There are always multiple projects going on at the Southern Wheels Garage. In this article, I will cover three of them as listed above. Previous articles on the above cars can be read online at www.southernwheels.com in the Archives section.
1948 Packard Machine Glaze:
The '48 Packard Custom 8 Club Sedan (Coupe) is in its final polishing before assembly. Restorer Tim Nicewanner is heading up buffing and polishing the coupe. After buffing the PPG Delstar acrylic enamel with 3m Rubbing Compound #05974 using a wool pad, the car was washed down with clean water with the a few drops of dishwashing liquid. Then Tim went over the entire car using work lights to find any thin places in the paint or other imperfections. All places were photographed and noted in our restoration log and the finish polishing began. We use a Makita #9227C buffer with a 3M 05725 foam pad and Meguiar's Mirror Glaze #3 compound. The compound you use is subjective, depending on the finish you want to achieve. As Tim polished, he used 2000 grit wet sandpaper to remove any slight imperfections such as dull spots, etc., in the paint. He also used a die grinder with a 4" mushroom cotton buff for door jambs and tight places. Extreme care is used here. If the die grinder were to skip, it could leave scores in the paint that might not sand out. This takes a lot of practice. After each section was polished, it was washed and covered with plastic to keep the next panel's compound off of it.
When the entire car is polished, the doors, hood, trunk, etc., will be put on and gaps set, then the car will be pulled outside and checked in the sunlight for imperfections. They will be marked with masking tape (we use blue because it is not as adhesive as the green), and those places will be repainted and re-buffed and polished. As we continue the '48's restoration, we will cover that in future articles.
Jaguar Mk2 Gas Tank Renewal:
Before we bought our 1967 Jaguar Mk 2 in January of this year, it had sat for years in dry storage. Cosmetically it needs very little to be a nice driver. The engine and transmission are good, but everything else needs to be gone through. We have completely rebuilt the brake system, gone through the cooling system and are now finishing the fuel system. After inspecting the gas line at the filter, I knew we would have to remove and clean the gas tank and the old electric fuel pump. I couldn't resist driving it around the neighborhood, though. It's a right-hand drive, handles great and is really fun to drive!
To clean up the fuel system, I started with the sending unit, which can be removed by pulling out the access panel in the trunk. This exposes the sender's screws and three-wire hookup. We marked the wires with a paint pen. The sender and tank were also marked so that the sender would go back in the way it was removed. There was no guarantee that the sender was in correctly, so we checked our Jaguar "Spare Parts" book and the tank assembly illustration showed the float to the front of the tank. Ours was correct. We disconnected the battery, then removed the sender. With the sender out, we tried to move the float arm. It wouldn't move. Using some WD-40, we carefully moved the arm up and down until it freed up. We then cleaned the wires and terminals, reconnected the battery and sender connections and tested the unit. To test the sender, with the battery connected I turned on the ignition switch while Tim moved the float arm, going from empty (down) to full in the up position. Great! It worked! We again disconnected the battery to remove the fuel tank.
The trunk has an unusual design. It conforms around the recessed spare tire in the trunk floor. We first removed the exhaust pipes-to-body mount allowing the twin pipes to come down, allowing the tank to clear. The tank's three nuts and rubber bushings were removed and bagged. The rubber filler neck grommet was removed and the tank was carefully lowered down. This is a "vented" tank and the vent hose was long gone, and when we looked into the tank it was full of silt and sludgea good 1/4" along the bottom of the tank. The pickup tube was only about 1/16" above the sludge! I'm glad we pulled this tank! The tank minus the sender was taken to Danny and our buddies at Chatt-Town Radiator* to be cleaned inside and out and sealed. Danny uses a sealer that is impervious to ethanol, although we never use it, but you never know if you'll get caught out on the road with that as the only fuel available. With the tank away, I undercoated the bottom side of the trunk pan above the tank (no rust found) and painted down inside the gas filler well (car color), cleaned up all of the hardware and replaced the lock washers and a few of the rubber bushings. They are held together with a metal sleeve 1/2" OD and 3/8" ID and one was missing. I used a piece of brass tubing for this and it fit perfectly. When the tank came back, it was primed with a primer/sealer and painted gunmetal gray as original. The brass drain plug was polished and a new vent hose was installed. With the sender our, we blew through the vent hose to make sure it was clear, and it was. We then put the cap on to keep out trash during installation and pushed the tank into place, putting in the bushings, flat washers, lock washers and nuts, then we put the exhaust hanger on, the filler neck collar and put in and hooked up the sender. In a future issue we will install the fuel pump, purge the fuel lines and start the car.
1936 Packard Senior Series 8 Oil Pressure Adjustment:
Before we rebuilt the 320 CID, 9 main bearing engine in this rumble seat coupe, we set the oil pressure up, hoping to eliminate the bearing noise in the old engine. The '35-'39 Packard Senior series cars (8's and 12's) had an oil pressure regulator positioned midway and low on the block on the car's left side. It consists of a housing, spring, adjustment screw, copper gasket, lock nut and a chrome acorn nut covering the adjustment slot screw's end. The acorn nut tightens against the lock nut to prevent any possibility of oil pressure change. To adjust the pressure, we removed the acorn nut with a 1 1/16" wrench and loosened the lock nut (same wrench) and using a slot head screwdriver, turned the adjustment screw counter-clockwise to reduce the oil pressure. This sounds easy, but the adjustment screw wouldn't budge. What worked was to hold the screw and loosen the nut from the screw using the long wrench's leverage, but it could only be moved a fraction at a time then repositioned because of the wrench's length hitting the fender well. We kept working it until they finally freed up to allow adjustment. Before moving the screw, we marked the slot and the nut so we would know where we started. It was on 10/4 o'clock. Using a mechanic's mirror, we backed it off to 7/1 o'clock. We started the car and the oil pressure came down. We then tightened down the lock nut and acorn nut and rechecked our oil pressure. When the engine was rebuilt, modern bearings were installed and the engine was running at over 20 lbs at an idle and almost 80 lbs driving (hot). After we set the oil pressure down, it idles at about 15 and runs around 65 (hot). We are going to change the oil and will recheck. If we need to tweak it, it will be much easier because everything is free and I have acquired a 1 1/16" ratchet wrench--sweet!
I hope you've enjoyed the projects. We enjoyed doing them. Happy Holidays and keep 'em driving!