Topo chico for scale
Topo chico for scale

I can’t say I’ve made steaming progress on Jag stuff, but the work has been slowly marching forward. As of last writing I’d just got the water pump out and was eyeing the changing the supercharger oil as the next gambit.

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Well, first I put the water pump back in, which makes sense. After that I did indeed attack the supercharger oil. The problem with doing this is twofold: access is almost non-existent and there is no drain to speak of. Apparently Jag claims the supercharger oil never needs to be changed, whereas Eaton claims it needs to be done every 60k.

Either way, after removing the thermostat housing (which was also a phenomenal pain in the butt) and a sensor bracket, I managed to get to where I could almost get a hex wrench into the fill/drain plug.

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But I couldn’t get it to engage. The 5mm seemed just a little too large, but I couldn’t be sure because of the odd angle and lack of room to properly get a tool in. 4mm was way too small though, so it had to be 5mm....

Yeah no it was 3/16". Because reasons.

After wasting an embarrassing amount of time on that and even more trying to find my SAE hex tools (my entire tool kit is metric focused at this point) I finally got the plug out.

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Next you need to vacuum out the old oil using a syringe and piece of tube. Again, long story short the tubing I bought (1/4 OD) was too large to get far enough in to get more than a few ounces of fluid. With the ‘rona messing up store hours, I couldn’t just go pick up some smaller hose, sadly. Luckily I remember we used some tiny hose for a project a few years ago and as luck would have it I found some of it.

I grabbed my Mightvac and some fittings, and soon enough I had 7.4 oz of the most foul smelling oil I have ever encounter sitting in a solo cup.

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Illustration for article titled Jaaaag work soldiers on - Big brakes and smelly fluid
What I was supposed to pull out vs what I got. A less than 0.5 oz difference I think I can live with.
What I was supposed to pull out vs what I got. A less than 0.5 oz difference I think I can live with.
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I made a mess.
I made a mess.

Seriously... it is difficult to describe how bad this stuff smells. Sort of like a school of fish died inside a cow’s butthole at the bottom of a dank well. It wasn’t as pungent as something like gear oil, but the smell itself was so sharp it really was quite repulsive.

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Anyway, that over, I pumped the recommended 7.5 oz of supercharger oil back into the hole and spent the next hour trying to get the plug back in.

Seriously. I think the reason Jag doesn’t recommend service on this is because they know how much of a pain it is and just didn’t want to have to do it. Easier to charge customers for a new supercharger. Hell the total service bill might be cheaper too...

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Next on the list was to look at belts, tensioners, and pulleys. Unfortunately the project went a bit off the rails at this point. I’d already decided not to replace the serpentine belt tensioner as it felt and sounded fine and looked like it was going to be a pain to replace.

Then I “tested” the supercharger idler pulley and tensioner.

They both spun well but sounded gritty.

Oh dear.

Does that mean what I think it means? :checks google:

Yes it does.

Unfortunately one does not simply buy a supercharger idler pulley and tensioner. Apparently one has to appeal to the automotive parts gods to source these.... but tl;dr $300 later both of those are on order.

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RIP my wallet.

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Since I was kind of stuck on engine stuff until those arrive, I moved on to brakes. The Jag is getting all new pads on all six calipers. I had the front wheels off to remove the bumper, so away I went.

First off, these are, by far, the largest brakes I have ever seen, let alone worked on. I guess this is what I get for buying a “performance” car! Unfortunately the calipers were so large and so deep, my fancy new caliper piston compressor couldn’t even come close to getting a bit on the pistons. Instead I had to rely on the old “wood clamp and vice grips” method. However, eventually the pads were in on the driver’s side.

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Brake pads are bigly.
Brake pads are bigly.
Hand for scale
Hand for scale
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15" VW wheel for scale
15" VW wheel for scale

The passenger side was even easier once I realized the pads could, in fact, be removed without removing the caliper. In my defense it did honestly look like you couldn’t do that even though it seemed like you should. They are just a tight fit.

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Both sides done, I called it a night. Next up will be the rear brakes, then a full system bleed and hopefully parts will be here by then.

The spend on this project is certainly exceeding my expectations, but luckily there are fewer things on my TODO list than there are getting added.... for now.

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