90 Days Impound


1992 Jaguar XJ6


I’ve taken a real gamble and purchased this Jag at impound. (First time too, I still need find a daily driver) The write up says it ran at the time the owner was arrested, and the tow company guesses she’s sat 60+ days.

What should I know in my attempts to drive her home?

After making sure this doesn’t happen
Check the fluids and go…
Bring a battery, probably.

Welcome and congratulations!

Thank you, every resource helps!

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As I dig a little deeper I see people are citing the self leveling suspension as a nightmare problem. Do I significantly risk damaging said system using a car dolly (front wheel trailer that dangles the rear of the car on the road?) A full trailer requires I find a larger truck to accommodate to extra weight.

Ahhh! I think I’ve committed a bit of a faux pas here too, I hadn’t fully known the nuances delineating the XJ6 and XJ40. Starting to think I’m I placed her in the wrong category:)

Didn’t notice that but no problem, I‘ve moved the thread to #xj40 for you!

Actually, you should never tow a Jaguar with the rear wheels on the ground.
How far does it need to go?
Best way is to hire a flatbed.

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Ahhh! Glad I asked. 260 miles Fort worth to Houston :cry:

I can have a flatbed haul her but he’s not free until Thursday. Might just bite the bullet and pay the impound 80$ to house her the difference.

I really like the style, that hard angular body is me all day!

But I hear they are awful to maintain (broad statements, maybe this model defies the usual). As a beginner level DIY (I’ve changed out radiators, hunted electrical with a multimeter, basic troubleshooting) would daily driving this car be something I could maintain?

I have a friend who worked for Jag in engineering, she said immediately “No!”… I’m more than alittle intimidated.

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Circa 1958, I bought a carat an ompound auction. Two ccupants of it were arrested as they fled the scene of a bank robbery. needless, they would not need a car for many years. San quentin bound. i bid 35 bucks and won. A 1941 Cadilac covertible. a bit shaggy but ran when parked!!! Indeed, i put a bttery in it nd five gallons of gas. it fired tight up and i drove it home. my dear departed loved her pink Cadilac. actulaly more like Salmonm.

It sat fpor a year before I got it at the impound lot.

Flt head V8 and HJydromatic.

Oh wow! That instills a lot of hope in me :slight_smile: .

Thank you!

You‘ll likely be fine. But it looks like it needs a bit of help to come back around.

Jags are not awful to maintain, I know many more, especially more modern cars that are just ugly to work on. I don’t know the XJ40 but in any case I believe the bad reputation is unjustified. Obviously older cars can cost a lot of money if someone else does the work.

Read a few threads in #xj40 and you‘ll know what to look for. :slightly_smiling_face:

My advice: leave it there and take the loss of what you paid. You will be far ahead financially. Old Jaguar sedans are not on anyone’s wish list, and for good reason. Daily driver? Yes, from your house to the repair shop on a rollback. Sorry, but if you are not a Jaguar person and understand the cars, you need to just walk away.

OMG!!! That is my old car.
I sold it to a neighbor in 2014 and he moved away. (never saw it again)

Where is it now?
I have side moulding for it I never got around to installing.
Seat belts might still be in boxes for the XJ40.

The rear suspension is FACTORY non SLS that I converted when I worked at the dealer.
The head gasket was replaced for the ‘oil-weep’ at the distributor.
Many parts and maintenance that I and the previous owner (Gib Lewis of Fort Worth) kept it in great condition.

Contact me if you want info from the late 1990s to 2014. (my ownership)


I appreciate the honest assessment but I’ve alot of forum posts that read like David’s advice.

They do require alot of tlc, but mostly stuff cleaning contacts and flushing fluids. I’ve needed for an excuse to familiarize myself with my multimeter. This must be the time :melting_face:

Besides, just leave at the impound seems a tad dramatic. I can wield a screw driver well enough to part her out (I’m hoping, the boot can’t conceal a labyrinth [though I have yet to bust out a wiring diagram]).

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Thank you, I’ll write as it develops. I did get purchase a carfax report

Don’t worry, I‘m still not good with them, I can check volts and ohms, mostly use the continuity beep feature, and still use a test light where I can!

Leave and swallow the loss is overdramatic. If you have just a little time and big dreams you will have a beautiful car in a few months.

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Small world… and a great connection!

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As long as you service and maintain it properly an XJ40 is no more of a problem than any other car to use as a daily driver. I am on my second one, I kept the first one for over ten years and sold it with 180,000miles but only because it was too rusty to repair, mechanically it was perfect and ran sweet with no faults. I’ve owned my current XJ40 for 11 years and although it has had it’s faults it has never broken down and left me stranded…
Obviously, like all cars they do have faults, in my experience mostly electrics related, and if serviced and maintained properly they are generally a robust car with a bomb proof engine. My advice would be to give it a MAJOR service as specified in the Jaguar manual as soon as you get it, including repacking the front wheel bearings with grease, and change the drive belts and inspect all the coolant hoses. If you do that the chances are it won’t leave you stranded and you can work on and sort out the minor niggles as you continue to use it.

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After 60+ days, you can be sure that the battery is too dead to start it. I would think that it might be OK to tow it backwards on a dolly (front wheels on the ground), but 260 miles sounds like a lot. These cars are not Toyotas, and they usually need a bit more maintenance. But this forum (and there are others too --) is EXCELLENT, and should prove very helpful. Plan on getting a complete shop manual and a code reader (if you don’t already have one).

Bob Frisby
Boise, Idaho

Just bring a battery, start it up and drive home. What’s the big deal? These things have their quirks but you’ll soon get used to them. Just drive it and stop listening to all the naysayers who never owned one. The cars are fine.