May 092013

The thickness of the pipe insulation hindered the positioning of the rack in the bulkheadThe final item to install within the bulkhead was the wiper rack, which really ought to be very straight forward. However the thickness of the heater pipe insulation I’d used caused problems again. The reduced clearance stopped the entire rack to be fed into the bulkhead as one unit.

After several attempts using different angles/orientations, I conceded defeat and decided the quickest method would be to build the rack in situ.

The obvious issue being that if anything is dropped it could be a real problem fishing it out, now the pipes are all in place.

The two end splined drives were detached from the main rack frame so they could be losely fitted separately. No matter what I tried, I then couldn’t get the central splined drive and main rack frame to fit onto the two ends.

Some head scratching later and my laughable error became clear. I was trying to fit it the wrong way round, with the splined drives facing the screen rather than away from it! Muppet!

An end splined drive reconnected with the main rack frame The wiper rack finally fitted the correct way round!!

Once corrected it, unsurprisingly, fitted without any issues. The final fettling of the adjustable links and connection to the motor will be done once the screen has been put in place.

 Posted by at 9:57 am
May 092013

There’s little worth noting regarding the fitting of the windscreen washer and jets. Fortunately the chromed jets were the first thing I’d decided to install before the bulkhead pipes and wiper rack, which made it possible to fish out dropped washers and wing nuts.

The washer plumbing was left until all the heater and vacuum pipes were in place to avoid it getting in the way.

I managed to succeed in making life hard for myself by putting the washer jets in place and then attempting to fit the washer and wing nut one handed from underneath.

I’d lost count of the number of times I’d dropped either the washer, the nut or both. Finally common sense prevailed.

They could easily be moved and held in position by placing the wings of the nut between the forefingers and balancing the washer on top. The washer jet can then be screwed in from above until it had engaged with the nut, then finally tightened up from below.

My decision to insulate the internal bulkhead heater pipes also caused problems with the routing of the washer piping through into the bulkhead. The heater pipe passes very close to the hole for the washer piping and so the insulation was blocking the way.

Finally, to keep the tubing neat and tidy and away from the moving parts of the wiper rack, it was zip tied to the wiper rack frame.

May 072013

Several weeks ago I’d dropped off a box full of parts, including the heater and vacuum pipes, at the local powder coaters. Rather timely, they were ready for collection just before the bank holiday and one with fair weather forecast to boot! A good chance to crack on.

Fortunately you can’t go wrong with the orientation of the heater pipes and the vacuum pipes are fairly obvious. One vacuum pipe is straight (V2 in the photos) and one has a slight kink (V1) to bypass an entry point in the bulkhead. The entry point was originally blanked off so I assume this must have been for air conditioning or a fitting for LHD cars.

The fitting sequence is also obvious, working from the bottom up: H1, V1, V2, H2 and finally H3. My three heater pipes were new so I’d had a trial fitting of all the pipes and the bulkhead flanges so I wasn’t expecting too many headaches.

I’d picked up three tips from the E-Type forum from others who had gone through the same process:

  • Insulate the heater pipes to stop unwanted heat within the bulkhead
  • Use tape around the flanges to protect the paint when riveting
  • Feed rope or cord through the pipe so, when pulled, it would force the pipe flanges hard against the inside face of the bulkhead

All seemed sensible advice so I purchased some dense foam, pipe insulation. The other issue I’d already found was that the shoulder of the rivet gun was too wide to get the mussel onto the rivet head.

I spent a while looking for alternative rivet guns before someone pointed out the obvious; grind down the side of the rivet gun to reduce the width. A few minutes on a bench grinder and I was all set.

The first of many headaches was that I’d decided to route the vacuum and wiring cable for the EDIS Megajolt ignition within the bulkhead void. So this had to be removed temporarily to provide enough space to work. As I’d previously waxoyled the bulkhead, the whole process was a very messy business!

The tip of feeding rope down the pipes was really helpful. I fed a long length of garden wire down the pipes and, in Heath Robinson fashion, tied the ends behind me. I could then lean back pulling the pipes against the bulkhead while having my hands free for riveting.

Even so, I still managed to miss out the pipe flange when I riveted one end of the first pipe. The exterior flange was securely fixed to the bulkhead while the pipe was free to move!

I ended up cursing the fact that I’d insulated the lower heater pipe. At least I probably should have used much thinner lagging. It made the fitting of the lower vacuum pipe so much harder and later the routing of the windscreen washer tubing.

Even though I’d trial fitted the pipes, when it came to actually fitting them, I had problems aligning the holes in the two flanges and the bulkhead for every single pipe. I’d passed a 3.2mm drill through each hole as the pipes had subsequently been powder coated but still there wasn’t enough tolerance.

I’m also glad I taped the surrounding area as the head of the rivet gun tends to jump off the rivet when the pin snaps. I’m sure I’d have had several chips without it. In fact the only touching up needed was to one of the flanges but this was more to do with the adhesion of the Hammerite to the zinc plating.

Initially I’d only ground down one side of the rivet gun mussel. This was fine for the right hand ends of the vacuum pipes but useless for the gun orientation needed for the left hand side. Rather than stop and grind down the gun, I had a numpty moment and decided to fit the other heater pipes above before returning to finish off the troublesome vacuum pipes.

The pipe insulation was causing issues fitting the left hand side of the lower vacuum pipe so I thought I’d have to remove it. With the heater pipes fitted above there’s was no chance of getting at the vacuum pipes. So I just had to struggle on and finally managed to rivet them in place.

If I had the misfortune to have to do this again I wouldn’t bother with the insulation on the lower heating pipe, I’d waxoyl after installation and only move on to the next pipe once the lower one is completed. At last the long running saga of the bulkhead heater and vacuum pipes was over!!!

Now I can get on fitting the bulkhead components …..

Update: I’ve since read on the E-Type forum that uninsulated heater pipes can deliver sufficient heat to soften the surrounding waxoyl so it becomes runny and can drip everywhere. Therefore it’s probably is wise to insulate the lower pipe after all.

Jan 292013

Even though the pipe end centres were 6mm too wide, there wasn’t sufficient flex in the pipe to ‘persuade’ it to go in. When I originally measured the centres distance of 22¾” (578mm), the accuracy of the measurement wasn’t helped by the fact that there wasn’t a clear line of sight between the holes on the bulkhead as the engine stabiliser bracket is in the way.

At least the fabricated pipe could now be used to obtain an exact spacing of the bulkhead holes. The pipe was cut in half, shortened and a dowel inserted. The two halves could then be adjusted on the dowel to fit the bulkhead. The correct centres distance was 3/32” shorter than my original measurement …. ooops!

A while later, the MkIII heater pipe was dropped off …. would it fit and would the saga be over?? As soon as I got back from the office I dashed into the garage to trial fit the new pipe. It was spot on, much to the relief of all concerned!

A mock up of the bulkhead was made in aluminium sheet to ensure everything would fit this time around

It was suggested to re-title the blog entry to ‘How my F1-engineer-mate made a bl00dy great meal of remaking a simple water pipe’. The irony is even that was too long for the blog title field! Anyway, the reason the first pipe didn’t fit was as much down to my inability to use a tape measure as it was in the fabrication.

The photo shows the difference in the bend radius between the two pipes. The tighter bend in the MkIII version means the pipe is perpendicular where it passes through the flange.

The heater pipes are one of the first items that need to be installed on a rebuild so I was looking forward to fitting them at last and cracking on with the rebuild.

I should have known better …. the collar on my rivet gun is too wide, so it fouls on the protruding pipe and can’t reach the rivet head! How can something a simple as a heating pipe cause so much grief?!?

Nov 112012

The lower heater pipe was damaged when it was removed from the bulkhead so it needed to be replaced. Unfortunately the suppliers don’t offer the individual pipes (what a surprise!) so I had to buy the complete set of three pipes.

This should have been the end of my woes but sadly it was far from it! While shifting the various parts in storage, some weighty items were put on top of the new pipes and the new lower pipe was bent beyond use. Another Tourettes moment!

At this point the going rate for new pipe sets, which are essentially only a few bits of bent copper pipe, was the best part of £70. Dick Turpin would have been proud of that robbery! So I ordered sufficient 1/2″ copper pipe to remake the offending pipe myself.

The problem I hadn’t envisaged was that my small pipe bender didn’t go up to 1/2″ pipes and my normal plumbing pipe bender couldn’t provide the necessary tight bend that was needed. Due to the lack of space in the bulkhead the bends in the lower pipe have a very tight radius. I was stumped!

I turned to a friend who works in motorsport to seek help. Fortunately he offered to have a pipe made up, however that was far from the end of the problems! I handed over the remnants of the bent replacement pipe, the new copper pipe and the dimensions.

The repro pipe which I'd stupidly bent the repro pipe beyond use and it's replacment

After a few emails confirming dimensions etc, the replacement pipe was ready for collection a few weeks later. It didn’t fit …. it was slightly too long.

What I’d failed to mention was the bent pipe I’d supplied as the ‘template’ wasn’t the original pipe and I’d not trial fitted it. Like most of the repro parts it looks ok on the surface. That is until you get round to fitting it! The bends in the repro part weren’t tight enough and the flanges had been brazed mid-bend. It would never have fitted and so using it as template to replicate the require bend wasn’t such a good idea! The replicated bend on the right shows the probelm.

Ideally the distance between the Pipe End centres (red) and the Flange centres (yellow) needs to be the same, or at least much closer than they were. The Flange centres distance is obviously set by the spacing between the two bulkhead holes, which are only just large enough to get the pipe ends through. If the Pipe Ends centres distance is greater by any more than 1-2mm then the ends will not fit through the bulkhead holes. Some leeway is available as the pipe can be flexed over its length.

The fitting issues were reported back so I needed to order some new copper piping for Pipe Version 2. I re-ordered the copper piping from the same supplier requesting the same order as before – 30″ of 1/2″ copper pipe. For some reason, only known to the ex-supplier, the pipe was delivered in three small pipes of 10″ as they price it per 25cm! Beyond belief!

I found another source of 1/2″ copper piping however they had a minimum order of 3 metres. Even so, it was still cheaper than 30″ lengths from ‘craft’ retailers. A few days later an articulated lorry turned up with a huge 3m cardboard box with said pipe rattling around inside! This was getting like a farce in one of Tom Sharpe’s Wilt novels!

Oct 112012

Wiper arm spline driveThe general consensus from people who have gone through a full rebuild is that one of the first tasks is to fit the various pipes and components within the bulkhead, before access becomes too restricted. So I set to work on the wiper rack. It was working fine but had started to show signs of rust so I decided to smarten it up. Yet again, in my enthusiasm to press on, I forgot to take some decent before photos. The only difficult part during the dismantling was the removal of the rear brackets from the three splined drive assemblies, which needed to be pressed off. The rest of the parts were simply secured by nuts or circlips.

Splined wiper blade drives - the central drive (uppermost) has a spacer between the drive and the rear bracketThe wiper arm splines on each of the three splined drives weren’t in the best of shape but were still serviceable. Which is just as well as the only replacement I could find was for a fully remanufacturer rack. Due to the shape of the rack, the central drive has a longer shaft than the outer two and so has a spacer fitted between the drive and the rear bracket.

With the exception of the angled bezels and chromed parts, the individual parts followed the now standard cleaning process: immersion in a citric based rust remover overnight, wire brushing, zinc plating/passivation and finally coated with Gtechniq S1. Meanwhile the outer bezels and retaining nuts had been sent off to be chrome plated.

The synchronisation of the rotation of the three splined drives is achieved by two connecting rods, with the central drive also having a connecting rod to the wiper motor to provide the drive. At each rod end is a ball-joint fitting which is secured by a small, horseshoe shaped, snap-lock clip shown below. Unfortunately one of the tiny snap-lock ‘ears’ made a break for freedom and, despite a hands and knees search of the living room carpet, was never to be seen again! The only option available was to purchase a complete socket unit which included the clip and the inevitable robbing by the E-Type parts suppliers!!

Original & new snap-locks Wiper rack components Reassembled splined drives

The original snap-lock clip on the right and the rather expensive complete socket unit, on left

Wiper rack parts plated and chromed, ready for the rebuild

Rear brackets reassembled onto splined drives

The connecting rods are connected to the central wiper drive by a series of spring washers, nylon guides and secured with a circlip. All very straight forward. All that remains is to fit the rack and connect the central drive to the wiper motor. I think it will be necessary to fit the washer jets and tubing before the rack as there’s not a lot of room in the bulkhead.

Refitting parts order Connecting Rods refitted Completed wiper rack

Apr 242012

As with all the other electrical units, the alloy parts were was ultrasonically cleaned and then sprayed with Gtechniq S1 SmartMetal while the other steel parts were zinc-nickel plated. The next two tasks were to sort out the gearbox lid which had been distorted and also to strip and paint the yoke.

The offending motor gearbox lid after several attempts at heat shrinkingThe centre area of the gearbox lid has been stretched at some point. Therefore its outer perimeter no longer made a continuous seal and so would allow water into the gearbox housing.

The suggested solution was to heat shrink the centre section of the lid to reverse the deformation – heating the centre of the lid to near red heat and then rapidly cooling. After several attempts of heating the lid with a gas blow torch and cooling using a can of compressed CO2, all I succeeded in doing was to work harden it in exactly the same shape as before. Aaaaaaargh!

It probably needs to be heated to a much higher temperature using oxy acetylene. In the end I cheated to avoid holding up the rebuild and obtained a replacement lid. When I get time I’ll give it a proper go at flattening the lid, as I would like to keep the original with the correct stampings.

The wiper motor yoke painted in silver hammerite .... at some point I'll repaint in the correct colourNext up was the yoke which contains the two permanent magnets. The magnets can be removed by lifting the retaining clips so the yoke could then be shot blasted before being painted in silver hammerite. I was quite pleased with the finished article even though the silver hammerite was not quite the correct colour.

During the refurbishing of the cooling fan motors I had found a dark silver hammered paint from Rust-oleum, which is very similar to the orginal colour. At some stage I will re-paint the round bodied yoke but decided to put it off for now. Mainly because of the difficulty I’d had getting a good finish with the Rust-oleum product.

Fortunately the armature wasn’t in such a bad state as those in the cooling fan motors and so all that was required was some light wire brushing and polishing before the S1 SmartMetal coating. I had investigated the availability of new brushes and parking switch units but these seemed to be rather difficult to get hold of. Therefore when I spotted a ‘new, old stock’ brush unit for sale I thought I’d get it as a spare for the future. However I’ve not yet found anyone who can supply the parking switch units.

Cleaned armature Triple Brushes Wiper Motor Parts

The armature was wired brushed to remove the worse of the rust. It was then polished and finally sprayed with Gtechniq S1

The armature brushes and parking switch unit

The wiper motor compentent ready for the rebuild, including the spare armature brushes unit

The rebuild starts with installing the armature brushes and parking switch unit, as these are wired together. The brushes are secured by three small setscrews and the connecting wiring passes through a notch in the motor gearbox housing.

The parking switch is secured by two setscrews from the inside of the gearbox compartment, as shown in the middle photo below. This also shows the protruding parking switch plunger which is activated by a cam on the underside of the gear wheel. The cam positioning is such that it operates the switch when the wiper blades return to their normal rest position.

First fit the brushes Parking switch attachment ACF50 applied to Yoke

The brushes and the parking switch unit are the first to be fitted

The parking switch is attached by two setscrews from inside the gearbox housing. Note the switch plunge which operates when the wipers return to their normal rest position

The interior of the yoke was sprayed with ACF50 which provides a good protection from moisture

After several attempts at fitting the armature and yoke, I found it easier to first fit the armature into the brushes and motor gearbox and then fit the yoke. With this approach its was necessary to hold the armature’s worm drive from within the gearbox so that, when fitting the yoke, the yoke’s magnets didn’t pull the armature out of the brushes. Also don’t do what I did and forget to fit the plain washer between the armature and motor gearbox housing!

Care was also needed in making sure that the thrust and fibre washers were correctly seated in the yoke bearing housing. The easiest way to do this was to join the two with yoke positioned so the ‘bearing’ housing was facing downwards.

Initially I tried to put the armature into the yoke and then attach them both to the motor gearbox. However the problem was it was then difficult to withdraw the three sprung brushes at the same time as inserting the armature, because the yoke restricted access to the brushes.

The middle photo below shows the arrow head marking on the motor gearbox and a corresponding line on the yoke. These need to be aligned when refitting. Also shown is the threaded armature stop. This was then screwed into the gearbox housing until it touched the nylon cap on the armature shaft, before being backed off a 1/4 of a turn.

Next fit the armature Alignment markings Belleville washer goes here

The brushes were then withdrawn to allow the armature to be inserted

The markings on the motor gearbox housing and the yoke must be aligned when re-fitting

The Belleville washer provides pre-load for the armature shaft

The Belleville washers is then positioned within the gearbox before inserting the geared output shaft. The rest of the gearbox was then filled with grease before the output rotatry link and gearbox lid were refitted. The rubber moulding sealing the output shaft area had hardened and split.

At the time I dismantled the motor, it was one of the few parts that wasn’t being remanufactured. Probably because it was only used on the Series 2. However by the time I has started the rebuild, one of the suppliers had made a small batch so I decided to grab one while still available.

Re-packed with grease Output rotary link Motor rebuild completed!

The geared output shaft (just about visible) was inserted and then the remaining space packed with grease

The output rotry link was refitted which also secures the geared output shaft. Although I'd forgotten to insert the rubber seal first .... so I'll have to refit it

The completed wiper motor

The only thing that remains is to adjust the various wiper motor & rack linkages which can only be done once they’re installed in the car. People usually leave the installation of the windscreen until the latter stages of a rebuild. I guess this is because it would restrict access to dash area. However I’m tempted to install the windscreen as soon as the dash wiring looms and dash panels are in place. Therefore I’ll be able to adjust the linkages before the bulkhead access become restricted.

Feb 232012

A rather grubby wiper motorThe wiper motor in the S2 is a Lucas Type 15W motor, the output of which drives a connecting rod to the triple wiper rack. From what I can tell the 15W motor essentially works in the same manner as the DL3 wiper motors used in the earlier cars, except that the parking switch is now internal within the 15W.

There are two main sections of the wiper motor; a round bodied section (which acts as the yoke, completing the magnetic circuit) and the motor gearbox. The round bodied section has two permanent field magnets attached to its inner wall and houses the motor’s armature. At the end of the armature shaft is a worm drive that drives the geared output shaft in the motor gearbox.

Worm drive at the end of the armature shaftThe two long yoke retaining bolts were removed which enabled the round bodied section and armature to be carefully withdrawn until the worm drive is free. Unchecked, the action of the worm drive would pull the armature shaft further into the motor gearbox. A threaded stop screw limits the permitted travel of the armature shaft and there’s also flat thrust washer between the armature and motor gearbox.

The internals were quite badly corroded ... like everything else!The armature can then be withdrawn from the yoke. Although a reasonable amount of force is required to overcome the magnetic attraction between the permanent magnets and the armature.

The interior of the yoke was fairly heavily rusted and all the tiny, loose rust particles were now annoyingly attached to the permanent magnets.

The thrust plate and fibre washer in the 'bearing housing'The end of the armature rotates in, what the manual describes as, a bearing housing in the cap of the yoke. However there isn’t a bearing as such. Only a small thrust plate and fibrous washer. I didn’t realise they were there at the time of dismantling so I was lucky not to lose them.

A cover on the main motor housing provides access to the geared output drive. Sometime in the past this cover had become deformed and so it no longer provided a tight seal around its full perimeter (just about visible in the lower photo to the right).

The main housing cover had been deformed creating a gap which would allow water inThe cover can be pressed back into shape but it immediately pops back, in a similar manner to the lid of an opened jar. I think it’s referred as oil canning and is a result of the centre area of the lid having been stretched.

It should be possible to reverse the stretching by heat shrinking the centre of the plate but that will have to wait until the rebuild.

Removing the cover revealed copious amounts of thick brown grease. I think the grease had dried out long ago and it was surprising the motor was able to turn at all! The rest of the dismantling was very straight forward.

Hardened grease within Worm drive engaged Triple armature brushes

Over time the grease had dried out and hardened. It was surprising the gear could actually turn

Armature worm drive re-engaged for photo. Armature free play is set by tightening a screw, just visible on the left


As the wiring between the armature brushes and the parking switch unit is fixed, they had to be removed together. This required the removal of the geared output shaft to gain access to the screws securing the parking switch unit. The output rotary link is removed which enabled the geared output shaft to be withdrawn.

Output rotary link Geared output shaft Parking switch screws

Removal of the output rotary link

Withdrawing the geared output shaft

The removal of the gear wheel provides access to the screws securing the parking switch unit

The geared output shaft has a Belleville washer (conical spring washer) inside the motor gearbox to provide pre-loading and a flat washer between the motor gearbox and the rotary link.

Parking switch wiring Belleville washer Rear rubber seal

The motor has three brushes to provide dual speed operation, which are connected the parking unit

Conical spring washer between the geared output shaft and the motor gearbox

Motor gearbox and the rubber moulding sealing the output shaft had hardened over time