Friday, August 28, 2015
Text Size

Brucie's Diary

Brucie arrived in November 2010, the 16th in a long line of Jaguars I have previously owned, and replaced Swallow, an XJ40 3.2 S.

Brucie is a 1997 long wheel base X300 (technically an X330) 4 litre Sovereign in Spruce Green (hence the name, as Spruce Green always sounds like Bruce Green, when said quickly over the phone!)

Brucie's Service Record

Service Date Mileage Dealership
Pre-delivery Inspection 25/03/97 30 miles Henlys, London*
1st Service 19/11/97 10,110 miles Henlys, London*
2nd Service 11/06/98 19,933 miles Henlys, London*
3rd Service 27/01/99 30,294 miles Weybridge Auto's
4th Service 05/08/99 40,509 miles Creamer, London*
5th Service 31/01/00 49,673 miles Creamer, London*
6th Service 30/08/00 60,344 miles Stratstone, W3*
7th Service 07/08/01 69,829 miles Stratstone, W3*
8th Service 30/08/02 78,949 miles Mead of Burnham*
9th Service 12/11/03 88,849 miles Mead of Burnham*
10th Service 05/02/08 115,284 miles Fratton Bridge
11th Service 16/11/10 132,693 miles Xclusively Jaguar
12th Service 05/03/12 139,918 miles Grange of Exeter*
13th Service 19/06/13 147,553 miles XJK
14th Service 13/01/14 154,483 miles XJK
15th Service 01/05/14 159,712 miles XJK


Brucie's Diary Index

Month Description
February 2011 Work done immediately after purchase
March 2011 Fitting X300 chrome mirror caps
April 2011 Amending DVLA records
May 2011 Removing factory fitted X300 phone cradle
  X300 air conditioning service
June 2011 X300 gearbox service
July 2011 X300 front wheel bearings
August 2011 X300 transmission fluid leak
December 2011 X300 water heater valve and circulation pump
  XF test drive
  X300 Visual Health Check
January 2012 X300 engine bay detailing
February 2012 MOT work including;
             O/S/F lower suspension arm ball joint dust cover deteriorated
             N/S/F brake calliper leaking
            Paintless Dent Removal
            Accident Repair Services (Exeter)
March 2012 Chrome number plate surround
April 2012 X300 basic service
May 2012 Brucie at International Jaguar Spares Day, Spring 2012
June 2012 X300 transmission fluid change
July 2012 JEC International Weekend at Weston Park (XJ220 Reunion)
August 2012 X300 Rear Differential Service
March 2013 Watercolour Classics
April 2013 X300 suspension and steering service
May 2013 Brucie visits CMC of Bridgnorth
June 2013 JEC Northern Day 2013
July 2013 Brucie's first service at XJK Independent Jaguar Specialist
August 2013 Brucie goes to Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb
  Brucie at Coventry Motor Museum
  Brucie visits Jaguar Heritage
  Brucie at Castle Combe Autumn Classic Press Day
  Brucie pays respects to the late Alan Jenner
  Brucie reaches 150,000 mile landmark
September 2013 Brucie at JEC Southern Day 2013
  Brucie in Jaguar World Magazine
  Wheel alignment and tracking (general info)
  Applying X300 bootlid badges
  Replacing X300 bootlid release
  Replacing X300 radio mast
  Removing X300 original mobile phone module
  Replacing X300 bonnet release
  Replacing X300 bonnet struts
October 2013 Past/Projected work schedule
  Replacing X300 fuel lines
  Renewal of X300 under body protection
  Replacing X300 thermostat
  Replacing X300 window regulator motor
  Replacing X300 drivers door check arm
  Replacing X300 drivers seat module
  Replacing X300 steering column
November 2013 Brucie's 3rd anniversary in my ownership
  Contacting Brucie's previous owners
  Brucie's car cover
  Brucie's pilgrimage to Brown's Lane
December 2013 Brucie looks back at the events of 2013, of which he was a part
January 2014 Plans for Brucie during 2014 at XJK, including;
                  bumper refurbishment
                  power washer fitment
                  wheel refurbishment
                  new tyres
  X300 Bootlid can only be opened with a key in the lock
  X300 door lock not flush with trim when locked
  X300 door veneer not sitting correctly
  XJK - other services and involvement in JEC events
February 2014 Fitting new X300 steering wheel rim
  Fitting X300 rear console air con vents
  Fitting X300 powerfold door mirrors
  Fitting new X300 drivers door memory switchpack and walnut veneer
  Used Jaguar Parts from XJK - Independent Jaguar Specialists
  Car detailing and detailing Brucie
March 2014 Fitting X300 chrome waistline strips
  The Sentinel Business Awards - Apprentice of the Year Award
April 2014 The pheasant and the front grille!
  Replacing X300 n/s/r shock absorber bush
  Brucie at The Mike Hawthorn Memorial Lunch 2014
  Brucie at Jaguar Mark 1 Day 2014
May 2014 Jaguar XF restricted performance
June 2014 JEC Jaguar Timeline, X305 and XJ40 Majestic
July 2014 Brucie - maintained by the best independent Jaguar specialist!

February 2011

I purchased Brucie on 4th November 2010 with 2 months MOT and my fingers crossed! Before the MOT it was obvious that the brakes needed attention, and 2 tyres were replaced. The engine oil and filter were changed, as the next service was overdue. The next step was the MOT, due on 5th January 2011, and this went smoothly, with only one advisory, referring to a corroded rear brake pipe.

Return to index

March 2011

Jaguar X300 Headlamp Powerwash and Chrome Mirror Caps
I always wanted a 1997 long wheel base 4 litre Sovereign in a dark colour, but they are relatively rare and I was drawn to this car by its smooth, responsive engine, and equally smooth gearchange - no problems in that department, and despite its high mileage (134,000 miles at present), at least I know it is genuine, and it has a good service history!

Previous owners have also respected the interior trim but, possibly the last owner, was either a little clumsy or unlucky with where he parked his Jaguar, as the door mirror caps were a little battered, and one of the headlamp powerwash jets was missing.

I have spent the last month looking for the headlamp powerwash jets which sit on the front bumper. I promised Brucie new ones if he passed his MOT - he just doesnt look right without his fangs! What a saga? Apparently they were a rarely specified optional extra and nobody seems to have any in stock...........unless YOU know different?

For the time being we have put "aluminium effect" tape over the holes which accept the powerwash jet housing, as the edges are very sharp and I risk slicing my fingers everytime I wash the bumper chrome! It may not be a Jaguar approved optional extra, but it does look much tidier than two gaping holes!

The good news is that the mirror caps were much easier to source, and desperately needed replacing, as one was badly scuffed and had a hole in it and the other had been brush painted and because it is something your eye is drawn to, they made the car look simply awful!
I contacted my parts supplier, and although I would have settled for Spruce Green mirror caps, as luck would have it, they had a pair of chrome mirror caps which are standard factory fitment for the Daimler X300's but which I could not resist for my Sovereign - I think they add the final touch!

They supplied the chrome mirror caps, which are truly in mint condition, in sound packaging and advised that in order to fit them you need to put a fine flat screwdriver between the mirror cover and the mirror frame and ease them carefully apart. If you look on the inside of the newly supplied caps you will see that once you unclip a corner it will pull off and you simply push the replacement back into place with the spring clips on the dowels to keep it on. Simple - job done !!!

Next was a new windscreen wiper, as although the one fitted had got Brucie through the MOT, it was not mopping up as effectively as I would wish!

Sadly, someone had also taken Brucie through a carwash at some time in the past, and he had a number of bright blue nylon fibres trapped between the trim strip which runs along the lower swage line. They made him look like he had whiskers (well he is a Jaguar after all) but I couldn't work out how to remove them without damaging his paintwork. In the end I reverted to eyebrow tweezers - so now he has had a shave, he looks much more respectable!

So, thats it for this month, apart from road tax - which is one of the less exciting outlays we have to budget for!

Return to index

April 2011

DVLA and Car Colours
Is the colour of YOUR Jaguar correctly recorded on the logbook (V5)?

It is not unknown for details, such as the colour, to be incorrect on the V5!

Some Jaguar owners have contacted me with concerns over this, and the possibility of being pulled over by the Police and questioned on the matter!

When I purchased Brucie his colour was recorded on the V5 as being BLUE, when clearly he is GREEN, a fact which can be confirmed by reference to the Jaguar Paint Code on the plate which records the Vehicle Identification Number.

I wrote to DVLA, amending the document as required and with a covering letter stating that the car had not been resprayed, but the colour had previously been wrongly recorded. I quoted the Paint Code and stated that I was happy to have the vehicle inspected if required. The DVLA accepted my word on the matter and duly amended the V5.

So Brucie is now officially GREEN !!

Return to index

May 2011

Brucie and the phone cradle
When I purchased Brucie he had a genuine Jaguar phone cradle attached to the side of the centre console, however, the phone had been removed, and I felt that it was unsightly and obsolete and should be removed! But Brucie was rather attached to his phone cradle – he left the factory with a phone harness, so presumably, he'd had it since birth and he wasn't going to give it up easily, despite my trying to persuade him on a previous occasion that he no longer needed it! Sunday 17th April, however, I had nothing else planned and decided "today's the day!"

I removed the appropriate parts from the centre console, and got as far as the ski slope veneer, but Brucie was once again NOT co-operating and refused to let go of his veneer, so I called for back-up, and with me holding the veneer ski slope as far out of the way as possible, my husband Nigel gave Brucie a hard poke with a screwdriver – Brucie let out a loud wail and let go his 14 year hold on his phone cradle – at last!

By way of revenge
I had been compiling a list of jobs which needed doing, and the order in which I intended getting them done, but it would seem that Brucie had his own agenda! Having bought him in November, it was impossible to tell how efficient the air conditioning was – I was just grateful that the heating was working efficiently, but when Spring came and we had our first hot sunny day, it was obvious that the air con needed re-gassing! I called our local air conditioning specialist and booked him in, and when the big day arrived, I hoped that Brucie would not spit all his air con gas out after 6 weeks, like Tiggy had done the first time – but fingers crossed, he is a 1997 X300 designed with 134a in mind, so there shouldn't be any problem with leaks this time - should there? The air con man fitted the first nozzle and Brucie made a loud hissing noise – I turned to Rob Lane and said "Thats not good is it?" "No" was the answer! So not content with a re-gas, Brucie had decided that he wanted the full treatment – a new condenser with receiver/drier!

I am consoling myself with the fact that these parts are expected to have a 7 year life, so at least I can sit back and (perhaps?) enjoy 7 summers without worrying about my air con failing!

Rob Lane 07754-795853
Rob trained as a mechanic before specializing in air conditioning. He operates throughout South East Devon, coming to you. He has now worked on five of our cars (2 Mercedes and 3 Jaguars) and what impresses me is the respect with which he treats the cars, which is often sadly lacking elsewhere, even when it is obvious that the car is a cherished one! He fitted a new condenser, re-gassed the system and advised me that ideally it should be serviced every 2 years - this is not mentioned in the X300 servicing schedule!

Return to index

June 2011

X300 Transmission Fluid Change
A change of transmission fluid was high on my list of priorities, and Brucie decided to hurry me along with this by making regular deposits of oil on the garage floor, which was obviously from the vicinity of the gearbox. I purchased the appropriate parts (O-ring, filter and sump gasket) from SNG Barratt, however, I didn't specify genuine Jaguar parts as I have had no complaints about the quality of non-genuine items purchased from them in the past, and there is a marked difference in the price of genuine and non-genuine parts! The transmission fluid change was performed by a local non-Jaguar garage who I have used before and have great faith in.

2nd transmission fluid change

Return to index

July 2011

X300 Wheel Bearings
Wheel bearings were also on my list, as I guessed they were probably well overdue for renewal and I had no idea of whether or not they had received recent attention. Just as I was plucking up courage to suggest their renewal to my husband, Brucie took the situation inhand once again, and started whining! Riled by his whining, my husband began scanning the internet for a replacement Jaguar, in preference to replacement wheel bearings! Normally, I weaken at the thought of a new Jaguar, however, this time I dug my heals in, so he sent me up to see a Jaguar specialist, who confirmed that the whining was indeed the front wheel bearings - moreso the nearside one. Taking the car for a test run, the mechanic explained that straight-away he could hear that the whining was coming from the front and by applying a load to each wheel in turn it was possible to discern which one was the culprit! He could have persuaded me to have both, or all, wheel bearings changed, but his advice was that I would soon know when the rear wheel bearings needed changing and I could even get away with changing just one front wheel bearing if necessary, for the time being! I did however, opt to have both front wheel bearings changed and these came from SNG Barratt - a good product at a competitive price and delivered the next day. In a very short space of time, the whining had became a howling and the noise reverberated through the cabin, making it more like travelling in a van! After the new bearings were fitted, the transformation was remarkable - back to a slick and silent Jaguar !!

Return to index

August 2011

A Repeat Gearbox Service!
Last month, while Brucie was up on the ramp, having his wheel bearings attended to, it became apparent that the oil leak from the gearbox had not been cured. This could have been for several reasons - 1. An electrical plug which fits into the gearbox was not quite snug. - 2. The price of the sump gasket suggested that it was not genuine Jaguar and these have been known to be less pliable and therefore not fit properly. - 3. The bolts may have been over-tightened, pinching the gasket and rendering it useless. I was unconcerned by the cause, so long as it could be remedied. I ordered a new sump gasket, this time from Jaguar Classic Parts, so that I could be sure that it was a genuine Jaguar part - the price of this "genuine part" was a bit of a shock, so I hoped that all would go well and it would be worth it! A date was fixed for a second transmission fluid change, and in view of the fact that this gearbox may have missed a scheduled oil change, I was not too fussed, as the exercise meant that it had been flushed through and this time, hopefully, all would be well. The mechanic noted that the electrical plug was loose, so it may prove that this is the problem, if the oil leak is not cured this time. The recently replaced filter was flushed through, before replacing it with the new oil and fitting up the new gasket, so Brucie should be good for another 2 years before his next scheduled transmission fluid change - and next time it won't be missed out!  Return to X300 Transmission Fluid Change - Third Time Lucky!


September 2011

Grateful for all the attention he received over the last few months, Brucie settled down and enjoyed his new wheelbearings and clean oil last month! Mind you, I still spent over £200 on him, in the form of a new tax disc - value for money wise it doesn't look much, but Brucie proudly displayed it on his windscreen!

It has taken me nearly a year, between other tasks, to completely clean all Brucie's bodywork - working on one panel at a time I have used clay, paint cleaner, medium to fine polish and finally a good quality wax to bring the paintwork back to a standard which now attracts attention for the right reasons! Strangely enough, it has been the ladies who are attracted to Brucie - so, I am not the only woman who likes big shiny Sovereigns!

All being well, Brucie should be at International Jaguar Spares Day this month, and assuming that nothing in the Car Sales Hall catches my eye, he may come home with a few special treats! After that, it will be time to prepare him for the Winter and his impending MOT!


October/November 2011

No diary

Return to index

December 2011

Last month, with the weather turning colder, Brucie decided it would be fun to refuse to provide any warm air to the cabin so that his driver and passengers could freeze! I'm not currently impressed with his sense of humour, and with his MOT due at the end of the year, I think he has his priorities all wrong!

I threatened Brucie with ebay, but that didn't work - he knows I'm besotted, so with freezing cold feet, I drove him to a Jaguar Main Dealer, who confirmed the previous diagnosis of a faulty water valve and fitted the part which I had ordered from Grublogger.

Normally, parts would be ordered through the main dealer, but if used parts are supplied by you, then obviously, they cannot be guaranteed by the main dealer.

At my request, Grublogger had supplied an X300 (3.2/4.0 litre) water (heater) motorized valve, part number MNA6711AB, superseded by MNA6711AC. A new one is almost £200, Grublogger supplied this one for £50 plus P&P.


Graham Hallett at Grublogger was very good and also sent the water (heater) circulation pump (Part Number MNA6710AB) which accompanies the valve as he was not convinced that it too would not have failed and he did not want me to suffer further inconvenience.

This part was sent on approval, to be paid for or returned in due course and retails for over £300 new, or £95 via Grublogger (Please refer to details on Grublogger website).

Situated at the rear of the engine compartment on the near side, and easily accessible, fitting is fairly straight-forward and took approx one hour.

So now my feet are warm again, and all is well with the world!



Time for an XF !!

The day arrived when Brucie was due to have the offending parts replaced, along with a FREE "Visual Health Check" – it was the eve of my first anniversary as Brucie's proud owner - it would mean no more cold journeys, and a chance to get back at Brucie for freezing me!

Leaving Brucie in the car park, at the mercy of a large number of new XJ saloons, I went in to the service reception to book him in. Returning to the car park, I climbed smugly into an XF ……….not smiling now Brucie, as they say !!!

Although I have read plenty about the XF, this was to be my first drive in one! The keyless operation and start up routine which features a pulsing start button, JaguarDrive, awesome blue lights and air con vents rolling up, never failed to entertain me every time I climbed back into the car!

This Jaguar is so far removed from my own X300. The suspension and steering is derived from the XK, but it has been 5 years since I drove one, and I had quite forgotten how different it feels to the older Jaguars. It certainly was very different to my X300, but I was not convinced that it was necessarily better!

Of course it has to be better - technology and everything else has moved on, but I haven't, I am stuck in my ways! My love affair with Jaguars started with the XJ40. At an impressionable age I was struck by its clean cut lines and symmetry, and this wonderful new invention - the J-gate! Alas, Jaguars will never be the same - they don't leak or rust like the dear old XJ40 and they drive with the precision of their German cousins - but where oh where has my J-gate gone?

This was a 2009 Premium Luxury 3 litre diesel, which I knew would be swift and silent, from my previous experiences of driving the various diesel Jaguars from 2.2 X-type to 2.7 X350. It was a dismal day with wet and greasy roads, but eventually I did have the opportunity to prove that it could go from nought to naughty in next to no time! Having 2 windscreen wipers which seemed determined to do exactly as they pleased, despite my efforts to direct them, was just one of the new things I had to become accustomed to! I was mesmerized by the modern windscreen washers and on locking the XF, it neatly tucked its ears in, with no prompting from me!

Finished in Silver with black hide, walnut and aluminium trim, the seats are entirely different to those I am accustomed to - the troublesome bolster which traditionally wears away, appears much more shallow, and yet still holds you firm. If this 40,000 mile example is typical, the wear will unfortunately now appear where the edge of the hide cushion is pinched between the driver’s leg and plastic base, every time you enter or exit the car! Despite the generation gap, there is a common theme, and all instrumentation falls easily to hand as it does in every Jaguar I have yet driven. Tinkering with the radio, I felt that the sound system was severely wasted where I found it - on Radio 2 !!

Looking in from the outside, modern cars appear claustrophobic, with their higher waistlines and smaller windows, but I am happy to report that, once inside it doesn't feel how I had imagined! The bonnet is much higher than the long sloping tabletop which leads the way in my X300, and the rear window is much smaller, but despite this, aided by parking sensors, reversing was far easier than I had expected.

Driving back to the dealership, there was a cloud burst and the XF felt more composed in those appalling conditions than my X300 had in the same conditions on the same road a week before, so that's a good comparison to work with and I often think that if you are unsure about whether or not you like a car, try driving it in the most appalling conditions possible, and you will soon know the best and the worst of its characteristics!

Yes, I got quite attached to the XF by the end of the day, and even my husband started to show his first interest (smart move bringin' it home !!)

First introduced for the 2010 Model Year, the 3 litre diesel uses the same 2.7 diesel power unit, produced by Ford for Jaguar, but with a 0.3 increase in capacity. It benefits from improved emissions, increased power, and was designed to meet 2011 EU5 regulations.

Combined cycle average fuel consumption: 42.0 mpg

Transmission: 6 speed electronic ZF 6HP28 with revised ratios.

Brakes and suspension remained unchanged from the previous Model Year.

Subtle changes, for the 2010 MY were made to exterior and interior trim.

Standard 3 litre diesel engine specification
2993cc V6
Bore & stroke: 84 x 90 mm
Compression ratio: 16 to 1
240 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Maximum torque: 369 lbs ft @ 2000 rpm
0-60 = 6.7 secs
50-70 mph = 3.7 secs
Top speed = 149 mph

Other engine and trim options were also available for 2010MY.

By 2012 the Jaguar XF was available as a 2.2 Diesel, 3.0 Diesel, 3.0 Diesel S, 5.0 V8 Petrol or 5.0 V8 Petrol Supercharged. Trim levels ranged from SE, through Premium Luxury to Portfolio and XFR.

Indulge in a test drive and aquaint yourself with a new Jaguar XF


As for Brucie, I found him in the car park at the dealership waiting hopefully for my return! Apparently, he had not missed me as much as I had imagined, being pampered in the workshop while I was gone.

After fitment of the water valve, Brucie had his Visual Health Check (VHC). The VHC is a list of SAFETY related checks carried out by a technician and passed to the service advisor who then explains to the customer the relative severity of the problems listed and suggested order of priority in carrying out repairs.

Each area is given either a green, amber or red rating and to give you some idea of what to expect, Brucie's list appears below:

Area Green Amber Red Comments/Recommendations
Bodywork & Wheels   X   These were deemed too dirty to inspect, and I hasten to add that this was surface dirt, as Brucie was immaculately turned out that dismal wet morning when he left the garage!
Washer/Wiper & Horn X      
Lights Exterior/Interior   X   Off-side number plate light requires bulb
Transmission   X   Rear diff oil leak
Exhaust X      
Interior Cabin X      
Belts & Levels X      
Engine Oil X      
Engine   X   Bad oil leak (this and the rear diff are Brucie’s latest projects – determined to break my heart, if not my bank, he has developed them only recently!)
Brake Fluid & Coolant       No marks were given for these! (presumably they were deemed ok, hence no comment?)
Steering & Suspension   X   Excess play in front wheel bearings. (I took this up with the advisor and Brucie was put back on the ramp and the recently fitted new wheel bearings were tightened).
o/s/f lower ball joint grease cover split
Brakes (Visual)   X   Corrosion on brake & fuel lines. Unable to measure discs & pads – all enclosed.
Miscellaneous   X   n/s/f & n/s/r electric windows inop
Drivers door check strap noisy. Underside corrosion.


Tyre Report

Tyre Psi Size Brand Outer Inner Middle Damaged Green Amber Red
NSF 32 225/60 R16 Pirelli 8 8 8   x    
OSF 32 225/60 R16 Pirelli 8 8 8   x    
NSR 34 225/60 R16 Pirelli 6 6 6   x    
OSR 34 225/60 R16 Pirelli 6 6 6   x    

The spare wheel was listed as a space saver but no report was provided regarding its condition. Although the tyres were recorded as being Pirelli's, the two on the front were, in fact, a cheap brand!

Fortunately, Brucie’s VHC revealed no surprises, and I could even add a few more items which they missed, but perhaps these would not be classed as safety related?

In my own case, this assessment is to form the basis of a monthly programme of refurbishment to be planned according to my budget and recorded in Xclusively Jaguar News as a series of reports on running and maintaining a neo-classic Jaguar.

Return to index

January 2012

Following last month’s Visual Health Check Brucie was booked in to a Jaguar Main Dealer to have his engine bay steam cleaned. The upper part was merely cosmetic, in order to take out the hard work of preparing the engine bay for future appearances at Jaguar events. The underside was to be steam cleaned in order to see exactly where the oil leak reported in his Visual Health Check emanates from, so that it can be dealt with at a later date.

Brake and fuel lines were also cleaned off to see if the "corrosion" noted as advisories in the last 4 MOT's was surface corrosion or something more sinister. Fortunately, once cleaned off, it was considered by the workshop manager that it was only on the surface and a good coating of wax was applied in order to prevent any further deterioration of the fuel and brake lines.

Brucie was returned to me at the end of the day with a squeaky clean engine bay - hopefully, ready to show off at some Jaguar events this year !!

I think that any Jaguar power unit is awesome and deserves to be shown off to best advantage. There is nothing more rewarding than being stopped by strangers in a carpark and complimented on the condition of your Jaguar, by someone who cannot quite believe the age of your car, and then to top it all, you discretely pop the bonnet and lift it and see a further look of dis-belief on their faces. At this point, it wouldn't do to have a dirty engine bay, now would it?

I like to think that some of them at least will then go out and treat themselves to a Jaguar!

Though not perfect, Brucie's engine bay was a lot better than expected, once it had been steam cleaned, finished off with engine cleaner, and dressed with a suitable protectant. At least now that all the grime has been removed it is clear what has recently been replaced, and what needs replacing - the exhaust manifold heatshield for starters !!

Next month, Brucie returns for his MOT – this is the scary visit !!

Return to index

February 2012

The MOT !!!
Brucie had his first attempt at passing the MOT at 10am on Tuesday 4th January. Brucie's Visual Health Check had thrown up a few areas for concern so when he returned from his MOT with a list of failures I was not too surprised!

The Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate recorded the following failures:
1.    Front windscreen washer provides insufficient washer liquid (o/s jet, only 1 of 2 jets working)
2.    o/s/r registration plate lamp not working
3.    n/s/f headlamp aim too low
4.    o/s/f lower suspension arm ball joint dust cover excessively deteriorated so that it no longer prevents the ingress of dirt.
5.    n/s/r parking brake recording little or no effort
6.    o/s/r parking brake recording little or no effort
7.    n/s/f brake calliper leaking (this was marked as dangerous!)

Advisories were recorded as follows:
1.    n/s/f wheel bearing has slight play
2.    Unable to see front and rear brake pads clearly. Please check
3.    Suspect slight leak from exhaust system

There followed a discussion, assessment and plan of action!
It had already been decided that whether or not he passed his MOT, the hole in the floorpan needed to be dealt with, so Brucie was sent to Fairweather's for the floorpan to be welded. The welding (shown below) is amazing. Fairweather's have always impressed me, and now I have experienced their superior workmanship first-hand on my own Jaguar! Some Jaguars I have seen over the years, have had obvious patches welded to the floorpan, but in this case the repair is very neat.

The hole in the floorpan is just below the sill on the o/s and half-way between the front and rear seats, well away from the seatbelt mounting points - but if left unattended it would gradually spread to the danger zones, aside from being horribly unsightly.

The area to be welded has been marked out in chalk on the first picture, and as can be seen from the picture above, the repair is very neat and the work has been finished off with a good coating of protective sealant.

After the floorpan had been repaired, Brucie was returned by Fairweather's to the workshop ready for the remaining MOT work to be dealt with.

Meanwhile, parts ordered for the MOT repair work included:
1.    X300 Lower ball-joint (Part Number: JLM 11860 superseded to CAC9937#) from SNG Barratt £17.85 +VAT
2.    X300 Nearside front brake calliper (Part Number: JLM 21470) from SNG Barratt £374.39 +VAT new or £78 re-conditioned.
3.    X300 Rear number plate light assembly (Part number: LNA 5070 AC) from Jaguar Classic Parts £38.20 +VAT.
(Prices as charged at time of publishing).

Taking each item which gave rise to the MOT failure in order, repairs were as follows:

Front windscreen washer provides insufficient washer liquid (o/s jet, only 1 of 2 jets working)
This had been a problem since purchase, and although it was deemed as insufficient this year, it passed last year, and merely required longer operation of the switch in order to allow it to deliver enough liquid to wash the windscreen. Apparently it had been previously damaged and glued back into position, and a new part was required. In my opinion it was previously inconvenient, so it is good to have it working properly and efficiently, at last!

Off-side rear registration plate lamp not working
Upon inspection, the rear number plate light assembly was badly corroded and crumbled away when the bulb was removed, so the complete unit needed replacing in order to persuade a new bulb to work.

Near-side front headlamp aim too low
The balljoint and socket responsible for adjusting headlamp alignment was broken, which meant that the outer near-side headlamp was loose (it would wobble about when the headlamps were washed) and could not therefore retain the alignment setting. This was bonded back into position, which satisfied the MOT requirements, but may need replacement at a later date.

Off-side front lower suspension arm ball joint dust cover excessively deteriorated so that it no longer prevents the ingress of dirt.

The original dust cover, as shown in this picture, was deemed an MOT failure, as it had split and was therefore unable to do its job of keeping the grease in and the dirt and moisture out!
........ and this is what it should look like!


Near-side rear parking brake recording little or no effort and off-side rear parking brake recording little or no effort
This required the cleaning of the rear brake drums and shoes and re-adjustment of the handbrake shoes and cable adjustment.

Near-side front brake calliper leaking (considered dangerous!)
The seal behind the calliper piston had failed, thus allowing brake fluid to leak out when pressure was applied.

Leaking brake calliper, of which I was blissfully unaware! Doesn't look like it's done my alloy wheel or tyre any favours, does it?

New brake calliper fitted! 

This wheel now needs to be removed and given a thorough cleaning to minimise longterm damage to tyre and wheel.


Repeat MOT - A PASS !!
.....and I was surprised to see that the new style MOT certificate is basically a printed sheet of A4 in black and white and looks nothing like a certificate. I suppose this is because the official details are available to all for inspection on the DVLA website, so the old-fashioned MOT certificate which we are all used to is of little value now, because lost or faked certificates are no longer an issue!

The next job to tackle is the annual service and some decisions will be made on how and when to tackle the MOT advisories.

Paintless Dent Removal (PDR)
Paintless Dent Removal also referred to as PDR, is a highly skilled unique process that repairs dents, dings and creases without harming a vehicles factory paint or creating the costly and time consuming need for traditional body shop repairs.

PDR specialist technicians can repair your Jaguar or Daimler use special tools to gain access behind the panels and meticulously work the dent out, restoring the panel to its original form.

Remember that not all Paintless Dent Removal is the same. Your vehicle can be ruined and warranty voided by inexperienced repairers. Make sure you employ the services of a PDR technician who is expertly trained, highly experienced, certified, fully insured and will give you the absolute best repair possible.

Before going for his MOT, Brucie was given a Dent Assessment. It was confirmed that all of Brucie's dents can be removed by "Paintless Dent Removal" (PDR) which is a very specialised (but much more economical) process. Some of the dent removal will have to be postponed until after the window mechanism has been fixed as the necessary access to the inside of the door panels is gained by lowering the window of the affected door.

In Devon Paintless Dent Removal is carried out by Dent Repair Service which is a fully mobile service and can easily be arranged by contacting Dent Repair Service

More on this topic later, when Brucie is ready to have his dents removed! In the meantime, if you wish to know more, please contact Dent Repair Service direct.

Accident Repair Services
More serious accidental damage will require the services of a reputable body repair shop, such as Fairweather Autoshine - approved by Jaguar (and Aston Martin!).

Fairweather Autoshine was founded in 1984 by Mr. Dennis Fairweather and the company has succeeded in becoming one of Exeter's premier vehicle accident repair facilities, respected by customers, suppliers and indeed the competition and has built a reputation offering first class service to every customer, whether they be a major insurance company or an individual. Specialising in body repair for prestige cars, they have been awarded an Aston Martin Category A Structural Repair certification.

Owner, Dennis Fairweather still believes in hands-on management and can be found on site every working day, supported by a nucleus of staff that have been with the company many years and appreciate the individual customer's needs.

As more and more people want to enjoy the freedom of using a motor vehicle, the chance of having an accident becomes more likely. However, with improvements to vehicle safety, many are more of an inconvenience, and unneeded expense, rather than serious.

Fairweather Autoshine aims to keep that inconvenience and repair expense to a minimum, and their highly trained and dedicated staff do all they can to ensure that vehicles are professionally repaired and back on the road as soon as possible.

Fairweather Autoshine handle and repair all makes and all kinds of accident work, specialising in prestige body repair, and are recommended repairers for many of the leading insurance companies. The old adage of requiring three repair estimates no longer applies when you use Fairweather Autoshine, due to the arrangements made with many of the insurance companies.

Only the highest quality products are used in effecting an accident repair.

Other services available include valeting and wheel refurbishment.

Courtesy cars are available by arrangement.

All original Jaguar parts supplied by Jaguar Classic Parts

Other Jaguar parts and accessories supplied by SNG Barratt

Specialist structural work carried out by Fairweather Autoshine

Paintless Dent Removal by Dent Repair Service

Return to index

March 2012

Birthday Treat !!!

We all have different ideas of what constitutes a birthday treat, and for me, anything which involves Jaguars is just perfect, so when I was asked to attend a meeting at The Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club HQ in Bristol I thought this would be a fantastic birthday!

It was a bitterly cold day, and the last person to drive Brucie was evidently much taller than me, so after pulling out of the garage, I pressed the seat memory button, closed the garage door and returned to find the driver’s seat in the fully reclined position. Being in a hurry, and with ice underfoot, I failed to be amused by Brucie's totally inappropriate attempt at humour .....especially on my birthday !!

Arriving at the JEC HQ, I was presented with this beautiful bouquet by David Bates (JEC Chairman) and this wonderful birthday gift, I accepted not only for myself but also on behalf of Esta-jane, my daughter, who shares the same birthday! David and I are pictured with (left to right) Brucie (X330), Brave the Bear (Troop Aid) Tony Ridge (JEC PR & Marketing Manager), and Graham Searle (JEC General Manager).

Brucie's Make-over!




Here's Brucie, looking rather swish in my opinion, with his own personal "Brave the Bear" riding in the back, and his new "Xclusively Jaguar" chrome number plate surround created by Adamesh. For comparison, the top picture shows Brucie when first purchased, with former registration plate, to emphasize the improvement.

Admittedly, he is a bit cleaner now than he was when first purchased!

Here is a close-up of the same Adamesh chrome number plate surround. You can purchase one of these direct from Adamesh 'off the peg', or request your own logo/business name. Adamesh have supplied trim enhancements for the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club raffle cars in recent years and regularly attend Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club events and International Jaguar Spares Day.

A tatty number plate really lets a car down, so I didn't give VOSA the chance to fail Brucie on his MOT, even though it broke my heart to lose his original "HENLYS" registration plate! Henlys being Lyon's first franchisee, I was rather proud of Brucie's origins!

Henlys Jaguar of Hendon are nolonger in business, and new laws mean that sadly, I cannot have the numberplate replicated to mimic the original.

To finish off Brucie's new image, he has a new tax disc holder in dark green to match his paintwork, and a new Jaguar key fob - no wonder Brave the Bear looks so smug as he rides around in the back of his limousine!

Brucie's next 10,000 mile service is due in March 2012. So next month, as he turns 15 years and 140,000 miles, Brucie is booked in for his first "Main Dealer Service" since 2003.

Return to index

April 2012

Jaguar X300 Service - 15 years and 140,000 miles

Brucie had an impeccable service history for the first seven years, which seems to have stood him in good stead fortunately (to date!) as despite a lack of care in the last few years, engine, gearbox and rear diff, currently make all the right noises and behave as they should, despite leaking fluids!

Obviously, I want this to continue, (the smoothness and silence, not the leaks!) so immediately upon purchase in November 2010 Brucie was given an engine oil/filter change, and a general overhaul. Throughout 2011 refurbishment continued, as reported in Brucie's Diary, but not always in the order I intended - Brucie seeming to take control and decide what HE wanted doing first! Which is as it should be, I suppose?

Due to the lapse in the proper servicing schedule, this latest service has been a bit of a catch up, so I cannot really refer to it as an official "140,000 mile" or "15 year" service, but more of a "let's see what needs doing and just get on with it" service! As with the service which was performed in late 2010, this one was a basic renewal of engine oil/filter, plus spark plugs and air filter, with the remaining service (which will be quite intense) being spread out over the next few months, and should bring Brucie completely up-to-date.

Brucie's Service Record

Parts for basic service

  • Spark plugs(Part number: EBC8143) Standard plugs as supplied by Jaguar for X300. £3.20 EACH + VAT (x6)
  • Air filter element(Part number: EAC 5672) £21.30 + VAT
  • Oil filter(Part number: EBC 9658) £8.89 + VAT
  • Engine oil8 litres, 10W/40 semi-synthetic (5 litres from SNG Barratt £26.94 + VAT)

Parts available from Jaguar Classic Parts or SNG Barratt. (Prices as charged at time of publishing).


15 years and 140,000 miles

Brucie was despatched from the factory (Browns Lane) on 24th March 1997 and 15 years later, to the day, his odometer flipped over to 140,000 miles at Clyst St Mary, just outside Exeter - an average of 9333 miles per annum!

While he was in for servicing, Brucie was given an application of "Duxback" - a revolutionary glass treatment that keeps glass clearer, cleaner, and therefore, safer! I was keen to try this out, as the single blade on my X300, even when recently replaced, sometimes struggles with the really heavy rain we seem to be experiencing more of these days. I felt that it may make all the difference between driving safely through a storm, or not, when other vehicles are often throwing up copious amounts of water, either on-coming or as they speed past on the motorway, refusing as they do, to slow down in such adverse conditions!

The makers of "Duxback" claim that rain, sleet and snow simply beads, sheds and rolls off; ice does not stick! Duxback even repels dirt, making your windscreen, side glass or rear glass cleaner and clearer for far longer and if it does need cleaning, a whole lot easier to clean.

I haven't really put it to the test yet, but having had all of the glass treated, I can comment that it now has the texture of the high-gloss waxed finish on Brucie's coachwork, so cleaning IS easier, as wash mitts and leathers do not drag.

Under normal conditions "Duxback" will last for 6 months when applied to a windscreen, and 12 months on side and rear windows.


Return to index

May 2012

International Jaguar Spares Day

Brucie (and Nigel) basking in the sun outside the main entrance at Stoneleigh,
at International Jaguar Spares Day 2012

A few faces were missing, thwarted by the fuel crisis, no doubt, but our timing was perfect and I had just parked Brucie when I looked up to see Esta-jane arriving - unmistakeable in a Japanese Sports Car at a Jaguar event! Rob Jenner had already seen her, and was shaking his head in disapproval !!

Absolutely fantastic day, as always! Our first port of call - the sales cars, and what an array ..... followed by breakfast baps in the restaurant. On the way there, I bumped into Ian Cooling, then Tony Bailey, and Tony dragged me off to see Norman Dewis!


Norman Dewis and Letitia Mace


Time is too short, to do justice to Spares Day, you'd need a whole weekend, at least! I met up with organizer, John Salway, and then James Blackwell, who was manning the Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club "shop" as is his customary role at this event.


Organizer, John Salway

Jaguar Classic Parts were not there (I shall have words!) and Andy Harvey (Just XJS) was unable to wriggle out of work commitments for the event, but hopes to Spring back next year with renewed energy!

Julian Barratt had a nice big box of goodies waiting for Brucie to take home ......more of this later, in "Brucies Diary". Taking up one side of a "bay" the SNG Barratt stand was meticulously organzied into "micro-departments, with Julian and a selection of staff all on-hand to answer queries, take orders and despatch pre-orders - very impressive, as always!

Gosh, so many people I promised to meet up with, and other impromptu meetings  .....Geoff Adams (Adamesh), Neville and Christine Anderson (Jaguar Spares North East), Carl Jaffer (ICS), Brian McGovern (Jaguar engineer), to name but a few.

There are so many stalls, and each one offering so many parts, that you quickly scan each to see if they have parts relevant to your Jaguar (many traders cover an "era") and when you see something you want, you have to grab it!

I know I missed a few of those I'd promised to meet up with, however, I did catch up with Paul Skilleter and Julia Simpson, who officially retired after last October's Spares Day and is now working harder than ever with the museum move and representing Jaguar at various events.

Back in the Sales Hall, where we always pay a customary return visit to check on late arrivals, we found Raffles and Brave on the JEC stand, which provided a hub for meeting up with interesting people, from current JEC Chairman David Bates, Vice Chairman Rob Jenner, and General Manager Graham Searle to Committee Members Simon Cronin, Mike Young and Peter Purdom.

Esta-jane was busy relaying messages and pictures throughout the day via Facebook to those who were unable to attend!

As reported in Brucie's Diary last month, a coating of Duxback was applied to all the glass on my X330. Of particular interest and importance, was the windscreen. We had some wonderful warm, dry days and Brucie got to International Jaguar Spares Day and home again, without so much as a flick of a wiper blade, so I didn't really have the opportunity to put Duxback to the test! Of course, all this had to come to an end at some time, and once it started to rain, it came down in bucket loads - non-stop, day after day! The Duxback has now been thoroughly tested, and I can honestly say that it does live up to its claims! I think I have sold it to some of my passengers without even trying or uttering a word, as they could not fail to see the effect, and commented on it as we travelled through heavy rain at 60 mph, with a clear windscreen!

Those who know how highly waxed my Jaguar is, have actually asked me if I polish and wax the windscreen as well, because of the way the rain was just hitting the windscreen and then appeared to vanish! Travelling at 60 mph in a pretty hefty downpour, you can just switch the wiper off ... it's amazing !!!

The heavier the rain, the more effective it seems to be, and the side and rear windows remain completely dry! It may seem foolhardy to turn off the wiper, but the effect is actually better, as the blade interferes with the path of the droplets and prevents them from clearing as quickly. Left alone, the droplets are swept aerodynamically from the windscreen so rapidly that they do not impede vision!

This is a product that I would definitely recommend, and I will be having it regularly renewed from now on, as I know I would really miss it. In fact, I would consider it a vital part of any servicing package!


Return to index

June 2012

X300 Transmission Fluid Change - Third Time Lucky!

"There is a problem with most automatic transmissions in that whilst there is means of draining the gearbox it is impossible to drain the oil from the torque convertor so at best any oil change will be a partial improvement unless followed up with a further oil change.So wrote Rod Doone in 'Sealed for Life - or not?' which appeared in the January 2012 issue of Xclusively Jaguar News. (to be re-instated in due course).

Well, I think we can say after 3 transmission fluid changes in less than a year, Brucie's gearbox must be just as clean as we are ever likely to get it!

The first transmission fluid change was merely, as far as I was concerned, part of an overdue service. I had noticed some oil leaking from the gearbox, but had put this down to a failed seal, and had assumed that this was just perished due to being left longer than desired. This and the second transmission fluid change are both detailed above (see June 2011 and August 2011)


Needless to say, the second service didn't cure the problem, so we therefore had to assume that it was the ill-fitting electrical connector which was leaking, and this meant dropping the gearbox to access the electrical connector with a further full gearbox service to follow!

Listed below are the parts which were required to rectify the leak from the gearbox, and which provided a further change of transmission fluid as a bonus!

Part Part Number Price
Harness JLM 12337 £78.20 (+VAT)
Sump Gasket JLM 12343 £17.11 (+VAT)
Transmission Fluid Filter JLM 2128 £29.67 (+VAT)
'O' Ring/Seal JLM 2127 £0.32 (+VAT)
'O' Ring JLM 10473 £1.33 (+VAT)
Transmission Fluid (5 Litres)* C2P 10360 £26.94 (+VAT)


*Dextron Type 2 Transmission Oil
It was explained to me that where this is used, it has been superseded by successive numbers 3, 4 etc. This means that the oil meets a superior standard to the original oil specified and is safe to use in all applications where the lower number is specified.

All parts supplied by Jaguar Classic Parts and SNG Barratt (prices correct at time of publishing).

Return to index

July 2012

JEC International Jaguar Weekend - Weston Park

Brucie gets as close as he dare to the prototype XJ220 !!

This year I was privileged to be asked to organise a reunion of everyone who was involved in Project XJ220, from Jim Randle (Jaguar Engineering Director, who originally conceived the idea of a Jaguar Supercar) to Martin Coventry (one of the drivers who delivered the finished cars to their initial purchasers or agents). The 20th anniversary celebrations for the XJ220 were a huge success and we had a very good turnout of former Project XJ220 personnel, all of whom have gone on to fulfil challenging roles within the automotive and motorsport industries since Project XJ220.  Brucie enjoyed being a part of International Jaguar Weekend, where he met up with all of his Jaguar relations!

It's strange to think that despite having more than just the name Jaguar in common, Brucie has probably never been face to face with an XJ220 before !!

The above picture was taken during the setting up of the event on Friday, and by Sunday morning, I was very busy with the XJ220’s, so after abandoning Brucie in front of a line of menacing-looking manual XJR’s I didn’t see him again until the end of the day!  I was, therefore, very pleased to see that among all the many pictures which JEC members sent to me, were a number of beautiful pictures of Brucie taken by my many friends within the JEC, and I would like to thank them for recording this occasion for me.

Return to index

August 2012

Jaguar X300 Rear differential service – carried out in April 2012

The next job on my list was to have the rear diff serviced, as it had been leaking oil since I purchased Brucie in Nov 2010 and I hadn’t got as far as having the work done until April 2012.

I was told by a main dealer that Brucie would need a new rear diff. I went away to mull this over, and see how much a new or used rear diff would cost. On thinking about it further, I decided that I wouldn’t want to risk buying a used rear diff, as it might be a whiner! Then I asked myself “why would Brucie need a new rear diff when his didn’t whine?” Surely it only needed the seals renewing in order to stop the oil leakage? I did a bit of independent research and my theory was confirmed, so I returned to the Main Dealer and pointed this out, stating that I was not prepared to swap my cars rear diff for an equivalent used one, and if a new one were purchased, as far as I was aware it would still need assembling, as they arrive minus their seals and outputs shafts anyway, so why not just order the seals and change those? This was, in fact, what was done in due course, so now Brucie does not leak oil from his rear diff anymore!

The work was carried out by a Jaguar Main Dealer before I discovered XJK, and unfortunately I was unable to get any pictures of the work in progress.

Parts used included:

Number on diagram Description Part Number
11 Output shaft oil seal (x2) JLM12138
12 Diff bearing retaining plate (1) JLM20181
13 Torx head bolt (x5) JLM12139
15 Diff output (ball) bearing (x2) JLM11527
16 Shaft bearing retaining collar (x2) JLM615

Although I can find no invoice for the drive shaft shim kit or O ring, I am sure these would also have been replaced.

Please refer to the diagram and full parts list below, provided by Jaguar Heritage Parts

1 Pinion locknut
2 Collapsible spacer
3 Pinion bearing
4 Taper roller bearing
5 Xylan coated washer
6 Pinion oil seal
7 Companion flange
8 Pinion head shim kit
9 Drive shaft
10 Stud
11 Output shaft oil seal
12 Retaining plate
13 Torx head bolt
14 O-ring
15 Ball bearing
16 Shaft bearing retain'g collar
17 Drive shaft shim kit
18 Nut
19 Roller bearing
20 Differential bearing shim kit
21 Differential
22 Crownwheel and pinion
23 Drive gear bolt


Missing entries to be inserted in due course.

Return to index

March 2013

Brucie's Diary Returns!

Watercolour Classics

Thomas Ahlander is a watercolour artist who lives in Sweden, and predominantly paints classic cars.

Last November I commissioned a watercolour portrait of Brucie, my 1997 X330 4 litre Sovereign, after seeing the standard of Thomas Ahlander's work.

Working with Thomas in deciding the best angle to portray my Jaguar, I have been impressed by his attention to detail. Rather than simply reproducing the photo I sent as a painting, as I believe some artists do, Thomas requested numerous details about the car and exact model, in order to do some research of his own. He then created a sketch of the car from an angle which he felt would portray the car to best effect. He even asked for the paint code, in order to get the colour exact!

Adjusting the first sketch, we’ve then used a bit of artists licence, and Brucie now has his lost headlamp powerwashers reinstated in the portrait! (If only it was that easy in real life!)

Thomas’s most recent commission is for a Swedish Jaguar owner - a watercolour portrait of a 1962 Mark 2.

If you are interested in commissioning a watercolour of your Jaguar, Daimler or SS from Thomas, you can see this example, from preliminary sketch through to finished watercolour.

Brucie has now joined Thomas’s growing selection of Jaguar prints, created from the original watercolours, which are available for sale.
Commissionsed watercolour paintings are mounted in white mats, 16 x 20 inches in size. The price for each painting is £190, including postage and handling.

Thomas’s very professional looking website will reveal all!

Watercolour Classics

Return to index

April 2013

X300 shock absorber bush

Shock' bush in situ

X300 bump stop

X300 A-frame bush

Jaguar X300 Suspension and Steering Service



Continuing with the programme of work which was started on Brucie in 2011, it was now time to address the remaining problems with the suspension system. The work detailed here, was carried out in March 2012.


Brucie’s n/s/f wheel bearing was still causing problems. It was good enough to pass the MOT, but with the usual advisory which had dogged the car for the last 4 MOT’s and stated “slight play in n/s/f wheel bearing”, and when questioned, this was put down to a worn bearing. Of course, I knew it was not worn, as it was almost new! I was not entirely happy about putting another new bearing on without finding the root cause of the problem, but in the absence of greater expertise there seemed no other option.


It was to be another 9 months before the problem with the wheel bearing was finally sorted, and details of this will be reported in a future instalment of Brucie’s Diary.


Meanwhile, my next job was to have Brucie’s suspension serviced, as there were a few knocks and clonks as you bounced along the road. A full assessment of the entire suspension system was made and those parts which were in need of replacement were renewed with new parts supplied by Jaguar Classic Parts and SNG Barratt.  Fortunately, the front suspension was now in good health, as the offending parts were in need of replacement for the last MOT, so it was only the rear suspension which required attention. Brucie was duly treated to 4 new shock absorber bushes, 2 bump stops and 2 new A-frame bushes.


Unfortunately, I was unable to get any pictures of the work in progress, but needless to say, the ride is so much smoother now than it was before the work was done. Brucie now drives like a Jaguar should !!

A-frame bush in situ
Parts Required Part Number
Wheel Bearing Kit JLM1707
Shock Absorber Bush (x4) MMD2144AA
Bump Stops (x2) MNA3750BA
A-frame Bush (x2) CCC6875
Steering Pump MNA8110ABE

X300 power steering pump

During the inspection, it had also been noticed that there was a leak from the steering pump, so this was also replaced.


All pictures and diagrams were supplied courtesy of SNG Barratt and Jaguar Classic Parts.

All information correct at time of publishing.

Jaguar Classic Parts

SNG Barratt

Return to index

May 2013

A busy month for Brucie !!

On 10th May, Brucie and I were at CMC (Classic Motor Cars of Bridgnorth), and while Brucie chatted to an S-type in the car park, I was busy looking at more E-types than I have seen in one place at one time!

CMC have close links with Jaguar Cars, and Ian Callum’s own Mark II saloon is currently there, as previously reported in Xclusively Jaguar News HERE I looked on in amazement at some of the details which are going into this car, but all work is under embargo, so I cannot discuss what I have seen. Everyone else will have to wait for the periodic press releases which will be supplied by CMC, and believe me, these will be worth waiting for! Aside from Ian Callum’s car, there were plenty of other interesting Jaguars in the workshops!


Jaguars which I am at liberty to report on include this true-in-every-detail re-creation of the Lindner-Nocker lightweight E-type which CMC recently restored; another project which was reported on in Xclusively Jaguar News. The original is so precious, that it is for display only, and so it was decided that a replica was needed which could actually be used for racing, without fear of endangering the original car. The project is still in progress, as shown in the pictures.


Another project which is currently in progress at CMC, is the creation of an Elongated E-type, more details of which can be seen in the March 2013 issue of the CMC Chronicle

The workshop welcomes enquiries from owners of all classic Jaguars who seek excellence in restoration and servicing, and owners send their Jaguars from across the globe, such as this E-type, formerly restored by CMC 10 years ago and exported to Japan, and now returned for accident repairs, before being once again shipped back to its owner in Japan.

Hidden away in a secure storage unit is one of the 16 genuine XKSS Jaguars created from the out-going D-types – seeing this is a rare treat for a Jaguar enthusiast!

Along with the XKSS (but keeping a respectable distance, of course!) are numerous E-types. Some are in storage, but most are waiting their turn for restoration, such is the demand and reputation of CMC as a restorer of classic Jaguars.

Following our visit to CMC, Brucie and I then attended the SNG Barratt Open Day

To round up May we were then invited to the Norman Dewis Celebration

All information correct at time of publishing.

Return to index

June 2013

Brucie at Newby Hall, snuggled between Simon Cronin’s X300 and Peter Purdom’s  XJS. (picture courtesy of Nigel Thorley)

On 18th June 2013 Brucie and I set out from Devon on a “mini-tour” which would take us eventually to the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Northern Day at Newby Hall in Yorkshire.

Heading first for the JEC HQ in Bristol, where we had some boxes to drop off, we went from there  to SNG Barratt in Bridgnorth to order the necessary parts for Brucie’s annual service, and then onto Newcastle-under-Lyme to let XJK know we had arrived in the area ready for Brucie to be serviced the following day.  That same evening, we visited the North Staffordshire Region of the JEC at their monthly meeting, which is held at “The Bleeding Wolf” Scholars Green, Stoke on Trent, ST7 3BQ.

On Wednesday morning we were welcomed back by XJK, who gave Brucie a very thorough service, taking the whole day to make sure that nothing was over-looked, now that he is to be in their care. Details of the service will follow online shortly.

Following Brucie’s service, we went up over the Pennines to Boroughbridge in Yorkshire, and the next day we were off to Newby Hall. Those of you who attended this event will know that it was very successful, and we were blessed with the weather, which despite bad forecasts for the day, held off until we were clearing up, in the evening! A separate account of this event through the eyes of an events committee member will follow.

After leaving Boroughbridge and Newby Hall for the final time on the Monday morning, we turned roughly towards home, visiting Longstone Tyres in Bawtry, before heading west across the Peak District. A further visit to XJK (Newcastle-under-Lyme) saw some newly acquired parts, collected from Jaguar Classic Parts at Newby Hall, successfully fitted and it was time for the final stage of our journey, back down through Bridgnorth, where I stopped at CMC to arrange a test drive in an E-type (report to follow!).

I have never been to the Pennines or the Peak District before (possibly Brucie has with a previous owner?), nor had the chance of visiting so many of our well-known and respected Jaguar specialists, so it was good to tick them off of my list of “places to visit” - Brucie and I returned home to Devon, our mini tour amounting to approximately 750 miles.

Return to index

July 2013

Brucie's Annual Service

Brucie being serviced in the workshop at XJK Independent Jaguar Specialists

Brucie had his annual service carried out on 19th June 2013 at XJK, Independent Jaguar Specialists, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.  His service was due in March really, but at least it came before 10,000 miles, at 7635 miles, which is only slightly over the recommended servicing interval for the pre-1993 model year XJ40, so although it was not ideal at least I hadn’t overshot the recommended mileage between servicing!

With a total mileage of 147, 553 and a respectable service history to date, Brucie is now very privileged to be looked after by Ian Kelsall who, in addition to the achievements listed below, worked with Win Percy preparing his racing cars and accompanied Win as his racing mechanic. At this time Ian was also one of the engineers who rebuilt the Le Mans winning XJR-9.

Ian’s career at Jaguar Cars comprised:

1.       Hotline Engineer: Ian started as one of a team of six engineers, running the Jaguar Technical Support hotline which offers technical assistance to the UK Jaguar dealer network.

2.       Team Leader: Ian progressed to become the UK team leader.

3.       Ian was then requested to go to Dubai to set up the same dealer technical support hotline for the MENA market (MENA= Middle East and North Africa).

4.       Group Leader International Technical Support: A natural progression from the UK technical support team leader, which involved working in Italy and India, among other places. Latterly, this incorporated technical support for Land Rover, after the amalgamation of the two companies.

5.       XJK Technician: a long time friend of Gavin Jones, owner of XJK, family commitments encouraged Ian to take up a standing offer from his friend to join the team at XJK near Stoke on Trent where Ian’s vast product knowledge is put to good use on a wide variety of Jaguars.

Ian begins by draining the engine oil while Brucie is at the top of the ramp

Service Order and Comments
The order in which the service is carried out is not important, so long as nothing is overlooked!  Logically, it makes sense to start with the car on the ramp, above the head, so that the oil can be drained while the underside of the car is inspected, and serviced first. The car is then dropped to waist level, so the wheels and brakes receive attention. Finally, the car can be dropped to ground level, so that access can be gained to the engine bay and interior. By proceeding in the order described above, the need to keep raising and lowering the car on the ramp is eliminated!

Raise car to top of ramp

1.       Drain engine oil

2.       Grease drive-shafts

3.       Check fuel lines

4.       Check brake pipes

5.       Check all accessible suspension joints and bushes

6.       Check underside of car for damage, corrosion, leaks etc.

Drop car to waist height

7.       Check wheels and tyres

8.       Remove wheels and check brakes and suspension

9.       Replace wheels and adjust tyre pressures

Lower car to ground

10.   Refill oil and check level

11.   Check brake fluid (see notes below)

12.   Check cooling system for leaks, check specific gravity of coolant and top up header tank, if necessary.

13.   Check and top up all other levels –power steering fluid, screenwash etc.

14.   Change air filter.

15.   Check for warning lights, such as, bulb failure etc

16.   Attend to any other points raised by the owner/driver

This is a basic service and does not include changing spark plugs, brake fluid, coolant etc. as per the intervals recommended by Jaguar for this model.

A previous workshop were paid to Waxoyl the underside of the car, but as you can see from the picture, they missed a good proportion of it!

Comments on servicing specific to Brucie

1.       Check fuel lines: Badly corroded and need replacing urgently, as not picked up by previous garage, and wrongly diagnosed as corroded brake pipes during MOT.

2.       Check brake pipes: these are all ok, but were previously mis-diagnosed as corroded during an MOT, and the previous garage cleaned them and applied waxoyl, and the advisory was dismissed. What has also been wrongly diagnosed as corroded brake pipes, is in fact, the vacuum pipe to the carbon canister which collects petrol vapour and is part of the emissions system.

3.       Check underside of car for damage, corrosion, leaks etc.

a.       Front under bumper panel has been broken, replaced, and then damaged again, along with slight damage to the cooling pack cradle above it. Currently unavailable from Jaguar, a new one has been ordered from SNG Barratt.

b.      Front brake cooling ducts are damaged (o/s) and missing (n/s).

c.       The underside of the car is basically solid, however, the workshop which previously applied the waxoyl did so very sketchily, so it requires a second and more thorough application to properly protect the underbody components from corrosion.

4.       Refill oil: XJK would recommend an oil of the same specification as that listed by Jaguar. They currently use Mobil 1, however, I had already purchased Castrol Magnatec ready for this service.

5.       Check brake fluid: At XJK I had the luxury of seeing my car serviced from start to finish and even being a passenger on the test drive, so I know exactly what was done, however, last year at the previous garage I was not present and have assumed that the brake fluid was changed as per my request. The condition of the brake fluid suggests that it was either changed or topped up as the reading, when tested, was between 1 and 2, which is satisfactory and will last another year at least. (See notes below on Brake Fluid).

6.       Check cooling system for leaks, check specific gravity of coolant and top up header tank, if necessary. The coolant was changed last year and the SG of Brucie’s coolant was -37c, therefore it was acceptable to top up the header tank with water.

7.       Check and top up all other levels –power steering fluid, screenwash etc. (As a result of being present while Brucie was serviced, I have now learnt that the neck of the screen wash bottle extends, to ease refilling!)

8.       Change air filter. The direction in which the pleats on the air filter element should sit is indicated on the air filter housing - the previous garage had inserted the air filter element the wrong way round!

This is a basic service and does not include changing spark plugs, brake fluid, coolant etc, as all of these were done last year. Unfortunately, Brucie’s impeccable early servicing record was allowed to lapse after 7 years. Therefore, according to the service record, this was the 13 years/130,000 miles service, although in fact it should be 16 years, and because we were unsure of exactly what servicing had been carried out in the last few years, almost everything has now been brought up-to-date so that future servicing will fit in with the intervals recommended by Jaguar for this model.

The front underpanel has been damaged, and needs replacing.
These are not available from Jaguar, so a "replica" has been ordered from SNG Barratt

Outstanding issues picked up during the service, which need to be addressed

1.       Replace fuel filter and fuel lines.

2.       Replace vacuum pipe to carbon canister

3.       Replace plastic front panel under bumper

4.       Replaced front brake cooling ducts on both sides

5.       Apply Waxoyl to underbody

6.       Replace missing “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay

7.       Replace missing trim clips in boot

8.       Replace thermostat, as engine is consistantly running below optimum temperature

9.       Replace window regulator and motor, as drivers door window is inoperable

10.    Replace drivers’ seat module (with memory pack) as this has temporarily been replaced by the passenger seat module, due to failure.

11.    Replace steering column, as the audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor have all failed

12.    Replace drivers’ door check strap

13.    Replace the ABS module as this has flagged up a warning on the dash

14.    Replace the ambient air temperature sensor, as there is an error message displayed on the air conditioning LCD display in the centre console

15.    Kickdown switch: Not very effective on Brucie, and apparently “winds out” and needs unwinding to tighten cable so that kickdown operates effectively.


Parts to order for above

1.       Fuel filter and lines

2.       Vacuum pipe (to carbon canister)

3.       Front panel under bumper

4.       Front brake cooling ducts o/s and n/s

5.       Waxoyl

6.       “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay

7.       Trim clips to secure panel over fuel tank in boot

8.       Thermostat

9.       Window regulator and motor

10.    Drivers’ seat module with memory pack

11.    Steering column (to include audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor).

12.    Driver door check strap

13.    ABS module

14.    Ambient air temperature sensor



While servicing Brucie, Ian was providing a running commentary of useful tips and general Jaguar information, some of which I have noted below, after first verifying with Ian and XJK that I have recorded the information correctly, to avoid misleading or confusing anyone.

Spark Plugs
NGK R is ok for V12, but it has a resister which causes the AJ16 to cut out because this has an individual coil on each cylinder and any extra voltage resisted by the NGK R spark plug, fires back to the engine management system and causes the engine to cut out. Therefore, if an AJ16 is cutting out randomly/periodically, check spark plugs first, and if necessary, change to Champion (the Jaguar approved part for the AJ16 engine). The V12 was less sophisticated than the AJ16. Fuel was delivered to several cylinders at once, along with a spark (via a single coil) , which wasted fuel. The AJ16 used the AJ6 block with a refined head, and one coil per cylinder, which effectively means that each cylinder fires independently and operates like an engine in its own right, eliminating wasted fuel. The AJ16 also benefits from stronger, lighter valves and valve gear, which was developed from new technologies, evolved after the creation of the AJ6, and reduced the overall weight of the engine.

Timing Chains
The timing chain fitted to the AJ16 is not known to cause problems. It does have a characteristic growl, but a trained ear can discern between a normal expected growl, and one which requires attention. I have read that 170,000 miles plus is normal before possible attention is required, and although Brucie is fast approaching 150,000 miles, his timing chains apparently have a healthy growl, and nothing that need be of concern!

Drive shafts
On the XJ40 and X300/X308 series, the drive shafts form the upper part of the rear suspension assembly, and due to the universal joints, there is naturally a slight amount of play in them. Properly maintained, they should not cause problems or need replacing.

1.       Unlike many of their competitors, Jaguar centralise their wheels on the central hub which slots into the middle of the wheel, and sits behind the wheel hub badges. This is in preference to a number of other manufacturers who use coned wheel nuts to centralise the wheel. The method used by Jaguar reduces vibration. The steel hub, in close and constant contact with the alloy wheel, requires a smear of aluminium grease to eliminate the problem of steel and alloy corroding together and the wheel seizing onto the hub.

2.       It has been known for people to replace damaged/lost Jaguar wheel nuts with “off the shelf” wheel nuts from general motor factors. The cone-edged wheelnut will bite into the alloy wheel and distort the holes where the wheel bolts fit through, with the probability of vibration as a result. Also, fitting after market non-Jaguar wheels can have the same effect, if the wheels are not so robust or the holes are not 100% correctly placed! It has the same effect as fitting wheels with an incorrect PCD. The later Jaguars (S-type, X-type, X350, XK, XF....) have a different PCD and also use a smaller size wheelnut.

3.       Because the X-type is AWD, its  wheels were designed to accept lighter loads – a quarter of the power output instead of half the power output of the engine. When fitted to a RWD Jaguar, the increased load will inevitably shear the spokes of the wheels!

4.       When servicing, with the car raised to waist height, spin the wheels to see that they are free from resistance and bearing noise, and that the tyre treads/side walls are free from nails/damage/excessive wear, and in axle pairs. Rock the wheels to check for play in bearings. (Rear wheels will display slight play due to drive shaft/top suspension arm set up – see above note on drive shafts).

5.       When removing wheels the locking wheel nut must be loosened by hand as a compressed air gun will distort the locking wheel nut and render it useless. (I have seen oval shaped locking wheel nuts!)

6.       Check brake discs for wear; calipers not seized; wheels not seized on, worn front suspension V-mounts and shock absorber top bushes. (Worn front suspension V-mounts and shock absorber top bushes, combined with badly aligned wheels, will cause the front tyres to wear unevenly, which sets up a vicious circle, with wear in one part, exacerbating wear in another. The effect is to cause the car to sit in dips/ruts in the road and suddenly jump out and to one side. This behaviour is known as “tramlining” and can be quite marked, with the car jumping out and across lanes at high speed. The cure is to renew ALL worn parts, and re-align wheels.)

7.       Apply aluminium grease to centre hubs before re-fitting wheels, to eliminate seizing of wheel to hub. Tighten to 90Nm only on X300, as these do not need to be as tight as those on modern Jaguars, which are 125Nm.

8.       Adjust tyre pressures: X300 (recommended) 32 front and 34 rear

The red coolant used in modern Jaguars was introduced in 1999, and is “long life”. The green coolant used in the older Jaguars is not long life. Pre 1999 Jaguars will accept the long life coolant, but DO NOT mix the two, as they are incompatible and will form a jelly, so the cooling system must be thoroughly flushed when changing over, to avoid a blockage! It is acceptable to dilute antifreeze with water, providing the specific gravity is checked first, to make sure it is adequate for the climate.

Brake fluid
Brake fluid boils at 180c and water at 100fc. As brake fluid ages, it absorbs water which leads to brake fade as the fluid in the pipes reaches boiling point at a lower temperature. Brake fluid should be checked with an electronic brake fluid gauge which is more accurate than working on a time scale, i.e. the 2 year rule.

The gauge passes a current through the brake fluid, and the more water content, the greater the current, which is displayed as lights:

If the current is too weak to power one light, the brake fluid is new.

1 – 2 lights is acceptable and 3 – 4 lights shows that the brake fluid has a high water content and needs changing. The colour of the fluid doesn’t affect its performance, as brake dust can seep into the pipes via the seals and discolour it.

Modern oils are much thinner than old oils, and require much less heating (if any) to drain effectively from the engine. When checking the oil level, run the engine for a minute, then switch off, and after another minute, check the level, which should be to the middle marker in the hatching, not the top of the hatching. Oil should be changed at regular intervals, regardless of whether or not it has become discoloured.


Test drive notes

Following servicing, Ian took Brucie out for a short test drive to make sure that everything was in order, and nothing had been overlooked.

Reversing Brucie, Ian commented that there was no flexing of the body, which apparently is very good for a long wheel base! I found this piece of information very interesting, as I had no idea that it was a common issue. I previously owned a similar X330 (1996 3.2 Sovereign) which, according to the warranty documents, had been returned to the dealership at 62,309 miles, with the customer issue recorded as “metallic creaking noise heard from r/h rear inner quarter trim” and the technicians’ comments, after completion of the work were recorded as “remove rear seats, rear quarter trims, and release rear section of headlining. Reinforcement  in quarter panels flexing together. Reposition.” (Another note refers to welding of broken/defective parts).

Ian dropped Brucie into potholes and dips in the road and noted that there was no clonking of the antiroll bar or other suspension problems, which again, is good.

All else was recorded as being very good too!

I hope I can quote Ian’s verdict (at the time when Brucie was test driven) which was “I can tell this is a good one. It is not pretending to be what it isn’t. A good, honest car, with high mileage and some wear, which has been generally cared for. There are no worrying faults, and all mechanical parts are sound.”

Return to index

August 2013

Well, it’s been another memorable and eventful month for Brucie! Going back to the end of July, Brucie met OKV1 for the first time, and is pictured with this famous D-type outside CMC of Bridgnorth, in my report on Classic Nostalgia at Shelsley Walsh  Less than a week later, we were off to Coventry Transport Museum for the official opening of the Jaguar Gallery and for the moment, being parked outside on the piazza is as close as Brucie is likely to get to joining the famous Jaguars in the Gallery itself!

Following his trip to Shelsley Walsh Brucie had become very dirty, so between the two events, we visited the workshop where Jaguar Heritage service and maintain their cars, and where Brucie was privileged to be treated to a wash and polish by Richard Mason and the Jaguar Heritage volunteers! Brucie and I were made very welcome by the Heritage Team, all of whom I had read about in Jaguar Heritage News but hadn’t had the opportunity to meet before.

On this particular day, I was able to capture some of the action which was taking place at the same time, as a selection of racing cars from the Heritage collection were being loaded up ready for transportation to Oulton Park, which I have added to my collection of pictures of Brucie with some of his famous ancestors!

Richard Mason washes Brucie, alongside the Group 44 E-type!

As he works, the Broadspeed Coupe moves into the picture, with 2 volunteers obviously itching to join in!

Finally, the volunteers take over!

Brucie’s next outing was to Castle Combe Autumn Classic Press Day on 15th August 2013. Brucie wasn’t actually expected to do anything at this event, but one day I hope to get him on a race track, and keep him the right way up!

Brucie’s next trip was to attend the funeral of Alan Jenner, a former Jaguar employee who, among other things, worked with Jim Randle’s team on the development and production of the XJ40. Alan’s son, Rob Jenner, is now Chairman of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, two very good reasons why I felt that Brucie should pay his respects, and so he was suitably prepared for this sombre occasion, ready to chauffeur some guests to the funeral service, when at the very last minute, Rob Jenner asked me if I would like to drive his X350 XJR instead! Well, what could I say? (Sorry Brucie!)

Alan Jenner with a works XJ40 on his retirement from Jaguar in September 1991 (picture courtesy of Rob Jenner)

Many thanks to Rob and Julie for allowing me to pay my last respects. Alan Jenner can be seen at his final Jaguar outing, with Rob Jenner and Jim Randle, at the XJ40 Gathering outside Coventry Transport Museum in October 2012.

At approximately 11am on Wednesday 21st August 2013, driving south on the A41 between Newport and Telford, Brucie achieved 150,000  miles!

No warning lights, and the gauges show that Brucie is in good health.
I even managed to get the fuel gauge reading to fall in with the others!

Brucie's picture recently appeared in various reports on the JEC Northern Day in the August 2013 issue of The Jaguar Enthusiast magazine, on pages 39 and 99, although his official picture was on page 69.

Brucie is scheduled to appear in the October 2013 issue of Jaguar World Monthly on sale in early September.

Meanwhile Brucie will appear on the XJ Forum stand at the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club National Southern Day at Littlecote House, Hungerford. If you wish to attend, tickets can be purchased by phoning the JEC office on 0117 969 8186

Return to index

September 2013

Brucie at Southern Day, by Nigel Thorley

As reported earlier in the month, Brucie’s first appointment for September was the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Southern Day at Littlecote House, near Hungerford, where Nigel Thorley took this wonderful shot of Brucie, at the end of a busy day, when he was all that was left of the former Forum Stand!

On 12th September, the October 2013 issue of Jaguar World Monthly went on sale, with Brucie listed on the contents page, thus:

108 Your Jaguar: Letitia Mace delights in Brucie, her X330 Sovereign

Brucie’s Diary also features in Jaguar Classic Parts News

Brucie’s most recent visit to XJK

On Brucie’s last visit to XJK, among a mixture of Jaguars, including a new XK and an X300 Sport, a fellow JEC members’ XJS V12 Facelift Coupe was being prepared for the JEC tour to Switzerland in September 2013. This looked like a very sound and well cared for car, but the owner had taken the precaution of having the car checked over by XJK to avoid any potential problems on the journey. After a thorough inspection, the suspension was all that needed attention, so new rear radius arm, forward and rear bushes were fitted, along with front suspension top arm bushes, anit-roll bar links and bump stops. The car was then given a 4 wheel alignment check, as is now normal practice at XJK following any work on the suspension system. XJK have recently received an award for excellence as a centre for 4 wheel alignment, and will check any car, Jaguar or otherwise.

A few facts about Wheel Alignment and Tracking
XJK Limited is Staffordshire's No. 1 for Wheel Alignment and Tracking. They have the latest state of the art HD Camera Alignment System, which allows them to adjust any make and model and they receive all the latest data and updates from all manufacturers, making XJK Limited a premier Alignment Specialist. Their service to you includes a full technical computer data⁄analysis report before and after alignment.
The Alignment System reduces constant tyre wear, excessive suspension component wear, increased positive steering and saves fuel consumption, not forgetting helping your vehicle improve its carbon footprint.
If you have any questions about the wheel alignment on your vehicle please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the XJK service team on  01782 613434.

So what did Brucie have done at XJK?

X300 Bootlid Badges

Part numbers HNA5994PA and HNA5995KA

On his last visit to XJK, Brucie had his bootlid badges replaced with new ones. The original badges were beginning to corrode and delaminate, and their appearance let the whole car down, rather like a tatty number plate!

I wasn’t looking forward to this, as they appeared to be securely fixed in a recess, and I certainly wasn’t going to attempt the replacement myself, so after ordering new JAGUAR and SOVEREIGN badges from SNG Barratt, I left the rest to Ian Kelsall at XJK, who made it look simple!

1.    Mask the surrounding area off, as a precaution.
2.    Use a strong but flexible nylon blade/scraper to prize off the existing badge
3.    Remove masking and thoroughly clean off all debris
4.    Polish and prepare the area so that it will accept the new adhesive
5.    Very carefully and precisely attach new badge – you only have one chance to get it right!

X300 Bootlid Release

Part number GNA3520BC

Just prior to Brucie’s intended visit to XJK, his bootlid release failed, so I called in to SNG Barratt to collect a new one, which was quickly and easily installed (if you know how!) by XJK.

The lining of the bootlid was released, to reveal the wiring, so that the old bootlid release cable could be replaced with the new one. A good torch with a magnetic fixing proved useful to light up the area within the bootlid where the cable attaches.

X300 Radio Mast

Still looking perfect, the outgoing aerial unit

Complete radio mast unit, including motor: Part number LNA4120AA

Replacement mast and toothed mechanism only: Part number LNA4134AA

Next to be replaced was the aerial, which had never functioned properly since purchasing Brucie. I was always too embarrassed to switch on the radio and display to the world that my Jaguar could only manage to push 2 segments of its aerial out, so I decided it was time to do something about it. This required the removal of all the trim on the off-side of the boot, but was otherwise straight-forward. Good to see nothing nasty lurking behind the boot trim – no damage, rust or damp!

The outgoing aerial looked perfectly fine from the outside, but presumably some of the teeth were worn or damaged, preventing the mast from being raised to its full height. As an alternative to replacing the entire unit, if the motor is still functioning, the toothed mechanism can removed and carefully replaced, which is more economical than replacing the whole unit.

X300 Original Mobile Phone Module

Part number LJA7301AA

One final job, before we left the boot, was the removal of Brucie’s mobile phone module which was fitted at the factory as an optional extra. The phone itself had been removed by a former owner, leaving only the cradle in the cabin, the connecting harness, and the module in the boot. We removed the cradle some time ago, as it seemed superfluous, so Ian suggested that we now remove and discard the module from the boot, as it was basically just clutter now! So if you have one of these in your boot, and don’t know what it is, you can safely remove it, unless you think there is hope of having it re-commissioned!

This was the last time Brucie saw his original mobile phone module and the bracket to which it was attached, before it went in the bin!


X300 Bonnet Release

Part number HNA2560AA

The bonnet release lever which sits under the dash, just inside the driver’s door, had lost its plastic trim with the symbol on it. Hardly of any consequence until you reach the point where all the other jobs have been done and you want the car to be as near perfect as possible, so I decided to replace it. It was a case of purchasing the entire lever arm, but at £10, I guess the plastic finisher would not have cost much less, anyway and as with the other jobs, the labour time was negligible although I doubt I could have fitted it that quickly!

X300 Bonnet Struts

Part number BEC19809

To finish off tidying Brucie up , I had ordered a pair of bonnet struts, as Brucie’s original ones were becoming a little stiff. As they age and become worn, these can stiffen up and when you pull against them with any force, every time you open the bonnet, you risk stressing the bonnet and causing minute cracks in the paint, which will eventually encourage rust. Sometimes the bonnet struts become too lose, rather than stiffening up, in which case, they can let go when the bonnet is raised – not good if you have your head stuck in the engine bay, rummaging for something deep within its depths! One of my first XJ40’s dropped her bonnet just as a mechanic had walked away, leaving his tools on top of the engine, which caused an expensive dent in the bonnet!

It was my intention to write a stage by stage account of the processes involved in removing and refitting the above mentioned parts, but Ian seemed to be so efficient and practiced in his work, that by the time I had gathered my thoughts, the job was done.

XJK Independent Jaguar Specialists

If you are attempting these jobs yourself, XJK are named in the JEC magazine as a contact for advice on modern and neo-classic Jaguars (anything X300 onwards).

Contact XJK by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone the XJK service team on  01782 613434.

Return to index

October 2013

On 4th November 2013 Brucie and I celebrate our third anniversary! He has only ever got cross with me once, and refused to start, but fortunately Gavin (owner of XJK) and Ian (XJK’s Chief mechanic, who looks after Brucie) drove half way across Stoke-on-Trent without so much as a grumble (not an easy feat!), and gave him a bit of a pep talk and a heart massage, and apparently his malady was all down to me as it turned out!

Brucie sits patiently outside XJK waiting for his turn to go in the workshop

XJK are a family business who take great pride in their work. They are very thorough and always have time to talk to customers – even awkward ones, like me! You can see your car in the workshop, and discuss issues with the mechanics as they work on your Jaguar. The Jaguar powertrain cutaway which you may have seen at major JEC events, is entirely the work of XJK and will be on display at the NEC, Birmingham later this month.

Last month I arranged to have a few pre-Winter jobs done on Brucie and arrived at XJK to find Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Marketing Director, Tony Ridge, having the raffle car serviced ready for when it goes to the lucky winner of this years' prize draw. XJK have been responsible for all the servicing, maintenance and routine repairs for this and previous JEC raffle cars, going back 5 years. Previous winners have then chosen to continue to have their prize looked after by XJK, which is testament to the condition of the car when handed over to its new owner!

The JEC Prize Draw Jaguar XK convertible being serviced at XJK ready for handover to the winner

New fuel lines and renewal of under body protection

Part numbers: NXF6103AA - Fuel feed pipe (LWB); NXF6102AB - Fuel return pipe (LWB);
NNA6053DC - Fuel feed hose; NMD6091A - Fuel filter

When it came to Brucie's turn, he was put up on the ramp and his wheels were removed for ease of access to all parts of the underbody, so that the fuel lines could be replaced, and he could then be waxoyled.

Part of the badly corroded fuel line system still in situ – normally tucked away in the nearside rear wheel arch, it is difficult to see.

The discarded fuel lines, laid out on the workshop floor, showing their full length.
(The inset shows a portion of the worst area.)

To assist removal and fitting of new fuel lines, the gearbox cradle was removed and the gearbox supported. Removal of the fuel lines is often hampered by seized joints/fixings, but Brucie was obviously keen to get his new fuel lines fitted in time for Spares Day, so he co-operated fully and they were very soon removed! The carbon canister was also removed to ease fitment and to check it over. The carbon canister collects fuel vapour from the fuel tank and neutralizes it. If this is light it is ok, but if it is heavy it means that it is full of liquid fuel rather than vapour, and should be replaced, as it is part of the emissions system.

Carbon canister pre-clean up and waxoyl

The fuel lines are in 2 sections - the main part being almost the full length of the car, and then a small pipe behind the rear axle (the feed pipe) which links up to the fuel filter. The X300 should have a new fuel filter every 6 years, and the present one has been there at least 3 years, so while everything was dismantled, it seemed obvious to do this job at the same time.

The neat new fuel lines are fixed firmly back onto the floorpan, which is then prepared ready to accept the new underseal.

After fitment of the fuel lines the underbody was prepared for waxoyling by removing lose underseal dating back to manufacture, and other debris and surface rust, before being given a very thorough and liberal coating of waxoyl to protect it from decay. Last winter the body cavities were treated, so now it was the turn of the underbody, with particular attention being paid to the grommets in the floorpan, seams, beams and crevases. Waxoyl can be sprayed directly onto rust, neutralizing it and preventing further rust. It remains in a semi-solid state, allowing it to flex and re-seal if perforated.

Floorpan prepped for waxoyl (left) and the same area (right) after treatment (note that the rubber grommet has been removed to access all areas and thoroughly protect them).

XJK's verdict on the fundamental condition of Brucie was once again very encouraging! There is no rot in the chassis, floorpan or subframes, and the only surface rust which was found, was soon removed by wire brushing.

While Brucie was up on the ramp, I took advantage of XJK's October/November offer of a free brake and tyre inspection, to make sure everything is A1 for winter, which arrived the next day!

The inspection is very thorough, and is basically a chunk taken out of a full service, consisting of checking wheel bearings; brake pads, discs and brake fluid condition. The tyre pressures are checked and the tyre walls and tread are inspected for foreign bodies, tread depth and wear. The customer is then advised of any work that may be required. Brucie had a clean bill of health, thankfully!

XJK FREE Winter Brake and Tyre Check This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Matt spruces Brucie’s original 20 spoke alloys – before (top left) and after (bottom left)

Meanwhile Matt gave Brucie's wheels a thorough cleaning on the inside while they were off the car, which revealed a little corrosion on each wheel. This is the first opportunity I have had to have the insides cleaned, in the 3 years I have owned Brucie. It was my intention to keep up with the cleaning on a regular basis now, but having seen the amount of corrosion, it looks like refurbishment is on the cards!

Stunning black 2008 Jaguar X-type diesel estate - an XJK customer courtesy car !!

As this was going to be a two day job, I was given a Jaguar courtesy car overnight while Brucie remained at the workshop. My courtesy car was a very nice 2008 X-type diesel estate, finished in black with cream hide, it looked extremely smart, and it was great fun to drive a manual for a change! At 40 mpg, I was tempted to leave Brucie at XJK and keep the X-type!

As the fuel line fitment had gone well, and the waxoyl had been successfully applied the day before, it was left to cure on the second day of Brucie’s visit to XJK, while a few other issues, picked up by XJK at Brucie’s annual service in June, were tackled.

The outstanding issues are listed below, and working through them in order, XJK covered most of them in one day.

  • Replace fuel filter and fuel lines – work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace vacuum pipe to carbon canister– work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace plastic front panel under bumper– scheduled for 2014
  • Replace front brake cooling ducts on both sides - scheduled for 2014
  • Apply Waxoyl to underbody– work completed 8/10/13 (see above)
  • Replace missing “turn clip sockets” for securing plastic panels in engine bay – parts to be sourced
  • Replace missing trim clips in boot – parts to be sourced
  • Replace thermostat, as engine is consistently running below optimum temperature - work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace window regulator and motor, as driver’s door window is inoperable - work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace drivers’ door check arm - work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace driver’s seat module (with memory pack) as this has temporarily been replaced by the passenger seat module, due to failure - work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace steering column, as the audible warning speaker, motor and position sensor have all failed - work completed 9/10/13 (see below)
  • Replace the ABS module as this has flagged up a warning on the dash – scheduled for next visit
  • Replace the ambient air temperature sensor, as there is an error message displayed on the air conditioning LCD display in the centre console – scheduled for 2014
  • Kickdown switch: Not very effective on Brucie, and apparently “winds out” and needs rewinding to tighten cable so that kickdown operates effectively – scheduled for 2014

Notes on parts fitment


Part number: EBC3621

According to the gauges on the instrument panel, Brucie’s engine has never come up to temperature properly, and an engine which is running too cool is not good. In order to eliminate the possibility of a faulty gauge on the dashboard, a new thermostat was fitted to see if that would cure the problem, which happily, it did. Other evidence which pointed to this being the fault is that the cabin temperature is never very high on cold Winter days when the heating is turned up to full. Brucie is now running consistently at just a fraction below the ‘N’ on the gauge instead of wavering between this position and ‘C’ and I am looking forward to a really toasty cabin this Winter!

I was also concerned because when standing stationary in traffic with the engine running (which I seem to do a lot of these days!) the engine appears to miss a beat, almost like a misfire, on a regular basis, every few seconds. Ian explained that this is a normal feature of the AJ16 and nothing to be concerned about. In order to calibrate the engine so that everything else was happy, a compromise was reached by the engineers at the time. I didn’t notice this phenomenon at first, but I think it has been brought to my attention by a combination of spending more time idling in traffic, being much more familiar with the car, and having other problems sorted, so that it is running at an optimum.

Window Regulator Motor

Part number: JLM12022

The rusted and seized window regulator motor

When I purchased Brucie, 3 years ago, I was told that the driver’s door window did not work, and there was a handful of dead fuses in the centre console cubby box, which spoke for themselves! As I didn’t consider it vital to be able to wind the window down, this was one of the jobs which was put on hold while other more vital work was dealt with first. When the window regulaor motor was removed, it was rusted and seized, so at least it was obvious what the problem had been.  A new motor was fitted, and at last I can operate Brucie's driver’s door window! Glen Parkes of Jaguar Classic Parts had advised that it is usually the motor which is at fault, rather than the regulator, which is very expensive, and therefore it was decided that we would start by replacing the motor, and this turned out to be the correct diagnosis.

The interior door trim completely removed, and the door glass supported

The plastic sheet hanging down from behind the inner panel is a moisture curtain. Jaguars have 3 zones – wet, dry and semi-wet. The interior cabin is obviously classed as a dry zone, but the inner door (behind the moisture curtain) is a semi-wet zone and expected to cope with moisture from wound down wet windows!

A thorough inspection of the inside of the door, with all the trim removed, revealed absolutely no rust, which is very comforting, considering the state of the window regulator motor! With Ian’s help, I cleaned up all the inaccessible trim pieces while they were removed from the car. When removing the interior door trim, it is necessary to be very careful, as the main retaining clip is nolonger available, and without it the door panel will flap about and not sit correctly. The panel needs to be lifted upwards and outwards, to remove it. To replace it,  first remove the outer part of the retaining clip from the inside of the trim panel, and push this back into the door itself, then locate the trim panel so that the spring-fit clip is pushed firmly into the retaining clip, before replacing and securing all other screws, fastenings and trim panels.

Drivers' Door Check Arm

Part number: GMD1983AB

With the door trim panel already removed, this was an ideal time to fit the new check arm. This was broken from the time when I purchased Brucie, and I assumed that we just needed to fit a new one, however, upon inspection it was found that the front of the door where the check arm fits was split. This is apparently a common problem on these cars as the metal is relatively thin, and the force of a door being caught by the wind will cause an initial split, leaving it vulnerable to further damage, as it has much less resistance to being flung open. A weld is an alternative repair, but it was felt that this was not necessary at this time, and a repair was effected by fitting washers either side of the split metal to brace and strengthen it.

Drivers' Seat Module

Part number: LNA 2165AA

These are obsolete, and very hard to get hold of. Jaguar Classic Parts have reinstated some versions, but not the one with the seat memory package, which was required for the 4 litre lwb Sovereign. I was fortunate to be able to get one from Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Chairman Rob Jenner, and this was fitted at the same time as the new steering column.

The seat module sits below the seat so after re-fitting it, testing the seat module was interesting, as Brucie decided to fold the drivers’ seat while Ian was sitting in it, giving the impression that he was trying to eat the driver … a few scary moments there!

The passenger seat module (which has no memory function) had been temporarily removed from the passenger seat, meaning that it could not be adjusted, and installed in the drivers’ seat, so that it could at least be adjusted for other drivers, and was now returned to the passenger seat, so Brucie is fully functional once more!

Steering Column

Part number: HNA9261AH

Still in the box – Brucie’s new steering column, and speaker (which comes as a separate part – top right hand corner).

The speaker did not function so Brucie had no voice at all and could never tell me when I had forgotten to turn the lights off, or give an audible warning when indicating.

The retract/adjust feature had failed, so even though the memory facility was fitted, it only worked on seat adjustment. The position sensor had also failed, so Brucie couldn’t remember where he’d left his steering wheel – comes to us all in the end!

The old steering column was removed, which was straightforward. The battery had to be disconnected so that the airbag could be disarmed. The X300 airbags are electronic, and therefore do not need to be manually disarmed, as with the XJ40 which has mechanical airbags.

On dismantling the steering column, it was found that the speaker was completely missing, so the suggestion is that because Brucie was probably chauffeur driven, in which case the chauffeur would have been in and out of the car opening doors for passengers, he would not have worn a seatbelt, and the audible warning would have been an annoyance!

Ian also commented on the fact that it is rare to find an X300 with all automatic steering functions still fully operational, and I do know of other specialists who dis-able the steering column memory functions simply because as people climb into the drivers’ seat, they lean heavily on the steering wheel and damage the mechanism, therefore it is easier to completely disable it than to consider an expensive repair or replacement - the complete kit and labour is close to £1000 !!

While the steering column was removed, I was able to give all the trim pieces a really thorough cleaning, much more easily than when it is in situ, and Ian pointed out that the steering wheel adjustment switch was originally used on the XJ220 as a mirror adjustment switch, with different graphics!

The middle section of the steering wheel is nolonger obtainable new, so once the airbag has been deployed, this part, which will split open, will have to be sourced from a used part specialist.

Well, it has taken me three years to get this far, but most of the major issues are now almost sorted, thanks to XJK Independent Jaguar Specialists, SNG Barratt and Jaguar Classic Parts  A few more items to put right, and in my eyes, my Sovereign will reign supreme!

Brucie’s next visit to XJK will be for a pre-MOT service and the MOT itself.

Return to index

November 2013

A month packed full of diverse events!

4th November, 3 years ago on this day, I was in Paignton, Devon, negotiating the purchase of Brucie with a car dealer. This year, I was the other side of the country, at Thoresby Hall, as part of the JEC Events Committee, checking out details ready for next years JEC 30th birthday bash and the Jaguar timeline, and of course, Brucie was there with me!


6th November, a brief unscheduled visit to XJK as air was hissing out of Brucie's n/s/f tyre valve !! XJK were brilliant, and took Brucie into the workshop straightaway, to fit a new tyre valve, test, balance and re-fit the wheel, so that I could continue on my journey!


7th November, Brucie parked alongside the stretched E-type, which was launched later the same day, by CMC in Bridgnorth. View report Stretching the Jaguar E-type

8th November, Brucie and I briefly visited 4 of our sponsors, XJK, Just XJS, SNG Barratt and CMC to hand them each a copy of the 2014 Xclusively Jaguar Calendar, designed and produced by Design Bubbles

14th November, I was very kindly treated to dinner by Don Westcott, Chairman of the Wiltshire Region of the JEC, before giving a talk to the members, on Xclusively Jaguar, Xclusively Jaguar News,  Brucie's Diary and my work with the JEC as a member of the Events Committee.

15th - 17th November, after transporting me safely and comfortably to Birmingham, Brucie waited patiently in the car park for 3 days, while I helped to serve drinks to members and friends on the JEC stand at the NEC Classic Motor Show. While I was at the show, I treated Brucie to an outdoor car cover, from Classic Additions. Brucie has recently lost the use of his garage and its breaking my heart to see him sitting unprotected outside in all weathers! After a lot of thought, I decided to try the cover pictured below, as it has been developed from the latest nanotechnology, making it lightweight, 100% waterproof, yet breathable!

Brucie, rugged up for winter!


18th November, Something I have wanted to do for some time - I took Brucie back to Brown's Lane, all be it too late for him to see his birthplace as he would remember it! The site has now been redeveloped with new homes, built by Taylor Wimpey, and the connection which I was unaware of at the time, is that Brucie's first owner was Wimpey Homes, so unbeknown to me, it had a double meaning for Brucie !!

Swallows Nest, Browns Lane - Picture and plan courtesy of Taylor Wimpey Homes

22nd November, Another landmark - I finally plucked up courage and contacted Brucie's first owner. I am relieved to say that it went very well. Thinking that I was the fourth owner, I have now found out that Brucie was purchased by Wimpey Homes for one of their directors, who having previously owned an XJ40 had actually chosen Brucie himself, for his colour and specification. Brucie was his personal car  and he kept him on his retirement from the company! Initially having been chauffeur driven, and with an impeccable service history, 7 years later, Brucie was finally traded in for another Jaguar. His former owner still owns the X350 which Brucie was traded in for - a true Jaguar enthusiast!

24th November, Brucie and I rounded the month off with a visit to this years Andrew Whyte Lecture. This is the first time I have been able to attend! It is always over-subscribed, so I considered it a privilege to be able to listen to the three eminent speakers.

Ian Luckett, Global Product Training Manager at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy. Ian used to handle heritage enquiries before the present-day Jaguar Heritage Trust was operational. He gave an incredibly informative and very moving talk, supported by slides and videos, giving us an insight into current dealer training worldwide, and the force with which this is being further developed.

Rob Atkin, Project C-X75 Programme Manager. Rob led the design team for the C-X75, and his was another incredible and very moving talk. Again, supported by slides and videos which just left you wishing and wondering why this car, which it is suggested is probably the most technically advanced car in the world, is not going into production in this form, but will merely be a catalyst and proving ground for advancements in other forth-coming Jaguar and Land Rover models.

Sir John Egan,
Chief Executive of Jaguar Cars
from 1980 to 1990, who in the eyes of many, 'saved' Jaguar from extinction. Sir John has lost none of his verve for speaking over the years, and kept us all enthralled, an indication of how he lead Jaguar Cars through very difficult times and made it a world beater in every way!


Rounding up the event, Bob Beacham, who has organised the lectures for many years, in memory of the late Jaguar Historian, Andrew Whyte, gave us an insight into the history of the event and commented that Sir John Egan was the ultimate speaker and would be a hard act to follow at future lectures!

With nothing major planned for December, aside from the JEC AGM on 14th December, Brucie returns to XJK in January 2014 for his MOT and a pre-MOT service.

Return to index

December 2013

As we come to the end of 2013, here is a brief round-up of the highlights of Brucie's Year.


March 2013

Chapel Cleeve Manor, Blue Anchor Bay, West Somerset on a bright Spring morning, full of promise for a wonderful year!

Who would have thought that this would be the scene, a fortnight later at International Jaguar Spares Day, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire - same car, different weather!


May 2013

It did get better though, and by the end of May when Nigel Webb hosted a special event to celebrate the life and work of Norman Dewis, the weather was glorious again! Some beautiful Jaguars were at the event, including many that Norman had driven and helped to develop over the years, but naturally, the star of the show was XJ13, proudly displayed in pole position, courtesy of Jaguar Heritage.

At the end of the day, as XJ13 was driven out of the marquee, ready for loading into the car transporter, I saw a photo opportunity before me - Brucie alongside the legendary XJ13 !!


June, July and August 2013

Throughout the summer, Brucie attended some interesting events, previously reported on in Xclusively Jaguars News. Most notable of those not recorded in Brucie's Diary were:

Drive It Day (in Devon)

SNG Barratt Open Day

Lulworth Castle

Jaguars on the Barbican


At the end of July, Brucie met another famous Jaguar OKV 1 at CMC


And a few days later, Brucie was outside Coventry Transport Museum on the Piazza, in blazing sun, while the new Jaguar Gallery was officially opened. One of the first to arrive, and last to leave!

Brucie didn't make it to Techno Classica Essen this year, but he was represented !!

And I was accepted as a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers


September 2013

The year continued with JEC Southern Day on 1st September


Just prior to this, Brucie was part of a small team of Jaguars at Yeovilton Airbase in Somerset. The other Jaguars included an XKRS and an F-type, and full details will be published in Xclusively Jaguar News in due course.


October, November and December 2013

The year remained busy right to the end, with the main events being Castle Combe Autumn Classic, followed by the Autumn International Jaguar Spares Day, where the precipitation manifested itself as rain this time!  Then the Classic Motor Show at the NEC, the Andrew Whyte Lecture, and the JEC AGM being later than usual this year, on 14th December.

Brucie made his final appearance of the year on a Christmas card, copies of which were sent to both of his previous owners. Having now received positive responses from them, I hope to briefly re-unite Brucie with them next year. Both are enthusiasts of the marque and still drive Jaguars! After stating that he has owned four Jaguars in all, Brucie's second owner commented "....... no doubt your car was the best of the lot, for reliability and comfort!"

Brucie is looking forward to the new year, when he returns to XJK for a pre-MOT service, along with some cosmetic work, to be reported on in future issues of Brucie's Diary.

Brucie wishes everyone who reads his diary, a happy new year !!

Brucie's Diary continued .....

Newsletter Sign Up