Mys­tery fluid leak solved

Classics Monthly - - Driver's Diary -

As men­tioned last month, I’d no­ticed a jud­der when brak­ing from high speed while driv­ing the 1988 Jaguar Sov­er­eign. Al­though it is dif­fi­cult to spot a warped disc with­out mea­sur­ing it care­fully, when the discs were re­moved it was clear to see how both discs were quite badly pit­ted. This was prob­a­bly due to mois­ture be­tween the disc and pad when the car was laid up for sev­eral years prior to my own­er­ship.

I’d de­cided to fit new EBC grooved and dim­pled high per­for­mance discs, as they work very well on the 1989 XJ6. After a chat with EBC how­ever, I de­cided to fit their stan­dard re­place­ment vented discs as th­ese tend to give a smoother pedal feel and the dif­fer­ence in brak­ing per­for­mance is un­likely to be no­ticed when brak­ing from nor­mal road speeds.

When re­mov­ing old discs that had been in situ for the last thirty years, I thought the job would be a real strug­gle. How­ever, both of the old discs freed off with­out prob­lems and after clean­ing up the light sur­face rust on the hub fac­ings and putting a smear of grease on the cleaned up sur­faces and around the bear­ing hous­ing, the new discs slid into place easily enough.

Al­though the old EBC pads still had loads of meat left on them, I thought it best to com­ply with good en­gi­neer­ing prac­tice and there­fore fit­ted a brand new set of EBC Red Stuff pads. A brief drive around the block to make sure ev­ery­thing felt good and that was that. The new pads will now have to bed in of course, so for the next 200 miles the car will be driven ac­cord­ingly

When the off­side wheel was re­moved, I no­ticed how fluid had been run­ning down the out­side of the off­side front in­ner wing

and I’ll avoid any harsh brak­ing wher­ever pos­si­ble.

For a while now I’ve been aware of a slight oil drip un­der the Sov­er­eign. I was pretty sure the of­fend­ing fluid was red ATF power steer­ing fluid but sim­ply could not see where it was com­ing from. I laid un­der the car on sev­eral oc­ca­sions whilst the steer­ing wheel was twisted from one lock to the other, but the rack was dry and the bel­lows at the end of the rack seemed fine. Fur­ther­more, there was no sign of any fluid squirt­ing out of the high­pres­sure hose be­tween the pump and the rack. How­ever, when the off­side wheel was re­moved, I no­ticed how fluid had been run­ning down the out­side of the off­side front in­ner wing. The fluid was com­ing out of the engine com­part­ment through a rub­ber ac­cess grom­met and on fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion I dis­cov­ered a small pud­dle of ATF below the power steer­ing reser­voir.

The rub­ber pipe run­ning from the reser­voir to the steer­ing pump was very wet where it joined the reser­voir and looked like it could have be­come brit­tle. I con­sid­ered go­ing along to a lo­cal mo­tor fac­tor and buy­ing a length of re­place­ment tub­ing. How­ever, the Jaguar part num­ber was clearly vis­i­ble on an alu­minium ring around the tube, so I called Clas­sic Jaguar re­place­ment parts (jaguar­clas­sic­ to see if the cor­rect orig­i­nal part was avail­able. It was and cost less that £10, so a new one was or­dered im­me­di­ately and it ar­rived the next day.

The clip se­cur­ing the lower end of the hose to the power steer­ing pump came away with­out a prob­lem. But I was con­cerned that the old hose might have been bonded onto the out­let pipe from the power steer­ing fluid reser­voir. Be­ing plas­tic, it’s ob­vi­ously very easy to crack the cas­ing if you’re too heavy handed. How­ever, once the Ju­bilee clip was re­leased, the pipe freed off fairly easily with the help of a large flat-headed screw­driver. Fit­ting the new hose was straight­for­ward, and us­ing the cor­rect com­po­nent guar­an­tees no chance of degra­da­tion by the ATF pass­ing through it and the leak is cured.

Job done...

The Jaguar’s brake discs be­came pit­ted whilst the XJ40 was laid up.

All the Jaguar’s hub fac­ings were cleaned with emery pa­per be­fore fit­ting the new discs.

Care was re­quired to avoid crack­ing the plas­tic brake fluid reser­voir out­let while eas­ing the old hose off.

The steer­ing fluid reser­voir to pump hose was leak­ing, so a new pipe had to be fit­ted.

A fresh set of Red Stuff disc pads were slipped into the Jaguar’s cleaned up calipers.

After smear­ing the threads with cop­per grease, the setscrew se­cur­ing the new disc was tight­ened up.

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