1988 Jaguar XJ-S V12 Manual – ‘Curfew’

Friday 6th December 2019

So we’ve liberated a fuel tank from one of the other XJ-S projects (A green XJR-S that hasn’t run in quite a while and won’t for a year probably, so I’ve pushed the problem into the future) and it looks massive sat outside the car. I’ll try to get a photo of it next to the one that is currently fitted to Curfew if I get a chance.

Funnily enough one of the people who did the stunt driving for Curfew found me on Twitter and asked if I had sorted the clutch and overheating problems (though they did say it looks like I’d bought the best out of the three). I knew about the clutch issues but not overheating, so will need to test that out. It could be related to a few things, but one large sign would be the fact that the air con has been removed, which could affect the fan cutting in. In time I’ll look to upgrade the fans and radiator (among many other things!).

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The reverse lights also cleaned up ok, but just need a bit of polishing. Its not much but at least its nice to save them.

Monday 2nd December 2019

Today gave me the chance to get the Curfew XJ-S up in the air so we could have a good look at the underneath and see if anything needs urgent attention, especially considering it has effectively been off the road since before 2005. Fortunately it appears to be pretty solid underneath, though there are some signs of previous repairs. It was also nice to find a new set of adjustable Gaz shocks, which we’ll have a play with at a later date to find the best set up to enhance the car’s characteristics. The brake callipers have been replaced or refreshed all around which is always reassuring to see on an older car, and it seems my fear that the rear brakes might only be operated by the hydraulic handbrake was correct, so we might need some creative thinking in that area.

You can see some of the other modifications by viewing the photos below.

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Those new Gaz adjustable shocks look very shiny compared to the rest of the underside
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The abbreviated exhaust giving the car something of a gruff tone
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Refreshed/replaced brake callipers all round
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A new propshaft as part of the Simply Performance conversion kit, and the inboard rear brakes in the background
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The side exhausts don’t even go through the bodywork. Itching to rip them off
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Not too bad under here….

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A bit of rot in the front valance, a job for another day

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Someone has made some adjustments on the fly by the looks of things
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A bit rough and ready under the arches, which I already knew.

Sunday 1st December 2019

So I’ve bought another XJ-S, but this time its the XJ-S that featured in the recent Sky series ‘Curfew’, which stars Sean Bean (who drives this car). It got delivered last night after I purchased it at the H&H auction in Buxton on Wednesday – and its already taken a bit of a battering on certain Internet forums full of grumpy middle aged men (I’m looking at you, PH).

Obviously the car isn’t standard, and amongst the modifications is the addition of a manual gearbox, upgraded suspension (from the brief look I had under the car), a hydraulic handbrake, a tiny race fuel tank, wider arches and wheels and the side exit exhausts. I was a bit curious to see how well the hydraulic handbrake works on the original inboard brakes but it does work reasonably well from what I’ve seen so far. The side exit exhausts aren’t actually connected up and the original exhaust is still in place, but finishes just after the centre muffler under the car and then is directed out to each side. Even just simply removing the back boxes has made this car a lot louder than standard.

I knew the car had no MOT, and in fact no MOT details show up on the online checker, meaning it was off the road at least before 2005 until it was modified for Curfew. I’m expecting some work to get it back on the road and I’m planning a few modifications of my own. We tried starting it this morning and though it was turning over fine, it just wasn’t firing. Fortunately cleaning the spark plugs helped and while it was initially running rough, it soon cleared itself out and started running a lot better, so its safe to assume it might have been sitting for a while.

Whilst moving it around we’ve also discovered that you can’t currently engage first gear or reverse, so the clutch needs some attention at least. The steering is also very heavy and the brakes seem to be pretty weak, even though the hydraulic handbrake works fine (which could suggest that the rear brakes only operate via the hand lever), so I’ll be curious to see how it has been modified once we get it up in the air on Monday.

The paint job actually isn’t too terrible, if you don’t consider they painted over the reversing lights and didn’t mask up properly, so the underside of the car is tinged green. It isn’t a huge issue as the car might end up having a colour change….and this time it will be stripped bare to do so. On another note if anyone knows how I could remove interior paint from leather it might come in useful. I don’t find the green interior particularly offensive and I’m no fan of grey leather which you can see peeking through in places, but it would be nice to have the option.

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A manual, V12 Jaguar that was driven by Sean Bean in a TV show. Can you really blame me for buying it?!
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Yeah…..the interior is a bit trashy, but we can change that (the eyes of the snake head gear stick light up and flash – MAXIMUM TACKINESS!)
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Just look at those arches!
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I think this fuel tank is good for around 10 miles. I’m not kidding we had it idling for around 10 minutes and it drank half a tank.
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Did you even notice there were cars in the background? or a building?!
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More beast than beauty at the moment…
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All Jags should have a slightly murderous quality, shouldn’t they?