So finally XJR is sold.... 
Friday, July 1, 2011, 05:31 PM
Yes, it's true, I finally decided I'd had enough and sold the XJR to a very happy new owner... shame but I'm looking forward to a nicer and younger XKR before I die, so had to make the move....

Bye Bye Jaggie !!!!


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Polishing out windscreen scratches... 
Friday, August 18, 2006, 03:44 AM - General Info
Well, I saw this product in Autozone twice now, so I decided to try it: 605888 POL-300 Windshield Polishing Kit with preloaded self adhesive pads for $11.99

Says it's fully guaranteed to polish out glass scratches, and since it's a single-wiper phenomenon, of course I have a bunch. Not only the radial ones where the wiper traversed the screen taking some salt/sand across the surface (remember my car's from Michigan) but then there was a nasty area of vertical scratches where some numbnuts had tried to use something like sandpaper to see if he could polish them out. Duh, didn't work, dude...

Since the kit comes in a pack of 5 self-adhesive open cell mineral-polish preloaded foam pads about .5 in thick and an impact plastic drill backing pad around 3in. diameter with wording on the box that promises a 5-minute fix, I was already sceptical. Mind you I'm not that dumb that I'd expect all the scratches to disappear after 5 minutes, some are pretty deep, and it turns out I wasn't far wrong....

After the first hour of polishing the drivers side scratches, focusing on getting the vertical scratches out, I came to the conclusion that this was working,but incredibly slowly. Maybe in another week or so, I'd have this licked.... The radial scratches seemed to be much less prominent (although the deeper ones were still very visible) but the vertical scratches were still horrible.

I had already used two pads, figuring I had probably used up the mineral in the first after the first half hour or so. Hmm, not stellar so far.... so I decided to try and find a more abrasive substance that I could get the bulk of the scratches out with first, then use these pads to finish up and polish to a sparkle.

Well, I have some Flitz polish in little sachets, polishes wheels, metal, removes rust,polishes visors and glass, but it says on the sachet "no abrasives" That's useless.... I need a fine abrasive for this job.

The laws of reality say the only way these scratches are going to disappear is if I level the rest of the windscreen to match the deepest ones. No way I could do that, the best you can expect is widening and leveling the edges of the scratches to the point where they are no longer scratches but channels that blend with each other and are less visible. What's worse, if you use an abrasive that's too sharp, you'll end up with a frosted glass windshield...

I do have a couple of tubes of GS27 "as seen on TV" scratch remover I bought a while back in a dollar store... and guess what, they worked better than the stuff in the pads, messier but better. So I put the goop on the windhield and buff on....

With the same technique of drilling a few minutes on glass, the stuff dries out, spray screen with water mist, repeat several hundred times, then used the pads for 10 minutes or so (as originally intended) to finish up, I eventually got most of my scratches out. After about 6 hours of work....

If you're going to do this yourself, you'll need a drill that runs below 1500rpm, a mist sprayer for the water, and a couple of towels or preferably a can or two of disposable Glass cleaner wipes.... a lot of muscle, patience and perseverance, and something to cover the rest of the car with. I'd guess you could use something similar like the old style paint cutting compound, but I'd make sure it's water soluble or you'll have a devil of a time with it drying on the screen.

Not all scratches disappeared mind you, and the vertical ones are still there if you know where to look for them, you can still see them from inside against the sun, but the glare effects are now 100% better than before.

So the answer is... yes you can, kinda, but it isn't easy and it sure isn't a 5 minute job....

As always, your risk, your reward. Your mileage may vary, but it's actually really good when the XJR's not running...
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Fun and games with the XJR... And then....disaster strikes...!!! 
Sunday, August 13, 2006, 12:00 AM - Maintenance
Todays challenge, should you choose to accept it.... is to work out from the following symptoms the cause of our breakdown last friday....

Previously behaving perfectly normal (the Jag, not us!), we left the restaurant to return home (a 3 mile ride), having just turned over the magical 99,999 miles on the odometer !

Engine turns over normal speed, but will not start... feels like it's trying, just can't make it to run by itself. 1/3 tank of gas left. Sudden breakdown, so maybe condensation in the garage got to something (hadn't been run last few days)? Checked electrics, relays, fuses, all seemed okay. Let it cool down a bit (guess around 150 under the bonnet !!!) Still no joy, same sound like it wants to go but can't.

Loosened fuel rail regulator pipe on engine, no gasoline coming out. Strange, fuel pump can be heard running after ignition is switched on... Must be something nastier, time to call AAA auto club for a tow... good thing we're so close to home.

Saturday... instead of going to the car show, we've started detailed diagnostics... Still no gas getting to engine. Son turned on ignition, can hear fuel pump whining, then shuts off after a few seconds of non-starting, just as it should...

Can't have been something nasty in tank, filler cap is automatically locked by security system...

Maybe gauge is broken, no gas in tank? Removed Trunk Tank trim panel. Nope, releasing the seal slightly on the sender unit looses a flood of gas. Maybe filter 100% clogged? Under (jacked up and stand-ed) rear left of car, release fuel filter inlet pipe, dry. Son turns on ignition, pump runs, no gas... Hmm, puzzling. Not pumping gas, but if defective would make no noise....???

Searched Jag-lovers web site and Alldata and Mitchells CDs, no clues there... this makes no sense.... I really DON'T want to have to take out fuel tank (maybe 4-6 hrs work if goes smoothly, and I don't have the special fuel pipe release tools either) and anyway, if the pump is running, it's not that, is it ?

Maybe the fuel pump inlet filter is clogged, that'd explain pump running but no gas... or maybe the pump's internal overpressure bypass is jammed open, but surely there'd still be at least a dribble of gas, not absolutely dry pipe...???

Brainstorm... supercharged XJR has 2 fuel pumps, 2nd one controlled by a black box in the forward area of the trunk next to its relay, below the tank itself. Hmm, maybe I should hotwire it and if the filter inside the tank is clogged, fuel still won't come out, right? Traced the wiring, removed the 2nd pump control module (black relay box) and grounded the pink relay wire. Now 2nd pump whines and runs with ignition on, floods garage floor with gas... hmmm....WTF is going on here? (hey, have to remember that trick if the primary petrol pump ever fails in the future.... I have a limp home standby in the tank!!! I'll write this up on another page)

Okay, looks like the pump must be somehow defective, almost resigned to taking the fuel tank out.... siphoned out rest of tank contents, maybe 8 gallons. Opened and removed fuel sender unit. Looked inside, and all becomes clear !!!!
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(Spoiler here, don't read unless you want to know the answer !!!)
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The rubber pipe from the pump to the y-connector exiting the tank is off at the pump and just hanging there in mid-air, hose jubilee clip and all !!!!

Hmm, that's a small opening, the pump is about 4-5 inches away inside and to the left, how do I get that pipe back on and tighten the clip ???

So I rigged a coathanger wire to go around and hook the pipe back into position, then added a gardening tool that looks like a long snake tongue with a V in the middle to hold and jiggle the pipe from the front back down onto the pump outlet tube. As you can imagine, that took maybe half an hour to do, while laying inside the trunk in a foetal position... so much fun...

But still better than taking the tank out...

Okay, so the root cause? Maybe the fuel filter is clogged and the pressure built up and popped the pipe off? So after an hour of fighting with it I came to the conclusion that the filter outlet pipe is permnently welded with the aluminium filter casing, no way it was going to let go, even with the fitting rounded off by special fule line wrench that goes 90% of the way around it.

Off to Autozone, picked up a Dorman 800-153 quick disconnect fuel line repair kit, which is basically an 18" long 3/8 in. metal pipe with the correct filter connector and a brasss compression joint to join to the original fuel line. And a generic pipe bender (impossible to bend fuel or brake pipe without kinking it otherwise) and you'd also need a small tubing cutter (no hacksaws allowed as shrapnel getting into the injectors upstream of the filter is a huge no-no !!!). Yeah, buy two of those repair kits, you'll probably mess up the bends or kink the first one, you can always take the spare one back later if you don't need it...

So replacing the fuel filter, which I bought months ago but put off (wise decision as it turns out) was finally done.

By the way, I blew through the filter and gas went flying out the other end so it wasn't clogged at all...!!!

I guess it was just uncle Murphy (y'know, Lucas's twin brother) playing around again, and I was just lucky to be so close to home !!!

Guess what, a new player in town.... NipponDenso, Prince of Famine ....LOL

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Neo MP3 Player photo slideshow updated.... 
Saturday, August 12, 2006, 06:13 PM - Upgrades, Modifications
Check it out, project now officially finished and working fine.

How can you not like never having to listen to the same song twice...???
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iGuidance GPS on a laptop is cool... 
Friday, May 5, 2006, 03:58 AM - General Info, Upgrades
Yep, I admit it, I'm hooked. For the last few years I've use Microsoft Streets and trips with my USB GPS adapter ($60 off ebay) on my work laptop. It's saved my bacon several times by getting me from A to B and sometimes even to F when I'm in a hurry and don't know where I'm going.

Tell you what though, I installed iGuidance and it makes life so much easier...on the road.

Streets (called Autoroute in the Ukay excelled at providing written instructions on how to get there from here. Also with times/miles/rest stops it made it easy to find an address anywhere and route to it.

iGuidance doesn't do routing or print directions or maps or nothing, it just tells you where to go, step by step, just like an Urtz AlwaysLost if you've ever rented a car with one. Only better.

Okay, so this is the deal. Get a laptop with a USB input. Get a USB GPS unit on a cable, preferably long enough to get from your laptop on the passenger side to the top of the dash at the very front (or out the window to the roof, they're magnetic as well) and get iGuidance. Fire it up, it'll find your GPS and in a minute or so will show you where you are on a full 3d display (or 2d map if you prefer) Type in the destination (kinda like Neverklutz, you can put in characters from the screen on a tablet or touchscreen) and this cute sounding babe in the laptop tells you where to go. Simple as that, and free forever once you've bought the gear....

Still use my Streets sometimes to get a printout or find out how many miles/how long it's going to take me, but this thing rocks on the road.

These should be mandatory for all sales reps, delivery drivers and service personnel. Save you lots of gas money and calls every year, not to mention being late for appointments you thought were somewhere else. And all those close calls when you had to go across four lanes to get to an exit on the other side of the road...

Now if only I can find a cure for cellphones attached to blondeheads in dodgy caravans I'd be made....

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Simple fix for bad vibrations....duh !!! 
Friday, May 5, 2006, 03:42 AM - Maintenance
Well, I'll be darned... it actually paid off to be methodical and persistent for once....

Remember I had a vibration problem that I was sure was the propshaft Center Bearing?

Well, I spent another two hours under the Jag yesterday, and this time put it up way high on proper 6 ton axle stands (those I trust, unlike the 2.5 ton cheap ones I had before) Found a good use for them though...used the cheap stands as chocks in front of the front wheels....perfect angle to prevent movement.

Ran the engine, switched off the Traction control, and put it in drive. revved it up to 45mph with a piece of 2x4 on the pedal, and got the vibes again....

So taking my life in my hands (actually with the stands and a 3 ton jack under the rear axle I felt pretty safe) I got underneath the car.... felt the vibes to be coming from mid-underneath, but with little load, minimal compared to being on the road. But it's probably the bearing or prop out of balance, so I affixed an old lead fishing weight to the prop with a thick plastic tie... that'll be a good test.

Whoah! the vibes come in horrendously at 30mph, but there aren't ANY at 45mph. So it IS the propshaft!

Back in the garage and up on the stands...

So I took my trusty screwdriver and held it to the body and touched it to the prop just south and north of the center bearing. hmmm, slightly oval track there, touches more in some places, less in others.

So shut off the engine (oh yeah, I did have a huge fan running in the garage(bad eough having to deal with farts, let alone carbon monoxide poisoning) and get back underneath. I have a nice fresh steel scratch around 80% of the shaft, and black paint on the rest.

So I thinks to myself, I remember how the old guys used to do this in the England, and I put a Jubilee clip (that's an adjustable hose clamp to you yanks) around the prop and clamp it down with the bulk at the painted area, after all, that's where it's the lightest.

Guess what, no more vibrations!!! I mean it's perfectly smooth now from 0-80 with no discernible vibes from underneath. Guess the weight was just a lucky guess, although I could have used more clamps....I remember seeing a prop with half a dozen clamps on it one time...

Yes, I still have the clunkclunk from underneath on hard 0-20, but that's okay until I get the money together to replace the exhaust (already bought the bearing), but have to cut off the rear exhausts both sides as they're all welded together by good old Michigan rust.....not a job I'm looking forward to....maybe I'll just put that off until I retire...
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Neo MP3 Jukebox installed... 
Thursday, March 16, 2006, 04:30 PM
Yep, finally installed my NEO MP3 JUKEBOX in the XJR over the weekend, after weeks of planning and assembling. What, you may ask, why not just take it into the shop and have then do the install in an hour or two??? Well, several reasons...

1. I don't trust them not to screw up something...
2. I'm fairly confident something on the Jag will not work when they give it back or will short out soon after...
3. I want this to be a professional installation which will not intrude on the original equipment in such a way as to either detract from the looks or the value of the car, neither of which a shop will do.... so I end up doing most things myself.

So the plan is... interface the 80Gb of MP3s on the hard drive with the existing wiring and install it in such a way that it can easily be removed and the original Alpine CD Changer replaced within a matter of an hour or so, and make it work with the existing radio wiring so that I can control it and hear the sound out of the superb Harman Kardon Stereo that's already in the vehicle, in other words have it play through the existing radio/amp connections.

Hmm, that presents more than one challenge.... The current head unit is unique and irreplaceable, being the shape that it is, yet doesn't have the intelligence to fully control an MP3 player of the Neo's sophistication. By the way, if you don't know what a Neo jukebox is, tough!!! You should, but this would all be relevant even if I was using the original plan, which was a carPC with full multimedia. Then again, I don't want to do stuff like install screens into headrests etc. Nossir, this is a drivers car, not a passengers car. My wife and kids don't appreciate it anyway, ask the door protectors.... so the CarPC would only give me the added benefit of music and GPS roadmapping, and would require serious surgery somewhere to accommodate an LCD screen. Maybe not a good idea. Okay, so Neo it is.

Hmm, nice of Jaguar to provide a remote Alpine CDChanger with an Mbus connection in the trunk, of course I'll put that to good use, and it'll let me connect everything into the existing stereo. Cool!!! So I buy an MBus to twin RCA adapter from Crutchfield (they're expensive but good!!) and plug it in to everything.

Yeah I wish....all I get is NO CONT on the radio display, no aux in like promised, and no way to select it on the radio that I can work out from Google or the JH CDs or Mitchell or Alldata. Turns out they didn't want little me installing anything else but a Jaguar Alpine changer there, so they rigged the Mbus to expect a digital heartbeat from the Jaguar branded changer. Ouch! Snookered again!

Well, after loads of googling and research, I bought a circuit board from indashpc.org for around $40 which is intended for a CarPC using a USB and 3.5mm audio plug to feed into an Mbus plug.... tried it out with a laptop and it worked!

UPDATE:- see new photos added to slideshow...

Actually fed audio from the laptop, faking the radio out to think it was the cd changer connected. Very cool! And it used the Radio CD controls to switch playlists on the PC and navigate tracks etc.(although that wouldn't be useful for me, since I wasn't using the PC USB connection), just needed the Mbus spoofing to work... I'm putting together a page of info on the board and how it was all done...

Take a look at the flash slideshow depicting the install on the right of this page... The Neo comes with a wired Remote that has navigation and a 4-line display which I had intended to put in the ashtray cubby-just enough room and can be hidden easily by closing the lid. That won't work though, the driver can't see the display or the controls as they are obscured.... Also a slightly risky position as it's right below where I keep my coffee... Oh well, back to the drawing board.

One thing I don't want to do is cut or modify the fascia or dash of the XJR in any way, so after much grief, I think my best option is in the middle of the dash just below the vents, using a backing plate to wedge it where the two trim pieces butt together... Not inspiring, but it's visible and easy to control while driving, and not really in the way of anything. Only issue I see is that it's a bit too visible to thieves, and looks a little too much like satellite radio, which they can sell....

Any better ideas? I'm open to anything...

UPDATE:- Final decision and photos in slideshow on right...
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Brakes now work..... 
Tuesday, January 31, 2006, 09:48 PM - Maintenance
Okay, worked on the brakes and bearings last weekend.

Bought all parts from: Online-Auto-Parts.com AKA Auto Parts Place Seemed like the best/cheapest place with free shipping (I knew that'd be substantial on discs pads etc!) Surprisingly they delivered all the parts within a few days from a variety of different locations, and thay all showed up within a week and were correct!!! Can't do better than that.... Judging by the site and shipping they're a partner of the Worldpac/Carquest Group. Excellent service.

Discoveries - Need 7mm short Hex Socket to get the caliper slider pins out. Difficult to use other tools as limited accessibility due to brake pipes/speed sensor wires etc.

Changed both front brake discs as showing uneven pad transfer, accounts for tremors under heavy braking. Brembo discs Their part number was JLM 20341 for the front discs.

Installed new Akebono Brake Pro Ceramic pads front and rear: ACT394A and ACT688. Perfect fit, very good quality pads with special shims and moly lubricant, but expensive....

Installed new wheel bearing set on R/H front as looked somewhat worn and felt like some particles in the grease. Part SKF BR8 outer/ BR17 Inner bearings in a kit K8020-37040 complete with inner seal.

Changed front brake hoses for MNA 5680AA just as a precaution (10 years old) and to make sure pedal is firm. Bled brakes through all the way with Synpower Fluid. Think it's the best on the market.

When changing hoses, I noticed BOTH the braided wheel hub grounding wires were broken, so I reconnected one and replaced the other with some high-flexibility Iron flex ("_"). Hope that'll work for now. Probably non-essential, but this works the opposite way too... if Jaguar felt it wasn't necessary, they wouldn't have put it on there in the first place.... have to get some braid to fix this permanently later...

What a difference. Much smoother low speed braking and driving, with no shimmying. Pads bedded in nicely after frying them a bit on the recommended high-speed fast stops with lots of heat, then gentle cooldown, and they seem to be reasonable when cold now.

Still need to change the propshaft Center Bearing as I'm sure that's where the acceleration clunking and vibration at 50mph is coming from, but that's going to be a pain in the ass as it's right above the exhaust joint to the rear mufflers (which of course is permanently welded by rust).
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Sidebar to the project 
Saturday, January 14, 2006, 03:36 AM - General Info


Just saw these today in my travels.

I can see how this could be true... then again, which would you rather have????
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To Kick Off the project.... 
Wednesday, June 28, 5544, 02:53 AM
Found my ideal car on the Jag-Lovers site....



1995 Jaguar XJR. 92,000 miles, excellent condition
1/2 price of one I had seen go on eBay a few days before.
No, it can't be true....

Negotiated via email for 3 days.....

He sent me pictures (see link in Photos on right)....

Ran around raising cash to take with me....

Flew up to Michigan to see the XJR.... fully expecting to have to fly back disappointed as it was probably a great-looking total dog.

He showed me the car...
I fell in love....
....and the rest is history....

Hmm, on reflection I shoulda taken my mechanic...{"-_-"}
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