Unfortunately the work on Jagger didn’t end when I returned to drive him home from the paint shop, oh no - those of you who follow this blog will know I have the uncanny knack of spending substantial amounts of hard earned on my pride and joy and this summer has been no exception.
A few months ago while surfing the web I saw a spin on spin off oil filter changer offered by a company called Cool Cats, located in upstate New York. When a friend informed me she was to visit her sister in New Jersey and didn’t mind bringing one home for me, the opportunity was too good to miss.
The main reason for the change is because the oil filter on V12’s sits inside a oval shaped bowl and since owning the car I’ve experienced a few annoying little drops of oil on the garage floor coming from the filter, I guess it's hardly surprising as the car is so old and parts get worn out.
When I returned to see my friends at Tudor Road Garage to get this years MOT certificate, I added the fitment of the replacement oil filter to the list. The guys at Tudor Road are so kind, they allowed me the opportunity to use some of the oil I’ve had stored in my garage for the oil change.
Incidentally, I am writing this a few months since changing to this new device and happy to report my garage floor has remained oil free.
Early one morning in late July I roared out of the drive on my way to attend this year’s Silverstone Classic. A few miles before reaching the circuit the traffic was backed up even at 8.30am, but this was always going to be a long day away from home because one of the good things about attending the world’s largest classic car event is that once the racing stops, the stage comes alive and some great bands entertain the crowds late into the night. Over the years I’ve watched some brilliant acts and this year was no exception because top of the bill was one of my favourites, The Stranglers. I first saw these guys 30 years ago in Guildford and although a few of the personnel have changed they still sound like I remember them all those years ago.
But anyway, when I finally got inside the circuit I went straight to the Jaguar designated parking spot and could hardly believe the number of Jags already parked. Unlike previous years where I’ve parked so close to the action I can sit in Jagger and watch the racing, I had to park in the second row because all the best spots had already gone - no big deal, it just means I’ll have to get out of bed earlier next year.
Earlier in the week of Silverstone I contacted Simon Illingworth from Fosseway Performance, you may recall I purchased a Denso alternator from him a while ago, which is not only lighter and smaller than the Butec, it performs a whole lot better. I have been impressed with the small and lightweight high torque starter motors Simon sells and I asked him to bring one along so I could purchase it and take it home with me. It’s worth mentioning that anyone who has seen the location of the starter motor on a V12 will know they are none to easy to get at, but for once I had a cunning plan.
Before speaking with Simon I telephoned Ian Ridley at Hayward & Scott in Basildon to discuss the possibility of changing the original cast exhaust manifolds for stainless steel versions. Ian was very helpful and when I mentioned how hot it gets under the bonnet he suggested getting the manifolds coated, so this is what’s been done.
The manifolds are hand made to order so after a wait of around four weeks I pitched up and left the car in Essex. It seemed only sensible to ask them to change the starter motor once the manifolds had been removed and thankfully, they had no problem with accommodating my request. A week later when I went to pick up the car I could hardly believe the sound it was making - anyone who has heard a V12 E-Type will know they make a most beautiful noise, but now we have the new manifolds fitted that tone has improved without making the car sound like some spiked up hot rod and I’m very pleased with the outcome. The car is more responsive now and I find myself having much more fun - me thinks this was for sure a worthwhile investment, I’ve even seen the fuel consumption get better so all around it’s been a win win.
Inside the Hayward & Scott workshop and my new manifolds back from the coaters fresh out of the box.
And here is a closer look - a worthwhile investment and a definite improvement to the car.
One more expense I had this season was for the replacement of the front shock absorbers, heaven knows how long they had been on the car but the terrible state of the perished rubber bushes could no longer be ignored and so a pair of new units were fitted. A couple of years ago you may recall I had the rear shocks and springs replaced so now it should be quite a few years before any of them need replacing again.
During a drive along the M4 one day in the summer a large crack appeared in the windscreen, not sure how it happened but hey ho! My preferred place to have a replacement screen fitted was my trusty restorer Lee Ridley who was only too happy to help. Once the replacement screen was delivered to his workshop I took the car along and with the minimum of fuss the job was completed.
Since October not much has happened so in preparation for winter I put the cover over him and switched on the dehumidifier, can hardly wait for the winter to pass so I can start enjoying some of these improvements, roll on summer!