A lesson learned. I had the hand brake pads rebonded as I said in the last issue, my mistake is I should have measured the thickness required as when I came to assemble the hand brake they were far too thick by at least 2 – 3 mm. This is partly because the new brake discs are much thicker than the old ones. After a lot of work getting them to go in they have ended up almost the same as the old ones were, I could have saved a lot of time and money.

Before I go any further I must say that I’m not a motor mechanic but have spent most of my life in the maintenance of machines in the textile and garment industry, this includes the design and building of specialist plant. I have an aversion to employing outside tradesman as I have found that I never get what I want done to my standard, at the same time I know my limitations as to my physical abilities and the equipment I either have or have access to. A case in point has just arisen with the back axle.

Not long before the accident we had the rear axle over-hauled with a new crownwheel and pinion fitted, this by a well known specialist firm in this field because I was not game to tackle this task. After I had fitted the new brake disc on the LH side, fitted the calipers and was in the process of assembling the hand brake I noticed that there was too much end float in the axle, .025 to be exact.

The book says .002 – .004. This was not wear as the car had not been anywhere of note between the job being done and the accident, it had not been done right in the first place. Nothing for it but to borrow the puller again, source a .010 shim and make it right. Have I made my point, don’t take it for granted that what others do for you is right, check things if you can.

My new American friend arrived yesterday with the vertical link and what I feared has happened, he has bought the wrong one, the LH instead of the RH. He has left it here and is sending the RH one over when he returns home. Take note it is for sale.

Have at last finished getting the hand-brake system all in place and working properly. It has taken many hours to do something that should have been quite straight-forward, so many things had been changed, and in effect butchered, that I had to almost rebuild every part. Even the new cable from the Spares Club was over 50mm too long and had to be shortened. (Spares Club take note) I am now confident that it is as good as it can be and that there is a ton of adjustment for the future. Hi-Tech Brake & Clutch, Melrose St did the shortening.

The brake piping, except for the very front, has been put in place and new ½ saddles made to position it on the chassis. The correct RH vertical link has arrived and it has been fitted into place.

All the exhaust parts have been sorted and cleaned, they are stainless and have scrubbed up quite good, won’t make the car go faster but will make it easier to work on. New rubber mounts have been bought, 8 in all, nearest I could find were an Austin – Morris part from Woolf Mufflers, not quite right but can be packed to suit.

A couple of friends (what are they for?) who came to dinner at our place were bribed to help me lift the bare block into place to enable me to get the exhaust system into the correct position. I will just sit the heads with the manifolds onto the block to make sure that it will be right when the motor is finally installed. This will also help to get a measurement for the drive shaft that will need rebuilding as it was altered to suit the Jag box.

Next jobs are to fit the rest of the steering mechanism, the front hubs with new bearings, then the front calipers. Still have to find out just where the petrol pipe actually runs. When that is done the chassis will be almost ready for the body. Should have some photos with the next episode.