Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Been using the Jag quite a bit over the last couple of days and touch wood, the charging system has been behaving just fine. Sitting bang on 13V on the gauge (bearing in mind it reads a bit low, that's where I expect it to be) aside from drooping a bit at idle if I've got heavy loads on. Not to an excessive extent though, so I'm happy enough so far. The cruise control had decided to go on strike, but today has rejoined the party. Guessing the car has just been a bit cranky because I've not used it much lately because the charging system has been unreliable.

I did one silly little thing this afternoon I'd meant to for a while now. It's no secret that the V12 XJ-S was rather a rapid car in its day, and still feels plenty nippy today. However I'd never actually looked at how quick...so I timed a couple of 0-60 runs there's a layby which means if the traffic is quiet it's perfectly safe to just boot it from a standing start to 60. It's actually pretty rare I do that...as it's simply not necessary and I usually find my acceleration limited by the other traffic anyway.

Well unless it's wet as in that case you treat it with complete suspicion at all times...I tried to pull out of a junction briskly on a damp road once and abruptly discovered that this was a really bad idea. Far too much torque, a limited slip diff and 1700kg worth of Jaguar deciding to go sideways is a handful.

What I was not expecting was the result that came back from today's test was to be 5.6 seconds. That's plenty respectable in 2021...in the mid 80s that must have been stupid fast. That's also after 83K miles and without any performance upgrades, and actually due a service.

Not the sort of thing that usually interests me, but I'd really be curious to chuck it down the strip at Santa Pod just to see what numbers came back. Based on today's test I reckon it would be far more respectable than you'd expect for a heavy luxury car from 35 years ago.

I am going to miss this car when I pass it on. She's just so comfortable. The speed isn't so much notable as the effortless way she builds it, whether you're trundling around town at 30 or joining the motorway... getting to 70 briskly just requires the lightest squeeze of throttle. Oh, and the noise. Everyone should drive or at least be a passenger in a V12 powered car at least once. They really are quite special.

It's something I've never done before, but the keys will be getting handed over this time with a clear understanding that if he ever decides to sell the car in the future that I get first refusal to buy it back. Hopefully in a year or two we'll move to somewhere with more space and a bigger garage. If I had a garage to keep it in I know I'd not even consider selling... it's seeing the bodywork visibly degrading with living outside that has really made my mind up that she needs to go to a better home. Oh, and the fact that the guy I'm selling it to I've been messing about cars with since I was 12 (35 now), and I know he never expected a chance to try out an XJ-S any more than I did. Plus he's entirely responsible for my having a Jag soft spot. I still really regret not buying the dark green XJ6 in this photo.

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Especially as the guy who did buy it went and scrapped it following a trivial fault developing...which hacked both of us right off as we'd both poured a lot of hours and money into sorting many problems that car had when we got it. It was really quite well sorted when we sold it.

So even though I'll be closing the book on this for a while in a month or so (I'll probably still relay any major updates still), I may well wind up with it on the drive again in a year or three.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Made a point of unearthing TPA in the garage today and clearing up enough of the mess that I can actually walk through the garage again. She got somewhat buried when I was clearing out the van prior to a weekend away a couple of weeks ago.

Last time I didn't drive her for a couple of weeks she played up a bit, refusing to idle properly and generally behaving as though there was crud in the carb idle circuit. This sorted itself after about an hour of driving. Sure enough when started up today she behaved exactly the same. Engine would rev just fine, but fall on its face as soon as the revs dropped to idle.

This was the point at which I spotted a very likely cause of issues - that the carb was visibly wobbling independently of the engine. Both mounting nuts were barely finger tight.

With them nipped up (which is fluffing fiddly because of poor access), she started and idled absolutely perfectly. So I'd obviously had a huge vacuum leak from the carb base. I'll stick a couple of shakeproof washers under the retaining nuts next time I get a chance.

Goodness only knows how long that's been causing a leak to some degree... curious to see if there's any noticeable change to how the car runs in general now. Hopefully get her out for a drive in the next couple of days so we can find out.

Aside from anything else, it's been a few weeks and I've missed driving the little rattle box.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Having unearthed TPA yesterday it was time to take her out for a run today. This was intended to be a quick half hour run, but we ended up being out all afternoon, getting home well after dark.

After a bit of a race against the sunset I did manage to get to my usual photo spot as the sun was setting.

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So has the carb being loose been an issue for a while? Yes I think it has actually. While outright straight line power is much as it always has been the engine feels much more responsive now than I can remember. Especially that point between where the clutch has just fully engaged and you get to 30 or so.

Need to see about sorting the window catches and replacing the missing weather stripping between the sliding sections as it was a bit chilly at a couple of points today!

Also really should have a look at the voltage regulator and see if I can bring the cut in point down a bit. It only really comes properly on charge on the open road, which is far more of an issue when you've got the headlights on. I may well try to pick up a second one as I've heard from a few people that setting these regulators up is a bit of a dark art...and I don't want to break it!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Tomorrow is MOT day for the Jag. I noticed three things on a quick check over a couple of days ago that would need attention.

[] Windscreen washers were on strike. I could hear the motor running and smell screenwash, but nothing was coming out the jets.

[] Nearside headlight appeared to be pointing at the ground about two feet in front of the car.

[] One of the rear fog lights was out - though came back to life when I thumped it.

Sorting the windscreen washers was by far the most work, but we got there in the end.

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All it was was some gunge in the lines - most likely mainly because the car has been used so little over the last year. However sorting it proper required me to blow all the lines through with compressed air. However getting to them requires the whole wiper assembly to be lifted out of the scuttle as there is no other access to it.

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Getting that out is simple enough but a right faff. You have to lift/slide/pull/swear at it just right, at which point it will just lift right out...when you don't seem to have done anything different to the last 23 attempts you tried and failed to get it to budge.

Of course I then dropped one of the rubber washers it sits on down the back of the engine, so we'll never see that again.

Sorting the headlight aim really wasn't a problem, the adjuster had just managed to completely unscrew itself. Just took a few minutes to reassemble it and do a rough adjustment based on the beam on the fence across the road. If it needs a bit of a tweak at the testing station in the morning it's no big deal.

Fog lights were exactly as I expected, just dirty lamp holder contacts. Took the lamps out, cleaned everything up with a carbide sponge, greased it up to keep the damp off and reassembled them. Now they both seem to work reliably again.

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I've done a quick sanity check and made sure nothing is obviously hanging off, but beyond that it's in the hands of the tester in the morning. Cross as many fingers for me as you can!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Zel, you don't need any luck to get the Jag through her MoT. With all the hard work you have done to get her right she should sail through. However, I have just knocked on proper wood for you (no, not chipboard or MDF!).
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Dormouse »

As long as the tester is not related to Murphy.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

Zel wrote:All it was was some gunge in the lines - most likely mainly because the car has been used so little over the last year. However sorting it proper required me to blow all the lines through with compressed air. However getting to them requires the whole wiper assembly to be lifted out of the scuttle as there is no other access to it.
I topped my washer fluid up a couple of days ago and as I poured it in spotted a load of black algal crap in the bottle that has been in the boot for yonks. Some went into the reservoir but stopped quickly and filtered the rest in through a bit of bridal lace that been here for years.
Normally we use loads but lately the car hasn't been used much. I expect the contents of the reservoir will be the same. Not enthused about trying to get at that to clean it out.

Hope your Jaaaaag slides easily through the MOT.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

Well...the day could have started better.

I generally try to keep the Jag clear of wet roads and especially salty ones... it's not much fun on a cold day either as the heater control logic is hopelessly senile so it's a lottery as to whether you get heat or not. It's also *quite* squirrelly in the wet. Not ideal conditions then...

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The Jag agreed with me.

Turning the key produced naught but a click, starter didn't even try. Battery flat again. Fair enough, it's been weak for a while (demise probably hastened by having gone flat a couple of times during lockdown and when the alternator was failing).

Out with the jump leads, will jump it from the Merc. Well I would if I could get in to it... however the driver's door lock was frozen and the passenger one doesn't work. Cue me clambering in through the boot. Which doesn't stay open so slammed shut on me when the stick I prop it open with fell out.

After far too much messing around which probably looked like something from a Laurel & Hardy sketch at several points we got the leads hooked up.

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Didn't never hesitate then, spinning over much faster than any time in the last year at least, pretty much confirming my guess that the battery is past it's best.

This is also a good example of why I don't bother messing around with horrible skinny jump leads. If these hooked up to a decent battery won't start it, it won't start.

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The heater decided to play ball today so at least I was able to demist and defrost the windows normally.

An hour later the results were in.

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Given I'd barely even looked at the car prior to the test I'll take that result.

That could have been a lot of stress if I'd just given myself 15 minutes to get there (test station is less than a ten minute drive away), but because I gave myself half an hour and always do for anything time sensitive, was no bother to sort things out with time to spare.

Will make a run over to Costco later in the week and pick up a new battery. Just ran out of time today.

Collection has now been arranged for the 10th/11th of December, so will be all change here around then!
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by mickthemaverick »

Well done Zel and no advisories!! Never in doubt :-D
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

As I expected. She is a credit to you, Zel, and I hope your friend appreciates her as much as you do.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 29 Nov 2021, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Dormouse »

Looks like Murphy was closer to home.
Well done though.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

For anyone whose curiosity was pricked by the "Two Wrestlers Garage"

Just me?
https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/business ... rs-3158731

Regards Neil
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by myglaren »

Jim's go-to garage.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by Zelandeth »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
29 Nov 2021, 19:46
For anyone whose curiosity was pricked by the "Two Wrestlers Garage"

Just me?
https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/business ... rs-3158731

Regards Neil
The name dates back to when it was a coaching inn and latterly a pub if I remember rightly.

-- -- --

Been having a bit of a ponder about the fleet as a whole today and also looking at commitments coming up both temporal and fiscal.

I am still unconvinced that the engine in the S123 has great long term health prospects. I'm far from convinced that the rattle at higher revs isn't getting slowly worse.

I'm not doing an engine swap. I don't have the space and am missing several bits of equipment, and would have to strip down the existing unit to transfer ancillary components and do a bunch of preventative service work in the middle of the front lawn.

1. Not fun in December.
2. My neighbours across the road (who we do get along with - only ones around us we really know at all) already put up with enough of my nonsense.

Dropping the sump is about 80% as much work as pulling the engine, so we're not going down that road. Plus just being completely honest, these are jobs that quite simply I do not *want* to do and therefore have zero enthusiasm for.

If someone wants to take it on as a project, two grand and it's probably yours. Taking quite a substantial hit there, but I'm conscious that I'm selling it with a known engine problem and budgeting somewhere around a grand to sort that.


Jag definitely needs a new battery, it's obvious having tried to charge it that we've lost a cell. Been on charge overnight, however dim dash lights and nothing but a 1/2 second lazy churn of the starter before click-click-click when I went to start it. Haven't had a chance to pick it up this week, but we'll be making a run to Costco this weekend anyway so will grab one then.



I've decided to see about getting a quote from Chevronics to sort the rear end hydraulics on the BX. It's a fiddly job with a ramp but they know the car and the quick ways to do things. Crawling around in my front garden trying to drop the subframe just doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs. Plus I can get them to give the whole car a once over and provide me with a proper to do list.
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Re: Zel's Fleet Blog - BX, Jag XJ-S, Sinclair C5, Mercedes 208D & 230TE, AC Model 70.

Post by white exec »

Maybe far better to decently maintain a smaller fleet, rather than spread time and energy (none of is us getting any younger!) thinly, to the point when some get neglected, or never really sorted.