Thursday, 30 December 2010

Refitted steering rack, brake discs and wheels

The car's now back on the deck, a big step forward. I've refitted the steering rack and the brake discs, so was able to fit the 16" Jaguarsport XJR wheels and drop the car down as a trial to see how the 4.0S sits on the shorter springs. As can be seen in the picture, the cars sitting a little high at the moment, I expect it to be lower once the new springs have had time to settle, and once the interior and various engine gubbins are back in and adding more weight. I had a bounce on the front wings, the springs feel compliant like the standard items though it'll be stiffer when the new roll bar is fitted and the wishbones are properly torqued up. I'll wait untill all the extra weight is back in and the suspension is in its proper position before tightening all the bolts to there specified torque.

I've refitted the refurbed lamp assemblies as can be seen. I've now finished painting the anti-roll bar and mount brackets so they're ready to go on. I'll roll it out of the car port over the weekend so that I can give it a good clean and make a start on sorting some of the interior jobs such as the headlining. I'll have to put the car back on my smaller axle stands to get some of the remaining underside jobs finished

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Upper balljoint fitment

I tried refitting the near side upper ball joint, it proved to be quite sloppy, the nut got stuck with both the nut and the threaded shaft just turning. I stopped the turning by using a clamp and tried to get it tightened but managed to get it stuck on tighter. I ended up just cutting it off and replacing it with a new one, which I've now fitted. It was a bit of a set back and cost a bit of time and money, so pleased to get it sorted.

Fitting an X300 XJR anti-roll bar

I've now received the anti-roll bar that I'm going to fit, this has been removed from an X300 XJR. It's of a larger diameter than the sportpack one that I've already removed, it should tighen up the handling and complement the other suspension modifications I've made.

The roll bar cost me £20 including postage from an ebay seller so was something of a bargain and represents a cheap upgrade. I've also bought the necessary OEM 'D' mount bushes to be used with this roll bar (about £8 each) and new drop links (about £12 each) as shown in the top picture. This was me trial fitting the bushes onto the roll bar as it came to ensure it
would fit to the car.

The roll bar had flakey paint, surface rust and dirt so I gave it a going over with the wire brush in preparation for give it a lick of rust preventing black paint. I'm giving the 'D' bush brackets the same treatment.

Refitment of the anti-roll bar is straight forward, each 'D' bush bracket fixes to the the subframe with two bolts, the ends of the roll bar bolt to the drop links, which in turn bolt to the lower wishbone assemblies.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Under radiator support panel fitment

I fitted the new under radiator support panel to the car last night. The original was completely rusted through so I had previously pulled it off having bought a solid used one to replace it with (as detailed in earlier posts).

On the post '93 XJ40's like mine there are four bushes that mount the radiator between an upper and lower support panel, two at the top, two at the bottom. The original spongy type bushes that mounted the radiator in my car were completely shot, the lower ones had more or less disappeared! The upper ones had become very crumbly and perrished as can be seen in the top picture, this left the radiator to flap around on the supports, obviously not a good situation. I ordered four new bushes, these are made from a much tougher rubber (also pictured).

The new painted under radiator panel was jacked up into place and refitted with new bolts. The condition of the radiator it's self is good so I've not replaced it, it's fared much better than the panel that supported it.

Now the new support panel is fitted I can get on with refitting the other front end parts. I've had a go at offering up the Jaguarsport front splitter to the front end to judge how it'll fit. The post '93 cars like mine have a redesigned front end whereby they employ a tubular crash bar across the radiator (see the lower picture), the ealier cars use the Jaguarsport front splitter don't have this. Therefore I'll have to modify the splitter by cutting two sections away to accomodate the crash bar, it also needs paint and the new fog lights fitting.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Front suspension spring refitment

I'm making some good progress this weekend, I've finally fitted the new front springs. As when removing the old springs, I used the borrowed home brew spring compressor tool. This fits up through the spring pan and spring, and locks into the subframe allowing the whole lot to be compressed.

I was feeling pleased that the suspension rebuild was nearing completion when I had a set back when refitting the second spring on the nearside. I bought a new spring pan bolt as one rounded off on me when I was removing them. This new bolt was somewhat stiffer going in and was pretty much in when it sheared off. This bolt cost over £4 so wasn't cheap, but was presumably a pattern part and not a genuine Jaguar one. It seemed shear off very easily, I'm not impressed at all. I'm now faced with either drilling out the shaft of the bolt, retapping and fitting a new bolt, or replacing the arm of the wishbone.

As well as the spring pan bolt problem I also had trouble getting the nearside upper wishbone ball joint back on, the nut got jammed on halfway up the thread. I'll buy a new ball joint and nut.

In other news, I've not refitted the anti-roll bar yet as I've bought a large diameter one from an X300 XJR, just waiting for it to turn up.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Front suspension rebuild continued

I've received a few new parts I ordered including a new lower wishbone fulcrum shaft. The nearside shaft was tough to remove when I was disassembling the suspension previously, as one of the lower wishbones was seized on. I managed to hammer it out in the end. This ripped the seized on centre sleeve and some of the rubber out of the bush, I also managed to wreck the thread somewhat. I've fitted the nearside lower wishbone and new shaft though I've noticed that the thread seems to be a larger size so the nut I have from the old shaft doesn't fit, I'll have to buy one that does!

I had another bush sleeve seized onto to a bolt, this time one from an anti-roll bar drop-link, which
I'd been meaning to tackle. I managed to cut it off with the angle grinder. The picture shows the refitted wishbones and damper on the offside, I've now refitted the spring and spring pan this side, more to follow soon...

Just to update this post, my new fulcrum shaft should have been supplied with a new nyloc nut but wasn't, the parts supplier has now sent this free of charge. As I say, the new shaft and nut have a different thread to the original parts so you need both!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Front lower wishbone refitment

With the subframe back in place I can now start refitting the lower wishbones and hubs.

I had already fitted the new bushes to these wishbone using Powerflex polyurethane items. These bushes consist of three parts; two halfs of the urethane that fit into the wishbone arm from either side, and the steel sleeve that fits through the centre. This type of assembly differs from the Polybush polyurethane bushes that I used for the upper wishbones where the urethane is moulded onto the sleeve forming a single piece that presses through. Another observation is that the urethane of the Powerflex bushes is significantly harder than
that of the Polyurethane which is softer and more rubbery.

When previously fitting the bushes I noticed that the sleeve through the lower wishbone rear bush seemed somewhat short for the urethane material that it fits through. Under closer recent inspection this seemed to definately be the case, the sleeve was around 1.5mm short which left me with a problem! I contacted the manufacturer about the issue asking for advice and they were very helpful. They made me some new sleeves free of charge that were 1.5mm longer than the standard item and sent them to me in the post so I received them the next day. The top picture shows a standard sleeve on the left and a newly fabricated one on the right. Needless to say I was very satisfied with this outcome and have now started to refit the lower wishbones with the reinstalled bushes.

I need to buy and a few new nuts and bolts to complete the reassembly of both sides, hopefully these parts will arrive by next weekend.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Front subframe refitment part 2

I've now finally got the front subframe refitted!

I had fitted the bolts through the mount bushes so that I could pivot the subframe up and attempt to fit the vee-mounts, as I mentioned in my previous post. I had read that this was the way to do this job, but I found the subframe sat about 10mm too far forward for the vee-mounts to fit to the body. I couldn't find an easy way of levering the subframe back to compress the mount bushes and align and thus fit the vee mounts.

After a bit of thought and asking for some forum advice I decided to approach the task differently. Instead of fitting either both mount bush bolts or both vee-mounts first, I did one side at a time. I raised one side into position with the trolly jack and half fitted the pegs on the vee-mount into the body. I then used a crow bar between the body and the mount bush to press it down and forward, compressing the vee-mount somewhat. With a hammer in the other hand I was then able to drive the bush bolt in, then jack up the vee-mount fully into it's correct position.

The rubber in both the mount bush and vee-mount is compressed a bit to get the subframe in place, I guess this is to ensure that it's nice and tight with no play. The X308 mount bushes I used from the later XJ are a little stiffer than the XJ40 ones so that probably contributed to the difficulty of the task.

Having the subframe refitted is a decent step forward in my front suspension restoration, I'm looking forward to getting the other parts refitted soon. As can be seen in the picture, I've got the upper wishbones on.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Front subframe refitment

It's been a bit slow going as usual but I've made a start at refitting the re- assembled front subframe. The round rear bushes at the rear of the subframe must first be attached to the body with the large nut and bolts, with the tools I have it's a bit of a two-man job really, I found it quite tricky but managed after a bit of a struggle.

Once the bolts are in place the subframe can then pivot and be raised up into place as seen in the lower picture. The two threaded pins on the top of the vee mounts fit into the body and are held in place with bolts that enter from the engine bay side. Before I get the subframe fully repositioned I will refit the rebushed upper wishbones and
possibly the lower wishbones too as they will be difficult or impossible to refit once the subframe is fixed in it's correct position.

When raising the subframe I found that it wants to sit too far forward, the threaded pins protruding from the vee mounts misalign with the holes in the body. When refitting the subframe I'll have to lever it backwards to allow the pins to align with the holes, the rubber in the round bushes ar the rear will compress and give somewhat under this pressure.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Front subframe rebuild

I've put the front subframe back together so it's nearly ready to refit to the car. The engine mounts and vee mounts fix on with 13mm bolts, I applied copper grease to these as an anti-seize measure. Hopefully I won't have to remove these bolts again anytime soon!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Fitting lower wishbone bushes

I've now got the Powerflex lower wishbone and lower damper bushes fitted. These poly-
urethane bushes come in two halfs with a steel inner sleeve that must be press into the centre. As with the upper wishbone bushes, a bit of washing up liquid helped everything slip into place. The two halfs of the bushes fitted into place easily by hand, the center sleeves pressed into place with a G-clamp.

I've finished painting the suspension components, subframe and under the wheel arches. The POR-15 paint goes on in two stages, with an undercoat that can be applied directly onto rust it
need be, and a thicker topcoat that provides the tough finish. I plan to underseal the whole underside of the car but initial, I've painted under the front wheel arches around the areas where the suspension components fix to the body, essentially the points where the subframe fixes plus where the tops of the dampers fit into the inner wings. These areas would be much harder to apply paint to with the suspension refitted. Before applying the paint I bushed off any dirt and loose rust present and cleaned the area with water.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Fitting new upper wishbone bushes

I removed the last of the bushes, the lower damper bushes from the lower wishbones (see left). One was drilled out as before, the other had the rubber and centre sleeve ripped out when I removed the damper so the outer sleeve had to be cut through with a hacksaw. I'm now finally putting the car back together which is a good feeling, it's the rewarding part of the project.

Once all the bushes had been removed and several coats of the POR-15 rust preventative paint had been applied to the wishbones I could start fitting the new polyurethane bushes. I started with the upper wishbone bushes which are single piece Polybush parts. To help the bushes slip into their new homes I used some washing up liquid, this is greasy but washes away easily to allow the bushes to grip as they should. To press them into the wishbones I uesd a bench vice, this ensures they go in nice and straight. I used a 30mm socket to to cup over the back of the bushes and press against the surrounding metal of the wishbone. The picture shows an upper wishbone with the new bushes fitted.

Monday, 6 September 2010

XJ40 Literature

I've been on holiday for a week, got back at the weekend so not much progress to report. I'm back on the go now getting this front suspension back together.

I thought I'd do a quick post about some of the books avaliable on the XJ40, the picture shows the ones I have. The yellow "XJ40 Engineering" book is great I think, it covers all those big jobs like suspension rebuilds, head gasket replacements, etc. I've read that more than any of the others. All the pictures are clear and in colour which is very helpful. The yellow "Buying and Maintainance" book covers common mechanical and electrical problems plus body repairs and replacing trim and
the like. The car featured is an early 2.9. I find the blue Haynes book is handy for some jobs but it only covers the earlier pre '93 cars (mines a '94) which while fundermentally the same do differ in places, and it isn't in colour. The black XJ40 book and the Project XJ40 book are interesting reading, not essential though.

Last month I had my car featured in the "Readers Yard" reader car section in Practical Performance Car, I've been a regular reader of the magazine for years so it was nice to see my own car in the pages. It would be great to get a full feature once the car is finished, maybe in PPC or Retro Cars, or perhaps a Jaguar club publication.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Air conditioning removal

I'm deleting all the air conditioning equipment from the car, maybe fans of originality will want to look away now. It's never worked and I'm not interested in spending the money on recomissioning and maintaining the system so it's coming out, I'll only miss it on the three days of the year when it's hot enough to warrant using it. I'll lose a few kg's of weight which is always good plus I'm interested in reducing complexity in the car where I can.

The picture shows the compressor and condenser, these were easy to remove with many other front end parts already off the car for the other jobs I'm doing.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Under radiator panel removal

I'm replacing the under radiator panel as essentially it's now just a big piece of rust and very weak. These panels can suffer very badly on the XJ40 and mine has been no exception. I've already bought a decent replacement panel as detailed in a previous post, this came from a younger X300 that shares the same part with the post '93 forty, and was painted up in black Hammerite.

The four fixings for the panel were very rusted too. For some reason they don't have proper hex bolt heads but the small star shape screw heads. All but one screw rounded off on me, I managed to get the front two out but the others have so far refused to play ball. The actual panel came away easily as it was serverely weakened by rust, I basically just chopped it off with 24" bolt cutters.

Friday, 20 August 2010

New lowering suspension springs

Some good news, my new suspension springs turned up today, over a month after having ordered them. They're obviously not a popular product as they aren't kept as stock, they were made to order.

They are 25% uprated and lower an XJ40 by 35mm. I've had a quick look over them and am satisfied with the quality, the ends are tapered nicely so they should seat well in the spring pan. They are finished in black so should look like factory items.

Having got them back home I compared the height of the two front springs to the ones that I had already removed. As can be seen in the lower
picture, the new ones are significantly shorter, by around 2.5" or 65mm in fact. This should translate to a drop of around 20mm (the 'S' springs are 15mm shorter than standard XJ40 items).

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Lower wishbone bush removal

Progress has been a little slow lately due to other projects and activities but I managed to get a bit of work done this weekend. I've removed all the front wishbone bushes now, I finished getting the lower ones out today. I used the same method of drilling these out apart from one which had the rubber and centre sleeve ripped out, I had to hack saw through this one. I've also done a bit more painting with the POR-15 underseal.

I'm waiting on the AVO lowering springs I've got on order now, they were supposed to take three weeks to be manufactured and delivered but I've now been waiting over four weeks for them. Once I receive them and the painting is finished I'll be able to start putting the front suspension back together!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Jaguar "SPorT" badge

I've bought a couple of reproduction Jaguarsport style “SPorT” badges, I got them from ebay (as usual). These badges were fitted into the Jaguarsport XJR grills and onto the rear of some cars fitted with a boot infill panel. There weren't many cars produced with these badges when new and Jaguar no longer manufacture them, so these badges are now very hard to find, especially in any sort of reasonable condition. The badges I've bought are reproduction items that look suitably similar, I plan to fit into the boot infill panel. As my car will have the Jaguarsport series 2 XJR enhancements then the Jaguarsport style “SPorT” is appropriate. As my car is also a 4.0S ('S' for Sport obviously) then this badging scheme also fits in with the naming there too. I didn't want to badge the car as an XJR as although it'll be of equivalent spec. it doesn't have that name on the V5 and just seems a bit naff and wrong, a bit like BMW drivers putting M3 badges on there 316i!

I've also now removed two of the lower wishbone bushes, one of these had to be cut through with a hacksaw as the rubber and centre steel sleeve had been ripped out when hammering out the pivot, hence there was nothing I could drill into. I've just the two larger bushes to do now, I need to get a couple of larger drill bits as the largest in my set, 10mm, wasn't large enough to break through the outer steel sleeve, a 10.5mm and 11mm should hopefully do the job. I've been splashing some more paint on too.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Upper wishbone bush removal

I've been removing the upper wishbone bushes this weekend, I've got them all out now (see left). These bushes have a steel casing which is an interference fit in the wishbone, this must be broken through if you want to stand a chance of getting the bush out without a large press. There are different methods to acheive this but I chose to drill them, using progressively larger drills between the inner and outer steel sleeves until the outer is broken. I used drill sizes from 5mm to 7.5mm. Once they are weakened it's a case of smashing them out with a hammer.

I've made a start on the lower wishbone bushes now using the same method, but I'll need to buy a couple of larger diameter drill bits (larger than 10mm) to finish them off.

Chassis painting

I started painting the chassis components yesterday. I'm not aiming for a concourse finish, I'm just trying to get it slopped on and done so I can start getting the car back together. The POR-15 paint goes on in two stages, firstly an undercoat that can be applied directly to rust, then a top coat to finish things off.

The most important part to get paint on was the subframe, these can rot through well especially on early cars and are expensive to replace. They are are filled with foam which will absorb water and rot the subframe out from within if water gets through. Even some MOT'ed XJ40's are driving around with
a badly corroded subframe, this is a very important structual area of the car to preserve.

I want to get everything well protected as needless to say rebuilding the front suspension isn't a job I want to be doing again in a hurry!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Front damper polyurethane bushes

I've now tidyed up the front dampers and put the new urethane top bushes on, so they're ready to refit to the car when the time comes. I plan to replace the dampers with new ones at some point but will refit the old ones initially. The lower damper bush fits into the lower wishbone.

As is typical on an XJ40, the old top bushes were in a bad way (see above). Although mine look to be in quite a bad many older, higher mileage forties have even worse bushes than this. They are made of a foam like sponge substance which gets very compressed and powdery with age as can be seen. They can be the source of many a front end suspension knock.

The new bushes were made by "Jagbush", a seller
I found on ebay who since seems to have disappered which is a shame. Before fitted them I gave everything the ol' wire brush treatment and then a blow over with some blue Hammerite. I'm painting everything to protect against future corrosion, I'm pretty much just lashing it on and getting it done as it's all unseen chassis components underneath the car anyhow.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Exhaust refurbishment

I've cleaned up and painted the exhaust manifolds and downpipe in some grey high temperature paint to stave off corrosion and make them look cool. The paint doesn't fully cure until the exhaust gets up to temperature on the car. The downpipe is the non-cat item from the XJR, I have a new Bosch lambda sensor to fit.

Front subframe bush fitment

I got the two round bushes at the rear of the front subframe fitted today, I received these in the post in the week. I took the subframe and bushes down to a local garage who pressed the old ones out and the new ones in, it cost £20 to get done. As they are relatively large and an interference fit I don't have the tools to fit them myself. As can be seen in the picture, the center hole of the bushes are offset so care had to be taken to ensure the new items were correctly aligned.

The design of this X308 bush differs from the standard XJ40 item, it has more rubber around the chunky center bolt hole to cope with more power. I'm planning on upping power down the line so I'm uprating the chassis to handle it.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Front subframe refurbishment

I was getting the subframe sorted last week. I've now removed the four wishbones plus the vee mounts. The vee mounts came off easily, each one is fixed to the subframe with four 13mm bolts. The upper wishbones were easy to remove too, but the lower wishbones put up a bit of resistance. The pivot bolts that fix them to the subframe had to be hammered out, one was particularly stubborn in coming out though, one of the bush centre sleeves had seized onto it. Hammering this bolt out ripped the center out of the bush with it, so I'll have to remove this, or I may just get another bolt.

Once these parts were removed I gave the subframe a good clean, it needed it, it was caked in 16 years worth of oil and road grime. I then gave it a good going over with the wire brush to get rid of any flakey paint or rust. The great news is that the subframe has faired very well, there's just a few areas of surface rust, no holes or damage. It just needs another clean with some alcohol then it's ready for the POR-15 paint.

I do still need to replace the two round mounting bushes at the rear of the subframe, I plan to get an engineering shop to press in the new ones in for me. I have these bushes plus the vee mounts on order at the moment. I've gone for Jaguar X308 XJR V8 subframe bushes as these fit and are tougher than the standard XJ40 items. I've heard that pattern subframe bushes can fail prematurely so I went for the genuine Jag ones. The vee mounts I've ordered are patterns as they don't have problems and are half the price of the genuine Jag part. In other news, I've also ordered the AVO lowering springs that I'll be fitting.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Front subframe bush replacement

Here's a couple of pictures of the front subframe bushes, the large round one mounts the rear of the subframe, other is called a vee mount on account of it's vee shape and fixes the subframe to the inner wings of the body. There is one of each type on each side. To help acheive their famous magic carpet ride, Jaguar used subframe bushings to isolate vibrations from the suspension and engine from the car body. I'm using polyurethane bushes for the wishbones, dampers and anti-roll bar to sharpen up the suspension control and handling, but using standard Jaguar subframe bushes to maintain the ride comfort.

My car is a very late XJ40, a '94 on an M plate. After sixteen years and 110k miles these bushes aren't completely knackered but are well passed they're best so I'm replacing them. The vee mounts are fixed onto the subframe with four bolts so are straight forward to change with the subframe removed from the car, the round bushes at the rear have a steel casing which is a interference fit so ideally need to be pressed out.

I'm thinking of getting a local engineering shop to press the old bushes out and the new ones in for me. These bushes aren't concentric, the centre is offset, so care must be taken to ensure that the new bushes are located the same way.

Front subframe removal

I managed to get the front subframe removed at the weekend, this really feels like good progress. This is held in place by two bolts each side that fit through the inner wings and into the vee mounts on the top of the subframe, plus two large barn door sized bolts with 30mm heads and nuts, I had to buy a couple of new sockets for these. The subframe carries the two engine mounts so a nut had to be removed each side to get these off, plus the dampers have to be unbolted. The picture to the left shows the subframe with a damper still bolted to the lower wishbone on the nearside. I now need to remove the wishbones balljoints, I've made a start on this.

As the subframe supports the engine I had to hold it in place by some other means so propped it on a tower of bricks.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Chassis and under-body painting

I'm going to be painting the underside of the body and the chassis components in a bid to keep them free of rust, plus it should look smart once done. I've recently received the paint I'm going to be using, some chassis black POR-15, I bought it in small tins as this allows you to paint progressively in relatively small amounts.

It seems that underbody treatment has moved on from traditional underseals, tests have shown that POR-15 is a better, more advanced product than the more tradional treatments. POR-15 actually absorbs moisture when it dries and goes rock hard, and is less pourous.

I've now got the 30mm impact socket I need to remove the lower wishbone and subframe bolts so I'll be able to start preparing the under body ready for the paint this weekend. I'll need to have a good session with the wire brush to get rid of any flakey bits, then it's a thourgh clean.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Front brake caliper and brake disc removal

I got the brake calipers, there carriers plus the brake removed today. The calipers on the post '93 cars like mine are held on with a 7mm female hex bolt, I had to buy a half inch drive male hex socket to get them off. The caliper carriers are fixed in place with two 17mm bolt, these were much tougher to removal. Initially I tried to get them out using a standard 17mm socket with long half inch drive wheel brace, I managed to crack the socket! I succeeded once I'd bought a tougher 17mm impact driver socket, I had to jump up and down on the bar to get them off!

I've bought some red brake caliper paint so I'll get that brushed on once I've cleaned them up.

Front suspnsion spring removal

I got the front suspension springs removed today using the borrowed spring compressor tool mentioned in my previous post.

The tool was fitted into the subframe and wound up so that the lower wishbone was almost parallel with the ground. The six 13mm spring pan bolts on each side were then removed, most of these came out okay apart from one which rounded off on me. A bit of grumbling plus reducing it down to 12mm with a file eventually had it out.

With the bolts removed the nut on the tool was wound down allowing the the springs to drop out.
This'll now allow me to remove both wishbones on each side and fit the polyurethane bushes I have. I'll also be removing the subframe for rebushing, this has two large mounting bushes at the rear plus V-mounts that attach the top of the subframe to the body.

Front spring compressor tool

I'm completely rebushing the suspension on my forty starting with the front suspension. To replace the lower wishbone bushes the front suspension springs need to be removed. Jaguar developed a special tool, JD115, for this job, basically a long threaded shaft that locks into the subframe and presses up against the spring pan allowing the spring pan bolts to safely be removed. This tool is available from the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club for £330, or £40 to hire (pictured left).

Alternatively, a suitable tool can be made yourself from
suitable materials. Fortunately for me a friendly forum member kindly lend me his own home brew tool (pictured bottom left). This consists of a high strength steel threaded shaft with a welded and shaped end to provide the lugs that locate into the subframe. Two 24mm nuts are welded together which when wound push a small steel cup up against the spring pan. I plan to make my own tool in a similar vein but as I want to get my suspension done quickly, borrowed this tool to save some money and time.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Bodykit preparation and exhaust work

I made some more progress at the weekend, I've almost finished prepping the bodykit parts. This has involved some quite time consuming sanding back of the paint. There's a few small gouged areas that I'll skim over with a bit of filler and sand back in an attempt to achieve a better finish. I now need to get myself a couple of tins of Kingfisher Blue ready for a spot of DIY spraying of the bodykit, plus some rough areas on the car body. I'd like to get a proper respray at some point when I can afford to but for now I'll just tidy the existing paint, it's not too bad really.

Another thing I managed to do was remove the old lambda sensor from the XJR exhaust downpipe I'll be fitting. This was an absolute sod to get out but it came in the end, I was so pleased I had a beer to celebrate! I've now cleaned off the oil and rust from the downpipe and exhaust manifolds and given them a coat of silver/grey high temperature paint to smarten them up. This paint will only cure fully once the exhaust is run up to temperature.

Monday, 31 May 2010

AJ6 manifold design

Here's the two types of inlet manifold back to back. The top one is the standard part that I have just removed from my 4.0S, the bottom one is the Jaguarsport part fitted to the series 2 XJR.

It can be seen that the standard manifold appears to have longer inlet pipes that fold down at back before joining the plenum chamber. The Jaguarsport manifold has shorter inlet pipes and large bulges either side of the throttle body to extend the volume of the plenum. The
Jaguar literature from the time said that the modifications were developed to improve air flow and thus power at high rev's, the specification showed that the XJR was up around 15bhp at the expence of a slight drop in peak torque.

Interestingly, a company called AJ6 Engineering produce a modified standard manifold called a "Plus Torque" which has further extended inlet pipes inside the plenum with bell entries. This seems to develop the AJ6 manifold in the opposite direction to the Jaguarsport item.

As can be seen in the picture, I've done some work on cleaning up the XJR manifold as is was grubby when it came off the car. I used some a degrease product and wire brushed it. I then used some Autosol. My current thinking is that I'll paint this and the other engine parts in some silver engine paint to smarten them up and stave off corrosion.

Brake refurb and new suspenion bushes

I've made a start on refurbing the front brakes. I've removed the old hoses, they're fixed with a 14mm nut to the calipers and a 14mm nut at the top end to the brake pipes. I'll be replacing these with Goodridge braided items that I previously bought for £25 on ebay, they should improve brake pedal feel by reducing spongyness, plus they look ever so cool. The picture shows old and new hoses back to back. I've going to remove and clean up the calipers and give them a coat of high temperature paint. I'm thinking of going for a go faster red.

I'm approaching the stage where I can start to fit
the new suspension bushes. So far I have the bushes for the front upper and lower wishbones, and the upper and lower front and rear dampers. I just need to get hold of these anti-roll bar bushes.

Various engine parts removal

Well it's been quite progressive weekend on the Jag front, I've managed to get quite a few bits and bobs pulled off. I've made a start on gutting various engine bay gubbins in preparation for swapping the cylinder head and inlet manifold for the XJR items I have.

I've removed the coolant tank, air box, air flow meter, thermostat, inlet manifold, throttle body, exhaust manifolds, exhaust downpipe, plus various hoses (see picture).

These parts were all straight forward to remove, most of the smaller items are held in place with 8mm bolts. The inlet manifold is retained to the head with a lower row of six 10mm bolts and an upper row of 13mm nuts on studs. Each exhaust manifold is fixed with four 17mm nuts on studs, it helps to soak these in penetrating oil before removing them.