Walter's jalopies, '07 Jag XJ8 L and '99 Miata

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wfooshee

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Unbelievable...

I called Progressive last week, asking about the Mercedes. they said they've been calling the dealership, leaving voice mails, have not had a call back. I was in Tallahassee yesterday for something else, went by to ask for myself. They got the car with NO paperwork from the tow company... no insurance company info, no claim number, and no owner contact. They knew who I was from the registration, but had no contact information. So it's been sitting 5 weeks with NOTHING done, not even a decision about WHAT to do.

The service manager I talked to gave me his card, and I posted everything from the card onto my online claim right there at his desk on my phone.

I added To my note that whoever from Progressive ordered the tow just plain f'd up. You can't deliver a car with nothing!!!!

So now we're officially at the point of actually starting the claim process. Maybe...

I need a car or a check! C'mon!!!!
 
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3,962
United States
United States
Unbelievable...

I called Progressive last week, asking about the Mercedes. they said they've been calling the dealership, leaving voice mails, have not had a call back. I was in Tallahassee yesterday for something else, went by to ask for myself. They got the car with NO paperwork from the tow company... no insurance company info, no claim number, and no owner contact. They knew who I was from the registration, but had no contact information. So it's been sitting 5 weeks with NOTHING done, not even a decision about WHAT to do.

The service manager I talked to gave me his card, and I posted everything from the card onto my online claim right there at his desk on my phone.

I added To my note that whoever from Progressive ordered the tow just plain f'd up. You can't deliver a car with nothing!!!!

So now we're officially at the point of actually starting the claim process. Maybe...

I need a car or a check! C'mon!!!!
That sounds like an absolute mess. Is Progressive to blame for that or the tow company?
 

wfooshee

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Don't know. I hope the tow company, as I would like to think Progressive is better about handling paperwork. I've never had any complaints about their services before.
 

wfooshee

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Spent the weekend finishing the Miata's interior. When I removed the carpet for cleaning after the flood from Hurricane Sally, I found that the floor had been punctured; apparently something hard and heavy had been kicked up from the roadway. It punched through two layers of sheet steel. I'd seen the carpet wet from time to time, I just figured it was from the top leaking, but it turns out the front wheel sprays water up into the passenger floor!
Firewall puncture:
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And from inside the passenger footwell. Looks like a 30mm shell punched through!
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I didn't know what i was going to do. The "proper" repair is to cut the metal out around the hole and weld a new piece in, then prime and paint. These are processes which I am eminently unqualified to perform! A friend at work suggested pop-riveting a piece of sheet metal over the hole and slathering sealant around the edges, but I'd never get it sealed since the panels aren't flat. I ended up getting a fiberglass kit:
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Cleaned the areas as best I could, mixed the resin with some hardener and painted onto the surface and into the fiberglass cloth, let it cure for 30 minutes or so and add another layer while it's still sticky. Three layers later, it was getting dark, so I stopped for the day.

The next day (today,) I sprayed some undercoat paint over the repair areas. I didn't bother with sanding or smoothing or cleaning the edges; the one repair is under the car and the other will be under the carpet, both out of sight. It is waterproof, and that's what matters!
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Then some peel-and-stick sound and heat material I picked up on Amazon to replace that fiber mat material that the water ruined...
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...and CARPET!!!
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Drove the car around some this afternoon, and it is MUCH quieter inside, as expected! Also, the center tunnel no longer wants to cook my leg.

I still have a huge wind noise issue from the new top, again, no idea what to do about that. It's bad enough at the header bow that you can't have a conversation in the car at highway speed! It doesn't leak, but the front edge of the to seems to by higher than the old top, catching the wind, and I don't know what I can do about it.

By the way, it should be plain by now: do NOT buy a used car from me!!! If it's trashed enough that I don't want to mess with it any more, it's not worth having! Honestly, I have not sold any of the last 10 vehicles I've owned, going back to 1995. Five were scrapped, two were insurance claims, and three I still have (Yamaha FJR1300 and the cars in this thread, although the Mercedes is a question mark at the moment.) Basically I run them till they won't go any more, I've never cared about resale value.
 
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wfooshee

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OK, time to go shopping. Progressive is totaling the S55, and the check is going to be... generous. It ends up being more than I've spent on the car during the two years I've had it, including buying it, fixing it, and fueling it. Basically free use of the S55 for 22 months!

it is not more than I would have spent to complete fixing it, I can tell you that for sure. I'm VERY glad now that I didn't go ahead with that air conditioning repair mentioned in Post 9, and the ABC suspension never got fully sorted!
 
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wfooshee

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Fixed an issue with the new top on the Miata. The replacement frame didn't come with latches, so I just moved my latches over to it.

I took the car down to Anna Maria Island last week, south of St. Petersburg, north of Sarasota, to visit my son and his family while they vacationed there. The wind noise in the Miata was unbearable! I could actually reach up and pull the headrail tight with the handle and stop the noise, but I can't make a 7-hour drive like that. The noise was enough that two people in the car would not be able to converse, and the stereo is useless. Oddly, it doesn't leak in the rain.

Consulting the Miata forum, the solution is to adjust the latches to full tight, and if that fails, then new latches. My latches were already at full tight, so 144 bucks each, I Amazoned a new set. They arrived Friday, installed them today, and just like magic, the interior is miraculously quieter at speed, and I can use the stereo. Also, the latches line up better and are much easier to operate! Hated to spend nearly 300 bucks, but turns out it was necessary.
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Old latches:
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New latches:
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So now the Miata is pretty near 100% with things it needs, other than a new blower motor for the A/C system. The one in the car has bad bearings is is quite noisy.

And a paint job, but the car's not worth the cost of the paint job... Lot's of missing clearcoat.
 

wfooshee

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Insurance money from the flood-destroyed S55 received and spent! After picking this up I have a couple of Franklins left, even!

2007 Jaguar XK8 L Porcelain/Tan.
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I have always loved the look of Jaguars XJ series cars, all the way back to the original in the late 60s. These big sedans are the "commoner's" pinnacle of British elegance and style, and from 1968 to 2009, through 5 generations of the model, they are recognizable as the same type car. It's an XJ!!

(From 2010 on... well, we'll just admit that Jaguar has changed hands a few too many times, and someone has lost sight of what they're supposed to be.)

I found this one on cargurus.com, wasn't even looking for a Jaguar but came across a 2004 XJ8 at a local lot and drove it. That one had deal-breaking issues, but I fell in love with the type and starting actively seeking them out! This one was actually local, although it "grew up" in Arizona, brought here by its current owner. I don't know if he moved here or bought it and brought it here. Either way, it's MINE now!

Paint is showroom, interior has tiny visible wear on the base of the driver's seat, but it is otherwise like new. "Excellent," as they say for Kelly Blue Book. The car has been in Florida less than two years. Guy I bought it from has several cars, but lives in a condo with parking limits, so cars not in use are in indoor storage. He rotates out every week or so to keep them "alive."

As far as XJ8s go, this is "entry level." No GPS, no touch screen for the climate control (which doubles as the satnav screen.) Not having GPS is no big deal, because it would be DVD-based, and updates are 200 bucks, and probably not current. GPS requirements will be met by Google maps on the Android phone! It has Bluetooth for the phone (but calls only, no music - gaaah!) CD slot in the dash unit and a 6-disc changer in the trunk. Not the sound quality I was expecting, subwoofer is muddy as hell, and the rear speakers (back seat doors) don't seem to work. There will be investigations into this.

Power-every-which-way seats, with three memory settings. Memory includes settings for seats, outside mirrors, steering column, and pedal reach.

The carpet is not as dark as this picture looks, it's in shadow. Back seat picture shows the color.
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Good luck fitting aftermarket into that and making it look good...
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Modules I've seen that will let it play Bluetooth music basically steal the CD changer hookup in the trunk, but I haven't investigated deeply, yet. Haven't even had the thing 24 hours, yet!

Analog clock. "Grandpa, what time is it?!?!?"
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Somebody put drilled and slotted rotors on it. They coulda put a supercharger on it from an XJR while they were at it...
(EDIT: actually, no. Too many internal differences in the supercharged engines... different rods and pistons, I think even different heads.)
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Full-size spare, and a GIANT battery
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Under the spare is the pressure tank for the air-strut suspension. Compressor lives behind the front bumper. Air only, there are no metal springs. This car has Arnott replacement struts, not sure when they were done, but they were on it when the guy I bought it from bought it, and he's had it less than two years. Struts might be 2 to 5 years old.
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No plastic in this grille!!
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300HP 4.2-liter DOHC V8. Not the 490HP madness of the S55, but it's no slouch!
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EDIT: One of my friends commented on my FB post about the car with what she said is a Martha Stewart quote: "ALL my girlfriends drive Jaguars!"

Hardee har har. I'm man enough to take that!
 
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10,086
United States
Marin County
I like the analogue clock...I feel they are (only) appropriate in a full size luxury car. Interior looks clean! Definitely a plus that it doesn't have the nav screen, I'm sure they date the interior far more than those simple LCD displays.
 
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wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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So having tried to actually play music (I had to burn a CD, not having any handy as all of my CDs have been ripped to my computer for electronic use, and are now in storage as my house is still unusable from the hurricane, but I digress) I have found that the system sounds horrid! It's like a pocket radio, seriously!

The system has 12 drivers: each door has a woofer and a tweeter, there is a pair of smaller drivers in the dash, I suppose for imaging, and a pair of "subs" on the parcel shelf. None of the door woofers work... so all four tweeters, the pair of muddy subs, and the "imaging" drivers, which were never intended to be the only thing you hear! I guess some exploration is in order, starting with the amp, which I think is in the trunk somewhere. I get to learn how the door cards come off, too!
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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Audio resolved. None of the door woofers were working, as we saw in the previous post. Turns out it's a common corrosion problem; the connections from the external connector to the voice coil leads actually corrode and decay, entering a state where they no longer qualify as wires. You just pull the speakers out of the doors, solder new wires on, and Voila! Full-spectrum audio!
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Another issue is giving me fits now, though. About a week after getting it, it started to sit kinda low. It's now on the bump stops on both front wheels, and close on the back, and I have "Air Suspension Fault" and "Car Too Low" on the dash.
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I refuse to believe it's been doing this all along and the previous owner somehow magically got it raised in time to dump it on me. I saw it and drove it several times before I handed over the money, no sign of this, and no dashboard warnings.

I bought a Land Rover/Jaguar scanner by iCarsoft and it arrived today, and it tells me that there is no communication with the air suspension module. Great. Instead of clearing a couple of codes or something, maybe starting an exercise with the computer, I'm down to tracing wires and finding where the electrons stop, as the fuses and relays for the system are all good.

Suspension module is behind the back cushion of the rear seat, so I have some upholstery digging to do.
 

wfooshee

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OK, the "no communication" tells me that the air suspension module isn't powered up. Removed the back seat for access (it's on the wall between the trunk and the passenger compartment,) and tested power lines as guided by an electrical schematic. I discovered that the B+ line to the module is dead, and the switched line is always hot, both of which states are incorrect. I made a fused jumper and connected the B+ and switched connectors, and power the module up, at which time I got faults on the dash. I removed the jumper at that time, not wanting the module sitting there thinking the car is always on.

So this morning I jumpered the connectors again, plugged in the LR-II and started the car. A few DTCs showed, which I cleared, wanting to see what came back and was current. (I didn't want to chase something that might have been sitting there for 12 years.) The one that kept coming back was "C2302 Levelling plausibility error." The actual level readings were all very low, as expected. Reservoir pressure was 7.3 bar, so considering the compressor hadn't run in over a month, I felt good about that. I put the car in drive and shuffled around the parking lot, nothing happened. Parked and shut it off. Restarted, and THE CAR LEVELED! Boom! I also heard the compressor run, and the reservoir pressure came up to 8.7 bar. Got out and looked at the car, it looks great! Sitting just as it should. Cleared the DTC, it stayed cleared instead of coming right back. Cool!

I drove over to a friend's house for a visit, he was aware of what was going on so I showed him how it looks now. At that point I was thinking that I had some kind of electrical power supply fault but the system works, and I was happy. I still needed to figure out the fault because I don't want to just leave my jumper across those two pins, leaving the module thinking the car is always on!

On the way home, the side mirrors looked a bit odd, showing me the road not far behind the car, so I adjusted them up. When I got home I saw why... the nose was way high! For some reason the system raised the nose to 75, 80 mm!!! The rear is OK, although slightly low on the right. So now what??? The system obviously isn't working. And the C2302 is back.

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I though maybe the leveling sensors weren't working, but the LR-II gives me a reading for all four corners that matches the attitude of the car. Frustrating, because when I left for my friend's house, and when I arrived there, the height and ride were perfect. Now the fronts are effectively maximum extension, and when the front wheels clear a bump that would drop the wheels, there is a very harsh effect which I assume is the strut extension limit being reached, so the car is parked again. 20 minutes of glory!!! :banghead:
 

wfooshee

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I described it as a redneck pickup truck posture. :dopey:

The folks at my Jaguar forum tell me the code that keeps setting is usually because the compressor runs longer than it should to bring up reservoir pressure, i.e. compressor is worn. Ordered a rebuild kit which includes a new piston ring, o-rings, and other seals. The kit is a tenth the price of a refurbed compressor.

I wasn't too concerned about the compressor because I saw on my scanner a minimum reservoir pressure of 7.3 bar and the highest I saw was 10.4, so i know it works at least a bit. As for the jacked up nose, I'm not sure how it did that at all, but the only release for the air in the system is an exhaust solenoid in the compressor, so there may be something there, too. The individual air springs don't vent directly to atmosphere, they vent back into the system; supposedly a solenoid path opens to release air back through the compressor's exhaust solenoid.

The C2302 code (Leveling plausibility error) always reappears withing minutes of being cleared.

That 150-dollar scanner has already paid for itself by not requiring shop diagnosis to get this far!
 
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wfooshee

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Did a thing today, since I'm still not in possession of the compressor kit. I backed off the hardware holding the air lines on the front struts, letting them sag to a point slightly lower than normal. Basically loosened them enough to induce a leak, and tightened them back down. After, I started the car and it very promptly leveled off correctly. I took it to the grocery store without incident, and it stayed level. I cleared the code and it did not reappear.

I have no idea what made it jack the front so high before, but I think it was unable to vent once it did. The only outlet for air it wants to vent is the compressor's exhaust port, which I'm told on the Jaguar forums may get rusted closed if moisture gets in the system. There is a desiccant package in the compressor's output port, but if the desiccant wears out, you get moisture in. We'll see what I find doing the rebuild. New seals, new desiccant, new piston ring, and hopefully all this nonsense will settle down and behave.

The car rides and drives rather nicely while the suspension behaves itself!
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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Update time!

The suspension continued to jack the front end way high as the car drove around. There are leaks, so it settles back down in a few hours, and on initial startup, it levels nicely. It just seems that the longer it goes, the higher the front end gets.

It appeared that it was unable to vent in order to control the lowering of a high corner, and since the vent system is actually in the compressor, we'll look at that when we remove the compressor. The rebuild kit arrived last week, so last Saturday was Job Day.

The compressor is behind the bumper, in front of the left front wheel, so i jacked the car up and removed the wheel, along with the fender liner. This is what I saw, which I've labeled.
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Having learned some things about how the system works, I'll lay that out for you. The compressor lives up front, as shown. The computer lives (inconveniently) behind the back seat's rear cushion. The rest of the control system lives under the spare tire in the trunk. There you find a pressure tank, kept between 9 and 11 bar, and a valve body with solenoids to open air paths to various places. The system operates from pressure in the tank, and the compressor merely maintains that pressure; it doesn't act directly on the struts.
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The compressor has a tube through which it sucks atmospheric air, and also vents excess air from the struts when necessary. Air is pulled through a fuel-filter type canister into the compressor's cylinder, and compressed air passes through a desiccant chamber and out a pipe that goes to the valve body in the trunk. When the compressor's running, the valve body opens valves to the compressor and to the tank, so compressed air fills the tank.

When a strut needs to be lifted, the valves to the pressure tank and that strut are opened, allowing air into the air spring, raising that corner of the car.

When a strut needs to be lowered, the valves to the strut and compressor are opened in the valve body, and the vent valve in the compressor is opened. Air passes from the strut to the compressor body, where it exits via the vent solenoid valve, through the filter backwards and out to the atmosphere. This is what I think was not happening.

When I started pulling electrical connectors and air tubes off of the compressor, I knew there'd be a moisture issue as water dripped out of the compressed air tube. Well, I'll look at that later. First the new piston ring. The cylinder comes off with just two fairly substantial screws, and I find the piston there with the ring ready to be removed. The old one definitely showed some wear:
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On opening the desiccant tube, I found a lot of water. The beads were clumped like cat litter, and each end of the desiccant cylinder had a perforated disc covered with a felt washer, and the discs were rusty and the felt was soaked. I poured the desiccant out into a pan, then dropped some on a paper towel. You can see how wet the towel got under the beads, which shouldn't happen - desiccant should be dry:
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The top disk, and the spring which holds it against the desiccant, were both rather rusty, so some fine-grit sandpaper came to use. The vent solenoid at the other end wasn't rusty, but did have a good bit of gunky green corrosion. That cleaned up nicely, so here's hoping.

I ordered the smallest package of bulk desiccant beads I could find, which was 1.5 pounds, about 5 times as much as I needed, but there ya go. That arrived this week, so I was able to reassemble the compressor yesterday and got it reinstalled into the car this evening.

On startup, the car leveled out correctly, and although I didn't run any great distance or amount of time, the front end remained at the proper height, so in the hope of not speaking too soon, maybe those issues are taken care of.

I still have the leaky fittings to address, but as long as the car raises when I start it, the priority on that is not as significant.
 
8,771
Canada
Ottawa
Automotive_Buff
I wanted to congratulate you on your new purchase... then I read the rest of the thread and it gave me PTSD flashbacks :lol:

The compressor is behind the bumper, in front of the left front wheel, so i jacked the car up and removed the wheel, along with the fender liner.

Now where have I heard that before?? Oh yea... Audi chose the same exact spot :banghead:


I honestly wish you luck and hope that is the only major issue with that car. I pray it's the only issue.
 
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wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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Suspension is working... better... after the compressor repair. I have some leaks to address, as both front struts sag within hours of shutoff, and the right rear sags a little bit overnight. Left rear holds pretty well.

I've done the soapy water spray on some fittings and I know which ones need to be fixed. Probably looking at close to 80 or 90 bucks for the fittings I need, and if that doesn't get it, I'll have to look into a coilover replacement set of struts. If i have a leak actually in a strut, that would tear it; I'm not getting new air struts.

But it always comes up to correct level when I start the car. The controller knows that the response is not correct, because I always get a "Level implausibility error" code after about 10 minutes. Once the code sets, the controller gives up, and if I'm driving long enough to lose height, I have to shut the car of and restart it to reset the air suspension module. Car comes up, I'm good for another couple of hours. Hopefully it's the leaks throwing the code.
 
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wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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Two items in this update!

I'd been driving the Jaguar almost exclusively for a couple of weeks. I went to take the Miata out but had a soft brake pedal! Honestly, it's had a slow brake leak somewhere for quite a while, but I don't see anything wet, and had no puddles where it sits. Having recently moved my emergency-shelter camper trailer from behind my workplace to in front of my still-unrepaired-from-Hurricane-Michael home, the Miata sits parked uphill on the driveway. Guess what! A puddle around the left rear wheel!

I jacked it up and had a look, and there is fluid dripping out the pivot point for the parking brake lever, where the cable pulls from inside the car. Apparently the parking brake squeezes the back of the caliper piston rather than operating a separate brake mechanism. (I've seen rear wheel hubs that had a tiny drum brake which was the parking brake.) With that lever working on the piston directly, it's in the fluid space and its joints have to be sealed. And they used to be... :lol: From the Miata forum's collection of knowledge, a common problem.

Do I get a rebuild kit or whole new caliper assembly? Well, it turns out that a remanufactured caliper is less than 50 bucks after the core charge refunds, and it's obviously already rebuilt. Got one on the way!

Now to the second update, moving on to the Jaguar. Turns out there was only one fitting that "blew bubbles" when sprayed with a weak dishwater solution, and the other bubbles I was seeing the other day were just the spray nozzle foaming a bit. That was the line to the front left strut, at the valve body in the trunk. I'm given to understand from the Jag forum that the car will occasionally "wake up" the suspension controller and level the car while it's parked. Thus, f one wheel sags, they ALL sag, theoretically, making it logically difficult to know where to look. Spraying the fittings only showed one bubbler, though. I checked the compressor's output, the line at the top of each strut, and all of the lines on the valve body under the spare tire.

Even with just the one leak, the system has trouble maintaining its stance. It throws a code within 5 minutes of startup, and once that code is thrown, the controller just gives up until the car is shut down and restarted. The code is probably because with the leak, it's not getting the system response it expects, either pressure buildup or height of the car. It takes a minute or two for the car to come up to level first thing in the morning, and then again after work. I can't take it on a road trip because once the controller gives up, it will only be a couple of hours at most before the car is too low to drive, and before that even happens the ride will be too harsh to endure. I thought about replacing the fitting, but got thoroughly confused by the advice I was receiving about what was needed. Also, the procedure to repair the air line seems more persnickety than I want to deal with; you have to cut the line above the existing fitting because you can't reuse the "squished" section. It has to be cut exactly square or it will probably leak in the new fitting. Overtightening the new fitting will cause it to leak, and I haven't found exactly how tight it's supposed to be. One guy mentioned inch-pounds, and said you can't really measure it, but don't go past hand tight. Yeah, thanks...

So I've thrown in the towel, pulled out the Paypal password, and ordered Arnott's "comfort" coilover conversion kit. Arnott makes two kits for the car, and the description really doesn't differentiate them, or describe why one is more expensive. They have the C-2745 and the C-3270. both use Eibach shocks, and the 3270 uses Eibach springs, where the 2745 uses "American-made" springs. Sent Arnott a message with the question, and it turns out the the 2745 is meant for cars equipped with the Comfort suspension, and the 3270 for cars equipped with the Sport suspension. If your X350-chassis Jag has a rear sway bar, it is Sport. Arnott's kit also includes a "black box" to connect to the harness by the controller so the controller won't throw error lights on the dash. A bit over $1100, shipped and taxed from rockauto.com.

(In the OEM Bilstein-built air springs, the Comfort has larger air bags then the Sport. I don't know about shock valving, but the smaller air bag would firm the car up and maybe even limit travel.)

So in a few days, the Jag will have steel coils holding it up, in the proper manner God has always intended for automobiles to be suspended over their wheels.
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
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Done and dusted! Coilovers installed!

Fronts were easy. Raise the car onto jackstands, remove the bolt at each lower a-arm connecting the sway-bar link, and unbolt the upper ball joint so the upright swings freely. At the top of the strut tower, remove the air line, the electrical connector for the OEM adaptive shocks, and 4 13mm nuts. At the bottom, the strut attaches to the a-arm with a bolt that has a T-60 Torx head, for which I had to buy a bit, but it came out with no issue. Arnott supplied new nuts for the top and a new bolt with an 18mm hex head for the bottom. Drop the old strut install the new, put the ball joints and sway-bar links, mount the wheels and drop the car. Once the car was lifted, it was about 15 minutes per side.

Before and after:
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The rears were not so straightforward. First, there's some trunk trim removal to get at the tops of the struts. That done, the only unfastening at the bottom, besides the strut bolt itself (this time a more sensible 21mm hex,) is the bolt attaching the tie rod link. Same process at the top, the air line, the electrical connector, and four 13mm nuts. Getting the new strut in was difficult because the top goes into a kind of bucket, and you can't see the bolts or the holes they go through, so it's by feel. Which doesn't work.

I ended up propping the strut up with a jack, going up top to see where the bolts were in relation to the holes, got back underneath and work that direction and distance, and with just a couple of ups and downs got them through. Use the jack to hold the strut and go up top to apply the nuts.

Back at the bottom, the strut is apparently longer than the old ones, as I can't push the a-arm down far enough to line up the bolt hole. It's not the sway-bar preventing this, as both ends are hanging free. Well, the jack is there... I used it to compress the strut and eventually get the bottom bolt back in. I expected the other side to be easier, but NO!!! Same process, had to compress the strut to get the bottom bolt in. Besides jacking and trunk trim, I spent about 45 minutes on each rear strut.

I let the car down and had I not read that the struts will settle after driving, I would have panicked; There was a solid 4 inches of air between the top if the tire and the rear fender! A 15-minute drive around the block took care of that, though.

The car is TRANSFORMED!!! Not only do I not have to wait a couple of minutes for the level to raise in the mornings, the ride is much improved. Before, there were a couple of times I was worried about a wheel after a hard hit on a hole. On my test drive I intentionally took one of those, and no issue at all.

Last thing to do is install the Arnott-supplied kit at the air suspension control module to turn off the CATS error on the dash, since the CATS system no longer exists. That's behind the back of the rear seat, so a bit of a job to get to. Click in the kit with their taps, and unplug everything from the controller, put the seat back in, DONE!
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
I've just realize that I neglected to get an alignment done when I put the Tiens on the Miata. That was back in AUGUST!!!!!! The car is pulling to the right a bit, and the rears have HUGE negative camber, which I never really noticed, but looking at it yesterday, it's quite apparent. Camber affects toe, at both ends of the car... I may have screwed up a tire, as when going parking lot speed straight ahead, there's a sideways blip at the rear.

So, alignment and tires are on the agenda. Had I not been stupid, the tires have plenty of treadlife left, but if I've got one starting to separate...
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
So looking at the Miata alignment in the driveway the other day, I found that the toe adjustment is as far left as it can go on the right front wheel, and LOTS of threads visible on the left front! "That can't be right," I sez to m'self... Raised the car, turned the wheel lock to lock, and sure enough the wheel is centered about 60 degrees off; it's installed 60 degrees to the left of where it belongs, so centering it is actually steering right, and the toe was set there! The wheel is aftermarket, just 6 bolts on the hub, so moving it 60 degrees was easy. Still not exactly centered in the steering range, so I pulled the hub and remounted in one spline over. Voila! Centered wheel is exactly in the center of the lock-to-lock range! now for that toe...

Obviously I don't have turn plates sitting in my driveway, so I eyeballed it while it was raised by centering the steering and adjusting each wheel back to pretty much straight. I set it down, backed up and pulled back into the driveway, then measured. Zero toe, and wheel is centered! Dayum! Car still pulls to the right, has to be held a bit left to go straight, but I think that's the right front tire doing that.

But I can't believe it was actually aligned to center an improperly installed steering wheel!!! And that I never discovered that in the nearly three years I've had the car!

So onwards... This was over the past weekend, and today I got new tires on the car. It drives straight! Hands off the wheel, it goes straight, wheel is centered, and neither throttle nor brakes pull either direction! Holy crap, this is from an eyeball toe adjustment with the front end in the air! That right front was in bad shape, an obvious bulge from a delamination.

Still gotta get a professional alignment as camber is way off at the back, and probably not right at the fron, and camber will affect toe at both ends; don't wanna burn off mah brand new tires!
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
After getting the Jaguar, and then dealing with its suspension issues, I've never had the chance to use it except around town. it's never been farther than my sister's house, about 15 miles, even though I've had it over 6 months now!

I took it on a work visit to a customer site Tuesday, 130 miles away, some 2-lane, some Interstate. This is an awesome road car!!! Comfy, plenty of power for those slow folks needing to be passed on the 2-lane roads, and 80 is only 2 grand on the tach (less than 1/3rd of redline,) so it's easy and quiet. Lumbar support is adjustable for not only the amount of cushion pressure, but the location, from very low to almost the shoulder blades, which I didn't even know until that trip!

It has emphasized the need to do something about Bluetooth, though, as the only music is radio (🤮) or CD. It has Bluetooth for phone calls but not for music streaming. It has a slot in the dash and a 6-disc changer in the trunk, but my CDs are in storage, with all my music on the PC and my phone. Who actually uses the CDs any more? That's like... organizing a glove box, or something! 😆

Fuel economy was pretty good on the trip computer, better than I expected, but the measured economy was a couple mpg less. The trip computer touched 27mpg until I hit the Interstate, and then running 80mph dropped my average to about 25.5. Doing the math after filling up after the trip only showed 23.5, though, so the computer, like most I've seen, is rather optimistic. Premium gas, too, so not inexpensive to drive. It was a better increase than i expected, getting around 13 or 14 in town, though, and better than the S55 got on the highway, although they were about the same in town. The S55 never quite reached 20mpg on the highway.
 
8,771
Canada
Ottawa
Automotive_Buff
It has emphasized the need to do something about Bluetooth, though, as the only music is radio (🤮) or CD. It has Bluetooth for phone calls but not for music streaming. It has a slot in the dash and a 6-disc changer in the trunk, but my CDs are in storage, with all my music on the PC and my phone. Who actually uses the CDs any more? That's like... organizing a glove box, or something! 😆

You can get those FM transmitters with an AUX cable. They're only around $20. I've had one in my Audi since I got it and it's been the best $20 I've spent.
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
Looking for something with better than 15kHz frequency response... Might be the only reasonable option, though. Other things out there replace the CD changer, and pretend to be the CD changer as far as the head unit is concerned, and supposedly keep all the controls in place, but are expensive or have mixed reviews of successful implementation.
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
Tiny updates... Miata started cranking slow, it has a new battery today. It got an alternator back in September, previous alternator failed suddenly. I've had the car since summer 2018, who knows how old either part was. Even when cranking slow, I had 15.5 to 14.8 volts, so definitely the battery, not the new alternator not being up to snuff. Anyway, all better now, has been running fine, and now it starts without needing to be jumped.

The Miata also started missing under low-RPM load, so one evening I opened the hood and started the car, watched the engine bay in the darkness, and sure enough, one of the coil nipples is arcing to the mounting bolt head. I was really wanting it to be a plug wire, they are much cheaper than the coil assembly. New coil just arrived, hasn't been installed yet. First one was not delivered, I got an email that the package had been destroyed in shipment and I'd get a refund. that took about three weeks, then I re-ordered. I don't know why a replacement wasn't a choice for me when I got the notice of the package damage, but anyway the new coil is here. Meanwhile, I rolled up a big wad of black electrical tape and stuffed it between that coil nipple and the bolt, and that stopped the arcing so the spark happens properly in the cylinder now, and I can drive until I actually change the assembly out.

For several months now the Jaguar has been telling me "CANNOT SET PARKBRAKE" when I start it up. At first, it was CANNOT RELEASE PARKBRAKE, and sure enough, when that happened the car was dragging the rear brake, although it did roll the wheels. Can't drive like that, though! I ended up running the car slowly back and forth, reversing a few yards, pulling back forward, over and over, and suddenly the brake popped and released. I've been driving it like that since probably last April or May. I really could care less about the parking brake actually working, as I've never in my life used one on a car with an automatic transmission. The Jaguar's is electronic and automatic, though. It sets when the car is shut off, and releases when you shift out of Park. It also has a manual lever that lets you set and release it, and you can use it as an emergency brake while driving; pulling the switch to set it engages the parking brake gently, then progressively more firmly as the car slows.

I ran across something in the Jaguar forum I watch that suggested disconnecting the battery to reset confused electronics. "Confused electronics" can refer to a wide variety of things, like the cruise control insisting it's not available, the air suspension not pressurizing and leveling the car, and as it turns out, my CANNOT SET PARKBRAKE error. I knew the battery disconnect fixed a bunch of such conditions, but I also knew that my Parking Brake Module had some actual DTCs implying open circuits to the motor, so I really didn't expect it to work, so I never tried it. Something possessed me today, though, since I had the wrenches out to do the Miata's battery anyway, I went ahead and disconnected/reconnected the Jag's battery. The parking brake now works flawlessly. No dashboard error on startup, no driving around with the yellow error LED always on. It sets when I shut the car off, and it releases as it's supposed to when shifting out of Park. Manual operation is correct as well, so life is good.

Speaking of error lights, I am reminded of one I had on the Miata. When I bought it, it had an aftermarket steering wheel, no airbag, so the airbag light was flashing the error code for lost connection to the driver airbag. On THAT forum I finally found that all you have to do is connect a 3-ohm resistor across the airbag connector in the steering column. The airbag lights on startup for self-test like it's supposed to do, then goes out and stays out! 3 ohms does all that!
 
8,771
Canada
Ottawa
Automotive_Buff
as I've never in my life used one on a car with an automatic transmission
Why in the world would you want to put undue stress on your transmission?? Put it in neutral, hold your brakes, engage the parking brake, let go off the brakes to ensure the parking brake is holding the car, and then put it in park.

You're just wearing down all your gear and brake components for no reason, especially on a luxury car that has automatic features such as yours. They're easily prone to failure, so why help it?
 
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wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
An automatic transmission in Park puts no stress on the gears. There is a locking pin that engages to lock the car into place. NOTHING passes into the transmission from the drivetrain.

And how do you mean I'm putting undue wear on brake components by not using the parking brake?
 

wfooshee

Rather ride my FJR
Premium
4,892
OK, coming back to the "Cannot set parkbrake" issue. Even after the reset reported in post 57 above, it comes back. If the car sits for a few days (it's not my daily driver,) I'll see the parkbrake error, and once in a while, I'll see "Cruise unavailable" as well. Again, going into the Jaguar forums, these are all low voltage symptoms. And by low voltage, I mean something like 12.2 vs 12.5 volts; it's that sensitive to voltage!

Since it gets worse as the car sits and improves after driving for a while (cruise and parkbrake both come back if I shut the car off and restart after a few minutes' driving,) the obvious conclusion is marginal battery. Took the plunge for a new battery. This car's battery is HUGE (it's shown in the trunk pictures in post#39 from when I got this car,) with over 900 cold cranking amps capacity needed. No further issues! It can sit for a week and everything works perfectly.
 
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