Presented here are Nigel’s Timely Tips –

Disclaimer: Not to be construed as actual advice, remember it’s coming from Nigel!

#43. Those of us with pre-1975 Jaguars, and probably other old British iron, have brake fluid reservoirs that are remote from the brake master cylinders. Connecting the two is generally a hose of the ¼ inch variety. It is unpressurized but, and this is a big but, it must be brake fluid resistant.

Finding replacement hose through ordinary and specialist suppliers has been a challenge. I searched hose specialists, rubber specialists, brake shops and auto parts stores. I even called a chemist at a testing lab in Colorado to find out what kind of hose would work. Alas no one had a clue. The chemist thought that Teflon hose might work. It lasted about ten days.

One day I was talking to a farmer friend of mine who has a pretty nice shop on the ranch and he said that old Volkswagens have the same set up; a remote reservoir.

I contacted a VW specialist; behold and low; they have a 7mm hose that works perfectly! It is a silicone hose with a blue cloth braided exterior. It looks pretty good! I am sure that you could spray the exterior with black upholstery dye if you don’t like the color.

#44. While working on the brake reservoirs I noticed one that wasn’t working properly. To test the low fluid level switch you simply press a rod extending through the top of the reservoir cap. This should activate the brake warning light on the dash. The rod should then rebound, turning off the light. Alas no rebound for Nigel. The warning light stayed on.

This is usually where Nigel gets in trouble. Don’t look at the repair manual. Just take the darned thing apart. Mechanical movement turned to electrical impulses is high tech; requiring soldering irons, volt meters and a smattering of knowledge. In these matters Nigel is sorely deficient.

Upon separating the sensor tube from the cap you will find an ordinary CORK attached to the steel rod that extends through the cap. This is in an automobile designed to cruise at 100 mph all day! The cork, was saturated with brake fluid.

Nigel’s solution: Open and drink a bottle of Donatti Claret. Replace the reservoir float (cork) with the cork from the wine bottle. IT WORKS PERFECTLY! Nigel doesn’t know how often these corks get saturated but he plans on replacing them on a regular basis.

Note: Nigel is the nom-deplume of Dan Dunham; longtime club member and wine drinker extraordinaire!