Jensen heritage for the next generation


I asked the list about recommisioning an FF:

I’ve just come back from a visit ( with a view to buying) to an FF. Reg WFH 715H, Chassis no.119/191 engine No. 1801.19E, registered 17.10.69. It’s been standing 10 years. What is the likely results for the four wheel drive system and Maxaret anti-locking device. I can cope with normal ancillary/engine/brake recommissioning problems but do not know about these special items particularly as they do not seem to be available. I presume seals and other rubbers are going to be the problem? Can they even be overhauled on a DIY basis or is it professional work only. What about cost and parts availability?

Replies and other info from the list on recommissioning:

1.The main point is that all the bits are there, the correct servo, maxaret valve, transferbox and propshafts. If it was all working when put away it is likely to be serviceable. Don’t under estimate the cost of body repairs is my main tip. Either leave the defective bodywork alone or get it done nicely. I hope the recommisioning is going well. Ulric Woodhams from the Jensen FF Museum can offer expert advise.
2. The cooling system should be your biggest concern if not drained the antifreeze will I think have lost its effect as an ant-corrosion inhibitor, This is also the case if the system has been drained. Air after draining equals corrosion. (never the less leaving the water in is better than draining if laying up. Put enough diesel into the cylinders to cover the piston tops and leave for 48 hrs. Then try turning it over by hand with a breaker bar and socket on the crank. Wag it back and forth, If it don’t shift easily then it’s a rebuild. Piston rings may stick for a while if you do get it going but they will probably ease off after use.
3. Check the heat control valve assembly that is part of the left hand side of the exhaust they are normally broke and yours maybe seized, I can’t remember which way to turn it to open the valve. You might just have to hope it is seized open. If the mechanism is broken it normally seizes that way. See the workshop manual its quite good on this bit. You can remove it as it isn’t really necessary and it lifts the lhs exhaust which is a bonus
4 First, 16 to 18 years is a long time in storage. Start by changing ALL the fluids
a). Drain and replace the coolant.
b). Change the oil and filter.
c). DRAIN AND SAFELY DISPOSE OF THE GASOLINE IN THE TANK. This last one is VERY important, since the old gasoline will have ‘spoiled’. Running the car even a short time with this old gasoline can cause severe engine damage.
d). Completely change the brake fluid in the system. Brake fluid is the one area where there is major concern. Over time it will absorb moisture and cause rust to form in the system Start by bleeding the fluid at the wheel furthest from the master cylinder and do a wheel at a time. Refill with fresh clean brake fluid and hopefully you may not need brake work. If brake work is needed you will see signs of leakage, probably from the rear wheel cylinders first. Watch for any signs of leakage including a drop in level in the master cylinder and any signs of brake fluid running down inside the tires.
e). Check the levels in the gearbox and rear axle.

5. Consider replacing the entire brake system, new hoses, reconditioned calipers and master cylinder etc.

6. Switches and some other electrical components may not function properly at first. Often there will be light corrosion that will clean off with repeated use.
7. Look for dry-rot on the tires, they will probably need to be replaced.
8. I had to replace the lifter seals as they had hardened to the point that they literally broke in half. The oil was not burning but being thrown out of the exhaust and creating a film all over the rear end.

9. Remove each spark plug and squirt a bit of Marvel Mystery Oil into each cylinder, replace the plugs with a fresh set. The oil will soak past the rings and ensure that they do not scratch the sides of the cylinder walls when first started.

10. Change the belts and hoses on the engine. Rubber parts deteriorate more with age than miles. Yours WILL need to be replaced.

11. Make sure to check the condition of the spark plug wires since the Interceptor tends to be much harder on these than most other vehicles!

12. The stock nylon timing chain set should be replaced at 50K miles or less (first or second year of driving) If your timing chain is still original, time alone has damaged it beyond reliability and it should be replaced as a matter of course for preventative maintenance immediately! with a new double roller timing chain. This should be good for the rest of the life of the vehicle!Good luck!

13. As far as rubber parts goes, the exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun is what is bad for rubber, not necessarily age. My 34k mile 1979 MGB has the original Michelin tires on the car and they are in fine, serviceable condition. In fact I just had them inspected at my local tire store, and they said there was no reason to replace them. It all depends on how the car was stored. . the cooling system is also an area that will need a thorough cleaning and inspection. 20 years is really not all that long, depending on how and where the car was stored. Bob J

In response to various recommendations I sent the following message to the list:

1)reconditioning of my Girling brake: “I have heard good reports about Classicar, and have bought parts off them myself without event.However, I decided to use stainless pistons on 119/073. I bought them from CBG…………. Unfortunately they have already gone to Classicar. However I phone numerous places (but not CBG (which I presume is Crobredybridge Garage?) and was told stainless steel inserts were only available for Dunlop brakes. No body actually mentioned s/s pistons. Out of interest, the handbrake was fully functioning. I’m considering using silicon brake fluid to avoid seizing in the future and the need to keep changing the fluid. I’ve sent off for some braided brake pipes which will help make up for the increases compressibility of the silicon and make the pedal feel firmer (that’s the theory anyway). I’ve removed the brake pipes and are making those in Kunifer , a cooper/nickel alloy which as you know is harder than copper, has the same diam. as the old brake pipes and is non rusting.

2) My old Chrysler alternator ( which I understand produced 40 amps at 2000 rpm is defunked) “I guess that you have checked the regulator??” …………… No I haven’t, and thanks for suggesting it I will certainly do it before doing anything else. Other respondents have suggested uprating the internals (I’m going to a local alternator repair place to see if the can be done). fitting the upgraded Chrysler alternator and the more modern electronic charging system rather than the existing “grounded type”) I’ll let you and the list know how it all pans out.. 3) water pumps: “I would check the water pump carefully for leaks (the seal very often goes shortly after recommissioning)………” It isn’t yet but I will keep a close eye on it.

4 Fuel pumps: “The fuel pump is another candidate for replacement. You can still buy new Carter pumps (originally fitted), which will take the steel pump to carb pipe originally fitted. Some specialists may sell you a pump that requires you to hack the end off the steel pipe and bodge it.” To late. I bought one from CBG . At the time I asked if they had a “U” shaped adapter rather than the straight adapter they gave me. They hadn’t. In my enthusiasm to get the engine started after doing all the usual recommissioning, oily bits and turning it by hand ( which it did quite easily) I just put the fuel pump on and used a longer length of synthetic fuel pipe to achieve a suitable bend. Car started. but when it warmed up it stopped. took some time to discover that the synthetic fuel pipe had kinked. I then did a more permanent job by buying some plumbing bits from B&Q (a length of 10mm copper pipe and two 90 degree 10mm bends. I cut the straight adapter pipe provided by CBG and then soldered it all back together in a “U”shape and put it all back.( yes I bodged it) The plastic fuel pipe fitted without any problems this time. One point on the fitting of the fuel pump. Took me a long time to discover that inside the engine hole where the pump slots in, is a small rod on which the pump lever acts and this slips down when the pump is removed making it impossible to put the pump back . You have to put your finger in and slide it back to allow the pump lever to be inserted properly and for the pump seat itself.

5) Blue smoke from right hand bank of cylinders: I’m hoping that its just sticking oil rings. I haven’t carried out a compression test yet but will do soon. I’m looking for some form of squirty stuff to put in the cylinders to ungum the rings.? Bought a second hand power steering pump from Rejen and it seems to work OK.