Jaguar SIII XJ / XJS - a much maligned classic?

andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
edited March 2014 in Jaguar
In recently shopping for a car from the 'old
country' my attention turned to Jaguars, and in
particular the amazingly low prices of the Series
III sedans and the XJS. I couldn't help feeling
sorry for these cars that I grew up with, and the
fact that they are now virtually worthless. I am
in the process of negotiating a price for a low
mileage 88 XJS Coupe that will probably end up
around $10,000 Canadian.

Much of the market discounts these for reliability
reasons, but I genuinely think that these are over
emphasized - don't get me wrong I know Jags have
had problems historically, but cars that are still
around now have been looked after - and that is
half the battle.

So what do you think - is the Series III / XJS
going to be the next Jaguar classic, or is it
destined to be yet another pile of metal?


  • bigbozerbigbozer Member Posts: 22
    If I were you I would go for the 6 cylinder XJ Sedans rather than the V-12 XJS. According to me is the best recent Jaguar was the 6 cylinder XJS HE Spyder.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    The V6 was a nice engine - but you can't compete with the big V12 for fun. I know the newer V6s can outperform the old 5.3l V12s (later 6.0l), but they are much more fun. Incidentally you can get a 6 in the XJS.

    The V12 is a good case in point for my argument though - prices are less than for the V6 because reliability is seen as a problem. I just don't buy it. Now that is easy for me to say because I know a tame factory trained Jaguar mechanic, but even so, they are not that complicated - although they can be awkward to service. I think that the good V12s are going to appreciate noticeably because they are becoming rarer and rarer - the result of so many people ripping out the 12 and putting in a small block Chevy 350.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think the main reason for the depressed prices on these cars is a) most are 4-door sedans, which almost never become "classics", and b) parts and maintenance costs are punishing to an extreme.

    Prices are dictated by supply and demand, and the demand is low because people are, justifiably, scared off by the likelihood of having repair bills matching the price of the car itself in a short time.

    I would agree that the straight 6 is a better bet than the V-12, but both are historically troublesome cars, and I'd expect you'll come to a certain amount of grief with them. Of course, like you say, the odds are much better with a car that's been cared for.

    Sooner or later, these cars will bust you, it's just a matter of luck and time. If you think you're going to be luckier than all the people running away from them, well...welcome to Las Vegas, and I genuinely hope you ARE lucky!

    Buy a Benz 420 SEL and be happy, that's my two cents, or save and get a mid 90s Jaguar if you must have one.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I agree with you on much of what you say, both here and in previous comments in Jaguar related topics, and you are right on some of the factors that make a classic. That is one reason I am looking at an XJS over one of its 4 door cousins.

    I do not delude myself into thinking that a Jag is an investment, I will buy for the driving pleasure, as a throw back to my youth and as a comfortable means of high speed, luxury transportation. It won't ever be my only vehicle.

    All that said, I really believe that, if looked after, it will cost me less than many other cars as it will depreciate less than a more modern car of the same value, and may even appreciate if not driven much (not that that will happen). I need to offset the increased costs of maintaining it, but in my case that is reduced through work that I can do myself or have help with from my factory trained friend.

    In my case I believe that the cost in terms of time and money that a Jaguar will inevitably involve is more than offset by the pleasure of ownership.

    And a 420SEL vs. an XJS, that is a no contest for me.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, as you say, most important with an old car is to buy what you like, and b) to buy the very best car in the very best condition you can afford. Right there you're starting on the right foot, because it's important to really like the old car you're in. Otherwise, you won't have any tolerance for its eccentricities.

    So in essence I agree with your logic. I would myself not be at all hopeful for any strong appreciation in value of the XJS either; however, it is not dropping into the basement like the sedans, and seems stronger than the XJ6C, so there is some hope there. Naturally, the ragtops are always the best bet for appreciation.

    My main complaint about the XJS, aside from its size and fuel mileage (which is just MY problem), is the headroom issue, which for a person over 5' 10" is quite annoying and not easily solvable. But you can't beat the ride and the smoothness, the only two things IMO that are really noticeably better than the Benz. It's a pleasant way to eat up miles, no question!
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I really noticed the headroom when I first drove one - I am 6'2" and my head was bulging the roof. However I have found that by sitting down in the seat a bit more the problem goes away - obviously this is only for me. I was concerned that this would be uncomfortable on long journeys, but having driven one for 2 1/2 hours in a session, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Gas mileage is pretty horrible, but no worse than the truck I drive.

    Incidentally, if you want to have a look at the car I am considering it can be found at
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Is that $CDN or US? If US, a bit high I think, if CDN, just about right.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    It's Canadian dollars, actually just rolled over 94,000km now - 59,000 miles. I agree that the price is about right for that model / mileage. I think I am getting a better deal because without doubt it is a very fine example of the marque. It has a full history (from the place that is selling it), has never been winter driven - a key thing here and is in almost immaculate condition.

    The only faults I could find were a need to replace / rechrome the left headlight surround and a tiny amount of bubbling under the paint at the bottom right of the windscreen and the bottom left of the rear window - common rust points. Both are no big deal to attend to.

    The original steering wheel has been replaced with the later one that has the little thumb buttons for the horn, but I am sure I can pick up an 88 steering wheel fairly easily.
  • ssinghalssinghal Member Posts: 2
    I have a beautiful 1983 XJ6 which my father drove, but not too often (only 90K miles!). I recently saw a listing of approx. $2600.00 US for a comparable model, and I am wondering if it is worth holding on to, without consideration of its sentimental value (my father passed on, and left me the car). Granted, the ride and handling are SUPERB and I don't think I could ever drive anything else except possibly a Rover, but that's another story. Any thoughts out there? Some experienced advice would be very welcome.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    When you say "worth holding on to", I'm not sure if you mean a) will it increase in value as a collectible or b) would it be wise to make it one's everyday car?

    The answer to a is no, definitely not.

    To b...well, you're dad did get 90K out of it, and I presume it wasn't too burdensome financially to keep it going...on the other hand, 90K is just about the mileage when all kinds of things are ready to wear out. So if the car hasn't had its steering box worked on, its power steering replaced, and suspension work done, all these things could come up for you.

    I do feel, though, that if the car is really nice, you should be able to get more for it than $2,600 US, unless it's dinged up and needing work.

    If I were looking for an older hobby car, this is not the one I would pick myself...had you considered selling it and perhaps buying an MGB or Midget to fix up?
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I am considering getting a SIII XJ-6 after college for a "project car" (I thought my old mercury fit that bill. Am I just crazy?) Mainly, I like the style. I've found that the best car to look for would be an 85 or an 86 (the last years for the SIII), with the I-6 engine. Transmissions on these cars are light duty jobs on 2-ton cars with racing motors. (?) Go figure. Alternators are worse than those on modern GM's. Paint issues on pre-1984 models (Important if you want a collectable w/original paint). Problems with having steel tappet guides in aluminum engines. All in all, andwherefrom 5-8grand for the car, and (over time) about that much more to replace all the finicky components, plus whatever goes out on a regular basis.(Probably about that much more a year :-) Definately not a toyota, and should not be relied upon as sole transportation. If you're looking for a car to make money on, this one ain't it. If you're looking for a car to cruise around in on the weekends and look cool, go for it.
  • ssinghalssinghal Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for your kind response.

    I had not considered selling the car (the terms of my father's will do not allow this). You're right - 90K is about the time when all sorts of fun things start to happen, and I can well believe that I will probably spend a great deal of money getting things fixed.
    I will say, however, that the car is in really good shape for its age. It does need some very minimal body work (minor rust spots in about 5 places) and I know the engine needs more work than I can afford to give it right now. My main goal right now is to do what I can as I can afford to, and I do try to drive it every day (for some inexplicable reason it does run better when I do). Other than that, I must say:


    I still am amazed, after 2 years of ownership. It still turns heads when I drive down the street. The best part is pulling up next to a newer (read: Ford) model Jaguar and watching them stare. It really is an amazing car.

    Do you know, or have you heard, of problems with the engine cutting out suddenly while driving? IT seems to do this when I am driving, and all of a sudden the engine will simply die. This is, needless to say, not a pleasant situation at 65mph.
  • boffoboffo Member Posts: 1
    I am considering the Jag xj6 as my next vehicle. However, having been an MGB owner in the late 1970's I have some residual fears of the reliability issues I may face by owning an English product again. That unique handling and style still beckons me. Has Jaguar resolved the long list of problems that have plagued its history by the 1994 model year ?
  • brianwgldbrianwgld Member Posts: 1
    I am looking at a 1990 Sovereign. I wondered if anyone could educate me on the reliability of the model. It has 104k miles on it and is gorgeous.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think by 1994 the XJ would be reasonably reliable, but I'd be less inclined to voice assurance for a 1990, especially with that mileage.

    Like with all high-maintenance, exotic cars, you need to look at each one individually. If the car has excellent service records and you know its entire history, you have a much better chance of a successful ownership. But if it's been cobbled together or neglected, it's going to be hell. These cars are EXPENSIVE to repair, so you don't want to have to restore any major componentry, or overlook the smallest problem when you buy one. Don't assume that "it just needs a tune-up" or that "brake squeek is nothing". Have the car carefully checked out nose to tail and take it for a long test drive. Buy the best car you can afford, not the cheaper one you think you're going to'll end up fixing you, but good!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Don't take it to a "We fix anything" shop to get it checked out. Take it to a certified Jag mechanic. Yeah, it's expensive, but a jack-of-all-trades shop won't know what to look for on a jag. They're british cars, remember, and they have problem areas all their own that only Jag mechanics will know to look for. It'll cost you in the short run, but may save your tail in the long haul.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think that's good advice. If there's something I can't fix myself, or don't want to, I go to the ver best Alfa shop...sure, it's $80/hr out here in California, but a) he knows what he's doing, and b) he does it quickly and correctly. This shop has proven to be, in fact the "cheapest". I get the car back washed inside and out, running beautifully, without excuses and without fingerprints all over the fender.

    Of course, there are plenty of shops that LOOK good but aren't, so don't be fooled by a smooth line of talk and snappy little uniforms.

    There is only one resume for a good mechanic, and that resides on the end of his wrench. All else is just puffery and of dubious value.
  • im_brentwoodim_brentwood Member Posts: 4,883
    The newer sedans are VERY reliable!

    My 105,000 mile 1995 Vanden Plas is testament to that. The 95+ Sedans are really quite something!

    As far as the 90 Sovereign goes.. could be good.. could be bad. At the risk of self-promotion.. I have a technical webpage for those cars. Avoid 88s and 89s tho!

    Also join the e-mail list.. worth it's weight in gold!

    Who has had a 1991 Sovereign and it was a great car!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, thanks for that info!

    I don't think we are in you suggest, it's a hit and miss thing with 90s Jags.

    Also, you are (like me) a knowledgable person about cars, and this no doubt has contributed to both our success with all types of cars. But giving a Jaguar to someone who knows nothing about cars may not be a good idea. I would contend that if a person drove and maintained a 95 Jaguar as if it were a Toyota Camry (as many try to do), it wouldn't be so likely to work out as well for them as for you.

    Also, if I may say in a lighthearted way, these days 105,000 miles isn't exactly grounds for bragging like it used to be. It would be shameful if an expensive car couldn't go that distance without major expense.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I think that last statement is very true. WHile this may not translate directly to a Jag, I have a bit of personal experience that shows the difference in 100,000 miles today and 20 years ago. I have a 1978 Mercury with about 124,000 miles on it, and that car is about used up. (Given good preventative maintainence.) If it weren't for the cars sentamental value, she'd be in a junkyard. I also have a 95 T-Bird with 149,000 miles. (Bought used). I will be disappointed in that car if I can't get her to at least 300,000 before something major screws up. Still, I do beleive Jags have gotten a lot more reliable in the last few years, mainly because they are getting to be more and more like a Ford. (Quick, what's the difference between a S-Type and an LS?)
    Just my .02$
  • ramshotramshot Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1991 Sovereign that has been an absolutely problem free with the exception of the security system that had a mind of it's own. However this car has about 26,000 miles on it now. I am in the market for a 1999 Vaden Plas and might sell the 91 The only problem is that the typical resale is so low that I would just as soon keep the car in storage. However, if brianwgld would like an absolutely perfect 91 Sovereign, contact me at [email protected] But, I don't think I would part with it for less than $20,000. It's just too nice.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, I don't think storing it is a good idea...not only won't the car like it very much, the value will continue to go down, as 4-door cars do not often achieve any collectibility worth noting. I think such a nice, low mileage car in this strong economy could sell for $11K-12K, but if you just store it you'll lose $1,000-1500 every year, plus you have to pay storage fees.

    The newer Jags will hold resale value better I think, at least through their warranty, but until the new cars demonstrate 150,000+ mile durability, the stain of the past is going to take some time to wear off. But Audi beat the rap, Saab is trying to beat it, so there's a chance Jaguar will some day have a good reputation again. But still, this won't much help 4-door values. The low resale is not due so much to reputation as to the body style in general. Even the high resale of say a '91 Bmemz 300E 3.0 4-door (cost about the same as your Sovereign in 1991) is about $16K.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    Have to agree with Mr. S (of course) on the storage issue. The XJ-S I just bought was stored for in excess of 5 years for the very same reason that ramshot suggests - the original owner was not offered much for it in trade in. That was in November '94 (on an 88 model). I bought it for $10,500 Canadian from a dealer who was selling it on consignment - take his fee out and the owner got practically nothing compared to what he must have been offered in 94.

    Storage can also damage cars if not done properly.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    It's rarely a good idea. Unlike a stock certificate, a car deteriorates with lack of use, and so any possible increase in value is often offset by inflation and the need for repairs. It is the exceptional and rare car that gains value in storage.

    I know that no owner likes to see the resale value of their car plummet. My Alfas are great cars, but ridiculously undervalued--can you imagine that my nearly pristine, bright red '88 Spyder convertible might struggle to bring $5,000? It's too bad that owners have to pay for years in the future for the sins of the factory in the past, but we do. The buying public doesn't easily forget when it's been tormented by an automaker's products.
  • duderanchoduderancho Member Posts: 3
    I am interested of purchasing my friend's 91 XJ6. The body and interior are in good condition. The odometer reads 94,354. However it has a blown gasket. How much would it cost to get it fixed. Also, how much is a reasonable price i should pay for this car. Thanks in advance.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh, I'd be extremely careful. I'd have to say, in all honestly, that the car only has salvage value, since if the engine is severly damaged, the cost of repair will approach or exceed the value of the entire car in good condition.

    The risk is that you can't evaluate what has happened to the engine until you take it apart. Let's say the head is warped from then, are you going to put a brand new rebuilt head on an engine with almost 100,000 miles on bearings, rods and pistons? Not a great idea, and probably $3500 worth of work right there, if not more. You may get lucky or you may blow out the bottom end in 10,000 miles, or burn oil like crazy from worn piston rings.

    The Jaguar 6 is a good engine and very strong; nonetheless I would pay no more for this car than a wrecker would. Why go through all the expense and risk when you could buy a perfect car for not all that much money? (probably under $10,000).

    How much of a gambling man are you? My feeling is that you pay a little, and if the diagnosis is bad, just button the car up and bail out for what you can. Otherwise, I'd pass. This is neither a rare or particularly valuable car, so there's no real reason to run a high risk to have it.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I wouldn't rely on the mileage unless it has full history. Jaguar used a tranny mounted transducer and not a cable for the speedo / odometer. They were well known for breaking down resulting in no mileage accumulating.

    Also, Jaguar dealers were advised by the factory to use a product called Barrs Leaks in the cooling system when servicing it. This stuff was supposed to plug any pinholes in the system, and it did - but it also built up in the rad causing a severe tendency to overheat with fairly dire results - an overheated bi-metal engine isn't fun.
  • duderanchoduderancho Member Posts: 3
    Thanks guys! By the way, my friend wanted $2,000 for it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well, I'd offer him whatever you think you could sell it for yourself with the cylinder head in the trunk and the mechanic shaking his head and looking very worried. $2,000 would be pushing it IMO.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    My advice is if you can afford a better car, you'd be much better off in the long run. Don't get drawn in by the pretty lines and leather & walnut, and buy the first car you see, even if the seller is your friend and tells you all the car's warts. Save your money & buy one a Jag tech tells you is in good shape to begin with. Oh, sure, it starts out a 2 grand, then the head needs replaceing, then you find out the pistons are shot, the the block needs machining, then.....

    Unless of course you like spending large amounts of time & money fixing old cars :-)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you're going to do that, do it to a coupe or better yet a convertible. Don't go sinking huge money into a 4-door, they should be the donor cars for the rarer coupes/converts IMO.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    True, but then there are those of us who find a S3 XJ6 Beautiful, and an XJS, well, bland. I happen to like 4-doors. To each his own...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I'm not a big fan of huge coupes myself, but the marketplace says it will pay way more for them than 4-doors. So I guess it comes down to one's expectations (if any) of what the car will be worth after restoration. Some people are disappointed that they can't get any money for all their hard work, but others don't care at all.

    I like old luxury 4-doors just because they are cheap. You can buy a great ride for peanuts, what could be better?
  • eyeheyeh Member Posts: 1
    I am looking into buying a new 2000 S-type but am also very concerned of the manufacturer's past quality history in liu of its maintenance cost. How does it stack up against the like of BMWs or the M-Benz? If the quality improvement in the past few years are much to Ford's credit, does it also speak well for Ford's other lines, which seems to contradict with its current reputation?

    Thanks in advance for your comment.:-)
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    "Ford's other lines" have such a bad reputation because people expect them to be like Honda et al. They're not, but they are great cars, much better than people give them credit for. Keep in mind, no machine as complicated as a car will run perfect every time, but if you take car of a Ford err I mean Jag, it should last you a while. (Assuming we're talking about a modern V-8 or V-6 here.)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I think it would be okay but I'd consider bailing out after the warranty if the car has problems while in warranty. I still don't see many high mileage Jags around whereas one sees Benzes pushing 150-175K before needing major work. But Ford must be doing something right because the Jaguars, as lovely as they were, were pretty dreadful reliability-wise. They are obviously much improved, otherwise we'd see people howling in rage like they used to years ago. But aside from the occasional whine and groan, they feedback seems pretty good. Of course, again, these are not cars that have gone great distances, so I have no idea of their endurance beyond the warranty.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    Forget fixing the Jag motor. Call Broken Kitty and see what the small block chevy swap costs.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Nah, I don't like those conversions myself. The Jaguar 6-cylinder engine is the best part of the car, and it is a smooth, sturdy and economical powerplant. By putting in a V-8, all you accomplish is a further devaluation of the automobile (it now becomes a "[non-permissible content removed]" car), with a noisy and gas-eating V-8 that is not nearly as smooth (because you have to discard the elaborate jaguar engine/trans mounting system).

    The only time I'd consider advising someone to install a V-8 is if they wanted to make a street rod out of a Jag just for a wild thing to do. This way you transform it into something else and such things as noise or smoothness or resale value become irrelevant. But I think you'd find a V-8 installation very disappointing unless you want your Jaguar to feel like a that case, just go buy a Buick, it's cheaper and easier.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I agree with Mr. Shiftright on the engines. Those old XK engines were actually pretty good. However, all new Jags have a Ford 4.0 litre engine doing the pushing now. Anyway, If you're going to replace Jag engineering with GM, do it to the transmission, not the engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    That's a good point. The earlier Jag automatics (70s and early 80s) were pretty awful. What you'd need for the ideal 80s Jaguar would be the Jaguar engine, a GM transmission and power steering and German fuel injection and ignition. Also the older inboard brake system is no fun either.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    A lot of the problems weren't with the engines themselves. Yes they are horrible to try and fix, yes one look under the hood makes you want to run away, but the engine itself is pretty reliable.

    What does tend to happen is that the engine suffers failures because of less than wonderful design / implementation / engineering elsewhere in the car. For instance a popular complaint with the V12s was that the valve seat dropped, yes it did, but not because it was faulty, just that the radiator wasn't up to the job and the car overheated - the valve seat would have dropped in any bi-metal engine in the same situation.

    That said, as others have stated, an older Jag is definitely a labor of love.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    My suggestion related to duderancho's situation. If a car is going to cost more to fix then it will ever be worth, Why not? The two suggestions by Mr. S. were it was either going to be a parts car or save up for a car in better condition. While I wouldn't "bastardize" a car in good running condition one that doesn't have much of a future I'd "hot rod" it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I see what you're saying...fair enough!

    The V-8 conversions aren't all that cheap of course unless you do the work yourself. It's a "way out", but not an easy way out.
  • modvptnlmodvptnl Member Posts: 1,352
    A buddy and former neighbor left to open a casino in Detroit, he didn't want to store his ailing '80 MB 300 CD in that climate and asked to store it at my house. Well since I have a 1/2 acre and only have 2 other project cars and a boat and Sea Doos and motorcycles and..... I said, "Sure". Anyway the thing leaks power steering fluid and tranny fluid like a sieve. Even though the thing will run you have to put a quart of tranny fluid in it to go around the block not to mention I forgot to nominate this model for slowest car in another topic. My hope is after I tell him what it would cost to put the thing back on the road he'll just say take it off my hands. So while I don't mind the coupe lines too much I think a small block Ford and a built up AOD (which I have a few) would be a real sleeper combo. Since it's a "diesel" there's no smog check yet either. I realize all mounts would have to be fabricated and in no way would this be an easy swap but I figure on under $5000 including the rebuilds which I do myself(actually a buddy who builds the new Shelbys is my trans builder) So here's a car that will either languish as a leaking relic or be reborn as a sort of sleeper.
  • geno3geno3 Member Posts: 12
    I have had a 1989 V-12 for about a year now and have had some problems with over heating. The first thing I did when I heard about some of the problems with the V-12 was down load the papers published by Kirby Palm's survival guide for the XJS. Having owned British autos in the past I knew what I was getting into with the Jag before I bought one. They (British autos in general)are a love/hate relationship from the start. Expensive parts are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping them on the road. Kirby's book is well worth the read if you want to get some insite and advise on how to keep the XJS on the road. I had a plugged radiator and a cracked fan that had to be replaced before I could think about driving it for any length of time (over 20 minutes). I love the car as most Jaguar owners do and the price of driving keeps going up as the car gets older. They suffer from
    a bad reputation that has dogged them it seems forever. Between the Lucas electronics and the lack of reliable over the counter parts at the local parts store(other than the Jag dealer), keeping the things on the road is a labor of love. My question for anyone out there is this, Does anyone manufacture a replacement for the Marrelli ignition systems that is more reliable and not prone to starting the whole car on fire due to a breakdown of the ignition system? If so what is the cost and where do you get it??
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    I don't know of any Marelli replacement, but you might want to ask some of the members of the various mailing lists at (Kirby is a frequent poster). I guarantee that you will have some input.

    I too have the overheating problem - fortunately I didn't have a blocked rad, my auxiliary fan failed - new fan, new rad hoses - yes all 22 of them!! (3 had holes, they were all wearing) and a few more minor bits.
  • geno3geno3 Member Posts: 12
    I am just getting into the realm of things that
    make the Jag a different type of auto. I think I'll check out the local club and get more info about the clubs activities and network with local owners. Seems to be a lot of folks that have had some similar troubles with their cars. I did get a name of a company that has something that might work but an e-mail to them got no response.
    Keeping a Jag on the road is something many of my neighbors seem to think is a waste cuz' of the cost. I have been tinkering with it since I got it and have enjoyed every minute of my labors. I do most of the work myself when I have the equipment to do so. Other than electrical foibles that pop up with the Lucas nightmares, it has been a very nice and fun car to own. I did find out that the Jag dealer is the last place to get parts due to the cost and overhead involved. With a little shopping on the net and telephone to places outside of my local area, there seems to be a large contingent of loyal Jag followers and replacement parts available. I have gone as far a California to get parts that could not be repaired. I repair most things myself, electrical and mechanical and it seems to have worked out for the better. I don't have access to a garage to do major work as I used to have before I moved East but I have managed to convince my wife that is what a basement is for. I think I am in need of some work on the bottom end and that will have to go to a shop for repairs. Does anyone have any experience with replacement of oil bypass valve and main bearing replacement. I think I have a problem in that the engine hase a discernible lack of oil pressure for the first 5 seconds after it has sat for a couple of hours? It carries good oil pressure after the initial start up but it bothers me when I start it up in the morning and it grumbles for that first five seconds. The oil pressure comes up slow but remains steady after that. I think it is the bearings or bypass valve
    that is the problem. It makes no noise after that and runs smoothly. Any advise is appreciated. Like I said before it is a love/hate relationship. In response to your hose replacement thanks, I will check them all out before I take it on my vacation. The fan problem is one that is inherent to the Jag. It develops small hairline cracks that grow larger over time. If you take a close look you will see them starting at the center and radiating out from the mounting flange on the fan clutch. It is one thing that could spell disaster to your hood, radiator and other nearby items.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    No, who knew.

    Best way to find out if your Jaguar V12 is leaking - walk to the back of the car, bend down and look for 'V12'. If you see it you have an oil leak!!!

    More seriously, V12 oil pressure is low anyway - I have never seen above 5, mostly around 3 and when idling your oil pressure will be well down - the advice I was given was that if the warning light isn't on then you don't have a problem. Still you seem to know what you are doing so good luck with the checks.

    Is a Jag hard work - yes, is it worth it, whenever I wonder I just lower the right foot - oh my!!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982

    Essentially an index of Jag clubs, websites, and parts suppliers for Jaguars, and prices better than the dealer. (Most dealers only know about X300, S-Type, and XK8's anyway). I myself have been bitted by the bug, and as soon as finance allow, I'll probably be looking for an 85 or 86 XJ6. That'll be a couple of years yet, but til then I can dream, right?
    BTW...Jag XK and V-12 engines are supposed to leak oil...It's Jaguar's anti-corrosion system.
  • geno3geno3 Member Posts: 12
    Well I think my pressure is ok cuz' it carries around 60psi at 3500 rpm. I did know they have low oil pressure when idling or lower pressure on the highway after warm up. I think I'm pretty lucky in that it don't leak and now it doesn't overheat. I guess if things were really bad the thing would let me know sooner or later. It's been pretty good transportation and it sure is nice driving. No complaints in that department. I guess I'll check with some folks and see if my concerns about the initial cold starts are worth worrying about. I sure do love the thing and spend most of my time driving it or keeping it polished up. My wife said I should spend as much time on the "Caddy". I personally think that the XJS is good ride. If the dealers would quit trying to make a living on the parts, and not try to pay off their homes on one service visit the Jag would get a better reputation.
    Dependability should have been more of a concern in the beginning and not image. The XJS will break you financially if you don't have a clue as to how to take care of them. I had mine in the shop when I first got it and it took them a week to get parts at the dealer. After I got it back I had to redo everything but the initial oil change myself. I haven't been back to them since. I'll state again that I do love the car and will keep it for a very long time. Maybe I'll spend some money later and redo the interior in a different color. I'm getting tired of the brown leather interior. How is this for an expensive repair! The Jag dealer wanted $5,600.00 to replace the top! That was only the cost of the parts! No labor or taxes were included. Looks like I'll live with the discolored headliner for a while. That's what I mean about gouging the customer. How many convertible were made from 1989 thru the end of the production of the XJS convertibles? Does anybody out there know? I've gotten various number from 14,000 to 26,000.
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