Previous photos here

Mon, 30 Mar 2015

Found a place for the engine computer
It's actually called the PCM (or sometimes the ECM). I had built a mount for it to go in the rear of the engine compartment on the passenger side, but I was never really happy with it. One of the posters on the Jaguar Lumps forum suggested putting it in the passenger side fender. So I looked in there, and there is plenty of room. Also, it will be easy to run the harness from the engine compartment to the passenger compartment to the fender space. Now I need to mount the PCM in there, and get to work on the harness adding in the additional pins I want to use.

posted at: 13:59 | permalink |

Thu, 26 Mar 2015

So I got a Suburban last month.
A 1998, which is the body style called GMT400. Supposedly only 69K miles on it. It's the K2500 model, which means it's 4 wheel drive, with the 3/4 ton axles. It's big.

Anyway, it has a few small issues to resolve. A new issue popped up last week, when the starter quit. At first I thought the battery was dead, but after we tried it a few times the solenoid finally worked, and it fired right up. So I pulled the starter and took it to Advance Auto, and sure enough their tester said it was bad.

I couldn't just buy the starter there, because you only get the big discounts if you buy online and then pick up in the store. So I went back home, found a coupon for 40% off the $119 price, and bought it. The nice thing about online purchase, besides the discount, is that when you go back in they have the part(s) all picked out and waiting for you. And when I went back it was in fact waiting for me. The counter lady pointed out that the new one didn't have the heat shield, so I took my old one home with me to swap it over, rather than turning it in then for the core charge.

So I got home, started to swap over the heat shield, and found that the bosses on the new starter for the heat shield screws were not tapped. I thought about going back to the parts store to see if maybe they had one that was tapped, but instead I got out the taps and did it myself. I had the heat shield on and the new starter mounted in about 20 minutes. Now it fires right up!
posted at: 15:47 | permalink |

More progess on the Jaguar
It has been sitting for around a year since I wrenched on it, but I now have regular access to the garage where it sits. I have been getting the garage back in shape, and evaluating the Jaguar. I hooked up the battery and tried starting it, but all I got was a strong smell of smoke and burning, so I stopped. I finally decided that I wasn't happy with the old harness. It is the orignal 1996 Caprice harness that I paid to have modified, which worked okay, but then I wanted to relocate the PCM, so I did a bunch more changes to it to lengthen and shorten various wires, and then I stopped working on it. So I'm not really sure what state it's in, and it's got many many solder splices in it, and I just wanted to start over. So I ordered a LT1 harness from PSI. This is the photo from their website. Looks pretty good, huh?

I pulled the old harness off the engine. I still need a couple of connectors and PCM pins from it. And you can see the uncovered engine, and the new harness.

posted at: 15:32 | permalink |

Thu, 27 Mar 2014

I scanned in the old Hurricane Hash patch.
Highbush and Garfield had these made up back in the day, and I had mine sewn on a hash bag for years. When the bag finally failed I cut the patch off and saved it, and now that we have happy coats it will live again!

posted at: 10:17 | permalink |

Sun, 14 Jul 2013

I am getting close to solving my transmission cooler leak.
It has been perplexing. I put a 4l60E from a 1996 Caprice police car into a Jaguar XJS. Then I added transmission cooler lines from fourth gen Firebird. Now I must be remembering this wrong, but the fourth gen cooler lines would not fit the transmission, so I removed what I assumed were adapters from the transmission case and screwed the cooler lines directly into the trans case. A year or so later when I fired up the engine, the cooler lines leaked profusely at the case. After much internet research I figured out that the cooler lines used flare nut fittings, while the case has straight pipe threads. So I ordered these Be Cool fittings, which adapt between the two. The leak is now much reduced, but there are still drips. More internet research tells me that I need a copper crush washer between the hardline fitting and the adapter. Hopefully that will end the leak. Unless of course I cracked the case when I screwed the fittings in directly. But I don't think so.

posted at: 00:00 | permalink |

Fri, 12 Jul 2013

We put a new floor in Morag's house
Me and Mike, I mean. Mike was the skilled labor, and I was the labor. Morag already had hardwood floors, but they were so damaged from termites, water, and age that there was no point in refinishing them. So we just laid down new wood over the old floors. It took about five days to do 850 square feet. But that includes losing most of the first day trying to get the nailer to work. Once we finished that we were off to the races. We put down Australian cypress. Looks great. Now we will see how it holds up.

posted at: 00:00 | permalink |

Thu, 11 Jul 2013

We chopped a hole through Morag's wall.
Actually Mike did the work and we watched. Morag lives in a duplex, but once the tenant moved out we decided to make it one big house, so that I could move in with her. We had talked about it for quite a while, so we were ready to execute. The duplex had a one bedroom on one side, and an efficiency on the other. After putting in a doorway we now live in a one-bedrrom two-bathroom two-kitchen house. Sorry, no after photos yet.

posted at: 00:00 | permalink |

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, or zero.
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 results. 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 still blosxom.
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

Tom's gone.
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 had.

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 |