When we last left off with our kitty, we were somewhat flummoxed by a persistent Check Engine light and a few codes causing it. Having tried the simple things on the list of potential solutions, it was time for slightly more invasive action. But first, a trip out of town beckoned, putting the cat into suspended animation for a few weeks. However, the time wasn’t lost, as progress was made on other fronts while apart.
I’d come across information that a junkyard in Albuquerque happened to have a wagon just like ours, but in white. Since I had to head to Arizona anyway, pulling off the freeway halfway through the trip was no big problem and thus I trekked through a yard located on a hillside with a fantastic view into the distance in search of the stricken donor-to-be. I was a bit nervous as it had been there for close to six weeks before I got there which doesn’t always bode well as far as finding usable parts is concerned. X-Types as a species aren’t uncommon in junkyards, there’s usually at least one sedan (the oldest ones are twenty years old now!) but this is only the second wagon I’d ever seen in one.
However I was in luck. While certainly a bit picked over with some damage from other parts hunters, the interior turned out to be gray like ours, the car was built within a few weeks of ours, and everything we needed that we were worried about finding was there! That included the two rear headrests, amazingly the almost unobtainable retractable cargo cover, the right rear taillight in perfect condition, and I even took the complete set of roof rails which were black as opposed to our silver ones (apparently even on such a low volume car both were available depending on option packages).
As it turned out I visited this yard twice, the first time with me on a strict and very minimal time schedule to get the most important stuff (tail light, headrests, cargo cover) and the second time on my return trip when I had much more time to consider things and take my time with the car and figure out how the rails came off etc. I should have originally taken the cargo floor panel as pictured above propping the hatch up, it was gone in the meantime, and I didn’t see it under a nearby car. Ours is fine but this one was a little better.
A few other minor bits and bobs came home with me as well, mainly wagon-specific parts “just in case” to have on the shelf as they are so inexpensive to buy when removing them yourself. Unfortunately the other tail light was cracked but I did get the third brake light which seems to go for at least $125 on Ebay if needed… (All of the above items along with a few other small pieces came out to $123 total out the door at the yard, an absolute bargain.)
Sadly the yard obviously had to force the back hatch open which destroyed it along with the rear glass, both not easy to source otherwise (although I wouldn’t have taken them either, I don’t have that much space), and the car had been in a front end collision so there wasn’t much usable there. Someone had dropped the engine/transmission/transfer case by unbolting the subframe but then left everything as far as I could tell. Curiously that’s not uncommon with X-Types in junkyards, I’ve seen quite a few over the years but only one other wagon so far. In any case I felt very lucky to have found these pieces that we really wanted/needed, although we haven’t installed any as of yet, that should be done by the next update and set of pictures.
After returning from my trip, my son and I decided we needed to move forward on the fault code issue as time on our temporary Wyoming plates was running out. As I had mentioned previously the car for whatever reason came with a spare fuel filter in the cargo area and that is in fact one of the items that could cause the issue according to the Jaguar manual. It turned out to be a pretty simple procedure, it took us about an hour all told but if we had to do it again we could likely do in less time than changing the oil.
Our new (free) filter was a Mann branded unit made in South Africa, and after lifting the car the old unit was clearly visible just ahead of the rear wheel next to the fuel tank, in this case a Hengst unit from Poland. It didn’t look old and wasn’t an original part so it’s likely someone had tried this already to fix the issue in the past.
In any case, loosening the bolt on the bracket sleeve allowed the filter to slide a bit but there was a line in the way of pulling it out to get to the rear clip (it’d be easier on a lift or if I was under the car differently, an awkward angle here), so removing the whole bracket ended up being the easiest path. After that, there is a quick clip that disconnects with pressure on either end, a quick gush of gasoline, and then the whole thing in reverse for reassembly with the replacement filter. I made a video documenting the process, having not actually done it before on any modern car it was interesting to perform. A bucket is handy to have and helps, but time for a shower once all done is critical.
Starting it up afterward resulted in the expected slightly longer cranking than usual until the fuel flow was reestablished but it fired right up and ran the same as before. Taking it for a quick spin proved that it also was not the solution to the problem, but at least now we know it’s new and unlikely to ever cause us an issue.
Now the choices were getting a little more dire. Either break out the new code reader and learn about fuel trims (sounds like school!) or just dive in to the intake manifold (manual labor!). Our initial hesitation stemmed from the fact that the CarFax stated that the intake manifold gaskets had been replaced in the fairly recent past and it didn’t seem that easy of a job, but we had the holidays and my son was off from school, I was looking for any reason to take a break from our bathroom remodel, so we had at it after reading up on it in the forums.
It all started well with removing the airbox where we realized we needed a new attachment grommet (now on the junkyard look-for-it list) and then the PCV valve and hose that we had worked on before along with loosening the ribbed hose to the throttle body. That gave us unfettered access to the front bank. I had ordered new sparkplugs and plug boots for the coils, but when we took the coils off the boots looked different than what the car had and the coils looked in great shape visually so we left them alone.
The plugs though we took out and using a measuring tool I showed my son how the old one’s gap was around .068 and the new ones were at .052 (Jaguar had apparently actually changed the recommended spec during the production run based on what I found). The old plugs were all at .068 or in some cases far wider, all the way up to .08 in one instance. The above shows the worst condition plug next to one of the new ones, it appears that the old was the same Motorcraft plug as what I bought to replace them.
Since the engine itself was running great that wasn’t anything we were concerned with but since they are cheap it made sense to replace them if were taking the intake off and thus had ready access to the rear bank. There was a little dried oil in two of the six wells all told, but nothing like the standing puddles that some have apparently found. Anyway we replaced the front three to start with and continued removing stuff.
We unplugged various sensors, taking pictures at every single step just so we could be sure to put it all back together correctly. Then came the bolts that held the manifold on, there are six around the front, three on the back and one hidden one that is accessed mostly by feel against the firewall. I somehow got my hand wedged in there and eventually dropped the correct wrench onto the bolt and was able to loosen it, the first time getting to that bolt was a bear, but it was doable even with my limited tool selection. With a few more attachments or a flex-head gear wrench it would have been much easier.
Still, once the bolts were off, another visual check to make sure everything else was revealed a vacuum hose on the back that just needed to be pulled off very close to the hidden bolt. Then the whole thing popped off and we carefully angled it over towards the side of the car and wired it to a hood strut to keep it more or less immobile and out of the way while still being somewhat attached.
This gave access to the upper intake manifold gaskets and they didn’t look great which was a very happy moment for me. They were also green (lots of Jaguar parts are green) so they may well be original or at least fairly old. I was starting to believe that the intake manifold gaskets that the CarFax had mentioned was really the ones for the actuators on top of the intake that are usually yellow or green from the factory, but not often black unless replaced with aftermarket ones. We picked these six gaskets out with needle nose pliers and then cleaned up both the surface of the upper manifold and where the gaskets seated.
We now also had access to the rear plugs so took all the coils off, inspected them, and then replaced the plugs and refitted the coils. So far we were quite pleased, everything was logical and with the exception of the hidden bolt (that we at least knew about), everything was easy to reach, no big surprises.
After that we tried to figure out how to take the black thing off to get to the lower gaskets. The fuel rail sits above it (actually is attached to it), and we knew that there were four bolts that needed to come off that went through everything but apparently the rail and injectors could stay in place. Well, we removed the four bolts and the black thing did not lift out. We looked for another hidden bolt, and eventually actually undid the fuel rail bolts, but no dice. We then went back to the internet and re-read the instructions we had found, but didn’t glean anything new.
Then we went back and with a big screwdriver I just inserted it between the black thing and the engine block and nudged it a bit sideways, lo and behold it popped off. It turned out there was a lot of crud around the edge of this assembly that had baked itself together over time. So we carefully lifted everything off and sort of folded it back.
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