Custom Parts Limited
Unit 1a, White Horse Garage, White Horse Common, North Walsham, NR28 9LL
PHOENIX FITTING INSTRUCTIONS.
Thank you for purchasing the Phoenix Jaguar conversion kit from Custom Parts Limited. This kit is an essentially bolt on conversion designed to convert a Jaguar XJ40 into a facsimile of the X308 Jaguar XJ8. The conversion kit includes front wings, bonnet, grill, front bumper, rear capping section, rear bootlid, and rear bumper. All items are bolt on except the rear capping section which has to be bonded into place.
Some additional items are essential to complete the conversion front grill mesh, or vanes depending upon taste, front and rear bumper boomerang chrome sections, taillight clusters, and assorted badges.
Other items may be fitted to improve accuracy if required. Mirrors, door handles (quite difficult so most people simply colour code the old handles), indicators (the old ones can be used inside the bumpers to reduce cost), tailpipes, inner bonnet and boot liner panels. Later type wheels can also serve to greatly improve accuracy.
Of the Essential and Optional additional items, all can be readily found at dismantlers as really quite reasonable cost, and even from Jaguar at not totally obscene prices (which make a refreshing change), and therefore we suggest that you get quotes from both and make you own decision. New is obviously preferably but there are a lot of very good second hand parts available.
The conversion kit is made from fibreglass and required finishing and painting. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the panels are free from ripples, air pockets, scratches or other blemishes these are not in themselves faults, and should be carefully inspected prior to painting. Please do not store these products for long periods of time without fitting them to a car since they may distort and become useless.
Stripping the car.
Stripping the donor car can be easily completed in a morning even if you are unfamiliar with dismantling the XJ40. A Haynes Manual can also be useful. Before starting familiarise yourself with the panel gaps that the car has to start with even measure and write them down can be a good idea. This should be your minimum target at the end to get the shuts as good as they were before, and if you are picky better. Save all parts until the job is finished as many parts are re-used.
The Back End.
It is best to start at the rear. This is slightly more involved, and you have to wait for the bonding products to set, in which time you can normally carry out the front end conversion!
Remove the bootlid and seal,(leaving the rams in place), taillights, rear bumper, aerial and carefully remove the carpet from around the sides and in the floor of the boot. Take out the spare and anything else that may get damaged, or contaminated the bonding can be very messy if you have not done it before, and there is no point is needlessly damaging things.
Refit the replacement bootlid. This will in all likely hood sit a few millimeters higher than the original this is nothing to worry about, as the capping panel will sit equally high when it is bonded over the top of the metal! Adjust the bootlid until you have an even and correct gap across the back against the rear scuttle panel below the rear screen this is important since this relates to all the other panels.
If you try the rear capping on the car it will not fit because the old XJ40 rear end is far squarer and the outer corners prevent the panel from going forward. This is the metal that must be removed, as must a portion of the rear panel between the old bootlid and bumper. Again each car is different which is why there is no pattern to cut to. Using a grinder simply cut away the metal and re-try the panel until it goes on. An assistant would be pretty useful here to help lifting the fairly heavy rear capping panel on and off without damaging it.
Part of the metal at the bottom where the bumper sits in will also have to be cut, and the capping panel should then slide forward. Use the new bootlid as your reference point continue adjusting until the bootlid and rear capping fit with the correct gap. When this is so drill a couple of self tapping screws on each side around 8 x 1 size into each panel to hold them in the correct position. Drill any others required to allow the panel to be retained in the correct position whilst bonded.
There are many bonding products available do not use sikaflex and other polyurethane or silicone sealers and adhesives as these will flex to much and the joint will crack where it flexes later. We use Stevens bridger which we can supply or your bodyshop may have a preferred product that they use regularly. With most products they work best on well sanded (24 grit fibredisc) bare metal and bare fibreglass. Do not use too much hardener remember it may take ten minutes to do the job and the bonding paste must not start to gel before you have screwed the panel into place.
Liberally coat both surfaces where they contact and then position and screw into place the rear capping panel. The inner panel is also bonded in the same way, although the metal striker support should be bonded between the two panels. Remove the extra that squeezes out of the joint when the panels are fitted because it is easier to remove when wet.
It is best to leave the panel for the paste to cure well (at least the next day) before removing the fixing screws and blending out the step with filler. This is the ideal time to attend to the front end.
The Front End.
The front lights, grill, bumper, bonnet and wings must all be removed. These are all bolted on and very quickly the car will look like a skeleton. The replacement Phoenix items are all bolt on in the same way, but because of the fact that the fibreglass is thicker than the metal, some adjustment will be necessary.
It is very quick and easy to fit these items, the secret to success is in the adjustment. All panels should be checked for alignment with each other, and adjusted using washers if required to lift panels up or out, and by shaving fibreglass material to move them in or down. There are no hard and fast rules. In our experience every car is slightly different and it is just a matter of keep going until you are happy. This in reality is no different to repairing a car in metal all panels have to be adjusted to fit accurately every car is different and panels are rarely a perfect fit first time.
Very suddenly the car look almost complete again.
There are many odd jobs to complete. Indicators can be your old ones refitted behind the bumper. To use this method simply cut out the shape of the indicator (marked on the moulding) using a dremmel or similar tool, and then bond the old indicator in behind using a flexible polyurethane adhesive/sealer after painting.
Genuine X308 indicators can also be used if required. Taillights should be original if you cannot get the correct multiplugs for the back of the light cluster then you can use stereo connectors which are small enough for the tiny terminals.
Fibreglass can only be successfully painted if it is prepared to a very high standard far higher than is required for a successful finish on metal. The moulding are supplied in a glossy finish this must be sanded first using a 240 grit wetndry until all the gloss is gone and you are left with a consistent satin finish any glossy sections and the paint will be certain to peel later. Scotch pads are not recommended for preparing fibreglass. Prime with an etch primer, and then within an hour (read the instructions for specifics) using a good high build 2 pack primer. Flat and paint in the normal way.
Great care should be taken when colour sanding and buffing fibreglass panels that the heat of the polisher does not damage the panel this is often characterised by small blisters, or the impression of the mat this is heat damage caused by the polisher which can generate heats well over 100 C!! Use plenty of water to cool the polisher.