Hydraulic hood repairs
We sort the hydraulic pipework for a Jaguar XK8 hood, which poses some unique problems.
One of my customers arrived at my workshop literally dripping in green fluid,” says Matt Norbury of North Wales Jag Centre in Llandudno. Such disasters with the hood and locking mechanism on the first series of Jaguar XK8 (known as the X100 and X103, produced between 1996 and 2006) are largely caused by a lack of maintenance. The hydraulic fluid should be renewed every six years or there’s a risk it will congeal. When this happens, the fluid cannot be pumped around the system and usually causes a blockage at the furthest point from the pump: the locking mechanism, right above the driver’s and front passenger’s heads. The blockage inevitably fractures the pipework, dumping fluid all over the front seats.
North Wales Jag Centre had a 2005 XK8 convertible in the workshop with just such a problem. Once we had dismantled the interior and could see the ends of the hydraulic pipes that are routed inside the header rail, we discovered one of them had fractured and was leaking fluid.
The following steps show how North Wales Jag Centre renews the two hydraulic hood pipes that are routed from the pump in the boot to the hood’s latch cradle (locking mechanism) inside the header rail. Many convertibles use an electronic locking mechanism but Jaguar opted for a hydraulic system, which works well if the fluid is renewed at the recommended intervals.
Renewing the pipes is not part of routine maintenance and, as we discovered, is a time-consuming and awkward job. We managed to cover everything in a day, but that was only thanks to Matt’s experience and knowledge.