1990 XJ-S Convertible Air Pump Replacement

My wife’s 1990 XJ-S convertible (5.3 L V12) recently started making an irregular mechanical chattering sound at the right front of the engine. The sound could clearly be heard with the hood (bonnet) closed but was much louder with the hood open. I did a side by side comparison with my 1990 V12 Vanden Plas (5.3L V12) with both engines running using my mechanics stethoscope and I localized the noise to the Air Pump (EAC8839) which very loud on the XJ-S and barely audible above normal engine noise on my V12 Vanden Plas. I removed the Air Pump from the XJ-S and confirmed that it was the culprit when I turned the pulley by hand and heard the same unmistakable mechanical chattering noise. I was anxious to get the car back on the road quickly and delighted to find that my local O’Reilly’s auto parts store could order a rebuilt one and get it on hand for me that afternoon. The replacement Air Pump I purchased was a rebuilt Cardone 32-293 for about $100 US. It was an exact replacement for the one in the car. Originally I thought that I could use one of the spare Air Pumps (EAC3645) that I removed from my XJ6 parts cars but when I compared them side by side I discovered that although they were similar they used a different diameter pulley and smaller pulley bolts. I swapped over the pulley, pulley bolts, outlet adapter (using the new gasket provided with the rebuilt Air Pump) and mount bolts from the original Air Pump to the replacemement one and easily installed the replacement Air Pump. When I started up the car late last night the mechanical chattering noise was gone. On a short drive today I confirmed that the engine has returned to it’s nice smooth sound again and the chattering noise is gone.
The attached pictures show the old Air Pump before the removal and replacement, the box of the rebuilt replacement Air Pump, and the replacement Air Pump in place.
I live in California, USA and this car is subject to visual and gas analysis Smog Tests every two years. So a proper replacement was required in order to pass the upcoming CA Smog Test.


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Nice work, and great price. I bought a Cardone remanufactured master cylinder for my nonABS 88, so far so good.

Too bad California still has smog checks for your Jags! Do they ever expire? Here in WA state, no smog checks if your car is 25+ years. And starting next year, no smog checks at all. I’m slowly removing smog equip, I guess I’ll never be able to sell my XJS to a Californian.

Older cars built in 1976 or newer require Smog Checks every two years in California. Cars 8 years old and newer do not require a Smog Check. There was a 30 year rolling exemption for the older cars that moved forward each year, but they stopped that a decade ago or so. I have resigned myself to expect to get a smog check for my three newer Jaguars (1984, 1990, 1990) as long as I own them and live in California. The 1957 MKVIII and 1969 E-Type FHC are exempt. So far I have been very fortunate as my cars easily pass the Smog Check gas analysis with very low numbers.

I know that some states don’t require the Smog Checks but I am not certain what the USA federal laws are regarding removal of emissions equipment once mandated by federal laws. For me that is not an issue at all because I must do the Smog Checks to get the cars re-registeted but I do wonder about the federal laws each time I see someone posting about removing emissions equipment.


I’ve never heard that the Federal laws have been repealed or sun-setted so I assume it is still a violation to remove emission equipment.

Enforcement is another matter, of course. There isn’t any, as near as I can tell. I don’t think the Fed has any interest in pursuing violators.


So you can remove your air pump while smoking a joint, and the Feds won’t do nothing :wink:

The reason Washington state is eliminating smog checks next year, the majority of cars on the road are 2010 or newer. Those cars have excellent emissions, and you can’t simply ‘remove’ the equipment due to the complexity of them, and the ECU is pretty much a computer monitoring everything. As time goes on, cars older than 2010 will be a tiny fraction of total cars on the road, probably less than 1%. It’s not worth the government cost to run smog checks for them.

Hopefully other states like California will follow suit. It will save taxpayer money. :slight_smile:

Remember that this is California that we are talking about. :wink:

I doubt very much that the Smog Checks every two years will go away any time soon. I am definitely not holding my breath until they do. :wink:


In California, ‘smog checks’ isn’t merely a gov’t program, it’s an industry. That casts the matter in a different light.


Oh yeah, I forgot. Here in WA, the tests are govt run only. In California, allowing shops that can fix cars to do the actual testing is like letting a fox run the hen house! California is a mess.

Tis a huge mix here in CA. Some Smog shops do nothing but tests. Others do some work. And, yet others do almost any mechanical

Then some Smog shops do OBDII cars only. No dyno involved.

lat year a couple of Smog bills died in Committee. propsosal that the year be moved to 81 or older. Lobby pressure ???