Sill Plate Sickness

Seems I have never had an XJS that didn’t come with the sill plates on both sides very badly scratched up, even with a car with less than 80K on it. :angry: What’s up with that? How do you even scratch up a sill plate with a rubber or leather shoe sole? :flushed: I thought the plates were made of polished stainless steel vs. chrome-plated steel for durability (and rust-proofing, I guess)? :confused:

It happens on P6 Rovii, too!

Many thousands of iterations of ingress/egress, with even the slightest brush of a dirt-laden shoe… and scratched, it will be!



PS: chrome gets scratched, too.

Yes, stainless steel, and very hard to polish…

I will need to check mine, but I thought the sills were aluminum with a stainless steel ‘Jaguar’ insert.

i thought they were alum…anyway couldn’t they be protected like dealers sometimes do make a clear cover for them out of visqueen plastic or some such stuff and put over them…but what the heck why own one if you can’t enjoy driving it…by the time they will become really rare cars we will all have passed on to another world…the day of preserving for the future is over as most museums have newer cars stashed away


PREcisely: why Tweety was driven over 200,000 miles, in his long life.

A car, not driven…is not truly a car, is it?


Good point, Wiggler … I never understood people who pay big $$$ for a “collector’s car”, just to have it sit around looking pretty, and/or only to be driven to/from car shows. :confused:

As to the plastic coating for sill plates mentioned earlier, I think that is a great idea. They have something clear now like that which you apply (“paint”?) to the front end of your car, kinda like what we used to do with the old “car bras” of black vinyl. As to the latter, I never understood covering an important part of the car from sight, just so you could take it off and expose it right before you sell it. :confused: The clear stuff, however, allows the part of the car to still be seen, but can be peeled off easily when it becomes “contaminated” to be replaced with a fresh piece/coat. If I ever get sill name plates in pristine condition, I think I’ll try applying that clear stuff to protect them. :+1:

Or, driven onto/ off a trailer, at said shows, to show “it runs.”


Ill never get the opportunity to test the theory, but had I the money to own a Bugatti Royale… I’d drive it. Not a lot, but…!

I did test it a bit, with my ‘rent’s ‘35 Auburn Speedster.

And Tweety…:wink:

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Back in the 70’s I worked with a guy who showed up for work one fine Monday morning in a brand new DeTomaso Pantera. We cautiously asked him if he had heard that those cars were notoriously unreliable. He said yes, but this was the new Mk II model and they’ve fixed all those problems. He drove the car to work again on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday the car didn’t make it to work. Had it towed to the dealer. The problem was that the bolts holding the flywheel to the crank had backed out and the clutch plate was sitting on the bolt heads, which prevented the clutch from engaging. To fix that, the engine/transaxle had to get pulled outta the car and split apart. In the course of putting it all back together, the shop managed to deform the oil pan. When the car was started, the crank hit the oil pan and ripped a hole in it, dumping oil all over the floor. After they finally got that sorted, the guy drove the car home and into his garage where it stayed the rest of the time I knew him.

Of course, a Pantera is worth a lot today, so if he kept it long enough it was a worthwhile hangar queen.

The plastic, or varnish, or whatever you put on top, would look good for about a week…
Every time you go in or out you scrub the sill, and if Stainless Steel can’t stay polished, plastic or varnish will get decimated pretty fast.

I said it’s hard to polish but YOU CAN polish it, I did, and it sure made a difference.
It’s quite thick and can take the abuse.


I wish I knew how (please do tell, Arist :pray: ) … On all my Jags I’ve had problems with the stainless steel roof strips getting scratched up … although I try to avoid sliding things on/off the roof or placing my ring of keys against the driver’s side strip with my left hand to assist when I go to exit the car. Someone had told me a long time ago that the the downside of the polished stainless steel trim on Jags is that you cannot remove/polish scratches out of it … :confused: Also, on the sill plates, how do you avoid polishing out the “JAGUAR” lettering when doing so?

There is an adhesive film that is supposed to be sticky enough to not get knocked of with foot traffic, and will not stick too hard to peel off without leaving a residue.
I bought a bunch of this stuff while I was trying to restore my 94 coupe but never got to use.
Pm me if you need some.

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Depends on how deep the scratches are.
If they are really deep, you cold start with a fine file, and then sandpaper and a block of wood, going finer and finer.
Then it’s buffing.
There are sandpaper/scotch bright sandwiched wheels that work very well (350 - 400 grade).
Then you need cloth wheels, hard with coarse polishing soap (not cream), then fine soap, and finally with a soft wheel and fine soap.
As I make jewelry I have all of the above… Not very expensive if you want to purchase them, and if you want, I can tell you what and where.
I mount the wheels on my table drill, highest speed for metal, lowest for plastic, works very well.
A Dremmel can also be very useful for finishing touches.
It needs patience and persistence, especially the buffing.

Start with a buff to assess how deep the scratches are and to see if and how easily they go away.
Mind you that the coarser you start, the harder will be to polish back.
Work always with long strokes and passes, you don’t want to make indents, you don’t always realize it, but you take quite a lot of material out !
For deep scratches work locally feathering out.

Do not polish the aluminium part of the sill.
Cover it with masking tape and just avoid that area. A pass with the sandpaper disc will ruin your day, even with the masking tape on top.
You can do the edges by hand and polishing cream, or even with a Dremmel.

On the contrary, Stainless Steel is very safe to polish as its a solid material.
Plated Chrome and Nickel on the other hand are tricky because you have only some micrometers of material available, and if you go all the way through your piece is ruined.

These are tools that once you have you can’t live with out.
You can polish everything, Chrome, Aluminium, Brass, even Plastic (have to be very careful not to melt the plastic though, you use the lowest speed possible and a very soft wheel).
The list is long… but one of them was my rear lights lenses and they look like they left the factory yesterday!

Hope that helps,

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Just another thing to muddy up the waters.
I have had a ton of trouble removing the rain gutter stainless.
Even with the proper tools, I either kinked the metal or dinged the paint.
I just remembered, I have some NOS stainless ‘A’ post covers.
They are for a convertible I think so I never used them.

This actually happens when removing the seats. You have to be very careful when doing so…