The Jag restoration begins… sort of.

The Jag just before my first attempt to clean him up.

After I posted about the ‘new’ car last night, I decided to add yet another category to the site, and blog about it:  Restoration Projects.  The Jag (who has yet to be named) isn’t the only restoration I need to do – I also need to get The Beast, a 1967 Toyota Land Cruiser finished (the engine is torn down, and on the stand, but awaiting $500 in parts before re-assembly.)

I thought it might be fun – well, fun for me at least – to blog about the attempts to return this creature back to somewhat similar to it’s original appearance.  It’s not a HUGE job, really.

But it’s still got a laundry list of things to fix:

  • Paint is bad
  • All four door handles need fixed (ahem – I use a slim-jim to get into the car at the moment)
  • Exhaust leak
  • Some oddity with how it drives – it sways at high speeds (probably shocks / struts)
  • Headliner falling down
  • Some misc interior cleanups
  • It sat too long in once place with a tire low, so it’s got a ‘whompwhomp’ when driving
  • One of the lug bolts is missing
  • Check engine light is on
  • Four rust spots need fixed
  • Some hail dings
  • One or two small dents
  • One missing section of bumper on the driver’s side
The XJ6 from the rear - you can really see the paint problems there

Despite the laundry list, I drove it home today after replacing the fuel pump.  I’ll admit a moment of great excitement – I had heard the engine fire up before, but only for a few seconds (basically until the fuel pump couldn’t keep pressure up.)  This time I fired it up and listened to it run.  It’s throaty, and needs a bit of a tuneup.  Looks like someone pulled an O2 sensor then failed to put it back and just faked out the computer.  *SIGH*  That’s probably two problems in one – the check engine light, and the exhaust leak.

But he ran, and sounded pretty good!  No missing, no real problems, and generally sounded pretty close to what that in-line 6 should sound like.  He drove pretty well for a 21 year old car that doesn’t look like it’s had a sheltered life at all.

The plan for the restoration:

  1. Fix the paint. Not a new paint job yet – mainly removing the screwed up clear coat, restore the original color, and then a couple coats of wax to seal it up.
  2. Fix the doors.  I can’t go around opening the car doors with a slim jim!
  3. Fix the headliner issue

Those bring the car up to “full time driver” status.  Short, sweet, inexpensive list, thankfully.  After that I get into a decision point.  I could either continue working on it, or, get The Beast From The East up and running – that way, if I have to really tear into the Jag for some reason I’ve got a second drivable vehicle.

Of course, my time isn’t infinite – I’ve got A LOT of work to do these days, so a lot of this stuff will be stuff I figure out and work on between other real, paying projects 🙂  But the first run at fixing up the paint a bit, and the door MAY happen tomorrow.

This is gonna be fun! (Yes, I’m insane – I like working on vehicles.  Working on something and making it pretty again?  Awesome 🙂

2 thoughts on “The Jag restoration begins… sort of.”

  1. Good stuff, you writing about your car. I have 2 of them, same year, different models. I do have one door handle if you need it. Email me if your interested. If this was last week I could have helped you out with everything you need. I had a 90 XJ6 VDP sitting on jack stands for 3 months until I had the junk man take it away. best of luck, you may have the best time of your life with that XJ.

  2. Cool – I’ll probably get ahold of ya’ about the door handle. I don’t need all four of ’em working at the moment, but ONE working door handle on the drivers side would be VERY convenient 😉

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