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RichardK's Kapitalist Karz: E36 323i Convertible, X350 XJ6 - Hit the road, Jag!


RichardK
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The weird green steering wheel has been painted. That's a new one.

Doesn't look too bad, but they painted part of the column shroud too!

Coolant still in coolant bottle, but possibly slightly low. The weekend will see it get some OATs. Also V5 in my name. I keep looking at it and thinking how nice that shape of XJ is actually and seeing many small details that i kinda like, so I'm going to drop a load of 3-in-1 on the door hinges as the time it's been sitting hasn't been kind.

Speaking of sitting, it's air sprung but stays upright. Witchcraft.

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Got the XJ some OATs. It responded by peeing on the driveway - there's a radiator leak low down on the driver's side (not that it matters as you can't repair one corner of a radiator). Well, there's a surprise. It got the antifeeze because the weather's deciding to freeze, so at least I've circulated a load through the system.

So now I am trying to decide what to do with the XJ having spent a load on stuff to clean it and give the leather some restoration! It's already looking irksome because of the offside mirror - it is REALLY EXPENSIVE for some inexplicable reason (there are plenty of them for sale, it's not rarity that's for sure). A new radiator looks to be about £180; there may be hassle involved with the A/C condenser (which has some UV dye visible so may also have a leak. Whoohoo). 

I already suspected there had to be reason it had low coolant right after being collected from the MOT place, but I'd hoped it would be a cracked expansion bottle.

Bonus. It's one of those radiators with an ATF cooler in.

Problems with cooling system: Radiator leak - obvious and usually not the end of the world. No heat on driver's side - I've yet to Google the heater module to work out if this is an airflap, matrix or 'other' issue. Car warms up well and the expansion bottle looks okay.

Cosmetic issues: Offside mirror broken, missing number plate light lens, needs a plate light (irrelevant), seatbelts look miserably dirty, steering wheel has been painted green so is probably grim (but irrelevant to driving the thing).

Other things: Only has one key - a second button set is easy, but a second blade means coding (two blades = can code extras in car). When revved with doors open, the interior lights dim when revs drop - so probably needs an alternator or regulator somewhere.

Good points:

It looks pretty straight, the tyres aren't bald, the wheels are apparently good ones (19" Sabre), the door/window scrapers are okay, the seats haven't worn horribly, the radio and CD-changer work, it rides well and doesn't make too many hideous noises on bumps, and it's made me quite like X350s to be in for the big windows, relatively slim pillars for a mid-2000s car and nice wide cabin.

So how do I tackle this beast given I've got no garage to work on it in (it's too wide for my little garage) and November is depressing, December even more so. I know it's not going to get taxed in December, that's for sure.  Has anyone done a radiator on one of these and is it just the start of misery, or actually not too bad, on a ranking of 1 (Citroen XM manual) to 10 (what I've been told a Jeep Cherokee one is like - I've never done one).

Talk me into fixing it. Tell me it's not throwing money away when what I'd really wanted was a Volvo 7/9 estate?

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  • RichardK changed the title to That's Mister Gammon to you. 2004 XJ6 3.0 SE - stage 1: Cooling off period
On 11/29/2020 at 12:28 AM, RichardK said:

Talk me into fixing it. Tell me it's not throwing money away when what I'd really wanted was a Volvo 7/9 estate?

Glad you made a decision.

I would have said something like 'Who doesn't want a Volvo 700 or 900? I'm sure this will make a good swap/sell for enough money to pick a half decent Volvo next year...'

Or is that Man Maths?

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That is definitely man maths. That's like the £90 refund for a thing I bought being okay to spend £200 on a black Friday sale softsynth.

Good Volvo 740/940/60 estates are going up in value rather rapidly as supplies dwindle. But as far as I can tell the half-cold heater and knackered radiator is TADTS so fixing it is a selling point.

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No content, just an image.

Handsome beast, really. I am going to get a proper V6 SE grille though - easier to attach my Bureau of Freelance Photographers grille badge to.

And the missing boot badge should be rectified, I think.

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Well, my mental health is being a bastard again (in the '90s it was just dismissed as being bipolar or a bit of a twat, but in these enlightened times I've got a better handle on what's going wrong and have serious issues with CPTSD and anxiety. AND bipolar/rapid-cycling mania/depression. AND am a bit of a twat).

Current mental block though that isn't work,. money or life related is the radiator on this. It's miserable and cold working outside, but I can tough that out - however, it has a gearbox cooler in the rad. And a modern autobox which means SEALED FOR LIFE, a filler plug on the side of the 'box, and an arcane filling procedure that involves temperature sensing and most important, being UNDER THE CAR.

Which means to change the radiator I will need to replace some ATF? or do the cooler pipes drain when the thing is cold, and fill up when the car is running (as the cooler is higher than the gearbox). Has anyone done one of these who can advise? I'm happy with the radiator for £110 with an alleged two year warranty, but fearful of the resulting rage-quit and desire to smash the car with a lump hammer if any tiny little thing doesn't go to plan.

'cause I actually quite like this thing to look at and be in.

(Would still swap for something less gammony though).

Not having a giant tractor shed, vehicle lift and more tools than a SsangYong main dealer definitely cramps my fixin' stuff style. And it was never that good in the first place.

Have a picture of a frosty Jag and the badge I want to fit.

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51 minutes ago, The Mighty Quinn said:

It's a ZF 6HP on these, probably a 26 (big one). The refill plug is on the drivers side at the back close to the electronic plug. The box has to be at 35 degrees for a level check but tbh, catch what comes out in a clean pot and then fire it back in.

 

It's a ramp job tbh, esp in this bastard cold.  How do you feel about Radweld? It works quite well and it's not as horrid as K Seal.  £180 is £180 and it's a 16 year old mega mileage Jag that could go *cough* just after you fit a nice new radiator.

Things like Radweld are like... I just can't. I know what you mean entirely but I can't enjoy a car like this if (to my mind) I've trashed it with a bodge.

Even when I was running the wonderful Volvo 740 of @Six-cylinderfor a while, I couldn't contemplate bodges - I wanted to fix things on it properly. But I could appreciate 'just running it' as is for the appearance of it. With the XJ, I'd rather spend the £100 on the radiator and do it right in the hope I'd get a year of 'not doing much driving' but knowing it was right, than radweld it for another 500 miles then it dying.

That Volvo was such a wonderful car.

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I'm not sure that was really the case, but they definitely came back drier if they'd been living outdoors!

Gutted that my new life involved losing contact with everyone. And losing that big barn.

On the other hand, my tiny garage here IS suitable for something Spitfire-sized.

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29 minutes ago, RichardK said:

I'm not sure that was really the case, but they definitely came back drier if they'd been living outdoors!

Gutted that my new life involved losing contact with everyone. And losing that big barn.

On the other hand, my tiny garage here IS suitable for something Spitfire-sized.

None of my Spitfires run at the moment.

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The Mk2 is a major project welding.

The Mk3 has had some work done on brakes, fuel tank ignition etc and drove round the farm yard three years ago. It is fitted with a 2.5 Six cylinder Triumph engine. Still a lot of work but I like its 1970s retro mods that it obviously has had for many years.

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You know I was keen on the six-pot one before I decided to throw my entire world into disarray for the delusion of a stable relationship :D I would happily give the Mk 3 a covered space and some (slow) attention-over-time - might even find myself back in a position to get some classic-car tech like LED lighting, wiring kits and things from people :)

Not planning on leaving here (landlord is a fellow EMAP/Bauer type, parents built the place and he wants to retire to it - in a decade or so) - and I am really rather liking the ruralness-with-some-decent-towns.

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On the ZF gearboxes there is whole lot of nonsense written about how difficult a filter and fluid change is, It isn't and I've done loads armed with no more than a trolley jack, ramps and/or axle stands to get it up and level.  Expensive Flir gun?  Nope, run it through the gears until the pan gets warm, not hot, to the touch. 

But getting to the point, it will be cold when you change the radiator/condenser and you will want the front up in the air for access anyway.  Autobox wont be under pressure, you'll be armed with specially designed, manufacturers bungs (Clean, lint free rags) and you disconnect, plug them and zip tie them up the way until your ready to refit.

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TBF they sound just like the 'sealed for life' Mercedes 722.6 (which was sealed for life, because it would crap itself at 100K miles - so they changed it to 44K service intervals IIRC) which I have dealt with before (it's probably a rebadged ZF anyway) and wasn't that scary - the level was mostly due to a float switch setting limp mode as a safety mechanism IIRC.

I will need to obtain some ramps, though :)

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I have several heat sensing guns. Before The Event I was actually pretty well equipped for stuff like this, my weaknesses were welding and patience.

But, I do not have the lift. The lift seems to be the crucial thing in DIYing a gearbox, and TBF I am not sure the lift I had would have liked the bulk of an X350.

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  • 2 months later...

So lockdown + cold weather + having a work car means this has been far from a priority but also I didn’t want to replace the radiator until the problem of the rare and unreasonably expensive for just as corroded parts door mirror was resolved.

£100 later it is resolved after a sensible eBayer instead of chancer breakers asking £185 for rusty ones popped up.

Bonus, the old motor and glass from the passenger mirror fixed most of the driver one.

Doubt it’ll help but my usual trick of clear waxoyl and hairdryer has coated everything so maybe will provided a small impedence to galvanic corrosion and oxygen for oxidisation.

Lots of lube in the mirror gears too: Now it has a folding mirror (driver’s one needs assistance but does try).

It’s been on a battery conditioner forever so starts well and the air suspension gets up to height very quickly after sitting for so long it had dropped a bit. Maybe this beast has potential.

Reckoned I’d tax it 1st March and it‘s looking likely. Still not sure it’s a car I want - would much rather have an HR-V or something boxy and quirky or roofless than a saloon - but I will enjoy it :)

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1 hour ago, gadgetgricey said:

If you do decide to sell drop me a message, might even have something floppy top or quirky to put towards it.

Looks lovely by the way. Did like my previous one but was the lighter blue and non "mesh" grille , so really like the look of yours.

I'm liking the green a lot. I'm not planning on selling per se - it's MoTd and insured until December and will be taxed when it's ready to go on the road - but if I'm offered something more to my taste then I'm likely to be tempted, particularly if eSure aren't awkward about changing cars (the XJ6 was only £206 or something to insure for the year).

I like that it's a V6, auto and has a good colour combo.
I don't like that it's a saloon without a sunroof.

I was offered this or a Focus ST170 and I may have chosen wrong, but I don't care how hot-hatchy it is, a silver Mk 1 Focus hatch is not my bag. If it had been an estate then that would have been a very different matter :D

Next job is radiator, if the weather stays like this I'll be happy enough. Flush heater matrix, new rad, refill with distilled water and OAT or premixed OAT because the water around here is so hard it's bottled and sent to US Marines for training.

Also refitting door cards with missing clips replaced and checking the driver's side one to see if the floppy interior door handle is because the bowden cable isn't secured to the inside of the trim.

Then inflate tyres (they haven't lost air, but just to double check) and give it a whirl. Suspect the autobox will need a service, the brakes won't be happy at three months of inactivity (it's been moved up and down the drive) and it needs a damn good wash and polish - I've got a clay bar for it.

Also it's going to end up with a bloody dashcam stuck to the windscreen because I was sent one to test and it's a 3M pad, permanently-wired job unlike the NextBase ones I'm used to.

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On 2/21/2021 at 7:02 PM, RichardK said:

I'm not planning on selling per se - it's MoTd and insured until December and will be taxed when it's ready to go on the road - but if I'm offered something more to my taste then I'm likely to be tempted

Oh look what's still on the drive!

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Isn't it nice.

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How long before all this lockdown and anxiety-inducing world ends? Once I have a radiator replaced in the Jaguar (which no lies, may take a while for me to get motivated - this lockdown has really sucked the wind out of my sails, but I am getting bits done when the weather is... not like today) then maybe I should take the XJ6 to come and visit my old car :D

This weekend it got the boot carpet side removed, new elastic straps fitted and the sound deadening glued back down (someone had worked on it and not put the foam guide in place properly so it seemed like a good opportunity to clean the carpet as well).

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardK's Kapitalist Karz: E36 323i Convertible, X350 XJ6 - Hit the road, Jag!

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