Looking to buy my first Jag

Warren, if you have access to XJS with 3.6 version (87/89) - there will be no maintenance pigging. Honestly, I’m spending money just to do some bits which are completely not necessary / not asking for attention. It’s like addiction (slightly different situation with v12 owners…)

Took a lot of patience, but once I got my V12 running, I’m so glad i didn’t get the 6.

I have:
One V12 5.3 XJS
One V12 6.0 XJ40
One 6 cyl 4.0 XJS

Do yourself a favor and and get the 6 cyl 4.0 XJS There will be a lot less to take care of and a lot less to worry about.

But there is something about that “V12” emblem…

We have four Jaguars, a 1957 MK VIII (3.4L 6 cylinder), 1969 E-Type FHC (4.2L 6 cylinder), 1990 V12 Vanden Plas (5.3L V12 with Lucas ignition), 1990 V12 (5.3L V12 with Marelli ignition). If I were shopping for another XJ-S it would only be a V12. The most common question my wife or I are asked when driving our XJ-S convertible is “does your Jaguar have the V12?”. Having a V12 Jaguar means never having to say you are sorry. :grin:



Exactly my point. Anything newer than an E Type needs to have the V12.

From what I have seen looking the 6 cyl XJS seems to be quite elusive. I’ve only seen 1 for sale so far here in Canada (and manual to boot) and it was quite out of my price range. I suspect it would certainly be less intimidating.


Here’s a question, as XJS owners, what would be the few best things you like about owning an XJS and what are the things you hate?

I have always liked the classy look of Jaguars and especially like the lines of the XJS. I think it is one of the most beautiful cars ever built. Its always been a dream to have a classic to tinker with and just thinking that it would be nice to have one sooner than later!

Bought my ‘88 V12 on eBay and had it shipped to me sight unseen as a project car; rust free and complete but needed paint, interior, mechanical work. Previous owner had it for 10 years intending to restore it, but became unable to.
I pulled all the glass, moldings, bumpers; stripped the peeling clear coat and did a complete 2stage paint job myself. I replaced the leather, refinished the wood, replaced the headliner before I ever drove it.
Pretty much every electrical system needed some type of repair, leaked oil from the differential necessitating pulling the rear cage. Cam covers and intake gaskets resealed. New rad, hoses, belts, and thermostats. New tires, pads, rotors, wheel bearings. Rack and pinion mount bushings. Distributor repair, wires, cap, plugs. Resealed the a/c compressor and replaced a hose, overhauled the heater system blowers…all in a year. In my 2 car attached garage. Oh, and every fuel hose replaced.
Now a reliable daily driver; love the smoothness and handling- the only car that I have owned that feels better at 90 than 50 mph, and wants to go 120. Very comfortable and always draws appreciative comments.
All in I probably have less than $5000 in it, and as I said, it’s probably worth slightly more than that.

Call me a traitor to TX, but my $$ would be on the 2nd one … Love those black beauties! :joy: I’m also a little leery about bringing a car from another country into my own to purchase - you never know, first hand, whether there may be snags with the paperwork as far a titling/inspecting/registering the vehicle and, secondly, whether the vehicle will pass muster in your own country under its regs… :grimacing: We have mentioned on here just yesterday how vehicle inspection standards vary so much from one country’s to another’s. Frankly, our U.S. standards are pretty lax in comparison, so bringing a vehicle here from Canada :canada: would probably be no big deal, but I would be nervous about bringing a U.S. :us: vehicle into Canada, which supposedly has some rather strict standards. :thinking:

I couldn’t agree more. There is nothing better than that turbine feeling of the 12 and I could not ring myself to giving it up.

Alas, my only intent in trying to steer him away from the V12 is purely for the sake of being easier to deal with. Can anyone deny the learning curve associated with the 5.3 or 6.0? Mr. Mareili is another enigma to deal with as well. Whereas the 4.0 is more, amenable, user friendly, or hassle free even. Besides, there’s also a maintenance cost difference between the two as well.
I certainly don’t believe that I am more right than any of you that are advocating the V12. I’m going back to my corner now.

No offense meant, you were giving excellent advice. Never have driven the AJ6/16 so maybe just as satisfying.

No offense taken.
Wow, I never said or even meant to imply in any way that the 6 cyl engine would be anything like the V12, not by a long shot.
My suggestions were based on ease of ownership, and maintenance - engine wise. Outside of the engine bay the cars are pretty much the same.
The 4.0 doesn’t have to be ripped apart just to change the spark plugs and there are no cooling issues to deal with, nor are there any dropped valve seats to deal with. IMO the 4.0 is analogous to being more Toyota like under the hood.

I driven all three of my cars across country and the 4.0 is not the one that I would look forward to doing it in again. Don’t get me wrong, it can get up and go but you have to keep your foot in it all the time. However, it is an excellent car to move around in locally and 300-500 mile jaunts in even, but across country, nah.

Hi Warren and welcome.

Look in Vancouver and Victoria BC, the city with the highest concentration of Jags ever, and no Canadian snow therefore no rust. Get the best you can afford.
If you want a real Jaguar get the V12. Once sorted out it’s the best ever.
Did a 6.000km from Montreal to Vancouver trip once with a AJ6, a fantastic engine, but still can’t compete with the elegance and refinement of the V12.

Thanks Robert, this is the kind of story I am envisioning. Very inspiring and I am shocked at the cost of doing the work yourself!

Most parts are reasonable and plentiful, unless OEM Jaguar. A lot can be repaired rather than replaced. As far as the mechanicals, similar to any other car of that vintage. Good luck and hope you find your dream car, as I did.

Driving the XJ-S is a pleasure, cruising on open country roads is the best. City driving, not that great, the car is heavy and not nimble , but at least the car is comfortable. The car handles remarkably well for 4000 lbs. That massive hood in front of you makes you feel like you own the road.

I want to point out, when I first started driving my XJ-S, I was disappointed. It was not that fast, handled OK but a bit floaty, and was SUPER quiet. I’d floor it, and all I could hear was pfssshhhhhhh.
A few little changes:
I opened up the air intakes, I removed broken Cats and mid-mufflers (Have new exhaust system now), I put in a B&M Shift kit, a new vacuum controller for the transmission to hold lower gears a bit longer, a super enhanced ECU, and Bilstein shocks all around.

I can now HEAR the V12 breath at WOT (wonderful sound), the exhaust is louder but not annoying, the TH400 shifts quicker and likes staying in lower gears a bit longer, the car handles quite well (although I feel the bumps in the road much more), and the car is now quite fast (not going to beat Porsches, but it shows it’s colors on the highway)

Yes, the looks are very unique. It has that 70s ugly look mixed with Jaguar beauty that has aged very well, as most 70s cars are now attractive. Although I doubt white jumpsuits will ever come back.

About the only things I hate are sometimes it’s quite a lot of work to do something that should be quite simple. Like replacing starter, you must remove exhaust downpipe. Work on inboard rear brakes, book a day. Replace transmission mount, I won’t even go into that. But you get used to it. And there are many checklists to prevent engine failure, such as fuel injector hoses and the cooling system being 100%. Took me about 6 months of driving until I was confident all was OK.

An astute observation: it’s the ratio that can cause discussions…:wink:

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I remember in the 80s/90s, 70s car styles were UGLY. But now they are very cool looking. EXCEPT, AMC’s cars IMO will never ever look good. Anybody remember the Marlin? :wink:

Dont be slaggin’ on the Pacer, bub!


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