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Zelandeth

Zel's Motoring Adventures...Jag, Citroen, Mercedes & AC Model 70 - 24/01 - Self Repairing Faults.

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1 hour ago, Six-cylinder said:

I totally understand why having a V12 XJS especially such a good looking one is inspiring you to take lots of photos.

We will definitely need to get a photo of her along with some of her relations in your fleet once they return from winter hibernation I think.

I can't remember if I've asked before, but do you have any recommendations for a body shop?

Definitely a few areas which I think it's worth getting sorted professionally (rear arches, few areas where being under a cover has caused the paint to bubble... helpfully right in the middle of the bonnet so really obvious, and one laughably poor bit of paint blending) as they'll no doubt help the value of the car and help prevent degradation in the long term.

So much for "a quick bit of fun" given I've already started thinking about long term goals!

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Yesterday I ended the day with a car covered in smeary, hazy wax marks that refused to buff off. 

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That bottle has now been binned.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 polish was buffed off and the bumpers etc given a going over this is what we were left with.  Need to do that again as they absorbed the rubber treatment like a sponge.  Looking better though.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

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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.

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If the original speaker fitment is the same as an XJ of the same vintage than it is as follows:

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This is an original speaker grill, it has 4 pins that go through the fibreboard that the speaker affixes to. The nuts on the pins are not a standard size, instead they are a weird self tapping affair I have never seen before.

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Oof. I wondered where this XJS got to. Jealous you got your hands on it before I managed to! I'm forbidden to buy a car until we move, so couldn't pounce on this. Especially one that needs room, money, time and plenty of patience to put right when it inevitably goes wrong. 

When you get bored of it/fed up of it bankrupting you, please please let me know as I'll be 100% interested!

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18 hours ago, MorrisItalSLX said:

I’ll measure it up next time I’m down that way, it’s currently tucked up in my Grandmothers garage.

Managed to find the information online (and have since forgotten the dimensions) but was able to confirm that the hole in the door card has been hacked out to roughly 20mm beyond the outer rim of the original speaker cover.  So reinstating the original setup is a non starter without major repairs to the door cards.  Given the section in question is carpeted it wouldn't be impossible to do...but I'm not worrying about it just now.  Thanks for pointing out the original cover though, if you hadn't I probably wouldn't have made a point of checking out the dimensions in detail.

Predictably Halfords didn't have any of the models of speaker they had listed on their website I was after, despite their stock checker saying they had it.  The only ones they had in the size I was after were made by Edge or Ripspeed, which I'd not waste my money on.  So I did a bit of additional digging and have ordered a set of Pioneer TS-A1370Fs instead.  Better reputation than what I was after and are three way rather than two way.  Plus they have far more understated covers than the original ones I was looking at.

Managed to utterly forget what I was out for at one point today but have since remembered.  Plastic sheeting to replace the one behind the door card which appears to have been ripped out by whoever put the speakers in.  As such the door card is somewhat soggy though thankfully it hasn't fallen apart yet.  Easily sorted though...and I need to remove the whole door card to get the wood trim off for refinishing anyway...so it all works out.  Oh, I can see the power window wiring flapping around in there rather than being properly clipped in place too...so that needs addressing too.

23 minutes ago, SiC said:

When you get bored of it/fed up of it bankrupting, let me know as I'll be 100% interested!

Will be interesting to see when that happens...I had been expecting it to be a short term but of fun really, but really seem to have clicked with the car.  One of a pretty small list of cars which just felt like "home" the moment I sat in it.  Plus despite getting in (or out!) being somewhat of an undignified scramble because you're sitting about two feet below bedrock, it's just so ridiculously comfortable which my back has very much been appreciating.

Either way... it's not going to be a cheap prospect.  Aside from the hilarious fuel economy (hoping it will improve a bit after a few jobs are done, but currently 100 miles = £50 worth of fuel), there are areas where the bodywork needs attention.  Not kidding myself that it's in areas where I could get away with doing it myself either...it would never end up looking right.  It's going to want professional attention.  Base of the rear windscreen in particular has a great potential to be a huge can of worms...obviously though it's a car which deserves it all to be done properly.

Not a car for shrinking violets.  It's ridiculous the amount of looks it gets.  Imagine it will be quite popular at shows.  Will definitely need to get an information sheet written up before that happens.

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It's the juddering brakes and seeing the need to drop this lot out to change the rear discs if they're shot, that made me realise I needed to wait.

21009d1341315958-92-xjs-inboard-rear-rot

Of course that's freshly painted and refurbished. I imagine many are bit of a fight to remove from a car that has never had it removed before. 

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Thankfully I'm 99% certain the judder is from the front discs as it's by far the most obvious through the steering wheel. 

New discs should be ready to pick up on Wednesday.  Checked and it was £111 for the discs and pads which was a lot better than I had been braced for.  Dropping the rear subframe to do the rears doesn't sound like fun!

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Re the rear lights - the US models did not have a separate orange section, instead it was all red, but it appears they used the same mould to make the UK lamps. You may find the tail light actually shines sideways enough to conform (unless there's actually a position for a 5W bulb back there) and normally the lamp has its own lens, unobscured by the retroreflector.

 

Please take more photos. I like these cars. There's something aesthetically pleasing about the shape of the headlights, too.

 

--Phil

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That section behind the retro reflector is baffled off.  There's a pretty deeply recessed space which looks exactly the right size to have had a little 5W capless lamp living in it.  The light from the tail light in the red section does show to the side somewhat, but more by coincidence than design it looks like.  I meant to get a photo with the lens removed but totally forgot.  Will get one tomorrow.

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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The wires were then cable-tied out of the way.  This should hopefully (at least once the vacuum advance system is working) save me a fair chunk of fuel around town.

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

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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!

EDIT: So when I was looking for number plate lenses yesterday I was mostly finding them on eBay, at a cost of about £25 each, which made me twitch a bit so I haven't ordered any yet.  I'm quite glad I didn't order any now...

https://www.britishparts.co.uk/classic-jaguar-c4707/jaguar-xjs-c16/lights-lens-c241/lens-number-plate-p2368

£5 apiece...that's much more sensible.  Even if it's not the greatest possible quality... it's a number plate lens, it doesn't need to be a work of art.

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Turns out the recess in the tail light reflector that I thought would be for a running light is actually a recess for one of the bolts that holds the cluster in!

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Every day's a school day.  Does bother me that despite the lens wrapping all the way round to the side of the car that the indicators basically have zero visibility from the side.  I'm sure there's a reason it was designed that way, but it just seems odd.

Few parts are now here.

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Brake discs weren't anywhere near as catastrophically expensive as I was braced for.

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There's several metres of fuel line there to start replacing the perished vacuum lines with and a replacement for the bright red filter on the distributor breather which should look less out of place.  Will be really interesting to see if we can get the cruise control sorted just by replacing some vacuum lines...

Yesterday a couple of the obligatory water beading photos happened...

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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.

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On a vaguely sunny day they're essentially invisible.

This is the what it looks like with my LED retrofit installed.

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I've adjusted those photos to give a realistic representation of how bright the light looks.

The improvement is quite obvious I think.  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.

Before:

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

Now:

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That's how it's meant to look.  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.

As I was writing this my new speakers for the front have arrived too, so fitting those will probably happen tomorrow.  Will look a lot less conspicuous than the bright red things which were in there before.

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Little jobs in the grand scheme of things, but they all add up eventually.

Edit: Forgot something!  Have also rebuilt the wiper blade on the driver's side headlight wiper with a bit of the old blade removed from the windscreen when I got the car.

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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.

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Today apparently totally of its own volition the cruise control has decided to start working again.

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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.

Will still be giving it a service in due course, but nice to know the system does actually work and to have the use of it already given it's somewhere around number nine on the to do list.

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On 1/23/2020 at 6:28 AM, Zelandeth said:

Turns out the recess in the tail light reflector that I thought would be for a running light is actually a recess for one of the bolts that holds the cluster in!

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Every day's a school day.  Does bother me that despite the lens wrapping all the way round to the side of the car that the indicators basically have zero visibility from the side.  I'm sure there's a reason it was designed that way, but it just seems odd.

The itty bitty sidelight has a small bit of lens off to the side that I'm sure satisfies side-on marker illumination- the indicator portion being made red satisfies the retro-reflector portion being red at the rear (red turn signal being common-ish here, more so in Canada).

 

--Phil

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On 1/21/2020 at 7:59 PM, Zelandeth said:

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

If it's the former, then I have an earlier version of this which may be of use?
https://www.spiyda.com/fuel-gauge-wizard-mk3.html

I upgraded to the later version as the early version has a pair of pots to adjust for zero and span (and another for linearity), so quite an iterative process. However my fuel gauge is extremely well damped so takes several minutes to settle, and I kept adjusting when the needle hadn't actually settled! With the later version I just recorded the resistance with a full tank, and for the next few tankfuls I would record the resistance and plotted it against the amount I brimmed it with. I could then work out the resistance versus capacity curve, and enter it into the unit.

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That summary of the tail lights does seem to make sense.  The tail light is clearly visible from the side...shame the retro reflector came at the cost of any appreciable side spill for the indicators.

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Regarding the oil pressure gauge, I need to do a couple more tests.  Firstly I do now have a note of what the correct resistance readings should be so need to check my sender against that list.  Secondly I need to try using my trim pot correctly...wiring it up as a potential divider rather than just whacking it in series, which was never going to work!

First of the new speakers is now in.

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Being slightly smaller than what came out works to my advantage as the bottom of the trim no longer fouls on the sill kick plate when closing the door.

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, so there definitely should be lighting in there.

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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 so I went digging to take a look at the light source for the fibre optics.

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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.

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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 at the moment.

Edited by Zelandeth
correcting autocorrect (again)

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31 minutes ago, PhilA said:

What type of bulb is it? 5W capless? Would one of the Chinesium "hyper-bright" green LED's to fit any Honda/Subaru/Nissan pocket-rocket suit purpose?

One of the little tiny bayonet things usually seen in the old Lucas dash warning lights etc, just a 6W version (or at least it should be...they're hard to find so often wind up replaced with lower wattage ones when they fail...and at 78K miles I assume this has been replaced a couple of times).  This is a 0.8W version, but the same type of lamp.

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I reckon a 3W high power LED driven conservatively (will just utilise the existing green filter to keep the colour looking right) will do just fine.  Have a few in stock that should do.  The other popular configuration I've seen is an array of 5mm LEDs, one pointing at each bundle of fibres exiting the housing.  I suspect that would be overkill though... I'm going for readable levels of brightness, not making the entire cabin light up like a modern Audi...

Edited by Zelandeth
added photo

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Loving the progress. Just a little idea I might share if/when you need spares (not a paid advertisement, just seemed reasonably prices on some stuff). Look for a seller called "just_xjs" on eBay. It looks like the seller has a good stock of XJS bits and some of them are much cheaper than other sellers based on when I was hunting for bits to do up my 3.6 manual XJS last year.

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15 hours ago, Broadsword said:

... Just a little idea I might share if/when you need spares (not a paid advertisement, just seemed reasonably prices on some stuff). Look for a seller called "just_xjs" on eBay...

Thanks for that.  Have added them to my saved seller list.

I filled the Jag up again today...fuel economy improved from the 12.7MPG from the last one.

...To 12.9MPG.

The average economy readout on the trip computer appears to be absolutely spot on.  Useful, though rather depressing! Cruise control is still behaving too.

Got the newly rebuilt headlamp wiper put back on.  Seems to be reasonably effective at least.

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Have realised that before I can strip the hub down to swap the front brake discs out I'll need to get some lock wire ordered in.  Yes, I know you're probably fine using modern thread lock etc, but I'd rather do it by the book.

Nothing else to report for today though.  Forgot I snapped a few photos after the first proper post-waxing rainfall.  Not sure why I find this so satisfying.

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On 1/24/2020 at 1:27 PM, Zelandeth said:

One of the little tiny bayonet things usually seen in the old Lucas dash warning lights etc, just a 6W version (or at least it should be...they're hard to find so often wind up replaced with lower wattage ones when they fail...and at 78K miles I assume this has been replaced a couple of times).  This is a 0.8W version, but the same type of lamp.

I reckon a 3W high power LED driven conservatively (will just utilise the existing green filter to keep the colour looking right) will do just fine.  Have a few in stock that should do.  The other popular configuration I've seen is an array of 5mm LEDs, one pointing at each bundle of fibres exiting the housing.  I suspect that would be overkill though... I'm going for readable levels of brightness, not making the entire cabin light up like a modern Audi...

That has to have a lifespan measured in minutes. 6 Watts in a miniscule package like that- yeah, LED is a good solution.

 

Also, I have a few pieces of equipment with the very same illuminated buttons they used on the trip computer. Funny to see.

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