Today I mostly .....

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:09 pm

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

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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...

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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...

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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...

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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.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:21 pm

Only a quick update today. I discovered yesterday that half the interior lights weren't working in the Jag. This happening immediately after I changed one of the switches involved seemed far too much of a coincidence, so I took a closer look. Sure enough, they're different. The new switch only be four pins on the back rather than six on the old one. So I switched over the cap from the old and new switches and put everything back together. Problem solved.

I've also painted the area behind the switches alongside the trip computer black for now. I will be looking for some veneer offcuts to rebuild the wood trim here in due course, but this looks better than the cracked, warped mess that was there for the time being.

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The distributor breather air filter has also been swapped for something a little more standard looking.

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The red anodised thing would have looked at home on my Suzuki Cappuccino...not so much on a Jag.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:57 pm

This afternoon involved a lot of standing around and waiting.

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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Think mine sounds better...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:43 pm

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.

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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.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 08, 2020 6:38 pm

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.

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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.

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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.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:05 pm

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!

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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.

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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...
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:33 pm

Little care package arrived this morning.

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Contents:

[] 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!

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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!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 15, 2020 12:13 am

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:

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Nearside front:

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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.

Nearside:

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Offside:

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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.

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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.

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

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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.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Neil Chowney » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:18 pm

You sure those wipers are not too long? That can't be the right park position for them....can it?

From a previous photo it looks like they will go off the edge of the screen when moving..... and should they be chrome......

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:35 pm

It does seem to be the correct location for them to park. The sweep pattern is similar to that of the Saab 900, the blades don't clip the edge of the screen when running. The closest it gets is when actually parked.

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It is a bit oddly shonky looking...but that's kinda normal for a Jag isn't it! 50% over-engineered beyond all sense, 50% bodged together with whatever they found mouldering at the bottom of the BMC parts bin on a Friday afternoon.

Chromed blades would probably have been used on the first cars, though I suspect they were no longer factory fit by the time the HE cars were launched.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:00 pm

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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