After 32 years my '89 must go

Well it’s with a very heavy heart that I’ll soon be getting rid of my long time friend … a 1989 XJ40 that I’ve owned and driven daily for over three decades. Runs like a dream, original paint and interior look brand new, and not one speck of rust … a real pity !

My air condition system lost all pressurization a few months ago and I’ve just now had the time to properly troubleshoot it before any warm weather sets in.

It turns out the evaporator won’t hold a vacuum. Can you imagine that after just 35 year it failed. Well they just don’t make them like they use to :confused: Not having air conditioning here in Dallas is an absolute deal breaker.

Even though it’s a monumental task to remove and replace the evaporator (I did it when I rebuilt my entire A/C system 6 years ago) I’d be willing to give the old girl one more chance but I simply can’t locate a replacement evaporator. They appear to be available for 1990 and later cars but not for the '89. This was my worst fear because all the other components in the system ARE still available.

1 Like

I know it’s a crap shoot but you might take a look. The eBay fitment chart is usually a fiction read but says it matches.

I did a quick search using my 89, which needs a new vaccum brake assist, and it says it fits.

1 Like

Oh no, say it ain’t so! Have you tried here:

1 Like

could evaporators from different cars be DIY’d into your jaguar?

I am the one who is confused … :confused:

Failed after 35 years … but was replaced 6 years ago?

Are you sure it is the evaporator core and not O-ring(s) at the fittings?

I may have a NOS one, cheap. Well, I know I have one, but some have thread-on fittings and others are different.
I’ll check in the morning,

Gents …

Mike … Regrettably I talked to that very Palm Beach Jaguar dealer this morning and they no longer have any … BUMMER

Jerry … Sorry for the confusion. When I did the A/C system rebuild 6 years ago I removed the evaporator and it pressure tested good. So I gave it a thorough cleaning and then reinstalled it.
When I tested the evap yesterday I removed the expansion valve, capped off the high pressure tube, and pulled the vacuum right off the low pressure tube via an adapter I fabricated. VERY careful to make sure it was a valid test.

– The top pic is my evaporator (before the thorough cleaning :grinning:)
– The bottom pic is the evap that’s available for a '90 model.

Visually it appears the difference is that they reversed the position of the pipes going in and out of the units. The '89 evap (top) has the large low pressure return line on the bottom and the smaller intake line on top. The '90s evap (bottom) has the position of those two pipes reversed.

Now this actually would make sense because the charging port for the outgoing low pressure hose on my system is awkwardly located beneath the upper high pressure hose and very difficult to get to. So Jaguar switching the position of the two hoses would solve that problem and it looks like the plumbing is still very similar.

So is it worth the gamble ?

If you have a '90 year model or greater could you please take a picture of that area coming out of the firewall and post it.

1 Like

Robert …

Thanks for checking … fingers crossed

Here are a pair of NOS parts I have.
I’ve had these about 20 years.

Any help?

I’ll PM you as well.


Robert …

WOW !! You just may have saved my trusty stead from the glue factory. I’ll contact
you later today and thank you very much for taking the time to do this.


My fingers and toes are crossed that it fits Groove. I’d definitely miss all your brilliant and informative posts if you ended up having to sell ‘old faithful’. Ever since I bought my first XJ40 back in 2003 I’ve been reading your posts relating to all the repairs / mods/ and improvements you’ve been making to yours and it has without doubt inspired me and given me the courage and know how to repair mine.


Casso, I’ll second that!


Grooveman, any update? The suspense is killing me!

I sent him the NOS evaporator last week.

I know he’s laid up a bit with dental surgery.

There should be news soon.



Rob, thanks for the update. Let’s hope all goes well!

My fellow Jaguarist …

What’s going on with my Jag ?

Well after vacuum testing my A/C system I conclusively determined that the evaporator was leaking and the rest of the system is fine. Over the years I have aquired three different vacuum manifold sets but had to combine components of all three to get one TOTALLY reliable unit. That was a big surprise as each one gave me some erroneous readings. So if you’re doing this kind of work it pays to purchase a quality set.

So did I really want to spend all the time and aggravation of digging out the failed evaporator … only if I could find a new replacement (no way am I going to all this effort to trust a used unit). While there are new units available for '90 and above, would they actually fit my '89 ? Despite an exhausting search no '89 evals were available (even the few I found advertised online were no longer there).

So In steps Robert L from Canada. He contacts me and yes he’s has an '89 unit available and yes it’s NOS. He actually went to the trouble of performing a successful vacuum check on it and then shipped it to me. I should have two days from now. Robert is a real gentleman to deal with, a throwback to the good ole days.

So as we get closer to spring here in Dallas this job has reached the top of my priority. Fingers crossed.

1 Like

Great to hear from you! Keep us posted, and give a shout if you need help. You have a lot of support here on J-l!

I hope it works out. But a Jaguar need not go to the glue factory. I removed my non working A/C 5 years ago, don’t need it here in the NW (Seattle)

1 Like

Well I sure need it up on Vancouver Island, Northwest summers are H-O-T these days …gonna top mine off pretty soon!