Brucie’s Diary: July 2013

Current mileage: 148,054

Brucie’s Annual Service

Brucie being serviced in the workshop at XJK Independent Jaguar Specialists

Brucie had his annual service carried out on 19th June 2013 at XJK, Independent Jaguar Specialists, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.  His service was due in March really, but at least it came before 10,000 miles, at 7635 miles, which is only slightly over the recommended servicing interval for the pre-1993 model year XJ40, so although it was not ideal at least I hadn’t overshot the recommended mileage between servicing!

With a total mileage of 147,553 (on the day of the service) and a respectable service history to date, Brucie is now very privileged to be looked after by Ian Kelsall who, in addition to the achievements listed below, worked with Win Percy preparing his racing cars and accompanied Win as his racing mechanic. At this time Ian was also one of the engineers who rebuilt the Le Mans winning XJR-9.

Ian’s career at Jaguar Cars comprised:

  1. Hotline Engineer: Ian started as one of a team of six engineers, running the Jaguar Technical Support hotline which offers technical assistance to the UK Jaguar dealer network.
  2. Team Leader: Ian progressed to become the UK team leader.
  3. Ian was then requested to go to Dubai to set up the same dealer technical support hotline for the MENA market (MENA= Middle East and North Africa).
  4. Group Leader International Technical Support: A natural progression from the UK technical support team leader, which involved working in Italy and India, among other places. Latterly, this incorporated technical support for Land Rover, after the amalgamation of the two companies.
  5. XJK Technician: a long time friend of Gavin Jones, owner of XJK, family commitments encouraged Ian to take up a standing offer from his friend to join the team at XJK near Stoke on Trent where Ian’s vast product knowledge is put to good use on a wide variety of Jaguars.

Ian begins by draining the engine oil while Brucie is at the top of the ramp

Service Order and Comments
The order in which the service is carried out is not important, so long as nothing is overlooked!  Logically, it makes sense to start with the car on the ramp, above the head, so that the oil can be drained while the underside of the car is inspected, and serviced first. The car is then dropped to waist level, so the wheels and brakes receive attention. Finally, the car can be dropped to ground level, so that access can be gained to the engine bay and interior. By proceeding in the order described above, the need to keep raising and lowering the car on the ramp is eliminated!

  • Raise car to top of ramp
  • Drain engine oil
  • Grease drive-shafts
  • Check fuel lines
  • Check brake pipes
  • Check all accessible suspension joints and bushes
  • Check underside of car for damage, corrosion, leaks etc.

Drop car to waist height

  • Check wheels and tyres
  • Remove wheels and check brakes and suspension
  • Replace wheels and adjust tyre pressures

Lower car to ground

  • Refill oil and check level
  • Check brake fluid (see notes below)
  • Check cooling system for leaks, check specific gravity of coolant and top up header tank, if necessary.
  • Check and top up all other levels –power steering fluid, screenwash etc.
  • Change air filter.
  • Check for warning lights, such as, bulb failure etc
  • Attend to any other points raised by the owner/driver

This is a basic service and does not include changing spark plugs, brake fluid, coolant etc. as per the intervals recommended by Jaguar for this model.

A previous workshop were paid to Waxoyl the underside of the car, but as you can see from the picture, they missed a good proportion of it!

Comments on servicing specific to Brucie

1.       Check fuel lines: Badly corroded and need replacing urgently, as not picked up by previous garage, and wrongly diagnosed as corroded brake pipes during MOT.

2.       Check brake pipes: these are all ok, but were previously mis-diagnosed as corroded during an MOT, and the previous garage cleaned them and applied waxoyl, and the advisory was dismissed. What has also been wrongly diagnosed as corroded brake pipes, is in fact, the vacuum pipe to the carbon canister which collects petrol vapour and is part of the emissions system.

3.       Check underside of car for damage, corrosion, leaks etc.

a.       Front under bumper panel has been broken, replaced, and then damaged again, along with slight damage to the cooling pack cradle above it. Currently unavailable from Jaguar, a new one has been ordered from SNG Barratt.

b.      Front brake cooling ducts are damaged (o/s) and missing (n/s).

c.       The underside of the car is basically solid, however, the workshop which previously applied the waxoyl did so very sketchily, so it requires a second and more thorough application to properly protect the underbody components from corrosion.

4.       Refill oil: XJK would recommend an oil of the same specification as that listed by Jaguar. They currently use Mobil 1, however, I had already purchased Castrol Magnatec ready for this service.

5.       Check brake fluid: At XJK I had the luxury of seeing my car serviced from start to finish and even being a passenger on the test drive, so I know exactly what was done, however, last year at the previous garage I was not present and have assumed that the brake fluid was changed as per my request. The condition of the brake fluid suggests that it was either changed or topped up as the reading, when tested, was between 1 and 2, which is satisfactory and will last another year at least. (See notes below on Brake Fluid).

6.       Check cooling system for leaks, check specific gravity of coolant and top up header tank, if necessary. The coolant was changed last year and the SG of Brucie’s coolant was -37c, therefore it was acceptable to top up the header tank with water.

7.       Check and top up all other levels –power steering fluid, screenwash etc. (As a result of being present while Brucie was serviced, I have now learnt that the neck of the screen wash bottle extends, to ease refilling!)

8.       Change air filter. The direction in which the pleats on the air filter element should sit is indicated on the air filter housing – the previous garage had inserted the air filter element the wrong way round!

This is a basic service and does not include changing spark plugs, brake fluid, coolant etc, as all of these were done last year. Unfortunately, Brucie’s impeccable early servicing record was allowed to lapse after 7 years. Therefore, according to the service record, this was the 13 years/130,000 miles service, although in fact it should be 16 years, and because we were unsure of exactly what servicing had been carried out in the last few years, almost everything has now been brought up-to-date so that future servicing will fit in with the intervals recommended by Jaguar for this model.

The front underpanel has been damaged, and needs replacing.
These are not available from Jaguar, so a “replica” has been ordered from SNG Barratt

Outstanding issues picked up during the service, which need to be addressed

1.       Replace fuel filter and fuel lines.

2.       Replace vacuum pipe to carbon canister

3.       Replace plastic front panel under bumper

4.       Replaced front brake cooling ducts on both sides

5.       Apply Waxoyl to underbody

6.       Replace missing “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay

7.       Replace missing trim clips in boot

8.       Replace thermostat, as engine is consistantly running below optimum temperature

9.       Replace window regulator and motor, as drivers door window is inoperable

10.    Replace drivers’ seat module (with memory pack) as this has temporarily been replaced by the passenger seat module, due to failure.

11.    Replace steering column, as the audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor have all failed

12.    Replace drivers’ door check strap

13.    Replace the ABS module as this has flagged up a warning on the dash

14.    Replace the ambient air temperature sensor, as there is an error message displayed on the air conditioning LCD display in the centre console

15.    Kickdown switch: Not very effective on Brucie, and apparently “winds out” and needs unwinding to tighten cable so that kickdown operates effectively.


Parts to order for above

1.       Fuel filter and lines

2.       Vacuum pipe (to carbon canister)

3.       Front panel under bumper

4.       Front brake cooling ducts o/s and n/s

5.       Waxoyl

6.       “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay

7.       Trim clips to secure panel over fuel tank in boot

8.       Thermostat

9.       Window regulator and motor

10.    Drivers’ seat module with memory pack

11.    Steering column (to include audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor).

12.    Driver door check strap

13.    ABS module

14.    Ambient air temperature sensor



While servicing Brucie, Ian was providing a running commentary of useful tips and general Jaguar information, some of which I have noted below, after first verifying with Ian and XJK that I have recorded the information correctly, to avoid misleading or confusing anyone.
Spark Plugs
NGK R is ok for V12, but it has a resister which causes the AJ16 to cut out because this has an individual coil on each cylinder and any extra voltage resisted by the NGK R spark plug, fires back to the engine management system and causes the engine to cut out. Therefore, if an AJ16 is cutting out randomly/periodically, check spark plugs first, and if necessary, change to Champion (the Jaguar approved part for the AJ16 engine). The V12 was less sophisticated than the AJ16. Fuel was delivered to several cylinders at once, along with a spark (via a single coil) , which wasted fuel. The AJ16 used the AJ6 block with a refined head, and one coil per cylinder, which effectively means that each cylinder fires independently and operates like an engine in its own right, eliminating wasted fuel. The AJ16 also benefits from stronger, lighter valves and valve gear, which was developed from new technologies, evolved after the creation of the AJ6, and reduced the overall weight of the engine.
Timing Chains
The timing chain fitted to the AJ16 is not known to cause problems. It does have a characteristic growl, but a trained ear can discern between a normal expected growl, and one which requires attention. I have read that 170,000 miles plus is normal before possible attention is required, and although Brucie is fast approaching 150,000 miles, his timing chains apparently have a healthy growl, and nothing that need be of concern!
Drive shafts
On the XJ40 and X300/X308 series, the drive shafts form the upper part of the rear suspension assembly, and due to the universal joints, there is naturally a slight amount of play in them. Properly maintained, they should not cause problems or need replacing.
1.       Unlike many of their competitors, Jaguar centralise their wheels on the central hub which slots into the middle of the wheel, and sits behind the wheel hub badges. This is in preference to a number of other manufacturers who use coned wheel nuts to centralise the wheel. The method used by Jaguar reduces vibration. The steel hub, in close and constant contact with the alloy wheel, requires a smear of aluminium grease to eliminate the problem of steel and alloy corroding together and the wheel seizing onto the hub.

2.       It has been known for people to replace damaged/lost Jaguar wheel nuts with “off the shelf” wheel nuts from general motor factors. The cone-edged wheelnut will bite into the alloy wheel and distort the holes where the wheel bolts fit through, with the probability of vibration as a result. Also, fitting after market non-Jaguar wheels can have the same effect, if the wheels are not so robust or the holes are not 100% correctly placed! It has the same effect as fitting wheels with an incorrect PCD. The later Jaguars (S-type, X-type, X350, XK, XF….) have a different PCD and also use a smaller size wheelnut.

3.       Because the X-type is AWD, its  wheels were designed to accept lighter loads – a quarter of the power output instead of half the power output of the engine. When fitted to a RWD Jaguar, the increased load will inevitably shear the spokes of the wheels!

4.       When servicing, with the car raised to waist height, spin the wheels to see that they are free from resistance and bearing noise, and that the tyre treads/side walls are free from nails/damage/excessive wear, and in axle pairs. Rock the wheels to check for play in bearings. (Rear wheels will display slight play due to drive shaft/top suspension arm set up – see above note on drive shafts).

5.       When removing wheels the locking wheel nut must be loosened by hand as a compressed air gun will distort the locking wheel nut and render it useless. (I have seen oval shaped locking wheel nuts!)

6.       Check brake discs for wear; calipers not seized; wheels not seized on, worn front suspension V-mounts and shock absorber top bushes. (Worn front suspension V-mounts and shock absorber top bushes, combined with badly aligned wheels, will cause the front tyres to wear unevenly, which sets up a vicious circle, with wear in one part, exacerbating wear in another. The effect is to cause the car to sit in dips/ruts in the road and suddenly jump out and to one side. This behaviour is known as “tramlining” and can be quite marked, with the car jumping out and across lanes at high speed. The cure is to renew ALL worn parts, and re-align wheels.)

7.       Apply aluminium grease to centre hubs before re-fitting wheels, to eliminate seizing of wheel to hub. Tighten to 90Nm only on X300, as these do not need to be as tight as those on modern Jaguars, which are 125Nm.

8.       Adjust tyre pressures: X300 (recommended) 32 front and 34 rear
The red coolant used in modern Jaguars was introduced in 1999, and is “long life”. The green coolant used in the older Jaguars is not long life. Pre 1999 Jaguars will accept the long life coolant, but DO NOT mix the two, as they are incompatible and will form a jelly, so the cooling system must be thoroughly flushed when changing over, to avoid a blockage! It is acceptable to dilute antifreeze with water, providing the specific gravity is checked first, to make sure it is adequate for the climate.
Brake fluid
Brake fluid boils at 180c and water at 100fc. As brake fluid ages, it absorbs water which leads to brake fade as the fluid in the pipes reaches boiling point at a lower temperature. Brake fluid should be checked with an electronic brake fluid gauge which is more accurate than working on a time scale, i.e. the 2 year rule.

The gauge passes a current through the brake fluid, and the more water content, the greater the current, which is displayed as lights:

If the current is too weak to power one light, the brake fluid is new.

1 – 2 lights is acceptable and 3 – 4 lights shows that the brake fluid has a high water content and needs changing. The colour of the fluid doesn’t affect its performance, as brake dust can seep into the pipes via the seals and discolour it.
Modern oils are much thinner than old oils, and require much less heating (if any) to drain effectively from the engine. When checking the oil level, run the engine for a minute, then switch off, and after another minute, check the level, which should be to the middle marker in the hatching, not the top of the hatching. Oil should be changed at regular intervals, regardless of whether or not it has become discoloured.


Test drive notes

Following servicing, Ian took Brucie out for a short test drive to make sure that everything was in order, and nothing had been overlooked.

Reversing Brucie, Ian commented that there was no flexing of the body, which apparently is very good for a long wheel base! I found this piece of information very interesting, as I had no idea that it was a common issue. I previously owned a similar X330 (1996 3.2 Sovereign) which, according to the warranty documents, had been returned to the dealership at 62,309 miles, with the customer issue recorded as “metallic creaking noise heard from r/h rear inner quarter trim” and the technicians’ comments, after completion of the work were recorded as “remove rear seats, rear quarter trims, and release rear section of headlining. Reinforcement  in quarter panels flexing together. Reposition.” (Another note refers to welding of broken/defective parts).

Ian dropped Brucie into potholes and dips in the road and noted that there was no clonking of the antiroll bar or other suspension problems, which again, is good.

All else was recorded as being very good too!

I hope I can quote Ian’s verdict (at the time when Brucie was test driven) which was “I can tell this is a good one. It is not pretending to be what it isn’t. A good, honest car, with high mileage and some wear, which has been generally cared for. There are no worrying faults, and all mechanical parts are sound.”