Thursday, September 24, 2009


If you're not Indian you should know that Indian people have a problem with smiling. We either over do it, or under do it. I'm obviously the latter case. If you've ever seen photos from an Indian wedding, given in black & white, you could easily mistake it for a funeral.

School work has intensified. Endless amount of readings and case analysis. But for the first time in the 5 years of post secondary education I've done, I'm actually enjoying it.

The Jag should be back from the body shop tomorrow (fingers crossed), after having the driver's side rocker panel replaced.

Dying to go for a drive.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Enjoying the sunshine

Got the timing set and the cat is purring. However some bad news. I decided to do a compression test and we have as low as 100psi on some of the cylinders. Wet test was much more than the dry. Conventional wisdom then states the piston rings are worn out.

When I first saw this car, it had been sitting for 10 years. The fuel looked like muddy water. There were no thermostats, no vacuum hoses, no electrics. But simply with new fuel, 12 new spark plugs and a new battery, the thing started. And I even drove it home, some 20km away. It stalled right in the middle of the first traffic light I got to, but it started again and kept going.

Considering the results of the compression test and my generally low oil pressure, there should be something seriously wrong with this car. But it keeps going. It doesn't overheat, doesn't backfire, doesn't misfire (anymore) and its not hesitant. There should be clouds of smoke coming out of the exhaust but there isn't. It just seems fine. There is no oil mixing in the coolant and there is no oil consumption. It just seems perfectly fine.

Today I took the Jag out and gave it a good belting and almost like magic, I have oil pressure again. I'm getting a strong 40psi at about 40mph.

I'm just going to forget about the test results and enjoy the car. Given the car's history of continuously "surprising" me, I think we're going to be just fine.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


I think all the erratic problems I've been having are due to poor ignition. There is a small hair line crack near one of the mounting screws on my distributor cap. And the adjusting screw just spins without tightening or loosening. I can move the distributor by hand with a little bit of force.

(Merv's 1971 V12 E-Type) I took a photograph of Merv's V12 E-Type's distributor in an effort to align mine identically. Not sure if the correct adjustment on his car would be the same for mine (does timing work like that?).

My 1974 V12 XJ

It seems to have stopped back firing now but its still not very smooth.


With all the excitement of plating the car and filling the tanks for the first time without a jerry can, I didn't notice a small problem developing. The little coolant line that joins both intake manifolds and T's off into the expansion bottle was rubbing against the A/C pulley belt. As you can guess the friction burnt a hole in the line and I had coolant squirting out. Considering the line is only 5/16" it wasn't much but it filled up my bucket quiet quickly when I left it parked over night.

If you know anything about me you'll know I'm not a morning person. My body physically just doesn't function properly until about 11am. I literally feel sick. So the fact I got up at 7am today to buy a new coolant hose from CarQuest, is evidence itself to how determined I am to not be defeated by this piece of British junk. Stopped at CanadianTire on the way back and picked up some 50/50 premixed coolant. Put in the new line and topped up the coolant.

The rear left carb had been leaking from the float chamber plug for quite some time now. It wasn't much so I ignored it. Today it just didn't want to stop. So I decided to remove the left carbs and install new plugs. I began taking the carbs off the car at 9am. Tiringly it took 1-1/2hours due to the clutter on the left hand side (Brake master cylinder, Brake fluid reservoir, Coolant expansion bottle) and my morning wearyness. My left arm was quite raw by the time I got both carbs off. Cleaned out the float chambers. Adjusted the float height (16mm-17mm) and installed the new chamber plugs. The carbs went back onto the car a lot easier than they did coming off. It was near 1pm at this point and my previous arrangement to have the timing adjusted at Ural's garage had been missed.

Pushed the car out of the garage (too much fuel on the garage floor) to start it. It started and the leaks were gone. Idle was very high though for some reason. Near 2000 rpm. I messed around with the idle but I just couldnt get it to come below 1000rpm. Really strange considering I used to have this thing idle at 650rpm. Merv (a chap from the Ottawa Jaguar Club) came by with a Uni-Syn carb balancing tool. We messed around with it for a bit, but couldn't get it lower than 1200rpm. It looks like the linkage has to be readjusted.

Took it for a test drive. Drove pretty badly. I knew it was ignition related so I started messing with the distributor. Turned it all the way anti-clockwise and the car didn't start. Turned it all the way clockwise and the car started but ran really rough. Slowly moved it bit by bit, and test drove it each time and managed to get it fairly nice. Seems to be driving better-than-badly right now. I can take it onto the street without scaring pedestrians too much at least. Definitely need to sort out the timing properly. But I'll have to wait till Tuesday to get Ural to look at it. He has the strobe light for setting the timing.

Rubbed a bottle of ArmorAll Leather Care into the seats. Seems to work ok for $8.59/bottle. Makes the leather soft and cleans it a little. The rear seats really needed some moisture. They would crackle whenever you sat on them. A little better now.

Parked the car in the garage. Sat in front of the computer and updated the blog. God, I'm tired.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Obituary - Born 1974, Died 1999, Reborn 2009

Born December 1974, a beautiful bouncing British racing green Jaguar XJ12L.

Driven by the dealer's cute wife until 1977 when plated and purchased by David Nolan.

Sadistically exchanged when traded in at Southbank Dodge Chrysler in 1982. Purchased by John McKendry in 1984. Sold to cousin Michael McKendry in the mid 1990s and underwent colour change to metallic black.

Roamed beautiful Halifax in 1998 and returned to Ottawa a year later. Developed cooling system fault in the summer of 1999.
Died July 1999.

Slept in deep slumber for a decade then sold to foolish 21 year old Computer Engineering student on December 8th 2008.

Underwent mechanical restoartion in the summer of 2009.

Reborn September 4th 2009.