What seems like years ago but was actually less than two weeks ago I bought an S-Type R with problems and set about fixing them. I set an arbitrary deadline of this Friday to get it fit to drive 800 miles to my Dad’s place and back.

Why, you are right to ask? Because I like deadlines, apparently.

Do I ever meet them? Almost never.

First up was a pretty unnecessary job: fixing the CD changer!

Yes. CD. Changer.

Funny enough I’ve had good luck with the one in the Land Rover as a “I don’t feel like dicking with my phone” music option. As it turns out 6 CDs is enough for driving a couple times a week and I have the FM transmitter for longer trips.


ANYWAY, the CD changer wouldn’t play and the carrier wouldn’t eject. Annoyingly, removing the changer requires removing the amp, nav, and changer as a unit. Actually not that big a deal as it is only 4 bolts to remove all three, then another eight torx to remove the changer. After stripping out the outer shell of the changer the can be manually moved to force the cartrage to return to neutral and then eject.

After that everything got a healthy dose of silicone, reassembled, and reinstalled. (Sidenote: The Jag uses fiber optics for communications and that is neato.)

And it worked!


Unfortunately I appear to have been a bit overzealous with the lube as it started skipping and now, once again, won’t play. It will eject, so at least there is that...

Next up was tacking the rear suspension. The rear tie rods and anti-roll bar links were both shot. Not hard jobs, just time consuming.


After breaking a breaker bar trying to get the lug nuts off (foreshadowing)...


I finally got everything in.


While I was doing this the song “Hot Mess” by Cobra Starship came on. I... I think that is the new name, or at least tag, for this vehicle. It works on so many levels!


After that it was off to Costco for new tires, which didn’t go well. On the way there it became apparent I got the eyeballing of the rear tie rods wrong. Have you ever had traction control kick in while you’re turning at 70 MPH?

Not. Pleasant.

I took surface streets the rest of the way.

The first time I went they couldn’t get the front wheels off due to a rounded lug nut.


I fixed that and went back, but this time they discovered that the front tires were both run-flats, which apparently makes them a pain to work with. Also one of the other lug nuts failed.


Also apparently all four tires on that car were different makes. :facepalm:

ANYWAY, a significant portion of my life spent in Costco, I had four new tires.

BUT WAIT! On the way home it seemed like the headlights were only illuminating directly in front of the car.


Crap. Add it to the list.

The next morning I headed to my favorite alignment shop where, against all odds, they consented to do the alignment. Seriously more often than not they turned me away to go make repairs before they’d do the alignment. $75 later the Jag is transformed! While some of the squirrelyness is still there, the shop guy seems to think I need new rear struts and maybe lower control arms, for the most part it tracks beautifully and drives great.


Alright... that out of the way, time to head to the junk yard! I need a front wheel to use as a spare and a headlight level sensor. The local LKQ doesn’t have any S-Types, but they do have three X-Types, all with HID headlights. It would follow that they’d use the same sensors and one of them might have 18" wheels.


They do not and they did not.

Which is to say I couldn’t find the level sensors, though further research shows I was looking in the wrong spot. Looking in to it, something I should have done before I left, the sensors DO look different but I think it is just the arms, which should be able to be swapped over. More research required.


I did see an intact Magic Dorito, which would be a fun thing to have around, but I’m not certain I’m up for the pull.


According to the windshield notes it would start then die, so at least there was some life left in it.... Poor thing...


Out of luck there, I decided to call it. While I probably could get the serpentine and supercharger belts swapped over, the next item on my list, and I might be able to modify the headlights to be good enough... I’d rather do laundry, pet the dogs, and clean the house.

It has been fun seeing what I can do in a short amount of time, but also time to take the Volvo...

Share This Story

Get our newsletter