New Member from NW Alabama

Good Morning,

New member here from Northwest Alabama. I recently acquired a a 1985 XJ-S with 104k on the odometer. I have been checking out the Jaguar forums and, this one seems to be a great forum with lots of good information.

The XJ-S has been in storage for several years and is not currently running. It appears to be in fairly decent condition for a 36 year old car. The exterior and interior are both clean and in overall good condition. The engine and engine bay are complete and appear to have all the original parts/pieces and the motor spins over when you turn the ignition switch. The engine oil is clean and the coolant is still bright green. There appears to have been a small engine fire down the centerline of the engine, not much damage but I can see some scorching/melting on some of the components. The heat from the fire also blistered about 3 inch area on the paint in the center of the hood. The gentleman I purchased the car from did not have much history on it other than saying he was familiar with the previous owner and had purchased it at an Estate Sale after the PO’s death about a year ago.

So, that is what i know about the car so far. I am not a trained mechanic by any definition but, I have owned and worked on a number of “project” cars/motorcycles over the years (1954 M-37 Dodge, 1976 Triumph Spitfire, 1975 CB550 Honda, 1991 Nissan 300ZX, 2001 ZX-12 Kawasaki, 1999 H-D Electra Glide etc…) I am looking forward to starting on this project and will very likely be asking questions as I go along.

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Welcome! First recommendation is to download Kirby Palm’s excellent free book “Experience in a Book, Help for the Jaguar XJ-S Owner” and read it cover to cover a few times.
Parts are easy to come by and not expensive, there are quite a few marque-specific vendors; a lot of wear parts are available from RockAuto.
A lot of helpful people on this forum, good luck!

Thanks Robert,

I will be sure to download the book you referenced. I did some research on parts availability prior to my purchase and was pleasantly surprised to see that most parts seem to be readily available and affordable. Quite a pleasant surprise.

It is still sitting on the trailer that I hauled it home on at the moment. First order of business is to get it off loaded and situated in my shop. Then do some general cleaning and inspection so I can get a better idea of what I am dealing with.


Spitfire? You’re in the right place, and you have the right car.

Lot more reliable, especially once sorted. There is no shortage of help on this site.

The little Spitfire was quite a challenge to keep going, to say the least. It ended up being my youngest Son’s first car. He still has it and it’s been in the family for over a decade now. He has some hilarious stories of his adventures of getting back and forth to school and on dates in the little Spitfire :slight_smile:
Yes, very happy to get the XJ-S. Been admiring them from a distance for a while and just sort of stumbled up on a decent deal on one a few days ago.

Welcome Jeffery, I’m sure others will chime in with lots of advice.
Can you post a couple of pictures of your car? Always curious to see what we’re talking about here. Also can you take a couple with the hood raised where you think the fire was so we can see and give an informed opinion.

Good luck, Jeffery. Welcome to the fray! you will have fun!
Do put your engine size on your profile so that you stand a better chance of getting sensible answers!

Thanks to all for the warm welcome. I will update my profile with more info and try to get some pics posted. My apologies if it takes a bit to get the photos up, I am not very good with some of the interweb functions… :smiley:


Hello Jeffery and welcome - while car is still on trailer, take a lot off pictures of things underneath - front subframe and bushing mounts, spring, shock and axle sections, rear transmission mounts, exhaust system, rear IRS section - take pics of all of engine bay before any repairs - all of this will help as you go forward with your enjoyment of bringing the car in to shape - don’t hesitate to ask questions - lots of knowledge on this site - sounds like you may have had a fuel leak on to the hot engine and caused the fire.

Welcome aboard. The M37 has fond memories with me. My dad was a foreman after army retirement at the post engineer. His “company car” was a dodge weapons carrier. I got to drive it… Later, in my army duty, the 3/4 ton version was my “command vehicle” as a platoon leader in a half track AA unit. My son has venerable fork lift that began life as an M37 weapons carrier. Many mods to do that, but the heritage is clear.

fire in the V of the V12 is not unknown Various causes,


Thank you for your service and wishing a Happy Birthday to the United States Army! Today is the Army’s 246th Birthday.
I never drove a M37 during my years of service (1983 -2009), the oldest vehicles in inventory at that time were Duece and Halfs, and the M151 MUTT (jeep). I rescued the old M37 from a slow death sitting out in a pasture about 20 years ago. Did not take much to get the old Flat Six running again and I kept it for for several years. It had seen some very hard use by a House Moving Company so, I never ventured far from the house in it, just puttered around the neighborhood in it occasionally. I sold it to a Military Vehicle enthusiast who had plans to restore it.

My years were 52-55. Most served in Germany. All of us from Colonel on down had to qualify on the battalion vehicles. Most challenging were the 5 ton truck towing the big Radar trailer. Not too bad, except backing… Most fun was the M3 full track used for the gun crew, ammo and to tow the 90mm guns. Throttle pedal and levers. Automatic cross drive big Buda engine and a monster radiator for coolant and ATF!!!

Our deuce and a halfs were “Eager Beavers” by Studebaker. Power by the famed REO Gold comet in line 6. Most :lost" the governor. Fast… 80 not uncomon. A lot faster than my Jeep…