Frank Schwartz's Jensen Interceptor Tech Tips

With Frank's permission, here are his tech tips as collected from the Jensen e-mail list. The MS-Word document is available here, or see the HTML text version below. Updates will be added as they are received from Frank.

Last updated: December 8, 2000


JENSEN INTERCEPTOR NOTES AND HINTS

All of the following are items I have collected from the Internet.

This covers a period from May 1999 through March 2000.

I have listed the "author" wherever possible,

and in some cases changed a word or two to make it

more readable. I trust it will prove helpful to my

fellow Interceptor owners.

Frank Schwartz


  • Air Conditioning
  • Battery
  • Belts
  • Blower (Heater & A/C)
  • Bonnet (Hood) Insulation
  • Bonnet (Hood) Latch
  • Brakes
  • Carpet/Floor Mats
  • Charging System
  • Cigarette Lighter Socket
  • Cooling System
  • Dash Wood Veneer
  • Design Philosophy (Humor?)
  • Differential
  • Doors
  • Door Handles
  • Electrical
  • Exhaust Manifolds
  • Fans
  • "Farewell Forever O Mighty Silver Bird" -- The Mystery
  • Floor Panels
  • Fog Lamps
  • Fuel Return Lines
  • Fumes
  • Garage Organization
  • Gasoline (Petrol)
  • Grill
  • Heater Box Rawl Nut
  • Hood (Bonnet) Insulation
  • Hood (Bonnet) Latch
  • Horns
  • Hose (Radiator)
  • Ignition System
  • Keys
  • Leather Restoration
  • Mirrors
  • Oil
  • Oil Pan
  • Oil Pressure Warning Light
  • Oil Pump Elbow Adaptors
  • Panel Lamp Dimmer
  • Petrol (Gasoline)
  • Picnic
  • Plastic Parts
  • Radiators
  • Radiator Hose
  • Rawl Nut (Heater Box)
  • Rear View Mirror
  • Rear Window Demister
  • Rubber Lubricant
  • Shock Absorbers (Rear)
  • Spare Tire
  • Springs (Rear)
  • Stainless Trim
  • Starter
  • Starter Cables
  • Switches (Lucas)
  • Tail Light Reflectors
  • Tires
  • Top Grille Removal
  • Transmission Rebuild
  • Trim (Brightwork)
  • Vacuum Actuators
  • Valve Cover Gaskets
  • Whazzit?
  • Wheel Colours
  • Wheel Nuts
  • Window Gear Kits
  • Window Installation
  • Window Lift Motors
  • Wiper Delay

  • AIR CONDITIONING

    ^^^....I cannot drive my car out in the rain as it fogs up in minutes so badly that I have to pull over to the side of the road to wipe the windows. What is happening is that the rain is running in to the grill that is on top of the car in the middle next to the windshield. I have had several discussions with Doug Meyer on how and what is happening. Water is leaking in to the car and is collecting in the trough that is in front of the blower motor. To check out if this is true, pull down the glove box and you will see a rubber flap. Feel in behind and see if it is damp. If so, it means that one of the (drain) hoses from that box is plugged which is stopping water from draining. In the same way that they create fog in a theater by blowing air over a block of ice, you are blowing warm air over water causing the same effect. I have found through diligence and guidance from Doug that there are actually four hoses that need to be checked. (All of them hard to get to, I might add). I have done three of them but the fourth one is very difficult to access and of course it must be the one that is plugged as it is still fogging up. To get access to one of them, I had to remove the battery to get to it. The trouble is that the manual does not show them. On the other side of the box you should be able to see another hose that is right behind the engine block against the firewall. (This is the most difficult one to find) \

    Doug has suggested that you will have to cut a hole in the fiberglass box to get access to pulling of the end of the hose so that you can clean it. I have been trying to find alternative methods without going that far. (It may still have to be that way. ...if you do not smell the sweetish smell of anti-freeze, then you do not have a leak in your heater core. When you find the hoses, try and poke a wire up to see if you can find anything that is blocking the hose (dirt, crud, leaves, etc.)

    David Ballantine North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

     


    BATTERY

    ^^^The battery you need is a "group 24" and Doug said that any should be fine as long as it has 750 to 1000 cranking amps.

    Keri Meyer, Snohomish, WA


    BELTS

    ^^^I just replaced the belts on my Int. III and here are the numbers I got off the belts. The Alt/AC number is Dynaflex by Dayco 15585 (2 required) must replace in pairs. The Power Steering is Dynaflex by Dayco 15510. The third one is a mystery as I was sure that I had replaced it but it only has the Canadian Part number on it and no brand name 22382. I was able to go into a store like Pep Boys in Everette in Washington state and told them that I needed all the belts for a 1974 Chrysler New Yorker with a 440. They did not seem to have any problem as they looked it up on their microfiche and Viola!. If I remember correctly I think that I paid around $45 US.

    David Ballantine North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

     


    BLOWER (FAN, A/C & HEATER)

    With regard to...problem of blower speed selection failure, my experience of this eventually turned out to be a switch failure. The plastic in the switch became brittle over time and eventually began to disintegrate. I had trouble finding a replacement, and so salvaged the copper contacts and vacuum switch parts from the speed selector switch and built a new one out of a nylon - not an easy job but worth while. So to diagnose similar blower motor problems in the most time effective manner I would suggest first checking the switch and only then going about accessing, removing and cleaning those awkwardly placed resistors (under the battery mount). Charles Plummer (with rebuilt switch and magnificently clean blower resistors) Interceptor "J" Series Melbourne, Australia


    BRAKES

    ^^^Bill Spohn answered this: In the brake fluid reservoir there is a float holder, mine is plastic with a fine net or strainer that holds a plastic ball. The float for the sensor tends to disappear over time. Bill answered: I have had some luck replacing them with half of a wine cork impaled on the shaft of the sensor. Take note that you need to use a firm cork without sediment from a young wine, and keep an eye on it as it can also eventually absorb fluid, become waterlogged and sink.. For most owners, the annual ritual of the replacement of the cork should not be too great an effort, providing the wine is decent.

    ^^^Service type greasing while wheels are off......I use Castrol IMM moly grease on mine. Thereís only two grease points each side, upper and lower ball joints. Just pump it in till whatís oozing out looks fairly new. Have a check on the tie rod ends in case theyíve got grease points as well but they probably havenít. Thereís a grease nipple on top of the steering rack but this one should only have one or two shots., donít overdo it. The only other point is the universal joint on the steering column. While youíve got the calipers off, take the time to clean, check and repack the wheel bearings. When you refit the hub, tighten the wheel nut to about 30 foot pounds as you turn the disc. Then loosen the nut and tighten it no more than about 5 foot pounds, I just do it up hand tight to the first split pin hole. The only other grease points are the two universals on the tailshaft, one on the hand brake bracket attached to the diff and the two rear wheel bearings. But make sure you use the grease gun with bearing grease in it for those. Iíd better elaborate on the rear wheel bearings while Iím at it. The manual says to pump in the grease until fresh grease comes out the vent hole on the opposite side of the housing from the grease nipple, then leave some grease hanging out as a seal against dirt. All well and good, except Iíve yet to see a housing with a vent hole. Mine has them now, but only because I took the opportunity to have them fitted (with a removable plug) when the diff was being overhauled. So the only place the old grease can go when you pump in fresh stuff is past the oil seal and into the diff oil.

    Brian Hampton, Adelaide, South Australia

    ^^^Apple Hydraulics in Calverton, NY USA (516-369-9515) will resleeve in brass, and rebuild your master cylinder for $145. This includes all parts and labor. Donít try to remove the reservoir. They break easily and are very hard to find.

    Bob Jasinski 74 JH

    >>>Unless the braking system on your Interceptor has been completely overhauled, you can reckon that you are driving on borrowed time. Any system has a definite lifespan, and in the case of any Interceptor this has long since expired. The only way to be truly sure is to start from day one and renew/overhaul everything and then plan a program of regular fluid changes, inspections, etc. Currently almost everything is available and at quite reasonable cost. Most Interceptors, and for that matter, most cars, have been neglected and need the following work.

    1. Replace the master cylinder with a new one. I do not believe it is wise to overhaul unless you know the history, how old and if it has already been rebuilt. Even then it is the single most crucial part of the system..why take chances?

    2. Do not attempt to overhaul the calipers yourself. It is better to send them to a specialist who will do the following:

    Abrasive clean to remove rust. Strip completely. Not just remove pistons, but split the calipers into their component parts. The castings are sealed together with sealing rings. Supply new pistons, seals, dust/water shields, bleed nipples and pad retaining pins and pads. In addition in the case of rear calipers, renew the park brake pivot pins, self adjusting mechanism, pads and retaining springs. Replate the parts. Reassemble and pressure test.

    All this can be done for less than the cost of the pistons alone and you will get in addition a guarantee.

    3. Renew the flexible hoses.

    4. Inspect the metal pipes, but remember it is what you cannot see that is of the greatest concern. Most pipes are impossible to inspect all the way around and the worst of the corrosion is likely to be on the back face and under the retaining clips. There may also be corrosion on their inner faces. Unless you certain they are OK or they have already been replaced, change them now.

    5. All vacuum hoses should be renewed. Most cars still have the originals which have deteriorated due to age and heat.

    6. The braking is heavily reliant on the vacuum servo. They are still available as a new item, but obviously they have been on the shelf for many years. I do not know of anywhere that can overhaul Interceptor brake servos. I understand they were originally manufactured in small quantities. (Ed. note: White Post Restorations can rebuild these servos)

    7. The pressure limiting valve on the rear axle is no longer available, but most are seized or are in poor condition and represent a potential for system failure. Better than risk this is to delete it from the system. I realize that this has the potential to overbrake the rear end, but I repeat most of these valves are seized anyway and the cars are still driven without complaint by the owner. The Interceptor carries a lot of weight on its rear end. Limiting valves operated solely by pressure valve were produced for many cars but the problem is knowing whether it limits the pressure too soon. I found a valve that used the same casting as the original and then modified it but this involved using the bare casting and seals only and then fabricating the remainder which was very expensive. Unfortunately even this valve is no longer available and I bought what was believed to be the last in the UK.

    8. One chassis tube is used as an additional vacuum reservoir. The tube is very thick and does not corrode along its length enough to give a problem. The closing plate inside the tube diameter at the rear end was much thinner and does rust away. Perforation allows air in which will reduce performance and can, if bad, effect the running of the engine. Inspection of this plate is almost impossible as there is a second angled bracket immediately behind it. The only practical way is to remove the vacuum connection and pressurize the chassis with an air line, you will hear any leakage. Theoretically you could delete/blank off the chassis tube vacuum lines and rely on the vacuum stored in the servo like other cars do, the longer reservoir only gives more brake applications after the engine stops running. Better however is to do the job properly and wend in a new closing plate, if necessary.

    9. Brake discs are cheap and easily available, so change them.

    10. The cheapest part of the system is the fluid and apart from using the car regularly, the best maintenance is to change the fluid regularly. When the Interceptor was in production, most fluid manufacturers recommended every 18 months.

    Steve Prince

    >>>> (in response to a query about the proportioning valve on the rear brakes mounted in front of the rear axle) (additional note: the Service Manual has detailed instructions on how to adjust this valve..but nothing on rebuilding or replacement, if at all) "I'm not entirely sure what Jensen called the valve....To check the valve assembly you will have to see if the plunger can be moved easily in the housing. The valve has a link to the rear axle and this should be disconnected at the axle end. Now you have a small space to work in..remove the rubber boot carefully, check for any fluid leakage. Next, using a pair of long nose pliers, see if the plunger can be moved in and out, if not, the unit is seized. Leakage or seizure render it unserviceable.

    This valve operates through a very small distance if it operates at all and I think this and their exposed location is why they seize and why when they are stripped they are in such poor condition. I sent one unit to two of what I consider to be UKís premier brake specialists who both said there was nothing they could do to recondition it. I would think if you throw enough money at someone they may say otherwise.

    The proportioning valves.....limit the pressure passing through them so will only be ideal under one particular set of circumstances. Some manufacturers used similar no adjustable valves and they are better than nothing. The Jensen unit is linked to the suspension and so can sense additional passengers and luggage. It will also sense to some extent the rate at which the vehicle is decelerating as weight transfers to the front and the rear of the car rises on its suspension. The desired effect is to prevent the rear wheels from locking which would place the car in an unstable condition just like a handbrake turn. The Jensen unit has an adjustment to set the clearance that the manufacturer had found following testing gave the best effect. To set up any other unit you will have to carry out repeated, observed braking tests to insure the rear wheels do not lock before the front. As I said you will have to determine what the particular set of circumstances are but a good scenario might be panic braking from cruising speed on a wet road. A fully functioning good original valve is best but some control from the simpler valve is the next best alternative. The worrying thing is trusting a 25 plus year old valve which may be leaking or seized. If itís seized itís better simply bypassed because it wonít do anything anyway. If itís leaking itís a potential accident waiting to happen.

    The valves..(aftermarket) are cheap and effective. I fitted one last year on a 79 Indy Mustang Pace Car which was locking the rear wheels prematurely.

    Steve Prince

    ^^^....let me encourage one and all to replace brake fluid--that is, to flush the whole system and refill with fresh fluid--at intervals no longer than every two years. Thatís fresh fluid, folks, as from a new can (tin). And never top up the reservoir with fluid bled from one of the calipers, whether the container into which youíre bleeding the fluid is contaminated or not. The point of the exercise is to remove contaminants from the system, not to recirculate them...

    David Crowne San Diego, CA USA

    ^^^ ....I recently re-set the rear brake proportioning valve on my Interceptor, as per the instructions in the Interceptor Workshop Manual. The setting was way off, probably because I adjusted it incorrectly a few years ago when I had my rear springs re-arched. The braking action is now noticeably improved, with the rear brakes making a more significant contribution than they have done for some time.

    David Crowne San Diego, CA USA

    ^^^...Those little corks in the brake reservoirs can be replaced. One should get a good wine bottle cork. Put it in a pan and boil it for ten for fifteen minutes. This will swell it back to its original size. Really! Then carefully remove the washer from the bottom and push your new cork..which you have cut and sanded to size, of course, and solder the washer back in place. I recommend you try putting some solder on the shaft and the washer first before you put the cork back on. This is to be sure the washer and shaft will take the solder. The end of the shaft was originally swedged and this held the washer and the old cork in place. Now you will need to solder it back.

    Frank Schwartz Hendersonville, TN USA


    CARPET/FLOOR MATS

    ^^^At least one company is Groitís Garage, which advertises extensively by U.S. Mail. Call 1-800-345-5789 to order. See Website at www.griotsgarage.com Groitís has patterns (accurate patterns) for Interceptor floormats. Cost is approximately $100 for a set (including JENSEN in block letters---your choice of colors). Iím well satisfied with the set I bought. You might also try Imparts (1-800-325-9043) or www.imparts.com. Their catalogue makes it look as if they have about the same mats as Griotís Garage, but at somewhat lower prices. I havenít checked this out, but it looks like a good possibility.

    David Crowne in San Diego 1971 Interceptor III 133/5474


    CHARGING SYSTEM

    ^^^After having a look at my classroom electrical books, here is what you want for a good charging system: First, the battery is good, and is the right size for the car, on an Interceptor bigger is better, since the parasitic loss is 12 maps when the Bosch fans are on, less if the original fans are used. The battery needs to be 12.63, say 12.7 volts to be fully charged. Anything less will probably not do very well. The second component you need to look at is the AC generator (alternator). First off the generator needs to be in good shape and in an Interceptor it really has to be at least a 100 Amp output. The other vital component is the regulator, it switches the generator on or off depending what the battery needs to keep a full charge. This means 13.5 to 14.2 on the volt meter. Anything less than 13.5 in the system will not charge the battery and kill it no matter how bit it is over time. This means when all the loads are on, lights, a/c, heater, rear winder defogger, fans, the generator needs to keep up with everything and 13.3 should be on the gauge. If it isnít, then your system is not working properly. The old Chrysler generator works in almost all climates, the only places that this generator might have problems is in the very hot places such as Arizona, Australia, where temps would be enough to cook the regulator to death. For the most part, the GM generator works very well. The whole thing to the charging system is efficiency and if everything works well together, the charging system will actually charge the battery and keep the car running its best at all times. Cheers!

    John Lowney

    ^^^I, too, had a problem with my electrical system in that I had to replace a 5 year warranty battery after 3 years and that it was always running flat. Firstly, after having a check done of the system, it was discovered that the alternator was not charging as it should, so, I had it rebuilt and it was beefed up to 65 amps so that the same physical size could be used. I had the original alternator done and find that I can have everything electrical turned on, including the blower and the voltmeter still charging at 14.5 volts either everything on or off.

    Secondly, I also changed the ignition module as it was always a problem starting, especially after it got hot. I also noticed that the fans were not getting the full voltage and as a result, they were not pushing as much air as they should. I discovered that the culprit was a bad fuse holder connection on one end in that it had corroded quite badly and was melting the solder on that end of the fuse. I have since taken the fuse holder out and wire brushed the tabs on the block and reconnected everything. The fans are not pushing more air and as a restyle are not running as long as they used to when shutting the engine off. Just passing along my experience and who knows, maybe there is something that you have overlooked that I may have jogged your memory.

    David Ballentine, North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

     

    ^^^One note about the GM alternator. If it is the currently popular unit being used in Interceptors, it is very sensitive to heat and commonly fail, even in GM cars, due to heat stress. I got a rebuilt unit from a company that rebuilds them with this in mind and takes measures to prevent this failure...so far, so good. When the unit is operating properly, it is vastly superior to the stock Chrysler unit that came with Interceptors.

    Michael Richard, New Bern, NC 74 Interceptor

    ...what I did was to find a Mitsubishi 95 amp alternator unit (Mitsubishi Galant 92-96 model) which fit the tight confines of my `74 belt setup. I had a twin pulley manufactured, and had the lower arm remanufactured to suit the unit (no other modifications were necessary). Love it - it runs a treat!

    Dino Fritz, South Africa


    CIGARETTE LIGHTER SOCKET

    ^^^For those who do not smoke, the cigarette lighter is a totally useless item. Usually those who use cellular phones plug them in this spot. Ford has a nice little item you can use to replace the lighter (store it someplace).

    Basically, it is nothing more than a rubber plug with a rubber washer attached with a strap, all of rubber. How to install it: Remove the shifter panel and remove from the rear, then remove the cigarette lighter assembly, slip from the front the ring under lighted plastic piece which goes to the outside. The reinstall the lighter assembly. Now you have a nice rubber plug to fill up the hole were the useless lighter was, and it is attached so it wonít get lost. Pull out the plug and insert your cellular phone (or whatever) in this socket and you have made a useless accessory into a useful one. Not only that, since the plug is attached with a rubber strap, it wonít get lost. The cost of this item is only $2 US. The Ford nomenclature is "Cover" and the part number is F75Z19A487AAA. I believe this came from a late model Taurus or Mustang.

    Frank Schwartz USA


    COOLING

    ^^^When I purchased my car, I found evidence of several attempts at retrofitting thermo-switches, relays and timers by many previous owners trying to keep the car cool. After many hours of adjusting, rewiring and pickup placement changes, I removed it all and installed a switch on the console to turn the fans on/off when I want then on/off (usually when the temp gauge needle moves past center). So far this arrangement has worked quite well.

    Jim Stites, Kansas City, MO USA 133/5517

    ^^^One word for everyone DEXCOOL. Have the cooling system flushed, the radiator boiled out, the thermostat replaced and get those Lucas fans working (Good Luck!). Then mosey (Thatís American for Ďget off our lazy ass and goí) to the parts store, and buy the General Motors long life coolant name: DEXCOOL. Here is what it is: Itís a 5 year 500,000 mile coolant. It is silicate free, it is NOT green, itís a mellow orange color. The plus of DEXCOOL is no silicate, that translates to: no particles floating around the radiator fins and clogging them up causing the radiator to lose performance. The down side is the expense, 12 US dollars is a bit much for coolant, but then again, Iíd rather pay 12 bucks now than a radiator and water pump later. Is this snake oil a miracle in a can? NO, itís a proven coolant............

    Dave Interceptor 115-3274

    ^^^I do not agree with your statement (about anotherís ideas on this subject) for the following two reasons: 1. It is very unlikely that water from the radiator will be sufficiently cold to do the engine any harm. Especially starting from cold with the block itself is also cold. 2. After switching off the engine it is not uncommon, due to a number of factors - one would be the switching off of the fans!, for the temperature to actually increase marginally before it starts to cool. This increase may be enough to cause a small amount of boiling over - especially when the cooling system may only just be sufficient to cope - as it is in many Jensens! If you are really worried you can do one of two things: 1. Fit a relay with a timer, so that the fans switch off after, say, 5 minutes. 2. Fit a separate battery with split charging system so that when the engine is running you charge both batteries, but when the fans are running (and the engine is switched off) they drain only one.

    Chris Daniel Pointe Noire, Congo

    ^^^Hotheads. A July 1974 Service Bulletin covers the matter of static boiling on the Interceptor III Series 4 & Convertible. It reads as follows: Complaints of static boiling (i.e. boiling after the ignition has been switched off) have been received on new vehicles. The problem only occurs on vehicles not yet fully run-in; the higher operating temperatures being caused by increased friction. On all current production models, this problem has been temporarily rectified by re-wiring the cooling fans to allow them to operate after the ignition has been switched off. The fans will then continue to run until the radiator switch cuts them out. As the modification increases the load on the battery, it is recommended that cars are reverted to the standard condition at the 1,000 mile service. Failure to do so may result in problems with discharged batteries. To revert modified cars back to their standard condition, refer to the wiring diagrams fig. 1 & fig. 2. The diagrams are self explanatory and each show both conditions. Fig. 1 is for the saloon models and fig. 2. is for convertibles.

    Mr. Ferret, butt of innumerable jokes, has one pusher fan wired to run after switchoff, the cut-out point determined by its thermostat switch. It makes a lot of noise, but it does the job. The car also has a big radiator and lots of places where hot air can escape. A few minutes of run-on seems to be OK but 20 minutes sounds way over odds. I canít pin it down right now, but I seem to recall that somewhere in the Series II run the factory started sending cars out with fans wired outside the ignition to help cure static boiling and to get the under bonnet temperature down. The main reason, I think, was to avoid heat-soak which made for hard starting. Somewhere in the early Series III production (I think), they reverted to fans wires through the ignition, giving no fans after engine shut-down. The above Service Bulletin suggests that they really couldnít make up their minds about this, so if you canít either, donít worry - youíre just a normal Jensen owner.

    Richard Carver

     


    DASH WOOD VENEER

    ^^^...good luck with the veneering project. Just remember to leave lots of extra edge overhang, in case you touch slightly off the target. The one bad thing about contact cement is that when it contacts, it cements. I definitely recommend two people for the job, one to keep everything taut and off the mating surface - no sags, no droops, the other person to align, center and gradually lower the veneer to keep air pockets from forming.

    When you cut the patterns, use a razor knife, not scissors, as scissors can break the veneer back past the margins you want to have. I suggest a single edged razor blade for trimming the excess, or a surgeons scalpel, for inside curves (concave versus convex). Also donít scrimp and try to save money by fitting all the parts tightly on the source sheet. The grain should run parallel to the long axis of the part being covered for best appearance, although you could get some interesting effects by doing some or all things at an angle.

    For the best finish, I recommend urethane over varnish or shellac, and use a sanding block and a verrrry fine grain sandpaper, rather than steel wool for roughing the finish between coats. Just be careful on the corners and edges so you only roughen the surface, and never sand the wood itself. And donít forget the tack cloth to pick up the dust.

    Last suggestion is to go to an exotic wood purveyor, and see what turns you on. Walnut burl is real expensive but beautiful. Zebrawood has an interesting pattern, and rose wood has a great color. Teak, walnut, and oak are mundane, but have nice even patterns that resemble the plastic veneer in modern cars. Birdseye maple will keep you awake on long late trips.

    Delbert M. Slavens USA

    ^^^I mentioned that I restored the wood dash in my GT. After disassembly I first planed off all the cracked veneer. We selected a Redwood Burl flexible veneer in a large sheet, as opposed to thin crackly walnut or birds eye maple strips. I was advised not to use epoxy or regular wood glue, but a premium wood glue by the specialists at the `Woodworks' specialty store. After cutting the panels and rough openings for the gauges, signal and warning lights, I evenly spread the glue across the `frame'. Using a flat solid wood dresser top and a large cutting board, I sandwiched the veneer to the original dash frame (also wood laminate). For weight I used ten large encyclopedias piled up above very large books, ensuring all the surface area for each panel was evenly covered. I then used a Dremel tool for the final cutouts. I used marine varnish (recommended to deal with extremes of temperature here in the Chesapeake area). It took 15 coats to seal, and then every 2nd coat I sanded with 800 grit, to thirty coats, then the next three coats I used 2000 grit. I then used buffers to polish and carnuba wax. Even my wife was impressed (after @ 100hrs and 3 months). I followed the `Book Pattern' of the factory and especially in the bright sunlight-it is gorgeous, if I say so myself. Well, in the summer we had a few sequential 100 degree days, and I now have two small bubbles, and of course I'm upset. One of the first postings I saw on this list (November 1999) was that one should only use the glue that Rolls Royce uses - Casement or Casing cement? (Note: Casein glue. Ed) I then recalled this was the glue my father used in bonding sanding discs to the table saw/sander in the 1950s .....

    Sherman D. Taffel JH GT 30485 Columbia, MD USA

    ^^^Applying veneer to metal is best done as a two stage process. Conventional wood glue will not adhere to metal so it is necessary to use araldite or other epoxy adhesive to create the bond. However it is difficult to directly bond burr veneers successfully because as you may have noted, they are highly porous and any glue that finds its way onto the surface is difficult or impossible to remove/disguise. You will also have noted epoxy adhesives are very viscous and it is difficult to apply thin coats that are sufficient to just to wet the veneer and the backing. Because of this there is a tendency for the veneer to move during clamping as the excess is squeezed out. When bookmatching veneers it becomes very difficult to keep the match joint running along the desired path. The solution is to apply a cheap veneer over the metal substrate, Mahogany is most commonly used because it is very cheap and has a dense grain structure free of significant defects. Any additional thickness of a dissimilar material will tend to distort the metal but as the pull is less across the grain rather than along it, so do not let the grain run along the length of the part when you apply it. When veneering thin wooden sections it is usual to apply a layer of veneer on both sides of the part to balance the pull. The same can be done with metal if necessary. For veneering to metal I have always used conventional araldite epoxy manufactured by Ciba Geigy. Once the first layer of veneer has been applied and the adhesive has fully cured, trim off the excess and sand it flat. My advise is not to use glass/sand paper but to use 3M production or pre cut papers or similar. These can be recognized because of their usually white colour. Although the mahogany can generally be applied "as is", burr veneers must first be flattened. To do this a light mist of water, preferably demineralized (distilled? Ed.), must be applied to both sides of the veneer which should then be placed between two flat pieces of wood which is lightly clamped. If too much pressure is applied, the veneer can split as it shrinks. Use brown craft paper either side of the veneer. Next day prepare everything and mix a quantity of casein glue strictly according to the instructions. Spread a layer on the mahogany and then remove the burr veneer from the clamps. Immediately apply the casein glue as the veneer will start to curl quite fast. Apply the burr veneer and clamp up firmly. A lot of veneering is done using vacuum presses where the veneered part is placed inside an air tight bag and the air drawn out with a vacuum pump. This will apply a clamping load of approximately 15 lbs per square inch and if you are clamping under a board and weight you will need sufficient to approach this figure to be sure of a good bond. This equates to about one ton per square foot of veneer so you see it is easier to use clamps. The only problem with this is you need a lot of them, more than it is economical to buy for a one off job. Casein glues set very hard and trimming can be a problem if it is allowed to fully harden unless you have a Dremel or similar tool. The alternative is to wait until it is firm, remove the part from the clamps, trim off the bulk of the excess and then reclamp overnight. Final trimming should be carried out and the veneer sanded flat. As has been said always use a sheet of paper, preferably brown craft or masking paper, between the veneer being applied and the wood applying the clamping pressure. Burr veneers are highly porous and the adhesive does not differentiate between what you want clamped and what you do not. Any paper that sticks to the veneer can be sanded off. Final finishing of the veneer is best done with an electric orbital sander using 180 grip paper. Prior to sanding, any defects such as any visible glue must be disguised and the edges of the panel and all apertures painted. Burr walnut is one of the most frequently used veneers because it naturally contains a lot of black, painting in with simple plain black renders the repairs invisible to the untrained eye.

    Steve Prince


    DESIGN PHILOSOPHY (Humor?)

    ^^^From the Italian Car Digest:

    A friend once asked me what, really , was the difference between an Alfa, a Fiat and British sports cars (MGís, Triumphs, etc.). In his eyes they were all small European sporting vehicles, and the differences in selling prices for used cars was confusing to him.

    I finally explained it like this: Say, during the design process, it becomes evident that a bracket is needed to hold something on the car. The Alfa would have a nice cast aluminum bracket with the necessary machine work. The Fiat would have a sheet metal bracket, designed to be strong enough to do the job. And a British car would have some cast iron part they pulled out of the parts bin at the nearby tractor manufacturer. He seemed to get it after that. Now thatís a good description.

    I would give it a slightly different story:

    The Alfa would have a nice, cast aluminum bracket with the necessary machine work, just like you said. The Fiat would have a sheet metal bracket, designed to be strong enough to do the job, but most probably a "stolen" part from some other Fiat or Lancia. And a British car would have some heavy duty 1kg cast iron part that was designed to hold another 1kg part. Just to be sure!

    However; once the bracket came in after being back-ordered for months;, the bracket on the Alfa would cost a weekís pay and you would need a special tool to install it. The bracket on the Fiat would cost half as much as the Alfa, but you would have to chisel the old one off from underneath because it rusted in place. The bracket on the British car would be cheap and readily available and would come off easily, primarily because it had been covered in oil since it left the showroom.

    Paul Rollins Vancouver, WA

    ^^^Having experience with Alfas, Fiats and British cars, I could add:

    Bracket attachment method:

    Alfa - four adequate bolts/nuts

    Fiat - spot welded

    British car - 27 tiny nuts/bolts/flat washers/lock nuts, randomly placed.

    Jim Stites


    DIFFERENTIAL NOTES

    I had a small oil leak on my differential for ten years which a Jensen garage told me was the pinion oil seal. I was warned off doing the job myself by the workshop manual, which made it sound complicated. In the end I took the car to a well known Jensen specialist. When I collected it the leak was worse - they said there are two types of seal and mine had the one they were not expecting - so beware. They fitted another seal and the leak was back to what it was before, so they suggested the bearing might be worn. The following year I took it to a second well known Jensen specialist and they reckoned the bearing should be OK and a new seal would cure it. They fitted another seal - no difference. A few months later I took it to Bob Ransley, painting guru and CV8 owner. He noticed a couple of drips on his workshop floor, so he phoned me to say "Did you know three of the bolts holding the rear cover on your differential were loose and it was leaking?". It has never leaked since.

    Mike Williams


    DOORS

    ^^^For removal of the hinge pins, this can require significant brute force, especially if the pins were not frequently lubricated during the life of the car. Maybe youíve more strength than I have, or maybe indeed your pins were easier to remove, but I must admit that while I could remove my upper door pins, I just couldnít remove the lower ones very easily at all.

    Probably the best technique would be to heavily lubricate the pins, and use the correct size ring spanner to twist the pin around, working the oil between the pin and hinge. Use a large chisel to move the pin upwards for the first 1/4 inch, then use a suitably sized punch from beneath the pin (i.e. slightly smaller than the pin diameter), and/or a small chisel from beneath the head of the pin, and try to punch upwards.

    In my case, those lower onesís werenít easy - in the end, the best I could do was to do. the job for 1-2 days, both to let the oil do its work, and to try the job again with newfound energy!

    BMW, on my Ď74, the hinges on the doors were not welded but held in place only by 4 countersunk, Phillips heat bolts (with no evidence of this ever having been welded to the door). It is easier to remove the pins than to unscrew those 4 bolts in situ, believe me!

    Once I had the doors off the car, I was able to remove 3/4 of these bolts, and that was even with the assistance of WD-40, and an impact screwdriver. The last stubborn ones were removed by drilling the head from the screw, from where the remaining thread simply unscrewed by hand (bolt stretch, I assume). These screws were then replaced with countersunk, hex head bolts, which allowed for easier access to align the doors to the body after painting.

    Why did I remove the hinges from the door? The driver door had about 3mm of play at the back edge when the door was Ĺ opened, which was traced back to the hinge holes having elongated. This required the manufacture of oversized pins, and the reaming of the hinges to correct the problem.

    As no two Interceptors would be built the same, does anyone else know whether their door hinges are welded to their doors, or is this another inconsistency for the workshop manual?

    Dino Fritz, Adelaide, SA 74 Int. III

     

     

    ^^^(in response to some queries) I do hope you removed the spring retaining clips on the hinge pins before you commenced all that soaking and pounding! Even badly neglected hinge pins should not be all that difficult to remove, if you have taken the retaining clips off first. I think youíll find that an attempt to remove the hinges will be even more frustrating that your attempt to remove the hinge pins. Note well the following statement in the Workshop Manual: "Both doors have two hinges each, all of identical pattern. One half of each hinge is welded to its respective door pillar, the working half of each being secured to the door by four screws and subsequently welded." Got that? The hinges are welded to the door pillars and welded to the doors.

    The construction of these cars is neither mysterious nor particularly quirky, compared with some others (like XJ series Jaguars, for example), but it is not always 100% obvious, either. For seemingly obscure procedures, the Workshop Manual is a great source of clarity. You can get one from TBD or Delta. Itís worth its weight in hammers and WD-40 and damaged parts, believe me. Note: The lower hinge pins are supposed to be inserted from above, and the upper pins inserted from below. Only the upper hinge pins are supposed to be fitted with circlips, although all the hinge pins are grooved for circlips.

    Davie Crowne in San Diego, CA

    73 Int III 133/5474


    DOOR HANDLES

    ^^^The Interceptor door handles were used on Fiats in the 60's. I got a pair of new ones from an old Fiat dealer in Naples.

    Paul Vierhout, Netherlands


    ELECTRICAL

    ^^^For those of you that are rewiring your cars, I found a great source of "stuff". British Wiring, 230449 Ithaca, Olympia Fields, IL 60641 -fone/fax (708) 481-9050. They have some Jensen wiring looms, sell connectors, color coded wires and other stuff. I was desperate for a connector for my MG, and they not only found it for me, but assembled the wires (correctly coded) but put on the bullet connectors. And it worked as soon as I plugged it in. Big point is that all my usual MG suppliers didnít even know what I was talking about. I get nothing out of this recommendation. Other than knowing I helped save another Jensen. Canít sing their praises high enough. Ask for Leslie. She realizes there is a difference between a Jensen Healeys and Austin Healeys, and knows more about wiring Brit cars than most of us. It is so nice to find someone on our side. Catalogue is available on request.

    Delbert M. Slavens


    EXHAUST MANIFOLDS

    ^^^Exhaust noise suddenly appeared from the left side of the 440 yesterday. The exhaust manifold gasket was installed wrong side out and blew out between 3 and 5. Here is how to change the left one. The right one is a bit easier unless it is right hand drive. First find a friend with a car hoist.. I happen to have one in my workshop and it makes the job a heck of a lot easier. Drain the radiator. Turns out the manifold bolts screw into the water jacket, so if you donít drain it, you will be covered in that green stuff. Remove the oil filter for clearance and drain the oil while you are at it...if the time is due. Remove the front left tire. Remove the 4 spark plugs on the side in question. It is best to do this from under the car since all are visible. Unbolt the manifold to pipe flange. Remove the 6 9/16 head bolts that attach the manifold to the head. This is the tough part because since the bolts go into the water jacket, they are most likely very rusty and have to be worked out slowly. Some bolts needed a 20" breaker bar to break loose. Always leave the easiest bolt for last so you donít have to fight a sagging manifold while trying to remove the hardest bolt. Use steady easy pressure and get together every spanner and socket combination that you have to get the job done. I found that once the bolts are reasonably loose, a stubby ratchet works well. Snake the manifold out through the top and clean the mating surface. Check the surface with a straight edge. If warped or pitted, have the surface planed. If cracked, replace the manifold. If your starter is questionable, you might consider replacing it at this time. In fact, there are some new compact units that are Ĺ the weight and would be easier to service later. I advise replacing the six bolts with new grade 8 bolts.. Run a tap or thread chaser through the head threads so you wont have to fight the installation. Clean the mating surface on the head thoroughly. Felpro # is 90029 for the exhaust manifold gasket set. Install metal side of the gasket towards the manifold or it will blow. Coat the bolts with high temperature anti-seize lubricant before installing. have just outlined There are some very thick steel flange gaskets made for Chryslers. Use these instead of the one that Felpro provides. Got mine at local muffler shop

    Bruno Bornino, California.

    ^^^Inasmuch as the front and rear bolts that hold the exhaust manifolds in place go into the water jacket, attention is needed here. I merely coated them with high temp anti-seize material and I had some little steam coming out of these bolt holes on start up. As soon as the engine warmed up, it stopped! What is needed here, in case it was not done on installation of these four studs, is to coat the ends that go into the engine block with RTV or similar SEALANT, so that the water does not find its way out on the threads and make steam/smoke on warm up. I did not do this and had to go back and remove the studs and retro-do this. Forewarned is forearmed!

    Frank Schwartz 73 Int. USA


    FANS

    ^^^Message text written by "Jensen Cars" "Some people still think that the fans should be on to cool the engine after the engine shuts off. As far as Iím concerned, this is nonsense. The fans only cool the water in the radiator as there is little circulation" There is a fair amount of circulation, and that is why fans set to work after the engine shuts off run for more than a few seconds. The thermosiphon effect circulates water from the hot engine to the cooler radiator and from the cooler radiator to the hot engine. The hot water raises to the top of the engine and flows into the radiator as the cooler water flows down through the radiator into the engine. Many cars prior to the 1930's in the U.S., like the Ford Model T (after the first couple of years), and in Britain, like MGís and Singers had no water pump. They relied completely on the thermosiphon circulation to move water through the cooling system. Technically, modern, liquid, auto cooling systems are "thermosiphon assisted by pump."

    Paul Rollins, Vancouver, WA

    ^^^This past couple of weeks weíve seen temps in the 99-100F area, with heat index of 105-120F. My Interceptorís fans still run only about 5 minutes or so after being switched off. Then, after enough heat has been absorbed by the radiator they switch on for another 5 minutes or so. I have the thermo switch set to go on at about 195-200 and close off close to that. I rarely (maybe three weeks a year, total) have to worry about the car "not" reaching minimum operating temp.\When I first got the car the fans were wired to be on when the ignition was. I often had trouble starting the car when it was hot. Iím of the opinion, based on observation , that the current fan setup helps the engine (or at least the engine bay) cool down when the car is parked, and more importantly, helps keep the carb cooler. I can put my hand over the louvers and feel the increased expulsion of air when they are running. And, it helped my car overcome hot starts, though not as much as did the gear reduction starter. (More notes by this author referring to alternators...see Charging Systems)

    Michael Richard, New Bern, NC 74 Interceptor

    ^^Fans and Flaps. If you are more interested in efficiency than authenticity, there is a simple solution to the fan problem. Remove the stock fans and their spindly (Rube Goldberg) vibration-enhancing, kit-car-engineered mounting hardware. Carefully wrap, box and store them for the next owner or until the price of a factory-stock Interceptor reaches the level that makes you want to replace them and not drive the car. Mount "pancake-style" fans (11" for two-fan configuration, if I recall correctly) directly to the shroud. These are a perfect fit to the openings. The upper one can go on the outside of the shroud, but the lower one must mount on the inside to clear the steering rack. Make sure you use PULLER fans. The installation will look like what the factory should have done. If you have A/C and no fan in front of the condenser, mount a pusher fan there, and wire it appropriately for A/C use. I have been driving my Ď72 Interceptor III, equipped like this for eight years. Initially in California, and now in an area where summer temps regularly get to the high 90's and sometimes over 100 degrees F. It works fine for me, no vibration, either.

    The rubber flaps do have a purpose -- they act as valves. Standing still, or at low speed, they should close the opening so that the fans draw cooler air through the radiator rather than hot air from the engine compartment. At higher speeds, the flaps should open, so that more air can flow through the radiator. I used rubber sheet material from the hardware store. Specifically, it is pump-diaphragm stock, sold by the square foot..

    Paul Rollins, Vancouver, WA

    My suggestion here would be to totally strip and clean the current Lucas fans, as you may be very surprised how they operate once they have been overhauled. The overhaul cost around $7 for a set of brushes, and I must say that they performed fairly well. However, when I was down at a wrecker one day, I did purchase a set of VW Golf (Rabbit) Bosch fans, especially as the price was good and I wanted to perform a coparison between the two fan sets. What I did find was that the Bosch units were quieter in operation, and they did not send a slight vibration through the steering column when the switched on. But one important point to note was that these Bosch units are not all the same. While they may look identical, I found that some fans and motors had different current draw. The trick to look for is to ensure that the motors all weigh the same (the more windings in the motor, the higher the weight and the current draw). I believe that the units that Jensen sold in the 1980's weighed in at 1.58 kgs and had a current draw of 10 amps, the ones I purchased have a current draw comparable to the Lucas units of 6 amps, and weigh in at around 1.49 kgs (I think!), while I know that there are some units of 1.42 kgs. So check the weights of the Bosch fans and motors prior to any purchase.

    Dino Fritz, Adelaide, South Africa


    FAREWELL FOREVER O MIGHTY SILVER BIRD - THE MYSTERY

    ^^^In Mike Taylorís Book on page 129 is a sad picture of the last Interceptor as it came down the production line. On it was a large sign, probably drawn on cardboard and standing in front of the radiator. Hung in front of where the grille would be was a wreath. One could assume from the sign that the last Interceptor was, indeed, silver. Thoroughbred was mis-spelled ĎThougherbredí. It was hand printed all in caps. No one seems to know what the rest of the sign said as the last lines were covered. From the Internet, one Interceptor lover did suggest what the rest might have been.

     

     

    (The original:)

    Farewell forever O mighty Silver Bird,

    For thou are the last of a thoroughbred herd,

    May you never want for Petrol,

    May you never want for Oil,

    May your air-conditioning-system......

    (this was all that could be seen...)

    And Duncan X. Clarke says " My version would end like this:

    May your air-conditioning-never seize

    May your coolant never freeze

    May your suspension never creak

    May your gearbox never leak

    May your interior comfort and soothe

    May your ride be ever smooth

    May your engine run on song

    May your chassis be ever strong

    May your panels never rust

    May your name be forever held in trust.

     


    FLOOR PANELS

    ^^^When installing new floor boards and rocker panels on my TR4, after all welding was completed, and in the weak area where the new floor board met, I shaped angled channel and welded, and at the lower wheel arches, I used Marine-Tex over the seams and brackets. Marine-Tex is a white or grey epoxy manufactured in the marine industry that is very strong, even bonds underwater, even repairs battery cases, and was even used to repair engine blocks (saved a friend $8,000 in not having to obtain another Bentley block - that was a decade ago). I used Marine-Tex to insure that no water would ever weep its way into the lower joints at the floorboard/rear bulkhead corners, as well as reinforced everything. It is also reasonably on sale at marine stores everywhere @$12-16 for the pint size. This in not bondo - it is much stronger and will not "split" if used on a properly prepared non-oily surface. Use a small amount at a time, 2 to 3 oz, and give it time to cure. Great for making `H' seals (filling small openings on both sides) and at metal junctions too. I also used MT to `seal' the rocker panel ends to the wheel arch in the very small areas where previously only undercoat would be applied. This way I have a relatively `even' surface for the future undercoat and not `English Muffin nooks and crannys'.

    Sherman Taffel GT 30485


    FOG LAMPS

    ^^^ok, Iíve been stung into action.....Iíve still got the original fog lights on mine. As Alan said itís pretty agricultural, a right angle bend in a bit of steel strap. Itís held on by the outermost of the bumper retaining bolts. If youíre picky (i.e. your car has to be totally original) the forward face of the lens is Ĺ" in front of the lower lip of the bumper and about 3/16" below. The strap looks like 1/8" and is 1 5/16" wide. For extra points in a concourse event, itís rusty! I donít use them because we donít have fog in Australia (if you believe that youíll also believe the Darwin awards, too) so I use the fog switch as a manual fan switch.

    Brian Hampton, Adelaide, South Australia

    ^^^I am using Bosch rectangular driving lights. They are mounted under each of the bumper guards and have a nice look. I mounted the relay on the side of the fusebox. This is a very simple installation.

    Ace Cathcart 76 Interceptor Des Moines, WA USA

     

     


    FUEL RETURN LINES

    ^^^...When rebuilding the car, I was stunned to see the state of the plastic fuel lines, so I re-made as much as I could out of 3/8" aluminium, and fabricated a 1/4" return line. To try and cure vapour lock problems, a small Delco electric fuel pump (around $100 AUD, that would be $10 USD now...) was installed onto the sender unit to act as a priming pump, and the standard 5/16" outlet on the sender unit was increased to 3/8". All this neatly fits into the standard hole in the tank, while the only downside is that the setup wonít suck the last 10 or so litres. A new TRW/Carter hi-volume mechanical fuel pump was fitted, and the standard Chrysler vapour separator (I think thatís what itís called - the little canister which sits atop the mechanical fuel pump) was retained. Iím more than happy with the results - upon startup, all I do is turn the key to the ON position (without cranking), and you can just hear the priming pump do its work. What is apparent is that the pump does run freely for around 5 seconds to fill the fuel bowls in the carby (you can just hear it), then it quietens down when the bowls are full, and there is pressure in the system. At this point, I give the gas pedal around 4-6 pumps, crank the starter and the car normally fires within 5 seconds.

    Dino Fritz 74 Interceptor 22441/9480 Adelaide, OZ

     


    FUMES

    ^^^...came into my cabin from shrunken and missing tail light and light housing gaskets. Got some 3/8 wide black foam rubber weatherstripping and glued to both sides of the housing. No leaks now. Also check hole for license plate light wires.

    Bruno Bornino

     


    GARAGE ORGANIZATION

    ^^^I would have to feel a mixture of envy and pity for anyone that has a completely empty garage to use for painting. Garages are the natural repository for spare parts, abortive dreams (the victims of that dread disease, restorus interruptus), lawn mowers that need repair, tools too large to be given room in the house, etc.

    If you can see more than a bit of the floor and walls in your garage, you obviously lack initiative, but on the other hand, it might be nice not feeling lake a paleontologist every time some asks if I have a specific part. Usually my garage is like the deep ocean floor. Occasional upheavals cause long forgotten parts to surface, be re-evaluated ("Yep! Might need this someday") and then disappear back into the depths, usually a couple of months before someone asks you for that specific part to buy, borrow or copy........

    Bill Spohn


    GASOLINE (PETROL)

    ^^^I have been gathering various bits of info on this. Overall the perceived wisdom would appear as follows:

    If you always fill up at the same petrol station and stick to one brand of fuel (major brand that is, not supermarkets "own") then there should be no problem. However, if you use the car a lot and travel long distances, it is probably better to use unleaded fuel with your own additive. Always use the same additive. The reason for this is because there is, as yet, no British Standard written for "lead replacement" fuel. Therefore different companies each have their own "recipe". There is an outside chance that the additives one company use will counteract those used by another, so under these circumstances it is better to be safe than sorry,.

    Chris Daniel


    GRILL:

    ^^^I refinished my grill several years ago and just cleaned the black paint and did not respray it. The satin finish from the factory is matte finished (or satin if you prefer). I firstly disassembled the grill and then cleaned the black. I then used a belt sander bolted upside down to my work bench. I then lightly ran the edge of each piece on the sander. Viola! Back to its original brushed aluminum finish. I reassembled and reinstalled it. It is amazing how heavy that actual grill is. Much more robust than the plastic chromed ones of the new cars of today.

    David Ballentine, North Vancouver. B.C. Canada

    ^^^I have been refinishing my front grill on the Interceptor the last day or so. I have been using Eastwoodís underhood black, and it matches the original paint very well. David Crowneís idea of using the wrinkle finish paint is very good, although once you do one project with it you canít seem to stop! I would recommend this paint for anyone who is entertaining the thought of doing the grill and vent pieces. Also the edges of the grill and vent pieces can be lightly sanded with 2000 sandpaper, then polished to a high luster finish, rather than the brushed finish.

    John Lowney

    ^^^Jentlefolk: As a footnote to John Lowneyís remarks, let me suggest that a nifty way to do the edges of the front slats is to dismantle the grille assembly, carefully align the slats in a stack, and clamp them all together with a couple of large C-clamps. Youíll notice that the slats are numbered. Keep them in order. Then, after cleaning up the nicks and gouges by block-sanding with increasingly finer grades of sandpaper, you can put a nice polish on the edges with a buffing wheel. Or leave them with a satin (brushed) finish, if you prefer. Either way, you wonít round off the corners--theyíll probably come out squarer and sharper than before. Best to do this polishing task before painting, of course. And, when you do paint (with Eastwoodís Under Hood Black or another semi-gloss paint), to minimize getting paint on the newly polished surfaces, spray with those surfaces away from the paint can. A careful once-over with metal polish on the shiny edges will easily clean up the inevitable light misting of paint.

    David Crowne

    ^^^Question: The black paint on the engine bay vent grills is flaking. Iím going to strip and repaint the grills. Any suggestions as to a "correct" paint, or is Rustoleum flat black all I need? (T.J. Higgins) Response: I find that a semi-gloss looks better than a flat finish. I bead blast the castings to take off old flaking paint, then spend some time draw filing and sanding the leading, unpainted edges. You can mask edges off or quickly wipe the paint off after spraying, and a final clear coat keeps them looking nice for longer.

    Bill Spohn USA

    ^^^If "originality" is your bag, I think the paint should be semi-gloss black rather than flat black. The "Under Hood Black" sold by Eastwood Company (www.eastwoodco.com) would be an excellent choice--it goes on smoothly and dries quickly and has just about the right low sheen. On my car I used a crackle-finish black, after polishing the aluminum around the edge and masking it off. I am aware that the crackle finish is not"original", and that itís a tad difficult to clean (a good cleaning requires a toothbrush and soapy water), but I like the look because the matte surface nicely sets off the gloss of my new paint job and the shine of the polished aluminum. And, Iíve received a fair number of enthusiastic comments on that look (as well as the look of my headlight surrounds, which are done the same way) at the JIOC Nationals both this year and in the past. Eastwood-s crackle finish black paint, by the way, is a very tough and durable finish, especially if baked at 200 degrees in the oven (while your wife is out of the house!) instead of simply being allowed to air-dry.

    David Crowne San Diego, CA USA 71 Interceptor III 133/5474

    ^^^Refinishing the grill: With some misgivings I decided to "re-do" my grill. It was dirty and not very much in keeping with a restoration. I disassembled the three bolts which have lock nuts on each end and removed them and the spacers, setting them all aside. The louvers are marked "A", "B", "C" and so forth, although they skipped "I", which I suspect could have been mistaken for a number 1. This "coding" was a nice surprise and made re-assembly simple. The whole bunch of parts was carried to the kitchen sink where they were scrubbed with a stiff bristle brush and soap. When dry, any flaked paint or stuck gunk on the louvers was lightly sanded. A trip to the local giant hardware store was made where I found a black satin spray paint for outdoor patio furniture. Just what I needed!. All parts laid out on the floor of the workshop on paper and carefully sprayed (door open to outside for ventilation) and when dry, turned over and the other side painted. The spacers were also treated in the same fashion. Somewhere in my shop was a cheap belt sander which was run by an electric drill. Dragged it out and connected it all up. Using 180 grit belt I faced all the louvers, taking off the overspray and nicks and ravages of time. They turned out just beautiful! Re-assembly and my grill really looks like new. I was going to clear coat the faces of the louvers but I think there may be a compatibility problem between the clear coat and the satin black. However, I will leave the newly finished faces of the louvers au natural. Of ALL the jobs in my restoration, this was perhaps the easiest and the results most satisfying. Note: Message received from Bill Spohn: "If you do not clear coat them, the edges will go grey and show white oxide - you should be able to find a spray can of clear coat from the same manufacturer as the paint".

    Note: I did, and clear coated the faces of the louvers.

    Frank Schwartz


    HOOD INSULATION

    ^^^Itís there to provide a degree of sound insulation and prevent panel drumming. If you dispense with it you will experience additional noise. In the UK the material is called Hardura and is commonly available from trim suppliers. The only difficulty seems to be getting it with the correct diamond pattern. Many British cars used similar materials. Installation is very easy, the worst part is removing the fibers that adhere to the underside of the bonnet (hood) when you pull off the bulk of the material. I would use a heatproof two part adhesive like Bostik 2402 rather than conventional contact adhesive. Just as a suggestion: I hated the appearance of the stuff on the bonnet (hood) and chassis section in the engine bay, so I made replacements from padded PVC which I stitched a diamond pattern into. I think this enhances the appearance adding to the image of a quality car but even replacing old Hardura with new makes an enormous difference thatís well worth the cost.

    Steve Prince


    HOOD LATCH

    ^^^I seem to recall being able to reach up under the car, next to the exhaust manifold, and grab the rod that connects the two latches. Push that rod to the drivers side and the hood should release. The cable is short and fairly easy to replace once the hood is opened. (Re: broken hood release cable)

    Jim Stites

    ^^^I think itís necessary to add that you can only reach up under the car in that way if you reach up on the passengerís side, between the exhaust manifold and the battery box. And that itís a damned good reach, too. Obviously you donít want to undertake this task if youíve just been running the engine and the manifold is hot.

    In order to make matters easier the next time (isnít there always a next time?), itís a useful idea to rig an emergency release. Attach a piece of bicycle brake cable (or similar) at the point where the standard cable attaches to the release lever. Now lead the new cable down behind the side vent grille in the fender, so that you can catch it with a pair of long-nosed pliers, pull it, and release the bonnet (hood) catch. I fitted mine with a rubber grommet, so that I can pull it with my finger after fishing it out from behind the grille with a stick, a piece of wire, or whatever. BMW, the Alfetta coupe I once owned came from the factory with just such an emergency bonnet release, except that the cable was led into the driverís compartment.

    David Crowne, San Diego, CA 71 Int. III 133/5474

    ^^^I had the good fortune to have the David Crowne version of hood release cable installed by DC himself! He uses a bicycle brake cable and encloses a rubber grommet in a loop at the south end of the cable. You can then insert a screwdriver (or other) through the loop to give yourself something to pull with. Works like a charm!

    Bob Adams

    ^^^Thanks to everyone who gave hints on how to get my hood (bonnet) open to fix the broken hood release cable. Iím unable to confirm which method worked best, however, because when I went out to try them, I realized that the "mystery cable" I had noticed inside the drivers side fender vent was in fact an emergency release with must have been installed by the previous owner. Pulling it with a pair of pliers popped the hood right up. I guess this failure is pretty common. Now to get a replacement and install it!

    Stephen Waybright


    HORNS

    >>>Ultrahorn....One of the many popular things to customize on a car is the horn. Factory horns donít do the job sometimes. Bad ones just sound like somebody stepped on a rubber duck. Hardly effective for getting attention in this noisy world. Some people go for maximum decibel air horns, and some folks like the more musical ones that actually pump air. I used to have a huge air horn from an old Freightliner truck that scared the Bejezus out of people. I never should have sold that unit. At one point I had the thing in a hotrod Mustang with a racing exhaust that sounded like doomsday when I decelerated hard in first gear, and let me tell you, the combination always cleared those pesky pedestrians away. I never ran over any deaf people, though........

    Paul Peczon (Manila, Phillippines)


    HOSE

    ^^^...another part that you may find useful is the lower radiator hose (the curved one). Since the Jensen hose has a 90 degree curve and each end is a different diameter, it is a unique part. A local parts shop matched the hose to Gates #20390. Properly cut, it fits beautifully.

    Ken Freese


    IGNITION SYSTEM

    ^^^I am upgrading my 74 Interceptor to electronic ignition. Any recommendations? Ed Markus

    The definite answer here, is the MOPAR electronic ignition kit, P3690428. This was designed for the job and should cost no more than the aftermarket, while being a true bolt-on. One word of caution: hide our control unit from the engine heat. 104/2308 has had the kit since 1983, but until I hid the control unit from the exhaust manifold heat behind a wee asbestos and alloy wall, I went through three computers. Since the countermeasures, my spare unit has sat in the boot unused. Go, do likewise, and enjoy the benefits of a fat spark and low maintenance!

    Ray Whitley C-V8II 104/2308 Halifax, NS


    KEYS

    ^^^The correct Interceptor key blanks both door and ignition are available from us (Cropredy Bridge Garage)

    Alan Tebbutt. Cropredy Bridge Garage

    ^^^The key blank for the ignition is an ILCO #D80K or a COLE MZ12. They are for a Mazda or Nissan. One thing about this key is that the flat side wears so if you have one copied, you have to align the slots or the new key wonít work if the old one is worn. Found this out after 4 miscut keys. The Door key is only used on Jensens and Maseratiís.

    Bruno Bornino


    LEATHER RESTORATION

    ^^^Years ago, I restored the leather interior of a TR-3. The kit came from Clausen Co. In New Jersey (USA). It was a lot of work, but the results were amazing. The process required sanding the hardened surface off the leather (donít laugh, it works), cleaning with a solvent (I think it was acetone), treating it with a softening oil, and coloring with a latex dye. When finished, the leather was softer, and the color held up very well. I think the company has a different name now, and I donít even have their old address. Maybe you can find the successor on the web.

    Paul Rollins Vancouver, WA

    ^^^(in response to the above) I agree it is possible to make worn hide look almost new. The limitation is how long the products last on a less than perfect surface. If the his is good but the colour is worn away, then you will end up with a long result.

    Never use acetone on the surface of any leather as it will remove the colour instantly. Connelly hides were finished with flexible cellulose top coats and as acetone is one of the most powerful solvents for cellulose, you can imagine the results. There is a renovation process that requires removal of all the old colour but generally cellulose thinners are used for this. The most powerful non solvent cleaners were ammonia based. Connolly used to supply this but as it removes the colour from their later products, it has now been discontinued.

    The sanding operation is usually done to remove loose flaking colour or to level defects once they have been filled.

    Even leather manufacturers refer to the top colour as being dye. True enough some modern hides are dyed, but all hides are finished with paint products, which in the case of the Connolly hides is simply sprayed on. I have never understood how they can be classified as dyes as they do not penetrate. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that people consider hide to be such a natural product that to imagine it as being painted is unthinkable.

    In the UK a company called Croftgate can supply excellent refinish products, tel 01706 216096. The will also offer unlimited advice in their use.

    From my experience the water based colour/sealer combination is easy to use but lacks durability. The cellulose materials on the other hand can be a real art to apply. Never assume a car sprayer can use these products without experience, the techniques are very different.

    If your original leather is good but just has a few defects you can use the unseen areas of leather to source touch in colour. Using a paint brush and a little cellulose thinner, wash off the colour on the unseen part of the hide and apply it carefully to the defect building up the colour as necessary. Remember the real secret with leather renovation is to disguise the defect and not hide it as this is very difficult to achieve. When I get time I will try to do a more comprehensive posting.

    Steve Prince

     


    MIRRORS

    ^^^I was talking to Doug Meyer of TBD about a new mirror for my Int. Mk III and he advised me that they were from a Mercedes. I have now got myself a new mirror from an auto wrecker for 20 bucks CND. All you have to do is take it with you and they will be able to match it. Mine had 300 ** marked on the glass but I gather that pretty well any model from the 1970's and 1980's will fit. You will have to check it out. BMW I stopped in at my local Mercedes Benz dealer and they quoted me 160 dollars CND!!!

    Itís guys like Doug that certainly do have our marque being kept alive and I feel that he deserves our support in buying our parts from him unless he gives you a tip like he did to me. Thanks, Doug!!

    David Ballantine, North Vancouver, B.C. Canada 74 Int. MkIII 2210/9273

     


    OIL

    ^^^(in answer to a query "isnít 20-50 a bit thick?) Not at all. As David Crowne pointed out, the sumps on the Chryslers are on the small side and the heat output is prodigious, so a multi-grade is excellent for them, and the 20-50 works quite well.

    The fact that you think it is heavy indicates to me that you have more experience with new cars, that use something no right minded British car owner would have this side of his wifeís sewing machine (or his, for the liberated seamsters out there, if any). 5-30 indeed! Such light weight oils were specified, I am convinced, as much with meeting the CAFE standards as with trying to keep the engines together. I use 20-50 in my daily driver Pontiac engine, notwithstanding the factory recommendations for lighter stuff, with no problem.

    But then I am a bit on the reactionary side when it comes to oils, and have yet to bring myself to use other than a single weight on my race cars.

    Yours lubriciously,

    Bill Spohn

    ^^^Try Kendall GT-1. It beats Castrol hands down. Your engine will run cooler and the oil will not break down as fast. Unlike Castrol, Valvoline, etc., Kendall does not have any ash in it.

    Ace Cathcart



    OIL PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT

    (in response to a query about the oil pressure warning light) The 440 service manual says: Minimum pump pressure @idle 8 psi Operating pressure@2000 engine RPM 30-80 lbs Curb 700 rpm. The senders are notoriously inaccurate but if the oil pressure warning light comes on, I recommend safe rather than sorry. It tells you there is virtually no pressure or that the sender is lying. Get your pressure checked with a hydraulic pressure gauge before you do anything. Don't drive it anywhere! Take more notice of the warning light than the gauge, they use different senders! If you run in cold weather, don't use 20/50 (It's OK in the summer, though) On a very hot day after a hot/hard run my oil pressure warning light occasionally flickers briefly at idle after showing 40 -45 psi during the run. Mopar has a high output oil pump (HI-PO) #P4286590 which fits all 440s or you can increase your existing oil pump capacity with the Mopar long rotor oil pump kit #P4007177.

    Robert Atkins 73 Int.


    OIL PAN

    ^^^When you get that pan off the car, you could consider replacing it with Mopar Part # P4529883, a Hemi Oil pan, which gives an extra quart of oil capacity. Iíve had one of those on my 383 for several years now, and the engine seems to thrive on that treatment. Fits 440's, too, if anyone else is interested.

    David Crowne, 71 Int. II 133/5474 San Diego, CA USA


    OIL PUMP ELBOW ADAPTORS

    ^^^I was getting an oil leak that was too large to ignore. I found that in working on the hose fittings I had somehow caused a score or small groove in two places on the beveled edge of one of my elbow adaptors on the bottom of the oil pump plate. This area is the 45 degree angle where the flange fitting is forced up against it to seal. Oil was coming out through the two scored places and out through the threads and, small as they were, they caused a very large oil puddle. Not having immediate access to a lathe to re-surface it, I went to my local Ace Hardware store and found their plumbing part number 42979 for less than $4 US. The body of the original Jensen (bought from somebody else, of course) elbow fitting, Jensen #26423, was 7/8" which fit my 7/8 wrench nicely. The new one was 15/16 and I did not have a 15/16 open end wrench, so I used a belt sander and took the new elbow adaptor down to 7/8 in very short order. Fitting works great, no more leaks.

    Frank Schwartz USA


    PANEL LAMP DIMMER

    ^^^If your panel light dimmer now spins helplessly with no effect, you may not care because the lights remain full bright. But if you want every light, switch and know to work as intended, use a rheostat, Mallory R25, 15 ohms or similar. The original is 14 ohms. These units are very heavy duty and available at an electronics supply store. Trim the shaft to fit the original knob.

    Ken Freese


    PICNIC

    ^^^A Typical English Picnic

    A wicker Basket

    Set of cups, saucers and side plates

    set of cutlery

    flask of tea, or preferably an old tilly stove and kettle and tea pot

    potted beef sandwiches on white break

    hard boiled eggs

    whole tomatoes

    pork pie (a raised pie best eaten cold)

    pickled onions

    Victoria sandwich (sponge cake with jam)

    Fairy cakes (iced individual cakes)

    All laid out on a gingham table cloth with a car rug to sit on. This would be best carried out in a 541 or CV8 as original Interceptor owners wouldnít be seen dead with a family picnic. Interceptor owners would have had Champagne and strawberries!!

    Jean Smith, Int III , CV8 III.


    PLASTIC PARTS

    ^^^A strong Drano and water mix can be used to remove the plastic vacuum plating which is often Ĺ worn out on the 4 Interceptor eyeball distribution (if done carefully with a paintbrush, you donít need to remove the vents at all). You get left with nice, clean black plastic eyeball vents.

    Dino Fritz, Adelaide, South Australia


    RADIATORS

    ^^^I have found a company that will make an aluminum radiator for the Interceptors. Aluminum is half the weight and 30% more efficient. The price quoted me was 565 dollars and thatís including shipping. The company is Griffin, and they make radiators for NASCAR. You do have to send the radiator in for them to copy. Also on the MKIII, how the radiator is mounted in the frame rail there may be some strengthening needed on the bottom of the radiator. I have a MKII that has the fans "hot" wired from the factory, and I have never had a problem ever. Also I have it on good authority, that the optima battery is a good choice for the electrical system. Cheers.

    John Lowney

    ^^^There has been some talk about using a product called "Drano" to clean automobile radiators. Under no circumstances should you use this in your radiator. It is used to clean plumbing drains and can eat up a radiator in short order. Plus it removes paint quickly, too. In fact, in a plastic bucket, one can use a strong solution of this product as a paint remover...but keep it away from your car! (Note: see Plastic Parts)

    Frank Schwartz

     


    REAR VIEW MIRROR

    To remove: One will have to get hold of the mirror and give it a very firm hard pull but at the same time careful as it is held in place by a strong spring. Be careful when you pull as you don't want to break the mirror or damage the headliner around it. I have had to replace my mirror so I know it needs a very strong pull to get it off. (Incidentally the mirror can be purchased at any scrap yard that has a 1970's vintage Mercedes-Benz series)

    David Ballentine, 74 Int. III, Vancouver, Canada


    REAR WINDOW DEMISTER

    ^^^(In response to a query about copper paint for repair of the heater wires) I don't know about copper paint, but there is a special `silver glue' for repairing rear window demisters. I have used it in the past on my Range Rovers, but have no experience with Jensens. You should be able to buy it in a good car accessory/parts shop. What you do is fix two pieces of painters tape on each side of the filament on the glass, say 1 millimeter apart. Then apply the silver glue and remove the tape immediately. If necessary, repeat the process. There is one problem, however...you have to know exactly where the break in the filament is...

    Vincent van Gerven Netherlands


    RUBBER LUBRICANT

    ^^^In answer to a question: What type of lubricant is best for keeping rubber and/or plastic parts from deteriorating? I was advised to use a product from General Motors (here in Canada) It is called Silicone Emulsion (Part # 1#10953014), I have used it on my Interceptor MKIII, Buick and Pontiac and have found that it does do what it is supposed to. I believe it cost me $8 Canadian about a year or so ago. You can buy it at any GM Dealer

    David Ballantine, North Vancouver BC Canada


    SHOCK ABSORBERS

    Removal and installation of rear shock absorbers on an Interceptor

    1. Remove the five self-tapping screws that secure the squab shelf. Gently slide the shelf rearwards, being careful not to tear any colouring from the finish due to leather to leather contact. If rear seatbelts are fitted, the shelf should be temporariliy stored on the hatch lifting mechanism (using cloths to prevent soiling the shelf and belts). The four mounting bolts for each shock absorber (SA) are now revealed. If access to the bolts is still encumbered by the rear seats, then remove the panel covering the expansion tank and undo the butterfly nuts that retain the seats; with some gentle separation of leather to leather contact they will pivot forward.

    2. Remove the lower SA eyelet from the axle mounting.

    3. The following should be done one side at a time to minimize risk on re-assembly. Remove the four mounting bolts from the interior and extract the SA being careful to noet the orientation of the brackets on the top of fhe unit. Note that there are two L-shaped brackets secured to the upper eye of the SA by a through bolt. Note also taht the brackets are not right angles and thus will have to be transferred to the new unit in exactly the same manner as they currently sit. Lastly note the measurement from bracket hole to bracket hole; this is dependant on the tightness of the through bolt as it compresses the brackets together on the rubber bush of the SA.

    4. Transfer the brackets to the new SA in the same orientation as noted and tighten the through bolt to the required degree to ge the same bolt hole to bolt hole distance as noted. Insert the new unit into position (ensuring correct orientation front/back) with your long arms ( or the assistance of another) secure at least one bolt back into the bracket from the interior of the car. Secure the otehr 3 bolts and attach the lower SA eyelet back into the axle. NOTE: A failure to correctly replace the top mounting brackets will lead to a twising and eventual destruction of the upper rubber bush of the SA.

    Other matters you may want to attend to with this job include: installing rear seat belts, greasing rear axle bearings and replacing Panhard rod bushes.

    Charles Plummer (who said also: Thanks to John Abbott, Chris Daniel and Steve Prince for their knowledge and time)


    SPARE TIRE

    ^^^If you use a smaller tire as a "space saver" spare - make sure that you only ever fit it to a front axle. The voice of experience speaks here. I once had a smaller tire fitted to the rear axle of my Interceptor after a blow-out. After travelling about 30km I gave the car full throttle to overtake a slower car. The car speared off to the right and I only just caught it. Turns out that the smaller diameter tire had overheated the limited slip differential - which "locked". Very scary at 140kmh.

    Ian Gatenby Australia


    SPRINGS

    ^^^Been wondering what to do to compensate for the sagging rear springs. Seems to be a typical ailment for this car. I did not want to have the springs re-arched, and I did not want to add helper springs which would stiffen the ride. I believe the best solution would be to replace the 3" long spring shackles with 4" inch units. That should raise the height at the axle almost Ĺ' and should not affect the ride at all. I plan on buying a set tomorrow to try out.

    Bruno Bornino


    STAINLESS TRIM

    ^^^Many of the trim pieces on the Interrceptor are made of stainless steel instead of chrome or plastic. However, stainless steel isn't really stainless; it tends to stain and form growths, or freckles, as I like to call them. To remove the freckles and restore the stainless steel to new shine with minimum effort: Squirt a small amount of 3M Rubbing Compound (fine cut) onto a clean rag and rub into the steel. Depending on the amount of freckling, a few seconds of vigorous rubbing will permanently remove the stains from the stainless. I tried it as a goof and was blown away by the results. I spent the next 20 minutes going over all the stainless on the car. This compound works better on stainless than it does on paint...I wonder what else it can do?

    Scott Brawner, South Carolina, USA, 73 Interceptor


    STARTER

    ^^^ALL starters for Big Block Mopar engines are "geared". The stock starter has a 3.5:1 reduction gear; other useable starters may have different ratios, but none is direct drive. Iíd be wary of a starter from J.C. Whitney. My experience with that firm, which goes back at least 25 years, has never been better than disappointing; more often exasperating or even infuriating. ..... If you go to your local Mopar dealer, you can get the Mopar Lightweight Starter (part number P5249644; price $159). This is made for the Big Block Mopar engines and is of a quality equivalent to the rest of the engine components...Iíve had the Mopar Lightweight Starter on my Interceptor for two years now, and Iím well satisfied with it. But Iíll surely inform the list if and when it fails (as its predecessor, a rebuilt starter from NAPA, did after 18 months.

    David Crowne in San Diego CA USA 71 Interceptor 133/5474

     

     


    STARTER CABLES

    ^^^On most of our Interceptors, I suspect, the rubber boot that is supposed to cover the main positive battery cable where it connects to the starter solenoid has long ago crisped and frizzled and crumbled into ineffectiveness or non-existence. For those who, like me, worry about a big, bad short circuit at that main electrical connection, Iíve discovered a first rate replacement, maybe better than the original. The Steele Rubber Co., which manufactures replica rubber parts for old American cars, sells part number 70-0704-21 (Rubber boot, starter cable) for $11.60. Not cheap, I acknowledge, but excellent in both design and execution. Contact: Steele Rubber Co. 6180 Hwy 150 East, Denver, NC 28037 USA 704-483-9343

    David Crowne San Diego, CA 71 Interceptor III 133/5474

     


    SWITCHES (LUCAS)

    ^^^I suspect many of us have had the joy of flipping on the light switch only to have the guts of the little bugger fly out into our laps. Another common complaint is the melting of the plastic body. I believe that some R&R can be very useful for these switches longevity. 1. Clean and lubricate. A switch which has a bit of functional grease (unlike the 30 year hardened wax) on the rocking piece will slide much smoother thus needing less force from the operator, reducing the load on the plastic pivot pin. Carefully prying on the switch body will allow one to remove the internals for this operation,. I don't believe that grease on the contacts is necessary although Lucas appears to use some there in the factory assembly. Buffing the fixed and sliding copper contacts to a shiny state is easily done with Scotchbrite or a fine grit paper. I prefer to leave a slightly rough surface as it seems to make a more reliable contact. Degradation of the contacts does not occur from mechanical wear, rather it is electrical erosion which causes wearing and pitting. This erosion is a self accelerating process. Cleaning at the first sign of poor contact will minimize wear. 2. Repair loose contacts. The switches on my 72 Interceptor use faston style lugs which are riveted by the switch contact. This is a major design liability. Any loosening of the rivet due to vibration, thermal stress, plastic cold flow will allow resistance between the lug and contact to increase. It is this high and often intermittent resistance which can cause the melting of the switch body. With a little care it is possible to solder the lug to the rivet without damaging the plastic. The plastic appears to be a thermo-setting type which tolerates some reasonable amount of soldering heat. I suggest that the rivet head and surrounding lug be well cleaned with some sandpaper or what-have-you. Using a small piece of Solder-Wick (a copper braid wire designed to absorb solder from a joint), wrap the wick around the base of the lug and lay it across the top of the rivet. Solder this all together, the lug will be mechanically held by the solder; the wick will maintain contact even if the mechanical joint created by the solder fails. I find it easy to do without damaging the plastic. If you are not very familiar with soldering small items, I would urge reasonable caution.

    Mike Fitzmorris


    TAIL LIGHT REFLECTORS

    ^^^I bought some oval red reflectors from at the Ace Hardware Store or WalMart, anc cut the rounded part off to fit. They work great and $1.50 for the pair.

    Bruno Bornino

     


    TIRES (TYRES)

    ^^^The correct tyre these days is 215/70-VR-15. We put these on all our Interceptors here in Europe. We use Pirelli P4000. Cost $125 each and we have the correct speed reference.

    Pier Vierhout (Netherlands)

    ^^^Just renewed tyres on my Coupe. I managed to find a brand new set of Dunlop SPs through local source here in the UK, as fitted original. I fitted 205/70 R15 front and 215/70 R15 to rear. (Great rear profile!) Exact specification is: Dunlop SP Sport Super D7 Radial Formula 70. Cost 500 Pounds Sterling for four.

    David Arnell 76 Coupe

    ^^^I am using Dunlop 225/60 HR 15 tires and they ride and handle beautifully . They also look very original even though they are not. I think the model of the tire is A 60?

    Ace Cathcart USA

    ^^^Reshod the machine with beautiful Pirelli P4000 215/15/70VRs recently which we got (i.e. David Crowne and I) for $100 by getting 8 at once. They look nice and seem to provide great road stability.... On deciding which of the old Michelins to keep as a spare, I was surprised (I suppose I shouldnít have been) to see how filthy that spare gets, exposed down there to everything coming up from the road. Then I remembered (getting more difficult these days) that in a moment of inspiration, I had ordered a wheel cover from Whitneyís and never installed it. They are intended for the exterior spare on the back of SUVís etc. Now if I have to use that spare, it wonít be such an unpleasant experience.

    Bob Adams 74 Int. 2210/9948 Poway., CA, USA


    TOP GRILLE REMOVAL

    ^^^The top grill removal and refit. The best way to tackle this is to cut and peel back the rubber insulation between the top of the heater box and the top of the cowl panel. Now if your LHD 76 is of similar construction as my RHD 74, you should see a small steel panel which runs along the top of the heater box. This panel is held in place by 2 or 3 self tapping screws - look along the top edge of the panel. Simply remove the screws and remove the metal strip. That's the easy part. Now there is around a 3/4 inch gap in which you can get a spanner inside to remove the nut on either end of the grill. Unscrew both nuts, and remove the top grill (at this point, it wouldn't be a bad idea to use some of that black paint to freshen up the box area beneath the grill). Re-fit is the reverse of the above, except it takes twice as long as now you have to try to hold up the grill while starting the nuts on the studs.... One modification done by a local owner was to grind off the mounting ears on the grill, and to make 2 small metal tabs which would bolt onto the studs under the cowl panel. The 2 small tabs were fitted so as to hold up the top grill. Now, 2 small holes were drilled into the recessed black panel of the grill, the grill was placed into position and smaller holes were drilled into the 2 metal tabs. The grill holes were countersunk, and 2 countersunk self tapping screws were inserted from atop of the grill to screw it into the 2 previously installed metal tabs. This little modification allows for a much easier re-installation of the top grill, and any future removal of the top grille is easier as well, allowing you to clean out any leaves, etc. which may collect under the grill.

    Dino Fritz


    TRANSMISSION REBUILD

    ^^^Iíve had the pleasure (!#*?) of being involved with the removal of both the engine and transmission as one whole unit, and the removal of the transmission only. The first is more involved, with the removal of the bonnet., disconnection of the radiator and hose, fuel lines, A/C compressor etc, to leave a bare engine. However once all this is done, and with an overhead block and tackle, the removal of the engine and transmission as one unit is fairly straightforward. Removal of the transmission on its own was trickier, involving the support of the rear of the engine (having the entire car around one foot off the ground, then using a jack near the rear of the sump to provide engine support), then the removal of all bolts holding the transmission in place. The problem encountered on my Ď74 was that the transmission just didnít drop straight down, as the widest point near the front of the transmission struck the chassis tubes - in my case, the transmission had to be rotated 90 degrees, lowered through the chassis rails, then lowered down to the ground and out of the car (luckily my brother does weights, and given the space restrictions under the car he did this almost single-handedly). It can be done, but with quite a lot of brute strength required - and this is probably why the transmission place wonít do it for you.

    Sooo..yes the transmission can be removed individually from the car, but it wasnít a simple task! My suggestions are : _ does your car need any major engine work required in the foreseeable future, or does the engine bay require attention (e.g. rear firewall, air conditioning, etc.)?. If yes, then ask your mechanic to remove the engine and transmission unit as a whole, and see to these problems at the same time as the transmission is out. - What does a transmission rebuild set you back in the US? I think John Wild pointed out that the price of a new Mopar extra heavy duty transmission was around $990 US (fitting extra). I know that here in Oz, the price of a rebuild would work out to be around 60-80% of the price of a new transmission, so this might be worth considering. Some of the benefits would be that all parts are new (e.g. springs governing shift points may be tired in your old trans - a rebuild which replaces clutch packs, bands etc. wouldnít fix this), and the factory warranty would be probably much better than that offered by the transmission place. You could probably offset some of the increased costs by selling the old 727 as well (heck, even I might be interested in having a spare around the place, but Iíd hate to see what the transport would be!).

    Dino Fritz, Adelaide, SA


    TRIM

    ^^^.....having the car repainted and assuming most of the trim is removed, can I suggest you get a specialist to polish the stainless steel as it goes dull through fine scratching that occurs even if the greatest care is taken when cleaning. It should look almost indistinguishable from chrome, but rarely does. The cost will be small in comparison with the additional satisfaction you will get when you look at the car following the paintwork.

    The following parts are stainless:

    1. The roof drip rail trim

    2. The A post trim

    3. The trims around the rear window

    4. The trim beneath the door drop glasses. (A bit difficult to remove especially if you fit new rubbers)

    5. The trim beneath the rear quarter windows

    6. The sill cover and blanking plates.

    Steve Prince


    VACUUM ACTUATORS

    ^^^Regarding the testing of vacuum actuators, Iíd suggest the removal of the temperature (i.e.vacuum) distribution switch to gain access to all of the vacuum control hoses. Using the parts manual to identify the ports and vacuum actuators, check for vacuum from the motor, and using a Multivac, apply suction to those ports to open and close the fresh air flap, the A/C thermostat and the demist flap (if you listen carefully, you should be able to hear them open and close inside the car)

    One other problem with the system is the actual vacuum distribution switch itself. It is worth carefully disassembling the back of the switch to clean the rubber "maze" which carries the vacuum supply to the various ports. Once you have the rubber maze out, carefully clean with soap and water, and you will notice that the vacuum has to pass through tiny pinholes to activate the various actuators, and it doesnít take much to clog these up over the years. I also fit new vacuum actuators and vacuum hoses many years ago, and still had problems with the system, which was eventually tracked down to a blocked hole within the distribution switch (which took hours to troubleshoot the entire system, I might add).

    When reassembling, lubricate the rubber maze with silicone spray or oil to assure its longevity and retention of vacuum. Itís worth remembering that you canít buy the switch new (unless someone has a NOS source out there...). And if you have to replace any vacuum hoses, be sure to get a thick wall hose to ensure it wonít collapse over time with the vacuum.

    Dino Fritz, Adelaide, 74 Int III, 2241/9480 South Australia


    VALVE COVER GASKETS

    After trying the thin 1/16 inch cork gaskets, which leaked, and then the thick fibre gaskets by Felpro which leaked worse., I listened to my mechanic guru and bought valve cover gaskets by Mr. Gasket Co. Put them on, snugged the valve cover nuts down...and no more leaks! Just that simple, after wondering what the answer was and trying to get the first two sets to seal. These worked right off and no more leaks or continuing tightening. They are Mr. Gasket Co. #5877. Ultra-Seal Premium valve cover gaskets is what they are labeled. I could not get them at a parts supply house. I had to go to the local hot rod shop and they had them on the shelf!! It worked for me and for anyone else who is suffering from oil leaks from their valve covers, I heartily recommend these.

    Frank Schwartz 73 Int 140/5975


    WHAZZIT?

    ^^^If you are looking for the "Rawl nut" referred to in the parts book for mounting of the heater and a/c box in the firewall, you probably will run into a blank wall. Go to a bolt and screw place and ask for "well nuts". They come in all sizes depths, and threads. There is a perfect one for this particular use. I also used three to mount the external oil filter bracket. I had to ream out the holes a bit in the fender well, but the made it a nicely mounted unit.

    Frank Schwartz USA


    WHEEL COLOURS

    ^^^If you look on the back side of the GKN alloy wheels, you should see the original colour of the unmachined area of the front of the wheel. Mine, at least had a light battleship gray paint covering the entire back of the wheel (including the rim), after cleaning away a heavy layer of grease/oil/brake fluid/dirt. I thought the colour a bit too utilitarian so I painted them a medium gray metallic to simulate the effect of unpolished alumin(i)um and polished the spokes and rims with Motherís mag wheel polish. So far, I think I like this colour better than the silver or black (body colour) that I have tried before, as it creates a good contrast with the bright parts while maintaining proper visual mass aspect.

    Jim Stites, Int. 133/5517 Kansas City, MO. USA

    ^^^I was informed last year that the nearest grey/gray colour match was BMC (British Motor Corporation/British Leyland) Tweed Gray. This, of course, applies to the later, alloy wheels and goes between the polished rim and spokes. Earlier cars had cast wheels(?) And had, I believe, gloss black as a background to the shiny bits.

    David Arnell 76 Int. Coupe

    ^^^For some reason it was common practice to repaint these wheels to match the body repaint colo(u)r, which in my opinion makes the car look somewhat cheap. The original grey paint seems indestructible, so I doubt if it was due to paint failure. Are there any Interceptors out there with the original paint on the body and/or wheels? (Not just the colour, but the actual paint). Thanks....your message reminded me that I forgot to paint my spare the last time I changed paint colour!

    Jim Stites 133/5517

    ^^^The alloy wheels were supplied to Jensen in primer - - a light bluish grey because Jensen had intended to colour code the spokes to the car. However, being a disorganized lot, with unreliable supply lines, they ended up with a load of Interceptors awaiting wheels. When the wheels arrived, painted in primer only, the factory was so desperate to get the cars out, that they just lacquered over the primer and fitted the wheels.

    Duncan? Via Jim Stites

    ^^^I had my wheels refinished to the original finish from the factory and on my Ď73 they were finished grey for the spoke portion, brushed aluminum for the raised portion and the nuts match the grey spokes. My car came white from the factory and it seems to me that grey was the standard finish in what I have observed. (Having said that I will probably be informed that this is not the case)

    David Ballantine 74 Int. MkIII 2210/9273 North Vancouver, B.C. Canada

     


    WHEEL NUTS

    ^^^The danger of fitting steel nuts is a definite tendency to over tighten the nuts with the very real possibility of shearing the studs themselves. We sell far more studs due to shearing than nuts. The Jensen recommended torque is and should not under any circumstances exceed 50 lbs. Ft. When we purchase the alloy nuts they come with a warning sticker stating "Wheelnut Torque Setting must not exceed 50 lb. Ft.".

    It has also been our experience that the alloy wheel when manufactured is painted all over including the part where the lug seat fits on to the wheel. We have found that this can cause an untrue torque reading as the paint "gives". When fitting new or refurbished wheels we always remove the paint from this area.

    Alan Tebbutt, Cropedy Bridge Garage UK

    ^^^I emphatically agree. Some other points: A wheel stud is not a hardened fastener as ductibility is very important in this application. 50 ft. Lbs. Will exert a considerable tension on the stud and the additional "preload" caused by a high nut torque will SUBTRACT from the total load the stud can take before failure. The reason for the 50 ft. lbs. Is to eliminate any slop and insure that the friction is sufficient to stop the nut from loosening. If one is to tighten excessively, the possibility exists for the nut to LOOSEN due to yielding (stretch) of the stud over time. More is not always better.

    It is important that the threads (both stud and nut) be clean and free. This insures that the torque applied is translated properly into the intended preload and is not wasted in friction. In the case of a tapered wheel nut, it is also important that the two tapered surfaces be smooth. While threaded fasteners are designed for "clean and dry" threads, I suggest oil is not a bad thing as it helps insure easier removal later. Arguably one should use slightly less torque when the threads are lubricated. Whenever a nut/bolt seems to tighten over a larger rotation than it did before or more rotation than itís neighbors, the assembly should be carefully checked to see what is yielding.

    Mike Fitzmorris

    ^^^To address the question of how wheels are held to cars. There are several cases here: tapered face steel wheels, tapered steel inserts into aluminum wheels and straight walled aluminum wheel fastener holes. The correct fastener MUST be used for the wheel in question; donít mix fastener types except in an emergency to get you to the nearest shop to buy the correct fasteners.

    For tapered face steel wheels and aluminum wheels with the tapered steel inserts, most nuts (or tapered bolts threaded into the hub in some applications) should use a torque of about 50 foot-pounds. I use this number for "standard and full-size and intermediate size" USA Ford products, GM products and Chizzlers....and my Jensen Healey. To be correct, you can look up the torque specs for the diameter and thread pitch of the wheel fastener you have, if in doubt. A good shop manual will often include the wheel lug torque that Trabants or Renault 2CVís use, for example. The correct torque will put a goodly amount of tension on the studs or bolts and will press the wheel/hub face together so the frictional force will exceed any amount of steering wheel jerking, braking or clutch dropping the nut holding the steering wheel can think up to do.

    For aluminum wheels with tapered aluminum seats, take these wheels and have steel inserts put in them.

    For straight-walled holes in aluminum wheels (Like the JH, for example), nut torque should still be about 50 foot-pounds (assuming the same diameter stud as above). The JH uses aluminum nuts that hold on an aluminum wheel. Any steel nuts used should also include steel washers between the nut and the aluminum wheel, but the washer is not necessary if the aluminum wheel has a steel insert with just enough face to handle the nut face. The nut barrel diameter should be just slightly smaller in diameter than the wheel hole (a few thousandths smaller, [cm or inches]).

    A little lube on the nut barrel will help with the installation.

    Generally IMHO, most tire shops who employ people to use pneumatic tools to remove and fasten wheel nuts and bolts, donít pay them very much. Thatís because these tire shop blokes think that if a little is good, more is better and so they set the torque on the pneumatic tool to "max". "Nothing exceeds like excess!". On my pneumatic took that I use, MAX is specified at 90 foot-pounds (I have a small pneumatic tool [and a larger hydraulic one]). Set at MAX , being more than 50 foot-pounds, is more than is usually necessary. Full-tilt on the pneumatic tool also enables stripping of the threads if the nut is cross-threaded in the first place. E.g., if you stick the wheel nut in the socket attached to the pneumatic tool and thread the nut onto the stud by revving the tool, you are doing it wrong. It may be faster, but itís wrong.

    The correct way is to start the wheel nut by hand and notice if the thing is threading onto the stud correctly. Then use the air tool. The car owner may notice that removing over-torqued fasteners while changing a flat may or may not be possible depending on the lug wrench length and the arm strength of the person wielding the lug wrench.

    So the wheel fasteners should be started by hand, and THEN tightened with a wrench to prevent cross threading. An occasional lubrication of the nut or stud threads is helpful (note that proper torquing is usually specified using 30 weight engine oil...or in some cases, the specified lubricant). For wheel studs, engine oil will do. If an air tool is used, the torque setting should be for about 50 to 60 foot pounds and NOT set on "MAX". Note that "MAX" is one of "Fredís" shopmates.

    From a drivers perspective, forgetting to tighten wheel fasteners is usually more dangerous than over tightening. The reason is that the wheel becomes loose and if the nuts donít back off, the wheel and studs chew each other up before the wheel parts company with the vehicle. The driver may (or may not) notice an unusual vibration and funny noises emanating from the vehicle some time before the wheel separates.

    Careful people with race cars check wheel torque (usually with a torque wrench) each time the car leaves the paddock for the hot pit. Some of these same people also check the torque on the trailer wheels before leaving for each race. There must be a sensible reason for this behavior.

    If you drive a race car (or have a SERIOUS street machine) you should buy a set of wheel studs from Automotive Racing Products (ARP) (or other reputable racing fastener supplier) and use those in place of the stock studs. These studs are probably about twice as strong as the OEM studs. As I recall, these studs may be torqued as much as 90 foot pounds of torque, but donít quote me on this. That said, I have a set of ARP wheels on my track car and I still use 50 foot pounds of torque because it is plenty for my 2000 pound car.

    Note that some folks use spacers between the wheel and the hub. From a wheel stud stress viewpoint, this entails a hazard. The thicker the spacer, the more bending stress (while driving like the hammers of hell) is put on the studs and the more likely they are to fatigue and then fail. IF you use wheel spacers, please go get a set of racing quality wheel studs and use those in place of the stock ones; and IF you use pacers, then a little more nut torque is in order.

    Note that exactly what torque values you choose is not that important for street driving, the most important thing is that all the wheel nuts are tightened down with a reasonable amount of force. Under torquing (like forgetting to do so) is most dangerous.

    Don Wollesen

     

     


    WINDOW GEAR KITS

    ^^^I got a new window gear kit from Chrysler in the US in 1995, P/N 04339433 to suit my MK III Interceptor, at the time it cost me approximately $50 US. I guess they are still available.

    Rolan Cox, Melbourn, Australia


    WINDOW INSTALLATION

    ^^^It so happens that I just helped my local glass shop reinstall a windscreen in my 73 Int. III. There was rust developing under the paint because when the vinyl top was removed by the last owner, he did not prep the surface properly. The rubber on the old one was very brittle and the windscreen rubber had to be cut out. In US cars, there is a clip at the top center of the windscreen that has 2 studs fastened from the inside. The windscreen is also urethaned in to keep it from popping out in the event of a crash.

    The new rubber was wrapped around the glass by first lubricating the rubber with a soap solution. Silicone spray would make the glass too slick to handle. You must do the bottom 2 corners first or you will not be able to get the rubber over the corners...it is also a good idea to secure the rubber to the top of the glass with some wide tape so it will not separate.

    We then installed the bright trim onto the rubber. This is not an easy task. The windshield was supported by an adjustable glass rack, outside edge up. The slot had to be well lubricated to allow the trim to seat into place.

    We then wrapped a 3/16 inch diameter rope in the slot around the rubber. The ends terminated at the bottom center where we allowed them to cross. This time we sprayed the edge with silicone, then positioned the glass over the bottom lip. The glass man was on the inside and I was on the outside. I was asked to slap the glass downward at the point where the rope was being pulled. He did one bottom side, then the other. I slapped the glass down continuously during this process. He then pulled the rope on one side, then the other, and finally, pulled the rope from both ends until it was completely seated. The rubber then had to be drilled from the inside for the 2 studs of the securing clip. The only casualty we had was a small piece of the dash plastic that was so brittle that it snapped off as the rope went by it.

    Bruno Bornino, California

    ^^^Window Glass - Rear: Fitting the glass is a case of fitting the rubber seal to the glass, then inserting a suitable string into the groove in the rubber where the edge of the frame is due, starting in one of the lower corners. Then fit the hard rubber strip into its groove in the rubber seal. Place the glass/rubber onto the frame and carefully jiggle the edge of the frame into the rubber seal at the lower (rear) edge, using the string to pull the lower lip down and into the car as necessary. Then work your way round carefully. Do not try to push it fully home at once unless it does so by itself. When the edge of the frame has entered the seal all the way around, push carefully with flat hands on the outside of the glass along the edge, helping the inside lip of the rubber seal with your fingers at the same time. (Get help with this pat if necessary). Then finally fit the stainless steel trim. If you want to be absolutely certain it doesnít leak, lift the outside lip a little bit injecting a sealant of the kind that stay sticky and flexible. Finally, you may need a tool to help the seal along here and there. I made one with a J-shaped piece of 2 mm steel rod inserted into a wooden handle.

    The front screen is much the same (but easier), except you insert the chrome trim early on instead of a hard rubber strip. I would certainly recommend the use of a sealant here, the front screen very often leaks after a while

    Addendum: I forgot to mention that I donít use soapy water to ease the job because it makes it harder for the silicone sealant (of the aforementioned sticky type) to do its work. And if you prefer, fit the rear glass first and insert the hard rubber strip afterwards. But then you need to make up a tool to run along the groove in the rubber seal just in front of the strip as you fit it. I made one from steel wire that was an exact fit around the strip, feeding the strip into the groove. Less elaborate, but more tedious is to grind a ball shape at the tip of a steel rod approximately 10 mm in diameter and run that in front as you feed the strip into the groove. You can use soap here as there is no leak through possibilities, provided you are careful when placing the holes for the small bolts holding the stainless steel trim..

    Per Eie


    WINDOW LIFT MOTORS

    ^^^After seeing a number of scary tales on replacing window lift motors on Interceptors, I finally gave up manually moving mine up and down, and opened up the door. This wasnít nearly as difficult as I had expected. I did learn a few tricks once the inner panel was removed.

    1. There is a spring that helps life the window, and this can cause problems unless you stick a screwdriver or some such through the hole near the top of the large crescent shaped gear to stop it from moving.

    2.The motor and gear set are mounted separately from the window on a bit that is roughly a lower case "t" shape. Removing the 4 bolts (1 at the front, 1 at the top and 2 through the bottom of the door) allows this to tip outward well enough to make it VERY easy to undo the 3 motor mounting bolts with a 1/4 inch drive socket wrench.

    3. You should start removing the door speaker mounting and get it completely out of the way.

    4. The job is made slightly easier by undoing the door handle mechanism, but Iím not sure it is enough so to justify the extra work. If you decide to do this, be very careful about catching and replacing the spacers between the bracket and the inner door panel.

    5. If you get frustrated, just remember that this mechanism is not nearly as accessible in the Chrysler doors it was originally designed for. It is obvious that at least the Jensen doors were designed by people who actually work on cars.

    Ed Campbell

    ^^^Been working on my 73 today and made a few discoveries. First, the power window motors are identical to the MOPAR units that I had in both my 69 Dodge Coronet and my 73 Imperial. The later ones are the best units because the clutches in the early ones fail.

    Bruno Bornino


    WIPER DELAY

    ^^^If you drive your Jensen in the rain, I know youíve wished for an intermittent wiper switch to turn. Auto Parts stores carry an under dash delay for under $10 that works and can be hidden in the console. It comes in a small plastic box for under-dash mounting, but the box can be pried away leaving the small circuit board with a knob protruding. This assembly fits perfectly in the console hole left when I had removed the speaker fader switch (most modern radios have built in faders). The instruction sheet for MGís requires finding the wiper park wire at the windshield wiper switch (the brown/light green wire on my 74/75 car). By using appropriate spade terminals, the wire can be interrupted without any cut wires. The power source for the delay can be anything convenient as the unit doesnít draw much power.

    Ken Freese