Jaguar XJ-S / XJS 1975-1996
Ray Ingman 4 months ago #
Following on from the last issues gripping revelations, my Jaguar 6.0 XJS story continues…
Having survived the downpour, the convertible was safely ensconced in the Ingman Acres of the time. Now to appraise the extent and nature of the damage – and thus formulate the most economic way to return the vehicle to the road. Underbonnet inspection revealed the epicentre of the fire to be central, just in front of the bulkhead – all the wiring and pipework in the area was burnt and melted, but the rear fuel line had survived – just!
It was important to understand exactly what had gone wrong – imagine the unbridled joy of rectifying the damage, only for the same thing to happen again! My initial impression was either it was a fuel leak ignited by a spark OR a wiring fault, maybe abrasion, causing a localised fire in the loom. I believe that the latter was the most likely scenario: if there had been a fuel leak, the high pressure nature of the system would have sprayed fuel extensively around the engine compartment, resulting in a much larger conflagration. I could find no trace of extinguishant, perhaps the escape of aircon gas ‘blew out’ the fire? The wiring was so badly damaged that it was not possible to confirm the chafing theory – so in a ‘note to self’ when the remainder of the loom is removed, it must be stripped and inspected to see if the damage has travelled throughout the car. There was no way to determine the mileage or the condition of the powertrain, it would have been highly unwise to attach a battery and energise the electrical system in its then current state to observe the electronic dashboard readout, a job for another day.
My plan was thus to undertake the minimum work necessary to get the car running, fully road test, determine condition of every system and component, then take it from there. It occurred to me that the most cost effective way forward would be to acquire a complete donor car, maybe with rear-end collision damage? Keep it in one piece as a life size workshop manual and source of all the tiny ‘hard to get’ parts – clips hoses and brackets – plus having a spare engine, gearbox, and everything else – just in case this car had been deliberately torched for insurance purposes due to some appalling fault (I didn’t really believe this!). The search was on…
Ray Ingman 6 months ago #
Forcing my own hand
Following last issue’s ‘Backchat’, I’ve hit on a cunning plan: If I introduce my ‘Project XJS’ to you, it will shame me into actually getting on with it, creating some copy for your edification and delight, and a ‘new’ classic Jaguar for me. Win, win -so here goes: More years ago than I am prepared to admit, my ‘friend in the North’ Chris Robinson (long-time Jaguar club racing organiser) told me of a 2+2 6.0 XJS convertible that he wished to dispose of for a very reasonable consideration. Having run an early 5.3 for some years, the idea of an upgrade was an attractive proposition. However, there was a very slight catch, the said car was an insurance ‘write off’: It had suffered an under bonnet fire, but astonishingly, there was no external evidence of the conflagration.
Despite carrying a personalised ‘K’ prefix registration, it proved to be a 1993 example, originally carrying the number L640AKL – has anyone met the car before? Initial research revealed the last road tax expired in 2007, but was declared a total loss in early 2006, no mileage revealing MOT tests were on record.
Insurance companies do not like a fire and deemed the rebuild cost to exceed the thirteen year old cars market worth. In 2006 Jaguar Word Monthly’s price guide valued an average 2+2 XJS at around £13k (‘Excellent’ at £18k)… Frightening? Since it’s ‘incident’ the car had been stored hidden away in a dry container. As is the inevitability of these things, repatriating the car Southwards involved travelling through a deluge of biblical proportions! In future instalments, I intend to cover how I decided to approach the repair and my ongoing progress – cumulating in how the car is tested, reregistered and returned to road. Well, that’s the plan!
Ray Ingman 8 months ago #
Reference to our letters pages or hacking into our email account will reveal that there is quite a body of opinion that we give undue attention to the more traditional classics such as the E-type, XK and Mk2 models, to the exclusion of the more modern ‘Series’ XJs, XJ-Ss and XJ40. I find it vexing that, in the real world, I am most closely associated with XJ-Ss and series XJs. There is a certain irony that taking on the role as Editor of this esteemed journal led me to suppose that it might just be the trigger to getting on with one or two of my personal projects (see the partial horror in the accompanying images) in order to create some — hopefully interesting — content. I am further ashamed to admit, that whilst I own an unhealthy number of Jaguars, at the last count, precisely none of them are actually on the road. Over the years, I have had 420, Mk2, S-type E-type XJ-S and XJ12 Coupe as long term ‘daily drivers’, not to mention a number of ‘daily racers’….
Whilst awaiting my return to active workshop service, rest assured that we are strenuously attempting to source suitable later model classics to sate your collective appetites. But this is where you come in: I’d consider it a personal favour you could spark my enthusiasm by sharing your own restoration and maintenance stories.
They can be as long or short as you desire, but they need to be illustrated. Please send them to me via the medium of electronic mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or if you prefer, interpretative dance…
Richard Bremner 8 months ago #
I have a 1985 V12 XJ-S and, after many years of largely trouble-free ownership, I am experiencing a cutting-out problem. The car will start and run perfectly from cold. Then, after a short, while the engine will start to hesitate and, later, cut out and refuse to restart unless left for around an hour. The problem is accompanied by an increase in noise from the fuel pump, which, incidentally, runs very hot to the touch.
Upon advice, I changed first the fuel filter and then the pump itself, both to little effect. Do you have any ideas?