A Privacy Fence

The city says a privacy fence will work. So that is what I am working on. I have checked on the Internet for plans and gone to the public library to check out some books.

My plan is to put in a privacy fence that will allow the cars to be driven out as they are fixed and made presentable.

So my next updates will also include the process of planning and building the necessary fence.

Until tomorrow, God bless and watch after you.

Getting the Jaguar to Run – Installing the Battery

The past couple of days I have been working to trackdown the starting problems with the 1987 Jaguar XJ6. So the following description should help if you have similar problems.

The first thing I did was to install the battery. This process applies to all top mount batteries.


  • When you work with standard lead-acid (sulfuric acid) batteries protect your eyes. Wear goggles to protect against acid splashing in the eyes.
  • Protect your hands with heavy waterproof gloves.
  • Wear older clothes if you have concern about acid eating through good clothes.
  • Make sure you can handle the battery safely. Batteries are heavy and could hurt you or the car if you slip and drop the battery.
  • Make sure the battery can go into the correct location without the battery terminals touching bare metal and shorting out the battery.


  • Lead is a heavy metal poison.
  • Do not eat or smoke while working with lead. Wash your hands before eating or smoking after working with lead.
  • Put a container (shallow large catchpan)on the ground or floor under the battery area to catch lead dust, acid spills, and rinse water.

1. If you don’t have a terminal cleaner, buy one. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClean the terminals before installing the battery.

2. Use the brush part to clean inside the clamps. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAClean tobright metal. If the clamps are really corroded, you will also want to rinse them off with a baking soda and water mix (or some commercial mix made for the purpose). Flush the soda water mix with plain water. Dispose of the rinse water at a hazardous waste location.

3. Use the hollow part to clean the battery posts. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAgain, clean to bright metal.

Note: Always install the positive cable first. And always take off the positive cable last. This reduces the chance to have some rather large sparks if your wrench makes contact with some metal in the car.

Additional process: Some people like to puta bit of anti-corrosion compound or petroleum jelly on the inside of the clamps. Another thing some people favor are the anti-corrosion pads that can be put on the terminal posts under the clamps.

4. Install the positive cable (normally the cable will have a red plastic covering).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Use an adjustable wrench, or similar tool, to hold the square end of the clamp bolt. On a lot of cars,the nut will take a 1/2 inch (13 mm) socket. Tighten the nut.

Technical Information: If you are a real techfreak and own the tools, get out your 1/4 inch drive torque wrench.Tighten the nut to 50 to 70 in lbs. That information comes from the Trojan Battery Company web site.

5. Install the negative cable (normally the cable will have a black plastic covering). OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATighten the clamp on the negative terminal of the battery the same way you tightened the clamp on the positive terminal.

6. Install any hold down clamps or hardware.

7. The battery is installed. You are ready to check the next location on the Jaguar that can cause problems.



Confessions of a car junkie

One of the things I have been promising promising myself (and my wife) are to get all of the cars we have running, and then in really great shape.

The Bible says we are to be good stewards of everything God has put in our possession. My stewardship has been lacking. So it is time to do something about that.


The cars are:

• A 1996 Chevrolet Corsica (my daily driver). It needs to have the wear and tear of the daily grind reversed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• A 1995 Buick LeSabre Custom. It took on a small deer (deer 1, LeSabre -1). The LeSabre is mechanically sound but the hood and the left front head light assembly look dreadful. It drives and runs OK, but needs a whole lot of cosmetic work.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• A 1997 Buick LeSabre Custom. It was given to us by on old gentleman friend. The transmission is failing, the engine needs the upper intake manifold replaced and it has several electrical issues to be taken care of. It drives. It is also probably sold, if the customer comes and gets it soon.

• A 1992 Mercury Sable Wagon. This is my special car because it is all electronic. That also means it may also be the most difficult to get back to original condition. It drives but the electronic controlled dash is out.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• A 1987 AMC Eagle Wagon. It runs, but it had an encounter with a 10 point. The collision shoved the radiator and condenser back into the fan, rumpled the hood and the left front fender, and smashed the left headlight assembly. Fortunately there is no frame damage and there are some parts cars close at hand. This is a very fun car and the one I want to have more than just running by fall.

• A 1987 Jaguar XJ6. But Oh when It runs! A beautiful car with Lucas electrical (problems). The interior still smells like fancy English leather even after all these years. I think a starter switch may be all it needs to get it running. That seems to be aweak point on the Series III XJ6 Jaguars. Plus, the late 1987 XJ6 cars for the American market were produced after the XJ40 had already started production. Hence, there are some things in the car which are not necessarily even in the shop manual.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• A 1973 Mercury Capri, one of the Mark I’s with the 2600 CC Cologne V6. This was my first car, bought brand new, ordered from the dealer and paid in cash (except for a $600 loan which was paid two weeks later). This car is fun! The only problem is that the engine is scattered all over the attic. So it’s going to take a little longer to get running.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

• A 1951 Ford Custom Tudor Coupe. This was my grandfather Lewis’ car. He bought it used when it was only ayear or two old. My dad had it after him. And now it is mine. To get it up and running is going to require getting good hubs on the front, fixing the front brakes and dropping in a battery. Oh, there is a lot more fixing than that, but that will get it running. Again, a local salvage yard may have the drums.

The city gave me a boost forward when they complained about the cars. And they are right. So myfirst step is to get all of them insured, tagged and operable. Lots of sales on eBay 😉 to raise money.

I am a Technical Writer by day for a large company, so I can write things up. I am an Engineer by training and state certified as an Intern Engineer, so my work is going to be careful and correct.

When I do something with these cars, I plan to take pictures, write it up and make it available (like a shop manual instruction). If you want to donate and help out (a dollar here, a dollar there, everything helps), it will be gratefully accepted.

My ultimate goal is to have each car be the very best it can be and for me to learn and help others in the process. I am not perfect and am willing to learn from others who have done things before. The only things I won’t do is to cut corners or be dishonest because that would dishonor God.

Well this is where I am starting. The first goal is to have everything up and running (insured, tagged, and operable) by the end of August (if not before, hopefully much sooner than that). The only car that might be difficult to get ready by then is the Capri.

Once the cars are operable, then the next step is to identify what is required to start restoring each car.

God bless and use each of you who reads this post. May the Grace of Christ be in you and the Holy Spirit guide you into all Truth.

Neal Lewis