The heads light on your vehicle are essential to safety when driving. Other than blown bulbs they have very few issues. However one thing that does happen over time is corrosion due to UV. What happens is the UV breaks down the outer layer of the plastic lens causing the head light lens to turn dull and cloudy. This decreases the light intensity projected onto the road by the head lights, also it ages the appearance of the vehicle.
To rectify the damage due to the UV Pickards uses a three step process to restore the lens to like new condition.
Step 1: Sand the outer layer of the lens, gradually increasing the grade of the paper used, making sure the lens is kept wet.
Step 2: Cut and polish the lens using two grades of polish.
Step 3: Adding a head light lens protestant to decrease the effect of UV on the plastic lens.
I find that after headlight restoration the vehicle looks significantly better, giving the vehicle a much cleaner look and alot of customer satisfaction.
So when your car is next booked in at Pickards Automotive ask us about having your head lights restored.
Pickards Automotive is excited to announce the start of the restoration of a 1962 Rover P4.
We are big believers in working with the owners of these classic vehicles, so that we can make their vision and ideas a reality. Restoration of a classic vehicle is a long journey that can be hard work, but it is exceptionally rewarding for all involved when you get to the finish line. At Pickards we see ourselves as the brushes and the owner the artist, as we work together to create their masterpiece. It is something we are very passionate about.
So a bit of back story first.
This particular P4 has been in the owners family since it was new in 1962. It was the families daily driver up until 1998, at which point the Rover was parked up and hasn't seen a lot of action since.
The P4 was brought to us with the intention of a full restoration of the vehicle, which would be undertaken over a two year period. Overall the condition of the P4 was not too bad. It had the expected rust in the sills and A and B pillers, but there was no signs of crash damage or poor body repair work which is a big plus. As for the mechanical systems of the car, the expected items such as brakes were seized but overall everything was in its place, as expected and operating to some extent.
Before any restoration we like to assess the vehicle, decreasing the chance of unexpected issues arising further into the process. This involves running the engine. After a few checks it was in with a new battery and engine oil. First problem: we had to free the starter. Second problem: no fuel to the engine so we needed to use an external pump. The final hurdle was a faulty condenser which we replaced.
After over 18 years, the engine fired up on all 6 cylinders which we thought was very impressive. On completion of the checks it was time to strip the vehicle back and ready it for the next phases of its restoration.
Stay tuned for further updates.
So if you own or have done any reading on the TDV6 engine, be that the 2.7 or 3L that are found in the likes of the XF and S type Jaguar, in the Land Rover Discovery 3 or 4 and in most Range Rover models, you will know that a reasonably common issue is the EGR (exhaust gas recycler) valves.
These two valves which reside on each side of the engine, are tasked with allowing exhaust gases to be recirculated back through the induction and combustion chamber for the purpose of emissions control.
Now these valves are prone to failure but this post isn't about them, its about a byproduct of their use in the engine.
So what happens in the induction system??
The emissions enter the induction system just after the throttle body and mix with the intake air and a quantity of oil from the PCV (a byproduct from normal engine use).
This is where the problems start. When the oil and emission mix, they stick to the walls of the induction system and residual engine heat bakes it on. So over time, layer after layer of this carbon/oil mix builds up in the induction system, until there are significant deposits throughout the induction, from throttle body to the back of the valves.
So why is this a problem??
Well there are a lot of problems associated with these deposits. One we see often, is a blocked map sensor on the throttle body. Another issues include; a decrease in performance over time due to intake flow restrictions; EGR faults due to severely blocked EGR pipes; rough running engines and uneven idle.
To fix it?
There are a lot of products on the market for induction cleaning such as; Sea Foam, Liquid Molly, BG induction cleaner, Nulon etc. Some products I'm sure are very good, however they are really only useful when used throughout the vehicles service life. When a vehicle has significant deposits of carbon and sludge build up, there is only so much these products can do. Unfortunately the best fix is dis-assembly and manual cleaning. This can be expensive but is worth it as it will increase the performance and reliability of the engine, as well as extend its life.
At Pickards we manually clean all the induction parts with solvents and use a walnut shell blaster for cleaning the ports of the heads and the backs of the valves. We find that this is by far the most successful way of cleaning the ports (see here for an example on a bmw
If you own a newer vehicle or have had a full induction clean done on your vehicle the good thing is there is an easy way to keep the induction clean. This involves having regular induction cleans when having your vehicle serviced. I generally do it every 20,000 to 30,000 km. At this interval the induction sludge and carbon build up can be removed by a good quality induction cleaner as it hasn't had sufficient time to harden and collect.
For the ongoing cleaning of the induction during servicing we use a product, Prostream 1000, that is run through the entire induction system including the turbos and ERG valves. We have had a lot of success with this product.
Should you have any queries about the induction clogging issues or induction cleaning please contact me at www.pickardsautomotive.com.au or at (03) 9428 9655.
Both Jaguar and Land Rover have used the ZF 6hp/26/27/28 automatic gearbox extensively in their more modern model ranges. In the Jaguar they are are present in the S type and XF model ranges and in Land Rover they are present in the Discovery 3/4 and Range Rover models. I have found that the ZF is an extremely reliable and smooth transmission, if they are serviced properly. The problem is, that is a BIG IF. The issue is the car manufacturers suggested service schedule of the transmissions, with statements such as sealed for life and 240,000km thrown around. The transmission is essentially a mechanical and electronic part that operates solely, with a single hydraulic fluid supply. Personally I don't see it as a part that should have a limited lifetime considering the fact that, second only to the engine, it is definitely the next most expensive part to repair, replace, or overhaul.
So generally what I have found is around that at the 150,000km to 180,000km range, the transmissions generally start to show a few gremlins, whether it's slight judders taking off or lazy gear selection.
So how to fix it???
SERVICING THE TRANSMISSION which isn't a large job!!!
On the Jaguars it is simple, but the Land Rover is slightly more complex. The good thing is transmission serving kits are readily available for both marque.
On Jaguars, it involves draining the transmission fluid and removing the transmission pan. The pan has a built in filter so replacing it is very simple. At this point the transmission must be refilled with ZF Automatic specification lubricant and have the level set following the appropriate procedures.
On the Land Rover models, it is the same as the above, however due to a cross member going straight across under the transmission pan it's not quite so easy. It can be overcome by either undoing an engine mount and lifting up the engine to create the clearance needed or by changing to a two piece transmission pan. These two piece pans are an aftermarket part. They use a separate filter and pan to allow the technician to replace the pan without lifting the engine. The only hard part is that in removing the old pan, you must brake the "pan pick up neck" in order to get it out. This method is well worth the time saved.
So, when should the transmission service be undertaken on your Jaguar or Land Rover???
Well, on a Jaguar we have found the 80,000km mark works well and seems to prevent those faults which can occur later in your cars life.
On the Land Rovers it does depend on what the vehicle is being used for. For general use the 80,000km mark is fine, however if you tow a lot or do extensive offroading then the best option is around the 70,000km mark.
I am a big fan of the ZF transmissions and with the right care, they will serve you well for a long time. A couple of transmission services will be far cheaper than a full transmission overhaul.
If you have a Jaguar or Land Rover feel free to contact us with any questions regarding your transmission service. You can contact Pickards Automotive at www.pickardsautomotive.com.au or at (03) 9428 9655.
The TDV6 is an excellent engine that if serviced correctly, is extremely reliable, while producing excellent performance for both Jaguar and Land Rover. One area of that has come to our attention lately is the top coolant housing. Now the bad thing is, the housing is located underneath the throttle body assembly, which unfortunately makes it very hard to see and therefore easily missed by even the most observant technicians.
So what to look for you say??
Well first of all a torch and possibly a mirror will be necessary. Look for any signs of moisture around the base and rear of the assembly (there is an O ring at the back), then move on to the seam. 90% of the time it's the seam that will show your first signs of leaking.
The rule of thumb is, if there is any moisture or coolant residue, then you should replace it. Quite often you will only find dry coolant as it may only leak on very long runs which is generally the most inconvenient time possible.
If you drive a Jaguar or Land Rover with a TDV6 with over 100,000kms on it, it would be worth checking. Additionally, if you often go bush for long trips in your Land Rover, a bit of preventative maintenance may be in order.
Replacing the part is not an overly involved job, however since the throttle assembly will come off a good technician should also clean out your throttle body and MAP sensor. We will cover induction cleaning in another post!!
NOTE, if you order your brand new assembly, it will generally come with the two main coolant port seals, HOWEVER I am yet to receive one with the rear port O ring, so be sure to order one. You must replace this O ring when changing the assembly because chances are if you don't it will leak!!!
Should you have any questions about your coolant housing contact us at www.pickardsautomotive.com.au or (03) 9428 9655
This 1952 Morris Minor was brought to us after an unfortunate incident which involved damage to the engine block. However this did give the vehicles owner and Pickards the opportunity to do some upgrades.
This MGTA came to Pickards after a front end accident. Pickards was tasked with disassembly, project management and reassembly of the MG. Pickards selected a panel repairer with the appropriate skills in order to take on such a repair task. The Pickards team then reassembled the TA and tested all is systems to make sure it was ready to hit the road.
Hi my name is Michael Paaymans.
I am a Director and an automotive diagnostician at Pickards Automotive in Abbotsford Melbourne.
I started my career in the automotive industry in 2008 at WINTEC in Hamilton NZ, undertaking their Certificate in Motorsport. From this I was given the opportunity to complete my formal mechanical training at Lodge Auto Centre in Hastings NZ. While at Lodge Auto Centre I was heavily involved in Motorsport, working on race cars including BMW mini's, Nurburgring Honda Civics, NZV8's and classic race cars. While completing my apprenticeship I was lucky enough to be awarded 2011 MTA NZ Apprentice of the Year.
Having completed my formal training I commenced a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Waikato University and continued to work as a technician in both single seat racing and V8ST. In 2013 I moved to Melbourne Australia to continue my Degree at RMIT University and while completing my degree I worked for an independent workshop that specialised in Jaguar and Landrover as well as servicing a range of European vehicles. While working on these marque I have learnt a lot about what can be done to both increase the life of these vehicles, as well as decrease the life time service costs.
In 2015 myself and my business partners purchased Pickards Automotive (previously Pickards of Melbourne) with the idea of offering a automotive workshop that could offer great experience and a cheaper service life for our customers vehicles. We specialise in British and European vehicles, offering all mechanical servicing as well as parts.
This blog is a series of posts about the vehicles that we work on and what we find and observe. There will also be posts about the classic cars that we work on and repair. These posts are my observations and opinions only and I implore people to comment and share their experience on the different post topics.
Thank you for checking out our blog.