Saturday, August 14, 2010

Why I am Not Working on My Cars...Kerf

We are replacing the cabinets in our kitchen with some custom units from Kerf Design. They do some amazing stuff, we are utilizing only a small portion of what skills they have.

Kerf offers a complete, done option. Or, what we chose, a DIY kit. They build your cabinets then break them down and ship them. My small kitchen weighed 1,800lbs. Wow. You can see the huge boxes that prevented me from even opening my garage for a few days.

The instructions they provide are pretty good. But there are some things they missed. They say all the braces that need to be 'screw block clamped' are pre drilled. They are not.

Also, none of the bases were labeled. They give no instructions on how to attach cabinets to bases either. It is easy. But, it would be much easier if they just included these few extra steps.

And the drawers, their instructions are super confusing. It is far easier to grab a drawer rail and just put it up to the drawer to see how it works. And, you will see in the above photo there are lots of options for screwing the slider to the cabinet. They do not tell you which one to use. It took a while to figure out it was the rear most top one. At least this proved consistent across all drawers.

All the above are minor annoyances and do not mar my love of the cabinets. It is just that it would have taken Kerf five minutes to explain this stuff. I understand most of the DIY units go to professional contractors who might have a better understanding of cabinets.

It is not quite as easy as just glue and screw as they say. But it is not as hard as replacing the rear suspension on a 944 that is for sure.

A nice touch is the inclusion of plugs to finish off 'screw block clamp' holes. It is this sort of detail and finish that had us spend the extra money for these custom units over those from IKEA. That and they are truly custom and built with solid components.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Weight off My Shoulders or Finding a Confidant

I know Porsches. How to fix them. Where to go when I know I am beyond my skills. With Jaguars, I am learning to swim all over again.

So, I needed to find a local confidant to help me maintain the MKII. A sounding board for repairs and a place to turn to in tough times. I got some suggestions from local Jaguar club members and settled on Jaguar Denver. I know, it sounds like a dealer name, but it is not a dealer. It is a shop run by a 30 year veteran of vintage Jaguar repair.

I dropped the MKII off this morning for a carb balance and a check over. I wanted to get a project list. The good thing. I do not have much of a list. The owner balanced the carbs in a half hour and pronounced the car good to go. The only suggestion, upgrade the cooling for Denver's thin, dry air. Something I had already thought about doing. Aluminum radiator here I come.

Notice in the pics the solid driver 2+2 XKE. I was contemplating getting one of these as my family classic until I saw the tiny back seat. Makes a 911 seem like a LWB sedan. Also there was a very mean looking RR. They yellow lights glowing like devil eyes. Very bad ass. Or, maybe I have been looking at BaT too much these days...Oh my god, its a black plate car...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

My First Jaguar Repair (Bodge)

So, I owned the car one day without trying to fix/improve/modify it. But today was the second day of ownership and I just had to do SOMETHING.

First, I fixed the right rear vent window mechanism. It was too loose and would not hold the window shut when the door was closed. So, I disassembled, inspected and noted that an extra washer would allow me to get the proper tension on the unit. One fix. Free.

The other fix was mounting the main ashtray lid to the the base. The previous owner had installed a complete new interior and even redid the leather on the ashtray. Nice. But, I see why he did not reattach the lid. Originally riveted on with really, really small rivets it was a fiddly job. As I do not own a micro-riveter. I went to my local hardware store and bought some very small stainless nuts and bolts. I installed the lid with them, then Dremeled the ends off to make a smooth, almost rivet-like appearance. Not quite a bodge. Not quite concours. See the above pic. Not too shabby. And it is in an ashtray for God's Nightgown. (That last curse courtesy of Gone with the Wind.)

And does anyone else wonder why the words 'curse' and 'courtesy' are so close in sound but so far apart in meaning?

I loved driving the car today. Until it overheated when I got home. it was 94 degrees in Denver today and all I did was drive in stop and go traffic. Must be looked into...

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Cat Now at My Home & Classic Car Transport

After just 8 days, my 1962 MKII is now in my possession.

First Jaguar question, is it MKII or MK2(like on the bootlid) or Mark 2? Anyway.

I used And I had a very good experience. My rep Lindsey was super nice. Even after I had to cancel a shipment last month when my deal fell through on the 420. My driver, Danny was accommodating, even driving his huge tandem trailer into my residential neighborhood. And even the unknown guy I spoke to in dispatch got back to me in five minutes when I called about my arrival date. All in all, well done. I have used the big boys before, Intercity, etc. And although the trailer was not as shiny looking, the car got to me on time, undamaged and for $400 less than their quotes. So yes, I highly recommend them.

Now, the car. I got it at 7am and drove to work around 7:30 having got my temp plates yesterday. Hmm, that moss box will take some time getting used to. But the car pulls great. Has a nice balance of restored and patina. I love it already.

First upgrade will be a Kenlowe fan to take care of the rising temperature when not moving. At speed the temp is fine, but I am worried if I get stuck in traffic. And with the American Recovery Act there is always traffic these days.

Side note, the rest of the trailers were filled with Corvettes, a 442, Porsche and T-bird going to Monterey for the auction next week. I for one, will not be buying anything soon. Much broke now that the car is here. But, the debt is worth it.