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Thread: 1999 Vanden Plas new owner: First Week

  1. #1
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    1999 Vanden Plas new owner: First Week

    To recap: Suzy and I found a nice low mileage 1999 XJ8 Vanden Plas and brought it home last Saturday. Added a quart of oil to top it off, filled it up with 93 octane high test and went for a drive.
    I've owned other old European cars purchased cheap, mostly German ones. Been in Jeeps for the last 20 years.
    This is my first Jag. It has been a very long time since I have found a car so enjoyable to drive. Quiet, supple, and comfortable like a fine luxury sedan should be, but I still feel as if I'm driving a sports car. It is so responsive.
    At the end of one day after the round trip work commute, Suzy and I went for a short evening drive in the mountains just for the sheer sybaritic pleasure of it.
    Listening to Joni Mitchell and Dave Brubeck on the stereo, until the CD player jammed itself on a disc change. Minor bummer. Found several posts about dealing with that issue on the forum. Easy enough to fix it seems. Weekend project.
    350 miles later we are both still in love with it.
    Today it went to the shop for an oil change, new rear shocks and a thorough scan and eyeball inspection by a factory trained Jag mechanic. The list was blessedly short:
    1. Needs new serpentine belt and two radiator hoses
    2. The front shocks still have some life left in them, but they are on the list for future replacement too.
    3. At only 67000 original miles the cam chain job has probably not been done. We are trying to get the service history from the local dealer that sold it. But we had figured the potential cost of that into our purchase decision anyway.
    The engine is silky smooth, quiet and pulls strong like new. Overall mileage average for the week was 19mpg in mixed town and country driving.
    4. Needs another paint job because the clear coat is failing on the cheap one done for the hail damage repairs.
    So knock on some nicely lacquered burl wood trim I think we lucked out and got a good one. Garage kept and lovingly maintained throughout its life.

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    Member Armond Jerome Peroni's Avatar
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    Very envious my friend,sounds like you got a good one there,
    put some photo's on so we can all enjoy her.
    My one still turn's heads even after 17 years of English weather(LOL).
    Most time's there's always someone looking round her if I park up somewhere.
    Enjoy your Jaguar
    Take Care
    Armond
    Jaguar XJ8 4.0 Sovereign LWB
    Year 2000
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Fitted
    113600 Miles
    Colour Metallic Emerald Green,Colour Code HGG



  4. #3
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Hi Armond,

    Here are a few pics. Love to hear more about your hydrogen fuel cell installation.








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  6. #4
    Member Armond Jerome Peroni's Avatar
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    Looks nice XJrazz,here's a link to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell I have fitted,

    http://www.hydrogenhybrids.uk.com/

    I think some people expect too much gain from products like this,I mean if your running a 4 litre V8 your not going to get 40 to the gallon whatever you do to the engine but I'm sure it helps keep it clean internally as the oil is still a nice amber color after 6000 miles since last oil change and also increases the octane level in the petrol which is not a bad thing either.
    Enjoy your car
    Take Care
    Armond
    Jaguar XJ8 4.0 Sovereign LWB
    Year 2000
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell Fitted
    113600 Miles
    Colour Metallic Emerald Green,Colour Code HGG



  7. #5
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Suzy day tripped to Charleston yesterday in the Jag. 400+ mile round trip to deliver an oil portrait commission to a client. 70-80mph cruise most of the way. No problems with car. Makes close to 1000 miles we have put on since purchase with nothing more than known normal maintenance issues to address.
    Scheduled maintenance coming up in order:
    1. replace serpentine belt
    2. transmission fluid and filter change
    3. front shocks
    4. timing chain/tensioners upgrade.

    Getting an intermittent "stability control failure/abs warning" But it seems to be a rear wheel sensor issue. ABS works fine based on a couple of hard test stops from about 30mph.

  8. #6
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Running around town with the wife today shopping and doing errands to get ready for the solar eclipse party Monday. ( We are dead center of the total eclipse path).
    What is it about a Jag that has us silly fighting over who gets to drive the next leg? I mean we've both had other interesting cars over the years: Cadillacs, Audis, Mercedes, even a Peugeot. I can't see any of those causing a similar response.

  9. #7
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Week four: We've added about 1500 miles to the odometer. Turns out we don't need the serpentine belt changed. Suzy found receipts in the documents that came with the car showing it has a new belt and new mass air pressure sensor among other minor things. The belt was listed at $28.00 on the bill. Checked the belt with a flashlight. Sure enough it looks brand new. The shop that did the rear shocks told me the "old" one was cracking and needed replacement. Wanted to charge $80 for the belt plus labor to install it. Won't be using them again.
    I did however find a much better alternative through the Jagshops.com website. C.D (David) Ramey Automotive in Spartanburg, about an hour's drive away. He is not only an ASE certified master mechanic, but a Jag enthusiast too. I mentioned this was the most fun I've had with a car in 20 years. He laughed and said he understands, he owns six himself including two X308 series models. He spoke of recently selling a third X308 to fund an X350 purchase as if he had been forced to sell his child into slavery. One of his X308's has more than 200k miles on it. A true enthusiast mechanic that owns and loves the cars he specializes in is a lucky find.
    I scheduled a transmission service for next week and we discussed popping the valve covers open to check the chain and tensioner situation. Those are the two major maintenance items that still need to be addressed for me to feel comfortable with the car being sound for another four or five years and 60K miles or more. It will be driven daily. The service prices he quoted are very competitive with other independent shops in the area. Unlike the other shop I tried, he is very open, friendly, and communicative, much like the mechanics I've used for my Jeeps for the last 20 years.
    I like that kind of congenial partnership in maintaining my vehicles. I've done about every kind of repair that can be done to a car over the years, except for transmission rebuilds. These days anything that requires special tools or lifting the car off the ground I would rather trust to a good shop. Anything accessible under the hood and most electronic/electrical maintenance issues I can handle. Fixed the jammed CD player Saturday.
    http://www.cdrameyautomotive.com/

  10. #8
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Put the jag in the shop today. Water pump bearings are getting noisy. So we decided to go ahead and get the timing chain job done along with the new cooling system bits and hoses. It all has to come off for the chain job anyway, so we save a bit of labor doing both at once. Only other major interval shop maintenance remaining after this will be transmission service. After doing the hood latch repair, the front shocks look like an easy DIY job. Probably change the plugs too before the November trip.
    We have put a little over 2000 miles on her so far. Used one quart of oil.

    Cheers all,

    Razz

  11. #9
    Member XJrazz's Avatar
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    Dropped by Jag shop today to deliver some Royal Purple HPS synthetic oil. Mr. Ramey had offered a free oil and filter change with the service job. I told him I had just ordered the HPS synthetic oil the day before.
    Mr. Ramey had the left cam cover off the engine and invited me to have a look. It had the original style plastic tensioners.
    I had heard a slight bit of chain noise in that area at the same time I discovered the noisy water pump bearings. Not something you would hear from inside the car, only if you put your ear close to the engine as I did checking out the water pump.
    The chain guide on top of the left exhaust chain tensioner had begun to work loose and had some excess movement. It was not far from failing. I think we dodged the bullet getting it inspected when we did. You wouldn't think a water pump going bad could be a lucky thing, but in this case it probably was.
    Mr. Ramey said he was expecting the new parts to be delivered sometime today. They arrived while we were in the shop talking. New chain kit with the latest version all metal parts, a new aftermarket upgrade water pump with a metal impeller, looked like polished brass, and a new all metal thermostat tower along with all new hoses and connecting parts. We shouldn't have any worries about major mechanical engine problems for a very long time.
    The Jag will be ready to go with all the new bits by Wednesday sometime. Really looking forward to getting it back and taking a long anxiety free ride in the mountains this weekend.

  12. #10
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    Following your posts with great interest XJrazz and very envious of your lovely car . Can I ask you and its a pretty juvenile question
    especially when your in the midst of water pumps and tensioners , but you must seldom ever see another car like yours on your travels ,
    maybe newer models but yours in particular must be a rare sight ?

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