Friday, April 03, 2009

Jaguar Journal #4 - Dispelling Drop Top Myths

This post is written to educate and inform. There is a popular ''myth'' out there and it has been posted by several people on many Jaguar forums, that leaving the convertible top in the down (open) position on an XK8/XKR can have a detrimental impact on the top fabric. I've heard everything from - ''Leaving the top in the open position will cause holes in the fabric, tears in the fabric, extra wear on the fabric'', etc, etc. Over a year ago, I set out to test these theories, especially since I live in a place where I can drive an open convertible car 24-7, for months and months and months on end. First, I contacted a few aftermarket convertible top manufacturers. I asked the question and sought answers (in writing): ''Will leaving the convertible top in the open position cause any known harm to the fabric on an XK8?'' All answers fell along the same lines - not much specific information was known about the XK8, but all answered that they knew of no car models of any kind that would experience fabric damage by leaving the top open. One manufacturer stated, he thought more damage to fabric could occur just from raising/lowering the top, and keeping it in the closed position. This is because there is a lot of ''rub'' of the stretched and stretching fabric as the opening/closing operation is in progress, and a closed stretched fabric top exposed to many different elements including sun is much more harmful than with the top open and protected in the rear body panel. Next, I decided to conduct a ''field test'' even at the risk of damaging the top on my own XK8. Since approximately a year ago, I've driven my XK8 for several extended periods of time with the top open. The last test ended today. I've had the top opened with the tonneau cover in place since December 1st, approximately 5 full months. Today, I closed the top for the first time since then. There is simply no fabric damage of any kind anywhere on my top. This is the third such long-term test, the least time of which was over a month. BTW - the owner's Vehicle Care Handbook does have one admonishment regarding light colored convertible tops - leaving the top in the open position for long periods could lead to permanent ''soiling'' along the fold lines. I take it that this condition could occur if the top is opened while it was dirty in the first place, and probably under conditions of high humidity. My top is light colored and shows absolutely no signs of soiling. Then again, my top is not really allowed to get dirty. Based on these tests, I am concluding that - NO damage will occur to the fabric on your convertible XK8 by leaving it open for extended periods of time. In fact, since the hydraulics are not exercised nearly as much as it will be if you overreact to these rumors, probably less damage will occur to the fabric by leaving the top opened for extended periods, and certainly it will not suffer from sun damage. Sun damage to the interior is, of course, another matter. SO, drop that top, enjoy the fresh air and don't worry about it!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Jaguar Journal Entry #2 - Trouble in the Trunk

This project is meant to educate
Click on any picture to enlarge, then F11.
This is a small trouble diagnosis and problem solving project.
After a couple of week's ownership I noticed the trunk release button worked only intermittently. Every other trunk control feature worked fine - key remotes, key, emergency release, and trunk release button on the dash. So this indicated there was an intermittent failure somewhere in the circuit between the lid button and the latch mechanism.
I began by removing all of the panels in the trunk to access the circuits and lock mechanism. This included the felt liner on the inside of the trunk lid. First I tested the trunk switch. I had to remove the chrome (Jaguar) trim to access the switch. It is mounted to the chrome trim plate with two screws. The switch is a very simple two wire micro switch (normally off) siliconed in place and housed in a plastic surround containing the trunk release button. It tested and worked fine between the connector located under the lid liner and the switch itself. BTW, if this switch ever failed I am pretty sure I'd be able to replace the micro switch w/o purchasing the entire part from Jaguar.
Next I tested the other end, the latch. The two wire loom teminates at the latch with another micro switch which is normally on. It too tested fine from its terminated connector to the switch. From this point, the only other loom segment in the circuit separate from the trunk loom is a about twenty inches long and completes the path from the trunk to the lid. This is a four wire loom for the trunk switch and the license lights. I did a pin to pin continuity test while I opened and closed the trunk lid. SURE ENOUGH, one wire failed intermittently.
This loom contains connectors at each end, two rubber grommets and a corregated sheath to protect the exposed wires that would show between the lid and the body. I removed the trunk end and unthreaded it from the body. After removing some electrical tape that is used in the cable's assembly I was able to slide the sheath to expose the wire segment that takes all of the movement when the trunk is opened and closed.
And here's the problem. The hot lead from the trunk lid swith in the middle segment loom has cracked from the strain. It was only being held together by the plastic sheathing. That allowed the wire to make connection occasionally. When I removed the corregated protector the wire sheath gave away making the defect very easy to find.
Here is another picture:
The cable is clearly marked with a Jaguar parts tag - part # LJE3085AB. I called my local dealer and the replacement cable part # changed to LJG3085AB, priced at $79.13 and had to be ordered with a five day delivery promise. For $80, the existing cable was an easy repair. I spliced and soldered the ends, then took up the slack of the 3 other now longer wires at the trunk connector end of the loom. Then I threaded the loom back in place inside the trunk, plugged it back in and back in operation.
I'll monitor this for awhile, expecting I'll not have a problem with it again throughout my ownership. However, if I do, I'd probably consider making this 4 wire cable myself from scratch. The rubber grommets and corregated sheath are all removable and can be used in a new loom. Connectors are common too.
On another quick note - I've purchased the Generation three secondary tensioners and cam cover gaskets. I found them at a fairly good price from Continental Imports in San Francisco. About $25 cheaper than other sources and they shipped for free. They arrived this week, so I'll be changing these out in the very near future.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Motor Project # 16 - Timing Cover

This project is meant to inform/entertain. From Steve Hannes Click on any picture to enlarge, then F11 This is not as much a real project as it is notice that I need to suspend the motor project for a couple of months as I'll be in Phoenix, physically 800 miles away from the motor. I will return to Denver in August then resume with the exhaust system. I apologize to those of you anxious to see the headers finished. I've had quite a time with my consulting business and have been traveling extensively. The only thing new - I've now replaced the timing cover and harmonic balancer. Coincidentally, I just took my 2002 X-Type manual Sport, BRG in for its fourth and final service and the factory warranty expires on June 8th. Past that date, I am now free to make some "changes" to the car including the proposed 3.0L engine swap. Coming up, in future projects, I'll document and photo the engine change over along with any "challenges" that come about. I am STILL looking for an X-Type manual transmission in used, or any condition. My existing Sport is a manual, but I want a spare trans. If anyone knows of one, I'd be interested in discussing/purchasing. Here are a few pictures of the 3.0L motor to tide over until the summer passes: The front of the motor with timing cover back in place. The back bank looking much cleaner with the factory exhaust plumbing missing. The front bank with new style oil filtering in place. Thanks for everyone's patience on the exhaust system. Thinking about it, I received this engine Christmas of 2005. That is only six months ago. Hopefully, it will be running in my Sport by this Christmas. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Motor Project # 15 - Oil Filtering

From Steve Hannes - This project is meant to educate Click on any picture to enlarge, then F11. I am still working on the exhaust headers, but extensive business travel has stalled my recent progress. This project will focus on the the oil filtering on the 3.0L Duratec engine used in the Jaguar X-Type. Because of the exhaust design that Jaguar has incorporated to accomplish goals of high emmissions efficiency, much greater heat is generated around the engine block and heads. This is evident by the large number of heat shielding pieces used on both banks. Additionally, the tranverse layout hinders airlfow in the engine compartment. One problem created by these designs is significantly increased oil operating temperatures. Jag engineers reduced oil operating temperatures by incorporating a cooling system sourced at the oil filter and fed by the coolant system. The potential problems for the X-Type owner are a number of additional small rubber hose components that wouldn't normally be part of the cooling system that will fail some day. Of course, these are not that easy to see or get to when they eventually fail. Several pictures below show the components that make up the system and a mock up of the coolant lines The first picture shows the mock up assembly. Right below the header you'll see the filter cooling radiator with inlet/outlet hoses. The larger hose on the left is inlet and is the bottom radiator hose. Coolant flows through coils that contact oil flowing into the filter. Coolant then flows out of the coolant radiator to the coolant system's thermostat. Connections here consist of two very small rubber hoses with a rigid aluminum pipe connector in the middle. These two small hoses will be prone to failure, and I will elimintate them in my modifications. BTW - The thermostat is located in the vertical pipe assembly to the right/rear of the headers. It is the triangular flange housing seen in this picture. The small hose immediately below it is the notorious TSB hose that had a tendancy to blow off and Jaguar issued the TSB to install a screw hose clamp. You'll see both the old and replacement clamps on the aluminum pipe left from when I removed this assembly. Jag techs would install the new clamp and not remove the old one. A picture of just the filter and coolant housing as designed by Jaguar Here is a picture of the filtering components on the Jaguar design. The Cooling readiator is shown on the left. The extension stud in the middle and the factory numbered oil filter in a FRAM crossover, the XG3600. In my modified design, used with the header system, I will eliminate all of these parts including the extra coolant lines. With the header system and cat back design I am freeing up a lot of heat bulidup and congestion in the filtering area. By reducing the coolant line extensions I will improve the overall coolant flow in the system, eliminate these small hoses prone to failure on the road, and replace the factory oil filter with a larger capacity (FRAM PH 2) for increased oil filtering. The larger filter will also aid in natural cooling. For my design I will route the lower radiator hose directly to the coolant system's thermostat. Here is a picture of the replacement oil filtering components. The small stud shown here is from a circa 1999 V6 Duratec. It screws directly into the mounting location on the block of the existing filtering system. Then the oil filter mounts to that. Here is a picture of the smaller stud installed in the engine block. In the engine manufacturing process, the oil filter flange is milled to specs the same way on all V6 Duratec variations, then different division users accessorize the filtering system according to their designs. This makes the PH 2 filter variation work directly on the original engine factory machined flange, which is a variation in itself. You can see the small stud installed on the circular flange directly under the first and second header pipe, counting from the left. The final assembly with headers in place will look like this: I expect this modification, in addition to the headers and modifications to the coolant system will overall improve performance and clean up some "clutter" in the engine compartment. Again, I appreciate your patience for those waiting to see the completion of the header system. It's been a busy time for my business and will continue in the near future. Enjoy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Motor Project # 14 - Waiting to Exhale, the 1st Sequel

From Steve Hannes - This project is meant to inform, educate. Click on any picture to enlarge; then F11. This is a continuation of the first "Waiting to Exhale" project - Exhaust modifications. In this project I have taken two directions to modify and improve the exhaust end of the flow design on the 3.0L Duratec used in the Jaguar X-Type. I have the designs completed now in the physical past the exhaust manifolds. One takes the standard exhaust manifolds and replaces them with some generic Duratec manifolds that are more "header like" then will push the catalytic converters back to a single hi-flow unit past the crossovers and collector. The second design consists of a full blown set of headers with the same configuration. Both of these designs will significantly improve the flow of the engine and will ultimately increase HP and torque. Pictures of stock exhaust, plus both mod options are included. First, some theory about engine performance. I read many Jaguar and Duratec chat sites and it amazes me just how much mis-information is out there about engine performance, especially when some give opinion and try to lay it out as fact. One very popular line is: "Jaguar engineers have designed the Duratec for ultimate performance and no additional performance can be achieved." This is so very far from the truth. Think of complete engine performance as a "three legged stool". The first leg is "power", the second leg is "fuel efficiency", the third leg is "emissions efficiency". As with a stool, the length of each leg impacts the other two if total balance is what I am seeking to achieve . If I design for maximum fuel efficiency (increase the length of the fuel efficiency leg), I will negatively affect the power and emissions legs; design for maximum power (measured in HP and torque), I'll negatively impact emissions and fuel efficiency. And, of course, design for maximum emissions efficiency and I'll negatively affect fuel and power. The influence these three legs have on each other is subject to the laws of Physics and are not governed by opinion, and even very unique engine designs are still limited by these laws. In modern engine design must consider country regulatory requirements, etc., and the ultimate design is struck using a balance of all three legs, then optimizing each using innovative, creative ideas like VVT, multi-port intake, etc. With upcoming, more stringent emissions requirements, what was Jaguar's (and Ford's) design requirements for the Duratec engines? #1 priority was to maximize emissions efficiency to meet those future regulatory requirements, and a close second was fuel efficiency to meet other country requirements and customer demand. That means then maximum power was sacrificed! So, for those who think there is no power left on the table in the Duratec Jaguar design, think again! Let's look at how Jaguar accomplished maximum emissions efficiency on the Duratec in the X-Type. But then we'll examine the trouble they got into, and how they solved some problems they created. Everyone knows what a catalytic converter is. It is a key component in "converting" partially consumed fuels coming from the combustion chamber to a more completely consumed chemical compound. A key component in making a cat work is heat. The hotter the cat, the more efficiently it does its job. On startup when cats are cold, they really don't work. Jaguar took two high efficiency, compact catalytic converters and designed them to attach directly to the exhaust manifolds. This positions them very (unusually) close to the engine and causes them to heat up much more quickly and operate much hotter. Great for the emissions leg of our stool! But an adverse outcome of doing this was additional heat buildup surrounding the engine (and engine bay). This caused the engine oil temperature to run too hot, and damaging heat impact on various accessories like - power steering pump, steering rack, transfer case, to name a few. To compensate, engineers were forced to water cool the engine oil...yes, water cool! I've complained before about the overly complex coolant system, one branch of which provides for an inlet/outlet coolant line through a modified oil filter housing. Unfortunately, some of these additional coolant legs with rubber hoses will eventually fail on us, probably on the road. So, as an additional benefit to changing the configuration of the exhaust system on the 3.0L project engine, I will be making other modifications to the coolant system to return to a more traditional oil filtration fixture, and I will be eliminating some of the heat shielding that will positively affect the engine bay temps in several locales. Ultimately, this will become an easier engine to field repair with a lot of the shielding gone. STOCK 3.0L Exhaust configuration as Jaguar designed it: In these pictures I am showing the stock exhaust configuration. None of the heat shields are included so it is easy to get a look at the asymmetrical design and placements of the cats, high up in the exhaust stream. OPTION I - Generic Duratec Exhaust Manifolds: In the first option I am using a stock set of exhaust manifolds from a 1999 Taurus 3.0L. These are much more balanced left to right, have much better flow than the stock Jaguar versions and, when I get the crossovers and collectors completed, will have a cat back design located past the collector. It is intended to be a cost effective way of improving exhaust flow, and with less effort to accomplish the changeover. OPTION II - Exhaust Header, Crossover, Collector, Single Hi-Flow Cat Solution: Here are the same pics showing the full header solution. I'll mock the crossover and collector from corrugated tubing, then have them built in solid tubing at a muffler shop. Here too, the cat will be pushed back past the collector and will find itself under the chassis floor pan. Now I will complete the fab mock ups to create the crossovers and collectors for both exhaust options. I've taken these pictures carefully and will use them in the first found of measurements for the mock ups, comparing the placements to the first set of pics showing the stock system. Then in final steps, I will use my X-Type to finish the layouts and fittings. These will be covered in future projects with the same project name. Hope you find this project informative - enjoy!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Motor Project # 13 - Rewind (Retime)

From Steve Hannes - This project is meant to educate. Click on any picture to enlarge It's been a while since we last visited the 3.0L. We left it with a valve clearance issue. Two intake valves on the right bank, one from the #1 cylinder and one from the # 2 cylinder (Generic Duratec numbering and timing), were out of tolerance by .oo4". In this post I'll take you through the process to replace these shims, install the intake cam and retime the right bank. For the shim replacement I've followed the JTIS to the letter, which specifies cam removal to change valve shims. If you've followed my posts, you're aware of the WORK involved in doing that (and the cost! About$400 in gaskets and parts for a DIY!). In the reverse process I will get all of this stuff back together, then at the end of the post I'll show you a shortcut to remove/replace shims that requires no removal of the cam, which requires no removal of the timing cover, which requires no removal of the timing chain, and yes, no special tools. The shortcut was actually suggested by one of the Jaguar techs who reads this blog. I've tried it and it works, but you need to be EXTREMELY careful not to damage the shim buckets. Additionally, he uses a fan blowgun attachment to remove the shim from the bucket. Instead I use a strong magnet as I don't want engine oil blown clear across my garage and everywhere in between. Well, lets get our hands dirty. With the intake cam removed from the right bank (pictures in previous project), I've replaced the two out of tolerance shims with the correct ones. It's simple to calculate the correct shim size. From the original clearance measurement (.004") I need to reach a factory spec of .008" to .009", so: .008" - .004" = .004" (smaller shim than the existing one to correct clearance) When I removed the first shim it measured 0.1005" .1005" - .004"= .0965" For this first shim, I need to replace the .1005" shim with one .0965. Jaguar sells these in several mm increments. .0965 = approx. 2.45 mm, I purchased the closest size 2.42 mm which is .0952". This will give a clearance of closer to .oo9", still in tolerance and, keep in mind from my previous post, these gaps tend to decrease as valves seat, although I should be fully seated on this 15K miles engine. The shim replacement is now completed for both out of tolerance valves, time to reinstall the intake cam. I will not go into all of the details, but mention some important steps. Look at this picture of the right bank intake cam and count from the left, you'll see three bearing caps (two bolts each) and a fourth larger cap to the right, that controls lateral play.
  1. Remember that each cap MUST go back in the same place and same orientation.
  2. The caps have locating dowels on each bolt hole so they're not going to seat completely flat from the start.
  3. Generously lubricate the entire cam and bearing journals with assembly grease, place the cam in position, lubricate the caps and the shims.
  4. Be very careful with the fourth (larger) cap. It has a diagonal oil passage that is drilled from the bearing surface to the lateral face bearing surface. Do NOT pack this with assembly grease as it will take too long on engine startup for the grease to dissolve. Make certain this passage is clear!
  5. This is a General note. I'll make it once as I will probably forget somewhere in the future. I use anti-seize lubricant on ANY steel bolt being threaded into aluminum! All of the cam cap bolts are steel and the head is aluminum.
  6. The key to correct cam assembly is: start all bolts and thread down evenly! Once the cap dowels begin to make contact in the head, I only turn each bolt 1/2 turn starting on the far right (fourth cap), inside/outside bolt, then move to the next cap, 1/2 turn inside/outside bolt, and so on. Return to the right side and repeat another 1/2 turn on all bolts until all caps are seated but hardly tightened.
  7. Now you are ready for the torque wrench. The torque sequence on these cam caps is the same we've been using to run the bolts down. Start at the large cap - inside/outside bolts, the move to the next cap, repeat, capish? JTIS torque spec is: 10 nm. Don't (ever) retorque. Click once, go on to the next bolt, capish?

Now let's time! To retime the right bank there is the easy way or the Jaguar JTIS way. I'm going to show you the easy way because if you try to read and follow JTIS, it'll make you crazy, your hair will fall out, your fingernails will grow to 12 inches long and we'll have to visit you in a special place and wipe the oatmeal off your chin...I'm sure you don't want that!

All of the JTIS assembly stuff (Engine - 303-01; steps 28 through 31) are pretty much malarchy! The clock settings are mostly meant to put the intake/exhaust cams (one bank at a time) in the most relaxed positions. The actual timing of the intake/exhaust cams to the crankshaft is never really spelled out and there is a significant chance the engine will not be timed correctly following these rote instructions. Never is the intuitive instruction given here.

Principles of Timing a Duratec: If you forget everything I've ever said, just DON'T forget this:

For the right bank: 23 chain links from the crank keyway to the exhaust cam timing mark, another 15 links to the intake timing mark.

For the left bank: 23 chain links from the crank keyway to the INTAKE cam timing mark, another 15 links to the exhaust timing mark(intake/exhaust cams reversed left/right banks). It's just that simple!

With this information you can practically put a blindfold on and time this engine with tactile skills, perfectly every time. Here are some subordinate rules:

  1. For timing, remember that the one and only common and FIXED position is the Keyway on the crankshaft. Everything gets positioned from this point.
  2. ALL link counting (either bank) and ANY rotation of anything is CLOCKWISE.
  3. Put anti-seize compound on any steel bolt threaded into aluminum.
  4. Put a liberal coating of assembly lube on all parts - chain, guides, etc.

First step, assemble the stationary chain guide. It is the one piece cast aluminum frame containing the intake VVT pump solenoid. It has three bolts, one of which gets tightened first. Also, don't forget the small dime sized o-ring between the pump and the oil passage that feeds the the VVT. Here is a picture. The bolt that gets tightened and torqued first is the one directly under the exhaust cam sprocket. However, you still want to hand tighten all three, the other two are top/bottom of the chain guide. The reason you're torquing the bolt under the cam sprocket first is because it seats the o-ring with the VVT oil passage. JTIS torque spec is: 25 nm.

Now you're ready to place the chain on the sprockets. The relative ideal position for the right bank timing is: crankshaft keyway 7 o'clock (make that pm not am...nah, only kidding about the pm), exhaust mark at 8 o'clock pm...nah still kidding, and intake mark at 1 o'clock. This is just where we positioned everything to disassemble.

Place the chain (so it will rotate in the same direction it was removed) over the intake/exhaust sprockets. Start with the mark on the exhaust cam and count 15 links to the intake cam. This now puts the two cams in time with each other.

If you look closely at this picture, click to enlarge, you'll see the white dot mark on the exhaust cam sprocket, and the white dot mark on the intake cam sprocket is smaller, almost straight up at 12 o'clock. You can count the 15 links in the picture.

Now continue to thread the chain CLOCKWISE over the stationary chain guide and engage with the crankshaft sprocket for the right bank. Remember, you need 23 links from the keyway to the exhaust timing dot. The chain will seem very large and you'll have plenty of room to move it because the adjustable chain guide is not installed at this point.

See this picture to view the chain and timing to this point. Before the adjustable guide is assembled, the link count and the slack must be taken up all in one direction - what direction? This is a test. CLOCKWISE from the exhaust timing dot all the way around to the crank keyway. If there is too much slack on the stationary guide then turn the crank slightly CLOCKWISE (See how easy this is). If there is not enough slack to make the 23 tooth count, then rock the intake/exhaust cams together back forth until you can make this count.

Now this will sit for a moment so we can prepare the tensioner. The tensioner is a LOAD/LOCK design. It has a sprung piston that puts tension on the adjustable guide and a secondary ratchet locked stop to keep the chain from gaining slack under load. To load the tensioner, fully collapse the piston in a bench vise, then the fixed ratchet stop must be released and placed down at the shoulder of the piston. With this, a slot in the ratchet stop will appear through an inspection hole in the body of the tensioner. Place a paper clip, or drill rod in the inspection hole and this will hold the piston and ratchet in the fully collapsed position. Here is a picture of the tensioner loaded and locked. I used a small drill bit as my paper clip.

Now the tensioner along with the adjustable chain guide can be assembled. The guide just rides on a dowel pin and, without the tensioner in place, has plenty of freeplay for assembly. At this point you can push on the guide until it bears pressure on the chain and you'll see the right bank timing really coming to life now. As you hold it against the chain, now is a good time to recheck the link timing. Start at the crank keyway and count (how many links)? to the exhaust sprocket dot. Continue counting (in what direction)? and (how many links)? to the intake white dot. If everything is what you now know it should be, then you're ready to install the tensioner. Use the two bolts coated with anti-seize, thread them in by hand. There should be some play for the guide as the piston is still fully collapsed. Tighten the two bolts to (JTIS) 25 nm. Before you release the drill bit (to release the piston), there is a recess in the guide where the piston rides. There is enough play in the guide that it is possible for the piston to sit outside this recess. Once that is in place, release the drill bit. The piston will exert the correct amount of pressure to the guide at this time. Finally move the secondary ratchet stop in place under the guide recess and Voila!...Timed!

Here is a picture of the tensioner in place, torqued, just before the drill bit is released.

One final step: Rotate the crankshaft two complete turns (what direction)? to approximately the same place 7 o'clock pm (get you with that every time don't I), and recount 23, 15, to make sure you're timed correctly.

Well, that's quite the round about way (and the JTIS way) to do a valve adjustment on the V6. All together several hours of labor (Jaguar book says 5/6 hours' labor) and, again, about $400 retail in parts which includes just two shims.

How about a shortcut. One that only involves removing the valve covers then removing replacing the shims directly under the cams without removing them. Most manufacturers make a tool for this. It holds the bucket down so the shim can be removed when the cam lobe is opposite the shim. Talking to a few technicians, there is a tool like this for the V8, some talk about a tool, maybe, for the S-Type...Long story short, no one really knows and JTIS doesn't for sure.

With the cam lobe opposite the shim, reach back behind the cam with a flat blade screw driver, taped with black electrical tape. You need to catch the very edge of the bucket (it's a delicate operation). Force the bucket down in its recess, use a strong industrial magnet to catch the shim, it can be dislodged and removed. With the shim out you can release the screwdriver and no contact with the cam is made. Select the correct shim. Once again, place the screw driver on the edge of the bucket, depress (doesn't take a lot of pressure), slip the new shim in. Make sure it's seated in the bucket, release the screw driver...Voila!

Here is a picture with the screw driver in place and the new shim ready to go in.

Why should you care about this project? I'm not expecting most to do their own valve adjustments, and I start with the belief that all shops are honest, but in case one is not, there is a WHOLE BUNCH of money to be made on a valve adjustment. If the shop wants to quote JTIS procedure on an X-Type, they will probably include 6 to 8 hours of labor, or more, and anywhere from $400 to $600 in parts. Then they can perform this shortcut and cut the labor down to one and a half or two hours. That's why you want to know this, even if you never DIY!

At this time I am proceeding to seal the engine back up. Next, I'll reinstall the lower end stuff removed in earlier posts. pan baffles, oil sump pick up, oil pan. I'm fairly convinced there isn't much I can do with the innards of the Duratec, even crossing over to the generic side. At least for the moment.

On the other hand, there is plenty to do outside, with intake and exhaust. I have been very busy pursuing two options for more efficient exhaust. One is a moderate design using other Duratec parts and a cat back layout. The other involves a full blown header set with cat back also. I will be previewing both options in mock up very soon. There is still a lot of work to do with building crossover pipes, etc., but I'm feeling very optimistic about the exhaust. Both options, BTW, still fully utilize the factory ECM outputs and factory mapping. Then Karl Wolf has a muffler mod that I'll include in the final exhaust mod.

Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Motor Project # 12 - Deep Breathing Exercise!

This project is provided by KARL WOLF and is meant to educate.
CAUTION: This project is NOT for the beginner mechanic and should only be attempted if you are confident in your mechanical abilities and fabrication skills, and you understand the functions of the intake side of the OBD II engine management system.
Karl continues with some performance modifications to the stock air filter box. Here's Karl: This modification is designed to eliminate the airflow restrictions in the standard airbox. This project can be combined with the spark plug change, the intake manifold porting, and throttle body cleaning (projects 5, 10, and 11) to make for a complete afternoon intake tune-up. In almost all current engine designs, the throttle body should be the real engine airflow limiter. My modifications of the airbox and intake allow the throttle body, not the airbox to be the limiting factor in the air intake system. The airbox on the Jaguar X-Type is limited by packaging and noise devices designed into the air intake system. I have reduced how these designs impact airflow. The main modification is in the top of the airbox. To disassemble the top air box half, first remove the factory inlet hose clamp. The standard clamp can be easily removed with a pair of pliers and a small flathead screwdriver. Squeeze the two large tabs together gently and pry the upper band end from the lower band end. If you are careful, you will not damage the clamp and it can be re-used. Carefully remove the MAF sensor (two screws) and set aside. Unscrew the top and look at it from the inside. Let's start by looking at two pictures of the top air inlet box disassembled:
Focus your attention on the baffle plate seen in these two pictures. It protrudes into the path of the inlet tube. You can see the base of this plate at the bottom right hand corner of the inside of the air box. I removed all the lateral raised plastic from the inside of the top with a dremel, but a file or sharp blade could be used. This baffle is designed to break up the airflow to reduce noise. The reduced airflow, of course, restricts performance. The major restriction is where the airbox meets the 3" output tube. As you can see in the first picture, the lower portion is totally obstructed. You now have two options to modify the top cover: Option One (simple solution): CAREFULLY remove as much of this restriction as possible with a file, dremel, etc. This is the real bottleneck in the airflow. Take your time so you do not cut through to the outside of the box. Don't be too concerned about the area near the inside lip of the box because the filter gasket will seal this area. This is the easiest modification and my original solution.
If you stop at this point, you've made a big improvement in air flow to the TB, but this still leaves almost 1/5th of the airflow blocked. See this picture with the baffle completely removed. For even greater air flow: Option Two (more serious modification): Remove (cut) the 3" tube which houses the MAF sensor as close as possible to the airbox top. Purchase a 3" aluminum or thin gauge steel tube. You only need about 3." I used a piece from an old intake. Make an oval out of the tube and set it inside the airbox top. Make sure that it covers the original opening completely. Trace around the tube and then cut inside the lines. Use a dremel or drill a number of holes and "connect the dots." Finish by trimming until you get a tight fit.
Sand all the edges and rough up the surfaces. Make sure you have at least 1" available on the outside to clamp the new connector tube. You will have to trim this to fit later. I used two self-tapping screws to hold it in position and cut off the protruding tips. Use flexible two-part epoxy to seal the tube to the airbox lid. Clean all the surfaces completely. Finish off with a quality vinyl paint on the outside and Armorall or silicone spray (well wiped off) on the inside. Trim the inside of the MAF tube so that air will flow smoothly into the tube. Connect the MAF tube to the metal airbox tube with a silicone 3" connector and hose clamps.
Next, I modify the cold air intake (lower portion of the airbox) by adding an additional cold air pickup next to the two existing cold air inlets. Continue disassembly by removing the lower airbox and use a holesaw to drill an additional 2" hole. Purchase the 2" flexible tubing at any auto parts store. It is sold as heater or intake tubing. The flexible 2" duct routes over the top of the radiator and next to the stock intake tubes. This will allow more airflow into the lower part of the airbox. A picture of the lower portion of the airbox is shown here in place with the new air inlet modification. See the third air inlet to the far right of the box, next to the two original oval inlets.
Here is a picture of the grill. Although a little difficult to see, the additional cold air inlet is just barely visible to the left side of the original left air inlet. Here is a picture of the air box reassembled after all of the modifications. Very little has changed in appearance from the stock air box. I use a K&N filter, but you can use a stock filter. Just make sure to replace it regularly.

Cost? About $15.00 in parts. Time? One hour for the simple solution. Two to three hours for the more complex solution. The great thing about these mods is that unless you know what you are looking at, the air intake looks totally stock and really does not change anything but allows more airflow. You may notice a very small increase in intake growl but it is only due to the increase in airflow, not the growl associated with an aftermarket air intake. These aftermarket intakes take air from under the hood. Some of the benefits of these kits are negated by the additional heated underhood air.

Notice to all blog readers: We're looking for more projects that will help you improve performance of your Jaguar X-Type. What would you like to see next? Here's an incentive: Anyone want to see the actual HP increase for this project via Vericom results? Just use the "post comments" on this blog with a request for another project you would like to see and your email address! We'll email the results to you as a thank you! Coming soon: We're hot on the trail with some exhaust modifications. You might remember in project #3, we examined the stock exhaust layout used on the X-Type. It offers a bounty of performance opportunities and we're taking advantage of all of them. See it in an upcoming project post.