Monday, 25 July 2011

Series 1 XJR bodykit

I've now managed to procure a series 1 XJR bodykit consisting of the front and rear bumpers plus the side skirts. I've always wanted this bodykit and have eventually managed to find this one at a reasonable price so I'm very pleased. It's tatty but all in one piece, the only damage being a crack on the underside of the rear bumper and scuffs on the underside of the front. I'll be prepping this kit by sanding back the very tired paint and filling any holes and damage, ready for undercoat.

I see this kit as the final piece I require to build my dream "sporty forty", I know it's not to everyones taste but it does it for me, it gives a great sporty and aggresive look. I will now be on the look out for the ideal car to fit this to along with my other favourite parts to, namely the -35mm lowering springs, polybushes all round, the Jaguarsport 16" alloys, quad headlamps, and the black leather XJR interior.

Sovereign pictures

Here's a couple of pictures of the Sovereign on the five spokes, enjoy.

Five spoke wheels

I've decided to swap the orginal 15" Teardrop wheels on the 3.2 Sov for a set of 16" Sport five spokes. The originals look rough and in need of new paint so I'll give them a DIY refurb.

The wheel centre badges on the five spokes are faded, they should be red but are now of a naff pink/purple colour. I had a set of black centres from another set of wheels so fitted these.

The five spokes are in a "champagne" type colour as opposed to a straight silver, they are in decent

condition and have good tyres. They are one of my
favourite XJ40 wheel designs and a nice addition to the Sov.

A change of plans

Well, I've had a significant change of plan with regards to my modified XJ40 project. The project has been stalling for various reasons. The move to a new house has meant the loss of the car port and workshop facilities that I had previously making the practicalities more difficult, plus I have less time to get the work done.

I recently came to a point where a lot of parts were stripped from the 4.0S shell for refurbishment and I faced the formidable task of putting the car back together and getting everything fixed. I started with a car that required work on top of my modification plans so I gave myself a considerable amount oto do. I was confident of achieving this with the space at my afore mentioned previous address but have found it a struggle at my new place. In retrospect I should have kept the car on the road as a rolling project but it was my aim at the time to take it off the road and complete a restoration.

I've thus made the decision to strip all the parts I'd fitted to the 4.0S, plus all the other useful stuff besides, and depose of what's left. It's very disappointing but the only way to move forwards. All the refurbed parts covered in my blog over the last several years will be removed so I won't be wasting the time and money spend on those. Despite being an apparent set back it'll actually help me complete the project much quicker as I plan to replace the 4.0S with a Forty already in decent condition. I'm not exactly sure what variant of XJ40 the new base car will be, preferably a 4.0L manual, and it will definately be a rolling restoration. I've now amassed a decent collection of spares to use on this new car and the Sovereign.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Sovereign problem areas

There are a number of areas that need sorting on the Sov as you'd expect on an nineteen year old car at this price. The main area of concern is a brake caliper that it sticking on after braking, releasing slowly. It seems to be a rear caliper but I will have a closer look to determine which one, perhaps it's both. The near side wing repeater bulb needs replacing, so that's another priority.

On the cosmetic side of things there are a number of tatty areas. The wheels have quite a bit of corroded areas so I plan to give them a DIY refurb, I'll swap on my set of five spokes in the meantime. The rear lamp cluster lens are cracked, the
nearside one quite badly, I have a decent spare set to replace them with. Obviously there's the usual rust patches so these will be grinded back, treated and painted.

A good service is in order: engine oil and filter, air filter, transmission oil and plugs if necessary. The central locking isn't working so that needs a look. The interior needs a couple of bits of trim but is okay overall, just a good clean required. The bumpers need a bit of fettling but the chromes are good.

The Sovereign

I've been really keen to get back behind the wheel of a forty that works so I've bought another one, a 3.2L Sovereign. These are becoming quite a rare model now, at the last count there were 202 licensed cars on the road (source: ) It's not my first choice of XJ40 model as I generally favour the "sporty forty" models, but it is a smooth and enjoyable cruiser.

This ones a well used example, it's clocked 166k miles over it's 19 years. It did come with a more or less full service history and a big load of bills which was good to see. It's quite tatty and crusty around the edges but is a good runner with no obvious mechanical problems other than rear brake calipers sticking on slighty, presumably a result of
sitting around undriven for several months.

I'll be giving it a good fettle and sorting some of the problem areas in due course.