Autor Wątek: xj40 buying guide (english)  (Przeczytany 32900 razy)

Offline kogutki

  • JCPF Club Member
  • Forumowicz Daimler
  • *****
  • Wiadomości: 9.005
  • free milk for free cats
xj40 buying guide (english)
« dnia: Marzec 01, 2009, 11:10:26 am »
XJ 40 porade dla kupujacego...

1) Early cars unless it is properly maintained and you take any flaw into account when making an offer especially for something like the Self Levelling Suspension ( see the 88/89 section below). Early XJ40s ( 88 and 89 ) do not have a good reputation but once sorted out can be nice reliable cars.

2) Don't buy the smaller engined cars. The 2.9L in particular is a real dog. This engine is very very prone to timing chain failure, and is very underpowered. While it cost less new, the car in actuality uses about as much fuel as the more powerful and durable 3.6L. Also avoid the 3.2, the mileage factor vs the 4.0L is a lot like the 2.9, but it's also a lot slower than the 4.0, might as well just got for the bigger engine, I mean, if you're that worried about mileage, why are you looking at a 4,000lb Luxury Car? The 3.2 is a well-engineered motor though. I just think that if you want a Jag, go for one with some "oomph"!

3) No Service History? No Sale.

4) Seller won't let you take it to a mechanic? He or She is probably hiding something. Dont bite.

5) Obvious problems? Don't buy one of these cars and think you can "fix it up". It ain't gonna happen. I mean, if you find expensive problems right off of the bat... Hell with it, it's also probably got a lot of things wrong with it that you CANT see. It will never pay to buy a dog and try fixing it. Unless you get like, a 1992 Sovereign with a bad head gasket, diff and rear suspension for like $ 4,000. 

6) Rust. This apply to any car and especially any Jaguars. Older XJs and others as well, used to be prone to rust something Jaguar didn't really solve until the 90s. Rust can be compared to an iceberg... ( remember Titanic ? ), only part of the problem can be seen, the rest is hidden below surface. Rust is expensive to properly repair and if not treated will keep growing...

Now, let's see what we DO want to buy!!! 

1987 through 1989

These early cars are not as bad as they are often described especailly when they've been maintained properly in which case they car actually be a pretty good buy. Problems do occur because the relatively low value tends to prompt some owners not to fix things the right way or even do teh required maintenance. If that's the case, things will go downhill pretty fast...

Beyond the basic items and general things you'd check on any pre owned car, especially one over 10 or 12 years old, the Self Levelling Suspension is the major item to check. Many cars have now been converted to a standard shock and spring setup, something even Jaguar has recommended. If that's the case, this solves a major source of headaches. If the car still have the original SLS system in place, and even if it appears to be working and shows no obvious leaks,  be prepared for an eventual failure which could come withing a few days... or years.  The good news is that the conversion kit is readily available for under $ 500; official Jaguar install time is 2hrs for a trained mechanic and probably 5 to 6hrs in your own garage. Note that some early XJ6 came with shocks and springs so no conversion are needed there.

Another important thing to check or at least be aware of is the annoying failure of outside door handles, usually results of poor lubrication but also of a design flaw. Not a big problem, again this is covered in the XJ40 repair book.

A/C and climate control can be one tough trouble spot on all the cars but more so on the early ones because of age... broken flaps, rotting foam, etc. It can be a pain to fix, but not expensive if you do the work yourself.

Early cars had what's often called a digital dash, which in fact is very close to the later dash except for digital bar readout of the engine instruments and an additional digital readout of the speed.

Of course regular mechanical checks must be done and it really pays to have a Jagaur specialist inspect the car. Rust is a big factor as it is often expensive to repair properly.  On the bright side, the engine and transmission are nearly bullet proof unless showing signs of abuse, overheating, etc... The only weak spot of the AJ6 engine would be head gaskets failures which when caught early on are fairly easy to fix.

1990 through 1992

Starting in 1990, the XJ40 series of cars was seriously overhauled. The 3.6L Engine was dropped in favor of the 4.0L engine. This gave the car not only a boost in HP to 223, but a massive boost in torque. The cars also gained a "switchable" automatic transmission with a "sport mode" switch enabling a higher-performance shift pattern. This is conveinient option for your teen-age son when he borrows your car (If you let a 16 yr old borrow your Jag, what do you expect?) Also, the cars found a heavily updated electrical system, lock and doorhandle system and gauges as some of the more noticeable improvments.

The XJ6 continued, but without the self-levelling suspension, inlaid wood, full chrome window surrounds and sunroof to name a couple of items. The 89 XJ6's equipment level was replaced by the Sovereign. The Sovereign, Vanden Plas and Vanden Plas Majestic all had the 1-piece headlights, which were new for the US this year. The model lineup continued without major, noticeable changes, into 1991. The Majestic took a break for 1991, to return for 1992.

The 1991 and 1992 Jaguars continued to improve on quality and reliability as Ford's commitment to Jag started to really show. It should be noted that the 1990 and 1991 carswere already "done" by the time of the purchase by Ford and are still excellent cars.

1993 and 1994
The best XJ40s are the newest XJ40s, the 1994s and the 1993s. The main advantage with the 94s and 93s is that they have airbags. The only real difference in the 1994 models is the addition of a passenger airbag and the switch to 16" wheels. The model lineup was also changed for the last two years of the XJ40's life : In the US the Sovereign and Vanden Plas Majestic were dropped. The XJ6 was given the one-piece headlights and was left alone with the Vanden Plas.

Autor: Doug Dwyer


Buying an XJ6 (XJ40)

Model history

The Jaguar XJ40, or XJ6/12 as those of us who don't work for Jaguar call it, came along in 1986 and was Jaguars attempt to drag itself into the new world, its range having soldiered on for years with the long in the tooth, but mightily handsome, Series 3 XJ6 saloon, and the swish but antiquated XJS (itself harking back to S1 XJ underpinnings from the late 1960s).

Gone were the sumptuous (and expensive to build) curves of the Series 3 XJ6, replaced with an angular square cut look that Jaguar really thought the buying public would prefer. The fact that in years to come, the XJ40s replacement (X300) went back to S3-esque curves perhaps says something! Despite many peoples misgivings about the new look Jaguar, it cannot be denied that it injected much-needed £££ into Jaguars coffers, and was in production right upto 1994 when the X300, itself a restyled XJ40 in many ways, was introduced. Initially the XJ40 was available in 2.9 and 3.6 versions, the V12 model coming along late on in the XJ40s life (the S3 XJ12 outlived the 6 cylinder S3 by a few years), with Daimler versions sold alongside. The small engined option, or poverty-spec 2.9 model, often fitted with cloth (shudder) trim and manual box, was phased out after a few years and the range continued with the newly launched 3.2 & 4.0 models, the V12 XJ40, and the TWR-breathed on XJR (not to be confused with the later, X300 supercharged offering). Out of production now for over 10 years, the XJ40 now offers a cut-price entry into the rarefied world of Jaguar motoring, but, as with many Jags before, its a market where angels fear to tread. Find a good XJ40 and you'll have a low-cost almost-classic Jaguar for Benidorm money, but buy a nail and prepare to remortgage your soul as it empties your wallet with fearful glee.


The 2.9 was the entry-level XJ option, just as was the 2.8 Series 1 of 1968, and as with the older Jaguar not a very popular choice. Any XJ is a fair hunk of weight to haul about, and a weedy 2.9 really doesn't make the Jag go as it should. With low sales it wasn't long before the 2.9 was ditched in favour of a new lineup, starting with the 3.2 (and the 4.0 replacing the 3.6). Head gasket problems are not unknown, so the usual checks for white goo in the oil filler cap and coolant should be made, which can be a sign of problems to come (and also a sign that a car may have done lots of short journeys and rarely fully warmed up, itself not a good sign). Excessive steam from the exhaust even when fully warmed through is another possible sign of trouble on the horizon, and a very good reason to run away very quickly. Timing chains can suffer with broken tensioners, another wallet-lightening experience, and a poorly maintained example can easily cost hundreds to get right again. When it comes to large cars I've always gone with the view that the best bet with a car thats been around a bit, is to go for the largest engine version there is, the theory being that it has worked the least hard for a given mileage. I've run Series 1 XJs and the V12 Jaguar I had was by far the best mechanically, same with BMWs, the V12s I've had are big lazy lumps that with care should soldier on to Mars and back with little effort. The same goes for the shortlived V12 XJ40, so long as coolant & oil quality (& quantity) is maintained there is every chance that it will outlive its smaller engined, and harder worked, brothers.


Jaguar tried very hard to build the XJ40 well, but many think that end of line S3 cars are in fact better than the early XJ40s (and the S3 was hardly hewn from stone either). While quality did improve during the XJ40s life, it is imperative to check it over properly as, sadly, the build quality leaves a lot to be desired when compared to a similarly aged BM 7 series for example. Firstly the visible stuff, take a good long look at all the cars lower extremities. Bonnets corrode along their leading edges, a problem found on earlier Jags too, and one which can often be traced to poorly lubricated hinges. Bootlids are another classic rotspot, and manys the dog-eared early XJ thats up on ebay for 200 quid with badly rotten bootlid corners. Arches rot as on all Jags, as do the sills, even on late-ish examples. Someone I know had an XJR and found the rear window pillars were full of water and rusting from the inside out, so check the crude joint (covered by a trim) at the base of the rear window pillars. At least the front wings are bolt on, but unlike earlier Series XJs give few rot problems, most are affected by accident damage if anything. Door skins will happily corrode away from their frames, so run a beady eye along the door bottoms for signs of the brown stuff. Boot seals often give way, causing structural problems at the rear, and the front inner wings can succumb to rust too in an alarming manner. Find one with badly rotted inner wings and it really is just a candidate for the next banger race meeting, go and find a better one instead. With all XJs its important to have a good look at the structure underneath. Just as with its Series predecessors, the XJ40 can rot in the vicinity of the front subframe, and, being foam-filled, cannot be MIG'd back together so be prepared to fork out anything upto £1000 to have it professionally replaced. With XJ40 prices plummetting ever earthwards as they limp along in the netherland between modern car, and classic stardom, it isn't really viable to save a car that has many of these faults. A look on ebay will soon bring back plenty such wrecks in the low £hundreds, just a few turns of the wheel from the breakers yard.


XJ40s were available with both manual and automatic boxes. With most XJs having a suitable large engine, the autos are barely any slower than the Getrag manual boxed variety, and outsold the manual versions many times over, the consensus being that to shift ones' own cogs is at best unseemly, and not the done thing in polite company. Both gearboxes survive well if looked after, and recon boxes are available should something untoward happen.


Jaguar saloons have always been sold on the promise of a sporting, yet sumptuous ride. However 100,000 miles, and 1,000 collisions with sleeping policemen, later this may not still be the case, though to the uninitiated even a soggy handling Jaguar still feels like a magical experience when compared to the humdrum ride of many mass produced tin boxes around nowadays. Some cars have self-levelling suspension, in itself a fine invention but can be pricey to get it working again if something gives up the ghost. Normal items such as dampers and springs have a hard time keeping this old dowager on an even keel, so will need replacing every 50,000 miles or so, if not before. Suspension front and rear relies on the compliance of a great number of rubber bushes, when these start to break up after 50,000 miles or so prepare to spend some hard-earned getting them replaced, although DIY is a practical option if you're handy with the spanners. Some models, such as the Sport and XJR come with firmer suspension and tyre/wheel combinations, so any failing components with be further highlighted and require attention. Most XJ Jaguars came with alloys as standard, though some poverty-spec 2.9 and 3.6 models did come with steels as standard, though by now their plastic trims will probably be looking a little past their sell-by date. The alloy wheels fitted to Jaguars, even on more recent models, succumb to corrosion quite easily and let down the appearance of an otherwise presentable car - reconditioning is an option, or else keep an eye on the classifieds for a better replacement set instead. Some people retro-fit S3 XJ wheels just so that cheaper non-metric tyres can be fitted.


Exterior trim lasts reasonably well on the '40, although bumpers and other stainless parts can be costly to replace if they're received a biff. Door handles on early cars have been known to give way under heavy usage, and badges can go to look scruffy after a while too, although they're easy enough to replace (apart from those on the Jaguarsport XJR model). As already hinted at, some bargain basement XJ40s were ordered with cloth trim but now, as then, this is not a popular option and to feel like a fully-fledged Jaguar pilot you really need to hunt down a car with a nice leather and wood pack, otherwise why bother buying a Jaguar, just get a Granada instead and don't let the neighbours see it. The leather seats usually last well (if electric, check they still work fully fore and aft) but drivers side bolsters can wear after a few years of use. Another problem inherited from earlier XJs is the headlining, the lining in all my Series One has sagged at some stage, as did dad's Series Three, and the XJ40 is no different so have a good look up there - despite what some people say, the only solution is a professional repair or replacement of the headlining, a quick spray with contact adhesive rarely works well. While you sat in the pilots seat, have a good look at the wood for any signs of delamination of the lacquer, fraying of leather edges and so on, and check all the electrics (especially the whizzy dashboard on the earliest '40s) to make sure they work - a duff headlamp black box can relieve you of over a £100 for starters. Daimlers generally has slightly higher levels of trim, and being rarer than equivalent Jaguars will be more difficult to find model-specific pieces of trim for.

Hard to find parts

The XJ40 is currently in its mid-life crisis phase, with plenty of average cars being broken up for parts to keep others on the road. Most parts can still be bought new from Jaguar, from 3rd party suppliers, or secondhand via classified adverts. Probably the hardest thing to replace, if you really want to that is, is the bodykit as fitted to the XJR versions (3.6 and 4.0) as prepared by TWR, but time has not been kind to these bolt on bits of plastic so its unlikely they'll ever be remanufactured. The rarest model is the long wheelbase Daimler Majestic, dragging up a name from the early 60s, as certain panels and trim parts will be unique to this stretched version.

Easy to find parts

Most things can be found, and with the number of specialists that now include XJ40s in their catalogues it really pays to shop around, although the quality of non-Jaguar parts can vary wildly so go carefully.

What to Pay

Real sheds, and worn out wedding carriage hacks in brightest Dulux white, can be had a for a few hundred pounds with anything from a days, to 12 months MOT attached. For peace of mind it really is best to go for something as late as possible, by which time many niggles found in earlier cars had been ironed out. Perhaps the safest way into Jaguar ownership is join one of the owners clubs and scour the classifieds for low mileage, nicely maintained example built after 1992. A very presentable 4.0 with history & plenty of life left under its treads should be available from as little as £2000, so buying a cheap nail to do up is rarely wise.

Autor: R. Jones 2009