XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

KWE’s classic car news round-up (June-July)

Here are a few news highlights from the classic car industry from the last couple of months…

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Optimise performance with digital engine management

We’ve had the pleasure of working on this increasingly customised V12 XJS on a number of occasions. On its latest visit to our workshop, we’ve been asked to install our Digital Engine Management (DEM) system. The system will release more power, and will allow us to optimise the fuelling and ignition for other modifications, such as cold air inlets.

 

Modifying these engines would normally have little or no effect, unless the fuelling and ignition is re-mappable. Without specialist knowledge of the original firmware-based map and ability to re-blow vintage eproms, this is not really possible.

Our modern Omex system, however, allows for full re-mapping. This XJS was dyno-tested at just over 300bhp, prior to any modifications being carried out. Once the installation of the system has been completed, we will be able to check on the gains we’ve made.

V12 XJS engine

V12 XJS engine. View the full gallery, here

Another advantage of the modern engine management is the much-improved reliability. The old Lucas system using the AB14 ignition amplifier is prone to failure when hot, the new system ensures this is no longer an issue.

Speak to the experts

Follow the progress of this V12 XJS, and view the full image gallery, here. Alternatively, if you’d like to know more about digital engine management systems, or our full range of services, get in touch! Give us a call on 01635 30030, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

New technical note: Refilling the GM400 gearbox

In many V12 HE cars (all of which up to 1993 are fitted with the GM400 box) a common issue we’ve encountered, and one that can worry its owners, is for large clouds of white smoke to emanate from the back of the vehicle, particularly on a hot run and after a service.

GM400Rear

This is usually a result of the gearbox being overfilled, with the excess being blown out of the breather, which is invisibly placed on top of the box. The oil drips down, hits the hot exhausts and produces an impressive cloud of smoke. Equally, it is easy to under-fill, as the procedure is not widely understood, and dipstick readings can be misleading when oil accumulates in the bottom of the dip tube.

In order to counter such gearbox issues, here is our tried and tested formula:

  • Get your engine and transmission thoroughly hot – at least a 20-minute drive is necessary. When stationary, and with your foot on the brake, keep your engine running and move the gear lever through all positions twice, leaving the gearbox in park.
  • Remove the dipstick and wipe off (the initial readings are not important). Repeat this at least five times until you have a clear indication of oil levels, equal on both sides of the stick. The bottom of the dipstick tube starts full of oil, even though the actual level in the sump may be lower. Repeatedly withdrawing and wiping the stick empties this ‘reservoir’ and then you get an accurate reading.
  • If the level is too high on the side of the stick marked ‘HOT’, then remove oil by means of a vacuum pump or syringe (easily obtainable online) inserted into the filler tube. We suggest taking out half a litre at a time. If you have taken more than a few minutes over this before moving the gear lever, repeat the cycling through the gears process. This ensures that both the torque converter and hydraulic passages and chambers are kept full of oil.
  • If the level is too low, top up with automatic transmission fluid (ATF) – half a litre at a time. You will need to repeat the dipping and wiping process, as while filling, the dipstick tube will fill up again, giving an inaccurately high reading. Do not overfill – it can damage the gearbox, and will result in excess oil being blown out of the breather pipe on top of the gearbox.

Speak to the experts

If you’d like expert advice on how to ensure the smooth running of your classic car’s engine, get in touch with KWE Cars. Call us on 01635 30030, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Six reasons to buy a classic car over a newer model

It’s a debate that is likely to go on amongst motoring enthusiasts for the foreseeable future: which are better – classic or modern cars? On the face of it, modern cars seem like the better option; they’re safer, cheaper to run and better for the environment, right? However, for those drivers looking for a sense of excitement and individuality – you can’t beat a quality classic.

The real question is: why choose a classic vehicle over a newer model?

1. A sustainable alternative

Driving a classic car can be perceived negatively – particularly when it comes to the environment. Environmentalists sometimes view classic cars as being gas guzzling planet destroyers, due to their poor fuel efficiency. In reality, salvaging a classic car is in fact an excellent example of recycling – maximising the use of something rather than just disposing of it.

Keeping an old motor running, rather than just replacing it at the nearest opportunity, is sustainable and limits the amount of waste in our scrapheaps.

metallic blue v12

2. A more social side to motoring

Owning a classic car is a sociable activity – more than just a hobby. With regular classic car shows and owners’ club meetings, there is always an opportunity to meet fellow motoring enthusiasts whilst showing off your prized possession.

Being a member of a classic car club isn’t just fun and games, they can also prove beneficial when it comes to obtaining technical information or sourcing service parts. A social network of classic car enthusiasts is sure to benefit your vehicle, and help to optimise its performance.

3. An intelligent investment

Owning a modern car can be frustrating, as its value depreciates rapidly within the first 12 months of ownership. Comparatively, a classic car is more likely to retain its value – it may actually increase if restored and maintained to a high standard. Many makes and marques are becoming increasingly rare, leading to a greater asking price.

In an article written by Autocar this month, the Jaguar XJS was second in a list of only five cars highlighted as having great investment potential right now.

4. Save on your insurance

You don’t have to worry about paying a hefty sum for cover, as policies tend to cost less for classic cars than for more modern vehicles. This is partly because classic cars tend to be more carefully maintained and driven far fewer miles than other vehicles, resulting in a lower number of claims.

5. Uniqueness before uniformity

Modern cars have become more and more alike – inside and out, and with only few exceptions have evolved into characterless if competent transport. Some motoring enthusiasts crave the individuality and driver satisfaction that only a classic design can provide. A classic car ensures that you stand out amongst the sea of monotone modern vehicles, receiving those second glances of appreciation.

Stand out from the crowd

Stand out from the crowd

6. An affordable alternative

Why drive a bland modern family vehicle when, for the same price, you can drive an effortlessly stylish classic car? KWE has created an affordable alternative by bringing the price for re-engineered classics down to that of new family saloons. In addition, we have developed the ride and handling of the 1980’s Jaguar XJ to put it in the forefront of executive saloon performance.

Road tax on classic cars is also considerably lower than on modern vehicles, and is limited to £230 per year regardless of engine type or size. Comparatively, with a new V8 Range Rover, for example, you can expect to fork out over £500 per year.

Get in touch with KWE Jaguar

If this post has got you thinking about your next car, make sure you speak to the engineering experts. At KWE Jaguar, we have many years’ experience restoring classic Jaguars and Aston Martins to ‘better than new’ quality. Read our client testimonials, here.

For more information, ‘like’ us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or give us a call on +44 1635 30030.