The Fake Jaguar Thread

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I did a test fitting of the engine today. Unfortunately it crashed into my new braces. I suspected this might happen which is why I did the test fit.

When the engine rocked it would have literally unsnapped the valve covers LOL

I made these two new brackets that attach from my body cross member to the shock tower and this will be plenty beefy.


There is plenty of clearance now.

It has been interesting following this project. Really shows how a simple kit car is not simple at all. Also shows the difference between the original owner's apparently fast approach, versus your meticulous attention to detail.
Thank you Kevin.

I’m just old and I don’t have a lot of other things to worry about.

When I was younger it would’ve been different. But I have other vehicles to drive, so I don’t have to get in a hurry to finish this.

I am certainly not the worlds greatest fabricator, but I have lots of time to think about what I’m going to do and I try to make it easy on myself.

Except for Cleaning and painting, the rear frame is complete and workable now.

I got a pretty good alignment now with the kite string and the levels, so now that I know it is easily done I can go back to work on rust removal. First the engine has to come back out.

Easy peasy with the body off. To remove it with the body on though, I have to take the muffler off.

Before I put that engine back in I’m going to make some modifications and torque all the bolts. That stock VW fan shroud has heater outlets, but my car doesn’t have heaters anymore, so I bought a shroud without outlets.

While it’s off I will check the oil cooler because I think it’s leaking at the O-rings. I know that the oil pressure sender is leaking as well.

I also find that this shroud does not have the right cover for the oil cooler. The cover doesn’t sit flush and it has big gaps that allow air leakage.



I got out to the Volkswagen shop today and talk to those guys and as it turns out they all have that same cover that doesn’t fit very well.

I didn’t have a lot of time to work on the car today, but I did take the engine out and wrap it up until I can get it back in the garage. I jacked the chassis back up and started getting it leveled out.

I am really happy with the way the braces worked out and the engine goes in and out without obstruction (once the body and bumper are off.)
I thought I had the rear end tidied up but I completely forgot the U-bolt brackets.

I chopped off a couple pieces of barstock with the angle grinder and cleaned them up. These are approximately 1.5” x 4” and 1/8” thick. This is my crappy old grinding bench.

The little pieces of tubing are the cut from the inner tube of a Silverado shock absorber, using an ordinary tubing cutter.

I bought extra U-bolts, So each plate will get two.

I still have to weld the plates to the tubes, and the tubes to the frame. I should be able to weld the plates and tubes on the bench, then tack them to the frame rails on the chassis, but I will have to take the frame apart to do the finish welding, as there is not enough clearance underneath the floor to do a good job.

It took me several tries to sharpen a drill bit and make those holes. I don’t have any kind of a specialized bit sharpener, and I just do it by hand on the grinding wheel. Sometimes I do a great job and sometimes I don’t. Today it took me three tries to get a good bit.

I could have welded the whole business together without using U-bolts, but I wanted to be able to remove the rear frame from the car for better access under certain conditions.
There are a lot of parts of this car that have some small value as Momentos. Today I ran into some while hunting for scrap material.

Years ago, the company I was working for had a big downsizing, and I was let go from the engineering department. I needed work so a friend of mine and I took a contract with the state of California.

Those little bits of 1/8 inch barstock are leftovers from 36 big grates (trash racks) we welded for the Friant–kern canal. We had them all hot dip galvanized up in Madera, and the bars these were cut from have been on the canal up and down the valley since 1996.

I did all the drawings and paperwork for this job but I did not do the welding myself. I designed the fixtures, cut most of the steel, did set ups, and hired out the welding. I kept a bunch of those scrap bars and I used them to build a small hydraulic press, when I changed the ball joints on my Cadillac many years ago.
Welding tubing is not my forte. In fact, I do it so infrequently that I have not had much practice in the past year.

Nonetheless, I’m really happy with the way these welds came out, and it is all attributable to a great machine, and not to my crude skills.

Today was a success. I managed to make a strong weld, if not an artistic one. And they were clean baby! Look at those welds shine, and I did not chip them or wire brush, or do anything more than wipe them with a paper towel to remove a little yellow smut.


That probably happened from me poking my electrode into the puddle.

I really had no idea how this would come out because I did not know what grades of metal I was welding together. I think the bars were ASTM a36 But who knows what the shock absorbers were made of.

In the end it actually turned out to be very weldable and I just need is a lot more practice going around the tube.

You can see there is a small amount of warp, but this will come out when I clamp it. This is much more desirable than the opposite condition.


I spent all morning cleaning and getting set up to weld and so this is all I’ve gotten done so far. Now I need to tack them onto the chassis. Then I need to pull the frame rails off.

I’m not sure that’s going to happen today because my wife is looking at me to take her to the store.

So this is about the best tig welding that I’ve done so far. The first one took me about seven stops and starts, but I managed to do the second one in just five.

It took 70 A to burn this, and my problem is a 75 amp max torch that is not water cooled. Even with a pipe positioner, I could not have welded that continuous bead all the way around the pipe.

Now I have to get the welder out of the shed, because my leads will not reach to the tail end of the car. I had to build a special ramp for this because it’s so heavy.
I got both of these brackets welded yesterday, but I only got one of them stripped down for painting. I tack welded these in place, and then removed them from the car. I clamped them on my anvil for the full welding.


You can see I had a little problem when I did the tack welding while under the car, and I didn’t grind those off. I did touch those up after I took the photo.

The welding turned out pretty good but I should’ve ground off the ugly tack welds I made while sitting under the car. I found out it was quite difficult to weld overhead with TIG and I didn’t quite have enough amperage to get a good tack weld. You can see the pits where I stuck my tungsten into the puddle.
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I was bragging that I hadn’t burned through on the previous welding, but I did burn through this tube while tack welding it under the car.

You can see the ugly blob right in the middle. I should’ve ground that out before I patched it because there’s some minor porosity.

But there’s not a lot of stress on this, and paint is gonna take care of that porosity.

Today I’m going to try to strip & paint these.
I cleaned up my rails, but I also burned out my little 1/4 sheet sander today. Well it was cheap and 20 years old, so certainly time for a new one.



Anyhow these were good enough to spray but I didn’t get the other rusty parts under the transmission cleaned up yet.

I took those rusty rails off in the car yesterday. There she is with just the braces hanging, but now it will be easier to get in there and clean the suspension.

I bought myself a new quarter sheet sander and I started into sanding them.

But then I got sidetracked on garden projects for my wife.

She bought some oak barrels for planters and they had been cut, but they needed an extra iron hoop to keep them from falling apart. I had some old strap iron from a security door I scrapped out and I welded big hoops from them.

I rammed those down tight on two of the barrels and screwed them on from the outside. Then I had to deal with the big barrel.

She wanted some grill work in this thing so she could put flower pots in it. Maybe I could’ve just bought a big barbecue grill from anywhere and put it in there, But I still had all the leftover scrollwork from the security door, Half a tank of Argon gas, lots of filler rod scraps, and the deep need for more welding practice.

It’s sitting on some buckets and it still needs some little brackets so I can screw it into the wood, but it’s almost done, and today I will get back on the car.
These are the frame rails from a 1980-ish Craftsman 16 hp garden tractor. Perhaps I mentioned that it belonged to my father, and I put in a lot of hours on that tractor.

These have real sentimental value, plus they are going to fit in quite well physically, but they do have a lot of unnecessary holes. This tiny hole was necessary, because I put it at the end of a crack.

You can see there was a lot of rust here and the metal is half eaten away on an area about the size of a stick of chewing gum. I will have to build that up with new metal in the process of welding the cracks.

You see the other rail has a crack as well, and it goes right to the square hole. Most of these square holes are going to get welded up solid. I think I can do it quite easily with an aluminum backer plate and if I have to weld from both sides to make it strong I will do that no problem.

I wasn’t surprised to find these cracks. That tractor had a hard service life, and then it sat out back for 20 years. I did a lot of wheelies on that tractor too, pulling heavy stuff around, and it is quite possible that my slamming it around caused those cracks.
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So clearly this is not part of the fake Jaguar but it is a good part of my welding practice, and I do need practice with this machine. I am getting much better at it which makes me very happy.


I finished up my wife’s planter yesterday, and instead of screwing it into the barrel I decided to add four ledgers and just let it sit there. That way she can remove it easily and clean underneath or store things in the barrel.

On the car I got those minor frame rails sanded down and painted yesterday, as well as all the u-bolts that hold the rear frame assembly together.

Next I’m gonna clean up that rear suspension a bit and reassemble the rear frame.

You know I’m getting serious when I break out the Milwaukee with a 7 inch brush. I am knocking the rust and paint off of those old frame rails.


This thing is a real monster that will rip your arm off if you don’t know how to run it, and I hate to think what it would be like with a 9 inch brush on there.

It won’t get into the little corners but I have other brushes and and a smaller angle head grinder or two.

Here you can see the craters of rust damage that I will need to build back up. Fortunately it’s a very small area, maybe one square inch.
Here you can see that nasty crack, and I’ve opened it up so I can weld it.

I’ve been sanding & brushing on this thing for a couple days and it’s almost ready to weld. I haven’t touched the other one yet.
I spent a lot more time cleaning up the metal, and I only welded up this one little crack today. Then I put it all away because I was tired. If I’m not feeling 100% my welding is not gonna come out very good.

I opened up this crack with a Dremel and then I tack welded it right at the edge.

I worked my way back to the hole.

It was a little too cold and I didn’t like the way the backside looked so I back-gouged it and welded the backside as well.

To celebrate memorial day I bought a patriotic new welding hat..