Sunday, November 25, 2012

Blow Your Cool!

We had our first run with the Jaguar Drivers Club of Australia - Western Register last weekend to Jenolan Caves. Unfortunately the old girl overheated and ruptured the radiator. It was a shame to spend bits of the run on the side of the road with the bonnet up waiting for the engine to cool down. (I suspected something was on the way out as she overheated a couple of weeks earlier while heading up Soldier's Pinch on the way to Blackheath.)

We managed to limp home from Jenolan Caves, thanks to some help from a fellow club member and a couple of bottles of coolant.

Getting the old radiator out was a bitch of a job, there was no coolant drain valve so I had to remove the bottom radiator hose and the let the coolant out. Anyone who's worked on a Mark VII will know just how unbelievably hard the bottom radiator hose is to remove. I ended up soaked to the skin with coolant. Not a fun time, but I got the radiator out all the same.

I had a custom made aluminium radiator manufactured by Aussie Desert Cooler in Melbourne and fitted it this weekend. The radiator was slightly larger than the original (even though I gave them the original to copy the exact size) and I needed to perform some modifications to the upper radiator support and bonnet catch panel.

The thermostat housing was badly corroded and had been patched up, so I decided to see if the equivalent part on the parts car was any better. After a clean up and a polish, it was pressed in to service.

After some chasing leaks (foolishly I was trying to re-use the original thermostat housing gasket) everything went together and the new radiator performs flawlessly, she sits rock solid on 160 °F when highway driving, even on a 30 °C day when going up hills. She's all ready for our run to Canberra next weekend for the Terribly British Day.

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