cap and the bonnet. The bottom trim piece on the body grille wold not fit properly so it was decided to have the original rechromed.

Radiator installed

Fan installed

Bonnet grill installed

Shroud with grille

 

 

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning the Mk2 is not an easy task. The primary problem is lack of space. The engine bay is already crowded and adding a compressor, hoses, condenser and related hardware is a challenge and then one must find a place for the evaporator. Jaguar had dealers install the evaporators in the boot with cool air outlet vents then routed to the shelf behind the rear seat. Less than ideal. If one had passengers, the cool air would be blowing on the their necks, and we Americans tend to like our auto air conditioners blowing a blast of cool air in our faces! So, it is fair to say that air conditioning systems in the MK2 represented a series of design compromises.

The best place to start with this project is understanding what the factory chose to do to address the U.S. market’s air conditioning needs. JCNA Jaguar Air Conditioning Judges’ Guide is a very helpful source of information filled with wonderful factory documentation. In the narrative of this post, I will refer to this document as The Guide. The Guide addresses the air conditioning systems for a number of models for the period 1955-1971. As the Guide and it’s primary author, George Camp, point out with supporting documentation, “air conditioning was a North American desire and effort. Factory installations of air conditioning systems were direct result of research and development work carried out in the Southeast and Western United States.”

Another useful resource is a document authored by Vintage Air: Their guide Vintage Air’s Air Conditioning Basics provides an easy to understand summary of air conditioning fundamentals for the novice – like me!

Of course, one of the very best sources of information for those who are attempting to install air conditioning in their mid-sixties Jaguar is the group of brave souls who have actually done it or are in the process. Robert Seligman was particularly helpful. Bob and I exchanged many, many emails about air conditioning particulars. Other helpful parties include in no particular order: Sterling Forsythe, Ed Nantes, Stuart Brainard, Glenn Logan, Ton Tulleken, George Leicht, Phil Aldridge and John Stefanik. My thanks to all for sharing their knowledge, experiences and photos!

The Rose 1964 Jaguar Air Conditioning System

The air conditioning system I developed for my car is comprised of a number of original or “original-type” components as well as contemporary parts sourced from current vendors. One decision, made early in the chronology of this exercise, was a key factor in determining how my system would be developed. I knew that I wanted to have cool air blowing in my face which meant air outlets in the dash.

I had no objection to housing the evaporator in the boot, but since there is just no practical way to get cool air from the boot to the dash I was reconciled to accepting the evaporator placement in the front of the car. I am not crazy about the “all-in-one” units that fit under the dash. I wanted something that at least appeared to be integrated into the car rather than added-on. I suppose that someone more creative than I could figure out how to mount and hide an evaporator under and behind the dash, but that was beyond my capabilities. In the end, I figured that a well insulated evaporator mounted on the firewall in the engine bay was the route I would take.

As others have done, I determined when I started this process that the kit from Rock Browning’s RetroAir company in Texas was my best bet. So I purchased his kit. However, as my journey progressed and I learned more about this subject, I decided to modify Rock’s approach. My deviations from the RetroAir kit are explained below. This is no knock on the RetroAir kit. I simply decided to take a different path regarding some aspects of the system.

At the heart of the RetroAir system, is a single belt,  “V” groove pulley system utilizing an idler pulley on the back of the classic “V” belt to improve pulley wrap. My preference after discussions and consultations with many is that while a single serpentine belt works just fine, it is preferable to have at least two belts driving the system when using “V” belts. JUST MY OPINION AND ULTIMATELY MY DECISION. This is a big decision in that mounting brackets and pulleys are effected.

The RetroAir Kit

My description of the process begins with the RetroAir kit because that is where I started. The following description was taken from the RetroAir web site and describes the purchased system.

This is our Original system that took over 3 years to develop so it would look and perform like it belonged in a Jaguar! It includes some of the most efficient, custom made parts available to cool a car. During development we looked at every aspect of cooling this model car including using the Heater Box and Ducts, as a European Competitor is doing. All A/C systems produce volumes of Condensation which will ruin the Metal Heater Box and  Ducting. Since the Metal Ducting is an integral part of the Body construction strength on the Mark II and Variants, the resulting Rust and Rot can be dangerous and expensive to repair.  Likewise, we rejected the Trunk mount and “Hang Down” units for inadequate  performance, and aesthetic reasons. The results of our work is  “Blowin in Your Face” A/C that looks perfectly at home in a Classic Jaguar.We use only the best for these Kits: A 30 tube, Evaporator design that produces 16,000 BTU’s and will cool any large sedan. Our Condenser is a “4 pass” Multi-Flow with 13 passages in each tube and produces well over 20,000 BTU’s. Other units can not come close to this! We use a new Sanden/Behr Rotary Compressor which is the most popular and reliable aftermarket Compressor available, and easily cool the Mark II and it’s Variants. Our Custom Made Barrier A/C Hose Assemblies have 2 reinforcing plies and properly clocked Fittings. The results of all this care are Mid-Thirty to 40 Degree vent temperatures as reported to us by users and shops alike! 
LHD & RHD Kit Contents
  • New Custom Evaporator – UPGRADED!
  • New Custom Blower Assembly – UPGRADED!
  • New Sanden/Behr Rotary Compressor (Chrome Optional)
  • New Receiver/Drier with Hi-Lo Switch
  • New Hi Tech Multi-Flow Condenser (See details Below)
  • New Condenser Fan
  • New Custom Barrier Hoses with Properly Clocked Fittings
  • New Interior Louvers and Duct Hoses
  • All Mounting Hardware & Brackets
  • Full Instructions & Pictures

RetroAir Installation Disclaimer

Installation

Radiator

I had chosen to replace the original radiator with an aluminum unit made by Wizard to improve cooling and assist with the air conditioning system. I purchased the radiator from RetroAir with my other air conditioning components. It looked beautiful!

I ended up not using the Wizard unit because it did not fit properly. It sat too high, contacting the bonnet, and because of the wider upper tank it did not allow sufficient space for the wiring harness that travels across the front of the radiator from the LH valance to the RH valance. A sad and expensive lesson. I could have modified the aluminum unit to fit but could not solve the wiring harness problem to my satisfaction.

I decided to return to my original radiator but had it recored by Blue Sky Radiator with a modern cooling matrix. I painted the sides of the assembly and the lower tank with POR-15 after using their metal prep product. I then used progressively finer sandpaper to prepare the upper tank surface and then painted it with a Duplicolor self etching primer (three coats) and Duplicolor Engine High Temperature Gloss Black spray paint (also three coats). I just lightly dusted the front of the core with the high temperature paint as I wanted to avoid affecting the heat radiation properties of the radiator to the extent possible. I did not paint the rear face of the core. I was pleased with the results:

Painted and Recored Original Radiator

Painted and Recored Original Radiator

Installation guidance for the engine driven fan, fan shroud, and the radiator may be found in the “Engine Cooling” post: https://valvechatter.com/?p=5536. The location of the air conditioning Sanden compressor did require a modification to the shroud that is also detailed in the “Engine Cooling” post.

Condenser

The MK2 air conditioning system as conceived by Jaguar used a “stepped” condenser in front of the radiator and another below the front bumper. As The Guide describes, “The condenser for these cars was very interesting and was referred to as a “Chair” condenser due to its unique shape. Note some cars (MK VII, MK VIII, MK IX, MK 10, 420 G, S-type, MK2, & 340), had dual condensers. One located prior to the radiator and one slung beneath the bumper. They were connected in parallel (like a parallel electrical circuit). A fabricated road debris guard of perforated steel mesh or a heavily louvered cover was fitted and painted black for obscurity.” Figure 4 and Figure 8.A below are sourced from The Guide.

Chair Condenser Mounting

Chair Condenser Mounting

Condenser Mounting Instructions

Condenser Mounting Instructions

Some contemporary MK2 systems have used two condensers, usually mounted not under the car, but in one of the front wheel wells. Here are two examples:

Wheel Well Condenser Installation

Wheel Well Condenser Installation

Wheel Well Condenser Installation

Wheel Well Condenser Installation

 

I decided to at least initially install my system with only one condenser – the one supplied in the RetroAir kit. This decision is not based on empirical analysis. Rather, I am betting that with modern day condenser design and with the addition of an electric fan, not used by Jaguar at the time, that the system will operate effectively. Only time will tell.

So, I began the condenser installation. As directed in the instructions provided, I measured 13 inches from the bottom grille pan on the RH side and marked a center point. At the same height I measured two inches from the radiator support/brace. Where the two measurements intersected on the side panel valance (wheel well) I marked the location of the center of a 1 – 1/4″ hole to be drilled. I then marked the center point for another hole to be drilled 9 – 3/4″  directly below the top center mark.

Before drilling any holes I inserted the condenser into the grille cavity to make sure things would line up properly. RetroAir states emphatically that the condenser should be at least one inch from the face of the radiator. Satisfied that I had things lined up properly, I drilled the two 1 – 1/4″ holes in the side panel and carefully filed and sanded the hole to insure I had a smooth surface. I then inserted two supplied rubber grommets into the holes. These holes provided entry for the coolant hoses to the condenser connections  from the drier and evaporator. The top hole is for the large connection and the lower hole is for the smaller diameter connection. I then attached the hoses to the condenser fittings as loosely positioned it in the grille cavity.

Lower Condenser Fitting Hole with Grommet

Lower Condenser Fitting Hole with Grommet

Upper Condenser Fitting Hole with Grommet

Upper Condenser Fitting Hole with Grommet

Condenser Brackets and Hose Fittings from Engine Bay

Condenser Brackets and Hose Fittings from Engine Bay

Condenser Installed

Condenser Installed

I then, by trial and error, bent the two brackets supplied in the kit so as to mount to the series of vertical holes on the left and right side of the condenser. I drilled two small holes for #10 stainless socket-head machine screws into the LH and RH side panels of the wheel well to accept the front-most end of the mounting brackets. These two brackets firmly and securely held the suspended condenser in the cavity. Nylock nuts were used on all the fittings. The brackets will be powder coated black.

Condenser Bracket LH

Condenser Bracket LH

Condenser Bracket RH

Condenser Bracket RH

Electric Fan

The kit utilizes an 11″ 5.3 AMP JPI Fan. The instructions call for mounting the fan directly to the condenser with plastic ties, but I wanted to try something different so I ordered a pair of aluminum fan mounting brackets from Old Air Products.Old Air Products Fan Bracket Kit

I shortened the ends of each bracket and welded in a filler to fill the gaps on the ends and then used the brackets, fastened to the fan and the condenser to hold the fan in place. I much prefer the appearance of this approach. Just esthetic, but more pleasing to me.

Old Air Products Fan Brackets

Old Air Products Fan Brackets

SPAL 12 Inch Fan

SPAL 12 Inch Fan

Installed Condenser and Fan

Installed Condenser and Fan

Compressor

MK2 air conditioning installations incorporated an aluminum York compressor. The RetroAir kit as stated above provides a Sanden/Behr 5H14-V Rotary unit that is commonly used in the industry. My system utilizes the compressor in the RetroAir kit.

Sanden SD 508/SB 5H14-V V belt compressor

Sanden SD 508/SB 5H14-V V belt compressor

sanden compressor service guide

Alternator

Rock Browning will supply an alternator as a component of his kit including the accommodation for a power steering pump. For several reasons, I opted to provide my own alternator. I am using an electric power steering pump with a rack and pinion steering system and the pump requires significant amperage at full turn. I am also adding a number of other modifications such as power seats so I have chosen a high output Hitachi alternator for my application. The Hitachi alternator is described in more detail in the “electrical components” post.

Blower/SPAL Fan

The RetroAir kit uses a 3 speed, Spal Blower (Type 009-A70-74D-12V ) and according to Rock Browning owner of RetroAir it draws a maximum of 16 amps. My system utilizes this blower. To prepare for the installation of the blower, it is first necessary to remove the battery, battery tray, and the battery tray braces. Removing the braces requires drilling out spot welds and breaking the braces from the firewall/footbox. I had already removed the RH pedal box blanking cover.

Removing Battery Tray Braces

Removing Battery Tray Braces

Footbox with Battery Braces Removed

Footbox with Battery Braces Removed

I then removed the paint and “cleaned up” the area. I will hit the rusty area in the lower left corner with the media blaster later. The metal is solid.

Footbox Buffed clean

Footbox Buffed clean

The kit supplies a Blower Reinforcement Plate. The plate was used as a template for drilling new mounting holes. To get the proper alignment a bolt is placed in the lowest (and centered) hole in the body.

Blower Reinforcement Plate as Template. See locating bolt

Blower Reinforcement Plate as Template. See locating bolt

With the opening in the Blower Reinforcement Plate as a guide the body was marked for metal removal to match up with the opening in the blower that will be mounted below. This is done to ensure maximum air flow. The six holes were also marked to drill. The holes left from the battery tray braces will be welded closed.

Footbox Marked to Enlarge Opening for the Blower

Footbox Marked to Enlarge Opening for the Blower

I used a dremel to remove the metal and then files the edges smooth.

Footbox Metal Removed

Footbox Metal Removed

The ABS Plastic Oval Hose Inlet provided in the kit can then be drilled to match the holes in the Blower Reinforcement Plate – this part is mounted inside the engine compartment. I will use use Silicone sealer under the plate and Blower Mounting surface for a good seal when I do the final install after the car is painted.

Holes Welded and Area Primed

Holes Welded and Area Primed

Plastic Oval Hose Inlet Mounted to the Blower Reinforcement Plate. Two additional Holes Drilled Later.

Plastic Oval Hose Inlet Mounted to the Blower Reinforcement Plate. Two additional Holes Drilled Later.

I couldn’t determine why the Mounting Plate extended beyond the Plastic Oval Inlet. I decided to remove the excess metal from the Plate and cut it off with the dremel and repainted. After final installation, the locating hole at the bottom of the Mounting Plate will have a rubber grommet installed.

Blower Reinforcement Plate Trimmed

Blower Reinforcement Plate Trimmed

The SPAL Blower was then fit in the inside RH side of the passenger compartment. The Blower is a very tight install which is nice unless, of course, one is trying to install the Blower while standing on one’s head! Installation of the blower requires a helper. I replaced the six screws provided in the kit with six stainless  #10-24 x 3/4″ phillips head screws, but used the square nuts provided as they “lock” into the spaces provided on the base of the Blower.

I had to remove the top half of the LH carpet snap mount in order to place the Blower. When I do the final installation I will seal joints and surfaces with silicone sealer.

Trimming the Carpet Snap Mounting for Blower Clearance

Trimming the Carpet Snap Mounting for Blower Clearance

Blower Installed

Blower Installed

Blower LH Mounting Screws

Blower LH Mounting Screws

Blower RH Mounting Screws

Blower RH Mounting Screws

Blower Mounted in Place

Blower Mounted in Place

Evaporator

I chose to use the evaporator provided by the RetroAir kit. Before mounting the evaporator to the firewall of the MK2, I first installed a few engine compartment components to make sure that as I fit the evaporator I did not come into conflict with other engine bay parts. As with the other air conditioning kit parts, the evaporator was much easier to mount not having the motor in the engine bay!

I first installed the Shield Assembly, Adapter Plate and Starter Solenoid to the firewall with three 1/4″-28  x 5/8″ hex head bolts with flat washers and shake proof washers.

Shield Assembly, Adapter Plate and Starter solenoid

Shield Assembly, Adapter Plate and Starter solenoid

I then installed the heater pipe clip at the rear engine stabilizer bracket on the firewall. Two 3/8″-24 x 5/8″ hex head bolts with flat and shake proof washers secure the clip to the wall. Also one additional bolt and washers of same size is used through the rear engine stabilizer to the firewall.

Heater Pipe Clip

Heater Pipe Clip

Finally, I also installed the RH Bonnet Hinge as it comes close to contact with the evaporator.

The next step is to mount the rectangular plastic cover of the evaporator to the firewall. Proper positioning is important. With the flat side of the cover away from me (I was standing in the engine bay) and the open side with the edges facing toward me, I drilled a 3/32″ hole in upper left (driver’s) side of the plastic cover and also in the lower right (passenger) side, to locate the cover to the firewall. 

Then, following RetroAir’s directions, I placed the left (driver’s) side of the the plastic cover against the right (passenger’s) side edge of the center raised panel just below the starter solenoid. The directions call for the cover to be 1 1/2″ below the underside of the cowl overhang. At the far LH upper corner of the cover, I placed it about 1 5/8″ below, because I intend to make a cover for the evaporator assembly once installation is complete and I wanted to make sure that I had sufficient space to do do.

I placed a small level on the plastic cover to make sure it was level with the upper left corner 1 5/8″” below the cowl, and marked the firewall through the 3/32″ holes in the cover. I then drilled holes in the marked locations and secured the plastic cover to the firewall with two #4 1/2″ sheet metal screws. The cover established the location of the evaporator on the firewall.

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover Distance from Cowl Mounted to Firewall

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover Distance from Cowl Mounted to Firewall

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover Mounted to Firewall

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover Mounted to Firewall

The directions then call for drilling four 2″ holes through the cover and the firewall. Before doing this there are several matters to consider: if the original demister hoses have not been removed they need to be disconnected and moved out of the way so they are not contacted by the hole saw. Mine were already removed. Also, while not specifically mentioned in the directions, I found it best to locate the holes off-center to the RH side of the cover to ensure missing the plenum behind the firewall and so as to give room for manipulating the hose after passing through the firewall.

The depressions in the firewall add a little difficulty to the drilling/sawing task. I had a little problem with the hole located third from the RH side of the cover. The central drill bit hit one of the angled depressions and slipped downward somewhat. No problem, but that hole is not in line with the others. If a reader is undertaking this project, you might want to drill small locating holes first to help avoid my problem.

Evaporator Cover Installation

Evaporator Cover Installation

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover with two inch holes for vent hoses

RetroAir Evaporator Plastic Cover with two inch holes for vent hoses

RetroAir Evaporator Hose holes for vent hoses in Firewall

RetroAir Evaporator Hose holes for vent hoses in Firewall

Two Inch Hole Saw

Two Inch Hole Saw

While the four plastic hose outlets would fit in the firewall holes one at a time, it was hard to imagine all four sliding into place at once when they were mounted in the plastic cover. The hoses fit over the outlets so their outside diameter is larger than the two inch holes through which they must pass. I decided to slightly enlarge each hole using a little trick the guys at my local hardware store showed me. (Sorry, don’t mean to offend but this is not the kind of tip you would get at a Home Depot or Lowes).

To drill a slightly larger hole than your original hole, you need to use the 2″ hole saw you used to drill the firewall holes as well as an additional hole saw with the larger desired hole – in this case 2 1/4″.  You also need the arbor for both. First remove the drill bits used for starting the holes from each arbor and set them aside. Then cut a 1/4″ steel rod about 4″ long. Turn the 2″ hole saw so the teeth face toward the larger hole saw. Insert the 1/4″ rod into the arbors, push the hole saws together, and tighten the 1/4″ rod with the arbor set screws. Then put the 2 1/4″ hole saw arbor in your drill and you are ready to make a new larger hole! The smaller 2″ hole saw acts as your centering device for the new larger hole.

Two hole saws and 1/4" linking rod

Two hole saws and 1/4″ linking rod

Two hole saws and 1/4" linking rod joined together

Two hole saws and 1/4″ linking rod joined together

The hose now passes through the firewall hoses without binding but still leaves a reasonably tight fit.

Each hose outlet was then popped into place and sealed with black silicone sealer.

Silicone Sealer around hose outlets

Silicone Sealer around hose outlets

The plastic cover could then be pushed onto the end of the evaporator. RetroAir directions warn ” Do not invert cover or holes will not line up!” The two 3/32″ locating holes were also sealed with silicone sealer. Before I finally mount the evaporator to the car, that is, after the car is painted,  I will fill the firewall depressions with the kit provided weather stripping to also seal the depressions.

The cover is then pushed onto the evaporator, and once tightly in place six black 1/2″ self-tapping screws provided in the kit were used to mount the cover to the evaporator. One on each narrow end, and two on each long side as seen in the image below:

Cover screws to evaporator

Cover screws to evaporator

The evaporator assembly is then held FIRMLY AGAINST the firewall and mounted using the two supplied brackets. Each bracket has a 1/4″ x 1/2″ hex bolt and flat washer that is used to secure the bracket to the side of the evaporator. The brackets are slotted to be adjustable because the LH bracket needs to be shorter than the RH bracket due to the “bump out” in the center panel of the firewall (see image).

After inserting the outlets through the firewall and tightly holding the LEVEL assembly against the firewall, I drilled three 3/32″ holes in the firewall for the matching three holes in each bracket. Rather than using the kit supplied self tapping screws that looked out of place (my opinion) in the engine bay, I used #10 1/2″ self tapping stainless round head phillips head screws. The evaporator was then firmly mounted against the firewall.

LH Evaporator Mounting Bracket

LH Evaporator Mounting Bracket

RH Evaporator Mounting Bracket

RH Evaporator Mounting Bracket

Evaporator Mounted to Firewall

Evaporator Mounted to Firewall

I then mounted the blower and the evaporator as an assembly and attached the flexible “inside” mylar hose to the Blower Oval Hose Inlet. The washers on two of the mounting plate screws were used to “trap” the wire in the mylar hose. I then also added a plastic tie wrap strip to secure the hose tightly to the Hose Inlet. I will also add silicone around the inlet/hose upon final installation.

I then trial fit the mylar hose to the evaporator inlet, but I will back up and install the outer insulation for the hose before attaching the hose to the evaporator. The mylar hose cannot withstand the high heat of the engine bay without insulation. I may fabricate an insulated fiberglass tube/duct to replace the mylar before the project is completed.

Mylar Hose Attached to Blower and Evaporator

Mylar Hose Attached to Blower and Evaporator

Mylar Hose Wire Under Washer

Mylar Hose Wire Under Washer

Mylar Hose Wire Under Washer

Mylar Hose Wire Under Washer

Assembly Mounted

Assembly Mounted

Assembly Mounted

Assembly Mounted

The evaporator has two right angle 1/2″ drain pipes at the front of the evaporator on the left and right outside corners. The RetroAir kit provides two pieces of drain hose to fix to these drain pipes, but they are only about 8-10″ long and unless you want water running down the inside of the engine bay valance or firewall one needs to order more drain hose.

Evaporator Drain Hose

I got six feet from Vintage Air and that enabled me to extend the drain hoses to below the chassis.

I also found that the LH right angle drain pipe path conflicted with the intake manifold in my installation. That meant cutting off and carefully drilling out the original pipe, ordering a new one from Vintage Air, and then gluing it with ABS glue (also available from Vintage Air) to the evaporator so that it exits at a 45 degree angle. These modifications worked just fine and you can see the result in the image below:

Modified Evaporator Drain Line

 

Vents and Air Ducting

All of the initial trial fitting was done without the vent hoses or ducting attached to the evaporator. It was now time to address the installation of the hoses. This process includes the modification of the newspaper tray which the RetroAir directions improperly refer to as “the cubby.” There are four hoses in the system. One hose attaches to a provided black round vent louver to be installed on the panel below the steering wheel. Two hoses attach to the two provided rectangular vent louvers that fit in the modified newspaper tray, and the final hose attaches to another provided black round vent louver to be installed below the dash glove box, or “Cubby.”

On my car, the LH Scuttle Top Casing Assembly, is a formed aluminum panel that will be modified to accept the vent louver. The RH Scuttle Top Casing Assembly is some type of flexible fiberboard. I have not yet decided upon a final strategy, but I will probably fabricate a panel for the RH side similar to that provided by Jaguar on the LH side. Two and one-half inch holes will be cut into both Casing Panels for the round louvers. Consideration will need to be given to the shape of the RH Casing Assembly to permit sufficient air to access the blower motor.

Modification of the Newspaper Tray

This installation will no longer permit the tilting of the instrument panel on its hinges. With the louver panel in place movement is restricted. To gain access it will be necessary to remove the front edge wood capping and the louvre panel and the stretch the duct hose to get behind the instrument panel.

This is another place where I departed from the provided directions. The louvers located in the newspaper tray are mounted in a black grained plastic fascia panel. This panel is “pinched” between the wood capping assembly at the front edge of newspaper tray and the indicator strip at the bottom of the instrument panel.  As can be seen in the two images below, the vent louvres are off center to the right to provide for access to the scuttle ventilator lever knob. One has to have access to this lever to open and close the scuttle ventilator lid.

Newspaper Tray Vent Louvers Off-Center

Newspaper Tray Vent Louvers Off-Center

Newspaper Tray Vent Louvers Off-Center

Newspaper Tray Vent Louvers Off-Center

I did not care for the off-center look of the RetroAir approach, so:

I bent and threaded both ends of a 1/4″ rod to extend the scuttle ventilator lever, then cut a slot in the LH front bottom of the newspaper tray, and finally used a 1/4″ – 20 coupler to attach the extension rod to the original lever

New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

Newspaper Tray Slot for New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

Newspaper Tray Slot for New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

Newspaper Tray Slot for New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

Newspaper Tray Slot for New Scuttle Ventilator Lever Extension

This allowed operation of the scuttle ventilator lid from below the newspaper tray which in turn permitted the location of the vent louvers to the center of the tray. Fortunately, I was able to find a local plastics company that was able to make a new air vent housing panel with the vent openings in the center of the panel.

Drawing for New Air Conditioning Vent Panel

Drawing for New Air Conditioning Vent Panel

The new extension rod will either be chromed or painted black and will be shortened after I determine its optimal length and that will require the installation of the seats, and the steering wheel. I will also need to put an opening slot in the LH Scuttle Top Casing Assembly to permit movement of the lever.

The central instrument panel is covered in a material called Rexine. As Eric Kriss points out in his Blog, Rexine “was manufactured by Rexine Ltd of Hyde, England, is cloth impregnated with cellulose nitrate, camphor oil, pigment and alcohol, and then embossed to look somewhat like leather. Needless to say, it’s now unobtainium.

Rexine Ad

Rexine Ad

In 1960, Rexine was much cheaper than leather, but that probably wasn’t the reason Jaguar chose it for the dash panel. It’s very thin, takes a razor cut without fraying, and could be wrapped around the tight corners of the copper panel.

The oils and alcohol in Rexine evaporate over time, so the material is now extremely brittle and easily breaks off like a piece of thin plastic.”

I was able to order some vinyl material from Aldridge Trimming in the U.K. http://www.aldridge.co.uk that I used to recover the instrument panel and the plastic or sheet metal vent louvre panel, so that everything will appear as if installed originally.

MK2 Instrument Panel Assembly

MK2 Instrument Panel Assembly

To run the vent hoses to the center louvers requires opening up the top and back of the newspaper tray. While I filed and sanded the edges to be smooth, the instruction call for applying black duct tape to avoid sharp edges. I will have the newspaper tray powder coated. The images below show the modifications including the lever slot. Once the LH and RH wood fascia are mounted to the car, the product will have a nice integrated and finished appearance.

Modified Newspaper Tray for Air Hoses

Modified Newspaper Tray for Air Hoses

Modified Newspaper Tray for Air Hoses

Modified Newspaper Tray for Air Hoses

Central Vent Louvre Hoses

Central Vent Louver Hoses

A Much Better Look In My Opinion

A Much Better Look In My Opinion

For the final trial fitting, I removed the evaporator from the firewall and connected all four hoses to the plastic evaporator outlets and then carefully pressed/pushed the evaporator with hoses through the four round openings and up tight against the firewall. The hoses behind the dash are quite a lot of spaghetti, but everything fits and the glove box cubby still mounts properly. Both demister nozzles with hoses are also connected to ensure fit.

Hose Installation Behind Cubby Glove Box

Hose Installation Behind Cubby Glove Box

Hose Installation Behind Cubby Glove Box

Hose Installation Behind Cubby Glove Box

In the image below, I have the A/C vent hoses connected, so this is what my final installation will look like:

Center Air Conditioning Vents and Face Plate

Center Air Conditioning Vents and Face Plate

Of course, it is just my opinion, but I think my modifications have yielded a much better esthetic appearance than the RetroAir kit. However, it also involved considerably more work. Once the wood is refinished, I think the central panel will look “factory!”

Air Conditioning Hoses

Four air conditioning hoses are supplied with the kit. The shortest #6  5/16″ hose, in my case 31 1/2″ long, is used to connect the drier and the condenser.

Air Conditioning Hoses

Air Conditioning Hoses

I reinstalled the grommets next to the condenser first. Then, BEFORE THE CONDENSER WAS MOUNTED, I CONNECTED THE HOSE FITTINGS. I also used a very small amount of anti-sieze on the threads. The threads on the condenser are soft and can easily cross-thread if not careful. Tighten with a 3/4″ wrench. This hose I used as supplied. I believe I ended up modifying the lengths of all of the other hoses to suit my particular needs. With the hoses attached to the condenser, and after making sure they were not chafing in the rubber grommets, I attached the condenser to the brackets mounted on the car on either side of the radiator grill opening.

The next step was to determine the routing of the hoses along the outside of the RH Front Wing Valance and to mount the drier.

Brake Booster Cowl and Vacuum Tank Mounted

Brake Booster Cowl and Vacuum Tank Mounted

The longest #8  13/32″ discharge hose, in my case 93″ long, is used to connect the compressor and the condenser. The 45 degree angle end of the hose attaches to the condenser. The RetroAir instructions call for routing this hose along the outside of and then through the RH engine bay valance. It is suggested that a hole be drilled in the valance suitable for a supplied rubber grommet to then allow the hose to pass through.

In another departure from the RetroAir instructions I chose to cut the hose and install a hard 90 degree hose fitting in the valance. See images below. The hole for the fitting is high on the valance near the bonnet hinge. It is approximately 1 1/2″ behind the lower hinge mounting bolt and about 1/2″ below it. I used a stepped drill bit to drill a 3/4″ hole in the valance for the hose fitting. This image shows the mounting in the wheel well side of the valance.

 
Discharge Hose LH Valance Fitting Location

Discharge Hose LH Valance Fitting Location

These two images show the ninety degree elbow fitting used on the engine bay side of the valance. The hose will channel below the evaporator, rest against the firewall and wrap around to connect with the compressor. I am pleased with this approach as the hose ends up being much less obtrusive in the engine bay than it would have been using the RetroAir routing. 

Discharge Hose LH Valance Fitting Location

Discharge Hose LH Valance Fitting Location

Discharge Hose Routing from Condenser to Compressor

Discharge Hose Routing from Condenser to Compressor

The end of the hose with the ninety degree fitting attaches to the compressor. Again, anti-sieze on the threads and tighten the hose fitting while the condensoer is still loose to avoid binding. Tighten with a 7/8″ wrench.

Hose Fittings and Crimping

Crimping the fittings on the air conditioning hose is really quite easy IF YOU HAVE THE PROPER TOOL! In my case I borrowed a Mastercool crimper from a friend’s shop. The tool can be mounted on a work bench but I just used a vice to hold it in place.

Hose Crimper Tool in Action

The tool uses various size dies that are color coded to match up with whatever size hose fitting you are using. The device is hinged to open, snap the two-piece dies in place and then close around the fitting. The pin on the left side in the image above is then inserted to lock the tool. One then simply turn the tightening shaft with a air gun or big wrench until the jaws of the tool fully close. Using a torque wrench to do the job, I found that approximately 80 lbs of force got the job done.

Hose Crimper Tool Sized Fitting

This happens to be a #10 size hose fitting before crimping.

Hose Fitting Before Crimping

The image below shows the fitting in position ready to crimp. You should have about a 1/4″ of the fitting showing on either side of the crimping dies.

Hose Fitting in Position Before Crimping

As mentioned, I used a torque wrench to tighten the tool.

Crimping Tool Leverage

And here is an example of the finished product:

Hose Crimping Finished Product

I used Thermotec’s Thermo Sleeve product http://www.thermotec.com/products/thermo-sleeve.html to help protect the hoses from the heat radiated from the exhaust manifolds that are unfortunately directly below the hoses mounted to the compressor. I used part number 14010 for the #8 hose and it fit perfectly. I used part number 14015 for the #10 hose. 14015 is a little large for the #10 hose, but it is the closest fit they have. The sleeves come in 3′ and 6′ lengths.

Thermo Sleeve

The image below shows the compressor hoses encased in the thermo sleeves. The ends are clamped to keep hot air out and to keep the appearance neat.

Thermo Sleeve on Air Conditioner Hoses

 

Drier

Whenever one adds modifications to a classic car mounting conflicts with other components must be considered. The RetroAir directions call for mounting the drier on the RH front wing valance assembly (wheel well wall). I planned to mount it at the suggested location, but I wanted to know what my hose runs would be before drilling any mounting holes.

I went to considerable lengths to make sure I wouldn’t encounter mounting problems! I decided to go ahead and mount the brake servo cowl and the reservac vacuum tank to again ensure that I did not have any space conflicts with the hose routing. This required cleaning the mounting area and priming the metal. After drying, I mounted the cowl with eight stainless 1/4″-28 x 1/2″ hex head bolts with shake proof and flat washers.

Brake Booster Cowl Mounted

Brake Booster Cowl Mounted

Brake Booster Cowl Mounted

Brake Booster Cowl Mounted

I then mounted the Reservac vacuum tank. It mounts to the body with two 5/16″-24 x 3/4″ hex bolts, flat and shake proof washers and nuts. A small brace arm connects the vacuum tank to the cowl for additional support.

Brake Booster Cowl and Vacuum Tank Mounted

Brake Booster Cowl and Vacuum Tank Mounted

I installed the front suspension crossmember and the uprated windscreen wiper motor sourced from Classic Motor Cars http://www.classic-motor-cars.co.uk/servicing_types/mk2-lorem/. It requires a different mounting location than the original Lucas motor. With everything in place I was able to place the drier bracket without any worries.

I used a Moroso tank bracket to mount the drier: http://tinyurl.com/kdjbovw it was purchased from Summit Racing.  I used two 5/16″ – 24 x 1 1/2″ with nylock nuts and flat washers for the mounting.  The drier was supplied in the Retro Air kit.

Moroso Drier mounting Bracket

Moroso Drier mounting Bracket

 

Air Conditioning Drier Installed

Air Conditioning Drier Installed

The remaining #6 hose supplied in the RetroAir kit is used to connect the drier to the evaporator. Again, I departed from the RetroAir instructions and installed a hard 90 degree fitting through the valance to route the hose to the evaporator. I just don’t like running the hose through a grommet in the valance wall. My approach also allows for a much tighter fit of the hose against the valance wall – no wide bends.

Also unlike the photos provided in the instructions I decided to mount the new fitting fairly low on the flat triangular panel at the rear of the valance and then run the hose vertically to the evaporator inside the engine bay. I used a stepped drill bit to drill a 5/8″ hole in the valance for the hose fitting. The measurements are approximate. Using the hard fitting did require cutting the kit supplied hose. I did need to purchase additional #6 hose to use on the inside of the engine bay valance from the new fitting to the evaporator.

Location of Hose Fitting Hole in Valance

Location of Hose Fitting Hole in Valance

Installed #6 Hose from Drier to Fitting in Valance

Installed #6 Hose from Drier to Fitting in Valance

This image shows the final mounting and routing of the hoses from the condenser along the RH valance wall. Nice tight fits with nothing rubbing or sagging.

RH Valance Hose Routing

RH Valance Hose Routing

And the image below shows the engine bay side of the installation, from the valance to the evaporator:

#6 Hose from RH Valance to Evaporator

#6 Hose from RH Valance to Evaporator

The final hose, the #8 hose from the evaporator to the compressor (seen in the image above to the upper right), was fit to the evaporator; however, the final length of the hose will be determined once the engine and compressor are installed.

Trinary Safety Switch

The Retro Air kit included a binary switch, but I decided to use a trinary switch. The Vintage Air trinary switch kits combine low and high pressure compressor clutch cut-off functions plus an electric fan engagement signal at 254 psi. The low pressure cut-off of these trinary switches is 30 psi and the high pressure cut-off is 406 psi.

http://www.vintageair.com/Instructions2013/904678.pdf

Vintage Air Trinary Switch

Vintage Air Trinary Switch

Vintage Air Trinary Switch

Vintage Air Trinary Switch

The switch is fastened to the drier via a “T” pipe allowing adjustment in the mounting of the switch.

Trinary Switch, Drier and Wiring Connector

Trinary Switch, Drier and Wiring Connector

There are four wires, two blue and two black, on the switch I purchased. The wiring is explained in detail in the “New Wiring Harness Circuits” post.

British Wiring Waterproof Connector

British Wiring Waterproof Connector

I connected the four wires to a waterproof connector purchased from British Wiring. One blue wire is for ground and the other for fused power. One black wire connects to the compressor and the other to the thermostat controller for the air conditioner.

Battery Relocation to the Boot

The air conditioner evaporator must be mounted where the battery was originally, therefore the battery must be relocated to the boot. That process is described here: https://valvechatter.com/?p=6627

Mounting Brackets, Belts and Pulleys

The illustration below is from The Guide and shows the bracket and pulley modifications for a dealer installed air conditioning system. A “V” belt crankshaft pulley was added in front of the original “W” or double “V” crank pulley. With this design, one “V” belt is used on the “outside” sheave to drive the compressor, tensioner and crankshaft pulley. While the original “W” or double “V” belt is used to drive the “inside” crankshaft pulley, the generator pulley, and the water pump pulley.

In this system, brackets to support the rather large York compressor are seen above the cylinder head, attached to the exhaust manifold, and a quite large heavy duty steel plate/bracket is used to secure the compressor to the three threaded bungs cast in the side of the engine block. One should also note the use of a tensioner pulley with eccentric arm and bracket located at the front of the engine and above the water pump. This pulley is used to tension the belt (and distance it so as to not  conflict with the water pump pulley) used for the crankshaft and compressor pulleys.

Jaguar MK2 Air Conditioing Brackets

Jaguar MK2 Air Conditioing Brackets

Apparently (this is my own assessment and is not supported by any definitive research of which I am aware), somewhere along the line – perhaps with the MK IX? a single twin groove “V” belt pulley was adopted. This is a chipped example:

Chipped Twin Groove "V" belt pulley - MK IX?

Chipped Twin Groove “V” belt pulley – MK IX

I purchased the aluminum alloy driveshaft pulley and water pump pulley from RetroAir as well as an idler pulley. Additionally, and as part of the kit, I purchased the RetroAir compressor bracket. As pointed out at the beginning of this post, The RetroAir approach has all pulleys on one “V” belt. However, in my application I have decided to use a two belt system using “V” pulleys and I have located (with Robert Seligman’s help!) original brackets as depicted in the Jaguar diagram above.

The RetroAir compressor bracket and pulleys may be seen in the image of my engine below:

Rose Engine Pulleys - Early Iteration

Rose Engine Pulleys – Early Iteration

In the image above, the belt is on the wrong side of the jockey pulley and it shows an alternator that is not the Hitachi that I am actually using. The photo is provided solely to show the two aluminum pulleys, the idler pulley, the compressor and the compressor bracket purchased as part of the RetroAir kit. The compressor bracket also has a rear mount and both are supplied in a grey color. I powder coated both black.

The Big Switch

The heart of the pulley/belt system is the crankshaft pulley that drives both belt circuits. I searched and searched for the proper twin groove pulley, if there is such thing, and never came up with it. However, on eBay, I did find a 1990 Jaguar XJS three groove “V” crank pulley. I machined away the outside groove of the pulley and ended up with a crank pulley that I believe will serve my needs.

1990 XJS Crank Pulley as Purchased

1990 XJS Crank Pulley as Purchased

1990 XJS Crank Pulley 2.06" deep after machining

1990 XJS Crank Pulley 2.06″ Deep After Machining

1990 XJS Crank Pulley 5.83" Diameter

1990 XJS Crank Pulley 5.83″ Diameter

The XJS pulley is .65″ larger in diameter than my original MK2 pulley. At just slightly deeper than 2″, the modified XJS crank pulley will fit behind the fan without  conflict. The pulley is mounted to the harmonic balancer with four 5/16″ – 24 x 1-1/4″ hex head bolts. Two bolts use split washers and the other two use a tab washer.

Two-Groove Painted Crank Pulley Installed

Two-Groove Painted Crank Pulley Installed

Having decided on my crankshaft pulley, I then began my search for other parts I needed. I sent emails to all of the Jaguar parts breakers I could think of trying to find original parts. I think it is fair to safe that these are pretty rare. Dan at Jaguar Heaven responded that he had the mounting brackets and parts for the addition of the compressor to a MK2. I ordered and waited hoping that what I purchased was what I really needed. Dan delivered and the parts are shown below after cleaning.

Air Conditioning Brackets and Tensioner Pulley

Air Conditioning Brackets and Tensioner Pulley

I know that Jaguar was very cost conscious, but these brackets are pretty primitive. Note the saw cuts on the tensioner pulley below:

Tensioner Pulley Bracket

Tensioner Pulley Bracket

These are a couple of close up images of the tensioner pulley on its mounting bracket with the adjustable eccentric arm for tensioning the belt.

Tensioner Pulley MK2

Tensioner Pulley MK2

Tensioner Pulley MK2

Tensioner Pulley MK2

I removed the  7/16 ” shoulder bolt connecting the pulley to the MARCO eccentric alarm. I was then able to remove the circlip that was retaining the bearing in the pulley. I then drifted out the bearing and replaced it with a new bearing of the same model number which is 6203RS sourced from VXB.com Ball Bearings. 6203RS has a 17mm inside diameter, a 40 mm outside diameter, and is 12mm wide. I then reinserted the shoulder bolt through the pulley and a quarter inch spacer into the MARCO eccentric arm and tighten the pulley to the arm.

In this image you can see the MARCO lettering on the eccentric arm, the circle and the shoulder bolt.

Tensioner Pulley and Marco Eccentric Arm

Tensioner Pulley and Marco Eccentric Arm

The tensioner pulley bracket is attached to the front of the engine with three bolts and spacers. I used drill bushings for spacers and they were all sourced from McMaster-Carr. The two center and upper studs for the water pump must be removed. I used a stud remover socket for 5/16″ studs to carefully remove the studs. Fortunately, they came right out!

Water Pump Nuts and Studs to be Removed

Water Pump Nuts and Studs to be Removed

Looking at the front of the engine, the upper LH bracket mount uses a 5/16″ – 24 x 3-1/4″ bolt and split washer with a 5/16″ ID, 5/8″ OD and 1-1/4″ long drill bushing spacer. The center and RH mounts for the bracket use coarse thread 5/16″ – 18 x 2″ bolts (they replace the original water pump studs) with split washers and 5/16″ ID, 5/8″ OD, and 1/2″ long drill bushing spacers. Also in the image is the 1/2″ – 20 x 1″ hex head bolt used to attach the pulley eccentric arm to the mounting bracket.

Tensioner Pulley Mounting Plate Drill Bushing Spacers Installed

Tensioner Pulley Mounting Plate Drill Bushing Spacers Installed

Tensioner Pulley Mounting Bracket Installed

Tensioner Pulley Mounting Bracket Installed

The tensioner pulley mounted to the eccentric arm is then secured to the bracket with the 1/2″ – 20 x 1″ bolt.

Tensioner Pulley Eccentric Arm Mounitng Bolt

Tensioner Pulley Eccentric Arm Mounting Bolt

 

Tensioner Pulley Eccentric Arm Installed

Tensioner Pulley Eccentric Arm Installed

Tensioner Pulley on Mounting Plate and Installed

Tensioner Pulley on Mounting Plate and Installed

The compressor bracket is quite a substantial piece. Made of 1/4″ steel plate. The two images below show a trial fitting of the bracket to the engine block. It is secured with three 3/8″-24 x 1″ grade 8 bolts and washers on the side of the block and with one 5/16″ bolt at the front of the engine through the timing chain cover.

Compressor Bracket Trial Fitting

Compressor Bracket Trial Fitting

Compressor Bracket Trial Fitting

Compressor Bracket Trial Fitting

The curvature in the mounting bracket in the second photo is an optical illusion! It is a flat piece of steel with one angled bend as seen in the first image above.

As mentioned previously, the bracket was made for the mounting of a York compressor and I am using a Sanden unit. To accommodate the Sanden Unit I purchased a York-to-Sanden conversion bracket from Vintage Air that sits on top of the bracket in the image above. A fasteners kit with all the hardware needed to interconnect the two brackets and mount the compressor comes with the bracket.

Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket 151610-VUR

Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket 151610-VUR

Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket

Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket

 

 This is an image with the bracket installed using the four 3/8″ – 16 x 1 1/4″ cap screws, flat and split washers. A full list of faster hardware used is found here:Vintage Air York to Sanden Conversion Bracket Kit Hardware
Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket Installed

Vintage Air York to Sanden Mounting Bracket Installed

After ordering the conversion bracket from Vintage Air, I discovered that there is at least one other similar, but not identical, bracket that would have been the better part for me. The curvature in the front mount of the bracket shown in the image above conflicts with the front of the Sanden Compressor if one needs to mount the compressor in front of the bracket attachment ears. I suppose it would work fine if the compressor was mounted behind the bracket mounting ears.  The other commonly available bracket looks like this:

Square Faced Bracket

Square Faced Bracket

Note the mounting brackets are not curved or arched. The square cuts clear the front of the Sanden Compressor. Rather than returning and reordering the proper bracket I just used a grinder to replicate the square cut front. The rear curvature is not an issue. Oh well, live and learn.

Following my little diversion, I did mount the compressor and the conversion bracket to the MK2 bracket.

Compressor to Conversion Bracket

Compressor to Conversion Bracket

Compressor and Conversion Bracket mounted to engine bracket

Compressor and Conversion Bracket Mounted to Engine Bracket

The exercise of installing air conditioning in the MK2 is a trial and error process. The major challenge is the lack of space under the bonnet and in the interior. Once I had the engine in the car and I began installing ancillaries such as the radiator, fan and fan shroud and etc. I quickly discovered that I could not get the fan shroud installed when the compressor was in place and if I tried to install the fan shroud first and then the compressor I could not access the mounting bolts for the York/Sanden mounting bracket to tighten them.  

My solution, was to weld the bolts in place that fasten the York/Sanden bracket to the original York bracket as seen in the photos below:

Original MK2 York Compressor Bracket with Welded Bolts for Sanden Adapter Bracket

The two compressor brackets were painted with POR-15. 

Painted original MK2 York Compressor Bracket with Welded Mounting Bolts for Sanden Adapter Bracket

With the bolts welded to the bracket I no longer have to worry about holding the bolt head with a wrench while I tighten the nuts. This way, I am able to install the fan, modified fan shroud, and radiator and can then “drop” the compressor on its York/Sanden mounting bracket into position and tighten the securing lock washers and nuts.

Compressor on Mounting Bracket Adapter

The bolts, nuts and washers used were provided with the York/Sanden bracket and are 3/8″ – 16 coarse thread fasteners. 

Installing the compressor with its bracket to the original York bracket is a little tricky – not hard, but it does require some fiddling. I first, set the compressor in place over the welded bolts in the York bracket. I then lifted it slightly and inserted a wrench between the two brackets to raise the compressor thereby making it easier to get the washers and nuts on the rear welded bolts. After putting the alternator heat shield in place (see narrative and images below) I could then remove the “spacer” wrench and tighten everything down. The front right bolt/nut is a challenge to access. I never did get it as tight as I might like, but the compressor isn’t going anywhere as the other three mounting points are firmly secured. This bolt/nut is pointed out with a screwdriver tip in an image below.

Alternator and Compressor Heat Shields

The rear of the compressor and alternator is in very close proximity to the front exhaust manifold. I fabricated aluminum heat shields to help protect both from the exhaust heat. They were cut from a panel of corrugated aluminum consisting of two sheets pressed together with internal air voids. The piece I happened to use was a Porsche product a friend gave me.  I cut the shapes I needed and crimped the edges to fit. The advantage of this material is that it is pliable and can be pressed into shape while at the same time it is strong enough to be self-supporting.

The alternator heat shield is installed first. 

The alternator shield mounts to the two rear 3/8″ bolts that secure the York/Sanden conversion bracket to the original Jaguar-York mounting bracket. This is accomplished by setting the compressor in place over the mounting bolts, sliding the compressor fully forward and tilting it slightly forward at the front to slip the shield over the exposed bolts. The wrench in the second photo below is inserted between the two compressor brackets to raise the compressor then making it possible to place the two rear mounting nuts on the bracket bolts. After staring the nuts the wrench is pulled out and then the nuts are tightened after aligning the compressor pulley with the crank and tensioner pulley.

Alternator Heat Shield Install on Compressor Bracket Bolts

Alternator Heat Shield Installed

The compressor shield is mounted to the top two rear compressor mounting ears using two chrome 3/4″ OD, 1-1/2″ long spacers for 3/8″ – 24 x 2-1/2″ hex bolts and internal tooth lock washers and nuts.

Alternator Heat Shield

Alternator Heat Shield

Compressor Heat Shield Mounted on Compressor Top Ears

 

Gap Between Heat Shield and Manifold

Gap Between Heat Shield and Manifold

Alternator & Compressor Heat Shields in Place

Alternator & Compressor Heat Shields in Place

Challenging Nut to Access

Pulley/Belt Circuits

So, I have covered the three pulleys on the “outside” belt circuit in my two belt system – the crank pulley, the tensioner pulley and the compressor. The compressor will use the outside groove and the tensioner pulley aligns with the compressor and the crank shaft pulley thanks to the drill bushings used as spacers. The “outside belt” I used is 1/2″ “V” belt ordered from Advance Auto Supply. I like to get expendable items like these at a common auto supply house when possible so that if the belt breaks I can easily pick up a new one. It is a DAYCO 17555  13A1410 that is 55.5″.

The “inside” belt circuit consists of the crankshaft pulley, the water pump pulley and the alternator pulley . I am using the water pump pulley provided in the RetroAir kit. It is aluminum alloy.

Water Pump Pulley

Water Pump Pulley

It measures 5.65″ in diameter. It is secured to the water pump with four 5/16″ – 24 x 1″ hex head bolts through the fan.

The alternator pulley is 2.6″ in diameter and was machined to fit the Hitachi alternator. It mounts to the original dynamo/motor mount bracket and is adjusted with a custom swing bracket. The swing bracket is painted black before final assembly. At the alternator, a 5/16″ID x 1/2″ drill bushing is used as a stand-off to move the swing bracket away from the alternator casing and at the bracket’s other mounting point a 5/16″ID x 7/8″ drill bushing is used as a spacer on the lower RH water pump hex head bolt. To account for the extra length of the bushing, a 5/16″ – 24 x 3-3/4″ hex head bolt is used. In the image it appears that the compressor belt is hitting the alternator pulley, but there is sufficient distance between the two.

Hitachi Alternator, Pulley and Swing Bracket

Hitachi Alternator, Pulley and Swing Bracket

It has been a long journey to this point, but that completes the components for both pulley/belt paths. The “Outside” path is tensioned with the adjustment of the tensioner pulley and the “inside” path is tensioned by adjusting the alternator on the swing bracket. This is an image of the completed  system:

Completed Pulleys and Belts

Completed Pulleys and Belts

The chart below provides a summary of pulley sizes and ratios along with RPMs of each pulley when the crankshaft pulley is turning 1,000 RPM:

Accessory Pulley Diameter RPM
Crank 5.83” 1,000
Alternator 2.61” 2234
Water Pump 5.66” 1030
Compressor 5.197” 1122

Motor Fan

The cooling fan for the motor is addressed in the Cooling Post. I am using a modified fan sourced from Guy Broad Jaguar in the UK.

Controls and Electrical Connections

The wiring of the air conditioning system in my Jaguar MK2 is described more fully in the “Building a Wiring Harness” Post. The components in the electrical wiring include: the compressor, the trinary pressure safety switch, the radiator fan, the blower, the radiator fan manual override toggle switch, the coolant temperature sensor switch at the radiator, and the fused power source. Plus the operating controls consisting of two rotary switches, one for the blower fan speeds and the other for the adjustment of air temperature.

I have only seen a few cars with the RetroAir kits installed. The ones I have seen typically have the thermostat switch and the blower switch mounted in a plastic housing below the dash on the passenger side of the car. The housing is provided in the RetroAir kit. The photo below shows a typical installation:

Air Conditioning Controls Below the Dash

Air Conditioning Controls Below the Dash

The kit installation looks nice and certainly fits with the central gauge panel theme, but I wasn’t keen on using a plastic housing for the controls and I wanted a more stealth appearance. I was motivated by a photo of a J.D. Classics MK2 that apparently had an integrated heating/cooling system.

J.D. Classic Air Conditioning/ Heating Controls

J.D. Classic Air Conditioning/ Heating Controls

 

So I too decided to mount the switches where the console ash tray is mounted. This turned into a big job that took quite a long time because fitment was all by trial and error. I will not claim that what I ended up doing is the proper way to attack this issue, but it produced the desired effect.

The challenge is that the two control switches have to be mounted low enough to avoid the knobs contacting the ash tray lid. As can be seen in the images below, this required cutting and modifying the gearbox cover.

Location of Air Conditioner Control Switches

Location of Air Conditioner Control Switches

Location of Air Conditioner Control Switches

Location of Air Conditioner Control Switches

The switches need to be moved to the outside of the ashtray opening to clear the gearbox, but there is room on each side to make things work. One also needs to account for the wiring terminals and wiring that exits the bottom of both switches.

I created fiberglass”pockets” on each side of the gearbox cover so that the switches would be sealed from the elements and to keep heat and fumes from the gearbox entering the interior of the car. I am inexperienced in these things so cutting the openings to fit (the switches are not the same size) was a bit tricky and I am embarrassed by my fiberglass work, but all of this is hidden by the console.

Modified Gearbox Cover for Air Conditioning Switches

Modified Gearbox Cover for Air Conditioning Switches

Underside of Modified Gearbox Cover with Closed Cell Foam Gasket

Underside of Modified Gearbox Cover with Closed Cell Foam Gasket

I decided that it was best to mount the switches to the gearbox cover rather than to the ash tray assembly. This allows one to complete the wiring before the console is mounted which turns out to be much easier than the alternative. I glued a wood block to the center of the gearbox cover between the switch “pockets” to which I mounted a steel strip with openings drilled for the the switches and for two stainless  #10 – 1″ screws. I intentionally made the block a little lower than what was ultimately needed, electing to then use shims to get the proper height for the ash tray mounting – easier to see in a photo than to describe:

Air Conditioning Switches Mounted to Gearbox Cover

Air Conditioning Switches Mounted to Gearbox Cover

I then cut a flat piece of aluminum sheet to fit inside the ash tray assembly and drilled holes for the switches. After installing this cover plate I pushed the rubber switch knobs onto their stems and I have my stealth air conditioning controls!

Aluminum Cover Panel for Air Conditioning Controls

Aluminum Cover Panel for Air Conditioning Controls

I will cover the aluminum sheet with leather matching the interior. The Vintage Air supplied graphic knob surrounds are really too small in this application. As you can see, the fan control wording is hidden by the knob. I will have a trophy shop engraver make some polished engraved plates to surround each knob as seen in roughed-out fashion below:

Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Radiator Fan, and Heat Evacuation Blower Switches

Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Radiator Fan, and Heat Evacuation Blower Switches

Getting closer to a finished product, I have added two small rocker switches and the cruise control module to the space formerly occupied by the ash tray that I would have never used. I think that once this is all covered in leather and I have proper knob surround plates this will look quite handsome – but as always, that is just my opinion!

Engine Cooling

Engine Cooling

Water circulation is assisted by an impeller type pump mounted on the front cover of the engine, the system being pressurized and thermostatically controlled.

 

The Cooling System

The Cooling System

Water Pump and Pulley

I replaced the original water pump with a new “upgraded” unit sourced from SNG Barratt.

Water Pump 

An alloy “V” belt water pump pulley was purchased with the air conditioning components from RetroAir. It measures 5.65″ in diameter and is secured to the pump with four 5/16″ – 24 x 1-1/4″ hex bolts

Water Pump Pulley

 Belt, Driving Fan

I used a 1/2″ “V” belt ordered from Advance Auto Supply. I like to get expendable items like these at a common auto supply house when possible so that if the belt breaks I can easily pick up a new one. The belt in the image below is NOT the one that I ended up using. The belt rides on the crankshaft, water pump and alternator pulleys and it is a DAYCO 17415  13A1055 that is 41.5″.

Classic half inch V Belt 39.5 Inside Measurement and 41.5 Outside

Fan

I  installed a higher performance fan than the original. I purchased it from Guy Broad in the U.K. It is some form of plastic/nylon and each blade has a greater angle to catch more air than the original. Unfortunately, I found that to accommodate the air conditioning compressor without conflict, it was necessary to trim an 1/8″ off each fan blade. This was accomplished fairly easily. I will check, and adjust if need be, the balance of the fan before final installation.

Guy Broad Fan

Guy Broad Fan

Guy Broad Fan Trimmed to Fit

Guy Broad Fan Trimmed to Fit

Adding the belt tensioner pulley for the air conditioning also created a clearance problem with the fan blades. I installed four 1/4″ bushings/spacers between the fan and the water pump pulley to move the fan slightly forward.I used a very small amount of dum-dum to hold the spacers in place as I mounted the fan to the water pump pulley.

Fan Spacers with dumdum

Moving the fan forward the 1/4″ did not create an issue with the radiator! Because of adding the spacers I changed the original fan mounting bolts to 5/16″ – 24 x 1 1/4″ hex head bolts with flat and shakeproof washers.

Tensioner Pulley and Fan Blade Clearance

Radiator Fan Shroud

New fiberglass fan shrouds can be purchased from SNG Barratt. I found it necessary to modify the shroud slightly to provide clearance for the air conditioning compressor, the lower radiator tank  hose fitting and for the crankshaft pulley. 

Fan Shroud Opening Modification to accommodate the Sanden Compressor

Fan Shroud Opening Modification for the lower radiator hose fitting

The shroud is secured to the radiator by fastening it to four 5/16″ – 24 studs on the radiator using stainless flat washers, shakeproof washers and hex nuts. the slots cut into the shroud from the manufacturer were not sufficiently large to fit properly so each of the four mounting holes was somewhat enlarged using a dremel tool.

Enlarged Fan Shroud Mounting Holes

After a trial fitting of the shroud I found that I did not like the original silver/grey color of the shroud and painted it gloss black to match the upper radiator tank.

Radiator

I had chosen to replace the original radiator with an aluminum unit made by Wizard to improve cooling and assist with the air conditioning system. I purchased the radiator from RetroAir with my other air conditioning components. It looked beautiful!

I ended up not using the Wizard unit because it did not fit properly. It sat too high, contacting the bonnet, and because of the wider upper tank it did not allow sufficient space for the wiring harness that travels across the front of the radiator from the LH valance to the RH valance. A sad and expensive lesson. I could have modified the aluminum unit to fit but could not solve the wiring harness problem to my satisfaction.

I decided to return to my original radiator but had it recored by Blue Sky Radiator with a modern cooling matrix. I painted the sides of the assembly and the lower tank with POR-15 after using their metal prep product. I then used progressively finer sandpaper to prepare the upper tank surface and then painted it with a Duplicolor self etching primer (three coats) and Duplicolor Engine High Temperature Gloss Black spray paint (also three coats). I just lightly dusted the front of the core with the high temperature paint as I wanted to avoid affecting the heat radiation properties of the radiator to the extent possible. I did not paint the rear face of the core. I was pleased with the results:

Painted and Recored Original Radiator

Painted and Recored Original Radiator

Installing the Radiator and Shroud

After the fan is mounted to the water pump pulley, it is necessary to loosely position the shroud over and behind the fan.

Fan Shroud in Position for Radiator Install

LH and RH rubber pads and distance tubes for mounting the radiator block to the car need to be located in the mounting holes in the frame.

Radiator Mounting Rubber Pads, Distance Tubes, and special washers

One can then carefully manipulate (not quite as easy as it sounds) the radiator downward as the fan blade is turned by hand. The radiator lower mounting studs need to fit into the rubber pads and distance tubes and then through the frame. Once the radiator is in place, another rubber pad, the special washer and a 3/8″ nylock nut can be loosely secured to the mounting stud. The shoulders on the rubber pads need to face the hole in the frame.

Rubber Pad, Distance Tube, Special Washer and 3/8″ Nylock Nut Lower Radiator Mount

Once the lower mounting hardware is fastened, the two upper mounts on the LH and RH sides of radiator can be secured using the special 3/8″ – 24 bolts, rubber pads and distance tubes. I had cleaned these special purpose bolts and had them zinc plated.

With the four radiator mounting points all secured, the fan shroud can then be mounted to the four radiator studs using flat and shakeproof washers with 5/16″-24 hex head nuts. I then back-tracked and tightened down all the fittings.

Both the upper and lower radiator hoses can then be fitted to the radiator and Jubilee Clips tightened.

Hose from Bottom of Radiator Block to Water Pump with Size 2A Jubilee hose clip

The images below show the radiator assembly with the black fan shroud mounted in the car:

Radiator, Fan Shroud and Upper Hose in Place

As can be seen in the image above, Jaguar provided an overflow outlet from the radiator neck. I attached and clamped a 5/16″ drain hose from the outlet. For the moment I have it draining to the ground as I am not sure if it will be needed. I plan to use Evans Waterless Coolant in my car. The Evans product supposedly produces very little pressure. This is a subject I will address in greater detail later. Should I find that the drain is needed I will find a place SOMEWHERE for a collector bottle. The image below shows the drain hose and clamp used.

Radiator Coolant 5/16″ Drain Hose

Radiator Drain Tap

I disassembled the brass drain tap and after cleaning and lubricating I reinstalled it in the refurbished radiator. I did not have a fabric washer that fit so I used a rubber “O” ring. The drain tap is not installed in the radiator until AFTER the radiator is mounted in the car. Otherwise it becomes an obstacle in mounting the radiator.

Drain Tap for Radiator Block with rubber O ring

As originally configured, Jaguar provided a proper remote control for the drain tap, allowing the owner to open the drain valve by simply turning the control rod rather than crawling under the car. See the image below. Unfortunately, I am unable to use this control rod because its mounting bracket contacts the air conditioning compressor. I will just have to crawl under the car an operate the drain tap by hand!
control-rod-assembly-operating-drain-tap-1

 

Hoses and Temperature Sender

I replaced all rubber in the car including the heater and engine cooling hoses. Here are the three primary coolant hoses with new Jubilee clamps. The top water hose, from radiator block to water pump, the hose from the bottom of radiator block to water pump, and the by-pass water hose.

Primary Coolant Hoses

Primary Coolant Hoses

I debated for some time about where to install the water temperature sending unit to control the operation of the electric fan. These are typically placed in the engine, on the lower radiator tank, the upper radiator tank, or in an especially designed coupler inserted into the upper radiator hose. I decided against modifying the original radiator and ultimately chose to use a hose coupler. I cut the upper 1-1/2″ hose and inserted the coupler. The clamps are 32-50mm.

Fan Thermo Switch in Hose Coupler

I used a SPAL Automotive USA IX-185-2TS Fan Sending Unit purchased from Summit Racing Equipment https://www.summitracing.com/search?SortBy=BestKeywordMatch&SortOrder=Ascending&keyword=SPU-IX-1852TS.  It threads into the coupler with a 3/8″-18 NPT thread and turns off at 165 degrees F., and turns on at 185 degrees F. I liked this switch because it has a separate wire to ground rather than relying on the body of the switch for ground. The aluminum coupler was purchased on ebay: Radiator Sensor Tube Adapter Water temperature Gauge 1-1/2″ OD 3/8″ NPT (141025992422).

SPAL Thermo Switch

The Adaptor, In Inlet Manifold, For Water Feed to Heater Unit

The original Adaptor, In Inlet Manifold, For Water Feed to Heater Unit was corroded badly, so I replaced the adaptor with a new one sourced from SNG Barratt, including a new fiber washer.

Adaptor In Inlet Manifold for Water Feed to Heater Unit

Adaptor In Inlet Manifold for Water Feed to Heater Unit

Radiator Cap

The MK2 used a 4 lb. cap originally and may have gone to a 7 lb. cap later in production. I am not sure. I sourced a new 7 lb. cap from M&C Wilkinson in the U.K. for my MK2. It is important to get the proper length cap so as to achieve the right seal in the radiator neck.

7 lb. Radiator Cap