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RichardKs wanderings: Radio Musicola - Boxster, 208D AliExpress specials


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Nice car, I like the way your keeping it original 

May be worth changing the plastic thermostat housing to a metal one when you change the water pump. 
You probably already know but try and get the front end as high up as possible when you refill the cooling system as they are a pain for air locks.

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57 minutes ago, goosey said:

Nice car, I like the way your keeping it original 

May be worth changing the plastic thermostat housing to a metal one when you change the water pump. 
You probably already know but try and get the front end as high up as possible when you refill the cooling system as they are a pain for air locks.

I didn't know that - either, actually - so I will take a look at that. It is something I usually do, but didn't know it about the BMW. I'll borrow some ramps from the neighbour for filling it :)

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“Heater resistor is in the driver’s footwell”


Is that why my footwell trim is broken?

Oh. American forums. FFS.


Here it is:



I can’t show in a picture that the fan and air conditioning now work, so here’s a pipe with condensation on.

The water pump/fan pulley has horizontal movement so the car’s not going anywhere until the new one is fitted…


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All transferred - online is stupidly quick compared to the OLD VRO process.



Rear lights completed. Boot not put back together yet as I am going to replace all the hydraulic struts for the roof.




Started cleaning the forgotten corners


Someone’s feeling neglected


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So the E36 cabrio’s roof is unhappy. This is many maladies in one, really, but they all manifest as “jamming when opening, thudding when closing, catching on tonneau or rear bow”.


Some parts arrived to help with the fix: tonneau struts.

These are reputedly a bastard to fit.


Open the cover.


Perform James Herriot move to unclip top of strut from peg.


Close tonneau, open boot, locate other end and remove.

Close boot, open tonneau, feed new strut in, swear a lot, rotate triple-joined wrist to snap pin through hole on strut, lift hinge with shoulder, snap balljoint on, close tonneau, open boot, double check.

Now the other side.

Where the motors live.


That looks okay?

Detach upper, let strut find space in well, close tonneau, open boot, detach ball, close boot, open tonneau, extract strut from other side of wiring cables, feed out through hole, feed new strut in.


Try to feed hole over pin. Left handed. Swear lots. Drop strut. Swear more. Try attaching strut ball-end first, it gets caught in box section. Close/open/open/close. Swear. Lose clip thing. Swear. Replace clip, bash thumb. Go quiet. Glare at BMW.


Try again. Get clip engaged on peg, can’t attach ball end. Get towel. Push more than seems fair. Still can’t attach it.

Peer down hole.


Swear, then remember “disengage motors”

(faff cut)

Ball engages.

Reengage motors.

Resync roof.

And we’re good.


Next, when it arrives, the roof-lifting strut…

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An interlude:

This car was described as someone’s pride and joy:


These clips are Jaguar’s shame and misery.


I mean, really, who the fuck clips an accessory wire plug (not socket) to an extension of the washer bottle.


Cable ties and smashed plastic and rusted broken pennies clips. There’s pride for ya…


Letting the end one soak. That piece of undertray ahead of the arch is missing so scrapyard hunting for the whole lot will be underway.


Not sure what removing the grille achieves but I feel like I did something since the fan pack still won’t come out.


I mean the whole undertray is just a mess.


Goodnight Jaguar.


I am determined to fix this damn thing, without breaking more things on it, and the subframe will be getting a lot of Jenolite gel while this is all apart, but I really am unimpressed with Jaguar’s fixture and fittings approach.

And still baffled how the utterly shagged radiator could have been missed before I got it.

Going to get a set of ramps to make fixing underneath this doable.

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Market Square Hero




(The wrong indicator is showing as posted on eBay so that shame should be over soon).

Soundtrack: Radiohead, Street Spirit

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  • RichardK changed the title to Topless for a grand: E36 323i Cabriolet - running up those bills (Page 4). Also an X350 XJ6. Latest: Strutting about

Used a pick to undo the annoying roof strut.

Car rewarded me with a roof module that is misbehaving and won’t operate the roof. It was working after I replaced the tonneau struts so either rain or “haunted”.

Smells of petrol too after having ignition on, so I am guessing there’s a fuel line or filter leak.






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Pulled all the fuses, re-synched the mechanism, and it behaved. Maybe I should just get a hardtop one…2ABE84A1-18FB-4FE4-8929-356971F90E65.thumb.jpeg.c6bc2fa6aa0f8df966c09b609b6fe459.jpeg

Off for celebratory chips



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Having had an offer on the XJ6 'as is' that I was happy with, it seemed that logistics of an XJ6 with a half-fitted radiator are... not awesome. And the decision for it to go has been taken - I've got something lined up to take over the insurance on it that is also useful for someone to learn to drive in, so I want the Jaguar out of the way.

Which meant another google, and another go at it after work today.

So that undertray was part of the problem. There's a plastic duct which is attached to the radiator itself, and it was blocking my view of the two nuts that were making this all such a nightmare.

Removed it, one bumper trim, found the obscured bolts for the power steering cooler - and also better access to the fan wiring loom.

Fan out. Radiator to follow once WD40 has done the trick on those studs. The condenser doesn't look great but I'd only swap it if I knew the system was depressurised anyway and I could get a cheap one on Amazon.

This does mean I am going to have to be brave and undo those ATF connections, but I think I will go for 'trying to catch any ATF by undoing the bottom hose first, and then top up via the upper hose whatever I caught'. That should work in theory...


Yes that is part of the radiator still attached.




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  • RichardK changed the title to Topless for a grand: E36 323i Cabriolet - running up those bills (Page 4). Also an X350 XJ6. Latest: XJ6 progress

This is a bizarrely annoying job because of the way it's all sandwiched together. The condenser needs wriggling out and supporting, but the bottom hose clip is rotated and rusted behind the condenser pipes.

I suppose in one regard at least, I've learned that the X350 still has some things in common with an XJS -Jaguar really did go for the cheapest possible fastenings and solutions whenever they could.

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Oh, FFS. Got the condenser detached, went to undo the ATF coolers - and someone's been in there before and completely cross-threaded/stripped the union.

I should have known this Jaguar would be a cursed thing.



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Apparently it is worth a fair bit for parts. I don't want to break it on the drive, but out it goes. A little disappointed, but not stropping. I am very excited about its replacement, I really like my 323i, and I've started pushing forward on the Tavria again, so I'm happy - just a little frustrated by such a silly thing having been done to it.

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“I should go to bed”

brain: “but you could try this. It might get the radiator out”

*goes outside in the dark, crowbars the bottom hose off because the clip is rotated to be inaccessible, discovers the lower ATF cooler hose is not fubar and comes off easily, removes radiator”



The radiator captive nuts are rubbish so ordering new ones. If that crossthreaded ATF pipe will hold… Grabbed a couple of new headlight bulbs for it.

Maybe I will get this reassembled by the weekend after all.

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Today: Cleaning up bits of the engine bay, reverse-flushed the heater matrix. Letting it all dry out then Jenolite on the subframe/wax inside it (it'll only be waxing over whatever's already going on in there, I am aware).

Tomorrow: I will fit the new radiator and get the car moving again. I won't tax it until July 'cause that seems stupid, but going to finish what I started. Then.


Would people go for a £22.50/3 for £60 roffle on this fine XJ6 assuming it works once I've put it back together?

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Heroic efforts, fighting that Jaguar. 
This thread has deleted any desire I may have had to own one. 
Good luck with the sale / rafffle.

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Imagine paying someone else to fix it...

So it's raining, which means it won't dry out enough yet. So I've bought a new pack of spire nuts & bolts and am considering chucking £53 at a replacement bumper undertray, which will eradicate most of the nastiness going on under there. If the radiator replacement sorts the cooling, and I haven't damaged any of the A/C system or ATF pipework, then that'll be the car looking pretty good.

OTOH it means spending money.

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I wouldn't have the undertray on your priority list, a lot of Jags seem to suffer speed-hump/nether regions interface at some point.  I would though try and mooch a die to tidy those threads up or at least use up all your pipe tape for engineers. 

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Oh, die for sure. 19mm bolt but what thread (I doubt I have anything big enough.

I am hoping new undertray bolts will at least help it feel less of a disaster.

Rain has stopped play, anyway!

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Very important work on the BMW today:

Louisa got a Cricut so she made this cute holographic heart.


Isn’t it just the cutest thing!

I don’t really do cute.


If you recognise this you’re my kinda people.


Holographic film eyes are amazing.


Sorta completes the look a bit. Subtle.


Another angle.

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Today in cars:

Tavria - local MOT place said 'oh yeah we understand what you mean about emissions bring it down'

Took it down, tester points at manual says 'after 92 needs a cat test or a letter from the engine manufacturer', wouldn't listen about pre August 1995 and not in the database does NOT need a cat test and the letter from the manufacturer was for cars that WERE in the database but due to being imported from another country didn't meet standards for the UK, got back in the Tavria, drove off in a foul mood, and weirdly I think the car liked being driven like that.

It's now booked in for Monday at the same garage that knows Ed Hughes' one and his 968M. Should've done that in the first place bit didn't fancy the drive with no plates etc.

323i - nothing.

Collection sorted.

Jaguar - new radiator mostly fitted! Getting the outlet hose past the A/C pipe but in line to meet the clip AND into the cups on the chassis legs requires three-dimensional thinking but it's possible. Condenser and PAS cooler bolted back on, lower ATF pipe reconnected, upper ATF pipe relocated relative to A/C pipe but I need to fix those threads a little bit, yes I remembered the O-rings,  and then I need hose clamps.3443935F-BB72-4FCB-8B7E-6C7CA1C9AE0C.thumb.jpeg.ad58de94c49b5f1a8af397baf8950370.jpeg



Plan is to finish it this weekend so this is actually some very pleasing progress for an early evening tinker. Then I need to replace all the plastic bits I removed.

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  • RichardK changed the title to RichardK's Kapitalist Karz: E36 323i Cabriolet, XJ6, ???. New: A cool Jaguar (radiator swapped!)

Today's distractions were all about collecting the Mazda 323 - but have ordered an M18 x 1.5 die and carrier to tidy up the ATF cooler pipe thread.

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Didn’t use the die - it wouldn’t fit over the olive in the pipe - but very carefully made sure everything was lined up and did it up slowly, and it worked.

Cooling fan now bolted in (my lunchtime “tea & tinker” screen break) and this evening I will fill it with coolant and fire it up. It lost about 40ml of ATF so I am hopeful that isn’t enough to affect it but any new owner can always get it topped up properly… stupid modern cars without dipsticks.



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Almost enough said… now the connector to the heater matrix is leaking. Probably needs a new seal somewhere as it’s a clip type thing.

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Unwashed and still to replace a headlight bulb after I stupidly unhooked the wrong end of the holder but…





It moved. The coolant stayed in.

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Starts, stops, goes round corners.

No untoward noises.

Gearbox behaves as expected at least for a 10 mile run.

No obvious leaks.

Tyres flatspotted but improved a bit.

Lights working.

Sounds working.

Heater still cold on driver’s side but felt a little better (maybe just higher ambient temp).

No codes.

A/C not working.

Very smooth. Less wobbly steering than my BMW, but quite wallowy like a brand new Defender on air.

Undertray still a proper mess but now feels like it would be worth doing.

Not washed yet because storm incoming.

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