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First long trip

 
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:47 AM
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Default First long trip

I felt pretty daring taking off on a 2000 mile trip with a 15 year old British car that I had only known for about a month. After all, I grew up in the 50's and 60's with Lucas electrics and leaky SU carburetors.
Sure I had already taken care of the Green Shower, fixed the leaky power steering return line, put on new tires, changed transmission filter and fluid, replaced the broken front valance with a new expensive one and installed a forward looking "parking camera" so I don't have to replace that expensive valance again, but still, it is a long trip.

There was no need to worry. THE CAR RAN LIKE A TOP AND WHAT A PURE JOY TO DRIVE! It never missed a beat. We were on curvy mountain back roads, cruise control at 85 mph thru part of Texas and with the help of heavy foot hit 100+ a few times. Hot weather in Arizona and 34 F and heavy snow coming down in New Mexico. Got to test both AC and heat and was always comfy inside.
Now back home again, I am still trying to get the smile off my face. Maybe in another week?

Did learn a few things......
I could use an extra inch of leg room. It seems that removing the rear seat and adding a cargo shelf might just add enough room to move the seat track back. There is an extra hole in the rear of each track, but one would need to make a short track extension for the front. Anybody tried that???
Tranny seems okay, but the first to second shift is pretty hard. Is that normal or does it require action???
Instruments need more light. Specially in bright AZ sunshine. Worked fine in the grey snowy weather. LED's on order and hope that will fix it.

Car will soon go into Arizona summer storage for six months. Time to go north fishing. I will put it on jack stands and disconnect battery. Leave the top up and crack the windows open. Anything else I need to do and worry about????
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:08 AM
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I've had a few trips where I put 1500 miles on the car in a week. I'd do it again.
If it's going to be that long with the car in storage I would put the battery on a trickle charger and add some good quality gas with stabilizer, and it's a good time to let some leather conditioner soak into the seats.
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:14 AM
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Good thoughts! Thanks
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:41 AM
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Default I shared your paranoia first long trip.

I bought my 2004 XK8 in November 4 1/2 years ago and as I live in Southern Ontario Canada the car went immediately into the garage for TLC. Using all the great advice from this great group of people on the forum I did all of the things that were suggested with cooling system, transmission fluid, changed all fluids and serpentine belt and scrubbed and polished while waiting for spring. After just a couple of Sunday drives my paranoia was slightly relieved and we headed out on the long trip to the Gaspe Penninsula, a 3000 mile round trip. Much of the trip was rainy, but there was never a drop of water in the cabin, unlike my Olsmobile convertible which required a towel in hand with the least little rain. The XK8 ran flawlessly, and got great gas mileage. It was a real pleasure to drive for long highway miles. 2 weeks after that trip we headed to Myrtle Beach and what fun it was to drive through the mountains of West Virginia and go cruising the Grand Strand on a summer evening. Made me feel like a kid again. In a few months we will be heading of to Myrtle Beach again for the 4th time with the Jag and I can hardly wait because the trip is as much fun as the destination.

Blue XK8 looks extra ice with Palm Trees and blues skies, took this in North Myrtle Beach.
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:46 AM
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congratulations, hoping that there are many more such journeys in your future.

if you traveled through snow and ice melting chemicals were used, it would be a very good idea to completely wash the underside and wheel wells prior to storage. personally i would leave the battery connected and on a tender so that the car does not lose the drive-ability settings that it learned during your trip.
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:58 AM
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My wife's 2006 XK8 served as her daily driver from February 3rd, 2012 until October 30th, 2018. During that timespan she made many solo 1,400-mile round trips to visit her elderly mother in Tampa, Florida. The car never gave her any problems during those long runs. She decided to return to the cargo space, general versatility, and added safety of an SUV as a daily driver, so her beloved XK8 is now her top-down cruiser toy at 118,200 well-cared-for miles....
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:39 PM
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Oh, it has been washed inside and out already. I have read all sorts of warnings and rules on the battery disconnect, etc. Is it okay to have it on a trickle charger for six months??? Voltage limits??
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Default XK8 was designed as a Grand tourer (GT)

Great stories! Wish I had those opportunities here in Bahrain, which is a small island in the Arabian Gulf.

Here, I have early Sat mornings lazy drives to chill, and nothing compares to my XK8 for comfort combined with power.

In hindsight you can compare my cars - my VW Golf isn’t a long distance tourer - too fiddly behind the steering wheel, my Porsche - too hard on my spine, my BMW Z3 - too hard on the ears.

Everything people say here convinces me that Jag got it just right with the XK8.... just maybe not the chain tensioners....
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:44 PM
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Default A battery tender and trickle chargers are different

Nalle

The two are different. A battery tender is a modern bit of kit, with inbuilt safety checks that stop the charge when it reaches a certain limit. The old fashion trickle charger shouldn’t be used long term unattended
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:53 PM
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Default First long trip,

After reading on the forum about all kinds of problems and issues, it is encouraging to hear a few stories about a multitude of successful extended trips.
For me, on a long trip with a "new" old car I always keep listening for new sounds and noises and, this time, kept wondering where the nearest Jag dealer is located.
After this first experience, I can't wait to now get back in the fall and start rolling with top down again. It's like the good old days - my first car was a -47 MG TC
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:14 PM
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as long as you have a battery maintainer as opposed to a simple trickle charger many would advocate that this is better. some electronics are not well served being powered down for long periods of time. a season, not so much of a big deal.

fellow long distance, older car driver here. learned the technique with very old daily use cars. what happens to you over time is that systems and weaknesses are identified and fixed before they break down. reading through forums one learns which items tend to break at what mileage and what to look for. particular needs for the specific car become routine. in many cases one ends up with a car more reliable than a newer one.

this is why i replaced the A-drum, no questions asked.

you will also learn to see things long before they fail such as sweating on the radiator hose connection. engines do not just stop running; they tell you long before.

it also helps to daily drive the car when possible as little things start to show themselves.

one can go too crazy. it helps to have a trip "go-to-hell" fund. if you break down, you simply ship the car back home, no questions asked. for my regional adventures, i have the most comprehensive AAA coverage. i would rather ship it back than have an unknown mechanic attempt to fix a car.

it can be fun. hope that you enjoy the journey.
 

Last edited by WhiteHat; 03-17-2019 at 03:43 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by nalle View Post
installed a forward looking "parking camera" so I don't have to replace that expensive valance again, but still, it is a long trip.
Maybe you need to tell us something about that?
Happy fishing.
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:13 PM
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to many more happy long journeys in your XK8!!
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 06:20 PM
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"Tranny seems okay, but the first to second shift is pretty hard. Is that normal or does it require action??? "

Before replacing any transmissions parts, try this: I had the same issue in my barn-find 2005 with 83,000 miles on it. The local Jag dealer declared it unrepairable and quoted $7,800 for a replacement trans. I asked about re-flashing the TCM and an adaptation drive, but they wouldn't touch it, saying it would doubtless and immediately turn the trans into a doorstop (or words to that effect) and they didn't want to be responsible for it. Sharing my woes on this forum, a fellow member living not far from me offered to delete old adaptations & faults, and re-flash the trans with his copy of the dealership software. Then I performed an adaptation procedure as best as I could way out in Area 51 where no one would mind. Result? After two years and 17,000 miles of mostly cross-country driving, I just passed 100,000 miles on the odometer with butter-smooth shifting, in all kinds of weather. I did go ahead and have the trans fluid drained and refilled twice with MERCON SP trans fluid by a local Jag shop (Top Car Service on Nellis Blvd, highly recommended!), and couldn't be happier. If you can get your local Jag dealer to do both the re-flash and the adaptation procedure, you've got a very good chance that it will be cured.
 
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:48 AM
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Originally Posted by nalle View Post
Tranny seems okay, but the first to second shift is pretty hard. Is that normal or does it require action???
Instruments need more light. Specially in bright AZ sunshine. Worked fine in the grey snowy weather. LED's on order and hope that will fix it.
Always good to read "driving" posts. I hope this is the first of many enjoyable and troublefree trips for you.

1. if it hasn't been done already, transmision fluid change could help extend unit life.
2. LEDS's have mixed reports on the forum. Before swapping, check you have a full set of working Instrument Pack bulbs.

Graham
 
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Old 03-19-2019, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by GGG View Post
Always good to read "driving" posts. I hope this is the first of many enjoyable and troublefree trips for you.

1. if it hasn't been done already, transmision fluid change could help extend unit life.
2. LEDS's have mixed reports on the forum. Before swapping, check you have a full set of working Instrument Pack bulbs.

Graham
Thanks for your feed back! I did the filter and fluid change before the trip and have the burnt knuckles to prove it. Did not help much on the 1 to 2 shifts. Have read several posts as well as checked a couple of YouTube videos on resetting the transmission adaptations. Do you have any experience with this?? There is even a Jaguar TSB on this from 2009. If it works, I would even try to get a Jaguar shop to do this, unless one can get hold of the proper software. The learning routine seems a bit complex to do for one person. Probably need a helper.

Re LED's - I will have a full set of regular incandescent and LED bulbs available before I tear the dash apart.
 
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Old 03-19-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by nalle View Post
Thanks for your feed back! I did the filter and fluid change before the trip and have the burnt knuckles to prove it. Did not help much on the 1 to 2 shifts. Have read several posts as well as checked a couple of YouTube videos on resetting the transmission adaptations. Do you have any experience with this?? There is even a Jaguar TSB on this from 2009. If it works, I would even try to get a Jaguar shop to do this, unless one can get hold of the proper software. The learning routine seems a bit complex to do for one person. Probably need a helper.

Re LED's - I will have a full set of regular incandescent and LED bulbs available before I tear the dash apart.
you have a later car so i am not sure how much of this applies to you. my independent was able to install all of the transmission and other software updates through his Autologic console. he pays a fee to have access to the Jaguar specific software install files. for any car, this requires a special type of battery maintainer as the voltage cycles must be perfect during the flashing process. this is according to Jaguar and every other manufacturer specifies the same. in other words, you need an independent who has made the investment, subscriptions and hardware. the reason that the dealer will not do it is that your car comes from an era that they are not servicing any longer and two things might come into play. none of their techs are certified for the model and they might not have access to the software due to upgrades of equipment and subscriptions. the latter is quite common.

you just have to find the right technician. there are mobile techs who specialize in this kind of work and service very good shops who would never be able to keep up with every setup and update. ask a body shop as they often contract with these techs. once you have the right person, you can get everything that the dealer would have done.
 

Last edited by WhiteHat; 03-19-2019 at 09:57 AM. Reason: typo
 
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