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.

Dec 282012

The seats had been a nightmare to remove from the car as the securing bolts were rusted solid and it was virtually impossible to get any penetrating oil into the threads due to the hardura trim beneath the seat. It also became clear that there was a fair amount of movement between the seat bases and the seat backs which would need to be invesitgated and addressed.

The seats in the S2 had the benefit over the earlier cars of being able to recline. The seat base and the seat back are joined by reclining mechanisms at each side, which are operated via a chromed lever. In normal use the seat back is locked in position by the engagement of toothed components within the mechanism.

The operation of the lever disengages the teeth, therefore allowing the seat back to move relative to the seat base. A connecting bar runs behind the seat so that the reclining mechanism is activated on both sides simultaniously and return springs ensure that the mechanisms return to the locked state when the lever is released.

The reclining mechanism showing the connecting bar which operates a toothed locking mechanism and also one of the return springs

The reclining mechanisms are attached to the seat backs by two countersunk screws at each side

Pressing out the connecting bar guides

There were two causes for the excessive movement. The first was as a result of stretching in some of the countersunk holes, for connecting the mechanism to the seat back. The second was due to the loosening of the pivot joint between the two halves of the mechanism.

The pivot joint consists of a round metal cylinder which is lipped at one end. This passes through the outer half of the mechanism until the lip is flush and then through the inner half of the mechanism. It is then MIG welded to the inner half. The pivot joint is cylindrical as it also acts as the pivot for the connecting bar, which has protrusions at each end which pass through the pivot centres.

The pivot joint was very loose on two of the mechanisms and had obviously been meddled with by a previous owner, probably trying to address the excesive play. So I thought it would be a good idea to dismantle them so that they could be repaired and painted.

With hindsight I don’t think they are designed to be dismantled as, to do so, requires the welded pivot joint to be pressed out to provide enough movement to disengage the various parts. I think this must have been what the previous owner had tried before giving up. However I’d reached the point of no return!

Dismantled at last Damage bolt hole In need of repair

The dismantled reclining mechanism. The reclining connecting bar interlocks with the toothed wedge piece to lock and release the seat back

The two parts show where the attachment hole has been stretched, causing excessive movement in the seat backs

The parts were shot blasted and the damaged ones repaired by adding new metal and then grinding back to the correct profile

The welds securing the pivot joints were ground down so that only a small amount of weld remained. They could then be pressed out using a vice. This provided sufficient movement of the connecting bar to disengage it from the interlocked toothed, wedge shaped piece (above left) while withdrawing it from the mechanism. In doing so the two halves of the mechanism then fell apart.

The individual parts were then shot blasted before new metal was added to the parts requiring repair to the stretched bolt holes. They were then ground back to the correct profile. All the parts were then painted in POR15 in preference to powder coating as I felt POR15 would give a much tougher finish.

Painting with POR15 New spray booth! Ready for rebuild

The parts were then painted with POR15 to give a tough coating which should be better at withstanding the abrasion

Hanging the parts to dry

The parts ready for the rebuild, which I wasn't looking forward to! Note: new machined joints and circlip to replace the need for welding

I wanted to avoid the need to weld the pivot joints to the mechanism. Fortunately a local from the pub runs a machine shop and offered to make up some new joints in stainless steel. Rather then being welded, the joints were machined with a groove so that they could be secured with a circlip. If they need to be dismantled in future it won’t be such a difficult task next time around. A week later four shiny new joints were delivered all for the cost of a pint!

At the same time as sorting the reclining mechanisms, the seats were stripped back to the frames as these were going to be sent away to be professionally re-trimmed. It’s possible to purchase re-trim kits which include new leather seat covers but most on the E-type Forum who had rebuild their cars recommended getting the seats and the central console done professionally and I was happy to take their advice!

Seat cover removed Seat back padding Edges covered in cotton

The seat back cover is secured at the base by stables into a plywood strip

The firmness of the seat back is provided by interconnected elastic rubber rings. The black plastic head rest guide had been snapped off.

A fibrous material provides the padding for the seat back

The removal of seat back cover was simply a matter of removing the securing staples around its base. The seat cover can then be slid off to reveal the metal frame and internal padding, covered in a plastic protective covering. The spring in the seat back is provided by a series of interconnecting rubber rings connected to the metal frame and the seat padding is an odd fibrous material. The edges were also padded out with compacted, loose cotton. All of this would be replaced during the re-trim.

The seat runners were removed from the seat bases but the release arms were scrapping on the underside of the metal frame. I suspect this might be due to incorrect shimming or the arms have been bent. I’ll have to sort this out when they are refitted.

The S2 seat runners differ from earlier cars as they have a connecting wire so the runners are released from both sides

The runner release arm was fouling the seat base. I think this is most likely to be incorrect shimming between the runner and the seat base

The seat base covers are similarly secured by staples into a material strip on the underside of the metal seat base frame. This time the padding is provided by a dense foam moulding and the spring by a rubber diaphragm. Both the rubber and foam had started to perish due to age but again these would be replaced.

The seat diaphragm rubber had started to perish

The seat foam was no longer bonded to the seat base so the seat foam and cover could just be lifted away from the frame

One other problem that wasn’t immediately obvious was that the front mounting points were broken. The mounting points are captive nuts which are welded in place however the metal had fractured almost the entire way round the nut. The seat bases were sent off to be repaired by Hutsons, who were doing the bodyshell work as I didn’t have the necessary metalworking equipment …. or the skills!

The seat frames, centre console and some other interior trim were then sent off to Suffolk & Turley to be re-trimmed. I had always envisaged that the car would be painted in British Racing Green and trimmed in a cream leather.

However a late change in paint colour to Oparlescent Dark Blue meant that I now needed to decide on an alternative interior colour. The colour choices offered by Jaguar for the interior for Oparlescent Dark Blue cars were Black, Light Blue and Red. Although I believe it was possible to specify any interior colour in their range when the cars were ordered.

I didn’t want black as I wanted some contrast to the black of the dash. I wasn’t that keen on the light blue …. probably biased because I’d never liked the original light blue exterior. So red it was! Although Eric Suffolk did try to tempt me with the light blue as he said it was his favourite colour. I must admit that Oparlescent Dark Blue with a red interior was probably the last combination I would ever have gone for so I hope it looks alright at the end. Too late to change my mind – I was committed now!

The rebuilt reclinging mechanism with freshly zinc-nickel plated return springs. Boy were the springs difficult to fit without destroying the new paint!

The completed seat, console and trim kit were picked up from Suffolk & Turley. They'd done a fantasic job - just like new!

The hard work and lengthy repair of the reclining mechanisms were worth it. I'm so pleased with the seats and console and now really eager to fit the interior

There was quite a time gap between sending the seat frames and console off to Suffolk & Turley and my finishing the repair of the reclining mechanisms. Work and other things were taking precedence. However I was now holding things up as the seats were awaiting re-covering and Eric was insistent that he needed the mechanisms to make sure the stitch lines in the seat back and seat base were aligned. So I made a last push to get the mechanisms rebuilt before posting them off to Eric to work his magic.

The reclining mechanism also has larger springs ro return the seat back to the upright position. I still need to source the bakelite knobs for the reclining levers

A good view of the connecting bar between the two sides of the reclining mechanisms

The seat frames were powder coated in the correct grey and new diaphragm and seat foam used in the retrim