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Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required – Hurry Up and Wait

I think it was maybe in WWII that infantry soldiers came up with the phrase “hurry up and wait”. It might have been a reflection on the chaotic situation of wartime, where maybe they were in a forced march to reach a strategic location, only to arrive there and sit around with no further action required.

The restoration of my 1963 Jaguar E-Type coupe this last week was an example of hurry up and wait. I started with a nice goal. I wanted to get all the brake lines bent into their correct configuration. I had purchased a brake line “kit” put together by Automec. The kit contains all the brake lines with the correct flares and end fittings.  I think in order to get it all packaged in a box that is only 12”x18” x 2”, the lines are not bent into their 3D shapes, rather they are 1D or 2D. I already had the required endpoints in place, namely 2 master cylinders and 4 wheel calipers. I had tools, namely a tubing cutter and two varieties of bending tools. I started by establishing the rough routes using electrical wire. I then bent the routes up using bulk tubing that I purchased at NAPA. Finally, I used this pattern to bend the actual lines. The Automec lines use a copper-nickel material and are pretty easy to bend. I was almost done when I discovered that two lines were missing. I contacted the vendor, SNG, and they agreed to get me the missing lines, free of charge. Unfortunately, they have to come from the UK. Hurry up and wait.

I decided to install the cable that leads from the handbrake to the parking brake assembly at the rear wheels. The basic cable was ready to go but at the handbrake end, there is an assembly that turns on a light on the dash when the handbrake is engaged. The electrical switch for the assembly was not making contact. Sigh. I ordered a new switch from SNG. It could be shipped out immediately but we agreed to wait for the items from the UK to come in and ship everything at once. Hurry up and wait.

I turned to the installation of the accelerator pedal box assembly. That went in OK. It has an opening for the steering shaft, so I decided to get the shaft ready to go. It has universal joints (U-Joints) at each end. U-joints have a bearing assembly that really should be replaced as a precaution. I had one in my supply of new parts but not two. Another email to SNG and it was added to my pending order. Hurry up and wait.

The steering shaft inside the cockpit includes a fiddly complex of parts that allow the horn to work and of course it contains the turn signal assembly. I had pre-purchased a repair kit for the horn mechanism, although it turned out after I took everything apart and reconditioned it, I did not need the kit. What I did need was a “stalk” for the turn signal switch, as the chrome on the original was perished. Amazingly, SNG had those in stock. OK, just add it to my order! Hurry up and wait.

I moved on to installation of the fuel line from the rear of the car up to the fuel filter in the engine compartment. This actually went pretty well. That said, I discovered that I was missing 2 gaskets and a filter screen for the fuel filter. These were added to my order from SNG.

Due to the fact that my one part from the UK is small enough to be shipped by air, my order should arrive in a week or two. And I have already moved on to working on installation of the tachometer and speedometer into the dash. As long as you have multiple avenues of attack during your restoration project, you can usually stay busy and productive. Just remember and accept the fact that “hurry up and wait” is probably right around the next corner.

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