Mystery fluid leak solved
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 (jaguarclassicparts.com) 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.
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.