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A nasty shock


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A couple of months ago now, Denis and I decided to remove The Princess's sill covers in order to carry out any maintenance. The only problem was... there were no sills. What we did find though, was rust so terminal that it just fell into powder when touched. There was absolutely NO indication of this when the sill covers were fitted. Trust me, the shock of seeing that made me feel quite ill.

There is a happy ending however.

Denis put me in touch with a local garage proprietor called Richie who, he said, would be able to bring the car back from the brink of being so much scrap.

Richie came and examined the driver's side sill and we agreed a price for him to do the work if I provided a pair of outer sills which I was able to obtain from fleabay for just under £200.

Denis came up trumps, lending me his beloved S-Type so that I could remain mobile pro tempore, as it were. Just over a week ago, my car was deposited at Richie's garage and since then I've heard absolute horror stories about the full extent of the corrosion.

My car was, quite literally, on the brink of being so much scrap, but for Richie's skill and determination.

The job entailed cutting the rotten outer sills right out of the car as we had expected but unfortunately, the inner sills were rotten as well and indeed, the floor pan itself was in danger.

Richie manufactured and fitted inner sills from scratch, ruthlessly cutting back the car's structure until there was good, solid metal to work outwards from.

A job of a couple of days became a job lasting over a week, including Denis giving up his free time to assist Richie.

Today, I got my Princess back having been converted from, Richie's words, "As rotten as a pear" to "As sound as a pound" He didn't even charge me any more than we had originally agreed although I suspect that he did at least twice as much work as he had originally anticipated.

He finished the job off by stone chipping the outer sills with a sort of rubberised armour and then painting them and the door tread areas with OEM paint, blending it in so that there is no indication that the sill covers have even been off.

The following photos give some indication of what has been achieved although, as you might imagine, these are only snapshots of the overall work done.

The first shows a very small part of the complete inner sill which had to be fabricated from scratch.



The second shows the outer sill cut back to remove all the rot and shows the initial state of the inner sill.


The third shows how the outer sill was shaped to fit. Disregard the surface rust which will very soon not be there either!


The fourth picture shows the outer sill in place complete with Stonechip rubberised armour.



In the near future, the interior of the sills and other areas are going to benefit from a comprehensive waxoyling and the covers WILL be removed every year to check that all is well.

I am, as you might imagine, one happy bunny tonight and at this point I would like to thank Richie and Mick for their skill and dedication. Further i would like to thank Denis, for providing his S-Type to keep me mobile, and Stacey, for putting up with the inconvenience of having one of the family cars missing for over a week... and also for the tea and sympathy on the day that we took the sill cover off initially. I was genuinely in shock.

As a final thought, these S-Types are beautiful cars, but now it can be seen that no matter how well they are maintained mechanically, they can be reduced to mere scrap by the unseen menace of corrosion. In my car's case, an accident involving side impact on either side would almost certainly have been fatal as the car's structure had all the strength of wet tissue paper.

Think on, boys and girls... time to get the sill covers off and see what, if anything, lurks beneath.

When i think of how close my beautiful S-Type came to being scrapped... well, it doesn't bear thinking about.

Richie's garage is called Prestige Motors and is located in the Stafford area. Anybody local.. or further afield for that matter, who has welding to be done, is welcome to contact him via me or Denis.

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Hi Paul,

I recommend using a cavity wax, inside the sills, its thinner and more searchy, soaks into any remaining rust and stops it

and because its thinner, it also will flex, also when the car gets hot, it goes wet like and if theres any scratches in it, it will reseal it self.

there plenty out there, like wurth and dinotrol both good

I used a product by a company called "WURTH", not the cheapest out there, but I've used it on many cars over the years and never had any rust come back after

I used on my mitsubishi 3000GT and my fiat Coupe, about 10 years ago and there both still rust free and flying through mot's

Did my Jaguar S-type Last year, did my sills in and out and every box section i could find.

One thing I noticed is, my sill compared to yours, was, is my sills have large slots in them every 6 inches or so, don't know if these were added on later cars for ventillation, but they seemed to keep mine, rust free, but these slots also made it easy for me to spray the cavity wax in, the slots are in the inner and outer sills, so I sprayed  throught them,

if your using waxoyl, don't spay it on too thick, it needs to be thin so it can flex with the car, or the waxoyl will crack, holding water behind it and making things worse than, no waxoyl applied at all.



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Noob question but how are the sill covers held on/removed?  I ought to take a look at mine as it's MOT comes up in Sept and I want to be prepared.  Reading this has made me a bit nervous though!!

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Hi Adam

I believe an MOT test can only inspect 'visible' areas as far as I know they do not remove any trim / covers as part of the test. However I recall a post that mentioned the sill covers being entered into the advisory section which seems a bit odd to me?

I think though just for your own peace of mind having a look wont hurt, I had a quick inspection of mine earlier this year by a Body shop who works for two Jag main dealers, the guy said very clean for the year, however they did not remove the sill covers, after Pauls revelation (thankfully with a happy outcome) I am determined to remove mine soon. I have been in touch with SNG Barratt trying to find the clips, they are Held on with screws which you remove from underneath, and then some clips I believe you slide the cover to either the front or back of the car, it has been commented that they can break, so I'm trying to get some spares before I go ahead

this link is very handy from JagTv they do have some quite useful / helpful vids the car they work on is an S Type 'R'

Hope it helps?




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5 hours ago, DaftMule said:

Noob question but how are the sill covers held on/removed?  I ought to take a look at mine as it's MOT comes up in Sept and I want to be prepared.  Reading this has made me a bit nervous though!!

The sooner you get them off, the less will be any potential corrosion Adam. If I'd left mine until next year I think there wouldn't have been a happy ending. When Denis removed the sill covers for me he didn't break any clips although, being a plastic screw head, some of the lower ones will need replacing, even though you can't see them.

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i agree totally.... if you are a bit of a DIY and like to try your hand at having a go?   as i did, but lucky for me i caught it just in time as these photos show.  drill with wire brush attachment then sand paper, rust treatment brushed on to stop the rust,( drys black )  then x2 coats of anti rust paint, then final coats of my builders rubberiod protective undershield which does not crack but is flexible.  grand job done..but i always get down with a torch and inspect both sides on a regular basis.

rusted sill on jag.jpg

same rusted sill.jpg

other side done silver paint.jpg

panited finish silver.jpg

sill finished.jpg

finish job.jpg

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Very interesting, and scary at the same time! 

Although my 2002 S type has just past its MOT last week, I will have my covers off also. The MOT tester said that it was in good shape, but then yours looked OK. 

Thanks for posting.


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Thanks for the heads up Paul and everyone else on this issue.  Is this because the covers trap any water between the covers and sills?  From my MGB owning days if there was a B with chrome sills on the advice was to leave alone.


Did you have to have the car on a jig at all Paul whilst the welding was carried out?

Gary M.

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