Brucie’s Diary: February 2014

Current mileage: 154,527

Brucie’s post service tidying up continues, making him ready for the 2014 show season!


Fit new steering wheel rim

feb14_brucie1_300 Parts: Steering wheel rim.

Part number: HNA9181CASDC

feb14_brucie4_300 Last October Brucie had a new steering column fitted, as reported in Brucie’s Diary – October 2013However, at the time I did not have a steering wheel rim to replace the original, and finish the job properly. Having now done over 150,000 miles, Brucie’s original Coffee hide steering wheel rim was rather worn and tired looking.
feb14_brucie2_300 It is a prominent feature, to both drivers and onlookers, so it needed replacing in order to complete the look of a well maintained car. The middle section which houses the SRS air bag is nolonger available, but fortunately that part is still in good condition, so Ian at XJK removed and replaced the outer rim of the wheel with a brand new Coffee hide rim, which looks superb and has a nice new feel to it.


Fit rear console air con vents


Rear console air con vents                     Part number: GNC7890AA

Replacement figured walnut veneer       Part number: GNA7881BB

Replacement cigar lighter (used)           Part number: DBC12119

As is normal for most XJ saloons of the 1986 to 2003 era, the vanes in the air conditioning vent which forms the back of the centre console have been kicked out over the years. The cigar lighter was also missing, so replacing this vent with a new one served two purposes and was yet another small but very necessary cosmetic rectification.

feb14_brucie5_3001. Carefully prise the vent housing away
from the console
feb14_brucie6a_3002. Disconnect the 2 electrical feeds from
the back of the vent housing
feb14_brucie7_3003. The new vents re-fitted with the original
undamaged veneer and back in place
feb14_brucie8c_3004. Original damaged rear console air con
vent shown for comparison


Fit powerfold door mirrors

Parts: Powerfold door mirrors (used)

Part numbers: HNC3402AB & HNC3403AB

When purchased, Brucie’s door mirrors were in rather a sorry state as reported in Brucie’s Diary – March 2011

One of my first jobs was to replace the battered, but original, Spruce Green door mirror caps with chrome caps which suit Brucie nicely and give him a touch more class! The driver’s side door mirror housing is still in perfect condition, but the passenger side door mirror housing was covered in paint, where the mirror cap appeared to have been repainted in situ. I was reluctant to attempt to remove this for fear of causing further damage to an item I knew was obsolete, and as door mirrors are so vulnerable I couldn’t be sure of finding a suitable replacement.

Meanwhile I had been able to purchase a pair of used powerfold door mirrors from JEC Chairman Rob Jenner, and I felt that as these were an original optional extra, they would make a nice finishing touch. Sadly however, even though Brucie was wired for electro-chromatic heated mirror glass, I was to find out that he was not wired for powerfold mirrors – note the missing terminals in the connectors which accept the door mirrors.

feb14_brucie9_300 Difficult to see from the picture, but each tiny hole in the connector on these powerfold mirrors contains a terminal which corresponds with a similar terminal on the car. Unfortunately, the corresponding terminal for the powerfold function is missing on my X330.

Fortunately, Ian at XJK was able to successfully remove the Spruce Green paint from Brucie’s original passenger door mirror housing, lessening the blow of not being able to take advantage of powerfold door mirrors! (The necessary wiring can be added, however, as it turned out not to be a straight-forward plug-in-and-go, I decided that this is a project for a later date.)

Once re-fitted the door mirrors work with the seat memory settings, and also, if the n/s mirror is manually dipped when reverse is selected, it will automatically return to its original setting when reverse is de-selected, which is very useful, and is a little known standard X300 Sovereign and Daimler feature!


Fit new drivers door memory switch-pack and walnut veneer

The old switch-pack (shown left) has an unsightly broken rear window locking button.The picture below shows the door, stripped down, and the new switch-pack ready to be fitted up. The rear window locking button, as it should be, can be clearly seen here.


Drivers door memory switch-pack                                Part number: DBC11418

Drivers door memory switch-pack walnut veneer         Part number: GNA1384JA

The rear window lock button allows the driver to lock the rear windows and prevent rear seat passengers from opening them. This button was broken when I purchased Brucie and as it is part of the switch-pack, the whole unit needed replacing at a cost of almost £200 and therefore it was put on hold. I had purchased a replacement piece of veneer so that if the original veneer (which was in excellent condition) was broken on removal, it could be replaced with new veneer. In the event, this proved unnecessary.

I had also purchased a used coin tray which houses the switch for the power-fold mirrors. The switch is available new, but the coin tray is now obsolete. As the power-fold mirrors were not fitted, this was not required.



The Sentinel Business Awards – Apprentice of the Year Award

Matthew Banks an apprentice automotive technician at XJK Independent Jaguar Specialist has been shortlisted in the Apprentice of the Year category of The Sentinel Business Awards, and will be attending this year’s event, a black tie dinner for 420 guests, which will take place at the King’s Hall in Stoke on the evening of Tuesday, 25th March 2014.  XJK have put Matthew forward for this award in recognition of his commitment and determination to succeed in his chosen career.  Matthew has never failed to impress the team at XJK, from his initial approach to XJK by knocking on our door to seek a job, to his determination in sourcing a training provider, and his commitment to learn the highly intricate workings of a prestigious make of car, and the success of achieving continued certification within the industry.  To reach the final stages of Apprentice of the Year, Matthew has also received support from the prestigious  Jaguar Enthusiast’s Club, highlighting that he is keen to support both the Jaguar Enthusiast’s Club and XJK by regularly attending national events, even though such activities have involved weekend working and travel.  We wish Matthew every success, and what an achievement this would be for Matthew, who literally created his own job at XJK, which is to be admired in someone so young. Matthew has proved to be a shining example, and winning apprentice of the year would be the icing on the cake and would say out loud to every apprentice at Stoke on Trent College and elsewhere, that through hard work, fortitude, courtesy and self-belief anything is possible!


All new parts sourced from Jaguar Classic Parts and SNG Barratt

All used parts sourced from XJK unless stated otherwise.


Used Jaguar Parts from XJK – Independent Jaguar Specialists

Sourcing used Jaguar parts which can be relied upon to be perfect, as new, or in mint condition can be very difficult, time consuming and expensive, as anyone who has any experience of visiting scrapyards or trawling the internet will know!

With this in mind, XJK have now initiated their own used Jaguar parts (spares) operation where every part is meticulously cleaned, inspected and tested, and only if it is perfect, is it placed on their stock list for re-sale, having been carefully packaged and labelled with the correct Jaguar part number!

This means that if you require a part for your Jaguar which is either obsolete, or you consider to be rather expensive if purchased new, you can now buy that part as easily as ordering a new part, knowing that quoting the correct part number will yield the correct item, and when it arrives, you will not be disappointed to find that you have purchased something which is grubby, broken, or not even the correct part!

Order used parts from XJK


My experience of car detailing (by Letitia Mace)

Before moving from ponies to cars, I won numerous “Tack n Turnout” awards in riding club events, simply because I like to be well turned out. I switched my attention to my cars, but was never happy about the results. I tried various products, but all left white residue in crevices and tar spots on paintwork. Finally I decided to do some serious research on the matter, and ultimately came upon Meguiar’s. Following their instructions to the letter, I used clay, paint cleaner, polish and wax on my car, and never looked back. The results were what I had always been looking for. Onlookers were amazed and many thought I had actually purchased another Jaguar!

I cleaned several Jaguars for friends, on the understanding that they purchased a bottle of each Meguiar’s product I required, but I kept the remaining product as payment for the work done. I advised them to stick to Meguiar’s if they wanted to maintain the standard of the car as it was when I’d finished it. Most of them had not heard of, or used Meguiar’s before. Those who had heard of Meguiar’s, thought other well publicised brands were superior and wanted to know why I used Meguiar’s. I told them the over-riding advantage of Meguiar’s was the absence of white residue in the crevices, and the fact that Meguiar’s sold a complete range of compatible products, and I believe that you should stick to one brand, as products will have been designed with a similar base and will work in sympathy, rather than against each other, producing a better result.

I have also casually introduced many people to Meguiar’s in car parks, as they admired the condition of my Jaguars, and naturally asked what I use to clean them. I am always amazed that so many so called car enthusiasts do not know the difference between a wax and a polish, and as I always have my Meguiar’s kit in the boot of my Jaguar, I often demonstrate on the spot!

I don’t believe that a wax and a polish can be successfully combined in one product, as one is removing and the other is replacing.

I love cleaning cars, and would in many ways prefer to do this full time, rather than sitting in front of a computer screen, but currently the computer comes first, and I have to clean my Jaguar as time allows. I know from experience, that I can pick out faults in paintwork which others cannot see, and in most cases I can rectify, or at least improve them.


A few points I have learnt from my own experiences

  • You can see the difference between a clean car which is dirty and a dirty car which has been cleaned!
  • Giving a previously uncared for car a thorough clean can actually highlight imperfections which would have been hidden by the build up of grime.
  • Every spot of rain on your car acts as a small magnifying glass, intensifying the UV rays and heat from the sun!
  • You can tell by the feel of the paintwork when it needs topping up with wax – the resistance increases when rubbed with a cloth.


Detailing Brucie

When I purchased my 1997 4 litre X330 Sovereign 3 years ago, it was a Jaguar at the end of its life and looked nothing like the car it is today. Finished in Spruce Green (a very dark metallic green) with cream hide interior, I could see the potential of this car and welcomed the challenge of bringing it round to its former glory, most of which has been documented and published in “Brucie’s Diary” within my monthly online newsletter. I’d already had some ‘practice’ on other Jaguars, and settled into using Meguiar’s products as a matter of course, so I knew what to use, the method/procedure, and how long it was going to take.

Starting with Meguiar’s clay and Quick Detailer, I spent at least 2 hours on every panel (twice that on bonnet, roof and boot). I have read stories on Forums of people claying the whole car in one day. I don’t believe you can get a decent result in that time. Did they stand back periodically to view their work? Stop frequently to check the smoothness with their hand and eye? I found frequent breaks were necessary to maintain consistency and not get tired and rush the latter part of the job. I would hazard a guess that I could still find imperfections in their paintwork which will mar the end result.

I spent a similar amount of time using Meguiar’s Paint Cleaner, and following up with Meguiar’s Polish. I opted for the 3 step kit as I felt that this would be compatible and work in unison to achieve the best result.

I now know, and tell other people, that if a car has been properly prepared, waxing is the easiest and quickest part of the entire job. After spending weeks (literally) properly preparing every part of the car until it is silky smooth, the wax just glides on, and several layers can be applied in one afternoon. The result is amazing and so rewarding.

At each stage of the preparation the car looks so much better, if done thoroughly, the results are clearly visible and it is tempting to leave it at that and just apply wax, but it pays to carry the process right through to the end and do the job properly, if you want the best result.

Despite advice that it is unnecessary, I wax my car as often as time permits, which is about once a month, using one of the Meguiar’s high grade wax products, sometimes reverting to Qikwax in between, for a quick fix.

I love driving my car in the rain and watching the water beading and sliding off of the bonnet in trails. Afterwards, when it is dried, the dirty water leaves flow lines, so it is possible to see the flow of the air across the car, as if it had been in a wind tunnel – it’s fascinating to study it. It isn’t something you see on ordinary cars in car parks, so it points to a highly maintained paint finish!

Washing my car is so easy because it is so highly glossed – takes no time at all, and the dirt just falls away. When I wash other people’s cars, it is like washing sand paper!

When I recently drove up to the North of England in horrid weather and a well meaning friend came out to help me wash my car, he had a brush for the wheels, which I prefer not to use, but I over-looked it in this case. Fortunately, he used the brush on half of the first wheel and then reverted to a microfibre cloth. When I questioned him he said he didn’t need it – the wheels were so highly waxed that the dirt just fell away!

I used the same principle for the wheels as I had for the body. Most wheels are sealed in some way, mine are powder-coated and lacquered, so I thought “what’s good for the body will be good for the wheels”. I prepped them with clay, paint cleaner and polish before using a high grade wax and I top up as often as possible (approx once per month).

To cut down on stocking lots of products, I currently use Meguiars ultimate tyre gel on all rubber and exterior plastic. The interior, the chrome and the glass are kept up to the same standard as the bodywork. Current project – engine bay. Prepped with Meguiar’s engine cleaner and protected with Meguiar’s engine dressing.

It took me 2 years to bring my Jaguar Sovereign up to its present standard. When I first owned it nobody took any notice of it. Now, whenever I pull into a car park or fuel station, people go out of their way to walk across and commend me on the condition of my car! I did it because I love cars and wanted it to look its very best, but the compliments are the icing on the cake and give me the incentive to keep up with its maintenance when perhaps it is cold outside and I would rather be indoors! They bring a smile to my face, and it’s been worth every minute spent on the car !!

Of course, I want my car to look the best it can, but I did all of this primarily to protect it from corrosion, as I believe that the quicker and more effectively you can repel dirt and moisture, the better.

When you are working on the car yourself and live with it full time, the process is gradual and you are in danger of forgetting quite how big the improvement is, but the attention my car now attracts is proof that it looks a hundred times better than it did when I purchased it!

Someone recently said to me …

“We knew it was you, before we even saw what car it was, because it was so shiny!”