Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bent Piston Award

At this year's Ottawa Jaguar Club - Annual General Meeting I was awarded the highly prestigious Bent Piston Award. The award is given in recognition to those among us who have ventured into the shores of British car hell and have lived to share our experiences. It is given to only the bravest of warriors. To those who have walked through the valley of the shadow of rust and have battled with Lucas, the Prince of darkness. And to those who recite the Jag Lover's Prayer each morning. I am deeply humbled to join the ranks of so many great warriors.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall Colours Drive - Ottawa Valley Triumph Club

I decided to join the Ottawa Valley Triumph Club (OVTC) on their fall colours drive with the Jag. Absolutely amazing drive. Amazing country and amazing roads. Throwing the big V12 around the twisties was thrilling. The steep and quick inclination changes and twisty roads added an element of dan.. umm excitement, yes that's it, to the drive because cars coming round the bend/crest were not visible until they were 50ft away. Two lane countryside roads barely wide enough for the big cat added to the excitement. About an hour or so into the trip my co-pilot started smelling burning rubber from the Jag. Pulled over and found the A/C belt was melting. Thought it might be rubbing against the coolant filler neck, I dabbed a bit of oil around on the belt. The burning smell stopped but about 10mins later we saw smoke coming from under the hood. Pulled over and found that the smoke was coming out of the A/C pulley itself. I think the A/C pulley was seizing up. After realising the belt was only driving the A/C (which has always been non-functional) and the air pump, I cut the belt off with a haxsaw blade (thanks Paul). It was smooth sailing once again.
We stopped at Cedar Cove restaurant on White Lake for lunch and turned back for home. Averaged about 14mpg with the Jag. Incredible considering how bad the valve clearances, timing and mixture have become. OVTC hospitality was once again at its best. A big thanks to Don LeBlanc for putting the event together and for the superb routes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ooh Ahh Jag-u-ar

Not much to write any more these days. Reached a point in the restoration where the remaining work is quite expensive and cannot really be done at home (well most of it at least).

Mechanical work remaining:
  • Machine cylinder heads (valve job, adjustment, guides etc...)
  • Needs new exhaust. I'm most likely going to get a Stebro stainless system when I can afford it
  • A proper carb tuning. Or better still a set of SUs all round would be nice. Six double barrel down draft Webers would be ever nicer
  • Need new front and rear windscreen seals - damn thing leaks!

Aesthetic work remaining:
  • Needs a full down-to-metal paint job. The car was originally BRG but I think it'll just be easier to stick to black at the moment. A thick piano glossy black is what I want.
  • Redye the biscuit interior
  • A nice new suede headliner won't hurt either
  • Need new chrome bumpers. The chrome is starting to bubble and peal in places and this car really deserves to have the original European bumpers anyways.

All that should make her as good as new, but it'll easily rack up a cool $10,000. I can't afford to dump that kind of money in the Jag all at once, but I don't mind taking my time and doing the remaining jobs one by one as my finances permit.

Speaking of which, I'm really broke these days. Really need to get a job in January (Graduating M.Eng in December). I can do anything from restoring V12 Jags to writing computer software, so hire me already!

I suppose I will be keeping the V8 Bruiser Benz blog updated more often than the Jag one from now on. The 560SEL is a proper garage queen and a fussy one at that. Needs lots of small things done. Should be doing the fuel pumps and ACC mono-valve soon.

Over and out for now.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Truly Insatiable

There is something beautiful and at the same time simply sinister, about driving a V12 Jaguar in the night. You're bathed in this warm phosphorous green glow of the instruments, the sound of 12 cylinders a blaze, taunting you to go faster, and together with the cool night's breeze fools you into thinking you're flying a World War 2 fighter, its truly insatiable.

Hazeldean British Invasion

I'm not crazy about American cars, so I just snapped one photo for the sake of it. Once you've seen one American car, you've seen them all. The design is the same across the board, $1,000,000.00 R&D budget for the engine and then 10c on everything else.

I'm not particularly crazy about BMWs either. Over the last two decades, they've just become overly obnoxious, overweight and expensive. However I did spot this gem among all the E46 M3s. It's a E32 735i with a 5 speed manual and a 4.27 differential. Its wearing period correct BBS wheels and some sort of body kit. I think I want one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

1976 Jaguar commercial!

I stumbled across this commercial on youtube while searching for the "Claws" X-Type commercial (still looking, send me a link if you have it). Looks like an original 1976 Jaguar XJ French commercial featuring a Series 2 XJ. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New headliner

I really wish I had some photos to show how horrible the old headliner was. It was sagging down so low that it would rest on your head when you sat in the car. You couldn't even see rear passengers from the front seat. You had to hold it up with one hand to see anything from the rear view mirror.

A workshop charges around $800 to do the job. It involves either removing the rear window or front seats and taking the roof biscuit out . The fabric is then glued to the biscuit and then installed into the car. Easily 8 hours of work.

I didn't want to take the car apart just to put in a new headliner and I wasn't about to spend $800 bucks on it. Being the first time I've ever done anything like this I knew it wouldn't be perfect but I'd be content with just doing it myself if I could do a semi-decent job of it.

Pulling off the old headliner was child's play. It was only really still stuck on at the edges. A lot of glue residue was then brushed off using old paint brushes. I then wiped the surface with a wet cloth and allowed it to dry.

The material and glue cost me a total of $20. With the help of a friend, it took about 3 hours to scrape off the residue and glue on the new material. Even wearing masks it was quite intoxicating gluing the headliner while in the car.

Its definitely not perfect. But I'm happy. I think when I get round to redying the seats I'll stick something nice like sued or alcantara ontop of the current material. A thicker material is a lot easier to glue without getting kinks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

55,000 miles

The Jag just rolled 55,000 miles today (Canada Day!). After installing the new ignition amplifier the car has started running much better. However there was still a backfire from the rear left carburettor. The backfire can only be caused by a sticking exhaust valve as the timing and mixture are set correctly.

A fellow Ottawa Jaguar Club member suggested I try a product called "Guaranteed to Pass". He and some others have had great success using this product when doing their emissions test.

I had nothing to lose and as such I tried it out. I poured it into a full tank of fuel and went for a long drive. After 50miles of highway driving, the sticky exhaust valve seems to have freed itself as the backfire has completely gone now. I'm very happy with the result and I recommend the product to anyone trying to delay a top-end rebuild. Its called CRC "Guaranteed to Pass" and I bought it from CanadianTire.

The engine is running the smoothest it has ever run since I got the car. There is still quite a bit of valve chatter but overall the strong oil pressure is reassuring that I'm on the right track.
I will have to do a valve adjustment soon. I'd like to do it this year, but feeling lazy. Its a very time consuming job just to get down to the valve covers, let alone do an adjustment on 24 valves.

I've taken the car to both "16 Service" and "Autobahn" in Manotick for a valve adjustment but both of them refused to even touch the car. Mechanics these days are so pathetic. All they seem to be able to do is replace parts. Actual hard mechanical work is becoming very rare. Anyways, if you want something done right, you do it yourself.