Well it was still raining today but fortunately Russell had put the Lotus Cortina up on the lift so I was able to back the Jag in and work in comfort. To cut a long story short I had worked out that the battery monitor module was not talking to the rear body control module - BCM. It talks with something called LIN Bus, which uses a single wire - white in this case. I had found out that the wire went up in to the boot lid, which is a common place for these breaking so that's where I thought my problem would be. The plan was to gain access to the bcm by removing all the panels and covers and then jumping the cable directly so it didn't go through the boot loom any more. When I got in there though things quickly took a sinister turn. The first thing I noticed is that the plastic casing was broken - never a good sign. Closer inspection showed there to be green corrosion on some of the connectors, most notably the two on the bottom. When I removed those two I could see the problem instantly, the pin for the LIN bus connection was bent right over, somebody had definitely been in there before and been clumsy. Sadly the pin snapped off when I tried to straighten it as they often do. I had to remove the whole thing, take it apart and solder a wire on the the back of the printed circuit board. I then drilled a hole, fed the wire through and soldered it to the wire going to the plug.
Dave's Mechanical Marvels Blog Page
Well I had hoped to get a lot more done today but about the only thing I got to do was the fuel level sender. At some point yesterday the car decided it had no fuel on it, 5 minutes earlier it was showing nearly half a tank. This is a really common and well documented problem, it's to do with a connector inside the tank. To access i you have to remove the lower part of the rear seat, peel back the carpet and remove a large rubber blanking disc in the floor of the car, you then have access to the pump, the wiring and the two fuel lines. You remove the fuel lines and plug then there is a securing ring that you have to tap round with a hammer to release the fuel pump. You can then see a small 2 way black plastic plug, this is the culprit. I just had to reseat mine, some people have had to replace theirs. With that done all I had to do was check for leaks then put everything back in reverse order. It doesn't take long but getting enough light so you can see what you are doing can be tricky.
Regular readers will know that I have succumbed to purchasing yet another project, this time a 2010 Jaguar XF 3.0diesel Portfolio - an ebay purchase that I couldn't get to see in the flesh before bidding. Truly a recipe for unmitigated disaster, a ridiculous thing to do but it was very cheap and the seller seemed like a decent bloke. Yesterday was the first chance I got to have a really good look at it, run diagnostics an see exactly what needed doing. The list is long so please bear with me.
I couldn't help it. I have been without a Jaguar for about 6 years now, a totally unacceptable situation. Noisy Noddy the ridiculously fast Mini is great fun and all that but being used to luxury cars makes him feel a bit basic. On bad days I find it a bit difficult to get in and out. I started to have a bit of a think about what might be a good idea to replace him with. A bit of a think in my life usually results in the acquisition of some project or other and this time was no different. I had been thinking about a latish model Jag XJ - the last one that actually looked like a jag - when I happened across a number of XF models that looked very, very cheap and exceptional value for money. I did a ton of research in to running cost, spares availability, insurance costs and performance until I was convinced that they represented an awful lot of car for the money.
It's important to use etch primer on aluminium or the paint won't stick properly and will peel off in a few weeks or months. Using gaffer or duct tape protects the soft metal while machining.
Following the successful test start I thought it best to carry on with my little Maserati and go back to some of my other projects later. There was quite a bit to do, all the control cables needed making up, that's a job I am not too keen on so I thought I would get it out of the way first.
It was a big day for the little Maserati today, I was ready for the first test start, I believe it has not been run for many, many years, maybe as many as 60. I had struggled a bit with the ignition, I had a senior moment and hadn't twigged that 2 of the 3 wires coming out of the Ducati magneto had to be joined externally to get a spark. What I thought was a kill wire was one end of the exciter coil and that had to be connected to the wire coming from the points to the coil. I had a coil from a modern Aprilia but that only gave me a really weak spark so I set about doing a repair to the Novi coil that came in a box with the bike. The 1/4 inch terminal had been snapped off flush so I used my Dremel to grind away some of the material from around the remains until I had enough to solder a wire to. That worked perfectly and I was rewarded with the biggest, fastest, bluest spark I could have hoped for.
Still got to add a chain guard but it works rather well.
I suppose it was always going to be a very low chance of success, there were a lot of unknowns, I didn't even know if the bike had ever been run in it's current configuration, Vic and Adrian had brought the paddock starter over, which span the rear wheel over with great vengeance and furious anger, the magneto was producing a massive spark, the tank was filled with methanol and the first attempt was made.
This is what I originally came up with but when I put it on the bike and compared it with an original one it didn't look right s I had to trim it a bit.
I found some time today, to get over to my favourite engineering supplier - Craftwork Engineering over on the Marsh Lane industrial estate, it's one of my favourite places - much better than Barbados or some other place with beaches. I needed some 3mm steel sheet and some 80x40 box section for my paddock starter, I bought a much larger bit of the 3mm than I needed as I like to have some around, I am always needing some for various jobs.
This is what a Lotus Cortina engine looks like out of the car, it's a simple matter to plonk it in the car.