Chuck's Jaguar D Type Build

Chuck

Supporter
Chassis / Tub Assembly, Part I

The D Type kit is typically delivered with the front and rear sub frames already bolted to the aluminum tub. We instead acquired a bare tub from RCR and did the assembly. The following discussion will have limited relevance to anyone building a D Type, except for some small changes we made.

It seems so simple: just drill a few holes and bolt the frames to the chassis. Yea, right. It proved to be about a fifteen hour job.

The rear frame indeed is a simple matter of drilling the holes and bolting it together. The front frame was a bit more challenging. The welds on the leading edges of the tub which mate with the angle brackets must be carefully ground down to match the inner radius of the angle bracket. When grinding down the welded seam the goal was to take off only what was needed and not an ounce more. An angle grinder with 40 grit paper was used initially followed by hand sanding with 80 grit paper on a long board. A template (I am fond of making templates) helped assure accuracy.

100178


100179


A come-along was used to carefully pull the front frame into position – the fit was that tight. Even with the come-along the last quarter inch or so could not be closed. Only when the six forward bolts were tightened did it slide into position. Once properly positioned the remaining holes were match drilled. It is now ready for final assembly.

100180


 

Chuck

Supporter
Chassis / Tub Assembly Part II.

RCR used button head bolts, presumably for appearance sake. We opted instead to use 3/8” Grade 8, fine thread, 1 ¼” long bolts and Nyloc nuts. For these joints we wanted the strongest possible hardware.

100288


To reinforce the back side, four plates were fabricated from 1/8” steel and match drilled. They were then painted silver to blend in with the aluminum.

100289


The 3/8” hardware was torqued to 35 foot pounds. Each nut was marked with a black Sharpie once torqued.

100290


An electronic level is a most helpful tool for checking alignment. It was used to check the relationship between the front frame and the aluminum tub at multiple points. We confirmed that various locations, left to right, fore and aft, were within a half degree. The chassis was then set on the four red blocks referenced in a prior post and, much to our delight, it set perfectly on all four confirming that chassis was straight and true.

100291


100292


With the front frame and aluminum tub mated and aligned, the next project will be test fitting the drivetrain.
 
Nice work as always. I'm jealous of your flat floor. :)
I was confused on the steering rack at first, then remembered it will be RHD, right?
 

Neil

Supporter
Chuck, you might consider adding some vertical gussets to your rack mounting plates. They are not very stiff in the up & down plane.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Chuck, you might consider adding some vertical gussets to your rack mounting plates. They are not very stiff in the up & down plane.
Good observation. Ryan had made the same comment. Indeed we are working out a simple design that will bolt on should that be an issue. Low on the priority list at this point.
 

Chris Kouba

Supporter
You appear to have the nut sharpie marked to the washer? Is that observation correct? I know it's not likely to move but I would make the reference mark between the nut and end of the bolt itself. If it loosens, the washer may spin with the nut.
 
You appear to have the nut sharpie marked to the washer? Is that observation correct? I know it's not likely to move but I would make the reference mark between the nut and end of the bolt itself. If it loosens, the washer may spin with the nut.
I think the marks were to show the particular fastener was torqued, not to show if subsequently rotated
 

Chuck

Supporter
You appear to have the nut sharpie marked to the washer? Is that observation correct? I know it's not likely to move but I would make the reference mark between the nut and end of the bolt itself. If it loosens, the washer may spin with the nut.
Barry is correct. The Sharpie is just a visual reference so one knows which have been torqued and which remain to be torqued. As a seasoned citizen such aides can be useful when torqueing a bunch of identical nuts. Good observation nonetheless!

The Sharpie marks will likely wipe away in time. I have some proper Torque Seal, which comes in assorted colors, that can be used for more permanent marking in the manner you described.
 
Barry is correct. The Sharpie is just a visual reference so one knows which have been torqued and which remain to be torqued. As a seasoned citizen such aides can be useful when torqueing a bunch of identical nuts. Good observation nonetheless!

The Sharpie marks will likely wipe away in time. I have some proper Torque Seal, which comes in assorted colors, that can be used for more permanent marking in the manner you described.
I love the "seasoned citizen" description.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Drive Train Test Fit

Up to know we had no idea how the drivetrain would fit into the chassis. It was time to find out before adding brake lines, steering linkage, wiring and all the other goodies.

The bell housing and transmission were temporarily bolted to the engine. The goal was to set the engine and transmission into the chassis as a unit. It quickly became apparent it could not be maneuvered into place with the transmission attached.

100373


100374


After disconnecting the transmission, the engine and bell housing were set in place with the engine lift. The transmission was then set in place from above and connected to the bell housing with four bolts.

100375


100376


100377


This exercise revealed valuable information:

1. The engine with the side draft Webers will fit, but clearances are tight.

2. The oil filter will be awkward to reach.

3. Options for engine mounts will need to be explored to assure the engine sets properly.

4. A mount for the transmission will need to be fabricated.

5. Reaching the four bolts that tie the transmission to the bell housing is difficult and a better means of accessing them will need to be found.
 
Drive Train Test Fit

Up to know we had no idea how the drivetrain would fit into the chassis. It was time to find out before adding brake lines, steering linkage, wiring and all the other goodies.

The bell housing and transmission were temporarily bolted to the engine. The goal was to set the engine and transmission into the chassis as a unit. It quickly became apparent it could not be maneuvered into place with the transmission attached.

View attachment 100373

View attachment 100374

After disconnecting the transmission, the engine and bell housing were set in place with the engine lift. The transmission was then set in place from above and connected to the bell housing with four bolts.

View attachment 100375

View attachment 100376

View attachment 100377

This exercise revealed valuable information:

1. The engine with the side draft Webers will fit, but clearances are tight.

2. The oil filter will be awkward to reach.

3. Options for engine mounts will need to be explored to assure the engine sets properly.

4. A mount for the transmission will need to be fabricated.

5. Reaching the four bolts that tie the transmission to the bell housing is difficult and a better means of accessing them will need to be found.
Very valuable insights. What do you think about the shifter position?

Is it the closed bottom to the drive tunnel that prevents tipping the engine/trans assembly? Would a strategically placed access port there help?
 
Very valuable insights. What do you think about the shifter position?

Is it the closed bottom to the drive tunnel that prevents tipping the engine/trans assembly? Would a strategically placed access port there help?
Are you planning on an oil cooler? Wondering if that facilitates remote oil filter.
 

Chuck

Supporter
Barry:

1. A remote oil filter may indeed be necessary. I am checking into smaller sized filters as well.

2. An authentic aircraft style oil cooler runs around $750, so that is not likely to find its way onto this Jag, although the space will be there and if something suitable comes along . . . .

3. No way will the entire drivetrain go into place as a unit. The transmission needs to be separated.

4. I may add small access holes to simplify access to the four transmission bolts.

John:

1. Have been doing some layout and planning for the steering. It looks like it will fit nicely under the Webers. More to come on that project.
 
I will be making more compromises to affordability on my D. The 4.2 I am using is from an '83 XJ6, and came with the OEM oil cooler. Not nearly as "cool" as the aircraft style, but similar height and width. Only half as thick. I took it to Steve as he was doing the aluminum panel work to think about how it might be fit.
 
Would it make more sense to use 4 studs on the bellhousing, with some taper on the ends, to facilitate easing the transmission into place? I used temporary studs as alignment pins when adding the trans just on the run stand.
 
Top