I have read so much interesting and indispenable comments here, I feel it now is my turn to show you my recently acquired Daimler. So here it is. I have to admit it is my fourth Daimler. It is quite a long and illustrated story, so take your time and enjoy. Any comments are welcome! I know several issues have been discussed in threads over here, but I did not want to mix it with this story, which only states the condition in which I found the car. I did not even clean it! But let me start with an introduction on my other Daimlers.A short history …
I used to love the Rover SD1, the 3500 Vanden Plas of course. I do still have my original 1987 car, but it is not driveable any more. When I had driven 240.000 km with the Rover, it became a little complicated to keep running it. It has 383.000 km on the clock and a head gasket failure and some other things I forgot now. I just cannot throw it away.
At the time the Rover SD1 still ran, I decided to go for an addition: a Jaguar. An XJ40, being the most beautiful to my taste, outside and inside. A Daimler, being the most luxurious and most beautifully finished, at the same money as a standard XJ6 or Sovereign (I profit from the unawarity of most XJ6/Sovereign buyers). And … I went for the V12 engined Daimler because it is the top of the top and within reach to own
(I do not say drive
) for reasonable money. In 2008, I bought one in Switzerland by taking the night train to Geneva, meet the seller, inspect the car, doing the Customs stuff to import it into the EU and drive it home. This Daimler Double Six is westminster blue and has a great cream interior. It has now 88.000 km on the clock.
Most of the time, it is in the shed because it is too nice and too expensive to drive often. Although I have to renew the MOT, it would drive immediately, now I have replaced the battery. It is under SORN now, as most of my cars: I try to own all my great cars maybe not for as little money as possible, but at least within a reasonable budget.
In the meantime I had another Rover SD1 to use as a daily driver. But I sold it (long story) and bought a second Daimler. Why not? It is the famous morocco red Daimler 4.0 Insignia (Insignia prototype or first production car, discussed in the Insignia-thread, http://www.xj40.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1265&start=130#p50064
). I liked the morocco red paint, the red carpets and it being a rather unique Insignia with its incredible extensive leather upholstery, although in fact I do not like grey as an upholstery colour and the quality of the veneer of this car. It is a good car in general but has some serious rust problems on difficult-to-cure spots. It has 304.000 km on the clock now.
I started to look around for Daimler quality burr walnut veneer and a tow bar and was surprised to find a complete Daimler Double Six at a car company not far away, selling cheap cars or the parts of it after breaking. It looked like this when I visited it.
After I paid for the veneer panels and the tow bar (and came to the conclusion that I did not get all parts necessary to install the tow bar), I realised that with another buy I would have paid what I possibly could have the whole car for. So I bought it -- and I did not get discount because I already paid for those parts, that’s the way it works. This brooklands green Double Six with parchment interior is in fact way too good to use as a parts supplier. It was owned for less than a year by a boy who seems to have driven it almost as a banger and cut the VIN out and removed the Daimler badges because he wanted to use the license of a Jaguar V12 from 1978 … The engine starts instantly but the gearbox only likes to move the car very slowly if revved to 4000+. Any ideas what’s wrong? I bought it without wheels (these Kiwi’s were sold in the meantime), so I looked for cheap ones and found a set of Roulette’s, but without the alloy hub caps (anyone has them for me?).
So, three Daimlers. That’s already more than I can handle, store, repair and drive. But when looking at Marktplaats, the Dutch cousin of eBay, to fulfill my addiction, I came across an at first sight very nice Regency red Daimler with apparently a magnolia interiour with cherry red piping. It was a pre-MY1993-car and I decided that there was no reason to break my own law to restrict myself to 1993 and 1994 cars – my brain can only handle a limited amount of complexity. I had already spotted a Daimler Double Six in the great colour scheme of Kingfisher blue and magnolia leather, it was for sale for a year or so and the price had dropped from € 3950 to € 2495. In the Dutch market, that is really cheap. And it was described as a very good car with almost no rust at all.
But why buy a DD6?! I could drive it daily but the fuel consumption of the 6.0 litre V12 prohibits that. After a work meeting I rewarded myself with a nice trip and planned to go to the kingfisher DD6, just to look, research, inspect and image it. ‘Aaien’, as my wife calls it, ‘stroke’ says the dictionary although that does not sound too tender into my Dutch ears. I phoned and it turned out to have been sold just that morning (by the way, it immediately was offered for sale again, at € 3250). So that solved my problem. Then I decided to head to another Daimler, the Regency red one and … bought it!The Daimler 4.0 1992 Regency red magnolia
The almost retired owner of a taxi company bought this car one and a half year ago, planning to get it on the road as his private car. He more or less did not succeed, the car stood in the taxi garage and he could not stand seeing it there. Well, this is what his son told me, the guy who sold the car. I was impressed by the fantastic combination of regency red paint and magnolia (a taste of yellow) leather combined with cherry red piping. The latter two are both cost options on a normally extremely well-specced Daimler (the high specification is one of the differences with a Jaguar). The car and its paint were very nice, there is almost no rust and the interior is, albeit dirty, in great condition. In this way the magnolia piped red and good burr walnut really impressed.
There where some problems or … limitations. The car originated from Belgium but was not imported yet: it had no license and no MOT. The seller told me that a MOT tester said some bushes at the left rear should be replaced. And the rear bumper was missing because he had it being repaired at a company nearby. I could collect it, he said. This was not the last issue being more complicated than he told me …
So I was impressed and it was cheap, so I bought it. The justification for bying it? Let me think. It could be that I want to restore the Insignia, during which I need another daily driver. This regency red Daimler could be this. Furthermore, if I will be able to bring it in a very good condition, I could sell it for a lot more than I paid (although I have to admit that I only sold a car only once in my life …).
I found a way to drive the Regency home (I am not used to giving names to my cars, they do not even have a gender, so I just call them by colour). As far as time allows, I ‘investigate’ the car to look for good and bad points and try to sort its problems. Then I can import it in The Netherlands with the RDW (governmental agency, like DVLA), need to have a MOT, a license plate, insurance etc. In fact, because there is no government on earth that knows the car, it does not cost money as long it is not imported.History of the car
The car came with a pile of paperwork, including the service books (complete and stamped) and manuals. From it, I can derive the history to a large extent. It is a Belgian car. It was first registered on May 15th, 1992 and its VIN is 663 020. It is clearly a MY 1992 car and the label says DG, meaning it was produced in April 1992. The first owner lived near Mechelen. I managed to contact him, an friendly 82-year old man. He had it serviced twice a year (!) by an official dealership between 1992 and 2004. From 2004 to 2008 these services were not registered in the service book, although there is a car pass with it, listing that since then about 2.000 km per year were driven. The car was always parked in a heated garage and the owner’s wife kept the interior clean (!).
The second owner also lived in that area: he has an ambulance company. He must have bought it at January 14th 2008. He did not drive it often and I do not see proof of the services that were done. A son told me that the car was always parked inside. I found a label from what I know to be an auction company and the son confirmed that they chose to sell the car with other stuff via an auction. The last service was by a well-known Flemish XJ40 specialist in 2008, judging from a label on the air filter house (I called him, he remembered the car!). There is no proof of what happened since then and when the car was actually sold. Since 2008 the car did another 6.000 km and the clock now reads 179.900 km. The guy whom I bought it from, bought it from a trader in Valkenswaard and I guess that this man bought the car on the auction. From what the seller told me, I deduce that his dad bought it about halfway 2012. (Maybe some of my Belgian or Dutch readers do know the car?! Please let me know!)The good points
So, the first good point of the car is that its complete history until 2008 is known, all paperwork is with it and that I even managed to find and talk to the previous owners in Belgium!
The first owner still describes the car as stunning and although it was neglected the past years, the regency red paint and magnolia upholstery look fabulous indeed. The paint is very good, although there are some minor scratches. There is no rust whatsoever. The front ends of the sills are rather good, at least compared to my 1993 Insignia. Only the left one shows some rust.
The Daimler coachline is missing from the right hand side of the car. I inspected the paintwork and found the complete right hand side to be resprayed. It is done very well in my opinion. I could only find marks of the masking in the impressions of the bonnet and boot lid. The first owner confirmed that it had suffered from a side impact, a reason why he sold it in 2008, after sixteen years and 166.500 km of ownership.
The typical Daimler chrome strips are present, although the strip of the right rear door is missing the front 5 cm. This has been solved elegantly by using a coachline. It is very strange that in the boot I found a similar chrome strip of which the exact same part was missing (normally they break after coming loose from the car and the rear door is opened).
The sunroof is rust free, but judging the darker shade of red, it was renewed and resprayed. (I couldn’t choose between both images, lighting conditions make a lot of difference when inspecting a car …)
The veneer is beautiful and in very good shape. I do not see any traces of moist damage. However, a tiny piece at the upper edge of the glove box lid is missing. The right hand rear door has a veneer strip that, although in very good shape, shows a different structure compared to the other three doors. (As you will know, eight ‘book matched’ (mirrored) pieces of veneer cut from the same tree are used to make the four door panels of one car.) The original will have been damaged due to the accident.
The magnolia leather is fantastic, in particular with the cherry red piping. Although it shows workshop grease on some places (from the taxi company from driving it out and in their workshop if they needed more space), it is almost undamaged.
Really stunning are the carpets. In the rear we see the original lambwool overrugs, a clean carpet and dry insulation layers underneath. At the driver’s footwell, we see an ugly grey carpet (apparently from a 1993 car, judging the fixing holes), but underneath an almost unmarked original carpet! And unmarked and completely dry insulation layers.
Even after two days of heavy rain the complete interior of the car keeps dry … I cannot believe this, I never owned a car that kept dry … but it really is. This also means that it preserves its smell, whatever it exactly is. Better than that of wet cars, I can assure you …The remarks (good nor bad)
It has a rather large leaper on the bonnet: it is 19 cm, never saw such a large beast (and none of my XJ40’s has one). The first owner knew his successor mounted this beast and he condemned it strongly, not because it does not suit an XJ40, nor because it is too large or to vulgar, but the beast is a jaguar and a Daimler IS NOT a Jaguar!
There is a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat (Belgian law?).
The Roulette alloy wheels are in fact my favourite, with the Daimler Double Six 36-spoke Radial wheels. But they suffer from corrosion. All tyres are rather good, but date from 2002 or 2003. The spare wheel is a brand new Roulette, great! The tyre has never seen the road, but it is from 1991 (!) jugding the DOT code and this means it is useless.
It had a rather new battery, 74 Ah and 680 Ampère CCA, good.The bad points
I drove the car home over 42 km of motorway. It drives very smooth and delivered well. A few kilometer from home, I tried to accelerate faster but the car didn’t do it and the ‘check engine’ light came on. VCM code fuel fail 44. After standing overnight in my shed and just running the engine for a couple of minutes, the check engine light again went on. Again Fuel fail 44. Any suggestions? (I know there are some at this forum, will see later, but comments welcome now.)
During that 42 km of smooth motorway driving, the onboard computer showed a fuel consumption 25% higher than my other 4,0 litre car. Could that be a clue?
The most disappointing of the car is the complete contradiction between its great condition from the outside and inside and the condition of everything at the underside of the car. The complete suspension, brakes, subframe, the lower engine components, exhausts, everything is covered in a thick layer of rust. Also the alloy components like the alternator show heavy oxidation. This cannot be true: the lower side of the car looks like coming from a different planet than the coachwork and interior. At least the first owner stored the car for the full 16 years in a dry and heated garage. What happened?
Even the steering pump line and nuts and the brake calipers have thick rust.
A clue could be the left front tyre: it shows a mark of a 12 cm deep puddle … (see also the previous picture of the sill front end). The car has possibly been parked over a very wet surface for the past few years?!
The engine oil at the dipstick looked bad: thick and light brown, muddy. In the mean time I changed oil. When I poured the old oil into a can, the inhomogeneity became very apparent. What can it be? Coolant?! I don’t know. Suggestions? If so: oh no! In fact, there is no pressure on the coolant cap, neither is there on the oil filler cap. So no gasket failure?
Actually, I changed oil twice, because I apparently did not succeed in placing the new oil filter right, it is even more difficult to get there than with my Insignia: the rubber ring turned out to have been displaced and after I started the engine and waited for the oil pressure to rise, it turned out the engine had pumped most oil out. Well, that was a good oil flush … Luckily (to some extent), the car was on a smooth concrete floor.
At first sight, the coolant also looks bad. It looks orange and thick. Oil?! But this apparently was an optical illusion. It is rather clear pink coolant. The pink colour can also be seen at the thermostat housing. The pink colour indicates a modern G12-like coolant. (As far as I know, ‘G12’ is a requirement code used by Volkswagen, other makes use different codes.) And G12 cannot be mixted with the classical blue coolant (although the colours are no guarantee for what type the coolant exactly is!), because a muddy brown deposit will result, no need to say that it could kill the narrow coolant ways in the block. I always use MPM oil and fluids: you do not pay for a premium name and the quality is very good. They have a very good website
, here I saved the recommendation for our Jaguar 1991--1994
as html (in English even). For Jaguar, this is G11. G11 is sort of in between the famous BS 6580 classic blue coolant and the modern G12, G12+ etcetera. If MPM recommends it, I would use it. So I would not agree with Rob in requiring a Jaguar branded coolant for the V12. Jaguar does not make coolants, they just specify their requirements and MPM knows them best. By the way, I would never use a mixture of antifreeze and tap water. You all seem to do that? The Dutch tap water is the best in the world and thousand times cheaper than bottled water, but it contains minerals that you don’t want into the coolant mixture. The safest way is to let MPM make the right ready-to-use coolant, would be my advise.
But as said: G12 is not to be mixed with G11 or blue coolant. G12+ can also be pink and can be mixed. I think I best flush the cooling system (never did this though, I fear to get at the drain plug in the block and get it loose), run the engine with tap water, flush again and then fill it with G11.
The car was originally equipped with rear self levelling suspension. The first owner had it removed when the car was TWO months old!! At one occasion it just raised itself to the maximum height, making driving impossible, he told me. All components are still present though, I don’t know them (my Insignia doesn’t have them and my Daimler Double Six is a different story). The feed from the valve block was just disconnected. However, at the rear end the line was bent back and fixed to the brake line (is it?). I believe the levelling line at my Double Six is at the left of the car, here it is at the right. The sensor module over the right lower control arm is still there, but of course the link arm is removed.
The problem is that the hoses and lines of the levelling directly behind the radiator are leaking badly. The central device af the front of the engine must be the levelling pump (ok?), I don’t know whether it also leaks. The result is a front end and the aircon compressor and V-belt dripping of oil. Bad, it is a mess.
As you have seen above, the whole lower front end of the suspension and engine is covered in oil and has attracted loads of dirt. It is difficult to judge whether the steering rack and lines are leaking, not much, I believe. From the new rubber I would guess the lower and upper ball joints have been renewed recently, well, a good point in the end.
If I understand it well, as a MY 1993 specialist till now, the steering system and self levelling system share one supply reservoir of oil. I see the T-joint in the hoses, one to each of the two pumps. This oil must be hydraulic system mineral oil (HSMO) (MPM recommends LHM+ for Citroën, I used it for my Double Six until the SLS was removed). I recognize the exact power steering pump I had so much trouble with on my 1993 Insignia. How can it also operate on hydraulic oil?
The question I have now: it appears to me that the current oil is not HSMO, as it has a orange-red colour. The MPM LHM+ is green. So, could you guess what is in the system? And how can I refill it? Should I kind of flush it and fill it with the green HSMO?
Wouldn’t it be the best to remove the hydraulic SLS pump from the engine and remove the hoses, to cure the heavy leaking? Can it be done?
The right front shock -- or at least suspension -- is clunking if driving over a bump. I guess only the upper bushes need replacing. The left rear suspension is also clunking, it is almost if it is loose. I don’t know what this could be.
The left front wheel bearing has play. Although it probably will just pass the MOT test, I reckon I can get it right. The right front wheel is OK. I did not have the rear wheels off the ground till now.
The rear bumper is missing, as it was brought to a bodyshop to repair a large dent. After some struggles, I have it back in parts now, covered in sandblasting dust (it covered the whole workshop). At least the chrome is perfect, to my relief. The bumper was taken apart completely, partly by grinding the screws. Not all clips and connections are present.
The rear license plate bulbs surround (‘tactile panel’) is rusting badly.
A patch is welded in the right inner wing. The rest seems OK, apart from rust near an extra bonnet switch, possibly from the security system. I guess this rubs over the wing.
There is a pair of dents in the left side of the bonnet and a slight dent in the driver’s door.
The horns do not work. This at least is a MOT failure.
The windscreen washers do not work. Also MOT failure.
The windscreen wipers function, but will always stay where they are as soon as you release the handle. They never return to their rest position.
All fuses in the left, middle and right fuse boxes seem to work. The fuse at C4 in the right hand fuse box was missing. As soon I place it, the instrument lighting comes on and never goes out. Also, it cannot be dimmed. Within two days this drains the battery. After replacing the C4 fuse, also the buzzer behaves normal, till then it buzzes as soon as you open the driver’s door.
I can hear the aerial motor whirring if the sound system is turned on and off, but the mast is dented and stuck. The missing grommet apparently was cured by sealant.
The privacy screen or left rear sun blind is not retracting.
I hope you managed to read to here. Any help and comment is highly appreciated!
All the best, Rens