Jaguar used windscreen washer equipment manufactured and supplied by Trico Folberth Ltd, of Brentford, UK for their entire XK range (either standard on SE/MC models or optional on standard models). Next to Trico another UK company, Tudor, provided windscreen washer equipment to British carmakers (e.g. BMC), but Tudor was never used on Jaguar XK’s. Both companies became important suppliers of equipment to the British motor industry but also sold directly to the public in the form of “aftermarket” accessories.
Trico had been established in about 1917 (initially named the Tri-Continental Corporation) with manufacturing facilities in Buffalo USA, as a company that specializes in windshield wipers and other automotive equipment in particular related to vacuum powered systems. Trico acquired Folberth (of Cleveland, Ohio) in 1925 which company had been manufacturing vacuum wiper systems since 1919. Thus Trico became Trico-Folberth.
As early as 1928 Trico-Folberth Ltd. opened a UK plant in Brentford (and a second one after the war) where it manufactured a large range of products (windscreen wipers & washers, switches, cigar lighters, etc) for almost 7 decades until the late 1990s. Trico relocated its UK operations to Pontypool, South Wales where it still resides today.
Trico-Folberth also established manufacturing facilities in Australia in 1958 as a supply basis for Australia, New Zealand and in fact the whole of South-East Asia.
Jaguar’s relation with Trico-Folberth ended with the introduction of Lucas electrical washer equipment in the early 60’s. The complete system including jets, T-piece and hoses was now provided by Lucas. They are not further covered in this article.
Trico Part numbers in UK and USA
As Trico windscreen washer equipment existed already in the USA years before Jaguar introduced their XK 120, most washer parts have an American origin. Trico USA used a coding system with 5-digit part numbers (with some exceptions) and these have been taken over where possible by Trico-Folberth in England. In addition Trico-Folberth UK developed a number of parts specifically destined for the British automotive industry, like Jaguar.
To make a distinction in “corporate Trico parts” and UK specific parts, Trico-Folberth UK used a prefix “X” in front of the 5-digit “corporate” parts and introduced 6-digit part numbers for UK specific parts, all in the 700000, 800000 or 900000 range. This applies to both new UK assemblies (often using US components) as well as new UK components.
Also note that Trico UK commercial washer model indications started with XAW followed by number and suffix. “X” stood apparently for “Universal” applications, but when specific assemblies per brand were made Trico UK often used the first letter of that brand: e.g. the Windscreen Washer Assembly for the XK 120 had the commercial indication JAW12-3. A Ford version was called FAW6-30 and those for Vauxhall were named VAW9-20 etc.
When looking at Washer equipment for Jaguar XK’s, the fact that (1) Trico was both active in the USA and UK and (2) the vast majority of XK’s went to the USA, meant that through the years many Trico windscreen washer systems in XK’s may have become an amalgamation of (original) UK parts and US (spare) parts. The same situation may have developed in Australia where local parts (e.g. glass bottles and labels) could have been used as spare parts for original Trico UK products.
This article tries to clarify what is original Trico/Jaguar equipment and what may have been added/changed using other Trico (UK, USA or Australia) parts over the past 6 decades.
Trico Spare Parts
Spare parts are becoming (very) scarce, although some complete products are being remanufactured nowadays. At some autojumbles you may be lucky enough to find that part you’re looking for (instead of buying a complete new complete product). Trico spare or service parts were available at almost any garage in the 1960’s. The photos below show an example of a Trico UK spare part box and content of around 1970; it was coded Trico XAW-101A.
The XK Windscreen Washer system
The Trico system uses vacuum from the inlet manifold to (eventually) spray washer fluid on the windscreen. Functioning of the Trico washer system in short: when the Trico control button on the instrument panel is operated, underpressure moves the rubber diaphragm up, sucking fluid from the reservoir and filling the casing; after the control button has been released the vacuum is removed and the atmospheric pressure plus the compression spring above the diaphragn forces the fluid out towards the washer jets (as a valve blocks the way back in the reservoir).
The complete Windscreen Washer Assembly of the XK 120 DHC and FHC (comprising everything required for a complete installation) had Jaguar Part Nº C5472 and Trico Part Nº 800010, but more interestingly a commercial type number JAW12-3, which translates as a Jaguar-optimised version of the universal XAW12-3 Washer system. This unit had a “Jar, Pump and Bracket Assembly” with Jaguar Part Nº C5473/1 and Trico Part Nº 800008.
The XK140 OTS and DHC models continued the Trico washer unit of the XK 120 (though with some minor changes like rubber hoses). The complete Washer unit for the XK140 OTS and DHC had Jaguar Part Nº C5596 but no Trico type number is given by Jaguar. We can safely assume however that Trico continued the XAW12-3 type coding. Also the same “Jar, Pump and Bracket Assembly” with Jaguar Part Nº C5473/1 and Trico Part Nº 800008 was continued for the XK 140 OTS and DHC.
Trico UK also provided a complete system solution for the installation of a Windscreen Washer unit in the XK 140 FHC. This unit had Jaguar Part Nº C9178 (and Trico type coding XAW6-2 or possibly JAW6-2 as we will see later). Heart of this unit is the “Jar, Pump and Bracket Assembly” which for the FHC had Jaguar Part Nº C9179 and Trico Part Nº 800076.
The windscreen washer version of the XK 140 FHC differs from the OTS and DHC version because (as Porter mentions) “probably space was tight” in the engine compartment and therefore a (smaller) square bottle had been chosen instead of the (larger) round version as used for the OTS and DHC. We can confirm that the “tight space” was indeed the reason for this change, as also Trico used this as an argument when positioning this bottle configuration in their programme (see below). Later in the 1950’s Trico-Folberth UK offered the XK 140 FHC washer solution as a standard version for the “aftermarket”. It was now called the “XAW6-2 Universal Model Small Jar type….. for cars where fitting space is extremely restricted”. See below left.
Note: Trico also offered the XAW6-2 washer system for some British Ford cars, as can be seen below. There exists thus a (very small) possibility that some of these Trico square bottle washer systems have survived in a (British) Ford of the late 50’s or early 60’s.
The XK 150 received a different washer system Jaguar Part Nº C14334 and probably Trico JAW9-2. The bottle, pump and bracket assembly had Jaguar Part Nº C10127/1 or Trico Part Nº 800051. The pump was now located within the glass bottle but the rest was left unchanged. This version (C10127/1) was also used on the various Jaguar Mk 1 versions; the Mk2 switched over to a Lucas electrical windscreen washer version.
Trico-Folberth offered the “XK 150 windscreen washer equipment” also as an aftermarket accessory in the late 50’s: Trico part number XAW9-2 (see photo below) looks fully identical to the above XK 150 version. Or did Jaguar simply choose an already existing standard Trico UK version for their XK 150 series in 1957?
The glass bottle
Much has been written on the Trico glass bottles for all versions, except for the FHC glass bottle (or “Jar” as Jaguar and Trico called it). It received Jaguar Part Nº C9184 and Trico Part Nº 800037, a specific Trico UK part number. The bottle does not have “TRICO” moulded into the glass. Trico UK also offered the square bottle type for (British) Ford cars (as is stated above) probably in an endeaver to increase the production quantity for these bottles as only 3000 bottles just for the Jaguar XK 140 fixed head coupes is hardly an attractive production figure.
The glass bottle for the XK 140 FHC has the following text (sometimes difficult to read) casted on the bottom side: B & Cº Ltd K at the top of a (quarter) circle with a large figure (here “24” but also “3” has been observed) in the middle. At the lower part of the circle on the inside of the bottom we find the indication P 112.
This lettering most likely refers to the company Bagley & Co., Ltd. of Knottingley, Yorkshire, England (1898-1962), a company that produced bottles in large quantities but is also known for its “glass art” (vases, etc). In 1962 it was acquired by the Jackson Brothers (or the Jackson Glass Co.), another local Knottingley firm. The Rockware Glass Co., in turn, took over the Jackson operation in 1964. This company remained in business until 1975.
We also have also seen bottles for the XK 120 and the 140 OTS and DHC (Jaguar Part Nº C5473/2 or Trico Part Nº X.78369) that had the same lettering and the number 858B. But also the Trico glass jar (Jaguar Part Nº C10127/2 and Trico 800042) of the XK 150 washer system had the same lettering B & Cº Ltd K and the number S124 (?) as can be seen on the photo below.
Looking at the time line, Trico most likely had Bagley as one of their glass bottle suppliers. Even the fact that the name Bagley disappeared in 1962, does not conflict with this assumption, as by that year Trico was switching over to plastic bottles and Jaguar had switched over to Lucas for the supply of Windscreen Washers in the meantime.
The XK 140 FHC bottle measures 3¾” (95 mm) width and depth and the total height is 7½” (190 mm) whereas the height to the neck is 6½” (165 mm); the washer fluid capacity according Trico is 0.86 litre.
As Trico uses the indication XAW6 the 6 might well stand for the number of Quarter Pints (6 x 0.142 = 0.852 litre); note that Trico also has other Jars with indication XAW9 and XCAW10 indicating a larger volume. The volume of the XAW9-2 is indicated as 2½ pint, but should be 2¼ if the 9 quarter pints should be correct. But the increase to 2½ might well be done for “commercial” reasons.
The cap of the XAW6-2 measures about 3¼” (83 mm). Note that the bracket for the larger round bottles measure about 5” square, meaning Jaguar could save about 1¼” or 32 mm, probably to create better access to the oil dip stick of the FHC. See also the above advertisement: XAW6-2 “Small Jar type”.
The bottles for the XK 120 and the 140 OTS and DHC had Jaguar Part Nº C5473/2 or Trico Part Nº X.78369 which is a standard Trico USA part carried by Trico UK.
The bottles for the XK 150 had Jaguar Part Nº C10127/2 and Trico 800042.
The Pump assembly
The Pump including Cover on top of the glass bottle is identical for all XK 120 and XK 140 versions and has Jaguar Part Nº C5473/3 or Trico Part Nº X.82540. The suction tube or Strainer Assembly is also the same for all versions and has Jaguar Part Nº C5498 and Trico Part Nº X.76431/1M.
The pump for the XK 150 (and Mk 1) is slightly different as this unit is positioned within the glass bottle and is fixed to the lid on the top of the pump (instead of the bottom of the pump as per XK 120/140). The pump has Jaguar part number C.10127/3. A similar construction is used on the later Trico plastic windscreen washer systems and the vacuum pump may well be interchangeable.
The lower half of the dome is made of brass. Two types of dome tops have been used by Trico UK for the XK 120 & 140. Both versions are made of high pressure die-cast aluminium;m later domes carry the Trico logo and the following additional text “MADE IN ENGLAND” and “TO CONTROL VALVE”. This is a Trico Folbert UK product evidently. It is evident that the XK 150 dome top is different due to the different location of the pump within the bottle.
The upper domes of the Trico UK pump were all smooth, whereas Trico USA offered different upper dome shapes for their pumps. Early pumps had a smooth dome with an cylindrical part on top. Later domes had “stiffening” ribs on the side. Both types are unsuitable as a replacement for an original Jaguar washer pump.
The pump has a “check valve” at the lower connection to the strainer and the tube connection to the washer jets. This “one way” valve consists of a steel ball in the brass lower pump housing. A second check valve is in the hose pillar part (connecting the washer jet hoses).
The “strainer” consists of a ⅜” copper tube with ⅜” – 32 UNEF thread at the top and (sometimes) a filter at the bottom end. For the XAW6-2 washer bottle the length of the strainer tube was about 6½” (or 170 mm).
The complete pump and strainer were fixed to the bottle cap using a ½” – 28 UNEF nut, selflocking washer and plain washer which were screwed to the threaded lower end of the pump house.
There is a small (brass) lid placed over the washer fluid filler opening that can be rotated aside, The (red and black) round Trico label placed on the lid reads “REPLACE YOUR WIPER BLADES ONCE A YEAR”.
There are different lid types. Some versions have a half circle depression and a “reinforcement rib” running towards the rivet with which the lid is secured to the bottle cap. Other versions are flat in this area and have a full circular depression; this type is seen on both early US as UK washer pumps. XKs (120, 140 and 150) use the (older) flat version, whereas the (later?) stiffened version may have been only used for the combined vacuum/electrical versions (synchronizing the washer function with the wiper system).
It looks as if the round Trico label is solely intended for the “flat” lid version with the full circular depression. The “stiffened” version is mostly shown with a different larger Trico label (half circle shape), whereby this label is not positioned on the small lid but elsewhere on the large bottle cap.
The Bracket for the bottle
The Bracket that carries the Trico Windscreen Washer Assembly for the XK 120 and 140 models (except FHC) have Jaguar Part Nº C5473/8 and Trico Part Nº X.78364-IE which indicates that this is originally a Trico USA product. However, bottle brackets made by Trico UK are normally painted black, where as most Trico USA brackets were Cadmium plated.
The Bracket is different for the FHC as is the way it is mounted. The bracket has Jaguar Part Nº C9185 or Trico Nº 800075/E, is square and the glass bottle has a tight fit in the bracket. Again, because this part number consists of 6 digits it is a Trico UK specific part. The Bracket is mounted at the LH side of the engine bay just in front of the brake fluid reservoir: only 3 setscrews (3/16 UNF x ½” with nuts and shake proof washers) are used instead of the 5 for the OTS and DHC bracket.
Further investigation learned that there were actually two FHC brackets, whereby the later version had the “Trico” trade mark, the text “Made in England” and a survey of patents stamped on the inside of the rear steel strip.
Whether the change-over coincided with the introduction of a new label (see below) is unclear, but the older labels all have brackets without the “Trico” trademark.
Early XK 140 FHC bracket C9185 and later Trico label for info only.
Two different Trico label versions have been used: the above photos show (left) the early version (text reads: 6 oz. bottle XAW-30) and (right) the later version which reads only XAW-30 and has an additional line at the bottom of the label (“OVER 20 MILLION TRICO WASHERS SOLD”).
Trico washer solvent was supplied in various ways: initially glass bottles, later plastic bottles and sachets. The reference 6 oz. XAW-30 on the lable refers to the glass (and plastic) bottle content as supplied by Trico UK. Trico USA refered in their catalogues to the WA-30 6 oz. bottle.
Early glass 6 oz. bottle XAW-30 Later (1960) plastic 6 oz. bottle
Two diameters of rubber hoses are used for vacuum and washer fluid. Trico had a large range of rubber hoses in their programme (because of their extensive vacuum wiper motor programme) but the sizes of importance for Jaguar XK washers are:
- “All rubber” hoses with ID 7/64″ (2.8 mm) for ⅛” (3.2 mm) connections: Trico Nº F.15. Outer diameter of this hose is 15/64″ (6.0 mm).
- “All rubber” hoses with ID 5/32″ (4.0 mm) for 3/16“ (4.8 mm) connections. Three code numbers have been used for the 3/16“ hose: Trico Nº 618, Trico Nº 846 and later Trico Nº 81846 (converted to 5 digits). Outer diameter of this 3/16“ hose is 5/16″ (8.0 mm).
The Jaguar Parts Catalogue gives a detailed survey of the various tubes used and their position. All vacuum hoses are of the 3/16 “ (4.8 mm) type as is the main washer fluid hose from pump to T connector. The two hoses from the T piece to the washer jets are of the ⅛” (3.2 mm) type. Remember that a vacuum hoses may collapse if the rubber wall isn’t stiff enough: reinforced tubes are preferred but sometimes their (increased) outer diameter may cause problems with the existing rubber grommets, which is why Trico used “all rubber” hoses with a lesser increased wall thickness.
There are some problems related to this survey: the ⅛” hose C5472/13 (T-piece to LH Jet) for the XK 140 FHC is apparently 26” long (66 cm), but the same part number is also used for the XK 140 OTS version and there it is indicated as 43” long!
Given the position of the Trico reservoir at the LH side of the engine compartment, and given the position of the T-piece at the end of a 24” long hose from the reservoir plus the fact we are dealing here with the LH Jet, a length of 26” is more than adequate for hose C5472/13 (in fact I found it much too long).
Another problem that remains is that the original lay-out of the tubes behind the instrument panel is difficult to retrieve.
The Tee piece
The T connection (Jaguar Part Nº C5473/6 or Trico Part Nº X.87223/1) is made of brass and divides the flow of washer fluid from the reservoir to the LH and RH Jet. Jaguar uses Part Nº C5473/6 also in combination with “Tee Connection” Trico Nº X.77689/1, whereby the latter part number is a Trico USA derived number. The main supply hose is 3/16” and the two hoses to the Jets are of the ⅛” type, which translates in a special T piece with unequal branches. Later T-pieces are made of plastic and the correct (unequal branches) plastic version has Trico UK Part Nº 768523.
Trico T-piece X.87223/1 or X.77689/1 Later Trico T- piece 768523
The Washer Jet System
The original Washer Jets are well described by e.g. Viart / Payne in their book “XK 140 explored”. These Washer Jets were continued from the XK 120. The chosen threads for jets and housing clearly show the American origin of these Trico windscreen washers as some destine from the pre 1950s so even before the “Unified” era in the USA started.
There are in fact two different Washer Jets assemblies that look similar but have a different hose pillar diameter. The one applied by Jaguar has an 1/8″ diameter and is described hereafter. The other version has a 3/16″ hose pillar diameter and is coded by Trico UK as Part Nº 801894-C. The latter requires different rubber hoses (now all 3/16″) and T-piece (all branches 3/16″: Trico Part Nº X649-1 in brass or Nº 768515 in plastic) .
The chrome plated Trico washer jet assembly named “Easy-Clean Jets” (with Jaguar Part Nº C5473/4 or Trico Part Nº X.78778-C but later also Trico Nº 801742) is basically built-up from three parts: (1) Main body, (2) Washer Jet and (3) Knurled Button.
The Jet Body
The main jet body including the hose connection and threaded lower part, used a bended steel piece that acts as a nut to install the complete washer jet to the car. This nut (“wing nut” according Trico) has Trico Part Nº 76624). Trico (USA) part number for the main body is 78779-3C. Thread for the fixation of the body to the car is National Extra Fine 5/16 -32 NEF or later UNEF. A rubber washer (Jaguar C5497 or Trico 75172) is placed between the jet housing and the car This is a 1.5 mm flat rubber washer with 3/16” or 8 mm ID and 5/8” or 16 mm OD .
The washer jet itself
The washer jet (including knurled button) with Jaguar Part Nº C5495 or Trico 81600-C, which is screwed in the main jet body, has a tiny slit/opening at the hexagon end which allows the washer fluid to be sprayed in one specific direction, once the closing button is in place. The special thread of the washer jet (and internal thread of the washer body) is apparently National Special Nº 8-40 NS or later UNS (about Ø 4.2 x 0.64 mm).
The below part of the washer jet has Trico Part Nº 81151-1C and is used both by Trico USA and Trico UK.
The below shown Trico jet with the round spray hole in the centre of the hexagon part, fits perfectly in the main jet housing and is closed with a different button. Trico USA assigned Part Nº 86022C to this washer jet (or “nozzle”) and positions it as a full alternative for Trico UK washer jet Nº 81600-C using Trico USA Part Nº AW-128 for both alternatives. Some XK’s may have switched over to this US alternative (like mine).
The knurled button of the jet
The jet is closed with a knurled Button (Jaguar Part Nº C5499 or Trico Nº 81153-1C) which screws into the jet; thread is National Fine NF10-32 (comes close to 2BA). The button thread has two flats to allow fluid to flow to the opening. This Button can be removed for cleaning the jet opening (“Easy Clean” jets). There is a small sealing ring between de button and the jet (Jaguar Nº C5496 or Trico Nº 81635) . There are buttons with and without the Trico brand logo, but apparently the original buttons did not have that Trico logo.
Alternative (contemporary and later) Trico washer jet assemblies
Although BMC mainly used washer equipment from Tudor they applied a similar Trico solution for some of their high-end brands in the late 50’s and early 60’s like e.g. MG ZA/ZB series, Riley and Wolseley cars. These washers however had a different, smaller washer housing: the cylindrical and hexagon part of the main body have different dimensions compared with the Jaguar solution. The washer housing was originally fixed to the body with “wing nuts” instead of hexagon nuts. The washer jet itself is identical to the Jaguar version (Trico Nº 81600-C ; here with Trico logo).
Other Trico washer jet assemblies are available, but they have either hexagonal or conical bodies in which the jet itself is screwed (see photos below). They are not particularly suited as a replacement for the Jaguar XK windscreen washers if originality is required.
Trico also delivered “Twin Jets” to be used in a central position in front of the windshield. An earlier Trico version was coded 801743 C and used two “knurled buttons” (Jaguar Part Nº C5499 or Trico Nº 81153-1C). The introduction of this version probably dates from the mid 60’s (photo below left). A later (70’s) introduction was Trico Twin Jet 803274 C (photo below right) but this version doesn’t have the “knurled buttons” as used for the earlier Jaguar XK’s.
The Control Button
The Control Button (when pushed) activates the vacuum in the system and when released the washer jets spray washer fluid to the windscreen. Trico apparently made a special version for Jaguar (and possibly some other high-end brands) because of the (thick) wooden instrument panel this button was built in.
There are many types of Control Buttons in the Trico programme, with a split-up in two main types: (1) controls with parallel hose connections and (2) controls with one 90° hose connection. There are indications that the “90° controls” are the oldest (USA 1940’s onwards) and were still available in 1980. The “parallel controls” may have been a Trico UK development and were (relatively) short-lived but still referred to in 1960.
The length of the button also varies: the majority of the Trico Washer programme uses Controls with very short buttons that cannot be used for the (thick) Jaguar XK instrument panels. There are three versions with a longer chrome plated button and these are the ones used in XK’s: the longest one (32 mm) is of the “parallel”, but there is also the same length available in the “90°” controls type. and finally a shorter one (24 mm) iof the “90°” controls type as well. These buttons are nowadays a rare find.
The “long” button version of the “90° connection” category has a total length from (back of the) nut to end of button of about 24 mm. This one fits the XK dashboard and the majority of the XK 120 and 140 versions have this button type. This control has (most likely) Jaguar Part Nº C5472/7 or Trico Nº 900306, which means UK specific.
Note: the XK 120 DHC and FHC may have had a different Control Assembly: although the Jaguar Part Nº C5472/7 was continued from the early XK 120 down to the last XK 150, the Trico part Nº for the XK 120 was 900106 (whereas the XK 140 had 900306). We should, however, not exclude an error in the Jaguar Spare Parts Catalogue.
The below Control Button of the “90°” type has a total button length measured from the (back of the) nut to the end of the button of about 32 mm (1¼ inch). Product data are not known, but the button seems fully identical to the version described hereafter.
The below Control Button of the “parallel” type has a total button length measured from the (back of the) nut to the end of the button of about 32 mm (1¼ inch). This version is possibly related to the Trico 900306 version (see photo above). Product data are not known. This version has also been seen on XK dashboards, but its origin and originality remains unclear.
Easier to find is the shorter Trico version of the parallel type, which uses the same body as the above version. However, it doesn’t fit in the Jaguar dashboard. This one is “Made in England” and is used on various “high end” BMC cars like MG, Riley and Wolseley. This product had Trico Part Nº 900255-C, indicating it was indeed a UK specific product. The length from (back of the) nut to end of button is about 14 mm.
In the category of control buttons with a 90° hose connection, different versions are offered (besides the aforementioned versons with a longer button). A shorter version with a length of about 14 mm has Trico Part Nº X.77680-C and was made by both Trico USA (Part Nº 77680-C from the 1940’s onwards) and Trico UK. This Control Button is installed in a dashboard using a chrome nut (Trico 77679-C) and a washer (Trico 2322J). This version is too short for the XK dashboard.
The Check Valve
From September 1955 onwards XK140s received a brass Check Valve which was installed in the rubber hose from the inlet manifold to the Control Button. The check valve or “non-return” valve secures that vacuum remains in the washer system (when the engine stops) and the washer jets can do their job (for a short period though). The Check Valve has Jaguar Part Nº C11491 or Trico Part Nº 900292 (UK specific). The original item is apparently rare nowadays and modern replacements are often used instead.
For the XK 150 the Check Valve became integrated in the inlet manifold adaptor: Jaguar Part Nº C13570 or C14715 and thus was no longer a separate item as with the XK 140.
The Inlet Manifold Adaptor
Vacuum is drawn from the Inlet Manifold via a rubber hose connected to a “Connector” or Manifold Adaptor screwed in the manifold. This Adaptor initially had Jaguar Part Nº C5473/5 (taken over from the XK 120) and from September 1955 onwards C11490 with Trico Part Nº 770750 and 770793 respectively. This adaptor is screwed in the manifold: thread is ⅛”-28 BSP.
The XK 150 had the Check Valve integrated with the inlet manifold adaptor: Jaguar Part Nº C13570 or C14715 .