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Time to stop lurking...

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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:52 pm

Time to stop lurking...

Postby Ringo_60013 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:37 am

Evening all.

Thought i'd make a post finally after being a background member for a couple of years. Apologies for this being a huge post but you'll see why if you read to the bottom.

I'm 25 from the northeast in the UK, and i've always wanted an XJ40 since i was a kid. I must've been about 6 or 7 when i got a matchbox 1:64 '40 and i've loved it ever since. I've ridden motorcycles, mainly old ones, since i turned 17, and a couple of years ago i finally got around to doing my car test. Then i started looking for a car. Now i'm the sort of person who loves riding bikes so much that i don't really care what its like weatherwise, i'll still ride, so the car needed to be something i actually wanted to drive. Not just a corsa or vw polo etc. I always fancied an old Mini but they're a little pricey so the XJ40 fitted the bill perfectly.

I spent probably 4 months searching for my first '40, and didn't see exactly what i was after - i know, don't get hung up on colour or spec, but remember this was my first car and i wasn't desperate for a car so i was prepared to wait until the right one turned up. October 2015 i spotted A12WJP - a Crimson Metallic (code CFF) 1989 3.6L XJ6 with cloth interior and quad lights, just like the matchbox car (other than the interior... i think plastic might have been a little hard to sit on). Full service history up to 143000 miles and a stack of receipts, (151000 miles on her now - due another service in January) She even had the centre console phone and the original radio. All the electrics worked, just needed a little cosmetic work and as she'd been stood a few years, needed new rubbers as they started to crumble over the next year. Other than that, just minor things like fixing the microswitch in the wiper, some new bonnet struts, and the brakes overhauling.

Me with A12WJP the day after i bought her. Suit and tie donned for a charity motorcycle ride that morning....

I put a set of 15" Lattice wheels on the old girl, as i didn't fancy paying as much as she cost me to put new rubber on the metric steel wheels, and for a year and a half she clocked up just under 7000 miles being used mainly at weekends and if i couldn't ride for whatever reason - weather (yes she went out in the snow), my neck injury playing up, or nipping out to grab parts for motorcycle builds. In that time she returned 16/17MPG round the doors, and 29.5MPG on a long run. In fact i saw 28.5MPG one weekend from Newcastle-upon-tyne to Nottingham and did the same run the next weekend, with the boot very full (steering got a little light in a crosswind) and managed 29.5MPG. Which i thinks pretty respectable for a 3.6 straight 6 on 95 unleaded...

Christmas Eve - Ready for the midnight mass run with the family

Early this year i realised she'd probably fail the MOT for multiple reasons, so being out of work at the time, i spent 2 months on the driveway in all weathers under the Jag replacing front suspension bushes, track rod ends, sway bar bushes, wheel bearings, rear subframe mounts and a few other odds and sods. I also had a hole in the passenger inner wing to patch. Since the car wasn't concours, just a good useable classic, i was fine with patching over the top of the hole. But when i removed the inner wing plastic, disaster. The whole front 3 inches of sill were made of rust, soil and bodyfiller. unsurprisingly so was the drivers side. So the second month was spent making panels to fit and boxing up the front of the sill, redesigning it so it had the same structural walls but also boxing it in to stop the sill end filling with soil.

Sill repair and suspension overhaul

Having repaired the sill ends i slapped a quick coat of black smoothrite along the sills, and the under bumper parts round the back of the car to protect from the weather thinking i might get round to painting the sills in red again later in the year, once i had an income again, but at least she was smart for now. I regret not taking a picture of her at this stage because she passed her MOT in May with flying colours, the garage even commenting on the front suspension rebuild and welding and asking who'd done it, receiving a smug reply of 'me' (though i do occasionally have a mate round for a natter and a tinker).

I didn't really get out in her much this summer although another trip to Nottingham and back to drop off some motorcycle fairings to Dream Machine proved she still ran perfectly and that my rebuild was a success. I found new work in August but unfortunately aggravated my neck injury in early November and so i stopped riding the 40 miles to work for a few days while my neck recovered.

I think all in all i've used A12WJP about 6 times to commute to work, but on 21st November 2017 i got caught out with unsighted standing traffic in the outside lane of the A1(M). The left lane was still moving (45mph ish), no-one braking and giving a hint as to what lay ahead. The right lane had been moving at around 55mph constant, at a distance far enough that i could only see the rearmost car round the bend. On that section of road that makes it easily a 3 second gap, in fact left lane traffic had been moving in and out of my lane in front of me all the way up till that point without any difficulty or fuss, so the gap must've been a reasonable size. I hit the brakes as soon as i realised the guy in front of me had braked hard but a 16 plate BMW 5series is always gonna stop quicker than a 30 year old classic when you lock up the front wheels.

All i can say is it properly stuffed the '40. I'm absolutely heartbroken... I'm on the verge of tears writing this as i have been a lot of the time since. I'm not one to cry very often but last year was pretty tough both health wise and work wise and i broke down a number of times in the week or so after the accident. I know a few people will have the opinion of following too close, or not enough road experience etc. but while i'm only 25 i've never crashed a bike or a car, have a clean license and have done around 13000 miles each year on average since i was about 18 on numerous different bikes and cars. I'm not short on experience and i don't go daft. Sure i might drive/ride spiritedly when there's no one around (has given me chance to learn a lot of vehicle control), and i'll hold my hands up if i make a mistake doing so but theres no use in driving fast when theres other people around.

She's a Cat B write off so i'm doing my best to hang onto as many parts as possible and maybe one day i'll re-shell her or build a really fast very custom '40 out of what remains.

In the meantime... I've gone and bought F79CKH - 1989 3.6 Sovereign in Bordeaux Red (Code CEK) Leather interior with 2 sets of wheels: Metric teardrops and 15" Lattices. Have to say i'm not a fan of the fishbowls, so they'll be swapped for quads and whilst very solid she needs a bit of cosmetic work but seems to be in very good nick mechanically. Only 85000 miles on the clock. Oh and the Montego steering wheels go to go. I'll post some pictures up once i pick her up on saturday. I have to say, i'm still very upset as i'm sure you can appreciate and i'm not yet feeling the excitement of having another '40 to play with but i'm sure i'll cheer up once i dig into solving the one or two faults it has. And who knows, maybe there'll be a build at somepoint if i can find a shell rebuild A12WJP - Me and a good mate of mine have some interesting ideas for a very in-depth build.


Again sorry for the long post but i felt the need to write a bit of an obituary for the old girl. We've had some great times in the last two years and i'll definitely miss her.

Last edited by Ringo_60013 on Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A12WJP - 1989 3.6 XJ6 Crimson metallic CFF with cloth interior 151000 miles (R.I.P. - Resting in pieces.... Currently)
F79CKH - 1989 3.6 Sovereign Bordeaux red CEK with Leather interior 85000 miles and counting...

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby Indiana_Jones » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:04 am

She was a lovely looking car Joe, sorry to hear about the accident.

The 'new' car looks lovely too, more photos please!
1987 3.6 Auto Sovereign 506111

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby donkeyotty » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:28 am

Hi Joe, Welcome to the forum. Indeed a huge post to make up for all that “lurking”, I had to stop half way through for a brew :lol:
Shame about the bump after all that work you had done, sounds like the car has a future though, in one form or another 8-)
Dream Machine still going eh, I dealt with them in the early Eighties before you were born :shock: :lol:
Look forward to more pictures and your next essay :lol:
1994 Regency Red 4.0 Sovereign M117FVC Chassis 705979
1993 Volvo 940 2.0 Turbo Wentworth Estate

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby old del boy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:10 pm

Well i'm glad to hear you're not put off owning an xj40 , it's good to hear you didn't hurt yourself in the crash too , personally i'd just move on and treat the wreck as a ready made parts car , take off what you want and sell what's left , might even end up with a small profit .

Oh and take care on that bike , we need all the xj40 enthusiasts in one piece ;)

'93 4.0L Daimler, solent blue,
'93 4.0L Daimler, Westminster,
'85 2600 Rover sd1 vdp oporto.

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby Jaguarxj40 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:22 pm

Firstly, welcome.

Secondly, excellent write up.

You seam to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. Wish I was 25 :D , I have the enthusiasm but not the energy :D body's getting a bit tired in places :lol:

Until its demise you were really getting this car into shape and your fabrication skills are to be admired. After getting so far with a project like this it must be difficult to summon up the enthusiasm for another but glad you're going to persevere with your dream.

As old Del Boy said, I would be inclined to part it out for your own use and sell the bits you don't really need. Parts are getting scarce and expensive but if you want to re build it into something else, go for it.

Look forward to seeing your Saturday buy 8-)

1996 BMW Z3
1990 Jaguar XJ40 4.0

Previous,in this order.
1986 BMW M535i
1985 BMW 525e
1972 Vauxhall victor FE2300
1966 Ford cortina estate
1961 Renault dauphine Gordini
1978 Range Rover
1976 LR 101 forward control
1968 S2 lightweight Land Rover
1975 Range Rover
1973 Range Rover
1972 series 3 Land Rover SWB

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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:52 pm

Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby Ringo_60013 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:45 pm

Thanks for the kind words guys, i've been trying to get a chance to write a reply all week but to no avail.

Anyway, first order of business, as for injuries i aggravated a pre-existing shoulder/neck injury and really upset my self with worry (and real sadness about the loss of the car and what it meant to me really) for a few weeks but i'm getting there slowly. Thanks for the compliments on the fabrication work, i've no real qualifications for engineering or mechanics but i've been into model engineering, turning and milling, a wielding spanners since i was old enough to talk thanks to my dad. If there's something that needs to be done on a project i'll jump straight in (after a quick moan about how much work's actually involved) and once i'm started i just crack on. The only thing i tend to take to a shop to have done is paint work and even then i'll do 75% of it myself. I view it as possibly learning something new, keeping the cost down, and enjoying the hobby as well. Worst case, if i ever felt i wasn't succeeding i can always take it to a shop to have it looked at so i might as well have a go. Plus a shop won't do it the way i would e.g. extra strengthening plate beside the sill, boxing the end up and waxoyling the entire length of the inside of the sill (yes i did that, and got very black and sticky for my trouble... wasn't gonna rust from the inside out though). I've also had confirmation from the insurance company that i get to keep my old girl, shell and all. which should make storage and eventually a wild project rebuild just that bit easier. I'm thinking either a real quick 'sleeper' car or possibly a sort of what if Broadspeed had built it? We'll see, but my mate Chris and I will probably end doing a Bad Obsession Motorsport Project Binky style build if i know what we're like... (feel free to search youtube for 'project binky' - you'll not be disappointed)

Second order, i believe some first day of ownership pictures are in order.


She's pretty much all original according to the previous owner, Frederick. Which i'm likely to agree with on the basis of it having the original oil pressure sensor on - the live read out one. Mechanically she feels like a new car compared to my first one. Suspension feels great, handles better than A12WJP (probably because i didn't replace the wishbone bushes) and has plenty of power. drivetrain and gearbox is smooth without any thuds or whining. all round spot on.


You can feel a 'but' coming on right? Well... on the 30/40miles trip home she never actually got warm - a total of 3 bars over 50. it was -1 outside so theres that but its almost certainly a stuck thermostat so i've already got one through the post this week. Other than that the oil pressure gauge tends to read a little high, around 5 at a constant speed of 30 - 40 mph however on the dual carriageway on the way back at 70mph the pressure gauge ran up to 8 and stayed put. Infact i suspect it went quite a bit higher than 8 due to how fast it went up. It'll stay around 5 when being very light on the throttle but thats not a huge amount of fun, worrying about the oil pressure. This on its own wouldn't really worry me, since a quick oil change, new filter etc. would probably cure it if its down to it having stood or not done a huge amount of miles in the last few years. However, at idle 800 - 1000 rpm shes a little rough, has a non-rhythmic judder. Don't believe its a misfire, as i've had the plugs out and all seem around the same colour. I've also changed the plugs and its no different. Even the feel of the exhaust gases is smooth, no obvious misses or hesitations. Combine that with what i can only describe as a rumble from the passenger side bulkhead end of the motor, and a clatter-bonk kind of noise from the same area when the engine turns off and i'm starting to get a little concerned. I'll investigate little more over the weekend and change the thermostat but any suggestions are most welcome.

Changing spark plugs last sunday. now running Bosch Super 4's (though i much prefer Champion's and she'll be getting those at some point)

Apart from these slight issues (the VCM's a bit intermittent too, but i knew that when i bought her) its a good solid body, next to no rust and what there is is cosmetic, bottoms of the drivers side doors and the bottoms of the front wings. Nothing major, and will be tidied up in due course. The paintwork is all original minus the bonnet, and she's clearly spent many an hour sitting in supermarket carparks... she's got the rash to prove it. And oh boy is there rash. Everytime i look at her i spot a new one, which is on top of the brush painted touch ups in places. She's been well looked after mechanically but i think Hartlepool may have a lot to answer for cosmetically. I suspect a fairly comprehensive respray will be needed to get looking tip top but we'll see how we go.

She's pretty well equipped with ABS (hopefully won't need it in anger but it may have come in handy a few weeks ago), cruise control, sunroof (and slightly saggy headlining to match), air con, nokia car phone equiptment (without the phone). But the spare pile that came with her is pretty good, new front brake disc back plates, new coil, dizzy cap amongst others, 6 metric teardrops (no i don't know why the extra spare either) and 5 15" Lattice wheels (which means i've now got 9 of those), and the original but pretty knackered steering wheel.

Myself and Frederick, F79CKH's previous owner. He's owned her since 1996 - longer than he's been married apparently.

Anyway, i've written another essay because i write like i talk and i could talk for hours about cars and bikes. Which reminds me - i've 3 motorcycles all japanese classics and i've built a couple of others in the last 8 years. If anyones interested let me know and i might post about the bikes too.

Any questions now you've all nodded off?

A12WJP - 1989 3.6 XJ6 Crimson metallic CFF with cloth interior 151000 miles (R.I.P. - Resting in pieces.... Currently)
F79CKH - 1989 3.6 Sovereign Bordeaux red CEK with Leather interior 85000 miles and counting...

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby Rory » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:20 pm

Happy New Year. I hope that 2018 will be kind to both of you and that you spend many happy miles together.

Health to Drive!

1994 3.2 Gold(705363)(2009-13)
1992 4.0 Daimler(662003)(2010-)
1993 6.0 Daimler(2013)
1989 XJR 3.6 (571394)(2015-17)
2002 X-Type 2.1 Manual (2016)
1986 3.6 Daimler (503838) (2017-2018)
1990 2.9 XJ6 Manual(613010) (2017)
2002 S-Type 3.0 Sport (2017-2018)

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby Starbuck » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:15 am

Hi Joe,

An excellent obituary to a lovingly looked after Jaguar, and I am sorry to have missed this whilst I was away from home. There's no reason you shouldn't write about your bikes on here if the mood does take you. You obviously enjoy writing so why not take the time to share some of the other work you have done? Most people on this forum seem to like pretty much anything to do with good engineering.

I've lived with 'some health issues' (my close friends on here know what that's about) for the last 30 years so I also understand how difficult it is at times - it can be a tough slog that feels lonely no matter how many other people are around. And yep, I can well understand why damaging the car you worked so hard on was the final straw. For me writing always takes my mind off things and with any luck getting on here more often will provide you a little of the same. Welcome to the forum, and enjoy the friends you will make here.

I can only join with others in wishing your second XJ40 experience to be a little less eventful and that 2018 brings better times on all fronts.

Happy New Year and happy Jaguaring (and biking),

'94 XJ12 (and other toys)

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby donkeyotty » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:36 am

Classic Japanese motorcycles, luvverly, CB, GT, KH,LC, XJ, Z.....I love them all :D I await the essay with unbridled anticipation 8-)
1994 Regency Red 4.0 Sovereign M117FVC Chassis 705979
1993 Volvo 940 2.0 Turbo Wentworth Estate

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Re: Time to stop lurking...

Postby MT392 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:47 am

Suit and tie plus charity ride might just equal "Distinguished Gentleman's Ride". Have done the local Wellington NZ ride for the past 3 years. Twice on my SR500 and once on the somewhat more modern 2014 Bonneville. A worthy event, although spoiled (here) by antics of a few who's riding is not what is expected of a gentleman rider. Also keen to hear about your bikes.
92 Sovereign 4.0 Auto 'Pete the Cat'

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