Thu, 18 Apr 2013
Apparently Jeep changed the Grand Cherokee oil pressure sensor in 2003.
It's the same 4.7 HO engine, but they cheaped out on the sensor. The previous
sensor actually sensed the pressure, and the gauge displayed the true oil
pressure. But in 2003 they changed to an on/off sensor. If the oil pressure is
high enough the switch is on (or maybe off), and if the oil pressure is too
low, the switch is off (or maybe on). The computer gets the on/off signal, and
it controls the oil pressure gauge stepper motor so it looks like it is
sweeping up and down. But really the oil pressure always read just over half,
I found this out when I ordered the wrong ($50) sensor and installed it. The
connector wouldn't fit. You can see that the original sensor has three pins,
because it actually sends the correct pressure, and the new sensor only has
one pin, since it's just on/off. At least the correct sensor is only $6, and
I was able to sell the wrong sensor on eBay for about 2/3 what I paid for it.
posted at: 00:00 | permalink |
Wed, 10 Apr 2013
I made my own brake bleeder.
It's just a pickle jar, plus some vacuum tubing and a MityVac hand vacuum
pump. I replaced the whole brake system on the Jaguar (calipers, master
cylinder, hoses, lines, reservoir) and I needed to bleed it. With this setup
I can just suck brake fluid at each wheel until all the air is out.
posted at: 00:00 | permalink |
Tue, 09 Apr 2013
I rebuilt my first master cylinder.
I had bought a whole used braking system from a 1986 Jaguar XJS on eBay. I got
the pedal, booster, reservoir, and master cylinder. The seller swore the
master cylinder was in good shape. When I got everything installed I only had
a couple inches of pedal travel. So I ordered a master cylinder rebuild kit.
It was pretty simple to get the cylinder apart, although one of the pistons
was stuck in the bore. I had to use compressed air to get it out. And the
master cylinder was filled with black goo instead of clean brake fluid.
Anyway, I was able to remove, disassemble, rebuild, and replace it all in a
one hour lunch.
posted at: 00:00 | permalink |
Fri, 22 Mar 2013
There is progress on the Jaguar
It's been a while since I updated this blog, but I have been making progress
on the Jaguar in fits and starts. The engine is in, and is running, or was
until I pulled the computer out to change the wiring harness. Currently I am
working on the brakes. The 1991 XJS came with a complex ABS setup, which has
an electric motor and hydraulic pump and pressure accumulator and a dedicated
computer. After reading over the procedures in the manual for maintaining it
I decided to replace it with a traditional braking system from an earlier
year. I bought the master cylinder and booster and pedal off eBay, and got
the front brake lines from a parts car in Pompano, and got new calipers from
Rock Auto. It took a while to piece it all together, but later night I finally
got it all in. I still have to mount the vacuum tank and get a check valve.
Next week I will add fluid and see if I can get a firm pedal. I will post
One of the (many, many) reasons I haven't been updating the Jaguar portion of
the site is that it was too difficult to update the pages which were
originally created with DreamWeaver. I do all of the updates with vi and
blosxom. I'm still looking for a better way, like WordPress, but for now it's
posted at: 10:12 | permalink |
Mon, 14 Sep 2009
The Caprice has gone to live on a farm.
I'm sure it will be very happy there.
posted at: 21:59 | permalink |
Wed, 27 May 2009
He's off to greener pastures. But I found these pictures of him in my phone.
The first one is still my phone wallpaper. It's Tom in full Tommy Boy mode.
The second is him looking like that big guy from the Stargate show who has
the half dollar glued to his forehead.
posted at: 23:07 | permalink |
I put passenger pegs back on the bike.
Darthane from the badweather bikers forum gave me a set for the cost of
shipping. What a great guy! I'm looking forward to riding with a passenger.
I don't know if you can tell, but I used my camera phone, because that's all I
posted at: 00:00 | permalink |
Sun, 03 May 2009
I have a new project
I'm going to mate a Jaguar XJS with a Chevrolet Caprice. The end result will
be a Jaguar with an LT1 engine. Read all about it on the
Jaguar Project Pages.
Linda made them.
Oh yeah, this is the first update in like a year and a half.
posted at: 22:24 | permalink |
Sun, 09 Sep 2007
I got some more house pictures.
I was supposed to meet Chris there to do some measurements, but he couldn't
make it, so I just wandered around taking pictures and looking at
possibilities. His guys cleaned out the pole barn today, and found this
riding mower. It's never been run. It isn't even completely assembled.
Here you can see the two-car garage, with attached apartment. The garage is
of course what has my interest. It even comes with a compressor (may require
some small maintenance).
It's got well water. There's city water also, but the well water will help
to irrigate the yard into an oasis.
The apartment is attached to the garage. It's a 1/1. It's covered with that
T1-11 siding (or however you spell it), but the siding seems to be in good
shape. There's no interior shots because all of the doors and windows are
boarded up to keep out the homeless.
The town hall is directly behind the garage and apartment. Do you think they'll
notice if we don't pull permits? Apparently they are just happy that someone
is finally cleaning up the place after fifteen years. There's a nice ball
field next to the town hall.
The pole barn is almost certainly coming down. Actually, there's no almost
about it. What hasn't rotted has been eaten by termites. It's rustic, in
a filthy, trash-strewn sort of way.
Here's two shots of the complete garage/aparment structure, with the pole barn
gleaming next to it. You can see the vast expanse of yard. You may say
rutted, weed-covered dust bowl, but I say... go-cart track. There's also
the start of a nice tire collection piled up next to the fence.
Here's the house from the rear, and the front. I think it's got curb
appeal, don't you?
posted at: 20:35 | permalink |
Sat, 08 Sep 2007
We may be moving to a new house.
We're excited. Our friend Chris will do the work. It's
going to be great, once we get the homeless out of there. Although if they're
living in the home, they're not really homeless, are they?
Here's some interior shots. That's Chris all blurry in the first one. The
house is filled with stuff.
posted at: 22:11 | permalink |
I guess we know that Suntrust Bank is using XP for their ATMs
I went to get some money out, and was faced with the XP login screen. At
least it wasn't the Blue Screen Of Death.
(I don't know what that stuff at the top of the ATM screen is. I didn't see
it when I looked at the ATM.)
posted at: 16:32 | permalink |
Wed, 05 Sep 2007
Here's some more shots of the house.
These are actually from the first time we saw the house. It was just a quick
look, in the rain.
Chris walked around the property with us, while we all threw out ideas for
what we could do with it.
I think the first thing we are going to do is cut the grass.
posted at: 23:22 | permalink |
Mon, 04 Jun 2007
We went to the Love Doctors bowling charity thing last Friday.
We were there to support our friends TJ and Christy. It was okay, but we
left after the fifth time the power went out. Hmm, I notice that they're
both drinking beer in their pictures. And Christy has some weird blue
Negative Zone thing going on with her eyes.
posted at: 07:11 | permalink |
Sun, 03 Jun 2007
Always the first ones to the meeting, and the last ones to leave.
posted at: 22:13 | permalink |
Ugly Betty rides again. On fresh water.
It was Darren's first time on the Betty, although he'd seen her before at the
party a couple weeks ago. In the second shot, where he's looking up in awe,
you can see me reflected in his sunglasses. You might need some image
enhancement software, though.
We put in by the airport. That's mostly a jetski ramp, but we were able to
squeeze in. There were lots of low bridges. You can see the first bridge
we came to. It was too low for the Betty, so we turned off toward the
Palm Beach canal. There were a couple skis coming up behind us.
We came to another bridge. This is Congress, and it's pretty high, so we had
no trouble getting under. I don't know what the rusty trombone thing is. And
the skis were back behind us, jumping the wake.
The next bridge was pretty low. We had to taunt Rob a lot to get him to go
under it, but we made it. There was at least a foot or two of clearance.
He wouldn't do the next bridge, at Military. We turned around there.
The Palm Beach canal runs by the airport, so we could see the tower from the
canal on the way back. After we got back to the lake by the ramp, all the
skis had fun jumping the wake.
We had a little trouble getting Betty back on the trailer and out of the water,
but we got 'er done.
posted at: 22:09 | permalink |
Sun, 13 May 2007
The boat has a name now!
She's the Ugly Betty. Rob picked the name the night he bought her. He even
knew the typeface he wanted. I found a guy selling 8" letters on eBay for
$1.29 per letter. It took a little while, but I finally got the letters this
past Thursday, and we put them on on Saturday. Rob had already painted and
sanded the hull a couple times. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better.
Here you can see the mockup of where the letters will go.
We were fortunate that Chris just happened to have worked at a vinyl sign
shop somewhere in his past. He had a different technique than the one in the
directions that came with the littering, so we did it his way. First you
tape the lettering at the top. Then cut the strip of letters into individual
letters. Spray down the surface behind the first letter, and peel the backing
off the first letter. Now use a squeegee to work down from the tape "hinge"
at the top, keeping tension on the letter. Work the squeegee side to side,
going 1/4" lower each pass. When the letter is completely stuck on, peel the
front paper off, using a "sheer" technique. This means to pull the paper
back as close to the surface as possible, so the letter won't lift off the
Here's Rob squeegeeing down the "tty" in "Ugly Betty", since the three letters
were all connected.
And the finished product:
posted at: 09:43 | permalink |
Back out on the boat again last weekend, blah blah blah.
Here's the usual array of photos. The first one's a heroic pose of Rob
silhouetted agains the sun, steering the boat past Peanut Island on a dead
calm morning. We got out early, so the water was flat and the boat ramp was
The others are pretty much the same as last time. You can see a couple condos
in the second photos. Then there's a shot of the old faithful Johnson 175
engine. Random shot of the water, random shot of the shoreline. But we did
have fun out there.
posted at: 09:19 | permalink |
Sun, 29 Apr 2007
Yet another successful boat trip.
This time Christy came with us. We met at Phil Foster park, and put the boat
in the water without incident. It was pretty busy at the ramp today.
First we headed out the inlet and then south. There were some tricky moments
on the way out that got Christy excited. We ran south to the Clarke beach,
south of the Breakers. It was good, but not great. Then a detour out to some
50' water to practice free dives, and a run back up to the inlet. There was
a regatta of some boats that looked like Lasers, but werent', right by the
inlet. Rob successfully evaded all of them. Then we grilled out by Peanut
We spent some time just sitting in the boat, and swimming around it. We put
Christy out as trolling bait, but didn't catch anything.
Then we headed back to the ramp, loaded up the boat, and went home. Another
good day on the boat.
posted at: 21:20 | permalink |
Tue, 24 Apr 2007
The Seven Mile Bridge was as good as always
The gun went off at 7:30 am Saturday morning, and 1500 runners set off. Plus
the bandits. I ran with Bashr for most of the way. The second shot is what
we saw ahead of us as we came down the span about three miles in. At mile
five Bashr started skipping, and just pulled away from me. I finished in
1:08. Kevin and his sister were selling shirts back at the start.
That night me and Lisa and Holly went down to Key West. Holly and Lisa got
their picture taken in front of the Hog's Breath, after their first Key
Lime Shooter. Then we stopped by several other establishments on Duval,
and finished up at Sloppy Joe's. The band was good, and there was a bride
buying shots for the wedding party at the bar.
The next day we wandered around the island. We saw the southernmost point,
and this neato geeky charter boat sign. Later we ran into Laura and her
boyfriend at Schooner Wharf.
That evening we saw the crazy French guy and his trained cats at Mallory
Square. I got this artistical shot of one of the cats silhouetted against
the sun and a Disney cruise ship. That night we went to Irish Kevin's for
some good old fashioned singalong.
posted at: 21:21 | permalink |
And now, heeeere's Ruibin.
I wish somebody had taken a picture of me doing my first shot. Years
from now Ruibin will look back on this with fond memories.
Mindy was there to act as a witness.
Ruibin's also had some trouble with keeping track of his computer equipment
posted at: 21:04 | permalink |