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Broadsword's Fleet Thread - Jag XJR Factory Manual Joins the Fleet


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The XJR goes in for its MOT tomorrow afternoon. Once again I have MOT anxiety, but I'm going to stick my neck out on this one and say it's probably going to pass. The tyres have been changed since the last set of advisories. There are no really obvious issues that I can find so fingers crossed.

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It's been quite hot today, but progress has occurred on the XJ Sport. The interior is now complete. Suitable replacement leather for the passenger side was sourced on eBay and that has now been fitted. The front seats are not perfect, but they are as good as they are going to get and are pretty decent looking overall. The headlining has stayed up, which is very pleasing. Overall the interior I think is quite nice now. The boot area has also cleaned up great. As I said I pinched the strap to pull the boot closed, which is now in the XJR, as is the spare wheel. The space saver is in the Sport, which I think is acceptable.

Also, it occurred to me to swap over the torn bonnet heat shield padding thingy from the Sport to the XJR. The reason is that the bonnet is getting replaced on the XJ Sport anyway so it will have the padding. On the XJR said padding is torn so replacing it has tidied things up. The Sport has also had the engine bay tidied up, new upper rad bushes and the missing centre cap for a wheel replaced. Just waiting for the bonnet then the exterior will get cleaned properly. Then I think we will be there: a reasonably tidy, low mileage XJ 4.0 Sport.

Then a look at the rust on the XJR. Good thing is that the bits that need doing are fairly flat pieces on the floor, except for a small patch on the outer sill. With the front carpets out I think I can weld it up ok, much more a rookie project that the disaster with a red Xantia. From the way the metal was pushed in on the outer sill it looks like the tester wacked the area quite hard. I'm thinking he caught the grot early, which is a good thing. I'm going to have a go sorting these bits out on Monday. Finishing touch on XJR today was swapping half broken centre arm rest for another I had lying around. Other items to note the air con belt (recently changed) need tensioning slightly now that it has bedded in, and the drivers side folding electric mirror needs removing and stripping down.


















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Made a start with the rusty bits. I didn’t push too hard as it really rather hot. Here are the passenger side bits. The one further towards the centre of the car is gone where there is a strengthening part of the chassis. The strengthener hasn’t rotted through, but moisture appears to have got trapped between the two pieces and the floor split. The carpet was wet. Weird as it doesn’t smell in the cabin. Driver’s side bits more fiddly because the hole is right at the front, near the ECU and lots of wires. Nice to see that the ECU has plastic protecting the plugs on top, a classic weakpoint on these as moisture collects there.



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The XJR has an MOT as of this afternoon. In short, I ran out of time and the welding was not really doable on a driveway in nearly 30 degree heat over the bank holiday. I sent it to the place my previous red XJR went when it needed similar welding. It was only around £200 at the time so I wasn't too worried. The phone rang this afternoon and the bill was over double, which put a dampener on the day. The guy at the garage was very happy to do the MOT on it (not that it had even been tested there) and declared he was off to America tomorrow. What's worse I took most of the interior out and even told not to bother putting it back together. So unless the welding turned out to be very complicated (it will be there to see immediately after all), I've been had.

Tomorrow is collection time again. The adventure (and it will be one in a way) starts with the Range Rover first thing in the morning.

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It's been a long day, around 14 hours all in, but all done now. I think the star of the day was the Range Rover. Apart from the brief stop to load the MX-5 on to the trailer, it ran continuously for around 8 hours. There was a slight grumble around 40 miles from home. It seemed down on power for a while, but recovered when we had to slow down to pass a overturned white van. It had been running pretty hard for hours tugging the Mazda at that point and a long stint up hill. Maybe it was getting heat-soaked? I wonder whether it was a limp home thing. It's running perfect now though. It really did tow brilliantly. Weather was favorable and traffic not too bad.

On to the MX-5. Pleasure to meet you garethj for a seamless transaction. Always nice to meet a fellow shitter in person. Once we got the car on to the drive I immediately started work to diagnose the problem. It does technically run, but sounds terrible (video attached). I've never worked on one of these (or indeed driven one), but within a few minutes the cam cover was off. It did sound like a top end noise, but under the cover everything is seemingly ok. Valve clearances seem reasonable too. The only thing I can say is that the spark plugs weren't very tight and that number for two cylinder (or three depending on how count them) the lead doesn't seat properly (a bit of metal contact has come loose). Also that spark plug may be cross threaded. It was tight where the other were loose so I didn't risk prodding it. I'm not sure, was pretty tired at that point.

The top half of the cam belt cover came off pretty easy, but there are no obvious problems. Belt seem fine as do tensioners. All pulleys and belts are tight.

So things are pointing towards the bottom end. Big end bearings maybe. There seem to be a fair few MX-5 lickers here so any advice would be appreciated. It seems that taking the sump off on one of these is major surgery, which is a shame. Basically I need to really assess whether this is viable for a home mechanic.





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100% in agreement with Mr Puss on this, that sounds far more serious than tappets.

BITD whole engines for these used to change hands for £100 or so, can't see why things would be any different now.

They've always been cheap to buy parts for as large numbers of mechanically sound cars are broken week in week out due to tin worm. I'd be looking to drop a new engine in it if that were mine.

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Things have been fairly busy and many changes occurred, as is the way with many of this parish.

I had a change of heart with the MX-5 and sold it for a small loss as it. It was looking like mending it was going to cost more than buying a working one (for me, not for someone with better facilities and access to trade prices). No regrets though. Sold really easy to someone local and the experience towing with the P38 was valuable. MX-5s will be revisited at another time, I still love them.

The X-type has been sold, a pleasant transaction. Everybody happy. Great car.

Work on the 4.0 XJ6 Sport has stalled because of the new bonnet not being available. Headlining still up!

The XJR was put back together after the MOT work. Then there was a moment of thinking about selling due to a black manual XJR6 coming up on an auction listing. I soon came to my senses and concluded the manual car would go through for too much and probably be fairly leggy anyway. That car was auctioned yesterday (reg M490 GGF) and I have no idea how much it made. During that time I was talking to someone I had sold parts and given advice to for the purposes of restoring a factory manual XJR6. As thanks the owner promised me a drive of the car when it was on the road. This was promptly arranged and it turned into a little meet near Peterborough today. I knew a third person was coming and to my delight and surprise it was someone of this parish, Captain Slow!

So photographed is a magnificent trio of XJR6s  in a typical incongruous Jaaag setting, namely a Premier Inn car park. N456 SPA is a car that sold on eBay early in the year and was wreck (also a non-runner). The transformation is quite amazing. Massive respect for the current owner taking it on. Driving it reveals it is completely different animal from the auto. It's got a real muscle car feel and takes much more driving than the auto, much more involving. Tremendous. It's obviously very quick. Currently the clutch is heavy, but I know that side of things will get overhauled over time. Then it will be a remarkably sorted car. A real treat to get a go in such a rare Jag. Many, many thanks to the owner. Many thanks also to Captain Slow for a go in his BRG auto. A really nice colour and the black leather is gorgeous. I had a great day and the red car was running beautifully over the 250 odd miles covered today. Average 24.5 MPG but I wasn't hanging around.

Some notes of further tinkering on the XJR. Finally I have a fully functional electric aerial. Thanks to ablew44 for supplying that and a third brake light which I intend to fit soon. The auto box is not quite as fast as it can be. Annoyingly I know just how good it can because the turquoise XJR had a really slick auto box which incidentally I filmed and is on my Youtube channel. The first step towards dealing with it was an automatic transmission fluid change last Saturday. I got around 5 litres out and it was fairly dark. The box is now better, but no doubt needs the filter changing too. That is the next step. Other small jobs I can do easy is paint the edges of the rear light clusters red where the paint has peeled and freshen up the B-pillar XJR badges. I'm also still tempted to fit X308 headlights having seen them today on N456 SPA.

Oh and a collection caper is occurring next Sunday.











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Today is clearly not my day. Jumped in the Lupo, started to pull away and heard a loud BANG. Then I realized the driver's side front tyre was completely flat. No air would go back in either. Then I jacked up the car and noticed something quite wrong. I'll let the photos do the talking..

I've never seen anything quite like it on my watch. The spring snapped and made a bid for freedom, taking the tyre out with it. What's more there is no rust on the spring at all, looks like fatigue failure. Luckily this didn't happen on the road so no harm done, just a bit unnerving.




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