[xj40] It's my first time!

I suppose in 16 years and 121000 miles of ownership of my
XJ40, there had to come a time when I would be faced with a
‘roadside repair’ after some sort of failure. The only other
‘failure to proceed’ I can remember was many years ago when
the CPS decided to throw a tantrum and temporarily brought
the car to a halt but a judicious thump persuaded it to
perform long enough to get the car home to change it.

This time, it was not so much a ‘failure to proceed’ as a
slight whiff of petrol vapour when stopped at my daughter’s
house after a fairly fast 175 mile run. The smell was traced
to an area under the floor at the rear left passenger door
in the vicinity of the fuel filter. No problem, I thought -
I recently changed the fuel filter during a ‘major service’
and I obviously had not tightened up the pipe connections
properly.

Wrong! The fuel feed pipe (CBC8897) from the filter which
runs forward to the flexible hose in the engine bay
alongside the fuel return pipe (CBC8899) and two brake
lines, all clamped to the underside of the floor pan with a
complicated common fairlead arrangement some inches forward
of the filter had sprung a leak in the part that is hidden
by that clamp. Most annoying because I always inspect all of
the underfloor fuel and brake lines, clean them up and
re-treat them if necessary before submitting the car for its
annual MoT - because those testers are always hot on rusting
fuel and brake lines, a guaranteed MoT ‘fail’.

Initially it was not clear which fuel line was leaking
because it was well hidden behind that clamp, but when I
looked under the car with the engine running, I saw what
looked like a single strand of a spider’s web hanging down
from the clamp. Of course when I grabbed it, a wet hand
indicated that it was a very fine jet of fuel!

I had no jack stands or ramps available to tackle the job
properly so I decided to remove the clamp and try to
temporarily seal the pipe. For that I used ‘steel’ epoxy
resin putty (like JB weld at a guess) to mold an ‘egg’ over
the fuel line at the pinhole leak area, hopefully to stop or
at least reduce the leak sufficiently to get the car home.

After 18 hours to harden, that ‘bodge’ was partially
successful in that the jet of fuel had reduced to the
occasional drop - and of course only when the engine is
running (or for a few minutes after it stops until the fuel
rail pressure subsides). So, with some trepidation and a
newly acquired fire extinguisher at the ready in the car, I
drove it home quite safely - trying hard not to get held up
at lights or in traffic with the engine running fearing a
small pool of fuel spreading under the car!

Now I have the car home and with tools available, I will
seek a permanent solution - not helped of course since the
fuel pipe required, CBC8897 is NLA from Jaguar!

Alternative repair methods will need to be determined.

[Hence my comment in the ‘fuel consumption’ thread casting
doubt on the measured mileage versus the VCM figure!]–
Bryan N, '91 Sovereign 4.0 L, RHD
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Bryan N sent Sun 29 Jul 2012:

Your local hardware store will have brass compression unions
to replace the short length of pipe with the pinhole. I
believe the fuel supply line is 5/16 inch diameter and the
low pressure return is 3/8 inch. The lines are probably
metric (8 and 9 mm, resp) and they may be just a tad loose,
but there is sufficient 'take up; in the compression
ferrules to effect a tight seal.–
The original message included these comments:

Now I have the car home and with tools available, I will
seek a permanent solution - not helped of course since the
fuel pipe required, CBC8897 is NLA from Jaguar!
Alternative repair methods will need to be determined.
[Hence my comment in the ‘fuel consumption’ thread casting
doubt on the measured mileage versus the VCM figure!]


Pete Peterson 70E(193K) 88XJ40s(270K & 256K) 94XJ40 (122K)
Severna Park, Maryland, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Sun 29 Jul 2012:

Pete,

Its the other way around. The fuel feed is the larger pipe,
the return line is smaller.

After scraping off the accumulated underseal, paint and a
little rust, I reckon mine are not metric - I measure them
at 0.375’’ (3/8’’) feed and 0.3125’’ (5/16’’) for the return line.

So far I’ve not found any compression fittings of that size
so I may be forced to use reinforced rubber high pressure
hose to cut out the damaged part and join the remaining good
parts. Not pretty but perhaps the easiest solution.–
The original message included these comments:

Your local hardware store will have brass compression unions
to replace the short length of pipe with the pinhole. I
believe the fuel supply line is 5/16 inch diameter and the
low pressure return is 3/8 inch. The lines are probably
metric (8 and 9 mm, resp) and they may be just a tad loose,
but there is sufficient 'take up; in the compression
ferrules to effect a tight seal.


Bryan N, '91 Sovereign 4.0 L, RHD
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Bryan N sent Mon 30 Jul 2012:

If you can stand the wait, I can send you one of each. My
local hardware store has both sizes. E-mail me off line
with address, etc. If you decide to go the hose rout, use
two sets of cheney clamps on the supply line, spaced about a
half-inch apart. 45 psi pressure will push the tubes apart.
The return line has no pressure in it, so one set of clamps
will do.–
The original message included these comments:

So far I’ve not found any compression fittings of that size
so I may be forced to use reinforced rubber high pressure
hose to cut out the damaged part and join the remaining good
parts. Not pretty but perhaps the easiest solution.


Pete Peterson 70E(193K) 88XJ40s(270K & 256K) 94XJ40 (122K)
Severna Park, Maryland, United States
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In reply to a message from Jaguarpete sent Mon 30 Jul 2012:

Pete,

Thanks for the offer. I should have said I couldn’t find
those compression fittings in my local hardware stores but I
can get them mail order from ‘proper’ suppliers.

I’ve not had time to sort the XJ40 problem out since my
return from ‘up North’ - a few domestic problems like a
blocked drain and a mysteriously flashing ceiling light plus
the catalytic converter on my MX5 dismantled itself
internally and a replacement is due in today, so I will be
rather busy! :slight_smile:

I will let you know which route I decide to take on that
fuel line repair but the proximity of the failure to a bend
in the feed line may persuade me to try the flexible
reinforced fuel hose idea first.–
The original message included these comments:

If you can stand the wait, I can send you one of each. My
local hardware store has both sizes. E-mail me off line
with address, etc. If you decide to go the hose rout, use
two sets of cheney clamps on the supply line, spaced about a
half-inch apart. 45 psi pressure will push the tubes apart.
The return line has no pressure in it, so one set of clamps
will do.


Bryan N, '91 Sovereign 4.0 L, RHD
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Bryan N sent Tue 31 Jul 2012:

I’d like to suggest a method that my Jag mentor taught me on
the NLS xjs fuel tanks:

  1. Remove the part and drain the fuel, making sure all fumes
    are out.

  2. Clean the affected area with a wire toothbrush or a
    scotchbrite wheel.

  3. Use a brass brazing rod and acetelene torch, no oxygen.
    You can also use a regular propane torch on small parts.
    There practically no learning curve, just heat the area and
    the rod melts right into the hot metal. This works on steel
    and aluminum. You can get the rod at most hardware stores.
    The fix has great adhesion and doesn’t corrode like solder
    or steel welds. I’ve done this many times since I was
    taught and never had a problem.–
    Marc , BSME – 93/94 XJ12
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In reply to a message from Bryan N sent Sun 29 Jul 2012:

Hi Bryan,
I had a similar problem on my old Sovereign but
it was caused by a piece of scrap metal I run over on a
motorway. My fuel line suffered damage along with the floor
of the car.

I used a section of old power steering pipe to make a
sleeve which I ’ tinned ’ using a brazing rod from Halfords
after cutting a slit down the side. It worked a treat and
lasted right up until I sold the car. Also, because it did
not increase the diameter of the pipe by too much it pushed
back into the retainer easily.

If removing the pipe is troublesome and you decide on the
rubber tube route for simplicity, it will help if you can
use a flaring tool on each end of the pipe to make it like a
brake pipe end. The clips you use will then have a stop to
act against.

Good luck.–
The original message included these comments:

Wrong! The fuel feed pipe (CBC8897) from the filter which
runs forward to the flexible hose in the engine bay
alongside the fuel return pipe (CBC8899) and two brake
Now I have the car home and with tools available, I will
seek a permanent solution - not helped of course since the
fuel pipe required, CBC8897 is NLA from Jaguar!


Casso - 1993 4.0 XJR…
Liverpool, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Bryan N sent Tue 31 Jul 2012:

Fingers crossed - I think I have fixed it.

I sought advice from a few local ‘experts’ and the idea of
using a reinforced rubber hose held on with hose clamps was
not considered to be the best solution. In the end, I bought
some ‘specialist’ fuel line compression fittings and a
length of 3/8’’ o/d steel fuel line so that I could cut out
the damaged area and join the new fuel line to the old using
the compression fittings at either end.

My only concern was that the brass ‘ferrules’ in the
‘specialist’ compression fittings were of a type unfamiliar
to me - i.e they were not the normal spherical shape with a
hole in the middle which grip the pipe fore-and-aft but ones
with a shoulder under the union nut and a slightly tapered
end which is supposed to grip the pipe. Anyway, I cut the
pipe either side of the leaking area and installed the
compression fittings per instructions with a short length of
new pipe between the two.

It looked fine - but on first switch on, there was a slight
seepage of fuel from the join. So I tightened the fittings a
little more, but it didn’t stop the leak. No amount of
additional tightening would stop that slight seepage - and
then I re-read an instruction ‘‘Do not over-tighten’’!

Obviously a Plan B was required. I tried to find somewhere
which could make up and bend a length of new 3/8’’ fuel pipe
but the fuel filter end with an ‘S’ bend and a raised ‘bead’
on the pipe to house an ‘O’ ring seems to be a no-goer in
this neck of the woods. For other reasons I had to visit a
large hardware supermart (B&Q, similar to ‘Home Depot’) and
discovered that they had ‘regular’ brass 3/8’’ compression
fittings with the spherical ferrule with which I am familiar.

Phase 2 saw the removal of the ‘specialist’ compression
fittings, cutting another �’’ off each end of the pipe and
fitting my new ‘regular’ compression fittings with a longer
length of new pipe - but this time making absolutely certain
that I did not over-tighten the fittings.

The result was a near disaster! As soon as I cycled the
ignition key on and off a few times to take advantage of the
priming burst from the fuel pump, jets of fuel sprayed out
from the new joint over much of the garage floor!

A cup of tea later I attacked those compression fittings
again and put on another half turn on each nut.

Success! No leakage whatsoever.

I tried it many times while the car was still on ramps
without any sign of a leak and eventually drove the car
around for a while and still no leaks, so with fingers
firmly crossed, I may have fixed the problem.

I did take the opportunity whilst under the car to inspect
the rest of those fuel and brake lines and they all appear
to be reasonably corrosion free except for the area under
that single common clamp where the fuel feed line had
developed a leak. Nevertheless, I cleaned up and
rust-treated any spot on the pipes which showed any sign of
rust and gave them all a good coat of ‘Hammerite’ paint
which will give them some protection.–
The original message included these comments:

I will let you know which route I decide to take on that
fuel line repair but the proximity of the failure to a bend
in the feed line may persuade me to try the flexible
reinforced fuel hose idea first.


Bryan N, '91 Sovereign 4.0 L, RHD
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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