Sure enough, when I checked it myself there WAS a bit of play in it. However at the time, the cost of a new one was well in excess of £100 so I duly forgot about it (ignored it). At the next MOT it wasn't noted and indeed, hasn't been noticed at anytime since, however very recently someone (here?) stated that their xj-s had failed its MOT on this same point and that the part was now unavailable.
This got me thinking that I may be on borrowed time. So while at Stoneleigh spares day last week I must have had it in the back of my mind. On one stand, under some other junk (sorry, I meant valuable artifacts) I noticed the very same lower steering column I had been thinking about.
Shiftily looking left and right, and trying not to look excited, thinking to myself 'I bet it's knackered' I casually picked it up and grabbed both ends. With all my might I twisted and turned it and guess what, no play... it was a good 'un!
So, I loved it, I needed it, I wanted it. Oh the joy, but what if he knew it was as rare as rocking horse poo? It could cost a fortune, all the things that ran through my mind as the adrenaline rush flowed. I had in mind a price of around £40, at least that's what I would have paid, I think?
(Deep breath and sad look applied).With that slight and slow shake of the head while sucking air in through your teeth like a plumber does when he's telling you how much the bill is going to be, I said to the seller 'It's a bit rough mate, what will you take?'
"A fiver" came the reply.... Well you would be impressed just how fast money can change hands and a middle-aged xj-s enthusiast can make off into the sunset.
So, although with both hands black from an oil-laden steering column I was happy. It now lives carefully wrapped in oiled-paper awaiting that day when it will be called upon!
......... along with the spare bonnet, engine, front wing, exhaust system, cylinder-head gasket set, brake cylinder seals, windscreen wiper motor, fuel pump, hose set, wheels, tyres, ......etc. etc...
Ahh! A true enthusiast
'Remember that the value of your investment can plummet as well as fall'
I am afraid I've reached the point where I can't remember quite what I have and haven't got, scattered amongst the various boxes and hidy holes. I'll end up buying something I've got a perfectly good one of sooner or later.
But you do raise an important point. We are getting to the point where critical items for these cars are becoming difficult to source.
Should we be compiling a list of these on the forum?
I gather the facelift colour coded bumpers have been NLA for ages, while the later facelift door mirrors, fuel injectors, remote locking transmitters, trip computers and similar have all presented problems. Although none of these (possibly excepting the injectors) would result in the demise of the vehicle, the steering joint you mention just might.
For all I know there are several other time bombs ticking away where a part that cost under £100 when available, will result in an otherwise perfectly good car being scrapped.
Can we use the club's clout to get some hard-to-find parts re made?
'93 XJS 4.0 - '05 X type Est 2.0D - '13 XF 2.2D Sportbrake
Firstly compiling a list of critical parts is brilliant, then when any of us come accros a secret stash at a show or wherever we can grab one, then maybe as a club we will end up with a bank of spares between us?
I know i have some unusual 6 litre bits and standard '87 5.3 bits that i was thinking of ebaying or throwing away (anything not needed for racing is of little interest!). I am very happy to donate small parts to a needy club member in order to keep these cars on the road, and i am sure many others feel the same.
Could we compile some sort of on line database?
Bu 'we' i of course mean 'someone else'
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