97 XJ6 4 liter low mileage should i buy?

So I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a mid 90s XJ6 as a year round daily driver along with my XJS as a semi daily driver during dry time of year.

A 1997 XJ6 Vanden Plas came up with 82000 miles. I want to make sure, these are the ones that are almost bulletproof and very dependable? Is this the fabled x300?
AJ16 engine is the more dependable one?
Anything to look out for if i go look at it?

Please post in the correct X300 forum section.

Both the AJ6 and 16 are very dependable engines, my 2.9 AJ6 went to 300,000+ klm’s and the brothers (@Kirweekid) AJ16 is still going strong well over that figure.

Yep my x300 has gone over 350000kms without any major work. Just regular maintenance.

How well does the X300 compare to the X308? Is the V8, with it’s potential problems sufficiently ( or even) better than the AJ16, to be preferable? Quite partial to an X300, but have no personal experience.

Hard to compare the V8 XJR I have with a stock X300 :smile_cat:

Yes and yes.

Great cars. I had an X300 as a daily driver for many years; from 30k miles to about 175k miles. It was 100% dependable in the sense that it never broke down by the side of the road. It never failed to start, run, and drive when I need to go somewhere.

But, to be clear, “dependable” isn’t quite the same as being trouble free. Mine needed its fair share of repairs and I had a lot of frustrating engine management issues.

Here’s a list of repairs, excluding consumables and routine servicing. A lot of it is small stuff and typical for most any car. Age and miles take a toll, eventually.

-replace steering tilt motor
-replace 2 front wheel bearings
-repair door latch switch, right front
-replace trans mount and spring
-replace power steering return hose
-replace one oxy sensor
-replace thermostat
-replace intercooler pump
-replace brake light switch
-replace rear wheel bearing, right side
-replace differential
-replace water pump
-replace air injection pump
-replace idler pulleys
-replace both exhaust manifolds
-replace starter
-replace 4 seat heaters
-replace trans solenoids and speed sensors
-repair broken sub woofer speaker
-replace gas gauge sender
-replace multiple ignition coils
-replace oil housing o-rings
-replace antenna mast
-repair door latch switch, left rear
-replace radio (several times)
-replace radiator upper mounts
-replace crank sensor
-replace cam cover gasket
-replace trunk lid supports
-replace u-joints
-replace starter
-replace alternator
-replace center bearing on driveshaft
-replace water pump (again)
-replace harmonic balancer (re-bonded)
-replace air bag control module

On the other hand I never had any problems with climate control, cooling system, power windows and locks, suspension, brakes, interior or exterior lighting, cruise control, or instruments.

I’m not trying to dissuade you from buying an X300 but, at the same time, I feel that expectations can sometimes run a bit too high.


Thanks, doesn’t dissuade me whatsoever.
Any car up to 175,000 miles is gonna need repairs.

What i like about these x300s, average people looking for a used car would never buy an old Jaguar. And collectors aren’t gobbling them up. So demand is low.

These cars sold for $64,000 back in the day. That’s $120,000 in today’s money.

Since people like us can do the maintenance ourselves, these cars are a steal at $3-6K.

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I’m pickin’ up what yer layin’ down :slight_smile:

I just wanted to point out that, if you had a notion that a 26 year old XJ6 would be your never-have-to-think-about-it daily driver that would allow you to focus on your hobby-car XJS, it might not turn out as you expected.

You’re gonna end up with two hobby cars here :slight_smile:


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I totally disagree about a typical x300 needing that list of repairs.
The mid 96 and later cars fixed several weak points on the early cars but still craziness like needing a second water pump? Up until recently, we had 3 original owners with lots of miles, and I have the total service history with one over 300K miles and one close to 500K miles that actually needed a second new throttle cable. None of those cars ever needed a second water pump and only one of the three ever needed ONE ignition coil. You must use OE and they are expensive BTW.
Maintain it properly, which includes a proper major service interval at 30K miles using the correct spark plugs, and you will mostly deal with the remaining weak points, which are few.

Sheesh ! Ease up a bit :slight_smile:

Greg was inquiring about X300 dependability. In response I simply offered up my own ownership experience…which I never said was/wasn’t “typical” and which, in any case, Greg can take with a grain of salt if he wants. And, in fact, he did :slight_smile:

I sense that the X300 is a favorite of yours. I think they’re great cars as well. I sense that I’ve offended you. It wasn’t intentional, I assure you.


FWIW, I didn’t see that GregB was offended.

So I currently still have my 97 Volvo 850 with 218,000 miles, which I bought at 75,000 miles. I’ve done a lot of work over the years, like your X300 list, but it is still a dependable daily driver. I see the 97 X300 as the same. Sure I’ll have to do a lot of maintenance and such, parts wear out, but I don’t see it as a hobby car.

To me, a hobby car is definitely my V12 XJS. It’s a restoration. My XJ-S needed a lot of things replaced because they just didn’t build them as well back then. And there are many weak points, and the V12 requires a lot of work to keep it running smooth. A 97 X300 definitely was built better. The frame is galvanized. It has a superior ECU with an OBD reader. I see this low mileage X300 as a maintenance car, like my Volvo 850. Well built, so you just replace wear items. I shouldn’t have to worry about dropping valve seats, rusting frames and tanks, exposed rubber fuel lines, why the hell it won’t start, is there a fire under the hood, head gasket blew at 100,000 miles, the timing chain just fell off, my paper gaskets are leaking oil all over the place…:wink:

My 850 Volvo has required a lot of work over the last 19 years, but nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe 1-2 times a year I’ve needed to replace something, besides just the fluid changes.

I know this X300 is not a Toyota. But it’s gotta be a hell of a lot easier to maintain than a Jaguar from the 80s, 70s, 60s, 50s…and the reverse. I’d never want to try and maintain a car from the 2020s or even late 2010s.

And btw, Daily Driver for me is only about 25 miles round trip 5 days a week. :slight_smile:

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Which is a very concise version of what I was trying to say :slight_smile:

For the first few years I certainly didn’t view my X300 as a hobby car. As age and miles took a toll, and odd driveability issues became a problem, it required increasingly more repairs. But I really loved the car so I soldered-on for a long time. Had it been an ordinary car I simply wouldn’t have bothered. So, in my mind, it became a hobby car.

I ended up going backwards in time and my Series III V12 has been my daily transportation for a number of years.

But, anyhow, you’re obviously going in with eyes wide open. I won’t belabor the topic any further !


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This pretty much sums up my Volvo experience. For me, the X300 is finally a Jaguar that is as reliable and well-built as a Volvo :wink:

Not a favorite and not offended. I wasn’t a fan of the body change from the later XJ40 but they certainly went over well. Now if I could have had a number of late x300 features on my 1991 Sovereign with European Sportspac suspension, that would have been great. Without losing leg and headroom like they did when going from XJ40 to x300.
I have extensive experience with x300s that were maintained in a Jaguar shop I’ve owned for 50 years. I am impressed with what Jaguar’s engineers could do on the x300 once they had proper funding after Ford bought them. Also, how the weak points of the first ones were addressed with revisions that hit the cars just over a year later in mid1996. Disappointed to see what happened when they started cutting corners when they went to the x308 and how long it took to fix those issues. FOUR revisions on chain tensioners before they finally got it right?
The later x300s have few weak points. Pulling up history on several x300s that each got 100+ oil filters and were never worked on elsewhere gives you a good idea of what actually fails on those cars when maintained since new and using good quality parts. Sadly all of those original owner x300s have moved on although one of them is still a customer with the son of the original owner.


Been reading thru the archives on AJ16 engine. Sounds pretty robust, only common weak points i can see are leaking cam gaskets and bad coil packs. I assume chain tensioner engineering is better than AJ6 engine?

Cam gaskets i have no issue with. Have easily done my V12.

Besides the usual inspections of a used car, sounds like i should really find out about coil packs. Hopefully at 82000 miles it still has original made in japan oem that seem to be NLA and irreplaceable by aftermarket. It also sounds like if i gap spark plugs a wee bit tighter, it could allow them to last?

Never had a tensioner problem on mine but, as I recall, they’re quite easy to replace

Yeah, the originals were made by Diamond Engineering in Japan. These were “label engineered” by applying a Lucas decal :slight_smile: .

Aftermarket replacements were totally hit-n-miss with regard to quality, often failing in a year or less. The Diamond coils could generally be depended on to last 10-12 years.


Jaguar offered replacement coils for an outlandish price, something like $400/each as I recall, with no assurance that the replacements were true OEM from Diamond. Nobody wanted to take that chance at such a high price. So, when original coils eventually failed, everyone turned to the aftermarket replacements for much less money.

One of the usual Jaguar parts vendors made some sort of agreement with Diamond to manufacture a slew of them…which were rapidly bought-up by X300 owners for a tolerable $80-$90 each or so. I can’t recall what happened after that initial run. I think Diamond ran into legal problems; I’m not sure if the company even exists nowadays.

After going thru this rigamarole I recall buying up used Diamond coils on Ebay as spares for $30-$40 each. Sometimes good ones, sometimes not. Luck of the draw.

This was all many years ago. Things may have improved since then, I dunno. On the bright side the coils are very easy to replace :slight_smile:

The smaller plug gap was supposed to help but that’s something hard to prove

I went thru the same ordeal with radio replacements…but that’s small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

As for other things to look for the only thing I can think of at the moment is suspension bushings


That is an assumption that I personally would not make. Old Volvos were near indestructible in my opinion and I have owned several.

I know of others who have owned both and their opinions seem to mirror mine.

A low mileage x300 should still be a safe bet.

From my experience, and that of others, I would rate the X300 as “near indestructible”.

When I sold mine at 170-175k miles there was no rust, the car still drove well, and was in very sound condition all-round. I’ll bet the engine would go to 300K easy with no internal failure. The durability of the car was never in question.

The question, be it Jaguar or Volvo or whatever, is how many repairs will needed along the way? And, following that, at what point do the needed repairs begin to diminish the ownership experience enough to merit letting the car go? Of course, each of us decide that last question on our own.


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So i took a look at it, first time I’ve looked at an x300 in person. One issue i have, it just feels nothing sporty whatsoever and a bit un-Jag. I felt like I was in a luxury Lincoln. I was expecting a bit of 80s XJ6, it definitely feels a bit boring. It was Jade green with white interior. Maybe i need black on black for the right sportiness. I’ll keep looking.

I also like the XJ40…worth looking at?