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1990 xjs v12 restore & revival - 2B or not 2B?

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Old 06-18-2017, 11:44 AM
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Default 1990 xjs v12 restore & revival - 2B or not 2B?

Hello All...

It took me two weeks to build up the courage to begin this post. It comes with a certain amount fear and apprehension.... Does beginning this post imply a commitment to what looks like a real challenge? Months of work, and figuring? A financial commitment that will end up kicking my butt? I purchased my first Jag approx 7 months ago and have fallen in love. Love the car and love the labor,,, its become a labor of love. She's a 2002 XK8. Since, I've been (gratefully) using Jag Forums, an amazing resource. The gentleman who sold (basically gave) me the xk8 has a small stronghold of Jags in his yard, lol - in NYC no less. Last week he showed (offered me) this XJS V12....

So here I am:

Im looking at a 1990 XJS V12 5.3. that needs lots of love... Its been sitting for more than 3 years. I'm told (and believe) the car was driven into the yard. It's been outside - not on concrete or asphalt, YUP, on open earth for that time. For a period, according to the same gentlemen who basically gave me the XK8, she was started here and there - just to start her up - for a period after taking the car into the yard until, at some point, it wasn't anymore. At that it was left to sit unstarted for a long time. So, he pointed it out to me with a little back story and I jumped in - this is what I have done so far:

1. I notice that the floor on the driver's side needs to be replaced. The passenger side appears to be fine.
2. There is no "visible" cosmetic body rust to speak of although the paint is fairly and understandably dull. I am afraid to see what the undercarriage looks like, frame, subframe and such. I have not done that yet. Are there any notorious weak spots when it comes to rust that I MUST check before making a decision? Any deal breakers in your minds? Soft top is in good shape and there are spares.
3. Hooked up battery and immediately I get a beeping chirp (alarm) that will only stop once I insert the key in the ignition. I am unsure if this actually means that the alarm has been deactivated OR, that certain systems are or ar potentially disabled that prevent starting.
4. She will crank, starter spins engine smoothly, nicely actually, but will not start or even give signs of wanting to fire/start.
5. I have fuel (fuel is new) in the rail but do not seem to be getting fuel injectors to fire - at all. (Alarm related?) - I have tested some of the injectors with a 12v source and have seen 3 out of 4 provide a burst. 1 of 4 seemed dead. I have a ways to go in that testing due to some minor disassembly required.
6. I also seem to have power in the fuel injector plugs (12v if I touch a test light to both leads it lights,,, which I thought strange???) but they do not appear to pulse the test light AND with one of those di-pole-plug in fuel injector test (noid) lights, well, I get NO light at all.
7. It is a "Lucas" ignition system - I believe (see below)...? I get spark (orange-ish not blue-ish) from all 12 distributor cap wire ports. Dropped an old spark plug into each port upside down to test for spark. Spark in all.
8. Breather covers are off, so using starter fluid I thought I heard some sound of ignition,,, it didn't amount to much,,, which seemed to indicate no (or not enough) spark in cylinders. I am unsure about this result or whether a v12 could effectively even be tested this way. Just too much engine?

*IMPORTANT INCONSISTANCY* I found this information at THIS site -
"""Three ignition systems have been used on the Jaguar XJ-S: the Lucas Opus Mark 2 system on non-H.E. engines prior to 1982; the Lucas ignition on H.E. engines 1982 to 1989; and finally the Marelli ignition on post-1989 cars."""
My concern or confusion is this. Its a 1990 - the unit in the trunk, plugged in, clearly says "Lucas" on ECU? Is it possible that the year of manufacture is 89 and the year of the car is 1990? - Which would explain still having a Lucas ECU? Is the ECU in the trunk the same as ignition system for the car or is that somewhere else, lol. I feel like a bone head.

I've read some things about coolant sensors and other sensors ability to disable other systems. ie. fuel injector.
Is it possible to completely eliminate the alarm for now AND is it possible that the alarm has disabled the fuel injection or another system?

I am open to any and every suggestion in my early detective work. Welcome any idea that any of you think important, in my earliest inspections of this now sleeping giant.

For me --- THIS is the first time I've EVER even touched a V12 engine, which was/is strangely exciting in itself!

DEEP BOW and THANKS IN ADVANCE....
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Old 06-18-2017, 11:48 AM
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The Lucas ECU in the trunk is for the fuel injection. There's a "Marelli" ECU in the cabin for the Marelli ignition system

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JayJagJay View Post
Hello All...

It took me two weeks to build up the courage to begin this post. It comes with a certain amount fear and apprehension.... Does beginning this post imply a commitment to what looks like a real challenge? Months of work, and figuring? A financial commitment that will end up kicking my butt?
If you've wanted a project car, it sounds like you've found one.

We can help you get it running. Don't be too intimidated by the V12.

Virtually every old V12 XJS out there needs sorting out in multiple areas. It's all doable. There's great support and just about any problem you'll comes across, and the fix, will be known and documented. But, yes, it'll mean money and time and commitment. But, ask the owner of a well sorted XJS and they'll tell you it was worth the effort.

To give you some perspective, many years ago I bought a better-than-many XJS V12 for $6000. I spent several months and another $6000 to truly get it sorted out....looking, driving, and operating the way it should. And I loved every minute of it; no regrets.

The rusty floor and dull paint would be a problem for me. Rust repairs and high quality paint jobs are very expensive. Thousands of dollars.

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by JayJagJay View Post
5. I have fuel (fuel is new) in the rail but do not seem to be getting fuel injectors to fire - at all. (Alarm related?) - I have tested some of the injectors with a 12v source and have seen 3 out of 4 provide a burst. 1 of 4 seemed dead.

You mean 'burst' of fuel?

Some might be clogged, even if electrically operational



Quote:
6. I also seem to have power in the fuel injector plugs (12v if I touch a test light to both leads it lights,,, which I thought strange???)
Normal. Both will show positive until the ECU grounds one side to operate the injector


Quote:
but they do not appear to pulse the test light AND with one of those di-pole-plug in fuel injector test (noid) lights, well, I get NO light at all.

The 'could be' list is long with many possible jumping-off points.

One place to begin is checking the connector at the injector resistor pack. Several recent postings on this.

Be prepared for the possibility of replacing the cranks sensors...but we're not quite there yet

Quote:
7. It is a "Lucas" ignition system - I believe (see below)...?
Not on a 1990. You have Marelli.


Quote:
I get spark (orange-ish not blue-ish) from all 12 distributor cap wire ports. Dropped an old spark plug into each port upside down to test for spark. Spark in all.

You'll need blue-ish spark

Quote:
I've read some things about coolant sensors and other sensors ability to disable other systems. ie. fuel injector.
Is it possible to completely eliminate the alarm for now AND is it possible that the alarm has disabled the fuel injection or another system?

Others will chime in on alarm-vs-fuel injection. I'm not familiar enough with the factory alarms to be of help

Quote:
For me --- THIS is the first time I've EVER even touched a V12 engine, which was/is strangely exciting in itself!
We know

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:23 PM
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Info on the injector resistor pack, which is but one of several possible fault areas that could account for no injector pulse

https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...sistor-134745/

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:30 PM
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You'll need this info on the "Digital Ignition System", aka "Marelli ignition". See the attachment.

Also do some reading (tons in the archives) on the infamous 'shielded wire' from the ignition system to the fuel injection ECU. It is a 'trigger' signal to bring the ECU into operation, so to speak

Cheers
DD
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Marelli info.pdf (2.83 MB, 24 views)
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:31 PM
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Hello Doug. Thank you MUCH. The Forum is more dependable than Domino's, lol

So, so next time I have access (I won't for a few days) is there anyway that I can know what I have? There is a large plug in the boot with the stainless looking "Lucas" box plugged into it. I unplugged it and and the connections needed some attention, but it appeared to be a Lucas ECU and a Lucas fitting ECU plug.

Then, from what you're saying, there is another in the cabin OR are you saying that if it was"Marelli", it'd be in the cabin - there wouldn't be a Lucas system in the boot and the ECU would be in the cabin, only? Did I say that right, lol?

Its either OR but not both. Or both? Sorry, just wanting to be clear.

AND, thanks for the reassurance above all... I feel like i can actually do it if I put my mind, back and WALLET into it. About the paint job... I hope this doesn't turn you off tooooo much, but here in NYC there is something that has become a little bit of a style. In "fashion" so to speak. That's to paint a car (and I know a V12 Jag XJS isn't just some ol car) mat black... Like unfinished flat, super flat, black. In the meantime, until I have the resources to get a real finished job (which might be never for that matter), I was thinking that that might be an interesting option. At the same time, I've seen people do amazing things with breathing life back into an original quality paint job. Especially with possibilities offered by a high end factory job like produced by Jaguar in the first place. Rust,,,, well that's a different story. I think I will run like hell.

I appreciate your support and encouraging words!
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:37 PM
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oops... looks like you were still writing... i should have waited... disregard what needs disregarding in my previous post...
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayJagJay View Post

So, so next time I have access (I won't for a few days) is there anyway that I can know what I have? There is a large plug in the boot with the stainless looking "Lucas" box plugged into it. I unplugged it and and the connections needed some attention, but it appeared to be a Lucas ECU and a Lucas fitting ECU plug.

That's the fuel injection ECU. Both "Lucas Ignition" cars and "Marelli Ignition" cars have one.


Quote:
Then, from what you're saying, there is another in the cabin OR are you saying that if it was"Marelli", it'd be in the cabin - there wouldn't be a Lucas system in the boot and the ECU would be in the cabin, only? Did I say that right, lol?

Marelli cars have an *additional* ECU in the cabin specifically for the Marelli ignition system

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by JayJagJay View Post
. I unplugged it and and the connections needed some attention,

Which could be the cause of your problem.

Cleaning connections and grounds will become ritual in resurrecting this car

Cheers
DD
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:01 PM
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Ok! Looks like you've reached the end of providing me an amazing amount of info for this session, lol... I couldn't have asked for more... What I need to do now is get to it... Its going to be a little while but Ill be back to this thread once I get back in there no doubt...

I cannot say how much I appreciate your time and attention Doug. Thank YOU!
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Old 06-18-2017, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JayJagJay View Post

I am open to any and every suggestion in my early detective work. Welcome any idea that any of you think important, in my earliest inspections of this now sleeping giant.

You might not like this suggestion, but if you really want an XJS, this particular one might not be the best one to consider. Even if he gives it to you for free. From your description (and assuming it's a coupe), you could buy a better example and spend $3-5K and be at least $10K in costs ahead of what you are getting for free.

Something to consider. Good luck.
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Old 06-18-2017, 05:38 PM
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Hi Jay Jag Jay

I have got a 1990 5.3 V12 the same as yours and my Car wouldn't Start either and also had exactly the same Bleeping and Chirping as you did.

As long as it's Bleeping and Chirping it WON'T Start.

If the Key Stops it Bleeping and Chirping, then it should start 'Providing' everything else is working.

Nothing was working on my Car and everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

Blocked Injectors/Fuel Pump not working/Fuel Filter Blocked/Fuel Pressure Regulator packed up and lots of other problems too numerous to list.

I am not a mechanic, at least I wasn't when it went wrong but 'Greg' and 'Grant' aka 'The Wizard of Oz' talked me through the whole thing.

And eventually we managed to get her running.

Have a look at my 'Cherry Blossom' Restoration thread, everything we had to do is in there.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:01 PM
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Hi Jay Jag Jay

I have got a 1990 5.3 V12 the same as yours and my Car wouldn't Start either and also had exactly the same Bleeping and Chirping as you did.

As long as it's Bleeping and Chirping it WON'T Start.

If the Key Stops it Bleeping and Chirping, then it should start 'Providing' everything else is working.

Nothing was working on my Car and everything that could go wrong, went wrong.

Blocked Injectors/Fuel Pump not working/Fuel Filter Blocked/Fuel Pressure Regulator packed up and lots of other problems too numerous to list.

I am not a mechanic, at least I wasn't when it went wrong but 'Greg' and 'Grant' aka 'The Wizard of Oz' talked me through the whole thing.

And eventually we managed to get her running.

Have a look at my 'Cherry Blossom' Restoration thread, everything we had to do is in there.

Ohhhhhh,,, I've read thru that thread OB... That's how I know to call you OB haha... I'm cruising at the moment, top down in the XK, but will definitely be coming back to your comment here! That you responded gives me (not my wallet, lol) extra assurance... Thanks for responding!!!
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:14 PM
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Hello All...

1. I notice that the floor on the driver's side needs to be replaced. The passenger side appears to be fine.

Tough as it is, one thing that I cannot deal with is something like this. Assuming that the floor needs to be replaced because of rust, I would be strong and walk away. Just my 2cents

Looking for my XJS, It really amazed me how one car could have holes in the floor (rear of floor near the suspension mounts in particular seemed common), and others could be mint underneath. I suppose it all depends on the drive cycle that the individual car has experienced.


...one more thing, especially if you do go ahead, I bought mine "not needing anything" according to the PO, yet it has been a labor of love since so expect your list to have a few unknown TBDs to be added. Not that I'm complaining, it is actually very therapeutic and satisfying, but also I am glad to have air-con in the garage

Last edited by Norfolk Enchants; 06-20-2017 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:43 PM
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I bought my XJS as a project and my car had very little visible rust, it did have some rust under the front fenders on the top rail, found when I removed them for painting.

All mine needed was a few minor rust repairs and painting. I ended up painting it myself as a good job from a shop was way out of my budget. Took me 2 years to do the body. Luckily the interior was in great condition except for the wood which just required stripping and re-coating.

It has cost me way more than the car is worth ( I stopped counting at $20k) to get it up to snuff (not a problem for me as its my labor of love). So unless you are prepared to spend more than the car is worth then look for a car with good body and interior first as these are the expensive items to renew.
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Old 06-21-2017, 12:54 PM
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Hello All...

So, I don't scare so so easy. Always been that way. Sometimes it pays,,, sometimes I PAY - someone or somethings always gotta pay! I absolutely appreciate the words of caution. Its not the easiest thing to do - to come in and be the adult, so to speak.

At the same time, after getting the (valued) warning messages - I've looked and looked and looked. There seems to be no shortage of parts, pieces and bits available for the XJS. I've looked on Ebay here in the states. Then typed in the name to search for additional parts that I've come across (some part names are completely new to me) while looking around - and still, there seems to be lots of parts available and very very affordable.

So to me, unless I'm missing something, other than paying someone for a high end paint job and a full body restoration (which will never happen), I'm asking myself what would and could possibly cost me $10 and $20K in restoring this car (that's a real question)? I intend to do all the work myself, over time with no rush. Researching, diagnosing (with you all's shoulders, support, guidance, reassurance, experience and pointers), ordering parts and installing them as they come in. I have tools, harbor freight for me is invaluable cost wise since don't make my living with my tools and,,, and for the most part I have a place to do the work.

If I'm willing to spend the blood, skin, sweat and tears - it seems I should be able to afford this. Right?

Unless she is un-salvageable due to rust (still wondering about NOTORIOUSLY bad rust areas? especially hidden) I feel like this might be doable.

I wont be able to get to the car for a while - open to all thought and suggestions...
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:13 PM
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Your budget doing the work yourself is realistic. Rust is your major worry. To do a good job on a really rusty car means removing just about everything from the monocoque, doing all the welding and protecting, then putting everything back with rebuilt, new and refurbed parts as required. The really important thing is to get the car on a lift and have a really good look underneath. If the rear axle attachment points are poor, and the main chassis rails are shot, and the subframes are rusted out (NB the front spring towers) do not touch it with a bargepole. Ditto a poor interior.
Buying a decent-ish running car is not that dear, and believe me, Warrjon, Doug (bows to the setting sun), Baxtor, Grant (genuflects to the Southern Cross), Orangeblossom, Daim, and all the others; even one of those decent cars will give you plenty, and I mean PLENTY of satisfyingly trying things to fix and do, large and small!
Greg
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Old 06-21-2017, 03:31 PM
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Welcome to the XJS forum, but this thread is worthless without pics

Seriously though, some of these folks can glean an incredible amount of information on the vehicle's condition via photos.

If you're getting this free and the mechanicals turn out to be good, it may be worth it to find a pristine one being given away due to an engine fire. Frankenstein them and profit?

Anyway, let's see those pics. Glad you're going into this with your eyes open.
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Old 06-21-2017, 05:06 PM
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Your budget of $10-20k is realistic, the only thing I would add is, if the car is full of rust then walk away unless you get it free, rust as Greg pointed out is difficult to repair, I know I did ALL the work on my car myself, learning to weld at the same time, took me 2 years to do all the body work with bare metal respray in 2 pack, and my car had very little rust.
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