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Replacing Oil Pressure Gauge Lines

Replacing Oil Pressure Gauge Lines

This past Saturday I brought my 120 FHC to the local Jaguar dealer where I was holding a Judge Training Session. I hoped to show the dealer that we had some nice cars in the club. I arrived a few minutes early and parked in a prominent spot in front of the showroom. As I got out of the car I noted some shiny drops on the pavement which marked my path. I touched one and quickly determined it was oil. Shortly thereafter I saw that there was oil on the right hand fender coming from under the bonnet. Raising the bonnet I found the entire right side of my formerly pristine engine compartment, the firewall, frame and underside of the bonnet... dripping with oil. Yes, for the first time, the wire-braid-covered, flex oil line (to the oil pressure gauge) had failed. It had probably just happened for I had only lost a couple of quarts. One of which was now on the pavement in front of the dealer's showroom. The flex line appeared intact but oil squirted out from between the steel braid. The up-side was that I wasn't stuck out on a freeway and only a few miles from home. We made a temporary fix by simply crimping the copper tubing of the flex oil line where it exits the oil filter housing. The tubing was quite stiff and flattening it required some hefty pliers. (It also could have been removed and hammered closed.) I drove home without an oil pressure guage, installed another line, and spent a good part of the afternoon cleaning up the oil. It was about a 3 T-shirt problem!! While there was a simple emergency fix, the consequences of the broken line could have been very costly. I had not noted a drop in oil pressure and probably wouldn't have until the oil was all gone. I guess the lesson is to change the flex oil line periodically, to add one to the in-car spares kit, and to hope you'll catch the line leaking before it ruins your whole day/week/month. The flex line is common to all XKs. Bill Tracy and Welsh have them for $19 and $19.95 respectively. Anyone have an idea of what the life of that line should be? A suggested replacement interval? - Messy but wiser, Dick Cavicke

Dick, Some last forever, until they break, such as yours :-) Probably want to change out every decade. MGB's also use such a line. You could do what I did and convert to an AN-4 type hose by Earl's. It's a teflon tube with SS braid covering it with aircraft fittings on the ends. Rated for 300psi or more. Should last longer than I will. - George Badger

Dick Cavicke, wise advice to change the flexible oil pipe every now and then. Remember too well when my one broke years ago. What period to change the flex hose/pipe? I don't know. - Arno Wahl

A decade is a nice round easy to remember number. Set on an easy to remember date, ie: wedding anniversary (I don't think so George) but a holiday of some sort will work. - George Badger

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