Thursday, 20 August 2015

Getting the Sov back on the road, part 2

So I had to get the Forty to the garage for an MOT, easier said than done as it's not easy to get out of the driveway! The road where I live still hasn't been surfaced and is at a significantly lower level to the driveway, plus the Sov is very low on it's shorter springs. This meant I had to make a makeshift ramp to stop the underside bottoming out on the kurb!

I've now got the '40 back from the MOT garage, it's not too bad to be honest! Not as bad as last time, thankfully a few of the problems have fixed themselves whilst it's been sat in the garage over the last year... a nice result. So these are the fail areas...

Nearside inner rear (sill to) subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded.
Offside inner rear (sill to) subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded.
Offside outer rear (sill to) subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded.
Nearside outer rear (wheel arch to) subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded.
Offside inner rear (wheel arch to) subframe mounting prescribed area is excessively corroded.

So the back end needs quite a bit of welding basically. I asked the chap what it would cost, he said maybe £300, but it depends how much metal needs to be cut out and replaced out course. The only advisory was: nearside front floor corroded - so want to get that done at the same time too. The only downer is that he's not going to be able to start any work until the end of the month as he's going on holiday soon...
I may look at finding some decent body sections that have been chopped out of a breaker as it may save a lot of fabrication work. I'm very much looking forward to getting it done and the '40 back on the road now. I really need to continue to keep it garaged in future so it doesn't deteriorate furthe...

Getting the Sov back on the road

The Forty has been SORN and off the road for about a year now, I've decided it's time to give it some TLC and get it back driving. It's been garaged thankfully, for the first time since I've owned it. The battery was flat but after a good charge it lept into life and the engine ran well as usual.

At the last MOT there was quite a list of fails, I'd intended to tackle these myself but I've had no time with one thing and another. The main failure was to structural body areas underneath that require welding, I did want to buy a welder and get into having a go at that but I've now decided to pay someone to do the work and just get the car back on the road. So the next thing is to get it down to the test station and find out whether anything has got better or worse since it's been laid up!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Retro Cars magazine feature

The latest news is that the Sovereign will be the cover feature car for the June issue of Retro Cars, chuffed with that. Keep your eyes peeled for a copy in your local newsagents!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Replacement offside rear door and carpet.

I need to have some welding done to the sill ends and floors, so all the carpets will want to come out. The car has the oatmeal colour to match the original doeskin (beige) interior leather, I've acquired a dark red carpet set to refit into the car as a replacement. It needs a really good clean up, but I think it'll look great with the black leather in my car, something a bit striking and out of the ordinary.

I've also bought a drivers side rear door, £0.99 from ebay! I'm going to build up a set of four to be repainted and swapped on the Sov.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

XJ40 replacement front wings

Time for an over-due update, I've not done a great deal on the cars but I've been an making a little bit of progress. Rust has become worse in recent times so I've been slowly gathering up some panels to freshen the car up. I've put together a pair of front wings that are in very good shape so those are tucked away ready for some paint to go on when the time comes. Panels like front wings that are more or less rust free are getting increasing rare to finding now. I'm also looking at putting together a set of rot free doors as they are starting to hole through too.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Partners in crime

Now I've got the XJ40 running again I was able to drive it out of the garage and position it for a side-by-side pic' with the younger sibling!

XJR front suspension refurb

I felt the front suspension on the XJR could be better, there weren't any knock but it just felt slightly loose. So I decided to do a freshen up of some of the bushes. 

The larger bushes - subframe mounts and lower wishbone bushes - looked to be decent still. The anti-roll bar 'D' bushes actually looked very good, like they'd been replaced at some point. The damper, drop link and upper wishbone bushes all appeared fine, but a little worn and past their best, so I decided to replace those. I already had some XJ40 upper wishbones with polybushes and new ball joints fitted lurking in the garage, so decided to fit those.

It was a fairly straight forward job, though I did run into a few snags of course. There was some cylinder shaped thingy with it's mounting bracket preventing the upper wishbone bolt sliding out on the off side which had to be removed, you can see it hanging down in the bottom left corner of the bottom picture. As usual the drop link bush that mounts to the lower wishbone was seized onto the bolt, I had to rip the rubber part away from the sleeve and attack that with an angle grinder get it off.

All done, quick test drive and there is a perceivable improvement to the handling which is pleasing, the movement of the wheels just feels better controlled. 

Getting the Sov started

Now that the garage is all tidy and set up I can turn my attention to actually fixing the cars. A first priority was to get the Sov up and running as it's had starting problems. It's always seemingly had quite a current drain, it flattens the battery pretty quickly if not driven regularly. So first thing was to give the battery a charge. The fuel level was low and had been sitting in there for some time so I tipped in a container of fresh unleaded. This didn't sort the problem and the car still refused to start.

The battery was getting on a bit and I suspected it was past it's best, a new one was purchased. I also bought a cut-off switch to disconnect it when the car is not in use, to prevent it draining. After several attempts at starting the '40 eventually fired up and ran well. Hopefully the problem is sorted and there's not an intermittent fault. There's bound to be a number of components that are past there best which could start failing and cause running issues, given the age of the car.

At least the Sov is running now so that I can move it in and out of the garage with easy, instead of pushing it!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Jaguar XJR video

Here's a short video I made of the XJR earlier, just me nosing around it and going out for a quick spin. I thought in addition to posting pictures I'd do some regular video pieces featuring both the XJR and XJ40.

Jaguar XJR initial inspection

I've been putting the new XJR through it's paces this week, doing some miles and getting used to the way it drives. I've also been looking out for any issues and areas that need improvement. I was a little tentative with it at first, I'd not driven an auto in years and I wanted to take a few days to get used to the extra power.

After a week of owning the XJR I have to say I'm very pleased with it, it looks a very good buy to me. I think there's often that worry after buying a new car (especially if it's an old Jag) that they'll be problems lurking that weren't spotted when buying, but I've not found anything of note. The engine pulls very strongly and the autobox changes well, the body is very solid, all the electrics work (besides the dreaded X300 clock of course), and the air con runs nice and cold. The front suspension does have a little wear in it but there's no knocking at all and the car rides very well.

I gave the car a wash yesterday and was able to have a good look over the bodywork. There's been some body restoration, the front wings and boot lid are replacements and have been repainted. There's a slight mismatch in colour between the front wings to the doors and bonnet, the new paint is slightly darker where the original paint has faded a little. There are some minor age related marks to the paint but no dents or scratches, the overall condition is very good.

So as for work to do on the car to improve it, I've been starting to think about the list. A full service would be a good start, it would be good to do most of the fluids and service items. The car has full Jaguar service history so I'll look to continue that keep the book stamped up, but there's plenty I'll be able to do myself though.

Here's an initial list of bits I want to do:
Detail body, engine bay and interior
Replace front suspension bushes
Fix or replace clock
Replace rear heater/air con vents
Have paint blended in and touched up
Replace radiator bushes
Re-dye seats

Monday, 12 January 2015

Another big cat joins the fleet - Jaguar X300 XJR

So, I've bought another Jaguar XJ, this one is an X300 XJR. This is my first X300, I've been keen to own an XJR for quite a long while now so it's itch I've been wanting to scratch. I'll be posting more about this car in due course as well as updates on the XJ40 Sovereign.

It's a good example, relatively low mileage at 113k and comes with full Jaguar service history. The car drives well and there's no rust on the body, the underside has had waxoil treatment. The body colour is Antigua Blue, with Oatmeal leather inside.

While the condition is very good I'll be working to improve it further, I'm looking forward to having a thorough crawl over the car and giving it a clean and polish.