Monday, December 12, 2016

I have fallen into a pattern, updates on my the progress of my automotive fleet interspersed with postings of my memories, musings and ramblings. I actually have that line printed on my "social cards".

I would call them business cards if there was any money making business going on. They are more like the calling cards used in the Victorian period. You would exchange them with other folks you met and would like to get together and socialize with at a later date.  So if I discuss my blog with anyone and they express any interest I can lay a card on them!

There are so many sites with how to videos on the web that I wouldn't try to compete with those guys. I'll just share some of my insights into the process.

Progress has been kind of slow, due to all the work emptying out the garage. However I have turned the corner as you can see. The car is in there with enough room to work around it. Many thanks to my Wife who has worked hard to consolidate and move her things.

I asked that she be careful not to place anything on the car. But you know how an inoperative car in the garage is soon transformed into horizontal storage space. So just in case. The most dangerous thing is a rake or broom standing near the car. If one of these fall on the car they concentrate all the force in one small spot resulting in a nasty little dent. I'm keeping a close eye on those!

First I covered it with the basic car cover

Then I laid this old comforter over the hood and fenders.

kind of like Leatherface, but not as scary!

The final layer was this flat card board. It's not visible in the photo but there's an aluminum ladder hanging above the car. I forgot to remove before parking the car. I'll wait to move the car from the garage before I try to take it down, with my luck I can see myself dropping it on directly on my XJS.

Change of plans. I've decided that the best course of action is to fix up my XJ6 first.  I have made a point of driving this car every chance I get. I know that there are things that I should have fixed but my intention has to been to enjoy the "Jaguar experience" as often and as long as I could. "Keep calm and keep on driving" has been my mantra. Old cars have problems, they all do, and if doesn't stop me from using the car I'd rather drive than fix.

There has been problems with the rear view mirror, the loose door panels and some other minor stuff. The problems with the worn out hood and trunk struts which I have suffered through for the last nine months. The fuel gauge has never worked properly as it would be stuck on empty for a while after fill up, but it has always indicated properly after awhile, some times a very long while.  The car has started a screeching sound which I hope is just a bad fan belt. It got to the point where it would only make the noise for about 15 seconds on start up when cold. Now it's gotten worse though it does stop when it gets warm. A couple of days ago I was driving to work in a light misting rain when I noticed that the defroster wasn't defrosting. The air was blowing but it wasn't warm. I searched the forum and it appears that it might be the auxiliary pump for the heating system. It could be that the brushes in the motor are worn, maybe. I haven't taken a look yet. The steering pulls a little to the right. Obviously some steering or suspension bushings have"perished,"

                                                photosource: awesome

So I have a "squawk list" that has gotten pretty long. This afternoon I finally got around to ordering some of the parts I need for my XJ6 from Parts Geek. I had good luck getting some parts from them for my XJS. Prices are good but you can't find every part. I ordered a the support struts for the hood and trunk, the fuel tank sending unit, and the transmission mount spring and insolater for the XJS. Some of the  common transmission parts like the shifter, front and rear shaft seals and o rings for the filler tubes and vacuum modulator, I can get from my local auto parts store. There is also a vendor named Jaguar Specialties out of Los Gatos. I have done business with him and he claims that he can get any part I need.

I also need to buy some more equipment for the transmission job. I bought a new floor jack awhile back at Harbor Freight Tools, but I'll have to return to buy the engine support bar. I also plan to buy two pairs of auto ramps, I'll put a pair under each of the front and rear wheels. I didn't like the unbraced metal ones offered at H.F. so I'll probably go with the plastic ones I've seen at O'Reilly's. They look more trustworthy, for some reason.

I just finished up changing the drive belts and a/c tensioner. I also replaced the hood support struts. I replaced and overhauled the auxiliary coolant pump which is used for the heater. I'm running the gas level down a bit so I can change out the sending unit, and I'll replace the trunk support struts at the same time.

The best place to work on a cold and rainy day. At the kitchen table with a cup of coffee. The replacement brushes came from a local hobby store.

A little filing, a little soldering and the pump will be as good as new.
Don't confuse it with this part,

This is the heater valve, and it has four hose connections. My mistake just added a couple of hours of extra work.

In my last posting I described how my '96 Mustang sustained a crippling ball joint dislocation. Painful. In the concept of automotive triage it now moves up front and center. I've been debating whether I should order the complete replacement suspension arms from the Net or at my local auto parts store, Winchester Auto. Now I like to save money as much as the next guy, but the staff of Winchester Auto stands heads and shoulders above the local O'Reilly's or Pep Boys. These guys are experienced parts guys and they can provide useful suggestions. I have had these guys pull the old parts books out and go through them when I was looking for parts for my old Riviera. They would even look through the interchange listings! You know what happens at O'Reilly's, if it doesn't show up on their computer than it's a " dealer only part", the counter person isn't going to look in a parts book, I doubt they even know what one of those is. I would doubt that there are any in the store. I don't blame that young person behind the counter, those businesses don't like to keep workers over the long term and develop their skills, they would rather replace them with new, lower paid employees.

So we have to make the choice to support out good local stores, or they will go out of business. Yes, the Web stuff is cheaper but it is nice being able to see the actual parts and compare, and ask questions. There aren't a lot of those good old fashioned auto parts stores and little machine shop operations around any more.  I don't know if we can stem the tide, but we can hopefully slow their demise.

Who doesn't like finding packages on the porch?

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