I keep seeing FACELIFT? what is that

I’d just add that the facelift was a several year process. 1992 and 1993 (or '91 - '94?) share things with both pre-facelift and post-facelift cars to a varying degree.

It would be interesting to see the cut over timeline for each of the separate facelift modifications.

If you review the model year update documents on the website I referenced a couple of posts above, you can see all of the progression of changes. There was also a 1994.75 and a 1995 update that is not included on that website outlining even more changes in between the 1994 and 1995.25 documents they have there.

There were so many changes in 1994 that Jaguar produced a preliminary service manual until they could get a full workshop manual published.


You want me to read through each one?!?

I was hoping for a spreadsheet that has all of the changes listed and the date. Like this:

I guess that’s a project for when I’m bored at work someday.

And don’t forget to delineate between markets :slight_smile:

Thank you for volunteering!!


One nice thing is that one of the changes Ford made on the Facelift can be retrofitted to us Pre Facelifts. Gaskets. Ford replaced Jaguar’s 1970s era paper gaskets with 1990s era gortex gaskets. My oil pans and valve covers are quite happy.

That may be the case for Jaguar Xj cars, but not necessarily so.

Each time a car is facelifted it becomes cheaper to make…the motor industry calls this “cost reduced”.

Unseen items are either deleted, incorporated into another part, or made cheaper. Stainless steel components are changed to galvanised, pipes change from expensive alloys to galvanised, or not, steel, etc.

If one lives in a rust prone area then a galvanised bodyshell is of real value, but the underside probably hasn’t had the same treatment.
Other components are probably better in the original specification.

Personally I agree…except I would go back a bit further.

Jaguar began adding a lot of equipment to the XJS in 1987 (USA 1988 model year) which can complicate the life of DIY hobbyist. If nothing else there’s simply more to go wrong.

IMO, the essential design characteristics that make the XJS a great car exist on the 1987-older models.

If I was cruising thru the countryside …or barreling down the open road…in a gorgeous older XJS I’d be smiling wide and saying “Wow, what a fantastic car”.

I wouldn’t be saying, “Gee, this could be a great car… if only it had heated memory seats, a factory installed security system, and ABS. And a few more non-repairable solid state control modules would really enhance the experience.” :slight_smile:

Of course skill (and patience!) levels vary a lot among hobbyists. And, personally, as the decades roll by I find myself seeking simplicity in most every part of my life. That’s me.

There’s no single answer that’s right for everyone.


1 Like

Good points Doug, I think I’m crossing the line here. I have an 1988 model year but built in December 1987.
It does have the electric seat warmers, but no ABS , no Airbags and of course no Marrelli ignition.
I believe they were the last of the Jaguar world before Ford bought them out.
I feel bad for the US customers that ended up with those mouse track seat belts. I can only imagine the PITA they would be to fix.
Maybe the other big addition for 88 was wood on the ski slope, may have to confirm that one.
Otherwise fairly straight forward car for a diy if you don’t mind a few skinned knuckles and choice words along the way.

1 Like

I also have an 88 built in 87. I think this qualifies for Doug’s simpler version.

Yes! Those seat belts!! Mine didn’t even work. Within a year, i ripped them out and retrofitted mid 80s three point belts.

I’ve become very, very biased from working on these things everyday, but with electrics and wiring actually aging out at a fairly high rate, the absolute best car to own, from performance to DIY is a 4L, followed closely by the 3.6 with a manual.

Quicker, faster (for realistic use) and less thirsty. Plus punting the T400 trans transforms that car.

As much as I love the history of the V12, the benefits are nill, and early H.E. cars - I won’t take them in anymore, unless they’ve lived a pampered life.

1 Like

I almost agree with you. Almost. I think the real problem isn’t so much “Jaguar started adding equipment” as “Jaguar became forced to add equipment…”

What I mean is:
ABS? Government mandate.
Passive belts? Government mandate
Passive belts replaced by airbags that should have been replaced three times now, but you can’t get the parts? Government mandate, only way to get rid of the passive belts.

My '91 doesn’t have the security system, although the power locks are not helpful in a car I can literally reach across to lock/unlock. Did 91’s (or '88s) have a memory seat option? Mine doesn’t have those. The air bladder in the lumbar support needs to be replaced (and that supports your thesis), and I think heated seats are more helpful in a drop top than a coupé. That Delanaire Mk III though… now there’s support for your thesis!

Do you know what would enhance the experience? Almost any transmission than the TH400. I want to install a T-56, but if I can find a ZF265, well… A 3.30:1 rear end would be good, too. I guess I can go with 3.54 so I don’t have to change the speedometer wiring. I just need to get a later one with the appropriate sensor on the ring gear (whose idea was that?).

I went with a '91 mostly because I wanted a convertible, which limited the possible options. I did not want a facelift, mostly because I did not like how they changed the tail lights. I knew I’d be stuck with some sort of mandated restraints and ABS.

Oh, one more change: get rid of those sealed beam headlights. I’m neutral of the quad/lozenge lamp debate (I’ll take what I can find), but the bulbs? I’d forgotten how bad sealed beams were until I drove this car at night. Oh, wait: sealed beams were also a government mandate. H4/H1 upgrades are on the way.

That reminds me, those US Spec bumpers… Yeah, that too…

The seat warmers in my 83 first have to get up and out so I can get in to drive.

So far, no takers on the set warming offer. Once in the driver’s seat, they want to drive it.

Even driven an E-Type fast at night (or any older car for that matter)?

By the time you get to 60 mph, you already won’t be seeing what you may be going to hit as it is still dark that braking distance ahead.

Panzer…I would bet the lumbar issue is the hose between pump and bladder

In the wintertime, I would love a heated steering wheel. Something I never much thought I needed, but when my hands look at the cold wood wheel in the winter time…

The rational of “why”, and/or which equipment was mandated, isn’t quite the same discussion. The fact is more equipment was indeed added which creates more complexity and more opportunity for faults to occur. For some hobbyists and DIYers this is a negative.

As for owner enhancements and upgrades, I’m all for it. For most of us that’s part of the hobby. As the decades roll by I’m a lot more selective about the changes I make…but that’s just me!


Lots. But then I’d driven newer cars… and I’d forgotten how bad the old lights were!

Probably… I just haven’t had the opportunity to dig into it yet, and it really hasn’t been a priority.

I think we agree. I guess my point was there are some things for which you just can’t blame Jaguar.

But the Delanaire? Yeah… can’t even blame British Leyland for that one.