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Indiana_Jones' 1987 Jaguar Sovereign (XJ40)

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As mentioned before, having some charging issues, righto, so here's the voltage reading on the dash I'm getting across the alternator with the engine warmed up (fuck I love that 80's funk dash, has really grown on me)


And on a multimeter


And here is the reading when the lights are on


I'm doing some internet searches and so far given the symptoms it seems that the alternator may be on the way out, keen for any advice in this area (discussion thread here), before I shell out for a new alternator or have the current one refurbished, cheers. 

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  • 1 year later...

Fuck me it's been ages since I posted here, in that time I've had a few hoons in the Jag, but sadly she needs a bit of time off the road for some TLC.

She failed a WOF around 10 months back on two items, play in the steering rack and soft brakes. 

There are some shims /spacers that apparently take up the slack in the steering rack, I installed those soon after the WOF failure, but haven't had a chance to test her on the road yet.

The second one has proved more annoying, I have tried bleeding brakes several times, but no joy. The pedal has been going to the floor if I sit on it, this made me think it could be an issue with the master cylinder, so had a crack with a rebuild (will post pics), but again, no joy.

Next plan is to check the flexible hoses and make sure it's not them (that said, I bet they old af and should just be replaced regardless).

Also, while she is off the road, I will tackle some rust on her, namely around the front of the sills and around the rear windscreen. Have taken the plunge and have got myself a little 135amp mig welder and will have a punt.

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Here's the master cylinder rebuild:

I won’t go into great depth of each step, as they are quite well covered by various workshop manuals (I referred to the Haynes manual, as well as the instruction from the rebuild kit for guidance).

Here is the master cylinder in place in the car, of course to do the rebuild we need to remove it.




To remove it, disconnect the brake lines from the master cylinder (I used some plastic bags and tape to cover the ends of the lines), but before doing so, remove as much brake fluid as possible from the reservoir (I used a syringe). To provide better access to the line in the middle of the master cylinder, I removed the power steering reservoir (only two bolts), that made life a lot easier.

Then you remove two nuts attached to the brake booster and it should come away.

Don’t forget to disconnect the brake fluid senor wiring.



And here is the removed master cylinder and reservoir.



Also, I thought I’d put a photo up of the kit box, just in case anyone is interested, also has the supplier’s details too.



To remove the reservoir from the master cylinder, the holding pin needs to be removed (referring to the photo below, it’s in the bottom of the ‘V’ of the reservoir outlets). I found this extremely stiff and took quite a bit of effort from using a hammer to knock it out, you’ll also need a dowel or screw driver etc with which to tap it through the master cylinder casing and finally remove. My advice would be is take your time.



The reservoir should then pull away with a bit of effort from the rubber grommets on the inlet ports (which in turn need to come out too).



The next step is to remove the two pistons within the master cylinder, these are held in place by a pin that passes through a slot on the primary piston and through to the other side of the cylinder casing. The Haynes manual notes that a magnetic should be used, but the image shown isn’t very clear/easy to understand (well to me at least).


To access the free end of the pin, you need a magnet that can fit into the inlet port, I did not have such a magnet (I tried a magnetic tipped screw driver, but this wasn’t strong enough). Not really wanting to get off my arse and buy a suitable magnet, I improvised, borrowing one of the magnets on the wardrobe door lock (the type that you screw into the top of the door and other in the door frame) and ‘attaching’ one of my socket drill bits to it. This worked nicely.

With the pin removed, a gentle tap of the master cylinder on some wood and the pistons came out.



Here is the disassembled master cylinder (note in this photo the piston locking pin is missing).



As you can see, (an assumed) 33 years have taken their toll on the inlet rubbers.



Here is what you receive within the rebuild kit, I used all the new parts, apart from the piston locking pin. The original one didn’t have the chambered edges and I preferred that.



I inspected the bore of the master cylinder and couldn’t see or feel (as far as much fingers could reach) anything that jumped out at me as being suspect, so proceeded with the rebuild.



Here the secondary piston is being installed, after the primary one. Care should be taken when placing the pistons into the cylinder, the instructions with the kit covered this well, stating that they should be slightly rotated combined with slight up and down movements (don’t want the spring to score the bore etc). Also of course, apply clean brake fluid to the pistons prior to installing them and also note the position of the slot on the primary piston, as to ensure that it lines up with the opening for the pin.



And here is the master cylinder rebuilt, just awaiting for the reservoir to be installed.



I don’t have a photo of the completed one with the reservoir in place, it must have slipped my mind, as at that point I really fancied a beer!

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Did a bit more prodding around.

Read somewhere online that leaving the brakes on overnight would work wonders in removing air in the lines, but I have my doubts about that claim, but figured at least it might highlight any weak spots / leaks in the system.


The next day I took a look, the brakes were still sinking, but I did find a possible leak/source of the problem: the driver's side front wheel, there was a little bit of fluid there, though this may have came from the bleeding process (as there was an incident where the bleed line came off the nipple).

So today, I got the engine warmed up and placed a locking plier at the top of the front driver's side flexible hose.



Upon pressing the brake pedal, it felt like to me that there was a bit of improvement, so there's hope yet. Next logical course of action is to get a new set of front flexible hoses (will just do both sides for the sake of argument) and see if that helps things along. Of course in time, it'd just make sense to do the rear as well and remove that potential source of problems completely.

Here's hoping I'm on the right track, would be nice to have a drive in the Jaaaaaaaaaaaaag again.

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  • 6 months later...
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Another small update, got the fuel tank out today (decided I should remove that from the car before I start having sparks flying out).

The Haynes book of lies said that you should drop the prop shaft to gain access to the two clips on the fuel line connection at the base of the fuel tank, was not keen on this idea, so I gave connections a wee bit of a tug and they came out.

Tank has a bit of surface rust on it, so will get the wire wheel out and investigate further. On that note, what's the safest way to do this? after doing a bit of reading online, at this stage I'm leaning towards fill the tank up with water. (Discussion thread here)




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