Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to reset the service light on your 2010 Jaguar XK

Reseting the service light is quite easy, but requires a bit of practice...

You have to do the following in three seconds, with the engine completely off:
  1. Press and hold the rear fog light button
  2. Press the start/stop button (without depressing the brake pedal)
  3. Let go te rear fog light button
  4. press and hold the trip reset button
  5. Press and hold the rear fog light button 
Hold these two until the message display center goes service reset, and then changes to service reset mode. Then you can let go. Shut off your car and turn it back on to make sure the service reminder is not on anymore. It requires a little practice but don't give up!

Monday, July 20, 2015

2007 Jaguar XK rear brake pads

Here is the how to for replacing your rear brake pads in your 2007 through 2009 Jaguar XK.

What you'll need:
Now to the procedure:

First of all, you need to suck out some of the brake fluid from the reservoir. You can do this with a plastic container, any you have laying around, and a "turkey baster". You can get a really good automotive "suck tool" at any advanced auto, look in the battery section. The name amazon gave to the one I have is Car Fluid Withdrawal tool and you can click on the link to see what i'm talking about.

Then you need the car to release the parking brake. You can put the car on neutral and remove disconnect the batery's negative terminal. This is important because when you are done you have to reset the position of the parking brake. If you don't disconnect the battery then the car will think that your pads are worn and will exert extra pressure on the caliper to maintain the desired tension, and your brakes are going to wear prematurely. This is why you read my blog because I only work on british cars and I know what I'm talking about. This is a very common mistake general mechanics make. Then the car wears the pads in a couple of thousand miles and they don't know why... When you reconnect the battery at the end of this procedure the car will ask you to step on the brake and apply the parking brake, when you do this the computer will relearn the new position of the caliper for the new thickness of the new pads.

 After that you need to set up the rear of your car properly and remove the rear wheels.

Once you do that, you need to remove the clip holding the floating caliper.

Make sure you are placing all your parts orderly. Now you have to remove the two plastic caps that cover the calliper pin bolts.

With the caps removed you can now use your 3/8 ratchet and your 7 mm hex to remove the two bolts.

Once you removed them you can clean them with a rag and set them aside. Now you can pull up the caliper.

Place the retractor tool in place like in the photo below with the right adapter. There is always information on the tool but with the pic I'm sure you can figure it out. With the right size wrench for your tool, turn the piston clockwise to retract it fully.

Grease the new pads where they make contact with the bracket.

Place the new pads in place, the one with the spring goes towards the inside of the car.

Catch the caliper bolts by hand first and then tighten with your 3/8 ratchet and your 7 mm hex.

Once you tighten both bolts place the black little caps back in place.

Now you can place the spring back in place. This is a bit tricky but is easy to do.

Repeat for the other side.

Now you can place your wheels back, tighten your lugs and set your car down. Once you do that reconnect the battery and fill the brake fluid reservoir with the correct fluid.Then get in the car and step on the brake multiple times until the pedal feels hard. Then retop the brake fluid. Now get in your car and turn it on, it'll prompt you to step on the brake and apply the park brake since you disconnected your battery. Your car will relearn the caliper position and you should take it for a spin.

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Amazon CPM vs Adsense review

First of all let me apologize to all my blog visitors. This is not an article related to Jaguars, this is an article related to Amazon CPM and Adsense, which is how this blog pays for itself and gives me some extra cash to buy tools and books (I try to "reinvest" my earnings to further my career). So if you are only interested in Jaguar articles please kindly skip this article and I apologize, it won't happen again :D.

Now to the topic, Amazon CPM vs Adsense. I decided to write an article because of the lack of reviews of the new Amazon CPM network and how it compares to Adsense. I decided to place it in this blog which is completely unrelated to Blogging, Web Design, and Earning money online, because people can look what kind of blog I have and how much money it earns me. They can see exactly what I am doing.

Amazon CPM

First you need to understand something. To configure Amazon CPM you need to place your current ad code in it. Then Amazon places their ads and when they don't they place your old add. This brings me to something nobody else has pointed out, the Amazon CPM ad sizes are different (not by much) than the Adsense ones. This may screw up your design a bit (not much). I'm super picky but it didn't really screw it up much. Notice in the pic below how the ad placed by Amazon CPM pops out of the page a bit on the right. The Google counterpart would fit perfectly. This is not that important if you are not picky since Amazon counts views not clicks, but I wanted to point it out.

The second thing to note is Amazon CPM fill rates. In other words, if you got 10'000 views a month (like me), you won't get 10'000 views a month on AmazonCPM. Notice on the pic below which is from my AmazonCPM tab the column that reads Fill%. The first three ads are from old ad units, as of today you can't delete ad units so be careful you don't end up with a clusterf*ck. The third column is the Target CPM which you can change to whatever you want. The higher this number the lower the fill rate of course! The last three units are the units I actually use. "Below title" I use it below the blog title on top of the page. In adsense this makes me the most money so I put a very high Target CPM. On the other two with adsense, which are the ads that show at the side of the blog and below every article I make almost no money on adsense so I put it very low. But look, my fill rate is about 35%. That means that out of my 10'000 visitors monthly only 3'500 get AmazonCPM ads!

Now to the numbers!

I started using Amazon CPM on August 2014 almost at the end of the month, talking about this month makes no sense. I got, without counting August, 9 months of Amazon CPM experience and I'll tell you what I found. In September 2014 I got 7289 views on my blog and AmazonCPM made me 6.57 extra bucks. That's about 90 cents per thousand views, which is below most Adsense numbers. BUT (you might want to sit down for this one), my Adsense earnings didn't go down... Ummmmm... wut?! Is true. Adsense offers much better analytics than AmazonCPM (come on Amazon!), so I realized that the only unit that was really making me any money was the one below the title. The other two were there just for show aparently, so like you can see on the pic above I set the target CPM for the unit that makes me money really high, and for the units that make me no money really low. And now, I get an extra six to eight dollars a month, with the amount of views a month I get, if you get more views than me then you can more or less estimate your numbers.

Here is an excel sheet that I created to keep track of my earnings. It shows views per month, and how much money I made with my three different income sources, Amazon Associates (the best), Adsense (second best), and AmazonCPM (third best). The one below is for 2014.

As you can see in the snapshot above, I started on August with AmazonCPM, but I feel my Adsense remains unaffected.

Here are my earnings for 2015:

Today is June 1st so there is nothing for June and up. But you can see my earnings for this year. I feel AmazonCPM perfectly makes use of ads that make me no money with Adsense.

Here is a pie chart for 2015:

As you can see Adsense pie piece is bigger than AmazonCPM. Also Amazon Associates is awesome! With Amazon Associates, Adsense, and AmazonCPM I get about 10 dollars per 1000 views. But that's another subject.


Who's better: AmazonCPM or Adsense? Adsense is better because it makes me more money. AmazonCPM is awesome because it makes me some money without affecting Adsense, if you set it up like I explained in the article.

This is my opinion. Everything I learned about making money online I learned with trial and error, making a website and writing articles. If you have an opinion please say it on the comments respectfully and I will answer in the same way. Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Changing the shock mounts on your 2003 Jaguar S-type

Here is the procedure for changing the shock mounts on your 2002 Jaguar S-type. First of all, do you need shock mounts? If you hear a very annoying noise towards the front of your car, either left, right or both, then you might want to look at your shock mount. If after removing the rubber cover you see something like in the first pic below. then you need new shock mounts.The two photos below show a bad and a good shock mount respectively.

Bad Shock mount!
Good shock mount!

You'll need:
Here is the procedure:

First you have to remove the rubber cap that covers the nuts that hold the shock mount in place.

Set up your car and remove your wheel.

Remove the top nuts that secure the shock mount in place.

At the bottom of the strut, remove the big Torx bolt that secures the bottom of the shock to the control arm.

Detach the bolt that secures the upper control arm to the spindle. Hold the bottom of the bolt with an 8 mm socket and 1/4 inch drive ratchet and remove the 18 mm nut with a wrench.

Place the spindle in such a way that there the weight is not pulling on the brake line.

Remove the nut and bolt that connect the front lower control arm to the rear lower control arm. Hold the top of the bolt with a 15 mm wrench like on the pic below and undo the 18 mm nut at the bottom.

Move the front lower control arm out of the way like in the photo below.

Remove the nut and bolt securing the sway bar link to the lower control arm. The bolt is a 13 mm and the nut is a 15 mm.

Now you can pull down on the spindle and fish out the strut assembly.

When the strut is out you can place it on the Jaguar specialty tool below in the following manner. If you don't have a spring compressor available, you can go to a local shop and have the mount replaced for you, for a fraction of the price of the whole procedure since you took it apart and put it together. When you compress the spring, so that the mount is free, just remove the 17 mm nut at the top, note the mount position, pull up to remove, place the new mount at the same position, catch the nut by hand, tighten. Decompress the spring.

Here is a photo of the part number. I like to use original parts whenever I can.

Here is a photo of how the mount looks like by itself. Notice that the hole patern has a special orientation with the strut. Put it together like you found it.

Place the strut back in the car the way you took it out. Note that the threaded side at the bottom of the strut goes towards the front of the car. Catch the top nuts by hand.

Catch the sway bar link bolt and nut by hand first. Then tighten.

Catch the bolt and nut for the front lower control arm next, by hand, and tighten.

Catch the big Torx screw next, and tighten.

Catch the top control arm that connects to the sprindle by hand, then tighten like you took it off.

Tighten the nuts at the top of the strut.

Place the rubber cover back in place.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to remove the intake manifold and replace the heater hoses of your Jaguar XJ 4.0 liter

The title says it, here is how to remove the intake manifold on your 4.0 liter Jag and replace those heater hoses that love to leak.

You'll need the following two heater hoses
For the procedure:

First we need to remove the engine covers and the inake boot.

To remove the intake boot, undo the two 8 mm bolts that hold it to the throttle body and the 5 clamps that hold it to the air filter housing. Then unplug the MAF and the air breather hose that connects to the valve cover.

Now we need to start disconecting the electrical connections that go to the throttle body. From the left side there are two connectors that you need to undo, look at photos below.

From the right side there are another pair of connectors.

Now undo the two TORX screws that hold the throttle cable, and detach the throttle cable from the throttle body. Move it out of the way:

From the back of the throttle body there is a vacuum hose and a cooling hose. Undo them.

Now you can remove the four 10 mm bolts that hold the throttle body in place.

There are two connectors that don't have to be unplugged but they have to be unclipped from the throttle body to make it easier to remove. There is one on each side.

With the four 10 mm bolts removed the throttle body can be moved to facilitate the detachment of the second cooling hose that connects to it.

Now you can pull out the throttle body, make sure you don't loose the metal gasket.

Now we are going to start removing the intake manifold. First undo the fuel lines with the special tools. Lisle 39900 Master Disconnect Set

Then undo the fuel return hose:

Now we need to start unplugging the connectors with a long screw driver. Just push up on the silver clip and pull up gently on the rail. There are eight connectors (one per cylinder, four per side).

Undo the ten 10 mm bolts holding the manifold in place.

There are two more 10 mm bolts holding the manifold at the back, remove them. There is one at each side, way at the back where the throttle body use to sit. There is also two vacuum hoses you need to disconnect from the left side.

There is another vacuum hose you need to undo from the right side.

Don't worry about the other vacuum hose, it attaches to the fuel regulator which is coming up with the manifold so is not a problem.

Now you can fish out the manifold.

This is what your engine and the two annoying heater hoses look like.

Make sure you run to your neares pollo tropical and steal eight napkins to cover the holes of your cylinders. You don't want nothing falling inside the engine.

Removing the hoses is very easy now. Undo them and remove them. Be careful with the plastic connector going to one of the hoses, it loves to break. If it does you might need to replace it.

Clean your manifold with a rag and flip it over. With a pick dig out the eight gaskets and replace them with the new ones.

Here is a photo of the beautiful new gaskets in place :D

Now place the new hoses just like you took them out, if you forgot here is a pic.

Now we are going to put everything back together. Place the manifold in place. Be careful that none of the gaskets fell out of place, otherwise the manifold will have to come out again, do it right, do it once! Also connect the fuel hoses they should just clip in.

The following photo is just to note how you have to be neat with where you place your screws, in groups and somewhere where you won't drop them. If you have bins and labels extra credit! I know how they go by heart so I don't need it.

When the manifold is back in place, catch all the screws by hand first. The ten 10 mm bolts at the top, the two 10 mm bolts at the sides at the back.

When they are all caught and snug by hand, start tightening them. Don't go crazy and break them. Is usually better to start at the center and work your way out. When all twelve bolts are tight start connecting all the vacuum hoses at the sides of the rear of the manifold.

Some sylicon spray makes the job a lot easier now. Connect all the vacuum hoses at the sides (there are four total if I recall correctly)

Make sure everything is in order, nothing looks kinked or in an unnatural position.

Place the throttle body back in place, make sure the gasket is in the correct position, there is only one possible way the gasket can fit. Then catch and snug by hand the four 10 mm bolts. When they are snug, tighten them. Also connect the electrical connectors at the right of the throttle body.

And connect the connectors at the left.

Now connect the cooling hoses (the two of them) and the vacuum hose at the back of the throttle body.

Now connect the throttle cable one more time and catch by hand the two TORX screws and tighten them.

Don't forget to connect your injectors back in place. Place the intake boot back in place. Tighten the two 8 mm bolts and clip it back to the air filter housing.

Before putting the rest of the covers back top up your coolant and start the car. Make sure you don't hear any vacuum leaks. And no coolant is leak.