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:
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.
Edited 10 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2021 10:19AM by TR6-6SPD.