XJ6R – Bulkhead hole

XJ6R Hole cut out

To get the ECU loom from the engine bay into the passenger foot well I needed to make the LHD steering column hole larger. This hole is used to feed the engine vacuum to the AC unit to drive the various flaps and valves.

Vacuum pipes
Vacuum pipe panel
Strengthening ring (after cut out)
Strengthening ring (after cut out)

There is a thick strengthening ring surrounding the standard hole so I decided to cut around that meaning the hole would be around 60mm in diameter. The plugs on the loom would not fit through the standard hole as they are quite bulky.

ECU Plugs
ECU Plugs
Wooden template
Wooden template notice the bulkhead cutout below it for the other required connections

I had to make up a simple wooden template to enable me to centre a holesaw in the right place. The holesaw, along with some cutting fluid made short work of the sheet metal and I was left with a nice clean cutout. Picture taken after a quick clean up and a bit of paint for protection.

Hole cut out
Hole cut out

I will be using the rubber gaiter/plug to seal up the hole as used on the original XJR.

Gaiter on loom
Gaiter on loom

XJ6R – Electronics layout

Electronic Controllers – where to put them?

XJR Wiring looms

As its minus 3 degrees outside I decided not to go work in the garage so I’m writing up some of the work I did last year. As I already discussed here I am attempting to use the minimum of the electronics from the original XJR without having to install all of the wiring as it was a lot, as you can see to the right! The main controllers I need are the following:

  • Engine Control unit (ECU)
  • Transmission Control unit (TCU)
  • Body Control unit (BCU)
  • Security and Control unit (SCU)
  • Instrument Display unit

Now I obviously have these from the XJR along with all the wiring however however I am not going to use all of the rest of the systems. That will of course cause some errors but I am hoping that I can resolve enough of them to allow the engine to run without going into limp home mode. The basic goal is to make the electronics think that it is still in the original XJR with some issues but not enough to shut the engine down.

For example, I need the SCU plus the module that senses that the key is in the lock to unlock the engine immobiliser system. Well I don’t need the actual lock from the XJR. In fact, all I need is to place the key (or just the RFID chip in the key) inside the coil that was around the key lock for that to signal the system that the key is there and to unlock the engine inhibitor.

Another example is the central locking and the door lock sensor system. I am hoping that I can just tie all the signals to either high or low and trick the system into think all is well.

There are a fair few modules that I need to mount somewhere and a lot of wiring that I need to do. I am putting the modules in the passenger foot well. After a lot of thought and trial fitting I have installed the control units as follows.

  • ECU vertically where a passengers soles would go. I plan to put a false panel across this area covering/protecting the modules.
  • TCU Vertically, to the Right hand side of the foot well
  • BCU Horizontally,  directly under the battery tray between the bulkhead and the round Fan assembly
  • SCU vertically and at an angle between the round Fan assembly and one of the output pipes.
  • I also installed one of the XJR Fuse boxes into the left hand side of the foot well behind the door hinges and powered from the through bulkhead bolts used to distribute DC positive power into the interior.

The layout can be seen in the images below:

Control unit location
Control unit location
Controller Unit locations in footwell
Controller Unit locations in footwell.

Above, you can see the inserted panel (red paint) with the rectangular hole for the through-bulkhead connector. I had to make quite a complex and accurate hole in the bulkhead to get a good fit for the bulkhead connector as used in the XJR. I should have cut it out of the XJR body but I scrapped the body without thinking about it. It was easier to make up a small panel on the bench with the required cut out and then weld the small square panel into the XJ6 than try to do it upside down in the foot well. The circular item above the red painted area with two pipes in it, is the access point for the Vacuum pipes from the AC unit. That is the hole used for the steering column on a LHD car. I will use it to get the ECU plugs and cables from the engine to the ECU. I will actually have to cut out the outer edge of this factory made hole as the plugs are quite big. There is a rubber gaiter on the XJR loom which should make a nice fit into this hole keeping the engine bay fumes out of the interior of the car. having to make these holes is a shame as I really don’t want to make too many changes to the body as part of this modification.

At least I stayed warm this evening. I hope the weather breaks soon as I have not really done anything to the XJ6 since New Years day. I did work on the XKR regarding the tweeting. I have however, earned some brownie points doing quite a few DIY jobs in the house.

XKR – Stop that Tweeting!

There was a strange tweeting/squealing noise emanating from the engine bay on the XKR which started a few months ago. It stopped once the engine got warm. I did mention it at the last service and they changed the Supercharger belt. The nest full of hungry birds returned shortly after the service. I tried using a tube and an old funnel to isolate the noise which I deemed to be the water pump. There was some notoriety with early water pumps so I changed it before Christmas. The noise did stop for a couple of journeys however it returned again! Not needing to use the car for a little while, it sat while I decided what to do next. A friend of mine from the JEC (Thanks Neil), lent me an electronic listening device which has a long tube that you place onto the various parts you suspect are making the noises and listen via a pair of headphones. You could not hear the tweeting but a rumbling noise and some were worse than others. One of the tensioners was noisier than the rest so that was the initial target.

I did a little research and there is a replacement tensioner and idler wheel set for the princely sum of £200. The set also included the Supercharger belt which I had just changed so I did not want to go down that route. I then came across a post on a Jaguar forum.

http://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/images/header/left.jpgXKR - Bearings & Idler Wheel

The solution is to replace the bearings in the various wheels and idlers and the post included details suitable part numbers. I ordered four bearing for a total of just over £14 so a big saving. I changed one idler wheel bearing without removing the Fan assembly but you do have to remove it so you can get to the bolts holding some of the other idler wheels on. This is reasonably straight forward.

XKR Ratchet Spanner
Ratchet Spanner from Aldi

Once you have struggled to get the two nuts off of the fan assembly, they are not tight or anything just there is no access to them. I used a small ratchet type ring spanner that also could be angled enough to get into the tight spot. (from a cheap set I brought myself last time I was in Aldi)

I removed the top plate holding the radiator in position and I found I needed to remove the top radiator hose and the air filter top to allow the Fan Assembly to be juggled out of the way. Once the Fans were out of the way you can undo the various wheels as needed.

I used a socket, a long threaded bolt & nut  plus a large metal bar to pull out the bearings and tapped them back in using a suitably sized socket and hammer.

Made famous by Haynes, Reassembly is the reverse of removal, and once all back together, topped up the coolant that I lost disconnecting the pipe and went for a test drive. All seems well except for I started the engine with the plug into the air box unplugged so I have an engine MIL light illuminated. I’ll see if it goes off on its own after a few journeys otherwise I’ll plug in the ODB2 device I have and turn it off myself.

Back on the road and no tweeting …. for now anyway!

No good 🙁
A couple of days later, the noise was back see the video below:

BD – The Haystack Analogy

Find the Needle in the Haystack
Find the Needle in the Haystack

Finding the “Needle in the Haystack” is an often used analogy in discussions regarding Big Data and analytics. The problem is that having more data (A bigger Haystack) does not always mean you will find more needles. In fact it may make it harder to find those data nuggets you are searching for. I came across some great discussions/posts in the comments section of an article on “The Register” the other day. The story is “GCHQ mass spying will ‘cost lives in Britain,’ warns ex-NSA tech chief

Some of the analogies and references used in the comments included

  • Setting fire to the haystack and using a magnet to pick up the needles
    • One problem was that the heat may damage the needle (corrupt your data)
    • The terrorists could change to Carbon Fibre Needles so your magnet will not find them!
  • A far more distasteful analogy was that of a septic tank where you are looking for a chunk of chocolate but to find it you have to sample everything. Yuck!

In summary I guess the idea is to add as much “relevant” data as you can into your Data Lake but try not to pollute it with pointless additional data that makes it harder for you to find what you search for. The challenge is then, what is relevant data!

XJ6R – 2016 here we come :-)

2016 New Year by christmasstockimages.com

Welcome to 2016, hope it treats you well and you keep healthy 🙂

I did spend a little time in the garage on New Years Day and did some work on the XJ6.

  • Cleaned up and sprayed a bit of clear lacquer onto the two washers and large nut heads that are used to hold on the bulkhead heat insulation panel. See the before and after pictures below
    • I also tidied up the wiring a little
  • Made up a gasket, found some suitable bolts and installed the brake pedal assembly and servo unit.
Washer "Before" image
Washer “Before” image
Right hand "shiney" Nut & Washer
Right hand “shiney” Nut & Washer











Next up – XKR