For the longest time, I was planning on keeping my 1977 XJ-S as original as possible, because it just seemed like the right thing to do with only 50K on the clock, it seemed a good candidate.
Then came the flood. The flood ruined the interior of the car (along with almost every other car in my driveway) as the water came up above the center console.
Well, the car runs again; (largely) Fine with a new battery and a couple taps on the starting relay.
So now it’s time to do something interesting. I’d like to make this car VERY fun to drive, aesthetically pleasing and possibly even suitable tor a longer trip.
This brings me to my question-
What are your suggestions to make this car more comfortable, reliable and fun to use?
I’m not quite at the point of tearing the engine down and re-boring the cylinders and such, I like to keep myself to smaller, weekend projects.
Additionally, I live near NYC and traffic can be… Heavy at times, one is concerned with overheating
Before the flood, in the past two years I have:
Rebuilt all brake calipers and master cylinder.
Replaced all 4 Shocks
Replaced the Ignition with a better system (see my write-up)
Replaced fuel pump
Replaced Fuel Pressure regulators
Cleaned all injectors
Rebuilt cooling system
Replaced alternator (With a Bosch AL9345X) and pulley to allow it to work at speed due to RPM difference)
Rebuilt wiper motor
Replaced Auxiliary air valve
Many other things, hoses, etc
replaced headlights with Better, brighter bulbs (and appropriate wiring and relay for such)
New Fuel tank
All of these things seemed to have survived.
On my current to do list:
Rebuild power steering pump and rack (something is leaking), Parts on order, rebuild to original-ish (better bushings and such)
Eliminate the air injection system.
Add an oil catch can to reduce the intake sludge issue
Build a new intake to pull cooler air from outside
Replace all relays with modern, not Lucas relays
Replace engine mounts
Remove EGR system
On my prospect list:
Replace transmission with a manual T-5 transmissions look interesting, though I already know and like the Getrag shift patterns)
Replace power steering pump with an electric power steering pump (used Volvo seem to be popular)
** When replacing power steering pump, I will need to do something about the water pump, as they’re on the same belt
Replace both fans with an electric setup
Add a second alternator in place of the air pump or the steering pump to support all of these things.
Rebuild the air conditioning system to R134A (then maybe the girlfriend will be willing to get in the car, one day)
Electric, redundant water pumps with a time out feature after turning off the engine or at a certain temperature.
Replace interior- not sure where I want to go with this one, though eliminating the rear seat is VERY tempting. There’s a part of me that wants a parquet floor (I would build thin panels that get placed on the floor, of course)
I’m also thinking of using termoform plastic to make new door panels and cover them in a pleasant material, such as cork.
Repaint the car (not sure what I want to do here either, but it desperately needs it.
New stereo, speakers.
What other suggestions do you have? Do you have any comments on my ideas? Have you done it?
I don’t need or want the car to stand out (more than it already does) from the outside.
Looking forward to some suggestions!