How I Spent My Super Bowl Sunday


Well, it has become something of a tradition for me to spend my Super Bowl Sunday wrenching on my car. I’m not really a football fan, and to be perfectly honest if New York City & Boston somehow vanished tomorrow I wouldn’t miss them, or their sports teams. So I work on my car, or go skiing on this day every year. The weather in the mountains here has been crappy, so car work it is.

I finally decided to tackle the task of removing the exhaust from the old Jaguar. Since summer they’ve been rattling and loud. The driver’s side muffler has actually been leaking a bit for a couple of years. It was very mild at first… a slight puffing. At some point last summer it transformed into a dull roar with a rattling accompaniment. No longer was this Sir William’s 6th Symphony, it was as if Keith Moon was conducting the Coventry Philharmonic with his drum set with John Entwistle laying down the bass. Not the usual purring Coventry Cat to say the least.

Armed with a few wrenches, a pad to lie on the cold barn floor, some ramps & jack stands, a dead blow hammer, some moth balls, and a bad attitude, I went at the ratty old stainless steel pipes on and off over the course of the afternoon. In reality the bolts all came off with ease. The c-clamps as well. The driver’s side pipe came right out of the header as soon as it was unbolted. The passenger side however became a day-long test of will between me and the metal. I had to support the whole system with wood dunnage to prevent things from getting bent out of shape since the supports were removed, but damn… that pipe was STUCK!

I didn’t have any handy heat sources to help it along so it just required persistence. I am nothing, if not persistent. Eventually it popped off and I dragged the bodies out from under the car to find what you see above. In knew the straps were broken. I knew the mufflers were cracked a bit. I had no clue they were THAT BAD. Ugh.

The headers and resonators look great, though the latter are in dire need of polishing. The mufflers are quite obviously shot to hell. Another fine “TeamCJ” performance part dies a premature death. Speaking of CJ, all the sycophants tell me all the time that Dan stands behind his product. I recalled that Dan Mooney of Classic Jaguar did tell me that he WOULD have considered honoring a warranty if I had given him first crack at the engine when it failed, so I figured what the hell, I’ve got nothing to lose… and sent him an email Monday with a link to these pictures and a note telling him that no other shop had touched this exhaust but his. He replied:

As a point of order, you are not now and have never been a customer of Classic Jaguar. To the best of my knowledge, you have never spent a single penny with Classic Jaguar. Furthermore, given your inaccurate, insulting and grossly misleading Internet rants about Classic Jaguar, I hardly feel inclined to assit [sic] you with any problems you may have with your car.

Hrmmmm… I seem to recall reading this on their website:

“Team CJ components are the highest quality, most thoroughly engineered performance upgrades available for your Jaguar. We have invested thousands of hours of research and real world testing to ensure that our components are safe, practical, durable and easy to install. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Such is the confidence that we have in our products, many Team CJ components are guaranteed for life!”

I guess there is sales speak, then there are weasel words.

Oh well. Now I’m off to find a 2″ SS muffler set somewhere.

By the way, I might cop to insulting. But I’ve never been inaccurate or misleading in any way. All I’ve done is lay out the photographs and text exactly as they’ve happened. Grossly under spec parts, shoddy workmanship, cut valve stems, cheesy “uprated” parts that have failed far sooner than factory originals. These are just facts.

Classic Jaguar charging many, many thousands of dollars to rebuild an engine and then finding this inside? That is insulting Mr. Mooney.

Classic Jaguar's Finest Work.... WTF?

You see, I am nothing, if not persistent.

10 thoughts on “How I Spent My Super Bowl Sunday”

  1. Those look like the ratty mild steel mufflers I pulled off my old coupe. I’m trying to figure out exactly what the point of failure was; in theory, a cylinder like that should be able to handle all sorts of pressure. Faulty materials? Bad welding?

    Does Classic Jaguar actually have their own systems manufactured, or do they resell another company’s product?

    (You know that some folks have linked to your stories on a certain Jaguar board and have had the links removed, as the board owner is one of CJ’s cheerleaders? Funny how people become intensely loyal to a corporation. I guess it’s not much different than people who just love Apple or Ford or whatever.)

    Look on the bright side: Soon there will be no “Team CJ” stuff on your car, and it’s all nearing the end of its “lifetime” warranty.*

    * Part is warrantied for the lifetime of the part

  2. “Does Classic Jaguar actually have their own systems manufactured, or do they resell another company’s product?”

    I suspect the latter, based upon my observation.

    “You know that some folks have linked to your stories on a certain Jaguar board”

    No, I was unaware of that. I don’t really look at my stats much. care to share the URL?

    LOL on the weasel definition of lifetime! 😉


  3. chuck, here’s my recommendation: find a good set of stock cast iron manifolds, have’m jethotted silver, use the best ENTIRELY new Ss system you can afford…and I’ll bet you a dollar to a donut you’ll be happier. The JetHotted manifolds will look great, not break, sound better and….ALL CJ stuff will gone in THAT subassembly.

    This all sadly reminds me of my Dad’s Cooper-Chevy ormula junior: it had the vernerable, and quite capable-as-a-race engine Chevy II 4 banger (the “Iron Duke!”) in it. The leading company at the time for speed goodies for the CII was Anson. Dad bought *all* the An$on goodie$: crank, rods, pistons, head, manifolds. as each one of the Anson PsOS broke, Dad replaced them with stock bits, just reworked for race use. In the end, *all* the Anson shit died and the stock chevy bits worked.


  4. “Funny how people become intensely loyal to a corporation. I guess it’s not much different than people who just love Apple or Ford or whatever.”
    Yeah…like those who *still* insist Dumbya’s still the greatest thing since sliced bread for this country, like those who *still defend his policy of invading Iraq, despite report after sickening report of its utter failure to do what he originally was told it would (“rid the world of nukular weapons”), or like those WHO STILL THINK CHENEY’S A GOOD AIM, AND…..ah..ahem.

    Woops. Sorry.
    Carry on….


  5. I guess he should have moved all his inventory to the place on his website he calls “Jaguar junk” !

  6. Tip o’the Day:
    When puting it all back together, get No-Seez and slather the pipe joints with it. I’d also recommend SS band clamps ( to put it together, rather than U-bolt-style clamps. Well worth the moola for the clamps!

  7. When I did the stainless system on the now lamented FHC, I sprung for the stainless hardware kit. It’s well worth the bux. I no longer dreaded any job that required removing th exhaust, as it all just untwisted without fuss.

    No links, the thread went away ages ago (it was about your cylinder head). The same person has also cast a critical eye on my pre-Ford sales of mugs and mousepads at, so you’re in good company.

  8. Damn! That Dan Mooney is one helluva businessman!

    But seriously, you’d think at some point that – regardless of whatever he claims the “facts” of the case to be – Mr. Mooney would try to start swinging this to his advantage. Instead of a blanket denial, broadcast on the web for all to see, how about something more conciliatory – and craftier: “Dang, Chuck, I was really shocked to see that the mufflers had failed like that. We changed suppliers a few years back and I thought I had caught all the bad ones, but I guess one pair slipped through. A new, improved set are on their way to you as I write this. Sorry for the inconvenience but thanks for sticking with me. Sincerely, Dan”.

    But noooooooo! Instead he sends a response that adds fuel to the controversey and makes the Bush Press staff look like Clintonian spinmeisters by comparison.

    Does he have an MBA?

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