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Old 30th March 2017, 21:23   #31
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapis_lazuli View Post
OK Jeroen, it is probably not a factory fitted braid. The car was probably owned earlier by a radio amateur/ham radio operator (I am one myself; are you one?), who grounded the exhaust "locally", for better RF grounding and suppression of ignition noise probably.

I say probably, because I am not 100% certain...The radio transceiver antenna on HF is normally mounted on the boot side, and the long exhaust pipe till the engine block battery ground is a DC ground all right, but NOT an RF ground. It is more of an inductive path. Often acting as a radiator for RF noise!

I did a bit of searching on these lines, and there is a forum discussion here:

http://forums.qrz.com/index.php?thre...chassis.43993/

Thank you, that’s an interesting perspective. Not sure if the previous owner was a radio amateur/ham operator. If he was, there is absolutely nothing in the car to suggest he had any special kit installed, other then this strap.

I’m no radio amateur / ham amateur myself. But I am certified to use VHF, emergency radio and a few other type’s of radio’s on (Dutch) ships and (American) planes.

It would probably far fetched to think he was getting interference on his regular car radio. Although if I read the forum discussion I could imagine it actually could.

I have been looking at all the available Mercedes part descriptions/catalogue, but if anything I’m pretty sure it is not a Mercedes part. So it’s definitely aftermarket, so could well be a RF-ground strap.

Problem solved, thanks again
Thanks again!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 30th March 2017 at 21:30.
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Old 2nd April 2017, 13:50   #32
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Yesterday, spanner mate Peter and me flew over to Birmingham to visit the Classic Car & Restoration show. We managed to get cheap KLM tickets, worked out well. Our flight from Amsterdam left at 08.30 and by 09.00 we were at the exhibition, thanks to an hour time difference and the fact that the exhibition centre is adjacent to Birmingham airport.

http://www.necrestorationshow.com

The show is promoted through and by the magazine Practical Classics. There are of course many (UK) classic car magazines. However, Practical Classics focusses on classic car maintenance and restoration by itís owner. So it also, very much very hands on. It also means that the sort of cars featured in the magazine and on the show tend to be very affordable. No fancy supercars, Ferrariís etc. This is about Ford Escorts, Morris Minor etc. etc.

In total some 1000 cars on displays. A huge number of car clubs attend and each stand they would be working on their cars. Various stages with workshop and demonstration. So really, the perfect show for guys like Peter and me who like to fiddle with their cars.

So here goes:

Just to set the scene, there are some very nice, extremely well restored cars, but there are quite a few cars and bits that still could do with some TLC:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012675.jpg

Here one of the car clubs in action. They had some 5-6 cars on their stand and they were working on all of them:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012671.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012673.jpg

A lot of the cars at this show are from the í70-Ď80s era. Which is great because it also means those are the cars my dad or my friends dad owned.

This is, to my knowledge, the only car ever put on the road with a square steering wheel. It caused quite a bit of stir, when first introduced. Once the novelty had worn off, nobody liked it and I donít think it ever caught on. letís see/hear if anybody in India recognises this car.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012676.jpg

Families are very much welcomed at this exhibition and parents are encouraged to bring the kids. Lots to see and do for them as well. This little girl spend the whole day helping her dad. She looks so cute in her red overalls.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012678.jpg

This is a very typical scene at this show. Couple of guys staring at the engine compartment of some old car and discussing, endlessly, the intricacies of this particular engine.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012682.jpg

Mike Brewer and Ed China of Wheeler Dealer are always present at this show, for the full three days. As you might have heard, Ed has left the show. See http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/intern...edd-china.html (Wheeler Dealers TV Show - Goodbye Edd China)

But they were still at the show, working separately. Mike was busy plugging his new mechanic Ant. Here he is at his stand, endless selfies with fans and whole family-fans.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012685.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012686.jpg

Very approachable, very quick witted.

The main stage of the show. Here Practical Cars presented throughout the day various different items. One of the main items was the restoration of the Jenssen Interceptor of Chief editor Danny Hopkin who also hosted all the events on stage.

His car has been undergoing a six year restoration. The aim was to start the engine at this very show for the very first time!. Various other Practical Classic staff on hand and working on Dannyís car.

The lady at the far right was translating whatever happened on stage using sign language for folks with hearing impairments. Itís a regular thing in the UK. She was on stage all day with hardly a break!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012687.jpg

This picture I took for Peter. This was Peterís very first car, a Wolseley.

Anorak fact: There is a little light behind the Wolseley emblem. Very smart!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012681.jpg

On every show/exibition in the UK you will always find a few out of the ordinary people. We bumped into this gentleman on his scooter. Wherever he went, he took his birds with him!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012691.jpg

Here a good example of, if you do everything well, what your engine might, eventually, look like.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012694.jpg

Another car and actually quite a famous one too. I donít think I have ever seen one in India, although Iím pretty sure there must be a few about. Anybody recognises this classic?

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012698.jpg

This show has it all, beautifully restored cars and the ones that still need a bit of work. This Jaguar is definitely one of the latter category. It was a very early and therefor very desirable series 1.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012701.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012702.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012704.jpg

Peter and me are very happy tackling any mechanical, electrical, electronic, pneumatic type of job, on any car. But that is how far our skills and knowledge stretches. Panel beating is definitely something we donít know how to do. Itís a real skill, requires pretty simple tools, but many years of experience.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012707.jpg

A whole section of this show was dedicated to parts and tools. And it was absolutely massive. If you canít find your part or tool here, then you are going to have problems finding it anywhere else. One small caveat: the UK car shows tend to be a bit nationalistic. So if you happen to own, say an Alfa Romeo, like both Peter and me do, you will not find any parts here. Luckily, we both also own Jaguars, so we felt happy mingling with the crowd!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012709.jpg

Just look at these parts and read what cars they are for. All new.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012710.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012712.jpg

Did I mention the part section at this show is huge! Well, it is!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012713.jpg

Some would argue this is part of UK automative legacy, some would argue itís the curse of UK automative legacy. Lucas parts! British electrical bits have a reputation to be highly unreliable. And thatís when they are brand new. On classic car it is a whole lot worse. The guys on stage doing the Jenssen restoration were doing some electrical work. One of them told the audience they were checking a connection for continuity. On what appeared a solid copper part, with the two test pens half an inch apart there was no continuity. Typical case of British electrical engineering.

Anorak fact:
Lucas Biblical Meaning: Light of God-Bringer of Light

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012716.jpg

These days most new cars come fully equipped with a proper radio. On some models the option list will give you a variety of audio kit to choose from. But in the not so distant past, car did not have radioís or speakers fitted. It was always an aftermarket unit. I must have installed dozens and dozens of radioís over the years. And they (used) to get stolen a lot. Even as late as in 2011 somebody smashed the window of our Jeep Cherokee in Kansas City and nicked the radio. The radio cost $30, but the ******* did some $600 worth of damage smashing the window and ripping the dash apart.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012718.jpg

In those days, the Americans and a few odd Europeans also used a tape system called 8-track. The European cassette type system won eventually and then everybody bought iPods. Still, these sort of shows are always a bit nostalgic anyway, so 8-track fits in well.

Was 8-track ever introduced in India?

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012719.jpg

If you ever wondered whether left hand drill exist, and if so why, here is your answer:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012721.jpg

The amount of different kind of polish and wipes you can buy these days is mind boggling. Of course, Peter and me own any variety under the sun. However, we were pondering about this for a bit. Twenty years ago our wives just gave us their old tea towels and such. Worked perfectly too!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012725.jpg

Now, this was one very interesting car. A real Rolls Royce but with various cut outs so you could you see inside the dashboard, door etc.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012728.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012729.jpg

Big auction at this show as well. We only watched one car being auctioned and it was quite remarkable. A 1984 BMW 6 series with very low mileage. The catalogue price was UKP 40-45.000. It sold, eventually, for UKP 91.000. Add the auction fees and this will have cost the new owner well over UKP 100.000!!

It was pretty cool with a few guys in the audience and people with mobile phones glued to their ear, trying to outbid one another.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012731.jpg

We had a little chat with this guy. We couldnít understand why he just loosely sprayed some black on the primer. He explained that it helped him to visualise the various bumps on the paint he still needed to fix. Another skill neither Peter and me have.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012726.jpg
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Old 2nd April 2017, 22:57   #33
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Some more on the Classic car & Restoration show in Birmingham.

As I said before, the most interesting part of this show and what really sets it apart from other classic cars shows, is the fact there is so much hands on action with respect to restoration and maintenance ongoing. Also, endless (club) displays of things being taken apart. Here the Rover club shows what one of their V8s looks like.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012734.jpg

When it comes to restoration there is ofcourse one name that springs to mind: Edd China. Here he is on of the stands, having his picture taken with a fan. Long line waiting. You can order the T-shirt he is wearing on Eddís webpage.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012735.jpg

Not to many American cars about, but always a few. Iím not a huge fan of American cars, be it new or old. Preference is the older once, but that for me is universal. But you have to admit, some of these old classic American cars do look good, talk about road presence. Even if they are not a hundred percent perfect!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012737.jpg

Here at another club stand they were showing an engine being taken apart. This guy is demonstrating how to remove the valves of this engine, using this special clamp. One end goes over the valve itself and the other end pushes down on the valve stem and spring. Light tap with a hammer and the chock holding the valve stem and springs together comes out. Very handy, very simple.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012739.jpg

The Minor club had a huge display and a huge task, They were rebuilding one of their cars from scratch. All the parts were fully restored, repainted and all. Just needed putting together. They laid out the parts as if it was an Airfix kit, in one of these enormous frames.

Three days for a complete re-assembly!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012741.jpg

All over the show various Ďbarn findí could be seen. The showís organiser had put a special ďbarn findĒ together. It was remarkably busy with guys pouring all over these cars.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012744.jpg

Believe it or not, but this is the boot of a Jaguar. Talk about needing some TLC.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012746.jpg

This Marcos was very, very dusty indeed, but looked pretty much whole otherwise. Lots of interest. These are pretty rare cars to start with and they qualify as the typical British hairy chest sports car. Which means lots of power and rubbish handling.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012747.jpg

Meanwhile it was getting late. We had a 17.30 flight back home. So we wanted to leave the show by 15.45 at the very latest. So we decided to take in one more live show. As luck would have it Mike and Ant would be up. When we arrived they were still fiddling with the Jenssen. Would you believe it, after six years of restoration they figure out they have got the wrong V-belt? So a public call went out for the correct belt. Within minutes somebody brought a belt!

We did not get to see the engine started but it was cranked for the very first time, since itís complete overhaul. Danny was visibly tense and very relieved when the engine did crank and built good oil pressure.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012751.jpg

Next up were Mike and his new sidekick Ant.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012752.jpg

As I said earlier, everybody was very polite and professional about the Mike / Edd split up. It was a half hour with questions from the audience and they did get a few questions on the break up. The interesting thing though; Mike categorically denied that less time would be given to all the detailled spannering on the show.

Other questions from the audience:
- How many cars do you have (Mike has a lot and Ant has a few)
- How do you choose which car you will buy for the show
- What do you look forward too for the future
- How many countries have you visited

A very interesting happened towards the end. The final question was from an older gentleman who had been standing at the back and had been trying to get his question in. Turned out it wasnít so much as a question as a gesture; he donated a Landrover serie 1 and wanted Mike and Ant to restore it and all proceed would go to cancer research.

All in all it was nice to have Mike and Ant up on stage. You can say a lot about Mike, but one thing is very obvious. The guy is a true petrol head. He really loves his cars and just about his whole life is about cars, one way or the other.

Click image for larger version

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My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012755.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4012758.jpg

Time to head home! Neither of us bought any parts or tools. We werenít sure how to take them back on the plane. Besides, a week from now the Techno Classica ini Germany starts and we will most likely buy some tools there. Itís easier as we simple drive there.

The only thing we bought was various magazines. All the usual classic car magazines had stands and they were selling their latest issue at UKP 3 only.

And we got a lot of free leaflets and this amazing tool catalogue, all 1138 pages of it!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4022763.jpg

Jeroen
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Old 3rd April 2017, 08:38   #34
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post

This is, to my knowledge, the only car ever put on the road with a square steering wheel. It caused quite a bit of stir, when first introduced. Once the novelty had worn off, nobody liked it and I don’t think it ever caught on. let’s see/hear if anybody in India recognises this car.


Attachment 1625321

Another car and actually quite a famous one too. I don’t think I have ever seen one in India, although I’m pretty sure there must be a few about. Anybody recognises this classic?


Anorak fact:
Lucas Biblical Meaning: Light of God-Bringer of Light
Excellent thread - I am addicted!

1: Austin Allegro. Another couple of facts about it were

1: It was more aerodynamic in reverse
2: If you jacked it up, the windscreen might fall out

I lived in the Midlands as a child and remember seeing these prototypes being tested.

2: I'm stumped!


3: Lucas was also known as the Prince of Darkness by most automotive folks!

Last edited by ajmat : 3rd April 2017 at 08:39.
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Old 3rd April 2017, 10:55   #35
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
1: Austin Allegro. Another couple of facts about it were

1: It was more aerodynamic in reverse
2: If you jacked it up, the windscreen might fall out

I lived in the Midlands as a child and remember seeing these prototypes being tested.

2: I'm stumped!

3: Lucas was also known as the Prince of Darkness by most automotive folks!
Very good, I did not know about the windscreen falling out!

Letsís see if anybody recognises the second car, itís German make.

Jeroen
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Old 7th April 2017, 00:50   #36
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

So yesterday I went to the Techno Classica, Essen, Germany. Huge classic car exhibition. Used to be the largest in Europe, but apparently the one in Stuttgart is now even larger. Donít know haven't been there yet.

Essen is a 2.5 hour drive from my home. I havent take any pictures this year. But here are some impression from a few years ago:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/beyond...ow-europe.html (Techno Classica Essen: Largest Classic Car Show in Europe)

This time I went on the first day, which is so-called Happy view day. Itís from 14.00 to 20.00 hours and the tickets cost nearly double the normal price. (Euro 40, INR 2750) The big advantage, itís a lot less crowded. More time to enjoy everything properly, people will still have some time to talk to you. So it was a good choice. Iíll probably do this again, worth the money.

When I was working on my rear shocks of my Mercedes W123 I also noticed that the sway bar links on both sides needed replacing. It showed, but also when you pull/push the stabiliser bar I heard a distinct click-click which is a sure sign they need replacing.

Check out the video if youíre interested in how it sounds:



So I thought I would get some replacements at this show. However, very few of the market stall that dealt with Mercedes Benz parts had W123 parts. This had happened to me in the past as well. The W123 is simply not old enough and that means Mercedes Benz keeps parts in stock a-plenty and at reasonable prices so there is little after market! Amazing, as my W123 is 35 years old and the earlier W123 models are over 40 years now!

There were a few second hand dealers who did have them. But I donít like to buy these sort of parts second hand. Just another repair waiting to happen.

With Alfa Romeo the parts situation is very different. Your typical Alfa dealer would not have any parts in store on any brand new Alfa he sold you the day before. So there is a thriving after market Alfa parts scene. I counted this year alone some 5 different market stalls selling a good selection of Alfa Parts.

I only bought four little plastic bolts. These hold the indicator lens in place, one white, one yellow. And for some reason on my Spider they keep snapping. So I always keep a few spares.

Check out this thread where Peter and me are fixing one of my indicators somewhere in the Ardennes or Eiffel.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...es-eiffel.html (Touring the Ardennes and Eiffel)

This is what they look like:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1472.jpg

They are not cheap, Euro 2 (INR 140) per piece!

I also got two free Alfa Romeo Part catalogues. I spend quite a bit of time at Mercedes Benz talking to the folks of the German W123 club. I bought their part catalogue as well. I actually have it on DVD, but I prefer paper to a screen for this sort of stuff>

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1471.jpg

I spend some 7 hours walking around. Truth be told, you could be spending 7 days here and still not have seen it all. But it was time to go home. One of the reasons I enjoy going to Essen is it gives me chance to put the hammer down so to speak on the unrestricted speed bits of the Autobahn. Once you leave Essen itís unrestricted along the A3 to the Dutch/German border. I was driving my Jaguar XJR. This is what this sort of car was made for. Hour after hour of high speed motorway driving. I was enjoying myself doing 180-200 km/h easy. There was still too much traffic to go any faster. My Jaguar will easily top 250 km/h.

However, I started to notice that whenever I accelerated aggressively and then lifted at 170/180 km/h a lot of smoke seemed to be coming from the right exhaust! I tried to simulate it at lower speeds, by forcing the autobox in lower gear, keeping the revs well above 5500rpm. But it only occurs at high speeds, after aggressive acceleration and subsequent lifting.

Not sure what it is, Iíll start by checking the various crank case vents and so. to be continued.

So today I popped over to my local friendly Mercedes Benz dealer for two new sway bar links. This is what these little bits look like:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4062836.jpg

You will notice these are Ďplasticí bits. I really wanted to have the metal version, but even Mercedes couldnít get those any more. And as you will see, my car currently had plastic ones. According to the Internet W123 guruís the plastic version wears out much more quickly than the metal. But what can you do, if you canít get metal, you go the plastic way!

Removing the old ones is pretty straight forward. Itís important to keep both wheels in the same position. If not, you put tension on the torsion bar and that means you wonít be able to remove the sway bar link.

Some people jack up both rear wheels by pushing the jack underneath the differential. I never feel entirely happy with that. Safety first, so I go wheel by wheel. Jack up the car, take the wheel of and lower the car again, with an axle stand under the triangle. That puts the torsion bar roughly in the same position again. Make sure the handbrake is on, car in gear and something against the wheels for good measure. You will be sticking your head right into that wheel well, so you donít want the car crashing down on you.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4062837.jpg

The old one looked pretty tatty:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4062838.jpg

You have to admit, at least visually the new ones look much smarter!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4062842.jpg

Here a better close up of the old ones. The little rubbers around the linkage wears out over time. As soon as those rubbers perish, grease will come out and dirt will get in. This happened with these two as well. So they looked bad and they had considerable play on their respective ball heads.

So now I have four new shocks, two new sway bar links. Car drives really nice. I hope I get to do some driving now. Iím done spannering with the Mercedes.

It does look like the Alfa Romeo Spider needs some more attention. I took it for a spin some days ago. It pulls very notable to the right. I have had issues like this before. Iím taking it to a garage tomorrow. Real specialist, hope he can sort it. We are going to France in the Spider in a few weeks and I donít have time to mess around too much.

Day after tomorrow workshop on Jaguar Auto-boxes. We are going to take one apart. Should be interesting.

Keep fiddling!!

Jeroen
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Old 7th April 2017, 17:01   #37
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Today, continuing with the Jaguar ďsmoke ProblemsĒ. On a modern car, before you do anything, always hook it up to an OBD analyser. Preferably a Manufacturere specific one! I wrote about my latest tool earlier, so another chance to use it:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072852.jpg

Ran a full scan and two fault on the Engine Management system came up:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072853.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072854.jpg

They were a P1111 and a P1649. Both are Jaguar model specific codes.
The P1111 is actually not a fault. On (most?!) Jaguars you will always find at least one code. Either P1000 or P1111. The first one means the ECU hasnít yet completed itís normal cycle and the latter one means it has. So nothing to worry about

The P1649 according to my Jaguar Technical publication has to do with a potential ground short or short to B-voltage. I just re-setted it via de OBD scanner and so far it has refrained from popping back up. I also donít think it has anything to do with the smoke problem.

Next a quick look under the hood. Note the nice protection cover I have. Holds with magnets! very convenient.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072855.jpg

Next I quickly inspected the air filter. Mine is a K&N. And I had cleaned and oiled it not to long ago. All looks fine.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072856.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072857.jpg

I did notice one other problem. The super charger coolant pump sits on a bracket that is bolted to the right wing, underneath all these engine coolant hoses. I noticed it was flapping about. Needs some new grommets, so I need to order those and get it done before anything breaks.

I had a quick look at the crankcase ventilation/breather intake, but nothing too suspicious. Looked a bit oily, but I wouldnít think out of the ordinary.

Had to close up the Jaguar as it was time to take my Spider to the garage to get it seen to by Rolf. Rolf is the owner of a local garage ďThe MechanicĒ.

http://www.themechanic.nl

I have known him, since I bought my Spider, so more than twenty years. Rolf is one of best car mechanics I know. He is very good with electronics too and Alfa Romeo Spiders are one of specialities. He owns a gorgeous Spider Duetto himself.

We took the Spider for a quick test drive. Within, literally, the first 10 meters Rolf was already making observations and comments. He picked up a sound, I had not heard myself. He thought it was the auxiliary steering box.

Rolf has a well equipped workshop which also sports a proper brake test facility.

All you do is drive your car gently on these two plates and brake. First front and then rear wheel.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072858.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072859.jpg

The monitor in the top left hand corner will show you brake forces, but more importantly will show percentage difference in left/right braking. So a good indication of any problems with the brakes. Mine measure 8-15% percent difference (less) right then left. Rolf told me that up to 30% is permissible for the so called APK (In essence the Dutch equivalent to the UK MOT). I thought that is actually quite high. Apparently, as long as you can counter any braking action difference through the steering wheel, itís ok. It might be ok and legal but I still did not like the way my car pulled. So we put it on the lift:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072861.jpg

Rolf and me went around it pulling and poking at everything;

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4072860.jpg

This is really difficult to do in front of your house. You really want to have all four wheels of the ground. You need to be able to use a big tire lever to check all ball joints and rubbers for undue play.

Rolf was correct in his initial diagnosis that the aux steering box had a problem. there was at least 1-1.5mm play on the shaft. We also noticed the brake piston were a little heavy. Rolf suggested to swap the outer brake pads, which we did. Amazingly, that gave an immediate improvement. Still pull to the right, but noticeable less.

The Spider will go back to Rolf in two weeks time to get the aux steering box overhauled, fix the brake pistons and we are going to put new brake pads in all around and change the brake fluid. I could do it all myself, but it is so much easier doing these sort of jobs on a lift.

Also, Rolf has always been very good to me. I can call him with any problem and he is always willing to listen and give advise, lend tools etc. Itís only appropiate he gets to do some of the work as well. Itís a hobby to me, but a business to him. I have no problems with that.

So to be continued.

Jeroen
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Old 11th April 2017, 12:43   #38
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Last Saturday I spend at G&G in Heinkenszand in the Netherlands. Almost 150 km from where we live, 90 minute drive in the Jaguar.

G&G is an unofficial Jaguar specialist, owned and operated by a couple, Raymond and his wife Joke. I have known them only for a short while but I have become hugely impressed by how they run their shop. Raymond is a true fountain of knowledge when it comes to Jaguar. His diagnostic capabilities are second to none. He is also a meticulous in the way he works. He is one of those rare mechanics who can literally tackle any job. From an engine overhaul, to electronic problems, to diagnosing a problematic tranny.

They more or less specialise in all XJ series. From the very early to the current series. They look after some 500-600 cars on a regular bases. Occasionally you will a different Jaguar too, like the S and X type.

They are one of the sponsors of a Dutch Jaguar forum. Raymond is one of the contributor. He will regularly jump into threads to help out and offer advise. Also, on the real tricky problems he encounters in his shop he will start his own threads. So he really likes to share his knowledge.

This weekend he had organised a workshop on Jaguar auto boxes.

First a few pictures of his immaculate workshop:

In the front, an E-type undergoing a full restoration.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082869.jpg

Some of the spare, overhauled, boxes and lots of parts for them. Raymond keeps at least one fully overhauled type of every box in stock. So if there are problems with the box of a customer, he just swaps it. Fixed price.

Note the various torque convertors and top shelves the various ďbrainsĒ.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082871.jpg

Some of the various specialist tools, the Yellow machine is the tranny flush. Iíll talk a bit more about this later on.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082882.jpg

Every tool, every nut and bolt has itís own dedicated place in this workshop. No tools are lying around. Everything gets used and immediately afterwards cleaned and put back.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082884.jpg

On the right, Raymondís Electronics workshop. He will tackle any electronic problem himself too. Opening up ECUís, re-programming them. He has the knowledge and all the tools.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082885.jpg

Lots of boxes with different sets of tools. Some for brakes, or ignition, valve adjustment etc. Each box is labelled with itís content.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082886.jpg

Here is Raymond at the start of the workshop. He has a large collection of cut-away models to show customers how things work or why they donít work any more.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082862.jpg

This is an interesting bit, the famous Jaguar V8 with itís timing chain and various primary and secondary tensioners clearly visible. On earlier cars the tensioners were made of plastic and these perished over time. A cracked tensioner could easily led to a completely destroyed engine. So itís a well know modification to look for if you ever buy a second hand Jaguar with a V8. My XJR is from the last year of production of the X308 (1982/3). They were equipped from the factory with the latest tensioner. Even so, Raymond did double check mine. For no other reason that on British cars from that era you just donít know. He has come across a few XJs from the last production year that still had the older type tensioner fitted. Maybe that day the production line ran out of the new ones and somebody found a box with old ones and they just put them in. Stranger things have happened in English car factories.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082866.jpg

Raymond spend a lot of time talking to us about how he diagnosis the actual problem when customers come with problems with their transmission. Apparently, very often, it might not be the transmission itself. One of the most common problems on modern auto-transmissions is with the torque convertor. Most of these have a lock up mechanism these days. Which in essence is just a brake. Therefor itís subject to normal wear and tear.

Here you see the box on the left that Raymond is about to tear into. It had a problem with the reverse gear. Note the special workbench. It was special designed and made to order. Itís surface is stainless steel. No metal surfaces are allowed as metal bits might make it into the box when working on it. The ridge at the front is aluminium to keep parts falling off. Any oil as you will see, can be pushed towards the back where there is a gap. Itís collected for appropriate disposal.

You can still see the torque convertor too.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082867.jpg

Here Raymond is showing us the various parts he uses. He uses only original Jaguar parts. These boxes have detailled instructions and drawings on where each O-ring is to be used. Raymond has all those drawing in electronic format as well and they will be displayed on a monitor above the work bench during the overhaul.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082881.jpg

We had a good look at all the various bits and pieces. I was amazed to hear that the friction material on the friction plates is actually just plain paper! Very important to soak them in oil before they are installed!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082878.jpg

Here we see the first stage of the disassembly. The hydraulic pump has been removed.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082887.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082890.jpg

Next, here you see the filter which sits on top of the brain of the box:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082891.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082892.jpg

The sump with the magnets

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082893.jpg

So within an hour Raymond had the box stripped into itís main components, convertor, brain, pump and the box with all the innards still to be removed. Actually, the bell house has come off as well, but is not shown here.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082894.jpg

A little peek inside the actual box. Notice the various oil pressure lines and the shaft in the middle. This drives a potentiometer on the outside of the box that is connected to the TCM. It is the feedback to the TCM which gear is engaged.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082895.jpg

And here a close up of the brain. The brain is a very complicated bit of kit, in the sense of all the different channels that are built into it. Must be a real challenge to manufacture/cast these pieces. You can see the solenoids that control the oil flow/pressure through the various ducts as well. These are controlled through the carís TCM. the large opening at the top is where the filters connects to.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082896.jpg

Here Raymond pulls out most of the remaining bits of innards of this box! I thought it was hugely interesting to see Raymond actually dismantle this thing. How he does it, what tool he uses, sequence. He all explained it in meticulous detail. And of course, some bolts got stuck and snapped too. So he demonstrated various techniques of getting the snapped bolts out too!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082899.jpg

Here he is working on one of the snapped bolts. He is using an impact screwdriver, but hitting it with a non-ferrous hammer. (I think it had nylon heads). The reason, using a metal hammer is likely to get metal bits into the box

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082908.jpg

Still, a few more bits to come out, here you can see one of the planetary gear sets, still in place. Apparently, it is extremely rare for these to wear.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082901.jpg

For all of us who drive an autobox; we donít admit it, but we have all, accidentally, tried to put the car in reverse when it was still rolling forward. Here you see the reverse pal. It fits neatly into a coarse teethed gear. Thatís all. Very simple, very effective.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082906.jpg

Raymond told us about a particular job he did recently. He gets request from insurance companies to inspect auto boxes from time to time as part of insurance claims. They need to have an expert view/opinion of what might happened. This case was from a guy, whose BMW had been parked and then pushed out of the way by a truck, about 10 meters. He claimed his auto-box was not working properly afterwards. So the insurance company asked Raymond to have a look. He told them it would be very unlikely that the box would have been damaged. So they send him the car and he took the box of and opened it up. No damage to the pal or the gear. But it looked like somebody had done a poor job of flushing it. Most likely not flushed but just removed and refilled it with new oil.

That will loosen up a lot of dirt, but only a proper flush will allow you to get rid of all the dirt. So based on Raymondís inspection the insurance turned down the guyís claim.

Every set of gears will come with itís own friction pack. A set of friction plates and intermediate plates. Here you see Raymond holding the pack as it came out of the box. Notice it is pretty dirty. This box suffered from some difficulties with the reverse gear. But Raymond pointed out that the oil that came out was very clean, but still quite a bit of dirt of the packs. A strong indication that the box had been refilled without a proper flush.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082913.jpg

You can just wipe the dirt off:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082914.jpg

However, on some of the plates there were notable ďburn-marksĒ. Which means the oil had run, too, hot!. Which indicates a problem with the pressure exerted on the pack.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082921.jpg

Raymond showed us various of these burn marks. This is where expertise and experience comes in. On some of these, he told us, just put the ring back in, others he needed to re-work the ring a bit and in other cases he would replace the lot. This is all done to experience, having seen and felt hundreds of these!

The friction pack is operated through a diaphragm spring and a piston. To get a the piston, more stuff has to come out of the drum. As you will have gathered Raymond will invest in any tool that he feels is needed. But he will also make up his own tools. Here a very simple and effective tool to remove the spring and piston. It allows you to push back against the spring, remove the two retaining clips and out everything comes.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082917.jpg

This is the piston that was the actual culprit of the problems with this box. It had minute chips around it circumference. This is where it scales against the inside of the drum. Again, down to experience. I had to look and feel very hard to see any difference between a brand new and this one. But there you go, thatís experience and expertise for you!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4082918.jpg

All in all, a hugely interesting day! Not sure about the current Jaguars, but on the X300/308 series Jaguar claimed the outboxes were sealed for life and do not require any maintenance. Any Jaguar forum will tell you that is absolute rubbish and Raymond confirmed as well. These boxes do need maintenance or they will start giving problem. The best preventive maintenance is proper flush job, every 80-120K km. That is the only way to get rid of the accumulated dirt. Every box that Raymond overhauls, gets a complete flush, after it has been re-assembled! Only way to guarantee it will work flawlessly for another 100K km.

Raymond and Joke positively encourage their customers to spend time in the workshop, be present when their cars get worked on. They are obviously very proud of their workshop and their level of workmanship. And rightly so!

Jeroen
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Old 12th April 2017, 22:41   #39
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Yesterday evening I took my Alfa Romeo Spider all the way to Geldrop. A very nice little village in the south of the Netherlands. About 2 hours drive.

Although it was a nice enough drive, the reason I went there was a different one. My Spider came factory equipped with an air conditioning. In the 1986s not so common yet. But then my car was exported from Milaan, Italy to the USA straight away. And ACís were already common in the USA at the time.

I must admit that over the years of owning and working on cars I have experienced very little problems with ACs. The odd belt needed replacing. On my Jeep Cherokee I had to replace the bearing of the clutch, things like that.

As a marine engineer during my very first stint on a merchant ship I worked extensively on cooling systems. We had 10-12 freezer/refrigerating holds, so that took a lot of looking after! Some 14-16 compressors and more valves, manometer, thermometers, condensors, and tubing then you can shake a stick at.

As far as I can tell no work nor re-fill was ever done on my Spider AC. Which is pretty amazing as it was working fine until some time ago. I canít remember exactly, but a few years ago, whilst still living in India, I took my Spider out during a trip to the Netherlands. It was then that I noticed the AC wasnít working. The fan and clutch still worked, but no cold air. Which is always a good indication of an AC-system in need of a re-fill.

The problem is my Spider was delivered with an AC system using Freon R12. Which has become illegal to refill many, many years ago. (1995 I believe)

There are numerous AC specialist that will happily modify your system so it can take the current legal R134A. However, I did not want my system modified. I like to keep my cars as original as I can.
The problem with the R134A is that many parts need replacing, also it is supposed to be less effective cooling solution. Dupont came onto the market with R437A which, apparently, is perfectly safe for an original R12 system and is actually even a little more efficient.

By sheer chance I came across an advertisement from a guy who specialises in filling classic systems with R437A. So I called the guy, Richard Bolt and made an appointment. Richard is a former Classic Car owner. He got very frustrated about the level of knowledge and support in the Dutch automotive industry when it comes to AC and Classic Car AC in particular. So he developed and designed his own filling procedures and machinery. By now he uses commercial equipment, but he modifies it a bit.

He does it purely as a hobby/interest and I guess it earns him a little money, although I donít think much as his charges are very minimal. Irrespective of his time he just charges Euro 10 per 100mg R437A.

He works from his home which has a garage underneath. You drive up, or rather in this case down, into the garage:

Itís actually pretty steep, note the large beam in front of the front wheels:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1478.jpg

The first thing Richard does is to hook up a gas chromatograph. He wants to make sure what is still left in the system. So here you see his gas chromatograph on top of my engine and the read out. Nearly 100% R12!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1474.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1475.jpg

Richard has various pieces of equipment. But in essence the system is first put on a vacuum and flushed with nitrogen. I asked Richard what his opinion is about replacing the filter/dryer on an AC filter. He had a nice cut-away model. Sorry, no picture. But the filter/dryer is a very simple piece of kit. The filter is actually quite a coarse mesh and the dryer is just silica gel. Under vacuum and with the nitrogen it gets completely ďrechargedĒ. Dried is probably a better word. I did not know that silica gel could be re-used this way. On my vessel it was always a bit of a problem. After work on the AC systems, we knew we had air trapped in the lines/tubes. So we typically used to flush with Freon. In those days you always had water (H2O) trapped in the system.

But another big change is that these days the gasses are extremely pure, so they just donít, or hardly contain, any H2O molecules. So, replacing AC filter/dryer is just not done anymore! Good to know!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1476.jpg

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Richard also uses the nitrogen to pressurise the system prior to filling it. You want to make sure there are no leak. Nitrogen is no 100% guarantee. R437A molecule are smaller, but effectively itís a good method to check for any major problems.

Luckily my system held pressure!. So Richard started filled my old AC system with the new R437A.

Once the system is nearly at the correct pressure he adds a little Fluorescent Dye to it. This enables any minute leakage to be found by just shining UV light on it. He also gave me a little torch with special UV LEDís.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1480.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1479.jpg

System was fine, no leakage, none whatsoever!

So we started the engine, switched on the AC. Essentially, on any AC system you should be able to cool down the air to 0oC! Make sure you use a setting of your controls that doesnít mix external air. Make sure you only use one or two vents and put the fan on high. Here you see Richardís infra red thermometer taking a reading on one of the air outlets of my Spider. It was cold!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1481.jpg

Job done, so Richard puts a little sticker on:

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There are many stories floating around on how often you need to refill your AC system. Best to just measure. These modern machines extract the completed filling and weigh it. So you know exactly how much was in the system. So i will go back to Richard in two years time and redo this procure. That will establish for my car/system the leakage and it will give me some handle on how often I really ought to do get a refill.

A couple of thought/comments on the need for checking/refilling. Every AC system does leak a bit. Itís technically impossible to make it 100% leak proof. What you need to bear in mind is this:

Whilst your AC might still work ok, if it does so at half the filling, it also means it is working at much higher temperatures and pressures. That is what will damage or at least will cause more wear and tear.

Old AC systems such as fitted on my Spider are pretty robust, modern system are far more delicate. Very precise fittings. So, it will leak less, but when it does it is more likely to cause more wear and tear.!

These days, just refilling a system the old way is not good enough. You need one of these machines that completely flushes the system and check for leaks.

Enjoy

Jeroen
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Old 12th April 2017, 23:58   #40
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Ah, the joys of DIY-ing your cars. During one of the earlier jobs I did I noticed another little job on my Jaguar. The coolant pump of the super charger is mounted on a bracket. That bracket is attached to the inner right wing. Itís only held in place by two bolts and some grommets. I had noticed that the grommets had deteriorated quite badly. So I decided to order some new ones. Easy peasy. Looked them up on one of my Jaguar parts catalogues, called around a few places and it was actually the Jaguar dealer who had them in stock. My catalogue showed part number CBC8262 and so did the Jaguar Dealer computer. So I picked some up at the not so small sum of Euro 10 a piece (INR 700). When I saw I became doubtful, because they looked to big. Took them never the less.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122935.jpg

So this morning I had a go at this little job. This bracket sits just over the air intake filter housing. Here you can see it. You can see itís not in particular good shape. To get at it, I decided to remove the air filter housing.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122933.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122925.jpg

On this engine, itís actually easier to remove the air filter intake housing and the whole of the air intake tubing, right up to the throttle body. Just a few bolts undone and the plug for the Mass Air Sensor. It does mean leaving the throttle body open. Just as a pre-caution, I stuff a rag into it. Donít want anything falling on it.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122927.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122928.jpg

When I took the air filter house off, I had another, unwelcome surprise. The mount was completely split! The air filter house is held in place by this mount which is bolted to the housing and to the chassis. Next there are two pins on the underneath that slot into grommets pressed into a mounting plate on the inner wing. These last two were fine. It was just this one mount that had also cracked.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122930.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122931.jpg

I managed to get at the bracket and remove the grommets for the coolant pump bracket. And sure enough, my new ones were a completely different size! This is one thing I have learned. When working on your car, it is useful have another car, engine running, stand by. Just to rush of to the dealer, car parts shop or whatever it is you find you need and not have! It happens a lot to me.

Before I went back to the dealer I did some more digging in my Jaguar documentation. Only to find that the original grommet I needed had been replaced. Jaguar must have made a mistake. The new parts simply doesnít fit. I looked at various diagrams and wrote down some part numbers of grommets that looked similar to the one I needed.

At the dealer, the parts guys was happy to help me out. He managed to find, based on my numbers a grommet that looked identical to my old ones. One problem sorted. However, the mount for the air filter house was another problem. Well problem, the original Jaguar part would cost me Euro 75 (INR 5200). For one lousy rubber mount? Now, I do like to keep my cars original, but this is ridiculous. Luckily the parts guy had an alternative. He came up with a Landrover part at only Euro 10 (INR 700). It looked a bit different, but I thought it would probably fit.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122937.jpg

So back home, I had another good look at everything; Here you see the pn C2C16681 which fitted perfectly. You also see the metal spacer, more about that in a minute. And the new mount for the intake filter house

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4122936.jpg

So all good to go. By now I was in a bit of a rush. I had thought this job would take 60, maybe 90 minutes. But I had been at it for more than three hours, including the visit to the Jaguar Parts department. I had an appointment, the Jaguar was parked in an inconvenient way in front of my drive. Couldnít be started without the air intake filter in place so I can plug in the electronics.

But, I had all the right parts so it should be plain sailing. Which it was up to the point I somehow managed to misplace one of the spacers! I think it must have fallen into the engine compartment. I checked with lights, a mirror, magnets. Drove the car back and forth hoping to shake it out. All to no avail. Well, at least the car is drivable. The new spacer needs to come all the way from the UK. Luckily the price is very reasonable, only 3 Euro (INR 300). It should arrive in the next 2-3 days or so. At which point I will need to remove the air filter house and associated inlet again!

I like to think of myself as working very meticulously. But because I was hurried I did not follow my normal routines. I did not use my magnetic part trays. I just put the parts I was going to install inside the engine compartment where I thought they were safe. So much for that.

Although in essence a very simple job, often the problem is getting to a particular part. These sort of cars are extremely tightly packed underneath the bonnet. Difficult to get at most things. So you need to be inventive and agile, a lot!

It does help to prepare, look at drawings, check the internet. Amazingly, the Jaguar parts guy told me he had those grommets in stock for the last ten years. So we can safely say that in the ďThe HagueĒ area Iím the first one to replace these grommets in ten years time!

Jeroen
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Old 27th April 2017, 21:35   #41
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

So I got the spacer a few days ago. Today was Koningsdag in the Netherlands. Anniversary of our King. Official holiday, lots of stuff to see and do in town, but I had a few jobs to do on my cars.

So, off came all the bits again. Very easy and very quickly. However, when I was nearly finished one of the clamps on the air filter house broke! This happened to me over the years on various cars multiple times. As these car age, especially the various plastic bits get a little bit more brittle. These clamps really keep the two halves of the filter housing very tight. So quite a bit of force.

These days you can buy glue for just about any material. Working on some plastics might still be a problem. So I tried a few of my current two-components and it all seems ok.

The alternative is to plastic-solder. But there also I have had various results. Itís fine when there is not to much force or pressure on. But of course, it tends to be parts that are under stress that give.

These two components glues are pretty good and easy to use. You do need to mix the two components quite well. If not, it might not cure/set properly. Just clamp it for 15-20 minutes and leave for about an hour and Bobís your uncle. Job well done. That is, until it breaks again!!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1484.jpg

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Old 28th April 2017, 00:54   #42
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Few more jobs on this Koningsdag. This time on the Spider. We just got back from a four day, 1600 km, drive across North France. Friends from us from the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register bought a French Bed & Breakfast two years ago. Last year, spanner mate Peter and me visited them for a day.

A few months ago Peter was celebrating his 60th birthday with a big party. Lots of people. And we bumped into some of our old friends from the Spider Register as well. With some friends you just pick up the thread as if you havent seen one another for 7-8 years. We decided there and then to organise a Spider drive to our friends B&B. So last week Friday 5 Spiders set off for France. We had a great time. Lots of good food, drinks, lots of Brocante, quite a bit of country driving.

Very few problems with all the Spiders. One of them developed a fuel problem. But that was even before we all reached the common departure point, so a bit of a wait, until Niek, its owner, managed to swap petrol pumps.

The only problem on the last day was the heater in my Spider. For some reason it stopped working completely. I moved the little lever up and down to no avail. So we drove home, my wife complaining bitterly as it was very cold and we drive always top down, of course.

Anyway, today I decided I would have a look at it. Try to figure out what is wrong. Itís a fairly simple and straight forward design. The cabin heating is picked up from the main cooling circuit, irrespective of the engine cooling liquid thermostat. So, it should warm up very quickly. All it has is one valve, called the heater tap, that is controlled through a little lever on the middle console of the Spider. There is also a second lever that directs the air across the heater and the various ducts.

No matter what I did, any amount of fiddling with the two levers, would not get us any heat.

First thing is to check the system is properly de-aired. There is only one de-airscrew on top of the engine:

Started the engine, undid this screw and sure enough cooling liquid spilled out. So there is definitely cooling liquid in the heating circuit.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272940.jpg

So, the next suspect was the heating valve, the tap. As I said controlled with a simple lever on the middle column:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272941.jpg

To get at it, I had to dig deep. First the knee boards on the driver seat had to go:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272942.jpg

Next on the passenger seat and also the panels on the middle column:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272948.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272949.jpg

This is shot from the driverís footwell towards the right. So you see here the bottom of the lever control. Itís a pretty crowded space with lots of wiring>

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272946.jpg

I have various Spider workshop manuals, but I could not find a good drawing of how and where this tap actually was located or how to get at it. After a few hours I remembered I also have a CD with all Spider Manuals and technical documentation. Forgotten about that. So luckily I found a few more diagrams. Took a few more bits and pieces out and at least with my head stuck in the driverís footwell I could actually see the tap!!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_0063.jpg

I had my wife move the lever up and down whilst I was in this postion. Actually, everything was moving freely and I could not see anything amiss!

So, I put everything back together. Took a test drive and the heater was working fine. I tried the lever in various position about a dozen times and every single time it worked as it should! So that looks like itís fixed, although I donít know how or why!!

Whilst doing the heater I also had a look at the window washer reservoir. As soon as I filled it with more than about 3 cm of fluid it started leaking. This reservoir sits firmly clamped into a sort of V-shaped bracket:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272950.jpg

I think after 31 years of use it just has worn down the plastic of the reservoir in various places. So, out comes the two component glue again!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272943.jpg

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Happy to report the reservoir doesnít leak anymore. In all honesty, I donít think this will last very long. I will have to get a replacement reservoir at some point in time. So far, Iím lucky as it still held a few centimeters of fluid. If the window washer spray doesnít work it will fail itís MOT!

Jeroen
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My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p4272951.jpg  

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Old 22nd May 2017, 01:27   #43
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Today we had another go at my eldest son Luc’s Golf GTI mk IV. After much deliberation and checking various things we have come to the conclusion that the timing belt was replaced not too long ago. So, no need for us to do it again so soon. But during it’s service we did earlier (see this thread) we did notice that the sparks plugs holes where full of oil. A sure sign that the gasket is gone.

So today we tackled the job of replacing it. That means removing the cam cover.

So here goes:

As usual, first do a bit of research about the job you are about to undertake and the parts you need. Always try and get the official workshop manual. Or get one of these; Haynes:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213163.jpg

I have always found these extremely useful. This is the UK version, so it’s right hand drive, but that’s not a big thing/

It comes with step by step instructions, pictures and diagrams on what to do:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213162.jpg

I have found that you really want to follow the test literally. Don’t try short cuts, unless you have done the whole procedure at least once. Follow it to the letter, if possible.

A bit of research showed we needed two gaskets, sold as one kit. Four new spark plugs and some liquid seal. Various youtube video will show the whole procedure but not mention the liquid seal. It’s pretty important, You only need to apply four little dollops, but if you don’t you might find yourself with oil leaking out.

Here’s the parts:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213156.jpg

This is how the engine bay looks before we started:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213164.jpg

Luc undoing various bits and pieces. It’s all pretty straightforward:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213165.jpg

As a rule, as soon as I start working on an engine, I disconnect the battery. Just in case. Cant hurt.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213166.jpg

Make sure you collect and keep track of all the parts, bolts and nuts you take off:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213167.jpg

In essence it comes down to the following:
- take the plastic cover off the engine
- undo the wiring connectors of the coils.
- take out the coils
- undo the cam cover vent
- undo the earth wire
- undo the cam cover nuts and take it off.

These covers have one big sort of rectangular gasket and one gasket that covers the four holes for the spark plugs. Important to clean everything very thoroughly!

You might find this laughable, but even the rags you use to clean are relevant. You don’t want them to leave bits and pieces everywhere, or to come apart when they get soaked with oil/ or whatever liquid. So I always keep a few of these handy:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213168.jpg

This is what the engine looks when the cam cover is off:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213171.jpg

We did all of the cleaning first and then took out the old sparks plugs. These plugs sit in deep recessed holes. So you have to fish them out with a plier if (like mine) your spark plug socket lacks a retainer washer. Must have lost that somehow.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213172.jpg

Again, paramount to clean the seating surfaces of the plugs on the cilinder head as good as possible. There was still quite a bit of oil left around the plugs when we removed them. Could not get at it. Which meant the oil ran into the cillinder. Not a big thing. Even so, I decided to crank the engines for a few seconds to try and throw as much oil out of the cilinders with all four spark plugs removed.

We put NGK platinum plugs in. They are hugely expensive. But they will last forever (at least 60K) and you never ever have to gap them. Also, these are the official approved plugs for this engine. So if you have any problems with the engine you at least know its not the plugs!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213157.jpg

After having cleaned everything and cleaned it some more, we put everything back on again. When tightening the cam cover start from the middle and work you way out. That way any warping of the gasket will move outwards.

I used my new tool to inspect the gasket in a few places we could not see otherwise. See also https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...ml#post4202441

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213177.jpg

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p5213178.jpg

Once everything is put back together, the Golf started first time. Quite a bit of smoke from the exhaust, which suggested there was still some oil left on the pistons. Other than that it ran fine. Luc and his fiancee are off to a long drive in Scotland in two weeks time. So they are good to go!.

This whole job looks us some two hours, including cleaning and putting away our tools. About half the time was spend on cleaning the cilinder head and the cam cover to make sure we put the new gaskets on spotless surfaces!

Enjoy

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 22nd May 2017 at 01:37.
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Old 27th June 2017, 20:10   #44
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

So after some time, again a little DIY job. We have been travelling and also we have bought a new house. The new house has a big garage, 10x8m. So I have been busy looking at floor coatings, work benches, compressors, welding equipment etc. We wonít move in till the end of the year, but my days working on my cars in front of my house are nearly done. Stay tuned for more.

Anyway the Jaguar was due for its APK and annual service. The APK is the Dutch equivalent of the British MOT. Itís a general periodic test. Itís mandatory, but the frequency depends on how old the car is.

Itís a bit complicated but for most regular cars it works out as follows: New cars, after four years, then twice each two years and then every year. For car older then thirty years, every other year. For cars over forty no testing required. (I think or somebody has just proposed that)

When we lived in the USA some State had periodic testing as well. In Missouri and Kansas it amounted to almost nothing. I found it useful. The Dutch APK is a serious inspection. Itís outcome is registered in the various databases. Police can check online if you have a valid APK. If not there is a heavy fine. Also, most insurance policies require you to have a valid APK. Some cop cars and traffic camera have automatic registration plate recognition and they run your car details through the computer. No APK means an automatic fine.

So everybody takes this pretty serious. Most garages will offer the APK free of charge when they do your annual service. I do my own servicing, but my pal Rolf is happy to do the APK only for a nominal charge.

Itís mostly safety and environmental checks. So they will check brake action on a brake test bench, measure exhaust emissions, check the working of all lights, doors, check for play on the suspension, steering and verify the VIN against the registration papers. Takes about 45 minutes.

Here you see my Jaguar on the lift at Rolfís

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1678.jpg

Here, one of his mechanics is checking for play on the front wheel

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-img_1680.jpg

In all, a very easy PASS, good for another year. I always enjoy visiting Rolfís shop. He is very knowledgeable, very pleasant and is always helpful if I have any question about some of the jobs Iím attempting myself.

You will notice of these and other pictures that in the Netherlands you are allowed to wonder around the workshop by yourself. Nobody minds, some actually encourage you to stay with your car when itís worked on. Free coffee in the waiting room. And a huge stack of car magazines and books.

The annual service of the Jaguar is pretty straightforward. As I tend to do various jobs along the year, this time it only meant an oil and filter change.

I ordered online 10L of Castrol Edge 05W30. Itís quite cheap, they deliver within 24 hours and itís in compliance with the Jaguar specifications. Iím a little bit more fussy with the oil filter. I have said it many times on this forum. Everybody talks endlessly about oils, but oil filters tend to be overlooked. People will happily pay huge amounts for supposedly better oil and then buy the cheapest oil filter. I do it the other way around. So I actually popped over to my local Jaguar dealer for the oil filter.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273273.jpg

First thing for an oil change is to ensure the engine and thus oil, is warmed up properly. Unless itís artic cold, that means a drive of 15-20 minutes.

I back up my car onto my drive, leaving the front hanging over the pavement so I have a bit of room to stick my oil drain pan under the chassis and sump. Open the plug and voila. Oil will come spurting out. Careful, it will be hot, approx 80oC.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273274.jpg

Once the oil is drained, the oil filter has to come off. Make sure you have a good oil filter wrench handy. Oil filters are only hand tightened, but even so, 99 out of a 100 times you need a wrench to undo them.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273276.jpg

Let the old filter drain as well. All the old oil will be disposed of properly and environmental friendly. My council has a special depot where you can off load all this sort of stuff.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273277.jpg

With the filter off and the oil drained, put the oil plug back in. On most engines the oil plug comes with a copper ring. Make sure to renew the copper ring. On the Jaguar itís actually a rubber ring and it can be used again.

This is what the oil filter adaptor looks like at the bottom of the engine:

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273279.jpg

On the Jaguar the oil filter is mounted horizontally. Which means you canít fill it completely when mounting the filter. Make sure to spread a bit of oil across the gasket. Hand tighten only!

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273280.jpg

With the oil plug and filter back in position just fill up again. According to the manual the total oil capacity is 7.5L. I drained just about 7L plus whatever was left in the old filter (+/- 0,3L). So that is not bad actually.

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-p6273281.jpg

I have various funnels to pour the new oil back into the engine. Just a tip, my funnels only get used a few times a year. So most of the time they are just lying there on the shelve, collecting dust. If your funnels are like mine, clean it thoroughly before using it! Otherwise all that dust ends up in your engine.

Check the amount of oil carefully with the dipstick and fill it to the max, but make sure not to overfill it. That can cause problems.

Then start the engine and make sure the engine pressure light goes out! Remember, on this configuration I could not fill the filter completely, even so within less then two seconds the oil pressure light went off.

Check for leaks, clean up the tools! Another job done!.

Jeroen
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Old 29th July 2017, 21:24   #45
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Default Re: My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Sp

Ha, just arrived, ordered from Amazone only a few days ago:

The essential Buyerís Guide
Haynes Mini Service and Repair manual
Wayne Mini Restoration Manual

My Car Hobby: A lot of fiddling, and some driving too! Jaguar XJR, Mercedes W123 & Alfa Romeo Spider-mini.jpg

My wife and me have just bought a new house. Out in a rural area of the Netherlands, next to a nice little river, a so called Dijkhuis. This is a very typical Dutch house that is built into the dike. (Well, only the front). Very nice house, lots of room for our hobbies, gorgeous area, big garden. Most importantly a 80 m2 garage, with a loft as well. My wife has commandeered the loft for her Barbie doll collection but everything else is mine!!!

So i have started putting the various jobs that need doing on my cars off, until such moment I can do them in my new garage!

So I have been looking at various garage floor coatings, tools, workbenches, compressors, welding equipment etc. We will get the keys to our new home by October and hope to move into our new home before December so we celebrate this coming Christmas in our new home, have all the kids, family and friends stay with us. We have plenty of room for all to stay over.

The garage will accommodate our fleet of current cars easily. I have always been eager to do a full restoration. I have taken all of my cars apart down the last nut more or less, but that is still differerent from a real ground up restoration.

So I have been looking into what would be a good first restoration project. I donít want it to be too challenging or taking too long, or too expensive. I always liked the original Mini and I have owned one many years ago. The later series are dead cheap, parts availability is probably better then just about any other car with the exception of possibly the MGB. Lots of information on these cars with clubs, magazine, youtube etc.

Itís also quite a small car. Just about anything you can do by yourself. (I can lift the engine by myself). I havent decided yet, but I am buying some books to dig in further. If you ever consider buying a classic car, any classic I suggest you get the respective ďThe essential Buyerís GuideĒ. These are small, inexpensive, books, written by some of the best marque experts. I have a whole bunch of them. Extremely useful. They will talk you through all the various models and various pitfalls and what to look for. Very useful.

So in a few months first order is to get my garage fitted out with some workbenches and some additional tooling. Oh, and the special floor coating before anything goes in. Iím very exited to finally get my own man cave! Watch this space!

Jeroen
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