Monday, August 31, 2009

Chiti Chiti... Bang! Bang!

A friend came round and had a look at the Jag and noticed an arching sound from somewhere near 6B or 5B. Everytime it arcs, the engine shakes and backfires slightly.

(Left to Right: 1B to 6B) As you can see all the plugs are covered in dark soot. According to the Haynes manual this is either Preignition or Detonation. In both cases electrode gap and/or timing are causes.

The Haynes manual also says these sooty oil deposits are caused by oil leaking into the combustion chamber due to worn valve guides or piston rings. That might explain the backfire, hesitation and white smoke from the left exhaust, but God I hope not.

(Left: 1A, Right: 1B) I knew Bank A was running perfectly so I decided to pull the plug in 1A and compare it to 1B. There is obviously something going on. But my lack of expertise halts any further diagnosis.

Unrequited love

I've been a Jaguar owner for 9 months. I paid CAD$1000 for a 1974 Jaguar XJ12 that was destined for the junk yard and spent the last 4 months and almost $5000 (mind you 50% of that was just tools) restoring it.

A have learned more about myself in the last 4 months than I have in my entire life. I have probably learned more about cars in the last 4 months than I would have ever learned by taking an Automotive technician course.

The last few weeks have been quite depressing, for lack of better words. The Jag spent 17 days at a garage to get its MOT safety certificate. Considering the bill was only $300, how and why I let it take that long, I don't know. This may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but in a country where the year has only 4 months, 17 days is a long long time.

The car idles nicely, revs up nicely. But once you get into gear and start driving its horrible. The power is intermittent. The car backfires so EXTREMELY loudly that it sounds like a 12 gauge round going off just behind you. The carbs are in tune and exhaust gas on both sides is smooth. However the left exhaust smoke is slightly white in colour and colder than the right hand side. I'm going to be so upset if this turns out to be a head gasket or valve issue. This car has had almost everything replaced, from shocks to brake master cylinder. The engine and body were the only things that made this project worthwhile.

The left exhaust pipe is quite moist and sooty, while the right hand side is dry and fairly clean. Which probably means the left bank is running rich. But would that cause cold white smoke as opposed to the right hand side's hot and clear?

I've put my entire summer into this car, all I want is to drive this thing for a few days before winter sets in. I hate this bloody thing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Jag Lover's Prayer

Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of rust,
I will fear no structural failures, for thou wire brush is with me,
your MIG welder and sledge hammer, they comfort me.

You anoint my ignition in the presence of Lucas electronics,
my Jaguar starts,
surely goodness and love shall follow me all the days of my life.

For I will dwell in the garage of the Lord,
Forever, and ever,

Inspired by a song called "You're nobody" by Notorious B.I.G, the 23rd psalm and my soul mate a 1974 Jaguar XJ12

1000 Visits from 37 Countries

This is just a post to acknowledge that the blog has received 1000 visits from 37 different countries since I started taking the Jag apart 4 months ago. It seems my trip into the valley of rust has been of amusement to quite a few people.

Average time spent on the site is 3:37s. 60% of my visitors don't come back, so thats pretty poor retention in marketing speak. And the average user visits 2.7 pages.

Most number of hits (49%) come from the terrorist terrorizers, land of liberty, recession causers good'ol U.S of A.

Second highest number of hits (11%) come from a country that would make living in the frozen wastelands of Mars seem like a summer vacation - my home for the last 4 years, Canada!

Third (11%), giving us Mad Max, Holden, home of things that jump around with big pouches on their bellies and a small furry bear that eats eucalyptus leaves, the one and only down-under, give it up for Australia.

Fourth (10%) is Jaguar country and home of my pen-pal and fellow Jag lover, Esta-Jane, the Blackadder, the price of darkness himself (Lucas Electronics) and Aston Martin - the United Kingdom

Fifth (5%) is Finland - Go Hakkinen! You can drive my 190E anytime man, just teach me the flick!

Then we have New Zealand (4%), India (2%), Sweden (2%), Germany (1%) and finally at 10th place is the Netherlands (~1%). The other 27 countries, which includes places like Costa Rica, Estonia, Malaysia, Latvia, Iceland, Bulgaria etc.. make up less than 10% of the hits on the blog.

With 4x more pages viewed per visit than the Americans, the French are the most inquisitive bunch of the lot.

With an average time of 47mins per visit, the Swedes are by far the most intrigued by what I have to say. But it easily could be because they don't like to close open windows.

Say hello in the comments section. Its always nice to hear from fellow enthusiasts.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Leaking Carburettor part deux

Trying to troubleshoot the leaking carb. Pumped with motivation and the fact that summer is disappearing, I had the right hand side carbs off the car in 21mins.

I cant seem to find anything obviously wrong.

UPDATE: I found a rust flake on the inlet side of the needle valve when I removed it from the carb body. Cleaned out and back on the car the leak seems to have stopped. In the future I think I'll just shoot some carb cleaner into the petrol inlet pipe.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Leaking Carburettor

All of a sudden the rear right carb has started leaking. When the car is running it drips fuel from two places (yellow arrows) quite rapidly. I noticed this today when I started the engine in order to boost the brake servo so I could bleed the brakes. Once I realised how much fuel was leaking, I switched off the engine.

Sorting out this leak and bleeding the brakes are the last remaining work items before the Jag can go for its MOT safety inspection. Does anyone know whats causing this? I haven't meddled with the carbs (except tighten the choke cable) since the last time the engine was run (some 3 or 4 weeks ago).