Curfew XJ-S Update – Saturday 4th July 2020

If you’d like to read the rest of the Curfew XJ-S updates, you can do so HERE

After a little bit of a wait earlier in the week, yesterday became a chance to get Curfew up on a ramp for its service and a general inspection, as I was hoping to take it to Tamp Coffee again tomorrow. Somehow I had managed to forget to include a service amongst all the other work this car has had in the past few months, and since I don’t know when it was previously serviced it was probably safe to consider it well past due. I also still haven’t gotten around to seeing why it has a power issue on roundabouts, but I’ve got a feeling it may be an ongoing electrical issue that will be with us for a while. I think it could be a fault with one of the leads or the distributor cap (though the leads feel fine), so these will be changed at some point in the near future, although it isn’t a major issue and the car runs fine everywhere else.

Whilst it was up on the ramp I had a look under the arches as they still manage to scuff on the tyres when the suspension is compressed over bumps or when going round tighter bends, even considering that the suspension is stiffer than standard by quite a margin. There are small metal plates fixed to the top of the inside of the rear arches (two smaller plates on the near-side and one larger plate on the off-side), which seem to have been placed to act as rubbing plates so that the tyres do not cause damage to the arches. The arches themselves are of decidedly softer construction and no doubt contain a mildly horrifying amount of filler, and they also differ in shape from side to side. At the front the original arches have been beaten flat against the top of the inside of the new arches to provide the same ‘protection’ as the rear, and is just as mechanically and aesthetically displeasing. The only way to correct the problem in its entirety would be to remove the arches and have proper, metal arches created which would not only be thinner and lighter, but would also allow for a profile that could allow full suspension travel without the tyre coming into contact with the inside of the arch. I also believe that the arches could do with being situated higher up the body of the car, which would allow for the car to sit lower and appear more dynamic (which will be important when I remove the fake side exhausts, as the car will look to be sitting high).

In addition to the service we’ve also found that the fan belt is perished and there is a new oil leak from somewhere around the oil filter, so that will need to be stripped back and investigated before the car is driven again, nixing my idea to take it to Tamp Coffee tomorrow – although the 6.5 litre XJ-S may prove to be the perfect stand in for that, and a better driving car too.

There are many upgrades I plan to carry out on the car, but we are approaching something of a crossroads where I could simply count the car as a running restoration and try and cure problems as they arrive, or I could strip it back to its bare bones and do everything (especially what was done for TV) again properly and to a standard that I am happy with. The question is, would that lose the character of the car?

The two smaller rub plates under the rear arch

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