How to fix 1969-1987 XJ6 Jingle Cow Bell Noise in Trunk

So my mecahnic pulls the trunk apart and says the vents seem clear and the flappers are quiet. The mystery continued, but the short version of the story is that there are SIX exhaust vents in the back of the cabin. Four are hidden. Each has a steel flapper door which is held on by a little fabric hinge, and each door has felt on it to KEEP IT FROM JINGLING against the metal vent housing. If the felt falls off, you have a ringing bell in your car. It fell off two of my flapper vents, and as luck would have it they were not the two you can see from the trunk.

To get to the four remaining and HIDDEN exhaust vents, you have to take out the back seat and remove the tray under the rear parcel shelf. The vents are part of this tray. My wrench guy told me he had to take the rear seat belts loose too. There is a steel tray under there in the same area where the sunroof cables go (snd the sunroof drain hoses, so when you take the thing out you might as well shoot it with some POR or Extend to prevent rust, as it gets wet sometimes). Attached to all this Wallace-and-Gromit gadgetry are the four flappers. Their fabric hinges are riveted to the tray over the vents.

So if you have a Jaguar XJ6 with this sound, this is how to get to it. It is a pain in the neck but it seems medium straightforward once you know what to look for. Just drill out the old rivets (probably best to replace them with steel not aluminum rivets, if available) and reattach using some marine canvas or some other durable fabric as the hinge. This could also serve as the sound deadener, or you could even glue some felt back on.

The thing's just gone back together and we're going to take it for a ride and see how it works. Credit to Wil from Wil Automotive in San Antonio for ferreting down into the ventilation system to figure out where the noise was coming from.

I found a description of this jangling sound in the "Bumper-to-Bumper guide to the XJ", and their conclusion was "If you have a cow bell in your trunk, live with it: It's too much of a pain to fix". Well I don't think that's true. It actually looks like a pretty elegant ventilation design, as long as your felt doesn't come unglued. Or maybe some people like the sound.

I hope this is useful.

Jeremy B.
San Antonio TX

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