Jun 092015

My list of tasks to finish off the interior trim has been getting shorter and shorter, without even lifting a finger …. meanwhile Suffolk & Turley’s list has been getting longer and longer! The two vinyl-covered panels for each B-post were offered up and it appears that some metal might need to be removed from the panels. So I thought it best to consult them before getting the grinder out!

The first panel is attached to the face of the B-post and creates a ‘closing’ flange against the door card. It needs to be positioned to:

  • allow for the thickness of the door card
  • finish level with the top of the B-post
  • allow the doors to close beyond their natural closed position in order to latch

Ensuring there is sufficient room to latch means there will always be a slight, ideally parallel, gap between the panel and the door card.

Uneven gap between panel & door card The panel also protruded into the cabin Outer panel was missing mounting holes

However the panel’s inside edge protruded beyond the face of the B-post. This in turn pushed the second outer panel, which wraps around the face of the B-post and into the cabin, away from the body. It became a trade off between achieving a parallel gap and how much it protruded.

Making sure the top of the panel was flush with the top of the B-post determined the size of the gap at the top, between the panel and door card. Closing this gap would require the panel to be raised slightly and metal removed from the top of the panel to return it to being flush.

Alternatively, sticking to this gap down the full length of the B-post would require the panel to be rotated, moving the bottom of the panel inboard. This could only be achieved by taking metal off the lower edge as it is already hard against the sill. It would also cause it to protrude further into the cabin and so need the inner edge to be cut back as well.

Trim panel was welded!

Also I was expecting the larger wrap-around panels to have two holes in the metal for clips to secure them to the B-post. Another difference was the replacement trim panels were much wider at the base.

The open day at SNG Barratt was an excellent opportunity to look over a number of different cars to see how these panels should be fixed.

On a couple cars, notably a lovely OSB S2 OTS, both panels were fixed with chrome screws with cups. Although my original panels didn’t have any screw holes. One thing is for sure … I definitely won’t be attaching it as I had found it …. welded!!

Also I can’t for the life of me work out how the outer sun-visor brackets fit with the A-post finishers. I had assumed it should be fitted behind the finisher but it would then be impossible to fit the nut on the visor attachment.

Door card clips also used to fix A-post finishers Although stumped how the visor bracket fits!

For now I’m leaving the sun visors off and will ask Suffolk & Turley about it when it’s up having the hood trimmed.

Boot Space

Dynaliner used in place of jute

Originally the bulkhead in the boot space was covered in jute which was then overlaid with Hardura. The trim kit didn’t include this piece of jute so some 1/4″ Dynaliner was fitted in its place.

Fitting the inertia reel in the boot caused far more trimming issues than I’d expected, taking two attempts at the Hardura until it was acceptable. The reels are located as far outboard as possible which required the side cards to be fitted before the reels.

The downside of this and the desire to make the installation as neat as possible (hiding the bolts securing the reels under the rear bulkhead Hardura), means that if access is needed to either the fuel filler area or fuel pump in future, the side cards may have to be sacrificed. Also the new cards would probably need to be modified with cut-outs for the reels in order to re-fit them.

Boot bulkhead and side cards Side cards secured by #4 screws & cups

The side cards were simply held in place along the upper trailing edge by three #4 self-tapping chrome screws & cups.

The boot boards weren’t original and needed replacing anyway but were useful in providing templates for the replacements in marine grade plywood. I believe the originals were also painted black but it seemed daft to go to extra expense and lose the wood finish. So they were treated with finishing oil to keep out moisture.

The left hand board is permanently secured by three #10 self-tapping screws – for some reason the front two are slotted countersunk screws & cups and the rear one with a hex head & washer! A metal bracket is also attached to the underside of the board to support the RH board.

Boot cable passes through oval hole Front attachment of LH boot board

A number of rubber pads are inserted into the bracket to stop the RH removable board from rattling. However the repro pads were quite tall so the only way I could get the two boards to lay flat was to fit a strip of wood under the bracket.

Additional strip of wood under bracket Strip matches height of rubber pad

As the RH board needs to removable, the rear is held against the boot board flange by a clamping bracket, which is riveted in place. Its shape acts as a spring pressing the board against the flange but allows it to be withdrawn by pulling it forward.

The front of the board is held down by a stud that presses into a retaining clip, riveted to the flange. The stud was attached to the board using a Tee nut insert. Originally the board just had a finger hole cut into the board to lift it, although I decided to fit a brass ring pull instead.

Rear clamping bracket Front stud and clip

The only way I could get the petrol tank to fit was to remove the stud clip. So it had to be riveted back in place. Although I’m not convinced this should have been the case to remove the tank!

Measure twice, cut once – locating stud position The stud clip riveted back in place

The final task was to fit the four pop-fasteners to hold down the Hardura covering the floor of the boot. I used some blu-tack spread onto the boot floor/boards to locate the required positions of the male connectors. Pressing down on the Hardura stud left a suitable imprint.

Boards in-situ Marking pop-fastener positsons

The wires hanging down on the left hand side are for an LED boot light that will be operated by the boot hinge making contact with a mirco switch.

Radio console and central console

Angling the centre consule
under the radio console

I was expecting trouble fitting the radio and centre consoles …. and I was not disappointed! The radio console with all the stereo wiring was relatively easy to put in place, although not secured at this stage.

The centre console needs to be slotted under the radio console and then lowered at the rear, while feeding both the handbrake lever though its slot and the gear stick into its gaiter. Easier said that done!!

No matter how I positioned the handbrake and gear lever, I just couldn’t get the console over them both at the same time. Some advice posted on the forum for troublesome consoles was to disconnect the handbrake cable to provide a greater range of movement.

Still no joy! Success was finally achieved by detaching the whole handbrake from its mountings. Although it was short lived. The whole console then couldn’t be pushed forward to enable the rear to be lowered to the floor.

It needed quite a bit of Dynaliner underlay to be removed from underneath the radio console and easing the sides of the console apart before it fell into place. It was so tight I was questioning the wisdom of adding the 3mm foam under the lower bulkhead Ambla!

Seats and seat belts
The under-seat Harduras were next. Holes were cut, or more accurately drilled, for the seat bolts and the seat belt anchor bolt. The location of the holes was found by pushing a thick needle up through the bolt holes from beneath the car.

The seat’s front mounting points have a thick spacer to raise the seats so the slider release bar doesn’t foul the carpeted floor strengthener.

Seat mounts and belts installed Gratuitous interior shot as it nears completion!

I wasn’t sure if these spacers should fit above the Hardura or pass through them. In the end, the length of the mounting bolts dictated larger holes were needed so the spacer could pass through to the floorpan.

Spacer sized holes had been cut in the Koolmat when it was fitted, which wasn’t necessary for the rear seat mounts. So two spacers were used – one inserted to fill the hole in the Koolmat and one to raise the seat runners off the Hardra.

A needle was press through Hardura
to locate the mounting holes
The seats slide onto the front mounts &
secured by screws & spacers at rear

The buckle ends of the seat belts were then mounted to the transmission tunnel through holes in the centre console. At last the seats could be put in to finish off my side of the trimming.

Rear view mirror

Loctite kit worked a treat

I made the mistake of purchasing some double–sided tape from Halfords, sold specifically for the task of attaching rear view mirrors. As with all of their products, it was monumentally useless for the task it was designed. The mirror was found lying in the footwell the morning after it had been fitted. It hadn’t even been subjected to the expected vibrations of normal driving or being adjusted.

The second attempt was made with a Loctite kit and was much more successful. The mirror button is bonded to the windscreen with a strong adhesive, activated by a mesh fabric. The bonding only takes a minute to secure the button and is fully cured in 15 minutes.

May 202015

With the vinyl and Ambla fitted, attention turned that next phase of the trimming – the underfelts (or Dynaliner in my case), Hardura and carpets. The decision to fit Dynaliner rather than the jute underfelt was largely driven by the ability to bond the two materials to the silicone side of the insulating Koolmat.

The preferable order of fitting would normally be from the footwells backwards, to avoid needing to clamber over installed trim. At the time, the primary focus was to complete the installation of the inertia seat belts – these would have to be fitted for an MOT, the carpets wouldn’t! However the trimming is quite satisfying so I decided to press on and complete the interior.

Rear of cabin
Before the rear bulkhead Hardura could be glued, I first had to rectify the lack of jute/Dynaliner. The excess Ambla bonded to the silver Dynamat had to be lifted so a layer of 1/4” Dynaliner could be inserted. The outer edges of the Dynaliner were cut marginally shorter to provide a channel to hide the body looms.

Underlay on bulkhead was overlooked Re-bonding the Ambla to the Dynaliner Ambla with Dynaliner added to bulkhead

The fitting of the bulkhead panel was fairly uneventful. The strengthening/anti-drumming indentations in the bulkhead panels were taped over beforehand with reinforced cross weave tape. The Hardura was bonded to the Dynaliner in four stages; initially just the leading few inches to fix it in position, then back to the vertical section. This allowed a reasonably tight curve to be made when bonding the vertical section and finally the upper horizontal section, which required a little trimming to butt neatly to the body.

Indentations in body panels were taped over Hardura bonded to vertical section

The thin vertical section, from A-post to A-post above the rear bulkhead and wheel arches, is finished with two pairs of vinyl covered panels. Suffolk and Turley suggested leaving these and the door cards off as it would be better for them to fit these when they trim the soft top. The door cards need to be left off so they can make fine adjustments to the angle and maximum height of the drop glass, to ensure the glass seals against the hood’s rubber seals.

Gearbox cover
For some reason a previous owner had butchered the gearbox cover by hack sawing off a section around the gear lever. Presumably not satisfied with that, they’d then proceeded to knock seven bells out of the front apron! New metal was welded in to repair and the dents knocked out with a hammer and dolly.

Many of the cover holes were distorted The front apron was a real mess!
Otherwise it appeared to be fine! Gearbox cover back in shape

The soundproofing foam that sat between the gearbox and the cover hadn’t stood the test of time so a replacement was ordered. I was expecting to have to cut the foam down to size to fit, however I wasn’t expecting by how much! The 2″ replacement foam made it impossible to even come close in aligning the mounting holes.

The foam also tends to grip the cover rather well so some silicone lubricant was used to help push the cover into place. Even so I had to admit defeat, taking a sharp carving knife to remove foam from around the pinch points. Eventually I managed to get and hold it in position long enough to secure it with a few self tapping screws. If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t bother obtaining a repro foam from one of the usual suppliers and would just make it from a small sheet of 2″ cushion foam.

The replacement foams are ‘generous’!! Secured with self tapper & oval washers

Floor strengthener carpets
I’m not sure why but I decided to fit the carpet pieces covering the floor strengtheners next. These really should have been fitted at the end, just before the final transmission tunnel carpet is glued in place. So all the trimming of the footwells was spent clambering over them.

The pieces were marginally longer than the circumference of the strengtheners, in part due to the thickness of the additional Koolmat. So they were fitted with the small amount of excess under the seat sections, rather than cut them down to size. I might have to trim them back if it lifts the front edge of the under-seat Hardura too much.

Masking to bond the front face Clamps used to hold in place Carpet edging gives neat joint to vinyl
Clamps were used to hold the carpet in place while the contact adhesive dried.

The three sides of the floor strengtheners were tackled in turn with clamps and/or weights used to hold the carpet firmly in place. The aim was ensure each bend in the carpet was tight against the panel. Although it really wasn’t necessary in the end and it could have been tackled in one go.

Footwell trimming
The general order of fitting for both footwells was:

  1. Under-dash, toe box and transmission tunnel underlay
  2. Under-dash Hardura panel(s)
  3. A-post/Sill Hardura
  4. Floor underlay next to transmission tunnel
  5. Transmission tunnel carpets
  6. Toe box carpet
  7. Underlay for sunken floor section
  8. Removable floor carpeting

The reason the two underlay pieces for the floors (4 & 7) were not done at the same time as the other underlay was again to avoid working over them while fitting the other trim. The Dynaliner can be susceptible to tears if not protected.

However there are slight differences between the two footwells. Before any underlay is added to the left hand footwell, a vinyl covered conduit panel needs to be fixed along the upper, outer edge. This hides the LH body loom, alternator loom and main loom where the latter two enter the cabin space along the run to the bottom of the A-post.

The conduit panel wasn’t part of the trim kit, which is a bit strange since it needs to be covered in coloured vinyl. The ‘originality’ thread on the E-Type forum was, as usual, very helpful. The shape of the conduit panel changed to a shallower profile during the production run although I think the part number remained the same. The later shaped conduit is available from RM & J Smith Ltd.

Covering loom conduit Accidentally covering the screw holes The ‘tail’ will be cut back later

I made a mistake with my first attempt, making the vinyl covering to its exact shape. Again from the forum, the A-post end should have a ‘tail’ of vinyl that isn’t bonded. This covers the looms as they bend around the corner of the dash and let in through a cut-out in the under-dash card. The other mistake was to forget to mark the location of the two holes for the self-tapping screws before covering them over! Fortunately I was able to use the previous photos to help locate them with a pin.

The other differences in the footwells are i) the RH underdash trim is in two sections, sitting either side of the steering column and ii) the LH rear transmission carpet is fixed with snap clips to the floor so it can be lifted to expose the access cover for the gearbox oil filler.

1. Under-dash, toe box and transmission tunnel underlay
The photos below show the difference between the two footwells – the vinyl covered conduit is the first item of trim to be added to the LH footwell. Also the rear section of the LH transmission tunnel is not covered in underlay to provide access to the gearbox oil filler, via the large, black, circular grommet.

LH footwell RH footwell RH under-dash underlay

2. Under-dash Hardura panel(s)
It doesn’t matter which order the under-dash and A-post/sill Harduras are fitted for the LH footwell, as both butt up against the loom conduit. However, for the RH footwell, the outer under-dash Hardura needs to be fitted first so the A-post/sill Hardura butts up against it.

The outer edges of the under-dash Harduras (apart from the smaller of the RH pieces) are each secured by two 1/2″ #4 self-tapping screws & cups. The excess will be hidden beneath the cardboard dash cards.

Single Hardura for LH Two pieces of Hardura for RH

3. A-post/Sill Hardura
The surface that these Hardura pieces are glued to is not flat due to the curvature of the sill, the recess for the body loom and the ‘alcove’ in the footwell A-post. More reinforced cross-weave tape was applied to cover these voids to enable the Hardura to be kept as flat as possible. Even so, there didn’t seem to be anything that could be done at the lower toe box corner, due to a strengthening strut.

These Harduras are held in place on the face of the A-post with two #4 self tapping screws & cups (and the bonnet release handle) but bonded inside the footwell.

A-post footwell voids taped over LH Hardura – note #4 screws RH Hardura

4. Floor underlay next to transmission tunnel
Next was the floor underlay beside the transmission tunnel as the transmission tunnel carpets need to be fitted before the toe box carpets.

LH floor underlay RH floor underlay

5. Transmission tunnel carpets

Transmission tunnel carpet

The transmission tunnel carpet turned out to be the most difficult part of the Hardura and carpet trimming. The carpet bends around two 90 degree bends making it difficult to keep the top edge tight against the Hardura trim above. There’s excess carpet along the lower edge so it’s only the upper edge that needs to be focused on.

I cut out wedges to enable the carpet to be navigated around the two bends and also cut a slit where the tunnel narrows at the rear, near the gearbox cover.

A slot also needs to be cut into the carpet to let in the lower radio console mount. The top edge was simply tucked under the upper console mounting bracket.

‘Durable’ snap fastener LH transmission carpets RH transmission carpets

The rear LH transmission carpet needs to lift to gain access to the gearbox oil filler so it is only attached to the floor by two snap fasteners. The upper edge is held under the centre console so no gluing is necessary. Both RH carpets are glued.

6. Toe box carpet

Transmission tunnel carpet

The toe box carpets have finishing edging on three sides. The unfinished lower edge needed to be cut back to provide access to the holes in the floorpan for the carpet retaining studs.

Again, the lower outer corners have to cover the same strengthening strut as the A-post/sill Harduras so it was impossible to get completely flat.

I believe a foot board was also fitted to the passenger footwell to provide the occupant with a foot rest. I’ll have to do some investigation and will possibly fit one at a later stage.

7. Underlay for sunken floor section
The Dynaliner underlay pieces for the floor were bonded by first treating the silicone Koolmat with Loctite 770 (Polyolefin primer) and then using Loctite 406 to bond it.

LH lining of sunken floor RH lining of sunken floor

8. Removable floor carpeting
The final trim is the removable front carpets. These are held in place by four plastic carpet studs. Although I’ll be adding these later, during Part 3 – ‘Finishing off the interior’, which will include the installation of the consoles, under-dash cards, seats and seat belts.

Completed LH footwell Just the consoles to go! Interior finally coming together

The trimming often required the skills of a contortionist and, at times, would best be described as working in a coffin! There’s not a lot of room in the footwells which made masking and the trial fitting and fettling of the various trim quite a challenge. Often all that could be seen from the outside were two legs sticking in the air!

Burning of the trimming rags

The confined space also didn’t help with fumes from the spray-on contact adhesive. At times the nozzle became partially restricted causing unpredictable spray patterns. This required the trimmed areas to be well protected from possible overspray.

So there was great pleasure in marking the end of the trim gluing with the ceremonial burning of the sheets and rags used for masking!

May 142015

The intention was to leave the trimming until after the MOT but this wasn’t possible due to the decision to install inertia seat belts. The next plan was to only trim the rear bulkhead and seat areas – just sufficient for the belts and therefore the MOT. However it’s quite satisfying (when it goes well!), as it’s putting the finishing touches to the car. I’m now going to finish off the trimming before it heads off to the MOT centre.

Until now I hadn’t really considered what I was going to do regarding fitting a stereo. By bringing forward the trimming, this was now more urgent as I didn’t want to have to take out the central and radio consoles once they had been fitted. The options considered were:

Kenwood W707 appears as a
blank panel when switched off
  • A modern unit which has a blank panel when switched off
  • Converting a period radio, with modern electronic innards
  • One of the ‘retro’ looking units made for the classic car market
  • Not fitting one at all and just listen to the sounds of a straight 6!

A few years ago Kenwood offered a stereo with a motorised head unit, aimed at deterring thieves. The rear of the head unit was a featureless flat surface. When it was switched off the head unit rotated to display the rear face, mimicking a blank panel. Unfortunately I found out that they had since dropped this range – presumably because the thieves now just take the whole car!

The conversion approach appealed until I saw one in operation. It certainly wasn’t intuitive. It therefore came down to a close call between the last two options. The hope is to take the car on continental trips which tipped the balance in favour of a period looking stereo.

The other problem is the lack of space within the radio console. Modern speakers have a much greater depth so fitting two speakers and a single DIN sized unit becomes very marginal, if not impossible. Others have overcome this by fitting smaller 4″ speakers in the A-post recesses.

Retrosound’s Model 2

Retrosound’s Model 2 seemed to fit the bill on the appearance front. More importantly, due to its very compact size, the two main speakers would easily fit within the radio console. I say ‘main’ as I was soon to be drawn into the scary world of car audiophilia, making the mistake of contacting a car audio centre to purchase some speakers that would ‘just fit’!

Apparently the location of the speakers isn’t ideal as most of the high end frequencies would be lost. The sound quality would be greatly improved by adding some discreet tweeters at the ends of the dash. Again it made sense to add them now rather than regret it and have to pull the dash apart later on. The same advice had been given on the E-Type forum, suggesting a pair of 1″ Boss tweeters would be ideal so I decided to fit these. Although I suspect any sound quality will be long gone at speeds over 50mph with the hood down!

Small 2″ aerial from Blaupunkt

I wanted to avoid drilling holes in the body for aerials/wing mirrors etc which does limit the options for a suitable AM/FM aerial. The feedback on screen mounted aerials isn’t that favourable as they have a tendency to only pick up the strongest stations.

Blaupunkt now make an amplified screen mounted antenna which I’m hoping can be disguised to some degree behind the period tax disc. I hardly listen to the radio anyway so it won’t be a great loss if it doesn’t pick up every station.

The final specifications were:

  • Black Retrosound Model 2 Becker pinstripe
  • Rockford Fosgate P16 full range speakers
  • Boss TW17 tweeters with built in crossovers
  • Blaupunkt AM/FM disc aerial
  • Good quality 16 swg speaker cables

The spacing of the mounting studs on the speaker grills severely restricted the choice of main speakers to just a handful of 16cm speakers, rather than the more common 16.5cm and 17cm varieties.

The Rockford Fosgate speakers were chosen simply because their mounting slots exactly matched the stud spacing. Although it was only when I tried to fit them did it became apparent that 1) the stud lengths were too short and 2) additional spacers were needed to move the central cone inward away from the mesh grille (making the stud issue worse!).

Rockford Fosgate speaker size and mounting points were spot on Apart from the centre section which protruded, hitting the grill The solution – spacers and the nut/post section of Chicago bolts

I knew I should have gone with the option of not fitting a stereo! As luck would have it the Chicago screws used in leatherwork and I believe menu bindings have the same 8-32 thread. The nut or post pieces were modified by adding a screwdriver slot in the head so they could be screwed down onto the stud ends.

The Retrosound unit has a very flexible mounting system to enable it to fit most classic cars. The blurb suggests the distance between the two knobs is ‘infinitely’ adjustable to suit any application. Although in reality the distance is limited to two distances due to the position of the holes in the final trim pieces.

The unit is mounted on the knob spindles and the desired fore and aft position is achieved by adjusting the positions of the various locking nuts. All fairly simple. The difficult part would be the plumbing in of all the various inputs and outputs.

The mounting spindles slide in slots
so width can be set to suit
Depth of speakers accommodated by
narrow width of the radio unit

The Model 2 has numerous inputs as well as being Bluetooth enabled. So the musical input can be via two USB ports, a standard 3.5mm jack or streamed from a paired device. It also has hands-free functionality and is supplied with a small microphone.

When off – fake tuning decals are displayed When on – LEDs display music information

Initially I’ll just be using one of the USB outputs for a permanently wired iPhone lightening connector in the centre console cubby box. This will enable an iPod/iPhone to be charged at the same time, as well as being accessible while driving. The advantage of a hard wired connection, over Bluetooth, is that the display shows the music information, scrolling between artist, album and song title.

The small Boss tweeters were simply stuck to the trim at the ends of the dash with double sided adhesive pads.

iPod/iPhone connection in central console Tweeters mounted at the ends of the dash

In an attempt to hide the Blaupunkt disc aerial as much as possible, a mock-up of the original tax disc has been placed in the lower corner of the windscreen and the aerial stuck to the back of the tax disc holder.

When it was purchased, I thought the whole aerial was contained within the disc. However there are two thin clear adhesive strips which need to be stuck to the windscreen, 6cm away from the metal surround. These strips contain a small metal wire to pick up the radio waves, which are then amplified by the circuitry within the disc. Fortunately the natty blue light feature can be switched off.

Marking out two thin wires that are
stuck to the windscreen to pick up the signal
(white is just backing tape!)
The aerial body was stuck behind a
mock-up tax disc to keep it out of sight

The microphone for hands-free mode will be fitted at a later stage when I can try to work out the best location. Although I’m not convinced it will pick up much above the wind noise!

The stereo was run through its paces off the car and initial results were positive.

Apr 192015

Static safety belts had originally been fitted to my car. However I’ve never really got on with static belts the few times I’ve driven cars fitted with them. The main issue is at junctions, when it’s often helpful to be able to lean forward slightly. Something that would be even more desirable with such a long bonnet.

Inertia belts were an optional extra
(Image courtesy of E-Type forum)

I had therefore decided to ‘upgrade’ to more modern inertia belts for practicality reasons. Having made the decision, the next dilemma is how to mount them. They can be fitted to brackets mounted on the rear bulkhead (as Jaguar did as an optional extra).

The other alternative is to mount them to the rear bulkhead inside the boot space. The downside with the boot mounted belts is slots for the belts would have to be cut into the bulkhead.

I think mounting large inertia reels behind the seats spoils the look of the interior. So a boot mounted kit was ordered from Quickfit Safety Belt Services. I had toyed with either blue or red webbing. In the end, deciding to keep them inline with interior colour scheme. Although their range of reds is rather limited: a burgundy or vibrant red. The burgundy looked too dark so I opted for the red …. and sunglasses!

Quickfit’s seat belt kit

Quickfit were very helpful, guiding you through the various options. They also warned me that they make their belts for classic cars in batches, once sufficient orders have been received, so the order may take between two weeks to two months to fulfil. Supplier delays for some of chrome fittings pushed this out to three months before they finally turned up!

The inertia mechanism is designed for the belt to be pulled out from the reel at a specific angle (or range of angles). For the boot mounted installation, this is at 90 degrees to the reel’s mounting plate which must also be mounted vertically. At any other angle the locking mechanism stops the belt, so the same reel could not be used for mounting inside the cabin.

The seat was fitted in order to get the correct mounting position, with a length of webbing held horizontally against the shoulder back to the bulkhead. Ideally the belt should approach the wearer’s shoulder horizontally or slightly downwards. The problem is the rear bulkhead on the OTS E-Types isn’t particularly high, so the placement of the reels is compromised to a certain extent.

They were mounted as high as possible so, for me, the driver’s belt is horizontal in my normal driving position, with the seat back partially reclined. If the reels were fitted low down at the base of the bulkhead, the forward force due to an impact would be redirected downwards through the wearer’s shoulder. Not ideal!

Locating the best mounting position Marking out the areas to drill/cut

I’d made a card template so the mounting points and slot for the belt could be accurately marked out on the rear bulkhead. It’s something that really ought to have been provided in the kit and the instructions were rather vague at best. It didn’t even mention the measurements for the slot for the belt!

By chance, the central bolt securing the reel mechanism aligned with the deepest part of one of the bulkhead anti-drumming/strengthening indentations. This enabled the bolt head to sit completely within the indentation and would therefore not be visible once the interior bulkhead Hardura trim was fitted.

The height of the slot needed to allow the buckle and webbing to pass through was not inconsiderable. I really didn’t want to cut such a large hole in the bodywork so I investigated the end attached to the reel.

The belt is jammed after passing through reel Using the reel end would need a smaller slot

The reel end was found to be finished by folding the webbing back on itself and stitched to form an open pocket at the end. This passes through a slot in the centre of the reel and then a retaining plastic pin is inserted into the pocket, which stops it from being pulled back through the slot.

The belt can be withdrawn once
the retaining pin is removed
The reel needs to be jammed
while the belt is removed

The retaining pin was pushed out of its pocket in the belt without any difficulty, allowing the belt to be detached from the reel. At the same time the reel mechanism was jammed to stop it from rewinding while the belt was removed. Initially a screwdriver was used but this was replaced by a short length of 3/16″ brake pipe as there’s not much room once the reel is mounted in the boot.

More importantly whatever was used to jam the reel would have to be removable downwards. Once the reel is fitted there’s minimal space above it.

The pipes were subsequently replaced with cable ties as a pipe was almost knocked out by accident while fitting a reel. Quick fit SBS recommended using the cables ties and they remained in-situ until the belts were refitted, which was only be possible once the interior trimming has caught up. The bulkhead had to be trimmed first as the belts must pass through similar slots cut into the Hardura, which in turn needs all the rear wheel arch Ambla to be in place.

I decided to mount the reels over the Hardura in the boot rather than make suitable cut-outs. What I hadn’t realised at the time was the Hardura provided in the kit is marginally narrower than the rear face of the boot. The side cardboard panels would normally cover the shortfall. However, as I’d mounted the reels as far outboard as possible, they pushed the side cardboard panels hard against the sides of the boot revealing a gap between the Hardura and side panels.

On top of that, for some reason even lost on myself, I’d cut holes in the Hardura for the wiring looms rather than hiding them underneath. It looked at real mess so I ordered some more Biscuit Hardura to have another go. The second attempt was much better.

The first attempt was a bit of a mess! Take 2 – a vast improvement

A finishing chrome escutcheon is mounted to the rear bulkhead which also acts as a guide for the belt. The slot in the bulkhead was made marginally larger than the one in the escutcheon to avoid the belt chaffing on the metal edges.

Overall I’m pleased with the modification although the belts are quite red! Burgundy webbing might have been easier on the eyes.

Apr 132015

Trimming wasn’t something I was looking forward to! My kit had been supplied by Suffolk & Turley. The only thing that appearred to be missing from the kits from all the various suppliers is any form of guidance, let alone detailed installation instructions!

It was very much a case of trial and error, never having trimmed a car before! So what follows is the approach that worked for me (and in some cases not!!).

A simple jigsaw puzzle!!

The kit consists of all the jute underlay, vinyl, Ambla, Hardura, vinyl covered panels and carpets. So one would assume it’s all fairly obvious how it should be installed. It’s the subtleties that are not explained! The trimming of the seats and central console were beyond my capability, so these had been supplied ready trimmed.

The initial focus was to get the car through an MOT and then do the interior trimming. However the decision to install boot-mounted inertia seat belts had put paid to that! They required most of the trim behind the seats to be fitted first.

The kit contained some 5mm open-cell foam underlay for the sills and rear wheel arches. The problem with this foam is that it isn’t very robust, losing its spring quite easily and disintegrating over time. I therefore decided to replace this with a denser closed-cell polyethylene foam, sold under the brand name Plastazote and available in a variety of densities and thicknesses.

As it’s denser, it won’t compress as much as the open-cell foam and so the edges would be more pronounced through the vinyl covering. I decided to purchase both 3mm and 5mm medium density sheets (Plastazote LD45) with a view to playing around chamfering the edges to get the finish I wanted. The decision was to use the thicker 5mm foam for the sills and wheel arches as it gives a softer, more luxurious feel. The lower rear bulkhead is normally just covered with Ambla (vinyl with an expandable knitted backing) but this would be covered with the 3mm foam first.

The trim covers recesses in the rear bulkhead and the wiring loom channels in the sills, which can become visible over time if the material pressed in. In an attempt to stop this, these areas were covered with reinforced cross weave tape. I also ran guide strings within the loom channel in case I need to run power to the rear of the car in future, eg for powering security/tracker devices.

Guide strings added – just in case! Then loom channels were taped over

Lower rear bulkhead
The 3mm foam was bonded to the rear bulkhead with a spray-on high temperature contact adhesive, purchased from Woolies Trim. It was more manageable to tackle it in two sections with the join above the transmission tunnel. Each section was then glued in three phases: the outer flat section, the concave area behind the seat and finally the small area around the transmission tunnel.

This approach allowed the non-glued section to be held against the bulkhead to make sure it was square across the full width before pressing the bonded area onto the bulkhead. The contact adhesive doesn’t allow a second attempt so it really does have to be right first time.

Each side was started at the sill end Next the concave section Foam in place … now the vinyl!!

I’d read other restoration websites covering the interior trimming, where they explained the vinyl should only be bonded to the perimeter of the foam underlay. So I followed this approach for gluing the Ambla to the rear bulkhead. Again I decided to tackle it in smaller manageable areas – the order as shown in the left photo below.

Areas and order of gluing the Ambla So far so good … section 1 bonded!

It was all going well up to section 3. To avoid wrinkles, the Ambla needs to be ever so slightly stretched as it is bonded to the foam. However, when the lower area (4) of the concave section was glued to the foam, the un-bonded area between (3) and (4) pulled away from the foam, as the Ambla contracted.

I tried to pull the Ambla away from the foam as soon as I realised but this just resulted in the latter being ripped apart. Aaaargh! Both the Ambla and foam were ruined. It took many messy hours to remove the remains of the foam, back to the painted bulkhead so I could start all over again.

The revised plan was to bond the whole contact area between the foam and Ambla. This time the process followed the sequence of bonding the foam, although in reverse – working from the transmission tunnel out to the sill, as the whole area needs to be covered by a single piece of material.

Revised area and order of gluing Bonding area limited by matching masking
The second attempt worked well The lower bulkhead trimming completed!

The main difficulty with the rear bulkhead Ambla is it needs to cover the body looms to the rear lights, fuel pump and tank sender. The sills have a recess to hide the looms but they stop just before the end of the sills so there is no tidy solution.

Sometime later, I was trying to find the best method of hiding the wiring looms as they travel around the lower edges of the wheel arches before entering the boot space. I couldn’t disguise the looms under the Hardura trim covering the rear bulkhead and so dug out the remains of the original trim to see if I could get any clues.

The (non-vertical) areas should first be covered by a layer of jute before the Hardura goes down and the excess bulkhead Ambla bonded over the jute. The trim kit didn’t include jute for this area, and indeed some for the rear face of the boot, so it was easily missed.

Although I had already fitted Dynamat sound insulation, it is much thinner than the original jute layer, and therefore not able to disguise the looms. The solution will be to fit some 1/4″ Dynaliner, with suitable channels left for the looms. The down side is that the excess Ambla will have to be lifted and re-bonded over the Dynaliner.

The Ambla was bonded over the looms Different bonding was needed against the Koolmat

The other issue was trying to bond the vinyl and Ambla to the silicone Koolmat, used to insulate the cabin from heat soak from the engine bay. I’d previously tested various adhesives such as contact adhesive and silicone RTV adhesive. Since then I’d found that Loctite produce a silicone surface preparation fluid (Loctite 770) which enables the ‘superglue’ Cyanoacrylate family of adhesives to bond to it. The combination of Loctite 770 & Loctite 406 superglue provided a very good bond and was used to secure the overlapping vinyl and Ambla to the grey Koolmat.

The 5mm foam and vinyl covering the sills were fitted, again in stages, working inwards from the outer edge. The foam was cut so there was a 1cm gap to where the sill meets the A & B-posts and also the floor. This was to provide a bare area of sill for the vinyl to securely bonded to.

For the gap to the sill edge, the chrome finisher was offered up. A gap of approx. 13mm would avoid foam being trapped under the chrome trim as it’s a fairly tight fit at the best of times. I didn’t want foam underneath to make things worse. The vinyl wraps around the sill lip and should be held in place by a number of metal clips.

A gap was left between the foam & sill edge First stage of bonding the foam underlay

I had a trial fitting of the clips using some scrap vinyl to see if they would stretch the vinyl as they were pressed on. No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get the clips on. I mentioned this to Suffolk & Turley when I was up discussing the hood – they don’t bother with the clips! They just run a bead of silicone RTV adhesive in the chrome finisher, wedging it in place while it cures. A tip I will be using once the sill door rubber is in place.

The approach of applying adhesive to the whole foam/vinyl contact area worked well with the rear bulkhead and so would be repeated for both the sills and rear wheel arches.

The vinyl was started by just bonding the 13mm strip at the sill’s edge. The aim was to anchor the vinyl in place as it would require cutting to shape as it was applied. The spray adhesive doesn’t give any room for adjustment once the two surfaces have been pressed together. So I thought it best to use the brush on Alfabond AF178 for gluing the sill edge and then pressing on the chrome finisher to hold it all in place, while it set.

Marking out the excess vinyl Excess can cause door rubber problems Bonding underneath the sill edge

Adhesive wasn’t applied to the underside of the sill edge, which allowed the vinyl to be pulled out to cut off any excess before being bonded. Too much excess can lead to problems fitting the sill door rubbers later on.

The edge of the vinyl is visible for a few inches; forward from the door opening to the A-post; reward to the B-post and 2-3″ along the outer face of the B-post (before it is hidden by a vinyl covered panel). The vinyl was doubled over to keep these edges neat and tidy.

The visible edges were doubled over to keep them neat

As the vinyl doesn’t stretch like the Ambla, a number of cuts were needed as it turns down towards the sill. There were a number of scares along the way where I didn’t think it was as smooth as it could be. The on-the-fly remedies often made matters worse. Fortunately the foam regained its shape overnight!

Again, bonding was done in stages Trimming around floor strengthener Sill vinyl almost completed

Overall I was quite pleased with the results. If it were to repeated, I would probably only leave a 5mm gap between the foam and the A & B-posts.

Rear Wheel Arches
The trimming of the rear wheel arches appeared to be much trickier due to the double curvature …. and so it would prove to be!! The pre-cut material has a very odd shape as it covers the wheel arch and a flat section underneath the hood mounting brackets.

Area covered by the wheel arch Ambla …. hence the odd shape of the trim provided

Numerous dry runs were done before deciding on how best to tackle it. Initially I started with bonding an outer section of the wheel arch, and the working down towards the lower rear corner. It soon became apparent that this wasn’t the way to go.

It left too much foam being pressed into an ever decreasing area, causing ruffling. Fortunately it was possible to cut out a section of excess foam and make a joint that would be invisible through the Ambla. This wouldn’t be an option when the Ambla is fitted.

Initial area bonded on 1st attempt Resulting in section cut out of foam

For the Ambla, it was decided that it would be best to glue a 2” strip down the shoulder of the wheel arch but stretching it as it went down. The reasoning was it would therefore reduce the excess material in the corner of the wheel arch.

Bonding this area first caused numerous problems!

Unfortunately this didn’t prove to be too successful and it was a real fight to get the lower edge glued without it puckering up along the join between the wheel arch and the bulkhead. Occasionally some Heath Robinson techniques were needed to weigh down the Ambla until the adhesive had dried. I shouldn’t have been surprised as it was not too dissimilar to the approach for the foam. A re-think was required for the other wheel arch!

Weighing down the edges to stop it lifting Bonding the lower edge worked better

The other tricky area was where it transitions between the curved wheel arch and the flat section. The Ambla just had to be stretched in the right direction to get a smooth finish.

For the second wheel arch, a 1.5” strip was glued along the lower edge. The foam could then be stretched up to the corner where it meets the top of the rear bulkhead. This ensures the Ambla is ripple free as it is being stretched over the curvature of the wheel arch. Initially this appeared to be a much better approach although it simply transferred the problems encountered later on to another area. The conclusion is that the wheel arches are just difficult to trim.

An Ambla covered wheel arch. Phew!

The trimming of the vinyl and Ambla was quite tricky and took over two weeks to complete, mainly due to putting off tackling the difficult areas and procrastinating too much! It would have been almost impossible to complete without the assistance of my trusty helper who patiently held the material up, while it was being smoothed into place and took the brunt of frustrations when things didn’t go as planned!

In hindsight, I wish I’d have bought shares in 3M with the amount of blue masking tape I ploughed through!!

Hardura and carpet fitting will be covered in Part 2 ….

Jan 092015

Once it became clear that the September target for obtaining an MOT would be missed (albeit with a stripped out interior), the pressure was off. With the cold, dark days of winter setting in, holidays in warmer climes became preferable to working on the car and so the momentum lost.

The new target being the spring, once the last traces of road salt have gone. Just in time to sort out any niggles and put a few miles on the clock … before a mooted caper to the Monaco Grand Prix. It would be a fitting inaugural tour! Apart from the lack of trim, the car appears to be nearing completion. However looks are deceiving and the ‘To Do’ list is still alarmingly long. So I’ve got to get cracking!

I’ve not been looking forward to installing the trim as it’s notoriously fiddly and something I’ve not tackled before. It’s the part everyone sees so it has to be done well. After all the effort so far, a poor job would not suffice! Further procrastination was required under the guise of trim planning ….

I settled on the following order of events:

  • Door A-post rubber seals
  • Fit and align the window frames and drop glass
  • Door B-post seals (the sill seals will have to wait until after the sill vinyl has been fitted
  • Trial fit hood frame to ensure the glass seals against the hood’s cantrail rubber seals
  • Vinyl trimming – sills, lower rear bulkhead and wheel arches
  • Sill seals and chrome finishers
  • Underfelts followed by hardura panels, vinyl covered finishing panels and carpets
  • Centre console and radio panel
  • Under-dash felts, hardura and cards
  • Install the seats!
  • Install inertia seat belts in the boot space

I’ve decided it was best to leave the fitting of the hood and tonneau cover to the experts, Suffolk & Turley, who supplied the trim kit. Finally, once the car is returned, I’ll fit the door cards and boot trim.

Door Seals
New door rubbers were obtained from SNG Barratt. However I wasn’t happy with the A-post and sill seals as, not only were their cross-section profiles noticeably larger than the originals, they were made of a much harder foam rubber.

Other owners have posted issues with poor quality seals leading to ill-fitting doors which need slamming just to get the door to latch. The general consensus on the E-Type forum is to source all the rubber seals from COH Baines so a new set of door seals was duly ordered. I would thoroughly recommend doing so as they are much closer to the originals and made from a softer foam. I believe SNG Barratt have subsequently started to source many of their seals from COH Baines.

Profile comparison of sill seals Darker Baines rubber is thinner & softer

Hutsons had pre-fitted the doors to the bodyshell, so the door strikers and locks were correctly set and panel gaps were all spot on. However the fitting of the A-post seal requires the door to be removed to provide sufficient access. So the outline of the door hinge was marked out with masking tape to aid re-fitting.

Position of hinge marked with masking tape Tape was also used to trial fit the seals

Before removing the door, the A-post seal was trial fitted by taping it in place. Adjustments were made until the door could be closed easily without too much resistance. Some trimming of the seal was needed where it has a protrusion at the base of the A-post.

Initially I had cut the seal exactly to length but the door felt a little hard to close. It is rather subjective at this stage, without the resistance of the other seals. I wanted to keep the additional force needed to compress the A-post rubber to a minimum.

Being nearest the hinge, it requires considerably less force to compress this seal so any noticeable increase now would be magnified once the B-post seal is fitted. Being made of a softer foam allowed it to be cut marginally shorter and then stretched to reduce its cross-section, therefore reducing the resistance.

Once I was happy with the fit, it was time to remove the door to bond the seal in place with the Alphabond AF178 high temperature contact adhesive I’d used for the Koolmat.

The advice for getting the best bond and avoid the seals pulling away is to clean them with methylated spirit to remove any traces of the mould release agents and roughen the surface to be bonded with sandpaper. The contact adhesive should then be applied in three steps:

1. Apply a layer to the rubber seal and leave until tacky
2. Apply a layer to the seal channel and again leave until tacky
3. Apply a second layer to the rubber seal, once the first layer has gone tacky, and when this second layer becomes tacky, push the seal into the channel

I found it easier to tackle the A-post seals in two stages: first from the triangular section at the base of the A-post up to the top of the A-post and then the lower section down to the sill. For the lower section, I inserted a small diameter rubber hose into the gap in the rubber seal before securing it with masking tape. This worked really well in holding the rubber against the sides of the channel until the adhesive had dried.

Top half of A-post bonded first Once dried, the lower half was tackled

Everything was held in place for 24 hours with masking tape and then any excess adhesive removed. First softened with a cloth soaked in white spirit and then carefully wiped away. There were some areas where the adhesive had lifted away from the paint work so these required some touching up and re-bonding. Another tip I was given was to use Dum-Dum style body putty to fill any small holes or gaps.

Previous hanging of doors had been a frustrating and fiddly experience so I only wanted to do it once. The weight of the various internal door mechanisms is not insignificant. So I wanted to have the doors at their full weight before setting all the panel gaps, thus avoiding the risk of them dropping by adding them later.

The doors were refitted to their marked positions and the door internals completed (see below). Only then could the fine adjustments be made to get the panel gaps right. As would be expected, the doors had dropped slightly under the additional weight of the internal mechanisms and so the hinge position within the door had to be adjusted to compensate. A trolley jack was used in place of a suitable assistant to support the door while fine tuning the panel gaps.

Solo door hanging Bonding the bonnet landing seal

I could then move on to the B-post seals, which were tackled in the same manner as the A-post seals. Although these were fitted in one go and needed the bonded edge to be sanded down in places to enable the door to close without undue force. Hopefully, once the final sill seals are added, the doors will still shut easily. If not, it might be a case of re-doing all the rubber seals and re-hanging the doors!

Finally the bonnet landing rubber was bonded in place while the adhesive was out. It was also more manageable by tackling this in two stages.

Door internals, window frames and drop glass
The next task was to complete the fitting of the door internals and drop glass. The initial fitting of the frames produced very different results. The frame on the driver’s side was fairly close and possibly needed a shim added at the rear to bring the leading edge parallel with the A-post.

The passenger side was way off! The leading edge was angling away from the A-post, by approx. 6-7mm at the top, and this was with the rear of the frame raised by two thick shims. Something was wrong!

The driver’s side frame was fairly close However it wasn’t the case for the passenger side!

Suspicion fell on the geometry of the window frame, which had been re-chromed. The re-chroming process involves polishing the underlying plating before the chrome layer is applied. This can cause distortion due a combination of the pressure applied to polish the part and the resulting heat that is generated.

Sure enough, when I tried to fit the drop glass, the regulator channel the glass sits in would not fit into the frame. It was too long, front to rear. I then used the driver side drop glass as a comparison – it’s length fitted fine! Much head scratching ensued … it must be the reproduction regulator channel.

Difference in angles of
rear regulator channels!

Overlaying the two revealed the problem. The angle of the rear of the regulator channel was way off on the passenger side. After much cursing of reproduction parts (that enable us to keep these cars on the road!), I set about removing the glass from the regulator channel. Gentle prising with a screwdriver would only end in tears as the rubber grips the glass very well.

Fortunately a small amount of penetrating oil worked wonders and the glass came out surprisingly easily. The rear edge was bent into the correct alignment and the glass and rubber re-fitted. Longitudinally it now fitted the frame.

Alas the same couldn’t be said for the width. The leading edge of the glass sits in a flock lined rubber channel. While at the rear, the short trailing edge of the regulator channel sides metal on metal in the window frame. The width of the repro ones were too wide.

Both regulator channels required a fair amount of filing to reduce their width so they slid easily within their channels. It was only once I started filing that I realised the rear section was made of brass but had then been zinc plated. When I had first fitted them I had cursed the fact that the reproduction parts hadn’t used brass, as in the originals!

Both regulator channels needed filing Regulator channel were polish to reduce friction

Once they slid easily within their channels, I decided to polish both the regulator channels and the window frames to reduce future binding problems. Some Shin-Etsu Silicone Grease will be applied to the seals and mechanisms before the door cards are fitted.

Attention returned to the passenger side window frame as the glass did not slide cleanly all the way down. The reason was found to be cause by the chromed leading edge of the window frame being bent out of alignment – both rearwards and outwards! Fortunately gentle persuasion allowed it to be re-bent close to its original shape.

The width of the channel
allows the glass to rattle

I thought this would be the end of my window woes. How wrong could I be! The flock lined front channel comes in two sizes for 4.75mm and 6mm glass. I had the latter but, with the glass being a little shy of 5mm, it allows the window to rattle within the channel. However, the smaller size would cause binding issues.

At this point I chuckled as I’d been in correspondence with the Jacksons whose E-Type refurbishment exploits have been covered in the E-type magazine. They had already experienced almost identical restoration issues, not just in the fitting the drop glass! But now I think I understood the issues they had encountered with the flock lined channel.

I also purchased some lengths of thin rubber strips to pack one side of channel in the window frame before inserting the flock lined rubber alongside. This closes the channel slightly to guide the glass without causing it to bind or allowing it to rattle.

Building up the door innards
The first task was to fit the door handles and then set the gap between the push button plunger and the lock/latch striker lever to 1/32”. This should ensure that the latch is fully released when the push button is pressed. Adjustments were made by slackening the lock nut on the plunger, adjusting the setscrew and then nipping up the lock nut.

Setting the plunger-latch gap Allen key fixing lever position Setting the handle/lock link

The fitting of the link between the door handle lever and lock requires the lever to be fixed in position. Aligning a hole in the lever with a hole in the rear casing allows a small Allen key to be inserted to lock the position. The link is then fixed to the handle lever. Its lower end has three overlapping, fittings holes and it is simply a matter of picking the best fit to the lock lever.

The regulator springs had been removed prior to the regulators being plated and were showing signs of rusting. They were shot blasted and blackened with a four stage process supplied by Caswell UK. The process only takes approximately 30 minutes but the final stage requires the component to be dipped in oil and then left to dry overnight. I’m not convinced how durable this finish will be and its ability to stop future rusting so it will be packed with grease prior to fitting the door cards.

Regulator springs prior to blackening Spring after blackening and dipping in oil Regulator wound to refit spring

With the springs fitted, the regulator could be inserted from above, followed by the two brackets to secure the bottom of the window frame to the base of the door. These brackets are moveable on their mounting stud so the lateral position of the top of the drop glass can be adjusted. These were only hand-tightened as they will need adjusting when the hood frame is trial fitted.

Regulator was fed in from above Rear window bracket Front bracket is shorter

I found it easiest to insert the window frame by first tilting it forward and inwards at the top until the front stud has cleared the door frame. It was then secured at the top in three places, where two screws pass through the window frame and door frame into a thin plate below. Shims can be added as required between the window frame and door frame to either raise the whole frame or tilt it so the frames leading edge is parallel with the A-post.

(Although when I mentioned this to E-type expert Ken Verity, he suggested the need to tilt the frame with shims would suggest the frame might not be 100% true. This may cause window binding problems so needs to be checked before continuing. Distortion is typically caused by people use the glass or frame to pull themselves from the car.)

Clearing the front stud Fixing for top of the window frame Regulator fitted and at full height

The external glass weather strip needed to be clipped onto the door skin before inserting the drop glass because there wouldn’t be sufficient access once the glass was in place. (Update – I was jumping the gun here and had to remove it! I had forgotten to fit the chrome door flash so had incorrectly assumed the weather strip was attached to the lip of the door skin. I think it needs to be clipped to the lip of the chrome flash!) The window regulator needs to be raised to its maximum height in order to engage it with the drop glass channel.

Engaging drop glass with regulator Almost there – drop glass fitted Door remote control attaches to lock

Next is the door remote control. Its link arm is attached to the door lock to enable the door to be opened by the interior lever. A wavy washer is fitted between the lock and the link arm to take up the free play. The square nuts fitted in the regulator channels set the maximum height of the windows but these will wait until the trial fitting of the hood.

The doors were also fitted with a bracket that had a semi-circular foam section bonded to it. This is to dampen vibrations in the remote control link arm. Unfortunately these were missing on my car but once again RM & J Smith came to the rescue for obscure, missing parts. They had a pair of original brackets that would need tidying up and the foam replacing.

Finding suitable replacement foam was not an easy task! Eventually I found Seals+Direct who offered a 1” diameter 1/2 round cord of expanded Neoprene (part ENHC94) which was ideal. Strips were bonded to the brackets with the Alfabond AF178 contact adhesive.

The small aluminium seal blocks need to be fitted to the trailing edge of the doors before the door rubbers are trial fitted because these compress the upper part of the B-post seal.

Bonding new rubber Damping brackets fitted Finally the sealing blocks

The last check was to ensure the height of the door frames against the A-post was even on both sides. The driver side was flush with the A-post cap while the passenger side was 1/8” lower. An equivalent depth of shims was added under the window frame edge to bring the frame up to the same level.

Driver’s frame flush with A-post Passenger side was 1/8” lower!

What should have taken a day or two ended up taking well over a week! Next will be the refurbishing of the hood frame ….

Update: a recent post in the ‘factory fit’ thread on the E-Type forum identified that the chrome bracket for mounting a hard top is secured at the top by a 12-28UNF cheese head screw. This screw passes through the channel for the B-post seal into the rear of the chrome bracket (circled in red below). Therefore the seal needs to be fitted after bracket and the bracket is fitted after the interior trim.

I will therefore have to undo my fine work and detach the top 3″ or so, by softening the contact adhesive with white spirit, and re-attach once the interior trim is completed.

Hard top securing bracket Securing screw behind B-post seal

Images courtesy of E-Type Forum