I sent our 1961 Jaguar Mk2 to the garage in March 2008 for a full service so that it would be ready for the hire season that starts with the good weather in April. In addition to whatever the garage thought needed doing I asked them to do two specific items:

  1. Cure a lingering smell of petrol, which I couldn’t trace
  2. As I had problems with corrosion on the end of one HT lead I asked them to fit a full set including the conduit which was missing. (I didn’t want the car breaking down while on hire because of a dodgy HT lead).

The petrol smell was traced to a small weep from the rear carburettor and the new leads and conduit looked perfect when I picked up the car. It started fine and ran well, until I got it onto the open road and accelerated when it started running really rough. It was OK if I backed off and would cruise at 70ish without any problem, so I didn’t think it was anything major. When I worked in the computer industry, if something went wrong the first thing to do was check the last thing that had changed – so I assumed the cause was probably either HT or carburettor.

I asked the garage to double check they hadn’t just mixed up a couple of the HT leads. It all checked out OK, and ran fine at the garage.

Home again, same problem under acceleration. This time the garage thought maybe it was just running a bit weak and misfiring under load, so they adjusted the mixture.

Home again, same problem under acceleration, although I thought it wasn’t quite as bad. As before it cruised perfectly happy under a steady throttle. So back to the garage again.

I received a phone call the following day, he had found the problem. Nothing to do with the HT leads or carburettor. The spring in the rear engine mounting had broken so it wasn’t actually running rough at all. What I could feel was the engine/gearbox vibrating against either the bracket or bodywork. One new spring and a set of rubber spacers later and it runs as sweet as a nut. For once my assumptions were wrong – but then that is why I pay someone else to do most of my maintenance.

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