Hy­draulic hood re­pairs

We sort the hy­draulic pipework for a Jaguar XK8 hood, which poses some unique prob­lems.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

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.

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