Two things always delay me from starting a big, car disabling project:

  1. Fear of the unknown
  2. Resistance to taking a working car to non-working, even if temporarily

Immobilizing a car is always scary as it sort of.... locks it in until I can finish the job. Similarly on a new-to-me vehicle, I have no idea how difficult a job like the one(s) I’m undertaking is until I elbow deep in it. Stuff like the Saab and the Disco are NBD, I’ve been all over those cars, inside and out, and very little scares me. Fills me with dread, yes, but not fear.

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But I digress.

Last night I finally took a wrench to the Jag’s engine, and it was good.

First thing in the list, after finding my freaking 3/8" set which was indeed in storage inside the Volvo, was pulling a plug to see what they looked like. At ~$10 each I didn’t want to throw in a new set unless I needed to.

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I need to.

Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
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The electrode and gap are excellent, but the insulator is clearly starting to blow a bit, a thing I didn’t even know was possible until recently. Unfortunate that these have almost certainly been replaced and are “100k” plugs and have clearly failed in much, much less than that. I’m not so sure about NGK these days....

THAT SAID, I am going to take a chance on some Ruthenium spark plugs because (A) they’re the same price and (B) I like the look of the electrode. If anyone would like to advise me otherwise please speak up soon because that order is going in soon.

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Additionally, the S-Type FB people seem to indicate I should do the valve cover and spark plug seals too. That is a firm... maybe. There isn’t a lot of oil making it to the plug, but I do agree that there appears to be some. I’ll take a peek and see if the valve cover gasket is also leaking and go from there. If it is AND changing it doesn’t involve pulling the supercharger, I’ll do it.... probably. My experience with the Rover tells me that it is 100% not worth it as common advice with the Rover people is to change the head gaskets at the same time as the valve cover because you’re already 90% there.

For freaking valve covers!

I also received the suggestion I should throw in new coils, but I’m think that is a bridge too far. They’re only $35 each for the “Actual OE” ones or the same money for NGK, but that is another $300 I don’t need to be spending. Especially as it isn’t like I’m making special access just for them. If I see something squiffy when I pull the plugs I’ll reconsider.

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Heh... anyway, I pulled the air intake tube and man isn’t it a funny looking thing.

Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
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You have to wonder if having all those chambers is really worth it for whatever problem they’re trying to solve. (Intake noise, I guess?)

I have a new one of these in hand that looks a little... different.

Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
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Yes, I bought a performance intake because I am a terrible person. I’ve heard good reviews and it wasn’t hugely expensive. Also it is very pretty! I’m a little concerned now about the air inlet into the filter box being too small, but wouldn’t/couldn’t bring myself to go to a “cold air intake,” which I’ve always found to be an oxymoron at best.

Removing the fresh air intake revealed a surprising amount of the engine and good news overall. Most of the hoses and things look like they’ll be mostly accessible once I remove the expansion tank (which, oddly, was not in the instructions) and all but one of the hoses that are looking chubby I already have replacements for. The maze of hoses going to and from the supercharger cooler look like new except for about a 4" section which shouldn’t be too bad to cut out and replace.

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Overall, access and overall condition certainly looks better than expected. I can even touch the thermostat housing!

Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
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Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it
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Illustration for article titled Didnt get far on the Jag, but got over the fear of it

Next steps will be to remove the lower cowl and splash shield so I can get to the radiator drain and the lower radiator hose. Additionally I’m going to go ahead and pull the front bumper, which requires the aforementioned pieces to be pulled anyway, so I can replace the horns, one of which is currently inop.

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Not too bad!

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