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Jaguar XJS

Discussion in 'British' started by 11506apollo, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    Oct 16, 2008
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    Claudio
    I am considering the purchase of a 1985 XJS coupe with an inline 6 and 5 speed manual. I would appreciate if any of you have ownership experiences (good and bad) to share.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Devilsolsi

    Devilsolsi F1 Veteran
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    I thought the early cars were only the v12. 5.3 and then the 6.0. I thought the 4.0 inline 6 didn't come out till the facelift.

    Interested to hear more about this.
     
  3. Fennicus

    Fennicus Formula Junior

    Apr 10, 2015
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    Pekka T.
    Hi,

    Jaguar has had a long tradition where they always introduce a new engine in a (low volume production) in a low production sports model before ontruducing a new saloon series with a new engine.

    The reason why in many cases the American public may not know this, or may have a wrong impression on the reasoning, is like in this case, all the cars were manual shifters, as ZF did not yet have the technology ready.

    So the AJ6/AJ16 engine was introduced in 1983 in the XJS. The 3.6 L coupes were mostly sold in Europe and later followed also an IL6 convertible, also with a manual gearbox.

    The saloon XJ6 model series XJ40 was introduced in 1986, MY1987, but even then most XJ's sold in north America between 1987 and 1993 were the continued Series 3 XJ12's.

    So between 1983 and 1990 many XJS's were made with the 3.6L IL6 and a manual gearbox, but none were sold in the US, the 4.0L IL6 came also with the automatic gearbox, just like the XJ40 and X300, so it was also sold in the US alongside the last facelift version of the V12 XJS with the 6.0L V12.

    Cheers,

    Pekka T.
    Fin.
     
  4. Fennicus

    Fennicus Formula Junior

    Apr 10, 2015
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    Pekka T.
    Hi again,

    Sorry, I did not write (difficult on an iPad) what I was thinking, just the short version.

    Jaguar did this (introducing a new engine) basically every time with a low volume production sports model:

    1948 they showed the first post-war (important) saloon in London motor show, the all new MKV Saloon (& Drophead) but the new engine, destined for the big saloons, was shown in a sleek new sports car, called the XK120. The XK stole the show.

    In 1971 they introduced a new V12 engine. Again destined to be the powerplant of the XJ models, but first introduced under the bonnet of the Series 3 E-type.

    So in 1983, when they had the new, all-aluminum IL6 ready, they introduced it in the XJS sports model. The matching automatic gearbox came later, as did the saloon, XJ40/XJ6 and it's facelift the X300 in 1994.

    BTW originally the idea was that the 1. DOCH engine would also have been produced as a 2.0L IL4 (XK100) and that the V12 would also have had sister models of the same base design as both V6 and V8. Prototypes of the 1948 IL4 2.0L were built and broke land speed records in 1949, and prototypes of the 1963/1964 V8's were also built and tested. The V12 was supposed to be fuel injected from the start, but the subcontactor was not able to deliver, and thus all V12's between 1971 and 1974 had Z-S carbs instead.

    Cheers,

    Pekka T.
    Fin.
     
  5. Fennicus

    Fennicus Formula Junior

    Apr 10, 2015
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    Pekka T.
    Hi,

    And sorry, no ownership experience, but I have driven a few 3.6L 5-sp XJS's and have also some roads tests. The IL6 is lighter and faster in most cases up to speeds like 100mph. After that the V12 is more powerful and can pull away. On small twisty roads the IL6 manual XJ6 feels more like a sports car. Maybe not as much as an E-type or a Ferrari ;) but still much more so than a V12 XJS with a GM TH400. :)

    Cheers,

    Pekka T.
    Fin.
     
  6. Devilsolsi

    Devilsolsi F1 Veteran
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    Thanks for the info.

    So the 4.0 was available with a manual in Europe? IIRC it was the same engine that was in the DB7 that was available with a manual. Always wondered what would be involved in converting the XJS to manual.
     
  7. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    Thanks for the feedback. The car I am looking at is an Euro model imported into the US so its a grey market imported car.
     
  8. XJRS Owner

    XJRS Owner Karting

    Aug 20, 2009
    114
    Northern CT
    Not necessarily. The factory imported a number of these to test the waters. Seems to me it was around 50 or so, but I could be way off. The cars were lent to dealers and eventually were sold off to the public, or something like that.
     
  9. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    Yes but This one has import documentation into US from 1st owner.
     
  10. 11506apollo

    11506apollo Formula 3
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    Thanks to all for the discussions. however I am really interested on experiences from an owner perspective. What are the typical issues which may come up on these cars. granted there are very very few inline 6 engines in the US, so I was hoping to hear from EU folks. This car was sold only in Europe so I imagine there are quite a few of them in the old continent. Thanks again.
     
  11. SAVANTAUTO

    SAVANTAUTO Karting

    Nov 5, 2010
    177
    Glad to see some interest in the XJS. Although I own 1986 unrestored original 11k mile example, I think if you find your spec you will be very happy.
     
  12. jimangle

    jimangle Formula 3

    Nov 5, 2003
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    I owned an 85 XJS 5.3 v12 car. I think the car you are buying is probably the best version. The heat from the v12 pretty much cooked all things rubber including suspension parts. I believe with the 6 cylinder there were valve issues, but I could be wrong.
    Problem areas regardless of engine are the inverted rear discs can get contaminated by the differential which can leak. Fuel tank vent pressurization issues could be an issue but are easily corrected. I believe paint and rust can be an problem area for that MY as well. Brake rotors seem to warp easily, but it might not be an issue with the 6cyl as the weight is reduced and the enormous amount of heat wont be present so you may not have the same issues.

    Jim
     
  13. killer58

    killer58 Formula 3
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    Jun 30, 2010
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    The second owner, I have owned an 89 XJS convertible since 1993. While is is a V12 vice the six you're looking for, it has been remarkably reliable. Thankfully, NON of the issues have been engine related. I've replaced the radiator and the rear brake calipers. The belts and hoses don't seem to last very long, they get replaced every couple years. A power steering hose began to leak and was replaced. Else, the only other fault has been an ABS microswitch in the master brake booster.

    I also had an 85 XJS for many years. It had a few more issues, but again nothing engine related; AC compressor, torque converter, brakes and shocks.

    I believe if you keep them properly serviced, change the fluids annually, and never overtemp them, they are strong and reliable.
     

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