Buying tube safely

It seems that it’s becoming a rule of thumb that the busier I am in the workshop, the more sporadic the posts become on the blog!  I have been taken up with a wide variety of jobs since my last post: I have been preparing to receive a Triumph TR6 in order to fit a recently overhauled engine and to which end I have collected an exchange gearbox for conversion to an overdrive at the same time.  The Simitar is due out with its new type 9 gearbox conversion, but had decided to develop exhaust manifold trouble just when I thought that everything was finished.  The new stainless manifolds are slightly different to the old ones so I needed some tube of the correct diameter in order to acheive a correct fit to the front silencers.  Since no one locally has any tube in stock I had hoped to save a bit of time by collecting some from the Midlands on the same journey as the TR gearbox.  Sure enough, the big stockholder near Birmingham has it on the shelf; it’s in 6 meter lengths and I wanted two different diameters but I’m pleased to carry some in stock if only they can cut it for me so that I can  get it in my 4×4.  Thereby lies the snag: They can’t cut it into lengths until later in the week. And on health and safety grounds, they can’t possibly allow me to cut it with a hacksaw as I load it into the vehicle, “in case you cut your arm off”.  I’ve blogged before about my ongoing transformation into a grumpy old man so not too much of that here – suffice to say that I have learned a lesson about just ordering the tube and quietly getting on with the hacksaw stuff without further mention.  Readers will, I hope, be pleased to learn that I have now obtained tube from another source which has not only been subsequently cut by saw, trued by lathe and welded by tig, but also has proved to be injury – free.

The fault on the Jaguar XK8 has indeed proved to be with the gear position rotary switch – confirmed by a test of the signals generated at the multiplug.  It was a fairly easy one to home in on thanks to the excellent fault description from the owner:  Strange parking sensor and reverse light behaviour and erratic illumination of the J Gate during selection.  Good observation and description of symptoms can sometimes save literally hours in the workshop!  The fault code is now cleared and all works well. We decided to take advantage of the need to remove the console by attending to faulty panel illumination at the same time and also to change the transmission oil and filter.  This wasn’t originally intended to be a service item since the ‘box’ was sealed for life – or as one enthusiast once put it, “sealed for death”…..

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