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Water rail nightmare

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Tue May 28, 2019 6:07 pm

Hi guys -

Took the car for a spin on Sunday with my new heater valve fitted, working and no longer leaking ...nice day, A/C now blowing a very nice 39°/4°C ...did about 120 kilometers then suddenly, practically out in the middle of nowhere, the low water radiator icon lit up ..

After my leaking water valve was repaired, I still had the two gallon jugs of water in the trunk so I opened up the hood and topped off the rad, it took about 1/2 a gallon. Imagine my surprise when I drove about a mile further and the damn light came on again!

I topped it off again and now I could see a trail of drips on the road, I was losing coolant rapidly. Couldn't see the source of the leak, but it was under the manifold SOMEWHERE.

After the next couple of miles and another top-up I was out of extra water. Keeping an eye on the temp gauge (stayed at N the whole time, luckily; probably only losing the header tank capacity between top-ups) made it to a pub and filled up the car again. A couple of miles later I saw a gas station and refilled the car - and the two jugs.

I definitely couldn't make it back to my place, still about 100km away but I had a pal with another 40 about 5km away in Nanaimo so I headed there. I had to stop and fill up three more times, again luckily finding places to get water along the way. I think I put 10 gallons of water through the system to drive about 12km. She never overheated, but that little 12km stretch stressed me out pretty damn good!

I finally made it to my mate Jim's place and we jacked her up to see water pouring out along the water rail ..even with the car up it was difficult to pinpoint the source and with hot coolant p1ssing out, even looking up there was no fun - feeling around up there, out of the question.

Nothing for it but to let her cool down and take another look the next day.

Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Tue May 28, 2019 6:36 pm

Next morning I filled up the header tank and waited for some drips to appear, but without starting the engine didn't think I'd be able to see the source. WRONG!

My mate squeezed the lower rad hose and with every "pump", geysers of water sprayed out - not from the B__D hose, but from the rear end of the water rail. Looked like the gasket had failed.

Now we all know there are some very inaccessible placed on these cars, this however, takes the cake for inaccessibility. Even after removing all the manifold bolts and moving the intake back, we still had to raise and lower the car about four or five times to access the four bolts. And they were tight.

Now comes the nightmare within the nightmare ..the front lower bolt snapped. Three came out, but #4, she's still stuck in engine. :roll:

When the rail and hose were removed, we found just a few traces of degraded silicone and ZERO gaskets between the head and the rail. No doubt the PO must have had some head or intake work done and of course sometimes the water rail gaskets don't come with a top end gasket rebuild kit .... so the mechanic :?: didn't use any, just goop.

Pretty amazing that it lasted this long - I've owned her since 2012 and put 50,000km on in the meantime.

So, faced with the snapped and frozen water rail bolt (couldn't remove it, tried for five hours) the only option was to REMOVE the entire intake, throttle body, fuel rails and everything else on the left side of the engine to get access to the bolt with whatever method we're going to use to remove it.

That's what I did last night, before getting a ride to the car rental place and driving back home.

The bolts got frozen for one simple reason. With no gaskets on the rail, even though the perimeter sealed, internally coolant was able to seep onto the bolt and rust the bolt solid.

When we do finally remove the rusted bolt, looks like the aluminum threads are going to be stripped so we're going to have to fit helicoils.

Not the best birthday surprise for an aging XJ40 driver, eh?

Will update in a few days.


Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car

katar83
Posts: 2714
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:17 am
Location: Cambridge

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby katar83 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:36 pm

You're not the first one to do it Larry. Me and my friend snapped two on his 40 and I never touched the damn thing afterwards on any of my Jags :lol:

As you said, everything needs to go on this side. Bolts were so corroded that they snapped on first slight turn, I initially thought that they might be plastic :lol:
We did it while changing intake gasket and already had everything out on this side. We drilled the old bolts out, tapped them and used slightly bigger bolts. Sadly our snapped clean with the engine block, otherwise I'd attempt welding a nut onto it first.

If you get to drilling stage I suggest carbide drill and take your time, should take an ~hour to drill and tap, don't force it and go slow 8-) If you're impatient ask someone else to do it for you :roll:

Cursing while doing it is mandatory :lol:
1997, 4.0 LWB X300 - Unlucky car but still a daily driver.
1988, 3.6S XJS - Never ending restoration project.
1994, 3.2S X300 - Accident damaged, October 2015. Gone!
1994, 3.2S XJ40 - Long gone.

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Tue May 28, 2019 11:14 pm

Already weded on about 6 nuts, every one eventually snapped of and now we only have a nub.
Writing this on my way back to the stranded car with a few replacement hoses and a couple of manifold gaskets.

My pal Jim had sworn to go at it after work tonight and Jim isn't the quitting type, so hopefully we'll get the bugger out tonight.

After I deliver the stuff, (200 km round trip) by the time I get back home there should be some progress ... hopefully!

All the best, thought I might be the only owner who ran into this, but no, you had it worse ...

Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car

naki_k
Super Moderator
Posts: 28510
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: Kirton, nr Boston, Lincolnshire

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby naki_k » Wed May 29, 2019 12:09 pm

Wow, that’s pretty rough. it’s always when you are miles from home too.
Any normal person would have just called for recovery and get it towed. So fair play to you for having a go.
88 3.6 XJ6 PDH/CEM
90 Range Rover Vogue SE 3.9 V8 LPG
91 4.0 XJ6 Manual
92 4.0 XJR Manual
92 4.0 XJR
93 3.2s - 4.0 Manual conv
93 4.0 Sovereign
93 6.0 XJ81 DD6 x2
93 6.0 XJ81 XJ12
94 4.0 XJR
94 4.0 Daimler
96 4.0 X306 XJR
96 4.0 X300 D6
97 4.0 X300 Sport Manual
2000 LR Discovery ES TD5 A
Breaking 40/ 300

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Wed May 29, 2019 6:16 pm

Naki - I could have had it towed home but even if I did there would be complications, e.g. I wouldn't have anywhere to do the work ....my pal Jim has 2 XJ40's at his place up in Nanaimo, one is a parts car so pretty handy for scavenging any bits plus he has tons of tools and a mig welder.

We were just saying last night, "if you're going to break down in an XJ40, this is the place!" - unfortunately, after a couple of hours more trying to remove the bolt, last I heard it was still in there.

Drill and helicoil next step.

Any normal person would have just called for recovery and get it towed


AFAIK I've never been described as 'normal' ...and really, what person in their right mind drives one of these 25+ year old things on a daily basis anyway? :lol:

Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Thu May 30, 2019 4:59 am

Just got a call, the mig welder didn't cut it, they had to use oxy-acetylene to build up the bolt and even that took a few tries but yes the bolt (or what remains of it) is out.

Thursday and Friday after work, re-tap/helicoils/replace hoses and water rail ... Saturday morning, I go back to Nanaimo to do the re-assembly.

HOPEFULLY drive her home Saturday evening ...fingers crossed.

Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car

naki_k
Super Moderator
Posts: 28510
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:25 pm
Location: Kirton, nr Boston, Lincolnshire

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby naki_k » Fri May 31, 2019 10:03 am

Good effort there.
It shows most issues are fixable with enough effort and determination.
88 3.6 XJ6 PDH/CEM
90 Range Rover Vogue SE 3.9 V8 LPG
91 4.0 XJ6 Manual
92 4.0 XJR Manual
92 4.0 XJR
93 3.2s - 4.0 Manual conv
93 4.0 Sovereign
93 6.0 XJ81 DD6 x2
93 6.0 XJ81 XJ12
94 4.0 XJR
94 4.0 Daimler
96 4.0 X306 XJR
96 4.0 X300 D6
97 4.0 X300 Sport Manual
2000 LR Discovery ES TD5 A
Breaking 40/ 300

katar83
Posts: 2714
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:17 am
Location: Cambridge

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby katar83 » Fri May 31, 2019 11:23 am

I would triple inspect the basterd hose Larry while in there. Take it off, check both sides for cracks, you dont want to go there again :lol:
1997, 4.0 LWB X300 - Unlucky car but still a daily driver.
1988, 3.6S XJS - Never ending restoration project.
1994, 3.2S X300 - Accident damaged, October 2015. Gone!
1994, 3.2S XJ40 - Long gone.

abercanadian
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Water rail nightmare

Postby abercanadian » Fri May 31, 2019 3:25 pm

katar83 wrote:I would triple inspect the bastard hose Larry while in there. Take it off, check both sides for cracks, you don't want to go there again :lol:


Yeah, for sure! - luckily, my pal Jim had ordered a spare some time ago and had it in the shed so a new one goes on tomorrow.

Larry
Image
94 XJ40 VDP vin 701729
Oyster Metallic/Doeskin on Aero Alloys
230,000 Kilometers 143,000 Miles
Daily Driver

94 XJ40 SOVEREIGN vin 703632
Diamond Blue Metallic/Barley
111,000 Kilometers/69,000 Miles
Parts Car