May 24

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair



Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience and we're talking cars. How you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2008 Jaguar that had an issue with the convertible top. What was going on with this vehicle?

Bernie: Yeah. So the client had complained about fluid leaking down around their kick panel area, which is sort of the area where your left foot would be if you're in the driver's seat. And they'd had it repaired in the past for a I would say known in the Jaguar circles, as a green shower leak. Basically the hydraulic hose that attached to the latch in the front will break and deteriorate over time and cause hydraulic fluid to leak down from the top above the dash and can result in a rather nasty shower of green hydraulic fluid. So this wasn't actually in that area, but it was basically a related type of leak. 

Mark: So how do you go about diagnosing this? 

Bernie: Well, the diagnosis was pretty straightforward in that you could see the area. So I removed a couple of panels and powered up the convertible top. You can see fluid dripping down from the left side of the dash. So I go, okay, there's a bad leak here. And the owner had mentioned he'd had it repaired at another shop a few years ago. And you know, there's a couple of ways to repair this. 

So we're going to talk about what I think is the proper way to do the repair on this thing. But there are ways to repair it. You can buy hose kits where it'll replace the sort of top six feet of the hose. The ones that run from the latch down through the a pillar, which is the pillar beside the windshield, down through that area, and then you connect the hoses up in the sort of kick panel area. And that will solve the green shower issue.

However, that leaves another 15 feet of hose that runs through the rest of the vehicle that's already deteriorated. That can also leak too. 

Mark: Right? So let's look at some pictures here. Here's our car. 

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair

This is where the issue was. 

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair

Bernie: So this is a rather interesting repair. I mean, we have done the repair with the cheaper hose kits and the reason why it's possibly worth doing that way, it's substantially cheaper than doing it properly by replacing the complete hose.

You don't have to take too much of the interior apart. You change the hose bits and then connect it up. This was like a really ultra cheap repair. They only replaced one hose. 

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair

They only replaced one hose and used, if you want to go to the other picture, basically connected it with a union connector, there's the piece of hose, the section of hose that was replaced.

Mark: This is the union connector. 

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair

Bernie: Yeah, this is the union connector. Now, when I. took everything apart. I couldn't even find the other nut on the other end. Everything had just completely come apart. I don't even know what happened to the nut because this is under a lot of pressure. It can blow apart. 

2006 Jaguar XK8 Convertible Roof Repair

This is the complete hose from front to back. So as you might've guessed, when I said about the proper way to repair it, it's to replace the hose from front to rear complete. 

I mean, it's funny that this repair was done and the way they did it, they didn't even clip the hoses back in the proper spots, they just spliced everything together, use that union and wrapped it up in like a rag with a bunch of electrical tape around it. To probably cushion it from bouncing around. I don't like criticizing other shops work, but sometimes stuff is done in a crappy fashion, and this to me was.

Mark: Not the proper way to repair it so that it's fixed for as long as it can last. 

Bernie: Yeah, exactly. I was going to say a permanent repair. But I did have a conversation with the customer. I said, look, you know, we've run into this issue before. And we've actually done the hose splicing thing. And what we normally do both hoses and don't wrap rags around it. Do a more professional job than that. But eventually the splices fail or something else fails in the hose. So we figure, you know, learning from our mistakes is the only proper way to do it is replace the complete hose from one end to the other.

There's a couple of different options available. You can either get the hose directly from the Jaguar dealer, or there's another company that actually makes specialty hydraulic hoses, and they're probably better quality than these. They'll probably last forever, but you know, the cost of doing that was slightly more. It has to be ordered, you know, we're in Canada, so it's a bit more of a pain to order, it comes out of the US. And so logistically, it just made more sense to order the Jaguar hoses. 

I said, look, the original ones lasted for, you know, 12 to 15 years. These ones will last that long. How much longer are you going to keep this car? So from that point of view, it's probably as good of a permanent repair.

Mark: So would you say this is basically a poor choice on Jaguar's part to use hydraulics to power this rather than perhaps electric? 

Bernie: Absolutely. I think it's stupid. Should be an electric motor at the top. Now, I guess an electric motor would be a larger unit. So maybe, you know, in terms of space, I was thinking, well, why do they build things the way they do?

It's, I mean, the little hydraulic unit that actually moves a latch is small. It's only probably, you know, this big, if you can see my fingers here, whereas an electric motor would probably be a lot larger, so it would require a different amount of space. But you know, with modern technology, it could probably make a more compact motor that would do the job. Or maybe two small motors, one at each end to move the latches. But I think it would be way more sensible to use electric motors than hydraulics. 

Mark: Unfortunately, this is the repair that you're left with if you have a Jaguar like this. So if you need some service for your Jag in Vancouver, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can book online at Or you can call and book at (604) 327-7112. You have to book ahead. They're always busy. Pawlik Automotive, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Thanks so much for watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thank you Mark. Thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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