Looking at them...what to look for in a XJ8

Hi all.
Years ago I had a 1992 XJ. I owned it for two years, never had a problem and loved it.
Now I am looking at XJ8s. It looks like most have the 4.2 V8. Im familar with the old 6 cylinder, but not the newer models.
I found one I want to look at and it has 118k miles and the owner says everything works.
Could you please help me with advice about what to look for? Like common issues/problems to look for when test driving.
Also how reliable are these? Does the AC go out at a certain mileage? Do they have major flaws in the engine ie. bad lifters/ticks, cams that wear out quickly? etc.
Id really like to get back into on and I am not afraid to wrench it (I was a Ford tech from 1990-1993.)
Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

The XJ8 had 2 or 3 flavours.

The Steel body classic lines with 4.0 engines (also 3.2 outside of US) known as x308
The aluminium body which is larger (with different sized headlights) and 4.2 (and smaller engines). Known as X350

Cam chain tensioners should be listened for on cold start. Particularly the 4.0 which should be replaced.

Aluminium ones have air suspension. Compressors require overhall
There was also a facelift version with bigger bumpers. x358 Though I prefer the non facelift.

supercharged models available which really fly at super car speeds. And insignificant disadvantages.
LWB models also available

they aren’t all like this top spec model

The following appies to the 4.0 X308. I have an '02 XJR.

Prices for the supercharged XJR are beginning to climb. NA cars are stagnant.

Cam chain tensioners on the 4.0 were changed (at the factory) from plastic to metal around September 2002 production. Check for the serial number. (I don’t have it handy). Most plastic versions have been changed to metal over the years.

The ZF transmissions in the non-supercharged X308 cars tended to be failure prone. A five speed Mercedes box was used in the supercharged XJR…relatively bulletproof.

Electric fuel pump failures were/are common…the XJR has two and they are a real chore to replace (inside the fuel tank).

Rear suspension clunks are common…worn mounting rubber bushings.

Brake fault codes are typically due to loose electrical connections in the antiskid box.

Check this web site for more info: XJ XJ8 / XJR ( X308 ) - Jaguar Forums - Jaguar Enthusiasts Forum

Check Bring a Trailer for price trends

I thought metal tensioners were fitted from Aug 2001

I want to agree with Eric above. My '02 308 mostly followed what he described. I put about $3000 in the tranny to finally get it right. Usually it is the front clutch drum but on mine we also changed the valve body to control the pressure better. I replaced the alternator 3 times but probably should not have used rebuilt. If I just ordered a new Nippondenso unit maybe it would be only once. I changed the fuel pump twice. After 12 years I am ready to see it go away. The ABS module is a common problem but readily available rebuilt on Ebay.

My mistake…engines after August13, 2001 have metal tensioners.

I went to see it and it was in garage kept shape.
I did see a few issues that caused me not to get it :frowning: It was really nice though…
The rear suspension - the parts on it were pretty much shot. The roll bar arms and other rear a-arms boots were ripped and I could tell the ball joints were going to need to be replaced. Then the subframe mounts rubber bushings were ripping apart. So I called Jag and found out that these parts are going discontinued, are rather expensive (1000s for a set) and there was no aftermarket support.
If there was aftermarket support for this car, Id jump all over it. But, this sounds like it will be an issue in the future so I had to pass :frowning: