The XJ-S power steering rack weighs about 30 lbs. After bench-pressing the stupid thing in and out of the car 5 times my estimates put it at weighing roughly as much as a neutron star, the weight of my depression, and your mother. Why did I have to play musical steering rack? Read on.
Behold the high-pressure fitting that is a part of the custom power steering hoses that go from the Saginaw power steering pump to the Jaguar rack. The rack has a 5/8ths (?) fitting (Brake line, essentially) and the hose side is a steel AN fitting that has been brazed together. As you can see, it got an engine sat on it at one point and leaks everywhere, so that’s no bueno.
After 6 hours of driving around to various shops in towntrying to find someone who either stocked or could build such an adapter we ended up at a buddy’s shop where he attempted to butt-weld TIG some brake line to steel AN fitting he had lying around. Unfortunately it leaked ever so slightly. For those keeping track at home, this would be the third time I’ve taken the rack out of this car. Once to pull the engine, again when it leaked the first time, and now it leaks again.
Using some spare fittings and a flare tool so the smaller high-pressure line would fit the same hose as the low pressure, I looped the low pressure around and decided that, for now, I’d just go without. In a 3800 pound car.
It worked! Needs aligned something awful and is a hell of a workout but the last piece of the puzzle was in place (for now).
Hey look! I finally remembered to replace that godawful stretched throttle return spring! I love the feel of this double spring and it looks rather nice.
This thing is the heater control valve. Yeah. It leaks a bit.
This is the factory heater control valve. It is British, therefore it is broken.
This is my new heater lack-of-control valve.
So there we are. What’s left?
- Power steering high-pressure fitting
- Steering rack bushings are shot and the car is fairly dangerous to control
- New water neck to make clearance for
- New 12" drop-base air cleaner
- Wash the car
- Install new head unit
But hey! It runs! And damn I forgot how nice it was to drive this car. This thing just cruises. Train tracks? No issues. No rattles or nothin’. First oil change took place after 30 minutes of runtime and scared the daylights out of all of us because the assembly lube, unbeknownst to us at the time, has graphite-molly dry lubricant in it and so when you do an oil change it’s full of what looks an awfully lot like bearing material.
Either way, it’s nice to be behind the wheel of a Jag again.