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NUTS & BOLTS


Jack Palfrey is a regular contributor to GROWLER magazine and works as an engineer for Jaguar Land Rover. In this edition, Jack tells us of an unfortunate experience that happened to him earlier this year on a trip to Bournmouth


TO TELL THE full story I took my wife for a trip to Bournemouth, given the 24 degree weather it was ideal to use the XK. The car performed faultlessly all the way to the south coast and it did take us a while longer than expected due to traffic, so took a detour through the new forest. Anyway it wasn’t until on the way home some gremlins started creeping in. I was near Newbury and needed fuel so stopped at the services, walking back to the car I spotted some pools of fluid on the front O/S near the wheel arch, I reversed back to check and it was a clean oil of some sort, checked all the fluid levels, brake, PAS, engine oil, all was fine.


I was puzzled, so got back in and carried on, I then came to the slip road on to the A34 and decided to use a bit of grunt to get up to speed and it became apparent what the fluid was. I got to about 3,000rpm in 2nd gear and it jumped, revs went up, then re-engaged 2nd and it dawned – it was transmission fluid!


So I got her up to speed nursing in higher gears and fortunately it was a clear drive home and I think I managed to stay in 4th and 5th most of the way. I was hoping that there was enough fluid to keep her going without causing damage, I know the system holds ten litres although three is taken in the torque converter.


Anyhow we got in to Bicester and slowing down it was apparent that the fluid was low, she didn’t like slow speeds, missed a couple of gears and went in to failsafe mode (stuck in 4th). At which point I was a mile or so from home and so gently nursed her back and parked up. The next day I topped up the oil – a right


faff getting back under the car – anyway she took a good litre to get back up to the fill point without the box running. This was good enough to check for leaks, I then cleaned up the offending area and took her for a short run. With an inspection torch I could see fluid escaping from the rubber section of pipe to the cooler in the radiator. It seems the OEM crimps on the hydraulic pipes may have failed.


Now working as an engineer for JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) I understand why they are crimped, as simply in the manufacturing


44 GROWLER SEPTEMBER 2016


process this is the most cost effective way to ensure that every pipe is the same (dimensionally) with smallest space (pipe clamps are larger and require tool access considerations) in addition a crimp is far stronger than a clamp and also means that there are fewer risks that a clamp may not be tightened or fitted correctly reducing risk of failure during the design life (usually 10 years 150,000 miles). These pipes commonly fail on all sorts of vehicles,


however they only tend to fail after extended use (over the design life) so as much as people complain; they are fit for purpose.


Anyway back to the job in hand, a common fix is to replace the rubber section of pipe by cutting off the failed crimps. This fortunately leaves the pipes flared and ready to accept a new piece of hose and some clamps.


I understand that clamps may not be as


A stop off for f appeared, it w


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