Thousand Dollar Supercar

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About Thousand Dollar Supercar

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  • Birthday 16/10/1979

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    Music - metal (relatively traditional and melodic, no growly vocals), rock, blues, bit of oldies and random stuff. Amateur pianist.
    Sometimes known to do a bit of photography, cartoon something or dabble in electronics.


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  1. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    Here's what's inside a Jag electric mirror: I opened it because the mirror glass shook around too much to see anything while driving. On the left of the photo is the glass backing plate (complete with heating element because England), and on the right are the two motors. The 'fixed' central ball-and-socket pivot mount with the yellow arrow had in/out play for some reason. I put a washer down its socket hole to pack it out and take up the slack, and it's improved. Another even more important thing I needed to fix was the radio aerial. The original motorised one had failed (big surprise) and the previous owner had replaced it with a manual one. This made me die a little bit inside, especially as the aerial is out on the rear wing. One does not feel very wealthy pulling over and getting out of one's car to go and extend the aerial in view of passing commoners. I bought a new electric aerial (universal, not Lucas) and fitted it with much excitement. Antenna goes up, antenna goes down. Antenna goes up, antenna goes down. I feel like a yuppie. Antenna goes up.. ..and thankfully stops short of my very low garage door. Just need to find an adapter for the annoying coaxial connector on the Jaguar cable back to the head unit. Tomorrow the Jag is going away for a while to get those inboard rear brakes and their awful grinding noises sorted out. Expect some horror stories, but also expect some form of exhaust modifications to be done at the same time.
  2. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    He'd buy the V12, run straight pipes, paint it in camouflage and imagine he was in a military tank.
  3. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    This is the standard exhaust system of a V12 car (straight six looks to be the same from the transmission back): Here's what I think you're proposing. Sorry the image is so small. Perhaps this arrangement might not sacrifice too much ground clearance, and might flow better and keep the brakes cooler than the stock system. Looking at the first image, a side exit exhaust would want to pass right over the suspension mounting point where the hoist pad is supporting the car.
  4. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    I went to see a garage that has been around since 1965, and spoke to their Barry who must have been there since 1965 too. They used to do a lot of Jag exhausts in the '70s and '80s. He wanted to steer me away from a side exit exhaust for various boring logical reasons - the rules about proximity of the exhaust exit to the door aperture mean the exhaust tip would have to go quite close to the wheel no matter the pipe diameter and angle, I'd still sometimes get the exhaust blowing into the cabin when stopped at the lights etc you either put a muffler in the original spot near the rear suspension and double back the pipe to the exit point, or you lose ground clearance by positioning the mufflers somewhere else either way, there's a bit of mucking around fabricating supports etc it'd be kinda droney and loud (and TBH it might not be the best noise, given the engine and the auto transmission) He also said that if making the original exhaust layout louder, fabricating the sections of exhaust which pass through the rear suspension is complex and there's not really space to increase the diameter there. His solution if it were his car would just be to swap mufflers and reuse the stock pipework near the brakes. On the plus side, this garage are not afraid of the brake work and could do both tasks together.
  5. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    The exhaust on the six cylinder cars merges into a single pipe after the headers, but splits back into two pipes to wind right through the rear suspension millimetres from the brakes just like in a V12. I want to replace it with a side exit exhaust similar to this (except on the drivers side of the car, which is the exhaust side of the engine): Sounds like maybe I should get that done now, before I get the brakes replaced..
  6. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    I've been trying to resist driving the Jag too much because of the condition of the rear brakes, thinking that my local Jaguar Barry was ordering me in some brake parts and would be contacting me any day once they'd arrived. Long story short, brakes not fixed and I need a new Barry. =( Meanwhile, the drivers seat had come loose and the seat heater wasn't working, so I took the seat out to have a look. What's it mounted with? Bolts that take a Torx T35. The seat heater wiring insulation was brittle and cracking and the wire had broken at an inconvenient point: I used a crimp joiner thing to fix it, and confirmed that the seat heater was working with a current clamp before putting the seat back in. Fortunately the reason for the seat being loose was just the rail coming unbolted from the frame (Jaguar appear not to have used washers), and I found a compatible replacement for the missing bolt. Now I use the seat heater at every opportunity, but considering the state of the wires and the amount of sag in the Jaguar seat bases, I don't imagine it will last long. Rather, one of these days it'll attempt to catch my arse on fire. Another thing I "fixed" is the squealing from one of the two cabin ventilation fans. I thought that the squeal plus a lack of air from the central vents meant that the motor wasn't spinning, so I took the fan out to test it. This wasn't actually too difficult - only some of the passenger side of the dash had to come out. The fan housing was getting a little rusty but the motor was OK and the brushes weren't too worn, so I lubricated it heaps and wrestled it back in place. I then realised that the central vents only lack hot air, but cold air works fine once I understand the controls. Still, the undignified motor squealing did spoil the ambience and I'm glad it's fixed (or at least stopped for a while). While trying to understand weird things about the dash, I checked the owners manual. I got a laugh out of this section, which aims to psychologically prepare you for life as an XJ-S owner:
  7. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Indiana_Jones' Jag discussion

    Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag. Tell 'er indoors that you've bought at the right time - could be a nice little earner.
  8. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    I don't think that the rear of the facelift cars is a big improvement, but it's not awful either. Ford/Jaguar probably had to change something because the car had been out for 15 years. The badges on facelift cars look like a bit of an afterthought - shrunk to fit the flattest area they could find and aligned with the curved chrome so the text isn't horizontal, but you can always take them off! The facelift crossover is the wrong way around unfortunately - the airbag steering wheel came before the FL and the 5.3 engine was still in early FL cars. I was keen on the car in the auction you posted too, but you're right - if it were a bargain it would have sold by now. I quite like the spoiler and oldschool fat balloon tyres with white writing. The maintenance done on the rear end etc is encouraging. It's a bit scruffy in places, I'd prefer it to either have sideskirts or no bodykit, the LF wing looks darker than the LH door, and worst is the dual headlights. I asked the seller and he said he's saving the original single headlights off this car for one of his other XJSs. Makes you wonder if he put together this hotrod out of a spare parts car to get rid of all the pieces he doesn't want. The glass for the single headlights is no longer available and fetches decent $$$. =(
  9. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    There's a maroon manual I6 one on TardMe at the moment for $20k. I went to look at it in Waikanae when it was for sale for about $11k, and based on my limited experience I felt it was almost a bit rough / rusty for the money. Now someone has bought it, moved it to Auckland and relisted it almost immediately for nearly twice as much. This is the fun game of buying an XJ-S. =\ I never considered a facelift car even though the XJ-S rule seems to be 'the newer, the better'. The facelift has the better electrics, 6.0l engine, better gearing and an extra speed in the auto, but the modernised dashboard and the airbag steering wheel say 'Other Projects thread'. Deal breaker.
  10. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    Looks like that car has the common problem of being British the windscreen wipers not parking, which I need to fix on my car at some point. According to the XJ-S Barry Bible, by the time my car was made, both types of Lucas motor had been abandoned in favour of Electrolux. The wiper switch was still Lucas though, and because my wipers park in intermittent mode only, the switch is to blame. Barry Bible saves so much time. Thanks Barry! I wish my rear brake parts would hurry up and arrive from the UK so I don't feel bad about driving my Jag too much.
  11. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Akl anonymous burger and old car meet - Wed 19 SEPTEMBER

    The TAB in Penrose closes around this time. Wednesday being payday, as a Jaguar owner this is when I stop in Ellerslie to spend my winnings flirting outrageously with the women at whichever eateries don't have my picture up behind the counter.
  12. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    Next was to fix the soundz. I had my aging oonst oonst gear left over from my Rover stashed away and ready to go. I ripped out the Jag's existing head unit and got the door cards off. Check out the little rain hats on the factory speakers: Also notice how they're just mounted directly to the disintegrating door card. I'm not impressed. Here are the old and new speakers: They look about the same size but just like the Jag's imperial bolt sizes, the speaker hole spacing is just a little bit off. If you want to retain the original speaker grilles, you're in trouble because the new speakers have to sit on the bolts which are actually part of the grilles: I ended up slotting the mounting holes in the speakers even further and bending the mounting bolts. Then I had to cut the bolts down short cos they fouled the door metal once I'd splayed them outward. Because I was using component tweeters, I had to run extra wires between the door and the interior. I can report that the Jag is more thoroughly built than other cars I've owned, but no better designed. It was not easy to run these wires. Aaand when it was all back together, I discovered one of my tweeters was blown. Couldn't get identical replacements because obscure brand. Bought some Soundstream ones which are way too loud. I think there is a jumper on the crossover boxes to set the level of the tweeters, so I need to pull the door cards off again to check whether I can tone down the killer treble. Right now I can't be bothered. It's better than it was. Also, there's no room for my amplifier and subwoofer. The Jag's seats are so close to the floor that I don't even think a modern slim active sub would fit under there, so I'm living without a sub. =( While I was hunting around the car for spare space (there isn't any - every little cavity has mysterious relays just chilling in there already), I removed the false floor in the passenger footwell. A chill ran down my spine as I gazed upon the heart of Darkness: I quickly put the covers back, nailed them down and drove a stake into the floor. Next thing: Wheel balancing. Done. This car has actual Linglong brand tyres all round. =| Next: Grinding brake noises. I took it to a shop and they put it on their hoist..... This is one of the inboard rear brake discs. Both discs are similarly unhappy. I was directed to a Jaguar Barry, who says that if you buy cheap handbrake pads, the friction material detaches from the backing plates or the whole lot falls out of the calipers and that's probably why the discs are wrecked around the outer edges. My car is going to be booked in for new discs etc. Apparently the way to work on the rear brakes is by removing the rear seat and getting at them through an access panel in the floor! Next thing: The illumination of the '70s-tastic instrument cluster is so poor I can't really drive the car at night, and the minor gauges are all reading too low. "Experience In A Book - Help For The Jaguar XJ-S Owner" (henceforth referred to as The Barry Bible) told me this instrument cluster is some of the Prince of Darkness's finest work and I'll love it. Barry was right - look at how the electrical connections to the minor gauges are done: You get one-and-a-bit threads of screw gnawing into a copper PCB track and that's your connection. The head of this screw sits against the flexible plastic circuitry on the rear of the instrument cluster, so the screw is the current path. Also, the entire instrument cluster earths through just one pin of one plug, which is predictably prone to being rubbish. There are many reports of XJ-S gauges under-reading by a quarter just like mine were. I even found that someone in the past had removed the bulb from my alternator warning light...... Thankfully the illumination of the instruments is via conventional bulbs and not the weird fiber optic centralised system someone mentioned in the discussion thread. The main bulb for the speedo had just about gone black, so I replaced it with a higher wattage one to offset 30 years of voltage loss. Following the Barry Bible instructions, I put some solder on the minor gauge PCB pads where those screw tips bite, I cleaned every connection and I made up an additional earth for the cluster. Now I can actually make out the speedo at night (just), I've gained oil pressure and voltage and a little bit of engine temperature. The alternator light now works properly too. The Prince of Darkness' crappy electrics driving me to distraction and making me want to put a bullet in something meant that I simply HAD to buy this air freshener - "Driven Into Darkness": Fortunately it doesn't smell like Lucas smoke. I was hoping that cleaning all these instrument connections would make the engine temperature gauge read in the Normal range, but it still doesn't quite get there. A new temperature sender is a hundred bucks and fitting a new thermostat would require me to spill my new coolant everywhere. Grrr. Also, the boot smells like petrol so I pulled the spare tyre and all of the trim out. You can see the ninety-one litre fuel tank (which has already been replaced once), the fuel pump and the battery. The Barry Bible says the battery is supposed to have a special attachment to vent its gases outside of the car to stop them rusting everything. Also, Barry says condensation on the tank or rust around the rear window causes water to sit in the foam pad they cleverly mounted the tank on, rusting out the tank. The tank also leaks from stress on its overengineered and uncommon pipework fittings and basically any other excuse. This enables the XJ-S to guzzle petrol even when the engine's not running! The fix is to rip out the British and replace it with custom. Maybe some other time.
  13. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    I've been slowly getting to know the Jaaag and to work through some of its issues. I started with easy stuff like blown bulbs and cleaning out the driving lights: Tried to improve the reversing light lenses with Brasso, but they're pretty cracked: Repainting the JAGUAR text so other motorists know how wealthy and stylish slightly caddish I am: Then I started to notice the car was losing its murky 7-year-old coolant. I might have panicked a little bit after my years of being punished by a straight six Rover SD1 with unfixable head gasket issues... However, it was just this bit of hose which was to blame: Jaguar apparently "designed" this part of the cooling system so that one fitting (the block) is larger than the other fitting (the vacuum-actuated heater valve). The previous owner had to replace the heater valve, stressing the hose where it was stretched over the larger fitting. Anyway, I obviously needed to drain and flush the cooling system. No radiator drain plug = remove the underbody aero(!), wrestle off the lower radiator hose and make a big mess. Then I had to look for the drain plug in the engine block. Underneath a shiny chrome exhaust heat shield are these crappy-looking log headers: See how the primary pipes for the front three and rear three cylinders run down next to eachother, giving good access to the side of the block both ahead of them and behind them? Guess where the drain plug is? It's behind the headers where you can't get a socket onto it. It also has the transmission cooler lines screwed onto it, but you can't get a screwdriver onto that screw. It's also a giant imperial size so you can't just go out and buy the right size spanner. This will learn me for buying a British car. I used a ratcheting ring spanner thing with a screwdriver bit to unscrew the bracket from the drain plug, then I bought the closest match of giant metric size spanner, which I had to operate from underneath the car. I flushed everything out and replaced that bit of hose, and now my British car doesn't drip a single fluid or have any warning lights on the dash. =)
  14. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Sheepers latest Ms75

    I did not know that could be done. Gee, I wonder why they never suggested it to me when I took in the head from my old Rover 2600....
  15. Thousand Dollar Supercar

    Thousand Dollar Supercar's 1988 Jaguar XJ-S 3.6

    Don't these have what now? Christ on a bike.