My car's Heritage Certificate arrived

(Thomas Cummings) #1

I always find it interesting to know a little of the history of cars that have beaten the odds and are still with us after so many years.

The certificate lists the exterior color as “Silver”, rather than as “Silver Grey” as I had seen on some period literature. I wonder for any others who have received certificates if other colors are named like Regency Red or Signal Red - or just simply “Red.”

I had already discovered that my car was originally Silver because the one place they missed when it was color changed to the current medium dark red metallic was the spare tire wheel well.

What I was curious about was the interior color (originally Black), since I believe I read somewhere that at least in 1976 that the current Biscuit interior was not originally offered in combination with Silver. Sure enough, the interior has undergone a color change as well.

I was hopeful that the certificate would have listed the original owner to confirm my belief that the original owner had kept the car until the 1993 sale. I just don’t have any positive proof of that, just a big clue: that the owner listed prior to 1993 was a flooring company - and businesses tend to buy new rather than getting a tatty old car for the owner or key employees. Expensive changes like a complete color change and all new upholstery make sense on a vehicle registered in the company name, as then those expenses can be written off under the company tax returns. I am certain that the exterior and interior color change occurred prior to the 1993 sale because both the exterior and interior show at least several years of wear vs. the limited 2,422 miles of driving the owner after 1993 got in before garaging the car undriven for the next 23 years.

(Jochen Glöckner) #2

Hi Thomas,

I only hope the rest of the car didn’t match the state of this wheel well when it was repainted - what a loss, if it did!

My JDHT certificate uses “correct” paint and trim designations: Fern Grey and Moss Green.

BTW, our cars are less than one year apart: Mine was manufactured on Jan. 2, 75 and dispatched on Jan. 9.

For what it’s worth, I once saw an XJ SI in gunmetal grey with biscuit seats and it looked gorgeous. Plain silver would probably ask for some darker interior. Olive might be awesome.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec.)

(Thomas Cummings) #3

Thanks Jochen. Silver it is then - you should have seen the spare wheel well BEFORE I cleaned it! I like the car’s current medium dark red metallic (my car’s picture is in the medallion) - its actually gotten a couple of compliments and goes well with the Biscuit interior. I’ll agree on the Grey and Biscuit, I’ve run across pictures of that combo.

(Mark Lee (Pay Pal Patron)) #4

Besides shelling the clams for the certificate, Do you have to produce anything about the car? like the condition, or a letter or something? I’m curious about my Series II because I’m beginning to think that it’s a frankenjag. There’s a what looks like a hand made aluminum plate with numbers very poorly stamped on it. One of the numbers matches the VIN tag in the window. It’s not like you can run a car fax on it cause the VIN is too short.

(Thomas Cummings) #5

Yes. In addition to filling out a form with information on the car, you also need to send a pdf type file of official documentation of your car - in my case the Texas Title certificate. They do not want photos of the car, just documents. All the numbers they want can be found on the data plate in your engine compartment: Chassis #, Body#, Engine#, Transmission#.

The other metal tags/plates on my Series 2 are:

  1. The VIN tag on the driver side A pillar.
  2. “Federal” (emissions). There are two of these. One is on the upper inner passenger side front wheel well, the other is underneath the rear bumper below the center section riveted to that body panel.
  3. Another chassis # plate (without the BW) in the same area as #2
  4. Another body# plate in the same area as #2

All three of the tags in the back are not well stamped or easily readable - especially the rear body# tag which has faint raised letters. In my case I figured that when the car was repainted that those tags suffered from sanding.

There are probably more tags, plates, or stickers in other locations, the above mentioned tags are what I found on my car.

(Mark Lee (Pay Pal Patron)) #6

Thank you Thomas, I appreciate it. Any update on the fuel tanks?

(Thomas Cummings) #7

Originally I had ordered the Spectra fuel tanks #'s JA1E and JA1F, which are the early style replacement fuel tanks for carbureted applications and what I thought made sense for my lumped car. Then I discovered I was really working on what was originally a Series 2 XJ12 (now lumped and with a late 80’s era XJ6 badging) which at least on the fuel injected versions of the V12 did not share the same fuel tank fitting sizes and locations as on the carbureted XJ6’s, so then I ordered the JA1A and JA1B tanks which are actually direct replacements for the Series 3 tanks Jaguar part #'s CAC5522 and CAC5523. Now these fuel tanks will work perfect with the fitting sizes and locations for the tanks I am replacing.

I probably know more than I ever wanted to know about Jaguar XJ6/12 fuel tanks.

What I would like everyone to know is not to depend on fuel filters to save you from trouble with rusty fuel tanks - which is a very common XJ problem due to the filler cap location and design. There will still be very fine silt like particles of rust and sediment that make it past your filter and into your engine. On my lump the carburetor was full of this very fine rust and sediment that had made it past the fuel filter so I rebuilt and cleaned out the carburetor. Some of you think so what about the fine sediment that makes it that far, that your engine will just burn it up. But what really happens is that a lot of it builds up deposits on the intake valve and in the combustion chamber. Even though my car has extremely low mileage on the engine - this fine silt has built up deposits the same as I might expect on a 100,000 mile engine, it is caked on the intake valves. Potentially worse is that this buildup of deposits on the valves and combustion chambers can lead to sticking valves and catastrophic engine damage. Fuel filters will NOT save you from rusty tank issues.

I’m willing to bet that a fair number of XJ’s have had this kind of serious engine failure and were either junked - or lumped without fixing the underlying cause of severely rusted fuel tanks causing the failure of the Jaguar engine.

(Frank Andersen) #8

I sure don’t want to discourage tank cleaning or tank replacement, Thomas - but anything small enough to get past the jets or the injectors is relatively harmless to the engine. Which is no reason to accept seriously rusty tanks - it will cause other running problems…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

(Thomas Cummings) #9

Its cumulative in nature. Everyone who has disassembled engines has seen buildups of “carbon” on valves, combustion chambers, and piston tops. 100% I will guarantee that those driving with rusty tanks will see more so called “carbon” buildups especially on the intake valves. Its just the same as continually filling your tanks with contaminated fuel - everyone would expect to see even more deposit buildups when running impure gas. Your fuel filters will not stop very fine particles. On vehicles seldom driven it may take a while in time, but sticking intake valves due to excess deposits is an eventual outcome. Going back in time before gas stations used more modern underground storage tanks, it was not unknown for random gas stations to have cracked tanks that let in surrounding sediment, and the issues of running contaminated fuel were not unknown to mechanics. If the issues of damage from running fuel from rusty tanks was not serious then why do shops take the time to derust and seal the interior surface of irreplaceable fuel tanks or just replace with new tanks when available?

(Doug Dwyer) #10

“100% guarantees” can be problematic…much like the words “always” and “never” :slight_smile:

I find it plausible that some ultra fine particles might pass through a filter and, if running carbs, find their way into an engine. The passageways on a typical carb are large enough to let such fine particles travel along.

I’d be less worried on a typical F.I. engine as the filters in the injectors themselves are an additional backstop against particulates entering the engine.

If you were my brother I’d urge you to avoid gambling :slight_smile:

With 6-cylinder XJs we see very few engine ‘failures’ or catastrophic engine damage. Blown head gaskets, yes. And damage related to overheating, yes, sometimes. Ages ago we’d hear of tappet guides walking up and crashing into cams but it seems that those have been repaired, often preemptively, or scrapped. In any case, not related to deposits on valves.

Engine failure with V12s is virtually always related to dropped valve seats…which in turn is related to overheating and/or poor coolant flow. This is well established. Occasional timing chain failures or head gasket failures. Again, not related to build-up on valves.

I’m not asserting you’re wrong by any means. You’re probably technically correct. But I think your predictions are a bit dramatic and describe a type of failure that, while possible, we just don’t typically see…even though rusty fuel systems are quite common.

On the other hand it may come down to how these cars are used in the present day. Vastly fewer are used for regular transportation nowadays. They see only week-end and sunny-day driving…so a problem with valve deposits may never develop to the point of being problematic.

And, when the cars were in daily use they virtually never suffered rusty fuel systems…as the rust problem typically occurs when the cars are left storage.

I’m somewhat reminded of a discussion maybe 15-18 years ago where a fellow had a holed piston (apparently) due to carbon build-up and hot-spots on the piston. He asserted, with great, huge, enormous, and very big emphasis, that the same failure WILL unquestionably befall all of us if we didn’t immediately pull our cylinder heads and clean the pistons. Anyone not willing to do so, immediately, was nothing less than a moron. It developed into quite a lively conversation :). Some of the old timers here might remember it.


(Paul Wigton) #11

In my 45+ years of car experience, I cannot see fine fuel particulates as anything like enough to cause massive internal—to the engine—deposits.

(Paul Wigton) #12

I think I do…and, IIRC, I posited that the ol’ Warshovsky “soft chain and drop into the cylinder” clean-up trick work be just fine!!


(Doug Dwyer) #13

Personally, I hadn’t either.

But there are lots of things I’ve never heard of.

I was prompted to do some Googling to learn more. Mind you, I didn’t spend hours at it. But if rusty fuel is a sure-fire path to catastrophic engine failure I didn’t any discussions about it. Tons of discussion about rusty fuel causing all manner of fuel system failures, naturally. Maybe I didn’t slog thru enough pages !

I dunno.

It doesn’t make my ‘Jaguar worry list’ but I’ve grown nonchalant over the years. Worry, for the most part, is a useless emotion :slight_smile:. Others can decide on their own, naturally.


(Paul Wigton) #14

Mostly. I try to only worry on Tuesdays.


(Thomas Cummings) #15

I’ll concede on all points - while asking why would anyone on purpose continually run their car on contaminated fuel? Overly dramatic, yes - but that is exactly what happens when you pour clean gas into rusty sediment filled tanks. On my car the carburetor also has screens going into each float chamber, both screens had debris - and all throughout the carburetor was some of the finest silt like rust sediment I have ever seen. The fuel filter was full of debris as well and should have been replaced sooner, but most people would not expect it to fill up with debris so quickly. I’ve never before worked on a car with as much sediment/rust in the fuel tanks as on this car: each tank had ~ 1.5 quarts of rust and sediment that came out when the clean out plug was removed, and that is just the loose stuff not counting all the rust that hadn’t flaked off the tank insides yet.

Sticky valves can happen for other reasons, but if you were working on an engine that only had sticking intake valves you might want to consider something on the fuel side.

In another post Frank suggested that some people may have pulled Jaguar engines and lumped cars when possibly the engine issue could have been more easily addressed by fixing the car rather than by lumping it - on that point I agree with Frank. I’ve read older reviews on the plusses and minuses of the XJ6/12, and even years ago it was mentioned that water getting into the tanks was an issue as the cars aged. Many of the surviving cars have enjoyed good maintenance and cleaning and are garaged when parked - many others were not so blessed.

Its okay to run your car on rusty tanks, as for mine I’m already part way through making it a non-issue by installing fresh clean tanks.

(Frank Andersen) #16

I second you, Doug…

…rusty tanks it not a dire threat to ‘our’ engines, incorrect tuning and bad maintenance is. The engines oxidize hydrocarbons to produce power, producing also particulates in large amounts - external contamination adds little when bunt in the cylinders…

xj6 85 Sov Europe UK/NZ)

(Doug Dwyer) #17

I’m not aware of anyone doing so blithely :slight_smile:

In practice the engines run so poorly on rusty fuel that the owners are forced to take some sort of corrective action.

As I recall, subject to correction, yours was in storage for 20 years? If that’s the case it’s probably worse than most…although there’s no denying it’s a common problem.

With this group I’m inclined to say that cautionary advice will likely be given more credence if there’s less drama. :slight_smile:

As bad as you’ve described things I’d say replacing the tanks is likely the best…possibly only…repair. There are other options for less severe cases.


(Thomas Cummings) #18

Yes, my car sat in storage for 23 years. The interesting thing is that this will become the third set of tanks for this car: the original tanks, the replacement tanks that were in the car when I purchased it, and now the new set I am installing. The replacement tanks that were in the car were new replacements when they were installed - they still have the Jaguar part number stickers on them. The passenger side tank that was on the car was fiberglassed along the bottom, presumably to deal with a subsequent rust out which now appears as a dark spot under the fiberglass. Both the drain hoses for the body that are meant to drain water from around the filler caps had debris dirt and such restricting their ability to drain. The filler cap seals were split. And the forward facing top vent hose by the cap hinge was split open and it appears that this was from when the tanks were replaced the first time years ago - this is a fiddly hose especially when hardened from age, a pain to replace and I think the tech left these damaged hoses in place when the first replacement tanks were installed. So at least on my car it was ripe for water intrusion in the years before storage.

Jaguar had made their fuel tanks more serviceable for in car clean outs in that there is a large access plug allowing replacement of the in tank fuel strainer. Against Doug’s brotherly advice I’m willing to bet that few here have ever serviced this part of their fuel system.

Go to any auto restoration shop you like and ask them how often they replace old fuel tanks, they will tell you its pretty common. Because it is not a fun job on the XJ, I can understand how it becomes a delayed maintenance item justified with more frequent fuel filter replacements or the thought that any minute particles that get past the filter will just be burned up. Sorry if I have sounded overly dramatic on where this could lead, but contaminated fuel is not without consequence is my simple point. Once again its okay with me, its your car.

(Paul Wigton) #19

Actually, I see * no one* asserting that.

Ive had PUH-lenty old cars, with rusty tanks: I clean the tanks, install in-line filters, if needed, and then only (VERY rarely) have an issue of a plugged-up filter, way before the carbs. Never seen, or heard of, stuck valves and back-of-valve deposits from rust silt.

Could it happen? Perhaps: I am with Doug on this…Might be a possibility. Just never heard of it veing an issue, in the 50 years Ive noodled with autos.

However, with cars that demonstrably had non-rusty tanks, and those with (my current Rover, for example), I have sern equally-gunked up valves, all exhibiting it being indications of oil, sucked past VG seals.

Im just too damn lazy to remove Margaret’s tank, for the wee bit of rust silt I see in the sediment bowl: after I installed a filter, just out of the tank, I get no more in the bowl.

Main reason I did it was, P6 Rovers—Rovii??—have a fuel reserve switch (mechanical discrimination) and the rust would plug that up, making it necessary to coast to the side of the road…!!!.., drop a line off the valve, and flush it out. No more issue since the filter install!

(Doug Dwyer) #20

Unfortunately most people are not accustomed to cleaning drains as a part of routine servicing thus so many older cars with rusted out fuel-filler pockets, sunroof openings, etc.

My parents retired to a rural-ish area with lots of pine trees. Two Oldsmobiles and a Buick virtually ruined, over a period of years, because pine needles blocked drainage hoses and natural drainage paths. Rust everywhere.

Another problem on the XJ sedans is the bottom of the tanks being encased with dirt/mud/leaves that find permanent residence inside the lower tank cover/valance panels. Same, really, for the front fenders aft of the front wheels. It’s not a big deal to annually remove the access panels to thoroughly hose out the muck. But…you first must be aware that it needs to be done !

Jaguar’s love affair with top-mounted fuel fillers continued for many years after the Series I-II-III cars. The inherent problems continued as well, naturally:). Clogged drains, water entering the tank. Now that the age of these cars is being measured in decades, and more of them seeing more storage time than driving time, we’ll likely be seeing rusty tanks in them as well.