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Zelandeth Jan 11 2020 06:44 PM

Re: What is happening
Figured it was time to stop cowering in fear and actually open the bonnet of the Jag again.

No huge surprises to be honest (and it is just as terrifyingly complicated as I remembered). Hasn't used any detectable amount of oil or coolant on the trip home or driving around yesterday which is nice to see.

Quite a lot of surface corrosion on everything which fits given that the car has barely been used for a not insignificant number of years. Oh, and the air conditioning belt is not fitted as we were already aware.



Slightly intrigued by the little red anodised cylinder by the nearside brace.


In the absence of anything to suggest the contrary I'm guessing this is either a filter/silencer or a check valve attached to a vent line of some description as there doesn't seem to be anything nearby which could connect to it. Guessing the original unit died of old age. At the very least this one will get painted black as it currently looks daft.

Looks like the distributor cap will be "fun" to change.


The HT leads at least seem to be relatively recent - based on how supple they feel anyway. Even though it will be an utter pig to get to, I'll probably change the cap sooner than later as it's the sort of thing I usually do as a matter of course on any new car.

The throttles definitely need balancing I reckon. Just based on how much air it feels like is being pulled through each of the air intakes it feels like the left bank is doing far more work than the right.

One fault I had noticed right back when collecting it was that I only had one functioning reversing light and that looked very dim. Quick examination revealed a dead 21W lamp in one side and a 5W one in the working light...explains why it was so feeble. Nice easy fix.


Helped by Jaguar having used stainless steel fasteners on the light clusters...oh how I wish Saab did...

Oh, and for the record, the engine isn't running in the above photo, it's just in reverse with the of ignition on...I don't trust the handbrake enough to get out with the car in gear and engine running.

While in the area of the rear of the car, I'd noticed that the courtesy lights in the boot didn't work. Turned out they were both disconnected. Reconnecting them restored full functionality.


Confirmed they're switching off (and staying off) by sticking my phone in there and recording video while I closed and then generally messed around with the bootlid. The photo makes them look brighter than they really are though, they're a bit feeble to be honest. For practical reasons these lights may have warm white LEDs fitted in due course to increase their output to useful levels.

The oil pressure gauge sender was investigated while I had the bonnet open (I still love the opening/closing action and the way the latches pull the bonnet closed when you reset the handle). No part numbers I can see on it.


According to the former keepers this was ordered correctly based on the chassis number...and they're reasonably confident that the issue is with the instrument panel. So this will require further investigation.

The other issue which has come up requiring actual immediate attention (electrical, no surprises there!) is that yesterday afternoon the previously dead illumination for the tape slot on the stereo suddenly sprang back to life. However it then resolutely refused to go out again, being totally unaffected by anything else. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and decided to see if it would go out after a while on its own. Did it?


That will be a no then. The red LED is fine, that's the immobiliser fob detector and is allowed to be blinking away. So for tonight I've pulled one of the battery leads. On the plus side this takes five seconds to do because it's in the boot. I'll try to investigate that tomorrow. Hopefully it's not a serious problem with the head unit (which otherwise seems to function perfectly) and can be easily resolved.

Hans Jan 12 2020 12:44 PM

Re: What is happening
Nice acquisiton, Zelandeth! If I had any room and knowledge of cars I would probably buy something like this to drive and fool around with :) Such a nice car!

Zelandeth Jan 12 2020 03:25 PM

Re: What is happening
First task for today was to check the throttle balance.

The throttle actuation rods were waaaay out of whack, meaning that the throttle pulley was resting a good 1/2" off the closed throttle stop. This was due to the left one. The right one is currently seized in its bushing but has been left soaking in Plusgas so I'll give it another poke in the future. At least with my foot off the throttle the throttle position sensor will be seeing that the throttle is actually closed now.

When I checked everything at rest after that was adjusted, we had 4% CO on the left bank and 0.5% CO on the right.

After adjusting the stop screws I was able to get things stable at 1% on the right and 1.2% on the left. I was kind of hoping I could aim for 1.5% (smack in the middle of the 1-2% quoted in the handbook), but I couldn't open the driver's side up any further without opening the throttle itself because I couldn't adjust the actuating rod on that side.




It's a lot closer to correct than it was. The car smelled very obviously rich before, it doesn't now so it seems I've done something right. Idle is very obviously smoother too.

Next up was some detective work to figure out why the lighting in the stereo was refusing to go out.

Pulling it out of the dash revealed clear evidence that someone has been in here before.


Have to wonder if this was more recently when the speakers were changed or if it was back when the head unit was replaced back in 1988.


Helpfully the handbook for the head unit contains a clear wiring diagram which made the detective work a lot easier.


Didn't take more than a couple of minutes to track down that someone had connected what should be the permanent live for the memory backup to the line which should be connected to the dash lighting circuit. That will be why it was always lit up then. Goodness only knows how long it's been like that.

At first I couldn't actually find the wire for this, but after groping around blindly for several minutes I found this.


...Which when tested turned out to have 12V present on it when the headlights were turned on. That will be the illumination feed then.

Having connected this to the appropriate terminal, tested it and stuffed it back into the dash it initially didn't work. Well it did but I couldn't receive anything because the terminal for the power antenna had been pulled out. Second time round, having more carefully routed the wiring bundle we had better luck.

Headlights off:


Headlights on:


It's hard to tell from the photo, but the display is dimmed when the lights are on. Sadly the bulbs which should provide lighting to the buttons on the stereo have burned out, so I'll need to conduct some microsurgery to sort that at some point in the future. For now though it has solved the problem with it refusing to switch fully off. Do wonder how long this has been causing issues with battery drain...

The four screws which were meant to secure the cage for the head unit to the dash were also missing...so someone didn't take much care when they were in here last.

Feels like a reasonably productive afternoon.

Zelandeth Jan 14 2020 08:58 PM

Re: What is happening
Let's have a look at the non functional full throttle kickdown.

Having done a bit of research I discovered that the kickdown system is meant to be triggered by a microswitch on the throttle cable right next to the throttle cable tower.

The way it works is that when the throttle itself hits the stop at full travel, if you press the pedal further it then pulls the sheath of the cable back against a strong spring, which then acts against a microswitch.

This relies on the cable being pretty much perfectly adjusted to get sufficient travel to activate the switch...and sure enough mine wasn't even close. It's a quick and easy thing to adjust though (probably the only easy to access adjustment in the whole engine bay!), so was a quick matter to correct that.

Sadly it hasn't apparently resolved the issue, though I've yet to confirm the switch itself is working (they're apparently not particularly reliable) as the meter was making a bid for freedom the moment I let go of it because of the wind. I gave up when the bonnet blew shut on me for the second time.

If that switch is working, there's a deeper issue...but I'm not going to worry too much about it just now. It really doesn't affect the driveability of the car (the normal "mild" kickdown feature works fine, it's just the "kick in the pants" mode that is acting up). On a car with more mild power availability it might be more of a headache.

Something a bit less involved needing looked at is the state of the wood trim. It's the first thing people notice in the car.




The wood itself actually looks to be in good nick. It's just the lacquer layer that's peeling off - not unlike a Dante Red Citroen!

I've never dealt with anything like this but have a rough plan of attack in mind. The bit I'm expecting to be the biggest headache by far is physically detaching the bits of trim from the car so I can work on them.

Probably the trickiest bit with regards to the actual wood I reckon will be getting the remains of the old lacquer off. I'm not expecting it to just peel off nicely, and will probably have to get some paint stripper involved. I don't think sanding is an option as I reckon because it's patchy it would leave high and low spots...also I don't know how thick the veneer is and really don't want to risk rubbing through it.

Once I've got rid of the old manky lacquer it should be pretty simple I think. Quick coat of stain to give it some colour, a skim over with some really gentle sandpaper to key the surface, then a load of light coats of clear coat. I believe polyurethane varnish is normally used commercially...though part of me is wondering if normal automotive clear coat could be used? Both because it removes the requirement for brush painting (which I hate) and I have it in stock in the garage.

Open to suggestions from folks who actually know what they're doing there as this is a bit of a new challenge for me...is the first car I've had with actual wood trim for one thing!

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the lights in the boot which I had revived were pretty pathetic. Having a rummage through the box of "misc automotive bulbs" this morning I came across a couple of 5W LED festoon lamps which I'd stuffed in there a couple of years ago. They're a horrible 6000K bluish colour, which is why I had just stuffed them in the box and forgotten. However for a boot light I'm not so bothered about the colour temperature as it's purely practical.

With the first one in the difference in brightness is immediately obvious! The one on the left is barely even visible.


Reckon that will be a bit more useful when digging things out in the dead of night.


Hopefully the weather tomorrow will be slightly less ridiculous and I can get a couple more things done.

The brake judder should soon be sorted as a set of discs has been ordered. Was braced for eye watering prices but they weren't too bad, can't remember exactly what the number was, but I think the pair of discs and pads was around £100. Was bracing for several times that. Will be nice to get that done as it's really the only thing that's really obviously amiss from the driver's seat to be honest.

Zelandeth Jan 15 2020 07:07 PM

Re: What is happening
This really is a car which encourages you to go the long way to get places.

Like home to the charity shop over at Kiln Farm I check in on semi regularly as they usually have a good selection of vinyl that's mostly £0.50 apiece...a trip that's about four or five miles...but I ended up going via Buckingham, just because I could. Still didn't want to get out when I got there!

The windscreen washers have decided to pack in today. I'm guessing as with most cars of this age this is due to slime growing in the bottom of the washer bottle. It's easily accessible though so no problem. I'll pull it out tomorrow and give it a really good clean, then blow all the lines back through with compressed air. Sure it will be absolutely fine once that's done.

One modification I am definitely going to do is the deletion of the 15 minute "warm up timer" system. What this does is that if the coolant temperature is below 45C (measured by its own sensor to the rear of the right hand coolant manifold), for the first fifteen minutes it disables the vacuum advance system and retards the timing. This makes the engine less efficient, producing more heat and helping it heat up more quickly. It also means that for the first fifteen minutes it absolutely massacres your fuel economy. You'll be lucky to see the instantaneous MPG figure make it into double digits until this has timed out.

Given there is 5.3 litres of quite highly tuned V12 producing heat, it'll warm up in a perfectly reasonable amount of time, even though the engine weighs something ridiculous... there's really no need to deliberately make the thing use more petrol than it needs to!

Luckily this system can be disabled really simply by unplugging the appropriate temperature sensor. The associated hardware can also be removed to help improve space in what's possibly the most cluttered engine bay ever designed (I'm not sure designed is the right word..."happened" seems more accurate), though that's not strictly necessary.

Speaking of heating, the heater is something which needs help. Pretty certain that the tube has come adrift from the duct used to sample the cabin air temperature (or the thermistor value has drifted) as the only way to get any appreciable heat out of it is to set it to the demist mode. Bit of explanation needed here for those who have never used the heater in one of these. When it's set to anything other than demist the temperature is dialled in to a set value between 65 and 85F. There's no "as hot or cold as possible" setting. Which is fine and good when the system is correctly sampling the cabin...but a pain when it's not. The demist mode overrides this and just chucks out as much heat as possible, with the blowers set to maximum. It's also worth noting that there's no air distribution control like on most cars. So the only way to get air into the windscreen is to set it to demist...which puts the blower on full! I reckon that will be less of an issue once the air conditioning has been sorted as the cabin will then always be dehumidified...however it's currently a pain to keep it demisted - though the fact it's never stopped raining since I picked the car up hasn't probably helped. When it's set to demist you should get as much heat as possible, full power to both blower motors and air distribution set to 90% to the windscreen, 10% to the floor level vents. However the air coming out of the lower vents is never warm. So reckon there's an air distribution issue there. That's a job for another day though, I'm not pulling the dashboard apart yet.

Hard to believe I've done nearly 400 miles in it already! Wonder how many years of its previous life that would account for...

granath Jan 16 2020 01:40 AM

Re: What is happening
Swapping a Lada for a Jag? Way to go! That's quite a story. And I bet it'll be an absolutely awesome car once you get it fixed up.

That pocket knife with the retractable blade? Looks pretty much like what I used to carry when I worked in retail.

Zelandeth Jan 16 2020 05:29 PM

Re: What is happening
450 miles in.

MPG on the last tank? Uuuuum...10.98MPG. Yeah, economy isn't her strong suit. That warmup timer needs to get in the sea and we'll see how much that helps. The trip computer is far more accurate than most modern ones seem to be. At least I can track it properly now... previously I was having issues there as I hadn't been able to get the tripometer to reset and the counter on the trip computer was getting wiped as I was disconnecting the battery overnight prior to sorting the stereo wiring issue.

Been busy most of today, so aside from briefly introducing a local friend to the Jag (yep, they were as surprised as I was to see it in my fleet!), I've not had a chance to do much with cars. Weather has been distinctly miserable anyway and not really conducive to working on cars.

However on departing the house to run one of many errands I was presented with this:


The way the lamp failure system works in the Jag is that if an appropriate amount of current flows through the lamp, a bimetallic switch in closes after 10-20 seconds after the respective lighting circuit is turned on to tell the system that the lamp is good, at which point the indicator on the dash goes out. If it doesn't detect this "lamp good" signal, the indicator stays lit.

In this case examination revealed that a number plate light was indeed out. Simply tapping the fitting restored it to operation though rather than the lamp needing replaced. So I'll add "clean number plate light contacts" to the to do list.

Good, because I could have done without standing in the pouring rain sorting that!

Allen Jan 17 2020 11:47 AM

Re: What is happening
So about 11 mpg? Is that Imperial gallons? If so, that translates to about 12.5 or so US gallons. Does that make you feel better.

I thought not. The Dodge Viper V-12 was/is rated at 12 MPG city, 19 MPG hiway. But that's probably a much lighter car.

Zelandeth Jan 17 2020 02:54 PM

Re: What is happening
That's miles per Imperial gallon - so 4.55 litres.

Made a quick run out of town today, partly for a change of scenery and partly as it's an excuse to drive on (slightly) nicer roads.

This has definitely improved my average fuel consumption from the previous 11mpg, but is still "far from frugal."


I think one of my jobs for this weekend will be getting stuck into the distributor and making sure the vacuum advance system is working properly. Apparently the old grease dries up and causes the system to lock up. The obvious consequences of this being an engine that's down on power and horrific fuel economy. The former is quite hard to detect given the abundance of torque available from this power unit!

This also has a huge impact on the exhaust gas temperature which really isn't great for the exhaust valves, which is something we want to rectify sooner than later I think given my reading seems to suggest that these engines dropping valve seats isn't unknown if the heads get unduly hot.

Now, to figure out how to get at the distributor without having to remove the cruise control assembly and half of the fuel injection system...

The "Hey, that's a lovely looking car...wait...that's *my* car!" reaction when walking back to it in car parks definitely has hasn't worn off yet.



Managed to get it a very quick blast over at the jet wash today (hoping to do it by hand at the weekend so mainly wanted to get the moss out of the window seals etc), get the impression this won't come up bad with a bit of work.


At least I've got rid of the huge greasy hand print I left on the bonnet a few days ago now.

Zelandeth Jan 18 2020 07:22 PM

Re: What is happening
Finally had an opportunity to give the Jag a proper wash today.




Which gave me the chance to give the bodywork a bit of a better appraisal.

The rear arches definitely need some attention sooner rather than later. Probably not a massive job to sort now, but give it a few years and it will be far harder.

Not quite sure what's going on with the number plate lights. Looks like the lenses have sort of disintegrated (and half painted over during the respray).


There are a couple of wide washers on the original screws which are sort of wedging the lens half in place. Methinks replacing these will be on the cards. Though they're £25 apiece so might not be particularly high on the list just now.

Spotted something which I'll need to attend to at some point shortly. Looks like the seals under the feed hoses to the brake master cylinder need changed.


I'll make sure it's not the hose weeping first though.

While the car was actually clean for ten seconds I decided to grab a couple of better photos.











Figured that the next thing it would be sensible to do would be to throw some wax on to protect the paint until I have time to fully polish it. This it turned out was a mistake. I didn't spot the words "new and improved formula" on the bottle of aqua wax until after I'd sprayed half the car with it. Being new and apparently improved of course translates to "no longer behaves as I expect it to." As such I then spent nearly two hours trying to buff it off, without seeming to get anywhere.

Tomorrow I'll set about polishing and waxing it properly if the weather plays ball.

Planning to get into the distributor in the week when I should have a couple of afternoons with a decent chunk of time without interruption. Don't want to do that tomorrow as there's too much chance of me getting dragged off for other tasks and it's a job I'd rather get done in one shot rather than having to down tools and come back having forgotten half of what I'm doing.

Last little job I had a look at before tidying up was to see if the foggy reversing light lenses would clean up. It's a small detail but their being milky, dull and yellowed is quite obvious when looking at the rear of the car.





That scrubbed up nicely, could probably do with a second pass (and the polish residue cleaning out of the lettering), but looks far better. I'll probably do all of the tail light lenses as even though they're not as bad as the reversing light ones they're all quite dull.

Speaking of tail lights, I do wonder how much of the US spec running lights is present in the cluster...I believe over there the little retro reflector in the side facing part of the indicator would have had a little 5W lamp behind it.

Sorry, I will stop spamming the thread with photos of this car eventually...

granath Jan 19 2020 03:52 AM

Re: What is happening
Cool pix once again! Have you given any thought to restoring the woodwork? On one episode of Wheeler Dealers they restored it in a 1965 Mark 2, but no doubt youtube has lots of how-to videos.

Zelandeth Jan 19 2020 07:04 AM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by granath (Post 209119)
Cool pix once again! Have you given any thought to restoring the woodwork? On one episode of Wheeler Dealers they restored it in a 1965 Mark 2, but no doubt youtube has lots of how-to videos.

Yep, that's going to be addressed pretty soon. With the exception of two small pieces next to the trip computer it's in fine shape structurally and just needs refinishing.


Those two bits have cracked so will need to be repaired first. Small enough parts though that it shouldn't be a problem as any line left where the crack currently is won't really be obvious.

My plan is pretty simple.

[] Remove from car.
[] Strip remaining lacquer off. Once the paint stripper is on it should show me what the colour will look like when finished, so I can make a call on whether any stain is worth adding.
[] If it looks too pale, apply some stain to the wood.
[] Sand with some very fine paper to renew and key the surface.
[] Apply a bunch of thin coats of clear coat. I'll probably just use automotive paint for this as it's relatively easy to get a really nice high gloss finish with and I have it in stock.

That should get us a perfectly acceptable finish I reckon. Maybe not quite as perfect as when it left the factory, but more than good enough. Currently it really is the first thing you notice in the cabin though so it needs sorting.

Zelandeth Jan 19 2020 07:33 PM

Re: What is happening
Yesterday I ended the day with a car covered in smeary, hazy wax marks that refused to buff off. This was highly annoying.


That bottle has now been binned. I'm not playing that game again.

Step one for today, after a bit of experimentation, was to polish the car end to end to get rid of that residue.


Much better. Though having just made the car shiny again, it was immediately made un-shiny again by throwing lots of (probably a bit much to be honest, but I struggled to get this to go on thinly) wax at it.


This behaved much more as expected and didn't cause me any headaches.

I did give the tail light lenses a skim over with the cutting paste to bring them back to life a bit as they were quite matt and hazy, they came up pretty decent. They're still a bit tired but look way better than they did.


This is the reflector which in the US would have a small lamp behind it serving as one of the position lights I believe. There's an obvious space for a 5W capless lamp but sadly no lamp holder.


Thinking I may retrofit this as these days I'm all for anything which makes the car more visible. I don't believe there's a roadworthiness issue with a steady amber light being shown to the side of the vehicle when the headlights are lit.

At the end of the day once all the wax was buffed off and the bumpers etc given a going over with the rubber treatment this is what we were left with. Need to do that again as they absorbed the rubber treatment like a sponge - guessing it's a while since they saw attention. Looking better though.





Ignore the puddle under the back of the car... that's from the bottle of antifreeze I knocked over in the boot earlier that started leaking unknown to me until I noticed that puddle forming. Oops.

Starting to look like a Jag deserves to.

Last task for the day before I ran out of daylight was to investigate the utterly horrendous reproduction from the stereo. Attempting to turn the bass control up anywhere above zero resulted in it sounding like a gazoo being played through a guitar distortion pedal...

I knew that something looked off about the speaker installation even before I picked up any tools.

The moment I went to remove the covers it became abundantly clear why things were sounding so laughably poor.


Firstly, the speaker isn't fastened to anything aside from the flimsy fibreboard door card. Secondly, it's fastened to the wrong side of it, so the cutout (which I am assuming is sized for the stock speakers...which were probably better than this rubbish) is leaving the door card actively pressed up against the periphery of the speaker cone. Thirdly, the door card is flapping around in the breeze because whoever installed this broke half the trim clips and never replaced the adhesive tape around the edge. Fourthly, they never put a weather shield over the speaker, so it was full of water and consequently is knackered.

While the covers said Kenwood, what came out is Sony badged...but it's clearly a bargain basement piece of Chinesium with a Sony badge on.


The fact that it weighs less than half what the little 100mm driver's I installed in the van last year says a lot I think...only place these are headed is the electronic recycling bin.

It's a shame they've marked the door cards so badly (and I think cut it away a bit on closer inspection) as otherwise I'd look to find a replacement for the original speaker covers and replacement drivers in the original size. As it is, the damage is already done so no point worrying about it. I did wonder about putting these 5x7s in as they've been looking for a home for a few years now (bought for something else where I discovered they were too deep for).


However that will involve hacking away more of the door card which I'd really rather avoid. Plus I'd need to buy a cover for them anyway as I've no idea whatsoever where the ones that came with these speakers have gone.

So I'll pick up something new. Based on what's available locally and at a sensible price, will probably be a pair of Pioneer TS-R1350S units I think as they should fit in the existing cutout (properly fitted this time!). I'll probably get a cheap set of generic plain black mesh covers for them to make it blend in and look a bit less obviously aftermarket. I'll then take a better look at the setup in the back and decide what to do there. It looks like identical speakers have been fitted, and I'm expecting them to have been just as poorly fitted. They're a bit less mission critical though as once the front ones are sorted at least the stereo will be listenable.

I'll obviously take the opportunity to resecure the door cards properly as well and reinstate the weatherproofing shield that I'm sure should be in there. May as well cavity wax the inside of the doors while I'm in there.

Had a shot at getting the washer bottle out for cleaning just before closing up for the evening, however the fasteners are utterly disinterested in moving, so they have been doused in Plusgas and I'll try again tomorrow. At least it's one of the few things in the engine bay that are easy to get to!


So this evening I am finally roughly where I had hoped to be this time yesterday before the nonsense with that horrible Aqua Wax stuff. On the plus side, at least the car has now had at least a quick polish. The bonnet I reckon in particular would benefit from a proper going over with the machine polisher at some point, but the rest of the car hasn't come up badly at all.

Altair Jan 20 2020 03:50 PM

Re: What is happening
New member here though I've visited this board many times. I am currently enjoying year one in my first house and signing up for goats in the spring. I still read and enjoy playing Pern-based games (go Harper's Tale) where I can practice creative writing. There's other stuff too but I'll take them as they come!

Allen Jan 20 2020 06:14 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Altair (Post 209125)
New member here though I've visited this board many times. I am currently enjoying year one in my first house and signing up for goats in the spring. I still read and enjoy playing Pern-based games (go Harper's Tale) where I can practice creative writing. There's other stuff too but I'll take them as they come!

A NEW MEMBER!! Well you are come, young lady! Here's to you and your interest in Anne's works.

Altair Jan 21 2020 12:06 AM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Allen (Post 209126)
A NEW MEMBER!! Well you are come, young lady! Here's to you and your interest in Anne's works.

Thank you very much! I was hooked in high school and here I am at 34 and still re-reading them and playing characters in her world online along with others who do the same. Some days I feel nerdy but what a cool pastime.

Zelandeth Jan 21 2020 06:47 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Altair (Post 209125)
New member here though I've visited this board many times. I am currently enjoying year one in my first house and signing up for goats in the spring. I still read and enjoy playing Pern-based games (go Harper's Tale) where I can practice creative writing. There's other stuff too but I'll take them as they come!

Welcome! Always nice to see new faces (metaphorically speaking in this case of course).

Nothing wrong with spending time in a world other than this one I say!

-- -- --

Edit: Here's my update for today...rather than making a separate post for it, especially as the edit button has decided to work today.

Turns out that I really do need a new distributor cap, the breather line attachment point on it has snapped off at some point and has been messily glued (unsuccessfully) back in place. Given that the distributor venting system pulls air through the cap this is sub optimal as it essentially means I now have a source (albeit a small one) of unfiltered air being drawn into the engine. New cap has been ordered. Seems daft not to do the rotor arm at the same time...though in true Jag fashion it's more expensive than the cap (£25 for the rotor arm, £20 for the cap)! Once these are in my hands I'll get started on striping the distributor down and servicing it.

I wanted to at least try something with the oil pressure gauge today before starting pulling the cluster out to investigate that (there's definitely something amiss as all the gauges read slightly low - aside from the oil pressure one which does the opposite). I can see that the gauge does react to changes in pressure, as it varies when running between being physically pegged against the top of the gauge and sitting on the 100psi marker.

So I wanted to see if I could null out the offset and still get a usable reading by adding an additional resistor in series with the sender. As stated elsewhere, I have little interest in the actual numbers reported by it, I'm far more interested in learning what behaviour is normal for my car and then being able to spot any deviation from that behaviour.

One variable resistor to clip in series with the sender thrown together.


With this clipped in it was a simple matter to "dial in" zero on the gauge with the ignition on but the engine not running.


Sadly it appears that the response curve of this sender is incorrect (or there is something amiss with the gauge itself as we suspect) as this was the highest deflection of the needle I saw at any point with the engine running.


I know these engines don't have great hot oil pressure, but I'd hope for more than that if stone cold.

Time to get the cluster out for a look I think. I need to dismantle it to some extent anyway to free up and lubricate the trip counter reset mechanism which currently jams every time you press the button.

On the list of other small jobs I wanted to get done today was "kill the stupid warmup timer" which disables vacuum advance for 15 minutes from a cold or cold-ish start. This is easy enough to do simply by disconnecting the thermoswitch, which resides to the rear of the right hand coolant manifold. Just about visible in the shadows, centre frame below.


In typical XJS fashion this dead simple job was made slightly more annoying by half the engine being in the way. However after a bit of swearing it was disconnected.


The wires were then cable-tied out of the way. This should hopefully (at least once the vacuum advance system is working fully) save me a fair chunk of fuel around town or during shorter journeys. At some point in the future the hardware involved in this system may well be removed. The general consensus among marque experts is that it's really unnecessary...and I figure anything which removes clutter from that engine bay can only be a good thing.

While doing that though it was noted that quite a few vacuum lines are past their past.


Will get a bunch of hose ordered in and assume they are all in a similar state...never know this might make the cruise control spring back to life! Will take a while to do though, there are a LOT of vacuum lines!

mawra Jan 22 2020 07:05 PM

Re: What is happening
This last Dec. I went to a German market. I got Mom a bottle of wine, which she loves. Gerstacker, Bluberry Gliihmein. Arcross the top it says. Vom Nornercer, Spezialtat, does anyone know where I can find it in Virginia?

Zelandeth Jan 23 2020 07:35 PM

Re: What is happening
The perpetual light drizzle this afternoon put paid to any plans of doing anything outside. Nothing to stop me doing a bit of interior work though.

It's no secret that the warning lights on the dash in the XJS are rather sub par. Most of them quite simply aren't bright enough. The ones for the indicators are probably the worst. Especially as they're half shaded by the internal baffles so only half the light actually gets properly lit.

I have a bag of a couple of hundred flat top warm white LEDs and this seems like a good job for them. I'm not using coloured ones as I just don't think that will look right.

Conveniently I also have a full set of dashboard lamp holders of the correct type that I scavenged from a scrap car years ago, so it was a simple matter to solder an LED and resistor in to one to create a test unit to try out.


Here's what the lights on the dash for the indicators look like as standard.


That is how weedy it actually looks in person. On a sunny day they are basically invisible.

The offside indicator tell tale was the first to get an LED retrofit in the form of my experimental prototype. So how does it compare to the original incandescent version?


The improvement is quite obvious I think. The use of a warm white rather than coloured LED means the colour still looks like a filtered incandescent lamp though which was always a requirement for me. With the exception of the ignition light (as it's actually part of the charging system) I'll probably set about replacing the rest of them. I'm undecided as to whether to also do the lamps which illuminate the panel, I probably will though in the interests of reducing temperatures inside the cluster and removing load from the somewhat marginal flexible PCB. Using warm white LEDs like this should retain the original colour essentially unchanged so it shouldn't be obvious that anything has changed unless you know to look for it.

While I had this apart it also gave me the chance to sort the trim around the instrument cluster which was clipped together totally wrong and was really annoying me.



Note how the trim is all bunched up in the middle.



This is how it's meant to look. You can see there's now a gap between the top edge of the warning lights and the trim. It was just sitting on there before.

I'll replace the foam around the base which has dissolved at a later date. There's a similarly knackered strip internally at the top which is meant to stop light leaking out above the caution & warning panel which has also dissolved. I've got some black foam weatherstripping which will do just fine as a replacement.

The new speakers for in the front arrived early this evening.


Fitting those will probably happen tomorrow. Will look a lot less conspicuous than the bright red things which were in there before, and I trust Pioneer kit to sound decent too.

The headlamp wiper on the offside was missing 90% of the wiping edge of its blade so obviously wasn't really doing much. These short wipers are ridiculously expensive for what they are, so instead I hacked up the old windscreen wipers I took off the windscreen a week ago and used that to rebuild it.


Was stuffed as far as clearing the windscreen was concerned, will do absolutely fine for a headlamp wiper for a while though. You can see how little the old one was doing in the photo above.

A few parts have arrived from Motorserv as well.


Still astonished the brake discs & pads only came to £111, I was bracing for several times that figure.


There are four metres of fuel line in there too which will be used to replace crusty vacuum lines as they're found. It will be interesting to see if that alone revives the cruise control. That fuel filter will replace that horrible red anodised thing in the engine bay currently, and will look far less out of place.

All little things, but they all add up eventually.

The only other thing of note car wise today was that I decided to put the Invacar on the battery charger for the afternoon. Figure with it having not been run properly in a few months it would probably benefit from it.


I finally got the diesel smokemeter dragged off the van and stuffed into the garage.


It hasn't cleaned up badly really. I do need to try ringing up the manufacturer to see if they can provide me with any documentation with regards to how to drive the thing...though there are only two buttons (and one of those is "print") so it shouldn't be too difficult you'd think!

The drizzle did give me the opportunity to grab a couple of the obligatory water beading photos before we went out today, so it would be rude not to post those wouldn't it...



Zelandeth Jan 24 2020 06:34 PM

Re: What is happening
Out running some errands earlier and we had a good result in that this started working again.


That was a nice easy fix! Have to assume that one is another thing which was faulty primarily due to it not having been used regularly in years. Investigation of why it wasn't working was somewhere around number nine on the to do list, so nice that it's sprung back to life on its own. The system will be getting serviced in due course, but servicing is easier than restoring a system that's simply "dead."

The first of the new speakers has been installed.


The new speakers being slightly smaller has worked to my advantage in a couple of ways. For one, they look more in proportion I think. Secondly it means that the speaker surrounds no longer catch on the sill kick plate which the ones that came with the car did.

I had to glue some little wooden blocks to the inside of the door card to screw the speaker too as it was fractionally too small to get all four screws attached due to the size of the existing hole. Took all of five minutes to sort though and wasn't something I was worried about as the grills are more than big enough to hide the slightly messy edges.

While I was looking at audio I had a closer peer at the head unit in the dark with a torch to try to confirm (as I've been unable to find a decent photo of this unit) that there is evidence of the buttons being illuminated.

Using a bright light source shone onto them reveals clear portions where the text is, so there definitely should be lighting in there as I expected.



The lamps were probably killed off by the illumination line being incorrectly wired up to the permanent 12V feed for goodness only knows how long. I'll pull it apart at some point to restore functionality of the lighting.

Speaking of lighting curiousity got the better of me as lighting technology is an interest of mine, so I went digging to take a look at the light source for the fibre optics.


It's the silver and black cylinder just right of centre. So pretty easy to get at (just three screws hold the panel above it on). Pulling one of the lines and playing around even with the not particularly bright light from the torch on my keyring shows a great potential for improvement of the lighting. The bottom of the temperature control here is being lit by my torch. Top is the normal light source.


Camera has made it look way brighter than it is...but it's actually visible to the naked eye there...the lighting at the top of the dial wasn't visible above the ambient light to the naked eye. Will be nice to give that a bit of a boost as I think the visual effect looks really nice...it's just laughably dim.

Zelandeth Jan 28 2020 07:57 PM

Re: What is happening
Took the Xantia over to my usual, trusted garage today to get a more realistic picture of what she needs for the MOT.

First, the MOT fail list as presented by the original, supposedly Citroen specialist garage:


Then the MOT fail sheet produced this morning:


That seems rather more in keeping with what I had expected!

I'll get the exhaust sorted out then I'll send it back in to them to sort the suspension arm bushes. We did find some play in another couple of bushes which weren't anywhere near enough to be an actual MOT issue, but they're things I already have in stock and will get changed at the same time.

Hopefully she will be back on the road soon.

I know that the seats in the Xantia are really soft and squidgy compared to anything these days, so it is kind of ridiculous that they feel really firm compared to those in the Jag.

Speaking of the Jag, the mission to refinish the wood trim has now started.

After a bit of head scratching I managed to figure out how to get a couple of the bits of trim off.



The piece that lives behind the hazard/rear window demister switch needs a little reconstructive surgery. The veneer has pretty much completely detached from the actual trim piece.


The reason for this having happened became pretty apparent once the little trim panel was removed.


I think someone in the past has been a little over enthusiastic when they were trying to get either of those switches out.

Annoyingly there is one bit missing so I'll need to have a think about what to do with this bit. Have a few ideas though. For now I've just given the metal backing a quick bit of satin black so it looks less unsightly in the meantime.


Annoyingly the paint and varnish remover I have here seems to be utterly useless...after sitting for an hour it's not even slightly softened the existing varnish, even at the edges. So need to try to find something more effective tomorrow.


Will lift the cabin so much once it's done though.

Allen Jan 29 2020 01:13 PM

Re: What is happening
Since we're looking at a modern car, that could be a polyurethane of one type or another, rather than varnish.

Hans Jan 31 2020 12:31 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by mawra (Post 209132)
This last Dec. I went to a German market. I got Mom a bottle of wine, which she loves. Gerstacker, Bluberry Gliihmein. Arcross the top it says. Vom Nornercer, Spezialtat, does anyone know where I can find it in Virginia?

You mean GlŁhwein, Michelle. With an u with umlaut.

Here's their webpage :


I think they'll do shipping all over the USA.

It's meant to be mulled, so heated, which is especially nice in winer but you can always drink it straight too of course :)


Zelandeth Feb 1 2020 04:24 PM

Re: What is happening
After quite a bit of experimentation I eventually came to the conclusion that the correct formula required to remove the old finish from the woodwork is a combination of carefully applied heat and patience. I'm sure if I could get hold of some proper old school Nitromors (the can we thought I'd found it turned out had dissolved the bottom out of the tin) or similar I'm sure it would be sorted in minutes...but the modern water based nonsense is a total waste of space when up against what I am pretty sure at this point is a polyeurythane clearcoat.

The starting point:


After the old clear coat had been removed it was given a gentle rub down with 1200 grit sand paper just to remove any bits I had missed and to key the surface ready for the application of the new coating.


Which is a little disheartening to be honest as it ends up looking awful when the first couple of coats are applied.


However after a few coats it did start to look better, though spraying one coat when the ambient temperature was too cold resulted in a satin-like finish at close of play a couple of days ago.


Today though it felt like we actually made decent progress towards it looking decent, reasonably warm but breezy weather was ideal to get several coats added to it which has resulted in a pretty decent finish.



I think this one better demonstrates the degree of gloss we've managed to attain (even though the camera has helpfully focused on the wrong surface).


Those pieces are sitting in the spare room just now safely tucked away while the clearcoat fully hardens. Given I now have a workflow which works reasonably well for this I'll look to get the remaining trim removed and put through a similar treatment shortly. While this isn't maybe a factory perfect finish I think it's fair to say that it will look a whole lot better in the car than the flaky mess that's currently in there.

mawra Feb 1 2020 07:55 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Hans (Post 209154)
You mean GlŁhwein, Michelle. With an u with umlaut.

Here's their webpage :


I think they'll do shipping all over the USA.

Thank you. I don't have a a

It's meant to be mulled, so heated, which is especially nice in winer but you can always drink it straight too of course :)


Thank you. I don't have the way to do the double dots over the U. We drank it straight & cold. It is Mom's new favorite wine.

vyon Feb 2 2020 06:26 AM

Re: What is happening
If you are using MS Word, go insert, symbol on the right hand end of the ribbon, choose the font that you are using, then scroll down until you find the letter with the attachments that you are looking for. I use it often because many of our local words have a macron - that is a line above a vowel, making it into a long version. I also used it on my old computer when some of the keys gave out. It got to be very irritating when the key in question was the Z - of course it is in all our local email addresses - .co.nz . Then I'd have to type the whole address into a document then cut and paste it into the address line of the email.

P'ter Feb 2 2020 08:49 AM

Re: What is happening
There's also an accessory on Windows called 'Character Map'. Open it and you have all the fonts and every character in every alphabet, Arabic, Pushtu, Japanese. I keep the short cut on my 'desk top'.

Zelandeth Feb 2 2020 06:36 PM

Re: What is happening
First two pieces of trim have now been reinstalled in the car. This gives us a nice "before and after" set of images I think.




Definitely think this will be worth the effort once all the woodwork has had this treatment and is back in the car.

The offside air vent surround and the glove compartment lid have now been brought in and are waiting on their turn to be given a fresh clear coat.


Stripping the old stuff off is fiddly and time consuming but not really difficult.


I suspect I'll be finding bits of that stuff for years...

Tomorrow we should hopefully get this looking nice and shiny again.


Zelandeth Feb 3 2020 07:26 PM

Re: What is happening
The offside air vent surround and the glove box lid had their first couple of coats of lacquer earlier today.


Will still need several more coats but it's getting there. I do love the colour and depth that this has taken on. It's impossible to see in a photo, but there is a really strong three dimensional effect when direct light hits the grain in the wood.


Once this two are done it will just leave the door cappings to be tackled. Unfortunately getting those off involves pretty much entirely stripping down the door cards, so a bit more involved than the dash trims.

I noticed yesterday that there was a bit of a burning oil smell when parking up at home but didn't think too much of it. Today though I've found evidence that we do appear to have a leak...these spots weren't there a couple of days ago.


Hmm...I did have a quick look around and couldn't see anything immediately obvious. No visible drop in any fluid levels, though it does hold enough of both engine and gearbox oil that it would take quite a bit to drop the level on the dipsticks.


I'll have a better crawl around tomorrow and see if I can pinpoint a major source. Though there are quite a few minor leaks (both cam covers weep to name two), about time the oil was changed anyway... usually is done virtually the moment a new car hits my driveway. Probably get funny looks from my motor factor when looking for oil this thick!


Crossing my fingers it's nothing difficult to sort. Oil cooler unions will be the first thing to be checked as they will have been disturbed I believe when the radiator was changed a couple of months ago.

Zelandeth Feb 4 2020 06:16 PM

Re: What is happening
Little package arrived this morning containing the replacement switches for the Jag. Not hard to spot the difference is it?



The other two have a little bit of crazing in the lenses but nothing that sticks out so badly so I'll keep my eyes peeled for a hazard and interior light 2 switch turning up cheap. I'm guessing these are prone to cracking like this based on the mental prices that new ones seem to be advertised at on eBay. I don't care how special you think it is..I ain't paying £75 for a switch!

Second task was reinstating the glove compartment lid...


Fair to say that's improved the interior immeasurably. I look forward to getting the strips on the doors done too...not so much looking forward to having to strip them down to get the strips off though!

Main useful job for the day though was to try to track down where the oil leak I noticed yesterday was coming from.

Despite looking quite impressive based on the spatter on the back of the car and the smoke that had come off the exhaust, there wasn't any obvious drop in the engine bay.

Engine oil still sitting on full (reads about 1/2" high here because of the slope of our drive).


Gearbox oil likewise is sitting on maximum (if anything slightly over full). Not horrible burnt looking fluid either which is nice to see.


Power steering fluid is sitting on the "add" mark, but it hasn't moved since I got the car.

Looking underneath the car didn't immediately reveal anything obvious. The marks on the ground were from where oil has dropped from the exhaust fasteners and heat shields.



The complexity of the rear suspension of this car is quite something. Having seen it on diagrams is one thing, but it will take a while for the novelty of looking under the back of my own car and seeing a pair of springs on each wheel to wear off.


There were a couple of areas which I wanted to take a closer look at.

The rear of the left hand cylinder bank definitely has a leak from the cam cover.


Looking at it I suspect that the connection to the air conditioning expansion valve will want checking out given it's visibly oily. Hopefully being a flare nut it will just need to be nipped up a bit.

The other area that's obviously oily is the front end of the right hand bank. While these areas are only, neither looked wet enough to explain the degree of splatter on the back of the car I'd seen.

A common area to cause issues are the pipes to/from the front mounted oil cooler...which looks absolutely disgusting, but in half an hour of the engine running didn't produce a single actual drip...so I think a thorough session with the degreaser and pressure washer might be in order here to pin down where this is coming from.


So definitely attention needed there but I'm pretty sure it isn't the main issue.

Having a dig around did reveal a horrific mess below the brake servo though due to the small fluid leak spotted earlier.


That will want cleaning up sooner rather than later.

Eventually after the engine had been running for about 30 minutes I spotted a fresh drip on the driveway away over on the far side of the car.


A closer look at the new drop revealed that it was definitely engine oil.


This is right to the rear end of the left cylinder bank, and looking up from by that exhaust flange shows this assembly up there...



This is the engine end of the lines to the oil cooler.

My guess is we've got a failed seal in there which is allowing oil to be forced out at higher engine speeds.

Given this is a bit of a pig to get to without a ramp I may well chuck this at my local garage to sort as it shouldn't really be too bad a job on a four post lift. I'll probably just get a set of seals for everything involved here so I've got everything necessary in hand. It's probably the difference between it taking me two to four hours scrambling around on my back getting oil in my eyes versus it taking them fifteen minutes on the lift.

Finally actually got the service items ordered...


I thought I'd already done this...however it turns out I'm an idiot and while I had the items in my basket I'd never clicked the button to complete the order. Yes I am indeed an idiot.

Zelandeth Feb 6 2020 07:03 PM

Re: What is happening
This afternoon involved a lot of standing around and waiting.


It takes a while to drain off this much oil. To put in perspective how much oil this car takes...this much.


Not quite the 40 odd litres a Detroit 8V71 takes, but a lot for a car!

What came out wasn't disgusting but equally it was definitely due a change. The fact that I had to resort to "mechanical assistance" to remove the oil filler cap and the battle it was to shift the oil filter tells me it's been a while since she had an oil change. I'm equally aware that she's had a miss for quite a while before I got her so there's probably some degree of fuel contamination in there.

It's not the most inaccessible oil filter I've ever come across, but it's definitely close. Nothing from above. The circular thing you can just see through this gap is the oil filter housing.


From underneath is nearly good...except for the fact that the left hand exhaust downpipe runs directly under the filter so gets in the way of you being able to get a hand onto it. A not insignificant amount of swearing was involved, especially as the filter was thoroughly stuck in place. At least it's mounted vertically so you can fill the new filter with oil to help prime it and minimise the work needed to get oil pressure back up.

While I was waiting for the oil to drain down it gave me a good opportunity to double check the rest of my fluids etc. Especially the coolant. Glad to report that it's not moved at all since it was originally topped up.


The cap was horribly graunchy to remove or loosen, so have given it a tiny smear of rubber grease on the seal. Lovely and smooth now.

It was about that point at which I noticed some bodgery which will need to be resolved before I get the air conditioning reinstated. Generally it's one of those areas where you see nice big, chunky hermetically sealed fittings. Jubilee clips aren't normally on that list. Especially on the hot gas line to the condenser...



Yeah...that will need to be replaced. At least the hose isn't expensive. One found for £35 delivered over here on British Parts, which makes me wonder all the more why they messed around with this. Have to wonder how long it has worked like that as the hose clips and everything don't look recent.

I spotted something about that point which I need to pick the brains of the Jag experts about. Not a problem, but a "why is that there?" type question. Why is there what appears to be a second ignition coil tucked down in front of the radiator?


It appears that the HT terminal is capped off, but it's definitely hooked into the loom so must be doing something. I'm curious.

Oh, on reading the handbook I discovered that the steering wheel has a reach adjustment. Turning the knurled collar releases it and allows about 3" of adjustment. Doesn't sound like much but really makes a difference.


I'd never have found that by myself!

While looking at the interior I figured it was worth snapping a photo of the switch panel in black with actual daylight involved.


It's actually growing on me...the veneer there almost clashes with the black of the trip computer casing and this whole panel being black looks a bit more coherent. Obviously it wants to be painted properly as it's a bit rough and ready at the moment so the finish isn't great as it was only intended as a stopgap. That's easily fixed though.

We did have a fun moment in the afternoon when attending a hospital appointment. What odds would you have given two V12 engined cars ended up parked next to each other in the hospital car park completely randomly?


Think mine sounds better...

Zelandeth Feb 7 2020 03:53 PM

Re: What is happening
Have done a bit of reading and the second coil is indeed in parallel with the main one, essentially being a cheap and simple way to get a big inductor using off the shelf parts rather than needing a specialised coil. Pretty clever actually and a good solution to the challenges of setting up an ignition system to work well with a V12 where the sheer number of firing pulses per second at higher RPMs would cause most conventional ignition systems of the time to fall flat on their face.

It turns out the horrible hose bodge on the AC system is indeed a horrible bodge...but one the car left the factory with. In fact all the 5.3 engined cars had this setup. I'm guessing it was deemed to be adequate in the context of the system being serviced every year or so. However in the spirit of environmental responsibility and with the prices of refrigerant in 2020 it seems worthwhile to do everything reasonable to get the system as gas tight as possible.

I wasn't 100% happy with the finish I had achieved on the glove box lid. It ended up looking a bit less smooth than I was really aiming for. So today I pulled the trim back off and gave it another few coats. Is now looking a lot better.




The helpful bit of workflow I added to the mix today was to set the heating running in the back of the van to a nice toasty 25C and use that as my drying room. That understandably sped things up a good deal and seems to have helped achieve a better finish.

Zelandeth Feb 8 2020 02:43 PM

Re: What is happening
I believe there's a get together of car enthusiasts tomorrow morning. My intention at this point is to get along to it. In preparation for this I figured I'd at least blast the worst of the grime off the Jag.



Plus side of me having waxed it to within an inch of its life a couple of weeks back was that it scrubbed up pretty easy.

Still reckon this was one of the best bits of cleaning gear I bought in the last year.


50m hose which bundles up to fit in the washing bucket and is thus far 100% kink proof. Expensive for a hosepipe but the amount of aggravation it saves is well worth it I reckon. These expanding hoses are really strange but well clever.

Zelandeth Feb 9 2020 05:09 PM

Re: What is happening
So despite the weather I decided to try to get to the breakfast meet up this morning.

Despite a not insignificant amount of debris on the road there I got there without incident. 1700kgs of very low car is a pretty good formula for "doesn't care about side winds."

I wasn't the only one mad enough to be there either!












This was the point that I got the call telling me that the roof was about to blow off the shed, so I had to leg it back to base.

Despite the legendary hate that all British cars are apparently meant to have for rain, the Jag handled getting well.and truly drowned today without complaint. Though I do apparently have a point of water ingress I'll need to look into.


Chasing that is a job for when there are less bits of tree getting blown around and inserted into my ear by the wind. To be fair though, she had been travelling at speed through absolutely torrential rain immediately before I spotted that so I don't really begrudge the car for letting a bit in.

Hopefully next month I won't need to depart in a panicked powerslide because my house is flying to bits in the wind...

Zelandeth Feb 10 2020 07:38 PM

Re: What is happening
Little care package arrived this morning.



[] Air filters (X2).

[] Distributor cap.

[] Rotor arm.

[] Oil filter housing gasket (not sure if I need it yet, but it was £1.34, so made sense to get it in stock).

[] Number plate light lenses (X2). Quarter of the price of used ones on eBay for some reason.

[] Drive belts (PAS & Alternator/Fan).

The sheer size of the distributor cap still surprises me. Keyring for scale!


I've also got a set of timing cover gaskets (the later type as used on the 6.0 version which are apparently actually oilproof) on their way too. Once they arrive I'll get stuck in. I want to clean up and lubricate the distributor advance system, but given the amount of bits that need to come out to get at it, I figured that it made sense to get everything together so I could tick as many things off in one pass as possible.

I know the distributor cap was changed back when the previous owner had the car, but the stub for the breather system has snapped off (looks like someone has tried to glue it back on at some point), so it needs changing.

Need to confirm the hose sizes involved then will get some marine hose ordered up with a view to getting the fuel system gone through end-to-end so it's all guaranteed to be ethanol safe. Given the lack of any markings whatsoever on most of it my assumption is simply "I don't consider it safe until you've changed it." Especially in light of the V12 XJS being somewhat known for engine bay fuel leaks with the obvious potential for fire as a result even before they went and stuck ethanol in all of our pump fuels!

Zelandeth Feb 14 2020 08:17 PM

Re: What is happening
Before we even thought about looking at new tyres we needed to sort the tracking. The horrible tramlining, wandering to Lada extents under braking and steering wheel being off centre told me it needed attention. This also meant that signalling right was a perpetual fight with the self cancelling mechanism.

We had some abnormal tyre wear too.

Offside front being the worst:


Nearside front:


Wear is less pronounced, but there's a couple of places where there's evidence of minor chunking of the tread. These tyres really need to be binned. Now.

The rears have plenty of tread and don't look to have any abnormal wear.





Despite the tread they provide only slightly more grip than aerospace grade teflon, so are not long for this world either.

While the car was up on the ramps I had the opportunity to have a poke around to see if I could track down where the exhaust was occasionally buzzing against the bodywork. Didn't take long.



That silencer is the guilty party. It's sitting all of about 1/8" from the heat shield above it and any movement of the system makes them touch. Given the offside system sits an inch lower at the tailpipe, I reckon the whole rear of the system just needs to drop a bit. Shouldn't be a hard fix.

While I was under there I was able to confirm that the rear gearbox mount looks pretty much brand new. Given they're a bit of a known weak spot that's nice to see.

Fifteen minutes later we no longer have ridiculous amounts of toe out.


Oh, and the steering wheel now points straight ahead when travelling straight ahead.


The disconcerting fidgety sensation has now left us which is nice. It was particularly bad before when you went over the white line while changing lanes on the dual carriageway for example. Plus she now brakes in a straight line which is nice. That required nearly Lada levels of correction when braking from speed before. Hard to tell if it's just in my head, but it feels like it's now rolling more freely too...wonder if that will translate to any additional MPG...probably not!

A small adjustment which took maybe 20 minutes, but it's made the car a lot more pleasant to drive.

Allen Feb 18 2020 10:54 AM

Re: What is happening
Wait, you have your own alignment machine? I'd ask if I could bring one of our cars by for a check, but I think it would be a very long, very wet drive, so never mind.

Zelandeth Feb 18 2020 07:10 PM

Re: What is happening

Originally Posted by Allen (Post 209202)
Wait, you have your own alignment machine? I'd ask if I could bring one of our cars by for a check, but I think it would be a very long, very wet drive, so never mind.

Sadly not yet! Wouldn't say it's impossible that one will turn up one day though. It's worth the cost to get it done professionally though as the accuracy of the modern laser based systems these days is so far beyond anything we had access to back when I was in the trade back in 2000-5. Price is usually £30-40 here to get things checked and set.

There are tricks to do it at home though, some of which can work pretty well.

I'd a few tasks planned for today but wound up slimming the list down rather a lot as it seemed to be absolutely freezing outside despite the thermometer showing 8C. Not sure if it's just my being more tired than usual lately is making me feel it more lately.

Now everything has dried out again there's a pretty clear mark where the water has been finding its way in through the windscreen seal.


This tends to make me think that the water has indeed found its way in between the glass and the seal rather than the seal and the windscreen surround at least. It's only a theory at this stage though.

Some of this stuff was deployed to hopefully find and seal the leak.


It's decent stuff this.

It's been years since I last used this stuff but I'm sure it's become more unruly... really struggled to get a small enough amount out of the bottle. Maybe I've just become more clumsy, or the smaller bottles are just easier to manage.

While I had it out I also gave the windscreen seal on the Invacar a going over with it. That's been about 90% watertight since I did some work on the seals but still leaked a little so hopefully this will help.

Main job for today though was to see if I could do something about the exhaust touching the floor. This makes an annoying growling noise when pulling away or turning hard right. It's really annoying, and we had identified the issue was a lack of clearance above the front nearside silencer. It looks like the situation could be resolved by dropping the rear of the system by an inch or so.

There was a bit of flexibility available by rotating the rear silencer as the hanger is attached to the body on the outlet side. So I loosened both and turned it to give the greatest clearance. This has definitely helped but it's still buzzing occasionally. So I'll need to pull that silencer and "convince" the hanger to give me a little bit more clearance.

While I was sitting down by that corner though I did spot some bodywork that's definitely going to need some TLC sooner than later.




I have a sneaking suspicion that if I start poking here I'll end up with a not insignificant hole. To be fair it shouldn't be the end of the world to sort and it was inevitable I'd find a hole somewhere in a 35 year old Jag so I'm not hugely surprised.

Not faffing around with metalwork at this time of the year but I'll look to drown the area in Vactan etc in the near future to try to halt any further degradation in the near future.

Will I be able to resist the temptation of seeing what she sounds like without the rear silencers given I need to remove the one to mess with the hanger? Not a chance!

Speaking of bodywork, did a bit of work on the house today. I managed to take a chunk out of this wall a few years ago.


It's always going to be vulnerable to things like this as it's a major thoroughfare and you're pushed towards the wall as you need to walk around the staircase. That damage was done by my phone sticking out of my pocket clipping it on the way past.

Hopefully this will prevent a repeat performance.


Much tidier.

At the very least if I do it again it's just a few quid's worth of plastic coving to replace rather than messing around with filler and things like that.

Zelandeth Feb 21 2020 09:16 PM

Re: What is happening
Hoping I might actually get to look at the cars this week! Have had most of my free time this week eaten up fixing things that were broken in the storms last weekend.

While we got off more lightly than a lot of folks we did have some damage to deal with.

One partly detached fence panel on this side.


Which was later detached and wedged under a couple of paving slabs to prevent it inserting itself in next door's conservatory. The whole bottom edge of this was rotten anyway so my intention was to just replace it... annoyingly the neighbours across there crudely nailed it back together before I could do that so it now looks awful and will probably blow down again the moment we get more strong winds.

This just looks awful. Those tree stumps will be coming down this Spring anyway.


One other rotten half height one blown out of the frame...I'd already bodged this one back together half a dozen times so didn't see it as any great loss.


One panel completely flattened out back.


This and both panels immediately adjacent were pretty much rotten beyond redemption anyway so no huge loss...especially as they're cheap anyway.

We also had evidence of some new water ingress in the house.


Never what you want to see... especially when the location is "somewhat awkward" to get to.


This only appeared on the worst night of things when we had torrential rain that was visibly running up that skylight rather than down... I've not seen any further evidence, so filing that under "monitor carefully" for the time being.

Same night saw rain getting blown in over the top of the garage door...straight onto the electrical consumer unit, tripping the RCD several times.

The wind had also managed to get under the flashing above the front door and lift it off the box section there.


The rot in the ends of the beams there is something we're hoping to address this year. It's limited to the last few inches which aren't involved in holding the weight of the roof, that's handled by a cradle above the inner vestibule door. Also obvious there is that the drain gulley is full of plant life...again. It was last cleared out just before Halloween. I suspect that the primary reason for the rotten wood there is the previous owners never clearing out that gulley so it always overflowed.

Fence in the side garden was half "repaired" by the adjacent neighbours...which is annoying as I'd really rather have just fitted a new panel. Sadly as they don't seem to speak a word of English it's a bit tricky to try to discuss the matter with them.

New one fitted to the other side of the side garden.


I trimmed the (Council's) trees back as well so they're not battering the new fence to bits while I was there. Yes, the former owner of this place even painted the brick wall black.

In the back garden the panel which had been blown out and it's neighbours were swapped out easily enough.


This was made slightly more of a faff by the fact that while the two nearer to us are standard 6' square panels. The further one though is slightly over five feet wide...so I had to chop it down to size and rebuild the frame. By some miracle I got it millimetre perfect. The fence along the back is now a lot more rigid as it's properly anchored to the new panel I just fitted.

Final task was to sort out the conservatory roof drain yet again.



You see those flecks of that lovely vivid orange? That's the colour the conservatory and window frames all were before they got slathered in black paint. Likewise the panelling above the conservatory roof, that's marine teak...why on earth would you paint that black?!?



Will stay that way for about five minutes...

Hope that this week I won't need to keep running around in circles putting fences back together, drying the consumer unit with a hair drier at 3am, or strapping stuff down in a panic when it's trying not to take off to Norway. Then I'll be able to get back to sorting out things on the automotive to do list!

granath Feb 22 2020 02:31 AM

Re: What is happening
Oh wow. Annoying, but looks like it could've been a lot worse.

Still no snow. Officially, it's not even thermic winter, because average temps don't drop below 0 C. In some places, cherry trees are in bloom. That usually happens in late April or early May, it's never been known to happen in February or March before. Now all I'm hoping is that we don't get a sudden cold front from the Arctic that'd kill all the plants that think it's spring already.

That said, Lapland is not "crapland" this year, some places have more than 120 centimeters (4 ft) of snow.

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