Brucie’s Diary: October 2013

Current mileage: 150,921

On 4th November 2013 Brucie and I celebrate our third anniversary! He has only ever got cross with me once, and refused to start, but fortunately Gavin (owner of XJK) and Ian (XJK’s Chief mechanic, who looks after Brucie) drove half way across Stoke-on-Trent without so much as a grumble (not an easy feat!), and gave him a bit of a pep talk and a heart massage, and apparently his malady was all down to me as it turned out!

Brucie sits patiently outside XJK waiting for his turn to go in the workshop

XJK are a family business who take great pride in their work. They are very thorough and always have time to talk to customers – even awkward ones, like me! You can see your car in the workshop, and discuss issues with the mechanics as they work on your Jaguar. The Jaguar powertrain cutaway which you may have seen at major JEC events, is entirely the work of XJK and will be on display at the NEC, Birmingham later this month.

Last month I arranged to have a few pre-Winter jobs done on Brucie and arrived at XJK to find Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Marketing Director, Tony Ridge, having the raffle car serviced ready for when it goes to the lucky winner of this years’ prize draw. XJK have been responsible for all the servicing, maintenance and routine repairs for this and previous JEC raffle cars, going back 5 years. Previous winners have then chosen to continue to have their prize looked after by XJK, which is testament to the condition of the car when handed over to its new owner!

The JEC Prize Draw Jaguar XK convertible being serviced at XJK ready for handover to the winner

New fuel lines and renewal of under body protection

Part numbers: NXF6103AA – Fuel feed pipe (LWB); NXF6102AB – Fuel return pipe (LWB);
NNA6053DC – Fuel feed hose; NMD6091A – Fuel filter
When it came to Brucie’s turn, he was put up on the ramp and his wheels were removed for ease of access to all parts of the underbody, so that the fuel lines could be replaced, and he could then be waxoyled.

Part of the badly corroded fuel line system still in situ – normally tucked away in the nearside rear wheel arch, it is difficult to see.

The discarded fuel lines, laid out on the workshop floor, showing their full length.
(The inset shows a portion of the worst area.)

To assist removal and fitting of new fuel lines, the gearbox cradle was removed and the gearbox supported. Removal of the fuel lines is often hampered by seized joints/fixings, but Brucie was obviously keen to get his new fuel lines fitted in time for Spares Day, so he co-operated fully and they were very soon removed! The carbon canister was also removed to ease fitment and to check it over. The carbon canister collects fuel vapour from the fuel tank and neutralizes it. If this is light it is ok, but if it is heavy it means that it is full of liquid fuel rather than vapour, and should be replaced, as it is part of the emissions system.

Carbon canister pre-clean up and waxoyl

The fuel lines are in 2 sections – the main part being almost the full length of the car, and then a small pipe behind the rear axle (the feed pipe) which links up to the fuel filter. The X300 should have a new fuel filter every 6 years, and the present one has been there at least 3 years, so while everything was dismantled, it seemed obvious to do this job at the same time.

The neat new fuel lines are fixed firmly back onto the floorpan, which is then prepared ready to accept the new underseal.

After fitment of the fuel lines the underbody was prepared for waxoyling by removing lose underseal dating back to manufacture, and other debris and surface rust, before being given a very thorough and liberal coating of waxoyl to protect it from decay. Last winter the body cavities were treated, so now it was the turn of the underbody, with particular attention being paid to the grommets in the floorpan, seams, beams and crevases. Waxoyl can be sprayed directly onto rust, neutralizing it and preventing further rust. It remains in a semi-solid state, allowing it to flex and re-seal if perforated.

Floorpan prepped for waxoyl (left) and the same area (right) after treatment (note that the rubber grommet has been removed to access all areas and thoroughly protect them).

XJK’s verdict on the fundamental condition of Brucie was once again very encouraging! There is no rot in the chassis, floorpan or subframes, and the only surface rust which was found, was soon removed by wire brushing.

While Brucie was up on the ramp, I took advantage of XJK’s October/November offer of a free brake and tyre inspection, to make sure everything is A1 for winter, which arrived the next day!

The inspection is very thorough, and is basically a chunk taken out of a full service, consisting of checking wheel bearings; brake pads, discs and brake fluid condition. The tyre pressures are checked and the tyre walls and tread are inspected for foreign bodies, tread depth and wear. The customer is then advised of any work that may be required. Brucie had a clean bill of health, thankfully!

XJK FREE Winter Brake and Tyre Check Booking Enquiry

Matt spruces Brucie’s original 20 spoke alloys – before (top left) and after (bottom left)

Meanwhile Matt gave Brucie’s wheels a thorough cleaning on the inside while they were off the car, which revealed a little corrosion on each wheel. This is the first opportunity I have had to have the insides cleaned, in the 3 years I have owned Brucie. It was my intention to keep up with the cleaning on a regular basis now, but having seen the amount of corrosion, it looks like refurbishment is on the cards!

Stunning black 2008 Jaguar X-type diesel estate – an XJK customer courtesy car !!

As this was going to be a two day job, I was given a Jaguar courtesy car overnight while Brucie remained at the workshop. My courtesy car was a very nice 2008 X-type diesel estate, finished in black with cream hide, it looked extremely smart, and it was great fun to drive a manual for a change! At 40 mpg, I was tempted to leave Brucie at XJK and keep the X-type!

As the fuel line fitment had gone well, and the waxoyl had been successfully applied the day before, it was left to cure on the second day of Brucie’s visit to XJK, while a few other issues, picked up by XJK at Brucie’s annual service in June, were tackled.
The outstanding issues are listed below, and working through them in order, XJK covered most of them in one day.

  • Replace fuel filter and fuel lines – work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace vacuum pipe to carbon canister– work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace plastic front panel under bumper– scheduled for 2014
  • Replace front brake cooling ducts on both sides – scheduled for 2014
  • Apply Waxoyl to underbody– work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace missing “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay – parts to be sourced
  • Replace missing trim clips in boot – parts to be sourced
  • Replace thermostat, as engine is consistently running below optimum temperature – work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace window regulator and motor, as driver’s door window is inoperable – work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace drivers’ door check arm – work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace driver’s seat module (with memory pack) as this has temporarily been replaced by the passenger seat module, due to failure – work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace steering column, as the audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor have all failed – work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace the ABS module as this has flagged up a warning on the dash – scheduled for next visit
  • Replace the ambient air temperature sensor, as there is an error message displayed on the air conditioning LCD display in the centre console – scheduled for 2014
  • Kickdown switch: Not very effective on Brucie, and apparently “winds out” and needs rewinding to tighten cable so that kickdown operates effectively – scheduled for 2014

Notes on parts fitment

ThermostatPart number: EBC3621


According to the gauges on the instrument panel, Brucie’s engine has never come up to temperature properly, and an engine which is running too cool is not good. In order to eliminate the possibility of a faulty gauge on the dashboard, a new thermostat was fitted to see if that would cure the problem, which happily, it did. Other evidence which pointed to this being the fault is that the cabin temperature is never very high on cold Winter days when the heating is turned up to full. Brucie is now running consistently at just a fraction below the ‘N’ on the gauge instead of wavering between this position and ‘C’ and I am looking forward to a really toasty cabin this Winter!I was also concerned because when standing stationary in traffic with the engine running (which I seem to do a lot of these days!) the engine appears to miss a beat, almost like a misfire, on a regular basis, every few seconds. Ian explained that this is a normal feature of the AJ16 and nothing to be concerned about. In order to calibrate the engine so that everything else was happy, a compromise was reached by the engineers at the time. I didn’t notice this phenomenon at first, but I think it has been brought to my attention by a combination of spending more time idling in traffic, being much more familiar with the car, and having other problems sorted, so that it is running at an optimum.

Window Regulator Motor

Part number: JLM12022

The rusted and seized window regulator motor

When I purchased Brucie, 3 years ago, I was told that the driver’s door window did not work, and there was a handful of dead fuses in the centre console cubby box, which spoke for themselves! As I didn’t consider it vital to be able to wind the window down, this was one of the jobs which was put on hold while other more vital work was dealt with first. When the window regulaor motor was removed, it was rusted and seized, so at least it was obvious what the problem had been.  A new motor was fitted, and at last I can operate Brucie’s driver’s door window! Glen Parkes of Jaguar Classic Parts had advised that it is usually the motor which is at fault, rather than the regulator, which is very expensive, and therefore it was decided that we would start by replacing the motor, and this turned out to be the correct diagnosis.

The interior door trim completely removed, and the door glass supported

The plastic sheet hanging down from behind the inner panel is a moisture curtain. Jaguars have 3 zones – wet, dry and semi-wet. The interior cabin is obviously classed as a dry zone, but the inner door (behind the moisture curtain) is a semi-wet zone and expected to cope with moisture from wound down wet windows!

A thorough inspection of the inside of the door, with all the trim removed, revealed absolutely no rust, which is very comforting, considering the state of the window regulator motor! With Ian’s help, I cleaned up all the inaccessible trim pieces while they were removed from the car. When removing the interior door trim, it is necessary to be very careful, as the main retaining clip is nolonger available, and without it the door panel will flap about and not sit correctly. The panel needs to be lifted upwards and outwards, to remove it. To replace it,  first remove the outer part of the retaining clip from the inside of the trim panel, and push this back into the door itself, then locate the trim panel so that the spring-fit clip is pushed firmly into the retaining clip, before replacing and securing all other screws, fastenings and trim panels.

Drivers’ Door Check Arm

Part number: GMD1983AB


With the door trim panel already removed, this was an ideal time to fit the new check arm. This was broken from the time when I purchased Brucie, and I assumed that we just needed to fit a new one, however, upon inspection it was found that the front of the door where the check arm fits was split. This is apparently a common problem on these cars as the metal is relatively thin, and the force of a door being caught by the wind will cause an initial split, leaving it vulnerable to further damage, as it has much less resistance to being flung open. A weld is an alternative repair, but it was felt that this was not necessary at this time, and a repair was effected by fitting washers either side of the split metal to brace and strengthen it.

Drivers’ Seat Module

Part number: LNA 2165AA


These are obsolete, and very hard to get hold of. Jaguar Classic Parts have reinstated some versions, but not the one with the seat memory package, which was required for the 4 litre lwb Sovereign. I was fortunate to be able to get one from Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Chairman Rob Jenner, and this was fitted at the same time as the new steering column.

The seat module sits below the seat so after re-fitting it, testing the seat module was interesting, as Brucie decided to fold the drivers’ seat while Ian was sitting in it, giving the impression that he was trying to eat the driver … a few scary moments there!

The passenger seat module (which has no memory function) had been temporarily removed from the passenger seat, meaning that it could not be adjusted, and installed in the drivers’ seat, so that it could at least be adjusted for other drivers, and was now returned to the passenger seat, so Brucie is fully functional once more!

Steering Column

Part number: HNA9261AH

Still in the box – Brucie’s new steering column, and speaker (which comes as a separate part – top right hand corner).

The speaker did not function so Brucie had no voice at all and could never tell me when I had forgotten to turn the lights off, or give an audible warning when indicating.

The retract/adjust feature had failed, so even though the memory facility was fitted, it only worked on seat adjustment. The position sensor had also failed, so Brucie couldn’t remember where he’d left his steering wheel – comes to us all in the end!

The old steering column was removed, which was straightforward. The battery had to be disconnected so that the airbag could be disarmed. The X300 airbags are electronic, and therefore do not need to be manually disarmed, as with the XJ40 which has mechanical airbags.

On dismantling the steering column, it was found that the speaker was completely missing, so the suggestion is that because Brucie was probably chauffeur driven, in which case the chauffeur would have been in and out of the car opening doors for passengers, he would not have worn a seatbelt, and the audible warning would have been an annoyance!

Ian also commented on the fact that it is rare to find an X300 with all automatic steering functions still fully operational, and I do know of other specialists who dis-able the steering column memory functions simply because as people climb into the drivers’ seat, they lean heavily on the steering wheel and damage the mechanism, therefore it is easier to completely disable it than to consider an expensive repair or replacement – the complete kit and labour is close to £1000 !!

While the steering column was removed, I was able to give all the trim pieces a really thorough cleaning, much more easily than when it is in situ, and Ian pointed out that the steering wheel adjustment switch was originally used on the XJ220 as a mirror adjustment switch, with different graphics!

The middle section of the steering wheel is nolonger obtainable new, so once the airbag has been deployed, this part, which will split open, will have to be sourced from a used part specialist.

Well, it has taken me three years to get this far, but most of the major issues are now almost sorted, thanks to XJK Independent Jaguar Specialists, SNG Barratt and Jaguar Classic Parts  A few more items to put right, and in my eyes, my Sovereign will reign supreme!

Brucie’s next visit to XJK will be for a pre-MOT service and the MOT itself.


See separate report on Brucie’s trip to the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Southern Day