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May 27, 2006

More parts restoration.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 12:45 pm

I’m calling it “parts restoration” because the car is for all intents and purposes “restored” already, despite my having to correct what seems to be an endless and very expensive stream of mistakes by the original restorer.

While not really a “mistake” I’m also putting some modifications made to the car back to “stock.” One of those modifications is the air filter setup. Like other pointless debates (mac vs pc, emacs vs vi, democrats vs republicans, etc) the subject of air filtration on the Jaguar E-type is usually a cause for a flame-fest on the Internet. In one camp are the “stock” people, who insist that the Jaguar engineers knew what they were doing and built an excellent system that allowed a LOT of cool, fresh, filtered air into the big triple SU HD8 carbs along an optimal path. In the other camp are another group who say that modern, washable pancake filters from a company called K&N are the bees knees. Oddly the folks in the latter camp seem to either be those who have bought such systems, or those who sell such systems.

The person who restored my car, Dan Mooney of Classic Jaguar, is one of the latter. He sells the K&N’s and like all in the “K&N camp” claim that they increase the performance of the engine. I’ve noted that the claims on his site have been toned down a bit of late, and now it seems he’s pushing the looks (Mr. Mooney has a fetish for billet aluminum it seems) more than the “added horsepower” and whatnot. Thankfully, everything that has ever been on the web, stays on the web:

These are the air filters that your E Type needs! Manufactured to the highest standards by K&N, they offer real performance gains and significantly increased engine life. No more costly replacement filter elements - these filters will be with you as long as you own your car. Beautifully encased in their custom made stainless steel housings and precut and drilled by Classic Jaguar's own technicians...
–Classic Jaguar website, circa 2000

(a tangent: Poke about various web archives and you’ll see that the earliest versions of the Classic Jaguar website prominently feature my car. I’ve said many times that this car went a long way to establishing the reputation of Dan Mooney. Perhaps it will continue to do so, but in the opposite direction.)

My engine did not see any increase in life whatsoever, since it ran for a bit more than 10,000 miles before requiring a very expensive rebuild. A rebuild that I had to pay for out of pocket with no help, or refund from Mr. Mooney or Classic Jaguar thankyouverymuch.

Given that everything else about the car, at least mechanically, has been a disaster, I have zero faith in these claims, and zero faith in the judgement and skill set of Dan Mooney. He may be a fine salesman, but I don’t believe his knowledge of mechanical engineering ranks very high. The K&Ns may have had nothing to do with the engine’s demise, but I’d like to remove all traces of Dan Mooney and Classic Jaguar from this car… much like he has removed virtually all traces of this car and it’s previous owner (my father) from the Classic Jaguar website. Dan can try, like Stalin, to rewrite history, but I can restore what has been retouched back into the historical record.

I’ve been slowly acquiring the parts required to re-install the stock air cleaner on my car. I showed the trumpets in an earlier post. You also got a glimpse of the plenum from the original eBay picture. You will note that they only showed the bottom.

Here is the reason why:

The top had been very crudely painted… twice. Once white, and then red. The red was likely overspray from the car it came from. So I’ve been slowly sanding the old paint away. The above photos were taken at a halfway point. I forgot to snap a photo before I started.

The remaining bit is the filter canister itself, which like the trumpets and plenum sell for way too much money. I’m not in a hurry, so I know I’ll find a good one eventually. When that happens I’d like to offer my car up as final, authoritative proof, that will settle the pointless debate once and for all. I’ll find a dyno and test the car before and after. The only variable will be the air filters, so we’ll know which side of the debate is right.

May 23, 2006

Car flies farther than plane.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 4:03 pm

That is not a photoshop job… that is an actual photograph.

I’ll let that sink in a bit…

This is a photograph of an Aston-Martin in mid-flight, during a practice lap at Mid-Ohio last weekend. It flew farther than the Wright Brother’s inaugural airborne adventure.

Amazing that it maintained attitude and didn’t engage in any aerobatics during the flight.

Amazing. Here it is on video:

“Lousy postseason TV ratings are an NHL way of life”

Filed under: Hockey — chuck goolsbee @ 1:44 pm

So says John Rolfe of Sport Illustrated.

I think part of the NHL’s problem is schedule. It is almost June ferchrissakes!

I recall when the Stanley Cup would be decided by the end of the first week in May. Now it seems it is almost the 4th of July when they hoist The Cup for a skate around the rink. I used to be glued to the set for the playoffs, but now I’d rather be outside. It stays light here at this latitude until 9 PM this time of year. By the time the finals roll around, it will be light until after 10 PM. I don’t even think of turning on the tube once the rains (mostly) cease and sun comes out.

Hockey is a winter sport, it starts in the first week of October, when the air starts to chill. It SHOULD finish sometime between tulips & daffodils and the closing of the lifts at Mt. Baker. But instead, they’ve created a system to milk the maximum revenue out of the playoff process.

It is backfiring on them.

After the disaster of the 04/05 non-season, they made a lot of rule changes to improve the game, with a strong focus on speeding the game up. They are calling the interference, and the clutch & grab. Now let’s speed up the playoff please!

Drop the first round and half the number of teams eligible. Get it all done in the month of April, and wrap it up by the end of the first week of May.

May 21, 2006

ABFM @ Van Dusen Gardens

Filed under: Cars,life — chuck goolsbee @ 10:22 pm

Nicholas and I took the Jaguar up to Vancouver BC on Saturday for the All British Field Meet at Van Dusen gardens. I’ve never been, and several people told me it was a “must do” event, so this year I figured I’d go.

I got up pretty early and checked the weather forecast. It was raining at 5:30 AM, but the weather guys all said it would clear up later. Nick & I climbed into the car with the top up and headed north. It rained virtually the whole way to Bellingham. Thankfully I Rain-X’ed the windscreen… but I forgot to apply my “aftermarket weather-stripping” (i.e. tape) between the glass and top, so sure enough, it leaked. Nicholas could scoot over in his seat and avoid getting wet. No so me, whose hands were right in the drip line on the steering wheel. Nick just zoned out with the iPod and I just drove up the Interstate. We passed one big Healey somewhere south of Bellingham, but no other ABFM cars were seen. The border crossing was swift and painless… the guy asking only if we were going to the car show and the usual gun/gift questions they ask on the northbound crossing of 49° N.

We stopped at a gas station on Oak Street to drop the top, grab some $CDN from an ATM, and something to drink for the day, then pulled into Van Dusen gardens. We found out why we saw so few cars before… we were late! We were virtually the last car to arrive. I registered and was told where to go, and we went to the Jaguar area. Bruce Cox (the guy I shuttled tires north for) was assigning parking spaces, and placed us up on the hill with the rest of the E-types. There were 25 of them!

The car was very dirty from the drive up, and Nick and I made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning it. In reality I was not equipped for the task. I haven’t washed it in about a month, and haven’t vacuumed the interior in well over a year. The tonneau cover I pulled out of the boot (to deploy should it rain) was covered in cat hair… damn cats! I reached for my lint roller thing and it was gone. Oh well. I just stuffed the hair covered part down behind the seats. Nick grabbed some rags and started polishing off the dirty raindrop marks on the bonnet. I grabbed a can of ArmourAll wipes and a made a valiant attempt to clean up the interior and tires. It got to the “passable” point and I gave up. We had zero chances of winning any beauty prizes anyway. I left the splashed road grime all around the bottom of the car, deployed my “It is OK to touch this car!” sign**, grabbed the camera, and took off with Nick to see the show.

**[I made this sign a few years ago and leave it in the car all the time. It has a brief history of the E-type, both as a model and the specific history of this car. Since this car has been through all sorts of misery, and is far from "concours condition" I have no qualms about people touching it. There is nothing the casual observer can do to it that is worse than what this car has been through at the hands of the weather and idiots with wrenches in Texas.]

We made two laps of the field, with a stop for lunch halfway. There were hundreds of cars.. maybe 600 in all…. maybe more. All British, with virtually everything from AC to Wollesey. Everything from sports cars to saloons and sedans. From the sublime to the ridiculous. The only British cars I’d expect but didn’t see there were any pre-war Jaguars (SS cars), or pre-war Bentleys, or a Lotus Elite (type 14, not the 70’s ugly thing, one of those was there!) Otherwise, it was a very complete show.

You can see my pictures from the day here.

I ran into several people I know, including Doug & Constance Martin, Bruce Cox, Sandro Menzel (whose engine I finally photographed, and who helped Nick get permission to climb into a roof-mounted tent on a Land Rover), and the MacCormacks, who shared their wine with me after we’d walked the field. Mark Norris, who I’d corresponded with online came by and introduced himself, and showed me his gorgeous big Healey. His E-type is still in the process of restoration. I was introduced to a bunch of folks, whose names I’ve already forgotten… I’m bad about that.

Just like the weatherman said, the day improved as it went, becoming very nice by afternoon.

By 2:30 or so we were basically done. I love car events, but much prefer DRIVING events to shows. To be honest, by mid-afternoon I was bored out of my skull. Nick was ready to go too. We laid down under a tree and watched people look at our car, parked a ways away. We talked among ourselves, and then a bagpiper played the pibroch (piobaireachd) to call the attendees together for the awards ceremony. For Nick & I it was a signal that we could leave, so we packed up the car and as everyone gathered at the front of the park, we snuck out the back.

We stopped in White Rock to get Sue some cider, crossed the border, stopped in Bellingham for a quick bite at Boomer’s Drive In. From there we took WA 11, aka Chuckanut Drive, which was a blast as always. Hearing the exhaust echo off the cliffs above, with the sights of the San Juan Islands to the right… what a trip! We rejoined I-5 through the Skagit Valley, but jumped off at Conway for the back roads of WA 534 and WA 9 home to Arlington.

The car ran great, and Nick was a great travelling companion, as always. Not a bad way to spend a day!

May 12, 2006

Filed under: life — chuck goolsbee @ 3:00 pm

My “Jaguar Friend” John Bennett of Western Australia sent me this photo. I met John and his wife Eleanor over a year ago now when they were here in the northwest visiting their son, who works for Microsoft. They spent a night at our house (unfortunately raining, so the Jag fun was limited to the garage!) and we provided them some transportation to the rail station. They rode trains around western Canada before heading home to Australia.

Here is John’s photo caption: “Well this was sunset through my window today. The city of Perth is in the middle of a coastal plain about 25 miles wide and we are up on a scarp slope at about 800 foot level overlooking the plain.

One of the great things about the Internet is the ability to communicate with such immediacy with people all over the world.

May 7, 2006

My hub, an update.

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 10:52 pm

The picture I posted last week (the story just below this one) is a small taste of what we found when Geoff & I removed the left rear hub of the Jaguar. It has always made an occasional “clunk” sound, usually when shifting from forward to reverse. I have been real good about keeping it lubricated (along with the wheel spline) and it usually went away for a while after I lubed it up good. It would eventually return and last winter, in the course of lubricating the car while the wheels were off, I found the left rear hub to have some free play in a fore/aft motion. You can read about that here.

We removed the hub and once the fulcrum shaft came out, the set of bronze bushings literally fell out onto the floor. Not an auspicious start to a hub repair! We disassembled the hub and other than an oil retainer seal and the two bushings, there was nothing else installed along the fulcrum shaft. My “old-school” Yorkshireman mechanic expressed outrage at this particular setup. I’ve never dealt with brass bushings, and have only seen the exploded diagrams of the stock hub setup. It looks like this:

That is a diagram from the SNG Barratt catalog. What we are talking about here are labelled numbers 1 through 11. Parts 1 & 11 are given… the nuts on the end, and the fulcrum shaft itself. Mine had those, plus #3, but nothing else… besides two really worn “TeamCJ” bronze bushings. And a huge wad of grease from the last time I lubricated of course. But, no spacers, shims, or sleeves. The retainer seals were chewed up, and went straight into the trash. In hindsight I should have taken more photos. Here is basically what was found:

The bushing and fulcrum shaft are fresh out of the parts washer, the hub carrier is about to go in. THANKFULLY the hub carrier itself was fine. We caught it just in time, as the shaft was just getting discolored, instead of actually worn. The bushings however, were chewed up and completely shot.

Looking at them closely I can make an educated guess as to why. I strongly suspect that in the post-flood restoration the fine mechanics at Classic Jaguar just plain forgot/neglected to disassemble the lower fulcrum. As a result it was lubricated with a fine paste of rainwater and bayou silt. Ugh.

Here are some photos of the two bushings, up close and personal.

I plan on having a look at the right rear hub soon. It has been noiseless and steady so far, but it won’t hurt to have a look.

Next up: Fixing the hub and followup.

May 3, 2006

Guess what this is!

Filed under: Cars — chuck goolsbee @ 10:35 pm

I await your educated guesses!

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