Today I mostly .....

Any topics of general interest (not lada related), post them here.
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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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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:15 am

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.

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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.

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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.

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One panel completely flattened out back.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Before:

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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?!?

After:

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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!
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:04 am

Not a huge amount but I did get some time this afternoon to look at the cars at least.

Xantia battery is utterly, totally dead again so that will be needing replaced under warranty as it was only a year old in December.

I've added a complete coolant hose set to my shopping list for the Jag as a few are showing their age. The left hand top radiator hose and cross pipe bleed line in particular.

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That top hose is just a little scary...getting to the bottom radiator hose(s?) looks like a barrel of laughs. Hoping it will be easier from underneath with the car on the ramps - just to make absolutely sure I get as much antifreeze in my hair, in my mouth or up my nose as possible. Looks like the oil cooler lines may be in the way though which is my only worry there. Guess I'll find out soon enough!

Speaking of pipes, I wanted to have a look at the tailpipes. They clearly weren't adjusted properly as they were both pointing somewhat skywards, like so.

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This is annoying. For one it looks stupid. Secondly, it means that whenever it rains the rear silencers fill up with water (especially as the car is usually parked pointing downhill). It turns out that when the stainless exhaust was fitted they cheaped out a bit...rather than having new tailpipes made to suit they just stuck with the original swan neck tail pipe tips. This means that there's no way to make them sit quite right. If they're sitting level they wind up touching the bodywork. So for now I've flipped the offset by about 180 degrees so they tilt down a bit rather than up. Still looks stupid, but should at least put an end to the rain filling up the silencers!

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While I was under the bonnet I also dropped the new air filters in. They weren't too bad but judging from the oily hand prints all over them they have been in and out a good few times.

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I was reasonably happy with how the woodwork on the dash was looking (though I may give it another few coats in the summer when the weather is hotter and the clear coat will dry quickly) but the trims on the doors had yet to be touched...they were very much dragging the tone of the interior down.

Unlike the dashboard trims these aren't clipped in place but are held in by three small nuts which screw onto studs attached to the trim. To get to these you need to partly remove the door card. As I wanted to change the speaker as well and to reinstate the missing weatherproofing sheet in the door it just made sense to pull the card off and take it inside where I could work on it in more comfort. If you're just wanting to get the wooden trim off you can probably get away without actually pulling the card off the car entirely.

Unlike most things Jaguar, getting the door card off is dead easy. You need to undo one screw hidden under the trim front of the arm rest, the two little screws securing the interior light switch striker plate. Then the card just lifts off. Once you pull the various wiring connectors off the card can then be removed. Oh...and maybe the electric mirror control... can't recall if it's attached to the door itself or the door card.

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Note that if you do this you'll need to either disconnect the battery or put the striker plate for the interior light switch back in place otherwise the interior lights will stay on indefinitely. Glad I spotted that before leaving the car overnight.

It's not hard to see where the door card has been getting wet.

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The new speaker is slightly smaller than what's being removed (pretty close to the standard ones actually). Because of this and the respective corner of the door card having the structural integrity of a soggy teabag I had to get a little inventive to provide some additional braces. Not pretty but it will do the job. Long term I'll look to come up with a better solution.

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I'd rather see the originals back in place, but these look better than the vibrant red things that have come out.

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Speaker fitted it was time to turn my attention back to the trim.

Not a pretty sight.

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The lacquer on here which wasn't just flaking off turned out to be a lot more firmly attached than it had been to the dash trims so it took a good hour or so of picking and scraping to get it all off. Got there in the end though.

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Then it was off to the paint booth...I mean greenhouse to start applying the fresh clear coat. Many thin coats is the plan.

Before:

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After only the first coat the difference is immediately obvious!

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Nice to be actually able to see the inlay clearly now. Will make the interior look so much better once it's back in.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

Aaron
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Aaron » Sun Feb 23, 2020 5:38 pm

I was recently tinkering with a similar skylight on my elderly nieghbours house. The channels down either side of the frame were clogged with leaves, moss, dirt etc. This meant that when it rained water was flowing sideways under the tiles.
It's possible that you might be able to check and clean these from inside the house if the window opens far enough.
Aaron, Grantham <br>
Riva1600SLX (floorless example, sadly not a spelling mistake)
Citroen (surprisingly quite good) C3
Peugeot (it's only for towing the caravan) 406 (early 99 thursday afternoon spec)

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:24 pm

It's a little awkward to get to from inside as it's right above the upstairs landing so the ladder has to be at 90 degrees to where you really want it, I'll have a look at it for obstructions like you say though if we have further issues. The area has stayed home dry since aside from that one day.

Yesterday I threw the driver's door back together. I reinstated the weatherproofing behind the door card before refitting the card too of course.

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I'll probably pull the wood off for several more coats at some point when the weather is better (now I know I can get it off without having to fully dismantle the door), but it looks massively better than it did.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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