Main British Car:
1972 TR6 1994 5.7 L GM LT1
Ken Hiebert's 1965 Jaguar E-Type with GM LS1 V8, "Part 8”
Posted by: TR6-6SPD
Date: January 12, 2021 09:23AM
Here is a link to "Part 1" of the project:
Here is a link to "Part 2" of the project:
Here is a link to "Part 3" of the project:
Here is a link to "Part 4" of the project:
Here is a link to "Part 5" of the project:
Hose assembly with bleed valve and steam pipe fitting:
Here is a link to "Part 6" of the project:
Here is a link to "Part 7" of the project:
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The last items to install while the car is still on the chassis table, are the two floor pans under the seats.
I’m holding off on these because with no floor, I can stand up in the car to do interior work such as dash fabrication, A/C controls and wiring. The car will stay where it is for now.
The car sitting on all four wheels, most of the body metal work is finished and some of the filler work is done on the bonnet.
Here it is for now:
I added a skid plate, mostly to protect the steering rack mount which looked like a catch point on the underside.
It’s made from ¼” aluminum backed by some ¾” square tubing.
Independent rear suspension and boot panels
These panels were cut from 1/16” sheet aluminum. The section covering the IRS will be removable for brake servicing.
The panel on the driver’s side in the boot area will be made removable for servicing the fuel tank while the passenger side will have some kind of a quick release arrangement.
Cut and bent panel:
The original dashboard consisted of three separate pieces. I sold mine to someone who wanted it as it was no use to me. I wanted to use the same general configuration, adapting the components that I’ve chosen.
The two main components to build around were the instruments and the Vintage Air A/C unit. The transmission tunnel determined the location of the A/C unit, putting it high and not as far forward as I would have liked. This kept my stepped center section of the dash shallow, but manageable. The instrument cluster from the 2001 Trans Am fitted nicely between the GM tilt column and the Jaguar dash pad.
Building the dash in one piece first required a cardboard template:
With a blank slate, I marked the cut out for the instruments using the original plastic surround. The cluster was set back an inch using a formed spacer.
Instrument cut out:
This spacer was located on the back of the dash using 1/8” pins:
The cluster will sit behind a Lexan cover. For the glove box, I formed some 1/8” rod and welded it to the 20 gauge metal opening to smooth the entrance.
Instrument mounted and 1/8” rod:
Installed with dash top:
Heat, Cool and Defrost
I mounted the Vintage Air unit long ago. I just wanted to make sure it would fit. With the dash in place, it was now time to provide the ducting.
Dash area open:
Vintage Air unit hung:
I knew the windshield defrost would be the most difficult so I started on that first.
Originally, the Jaguar configuration consisted of a heater core on the engine side of the firewall. They used the bulkhead as a plenum which distributed the conditioned air to the floor and windshield. The windshield had 5 separate ducts and hoses. There was no way I had room for anything like that.
I ended up fabricating a shallow plenum made from 1/16” sheet aluminum, attached to the bottom of the dash pad. This would connect to the A/C unit using a foam gasket.
Plenum, compared to 5 original defrost ducts:
Dash pad installed:
To connect the A/C unit to the plenum, I cut holes in a piece of ¾” plywood and mounted that to the top of the unit. A spacer and a foam pad completed the connection. There was no need to fasten the two together, just a press fit.
I’ll be blocking off the center vents as needed to allow air to reach the furthest vents.
A/C cool ducting
Cool air is provided at the center and either end of the dash.
The center vent was very close to the unit itself. There was no room for a hose so I fabricated a tower from plywood and sheet metal to transport the air up and out the vent.
Tower connecting unit to vent:
Center vent and hoses to two eye ball vents:
Fabricated a package tray to go on the passenger side. Fan shroud went in as well:
Floor Heat Plenum
The ducts for the floor heat on the Vintage Air unit dumped straight on top of the transmission tunnel, nowhere near where you need it, in the foot wells.
I looked at going from the rectangular outlet to a round flex hose to bring the air forward but nothing seemed right.
So, as per the defrost vent, I fabricated a plenum to channel the floor heat.
From a cardboard pattern, I made a top and bottom half with folded edges for the sides. I TIG welded some beads to hold it together and used epoxy to seal it.
The top center entrance captures most of the floor vent outlet:
I added vent directors at each end which can be modified at a later date if needed:
Passenger side with tube for A/C drain:
Stereo Faceplate and Head Unit
The obvious place for the stereo was on the transmission tunnel but with the A/C unit taking so much space, I would have had to move it down well towards the gear shift lever.
I took an idea from Nik Blackhurst and Richard Brunning from their Project Blinky YouTube video series and remotely mounted the faceplate. You can see their version in episode #22, at the 17 minute point. View here:
I acquired a used model of my Alpine CDE 172 BT stereo and salvaged the parts I needed, namely the male and female connectors and the second faceplate.
First off was removing the male connector from the used faceplate. I couldn’t desolder it so I cut it away from the board, mounted it on another board and wired the 20 connector ribbon cable to it.
Male connector salvaged, wired and installed:
Secondly, I did the same with the female connector. The pins on this piece were difficult to access so I soldered solid wire extensions that I could connect to later.
Female connector salvaged and mounted:
Cable complete, front side:
With the concept tested, (you never really know), I assembled the cut up faceplate to fit over the exposed ribbon cable on the head unit. This, of course, is a dummy faceplate but the head unit will still handle the CD function.
First test and faceplate modification:
Removable faceplate installed and head unit on package tray:
I didn’t want to go cheap when it came to the speakers. It’s like your tire choice, that’s what you connect with.
The B post provided a good place for the 6X9’s
I squeezed the 6” rounds into the lower section of the A post.
The doors accommodated another pair of ovals.
The dash tweeters needed housings fabricated so they could be mounted on the face of the dash.
The power amp was hung in the boot, up out of the way.
I like the OEM GM headlight switch that was used in the 4th generation Camaros. It will plug and play in the wiring harness that I’m using. The only problem is that it’s designed to be panel mounted and I wanted it stand alone.
I built a small box to house it in and added my electric power steering potentiometer with a switch to enable it or not.
Parts to be incorporated:
I wanted to use the fuel pump that I acquired with the engine/transmission package that I purchased. It’s an original GM in tank unit with an integral swirl pot and pressure regulator.
The immediate issue I found, it was too tall to fit flush into the Jaguar fuel tank. I didn’t want to modify the fuel pump assembly so I built an adapter to suit.
OEM fuel pump with level sender:
Parts fabricated for adapter:
Welding adapter assembly:
The top ring holding the pump down, I was able to fabricate from aluminum:
Because of an internal baffle in the fuel tank, I had to rotate the pump to provide clearance for the level gauge float to function. I used an angle fitting to route the hose.
Thanks to the “power bulge” on the E-Type bonnet, I was able to get my air filter to the front side of the radiator in an easy manner. Space was tight but it did fit.
Using a 3 ½” diameter, 45 degree mandrel bent tube, I spliced together what I needed to get around the radiator and still clear the underside of the bonnet.
Added two ears that sit on the lord mounts and a bung for the AIT sensor.
Fabrication of the tubing:
Intake tube with Vibrant hoses:
Radiator assembly trimmed for clearance:
Expansion and Overflow Tanks
The dual pass radiator that I ended up with didn’t have a radiator cap so I would need an expansion tank in my cooling system. This tank, from Canton, has a small line feeding into it from the top of the radiator and a 5/8” hose at the bottom of it that I choose to tap into the lower radiator hose with. This will be my fill point for the system.
The overflow tank is mounted next to the expansion tank, all on the right side of the engine.
Expansion and overflow tank assembly:
Lower Radiator Hose
Two things complicated the installation of the lower rad hose.
Firstly, the neck at the engine takes a 1 1/2” hose and the fitting at the rad takes a 1 3/4” hose size.
Secondly, the frame rail and the upper control arm obstructed the routing.
I collected the material to do the job being, 1 1/2” 90 degree and 1 3/4” 45 degree silicone hoses. A 1 3/4” to 1 1/2” reducer would take me to the 1 1/2” SS tubing I pieced together.
A bung on the backside of the tubing took a fitting for the 5/8” hose that goes up to the Canton expansion tank. A second bung lower down mounted the drain petcock since the radiator didn’t have one.
Fabricating the SS tube assembly:
Completed unit with the Gates Shrink Clamps:
Heater Hoses +Upper Radiator Hose
I had to use a couple of 90 degree fittings to get the heater hoses going in the right direction. The 5/8” inlet hose has a shut off valve in line, controlled by the Vintage Air unit.
Hoses heading towards firewall:
The upper radiator hose was much easier to route than the lower hose. Again, using 1 ½” SS tubing, I came out of the radiator but needed a 1 ½” to 1 ¼” reducer for the GM water pump neck. They have to make it difficult.
I added a fitting for a bleed valve and a fitting to connect the cylinder head steam pipe. Where to run this steam pipe is of some interest. Some people tap into the top of the water pump, others to the radiator.
Upper radiator hose test fitted:
Hose assembly with bleed valve and steam pipe fitting:
Space was limited for routing the A/C lines to the front side of the radiator to connect the condenser and filter dryer.
My only option was to use hard lines and sneak above the tie rod and below the radiator tank. I used two 24” lengths.
Hard lines shaped with fittings:
Lines installed and clipped:
Close fit to radiator:
Dryer mounted in front of radiator:
Used 45 degree port fittings to exit compressor:
Coilover Spring Compressor
With the help of someone else’s YouTube video, I put together a spring compressor to assemble and possibly swap over springs on my coilovers.
I have the four original springs for the rear shocks which I’ll mount and see how the car sits. That will give me a base line to work from.
I’ll probably do the same for the front.
The Jaguar E-type used a single, centrally located backup light. I didn’t get one with this car.
I liked the size and shape of the VW Jetta side marker light, so I went with that. After fabricating a housing, I mounted a top quality LED 1156 bulb in it.
Lens and housing:
Very bright when lit and of course, runs cool:
I bought the engine, transmission package for this car from a reputable dismantler out of Pennsylvania. The declared mileage was 26,678. I researched the car’s VIN and found photos of the car in salvage, linked to the insurance claim. The photos showed the car was probably damaged just enough to write it off.
The engine turns over freely enough but I’ve never heard it run. If it isn’t right, I’ll have it fixed. In the mean time, I thought I’d pull the pan and have a look.
Car in salvage yard:
I love these late model engine oil pans. They’re an integral part of the engine structure so they’re built precise and come with a reusable gasket.
Cleaned up well:
Boot area work
I took care of three things in the area of the boot.
1-The oval access plates were always a bit too low, even in the original car. After I raised the level of the boot board, those holes were now half hidden. Besides remaking the access holes, I added some panels on the sides to square up the area to make the upholstery work easier.
2-The boot latch mechanism originally had a rather bulky curved cover that was missing when I got the car. It never appealed to me. I fabricated a smaller, tighter unit to protect a person from getting snagged on the latch.
3-Originally the latch was released from a mechanical lever on the right side of the car only. I’ve converted this to an electrically operated release using a hefty solenoid. There will be a pushbutton operating this on both sides of the car.
Photo collage of latch cover and relocated oval access plates:
Testing electric boot release:
Video of operation:
Fuel tank and headlight bucket
I’ll never have a chance to test run the engine unless I have an operational fuel tank, so I cleaned my original tank, inside and out and painted it:
Another detail on the list was to modify the headlight buckets. I didn’t get any with the car when I bought it so I sourced a set of plastic versions sold by an Austin Mini specialist:
The Jaguar buckets had the back side of it sliced off to give clearance for the front tire. I did some measurements and I also needed this.
Cemented in some ABS plastic as required:
Preparations for Electrical
Two things that needed taken care of before I start fabrication wiring harnesses were to mount the battery and modify the steering column.
I had designated the battery to go in front of the passenger foot well.
I’ll need some insulation to protect it from the header heat:
It can be removed from above or below:
I wanted to use the ignition switch assembly that I got with the wiring harness/engine transmission package. That ignition key has the resistor in it that operates the Vehicle Anti-theft System. That switch assembly is a larger diameter than the one in the Fiero column I’m using.
I was able to swap over the housing from the 2001 Trans Am to the 1985 Fiero column. The only modification required was to shorten the housing length.
Both columns disassembled:
Different housings and key assemblies:
Length being modified:
Steering column finished:
Ignition Coils and Wires
I’ve never been overly fond of the look the LS engine has when the coils are mounted on the valve covers. Yes, they’re accessible for trouble shooting, but how often do they give you trouble? I choose down in front for this engine.
I stacked the coils on a bracket fabricated from 20 ga. steel, then mounted that to an aluminum plate that bolts to the side of the engine block.
Again, I stacked the coils, but here I mounted the aluminum plate to the front of the engine block, keeping the coils level.
To keep the wires away from the exhaust headers, I ty-rapped them to a plate mounted against the block. The plates were made from SS sheet topped with high temp ABS plastic. I used an MSD wire kit that gives you the spark plug caps finished and then the coil cap ends are cut to length.
Wires mounted to plate:
Wire rack mounted:
When I purchased the 2002 engine and transmission package, I had the supplier ship me not just the engine wiring harness but also the complete body wiring harnesses. I wanted to fabricate my own electrical system based on the OEM GM design.
The main harnesses in this car consisted of:
Engine wiring harness – more or less self-contained holding the PCM
Forward Lamp harness – located in the engine bay and has the two fuse blocks, upper and lower
Instrument Panel wiring harness – located mostly under the dash and has the I/P fuse block
Cross Car wiring harness – also under the dash, connecting the two doors
I laid out all four harnesses on the living room floor and took stock, labeling each connector to familiarize myself with what goes where. Initially, I must admit, I was overwhelmed with all the wires and connectors.
I put the engine and forward lamp harnesses in place to see if I could keep the PCM and the two U/H fuse blocks in the general vicinity of where they were in the Pontiac Trans Am. That would simplify the job of shortening and lengthening of wires.
The main systems I could eliminate to start with from the OEM harnesses were:
ABS - not applicable
DRL (daytime running lights) - not applicable
Stereo – using my own
Power Windows - using my own
HVAC - using my own
Using the 3 volume GM service manual, I plowed through each harness, adding and subtracting wires and connectors.
These manuals are indispensable. Learning how to use them takes time though. The two main features are the schematics showing wire size, colour, number and function.
The connector end views are useful for initial identification and later for wire location on the connector.
One step at a time
Wipers, final test
When I bench tested my Jaguar wiper motor with the GM wiper switch using my two relays, I thought that system was complete. But to be sure, I wanted to see them working in the car, with the new wiring harness.
The wiring harness was OK, but my switch selection was not. For the bench test, I used the wiper switch from an’85 Fiero. In the steering column I’m using, I have a switch from a ’94 Firebird. They’re not all the same. A simple swap would not work.
The solution was to take the internal parts from the older switch and transplant them into the newer switch body.
Replacing the battery in my iPhone 6 was easier.
Ignition Coil Control Wires
With the ignition coils relocated from on top of the valve covers to the lower sides of the engine block, it was obvious I would have to rewire their control circuits.
The original sub-harness was a compact unit that contained three spliced circuits and one control wire for each coil.
Using new wire, I fabricated two new harnesses.
In the photo:
-fabrication, completion and installation
More metal work
Found some more metal work to be done during the wiring phase.
Fabricated a heat shield for the battery and shaped some clips to secure the battery cables to the frame rails.
Also filled the firewall. I was going to wait until I pulled the engine but I wanted a final harness pass through to work with. Looking for a “smooth” firewall.
In the photo:
-Aluminum heat shield fabricated
-Battery cables clipped to frame
Choice of connectors in wiring harness
For those unfamiliar with weatherproof connectors in the automotive field, there two types, Metri-pack and Weather pack.
Metri-Pack terminals are different from Weather Pack terminals in that the male terminals have flat tabs, similar to a quick-disconnect, rather than Weather Pack's round pins.
Since the GM harness that I’m using has the Metri-pack style, I chose to stick with them.
In researching Aptiv’s products, (formerly Delphi), I found the GT series to my liking.
From the internet:
Aptiv GT 150 Connectors have a small package size suited to fit the shrinking space requirements of today's vehicles and equipment. Tangless terminals with stamped serrations, Connector Position Assurance (CPA), Terminal Position Assurance (TPA), and Primary Lock Reinforcement (PLR) with positive connector seal retention make Aptiv's GT 150 connectors easy to install and durable in heavy duty environments.
Mouser Electronics of Canada helped me choose the connectors I needed. It’s a huge global distributor that ships out of Texas, quickly.
In the photo:
- example of a 2 pin GT 150 connector
- 4 pin connector for the A/C trinary switch
- 6 pin connector for the wiper motor
- wiper circuit relays bundled and labeled
Edited 33 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/2023 11:37AM by TR6-6SPD.