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
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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