A few days ago a noise sounding like a worn bearing was heard coming from the engine bay. After opening the bonnet the first places to investigate were the alternator and the water pump. A simple check was carried out which involved placing the tip of a screw driver on the water pump housing and sticking my ear to the handle. Straight away it was obvious the noise was coming from inside the pump, but just to be on the safe side the same check was applied to the alternator which fortunately was quiet.
There was only one thing for it a replacement pump. After a search online a fully reconditioned OEM Jaguar replacement supplied by a well respected company was found. I much prefer to use Jaguar reconditioned parts at least that way we're keeping the car as original as possible.
While changing the pump I'll take this opportunity while the coolant has been drained to replace the water hoses and upgrade the jubilee clips with stainless steel versions.
Something a fellow E-Type owner suggested a few months ago was considering replacing the anti freeze with a waterless coolant called 4Life. As the system had to be drained while the pump was being replaced this seemed the perfect opportunity to try out this product.
According to the label 4Life Advanced Engine Coolant/Anti-Freeze is a proven advanced coolant for road & track. It uses the latest additive technology to provide the highest levels of protection for classic & performance cars with normal pressurised cooling systems. 4Life''s Coolant/Anti-freeze has a boiling point of 180 degrees C at 15 p.s.i. for extra safety margin, has no coolant loss through evaporation and has an anti-foam agent that prevents engine hot-spots. 4Life''s Coolant/Anti-freeze additive gives you 10 years of protection to -42 degrees C (which removes the need for bi-annual coolant change), preserves rubber hoses, gives protection from frost expansion damage, and is PH balanced with no acidic impurities or lime scale. Sounds like a sensible alternative to me so inside the shed is a crate load of the stuff waiting to be put in Jagger.
If the water pump had misbehaved in the summer the job would have been completed immediately in order to get back on the road as soon as possible but now that autumn has arrived and there are fewer events to take part in I'll take my time.
In fact, as each air cleaner assembly looks a bit worse for wear they will get a fresh coat of Hammerite to brighten them up a little before being put back on the car.
Although the replacement hoses and clips have not arrived I've made a start by opening the drain tap at the bottom of the radiator to let the anti freeze gush into a large tray. It has to be a large tray because the cooling system on a V12 holds a little more than 20 litres! The tap has been left open all night so to drain as much out as possible and tomorrow will be the day when the real work begins and my hands get dirty.
Straight out of the bag, a nice clean reconditioned water pump
Surprisingly the drain tap was not seized and opened without fuss, let's hope the rest of the task ahead is just as simple.
Two air cleaner assemblies that could do with a tidy up
There is no doubt this is going to be quite a complex job for a novice like me. It may require the assistance of someone more experienced, but for now I’m happy to give it a go on my own, however I do have a Plan B in case things do get out of hand.
So with that in mind and as today is a new day it was time to put on the overalls and get into the garage.
To create as much space as possible the bolt that holds the hydraulic bonnet strut was removed. This allows the bonnet to be opened a little further which believe me makes a massive difference.
The tray was quite full and nothing was coming out of the drain tap so it was tightened up. The air cleaners were removed, next was the coil and then it was a few hoses attached to a pipe that runs across the block in front of the rocker covers above the water pump. The alternator and power steering pump were loosened in order to slacken the fan belts.
Things were going well until we hit a snag. Bolted on the front of the water pump is a housing where the bottom hose is attached. Unfortunately it was impossible to get a screw driver on the jubilee clip because it was facing inward. The solution was to reach under the car and unscrew the clip from the other end of the hose.
There’s not much else to do now before undoing the bolts securing the pump to the block and removing it. One thing mentioned by someone in the know is to take care because several of the bolts are different lengths and it’s vital to get the right one in the right hole when putting things back together. My plan is to remove each bolt and number it to ensure we don’t make any mistakes.
The belts have been loosened ready for removal then it will be time to tackle those sixteen bolts holding the water pump to the block.
It’s one thing to drive this lovely car and enjoy all it has to offer, but it sure is another interesting experience working on it. It’s almost like Jaguar adopted the mindset of something like: If there's a difficult option, let's choose it.
I’m sure a few E-Type specialists may have different ideas, but for a novice trying to fix his car inside his cramped garage my thoughts are that Jaguar didn’t go out of their way to make things easy.
After removing several components which may get in the way today was the day of action. Thinking all bases were covered it was time to get the pump off, all that was in the way was 16 bolts holding it to the engine block. When twelve of the blighters came out without a hitch my confidence started rising but almost immediately reality struck.
Not only are the remaining four bolts out of view, it’s difficult to figure out how a socket or spanner can get on them because there is so little room in there. If the car was on a lift it may be that one could walk underneath the car and attack the bolts from below but for a Fred in the shed without the use of such luxuries it’s another matter. I need to figure out a strategy - wish me luck.
OK I figured out a strategy, remember my quote earlier about a plan B? well it's now been put into action. My saviour Brian will be here on Sunday with his masive set of tools to try his luck at getting the remaining four bolts out, if he can't do it no one can.
Instead of venturing inside the garage to come away with little success, something which happened yesterday, it was time to tidy up those air cleaner boxes. After close inspection it's easy to see dents and flaked off paint in certain places, they are a mess.
Each box was dismantled which included separating the trumpets and removing the air filters before a degreaser was applied and with the help of a wire brush they were ready for painting.
This Hammerite stuff is really quite amazing, never having used it before I painted on a light coat and as each component dried the hammered like finish appeared, just how it works is anyone's guess but it sure is impressive. Another coat will be applied tomorrow and that will be one less job to worry about.
Sunday arrived and just as anticipated, my mate Brian came up with the goods. Between us we took the header tank off to create a bit more space and after a bit of head scratching we managed to release the remaining four bolts holding the pump to the block.
Now that lots of components have been removed I have the perfect opportunity to give the engine bay a degreasing and general tidy up before putting everything back.
Here is my plan to ensure the right bolt goes back inside the right hole
And here is the reason for the above, note the several different bolt lengths
My ever helpful friend Brian suggested I resist any urge to put everything back together until he returns, so on the masters advice nothing more than tinkering around cleaning up bits and pieces in preparation for his return will be done.
Despite what was said earlier after the first coat of Hammerite had been applied to the air cleaners they were not looking too great after the second coat, so I took them to a local sandblaster who will remove all the paint and take them down to the bare metal.
The technician showed me a bicycle inside his workshop which had recently been powder coated in silver and looked great. He advised this method would be longer lasting and more hard wearing than if we air dried a hammered finish paint. Although my aim is to keep the car as original as possible, on the advice given it feels like it would be a wise compromise to go for the more practical route, so that's the way we've gone. If they don't look right we can always get the Hammerite out again and have another go.
Picked up the air cleaners today and they look great and far better than my attempt with the Hammerite. From this pic you can see I've replaced the vacuum valves and hoses as well as putting on a new set of decals.
Today I headed north to attend the Classic Car Show at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham. The show is massive with 1700 classic cars and 300 motorbikes on display in addition to the many trade stands with traders eager to sell you all those things you think you can’t live without.
After my visit to the autojumble I came home with a few bits and pieces including a heavy duty LED torch, box of Wonder Wipes, tin of Copperslip, indoor car cover, box containing 150 pairs of latex gloves and a handy little magnetic LED torch. This beauty is about six inces long but extends like a telescopic car aerial to about two feet. If that’s not clever enough the head of the torch is magnetised and can be bent into any position so you can angle it into tight corners - a wise investment me thinks especially as it only cost a fiver.
Mike Brewer and Ed China from Wheeler Dealers take turns occupying a stage, Mike interviews a variety of motoring celebrities and when his session ends Ed and his team take over as they attempt to build a car from scratch and finish it before the show closes.
Sitting at one of the trade stands was Norman Dewis who is always great fun to be around, we chatted for a while before I left and then stumbled upon the Jaguar Heritage stand.
On a rotating table was the prototype Lightweight E-Type known as “Car Zero”. Jaguar intended to build 18 Lightweight’s and began construction in 1962 but only 12 of the aluminium bodied cars were built, the last in 1964. The remaining six designated chassis numbers having lain dormant until now.
Jaguar call these “the missing vehicles” and have now decided to complete the project. They will build a further six Lightweight E-Types which will carry the original series chassis number intended all those years ago.
Here’s a few pics of Car Zero, heaven knows what the lucky six new owners will have to pay for the privilege of getting one of these.
As soon as the master craftsman (otherwise known as Brian) returned today we got stuck in to fit the water pump back on the car. The task started with cleaning things up by running taps and dyes on the bolts and bolt holes.
Next, we stuck the gasket to the pump before placing it in position and screwing in the bolts whose threads had been smeared with copper slip.
I had purchased a replacement water hose and jubilee clip set a few weeks ago because as mentioned further up the page, I will be switching the antifreeze/water mix with 4Life waterless coolant and I don’t want to risk a worn hose leaking this expensive product all over the road.
Things were going well until one of the bottom hoses decided to be stubborn. After a bit of a struggle it eventually came off but the job of fitting the replacement proved almost impossible.
There’s not much space to access the area at the bottom of the radiator which meant I had to remove the heavy Butec alternator in an effort to get the hose fitted, it was at this point Brian decided to call it a day.
Today my trusted friend returned and between us we assembled the few remaining parts. Earlier in the week I had replaced the alternator and power steering pump belts and all that remained were the header tank and a few hoses to be replaced before the air cleaners were put back on.
We filled the radiator with water and with the choke pulled out Jagger fired up on the first turn of the key. At first he was not firing on all cylinders which is understandable as he hadn't run for a few months, but it wasn't long until he cleared his throat and started to sound great, we kept him running for about 15 minutes until he was nice and warm before switching him off.
Brian removed the radiator cap and replaced it with his pressure tester and pumped it up until the gauge read 15psi. No leaks were coming from any of the hoses but we soon spotted a problem.
On the front of the water pump is a housing which is attached by three bolts, the other end is where the bottom hose joins onto. A replacement housing was bought at the same time I got the new hoses because the original looked shabby and since I've started to do my own repairs my mindset has been; if it looks like it has seen better days, change it.
The pressure test proved too much for the new housing because once we reached 15 pounds of pressure, a small hole in the metal appeared causing the housing to leak.
I guess I should be grateful the leak was found now instead of when I'm tearing down the highway but nontheless it was disappointing to see. Now we have to wait for a replacement housing to arrive, once it's been replaced, we'll pressure test the system again and if everything is fine we'll drain the water and replace it with waterless coolant.
The first sign of trouble
The hole now visible with a steady stream of water leaking out
The supplier has taken eight days to send a replacement housing despite several calls and emails which have resulted in me virtually pleading with him to dispatch it. I can't describe how angry I am with him but that's fine, no matter whatever parts I may need in future I now know where not to go with my hard earned cash!
Today I went out and loosened the drain tap at the bottom of the radiator, once the water was drained I undid the jubilee clip on the bottom hose before loosening the three bolts holding the housing onto the pump. Like before the bottom hose did not want to leave the housing so I had to undo the clip at the other end and remove it from the block. When the hose and housing were in my hands they were easier to separate, vaseline was smeared inside the hose and on the outside of the housing to prevent any further struggles and it slid on with ease.
Gasket sealant was applied on the face of the housing and the gasket was placed on to set while I cleaned up the face of the water pump. Sealant was put on the face of the pump before returning the housing and bolting it up, the jubilee clips were tightened and the drain tap was closed before the system was refilled with water.
The engine ran for 15 or so minutes without any leak but after what happened last time the final test will be when Brian returns in a few days with his pressure tester, only then will we know if everything is fine. Fingers crossed!
This photo shows the completed job, apologies for not having a more descriptive picture but this shot demonstrates just how little room there is to work in. You can just about see the water pump with it's new fan belts and the housing on the front of the pump - this is the one which caused a problem when it sprung a leak. The black bar above the pump is the replacement water rail.
Here we are all boxed up moments before pressure testing the cooling system. This time no leaks were found so the majority of the 20.5 litre coolant capacity came out and was replaced with a ssimilar amount of 4Life.
After running the engine for a further 10 minutes we checked again for any signs of leakage and when when none were found we closed the bonnet and jumped inside for a 20 mile drive. When we got home a final check was made before Jagger was returned to his garage and I can now finally say, the job of replacing the water pump has been completed.
This year the heater box has been replaced as well as the distributor cap, rotor arm, HT leads, spark plugs, both battery cables, the hoses and jubilee clips, the header tank, water rail, water pump, all three fan belts as well as the air cleaners being sand blasted and powder coated.
We also had Jagger tuned at Sigma Engineering and let's not forget the rear shocks and coil springs, headlamp upgrade and that oil plug on the front of the block which caused a serious oil leak and was so stubborn to remove it prevented me from going to the Le Mans Classic in him.
All in all a costly year, especially when you add the diff change, a hand made mohair tonneau cover and the recently purchased indoor cover to keep the dust off him!
Wish me luck in hoping that's the end of the spending for a while because at this rate I'll end up bankrupt if we have another year like this one.