Preparing for Road Trip

(Bruce Rieck) #1

Recently bought a '95 V-12 droptop and am planning to fly to NY and drive it back to Texas (via the east and gulf coasts; +/- 2,500 miles); Car has about 70K miles and no known issues. I would appreciate the collective advice of the forum as to what would be good items to check/replace/repair in preparation for the trip - the car will have new tires on the original wheels. A/C is currently working so, except for refrigerant level, I’m not sure what to check (if it works, it works, I guess). I plan to take some tools and hard to find consumables such as belts, hoses, plugs, fuses, etc. I am a cruise control user, but again, if it works, it works, no?

This is my first XJS so I’m wondering about overheating - should that be a problem and what can I do to prevent it (radiator, water pump?) - will drive mostly backroads but some full speed Interstate work is also likely.

All comments and advice appreciated.


(John) #2

I’d throw caution to the wind and just go for it. If the car was in my garage, sure I’d do all the rubber bits… fuel lines radiator hoses belts etc… but if you think you’re going to do that yourself in New York before the drive, you’re nuts. The car uses 14 radiator hoses. That alone will take you hours.

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(Bruce Rieck) #3

Thanks for the advice - I may still be nuts, but not for thinking that I’m going to swap out all the rubber bits - I was thinking I might put the hoses more likely to fail (usually the “hot water” ones) in a box in the boot so, if one breaks I’ll have it and could either swap it out myself or get a shop along the way to do it. I’m kind of the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” sort, but do have a desire to carry along some of the stuff that’s not available at every NAPA.

Keep the suggestions coming, folks.

(Dzia) #4

Just having fun here, bring your AAA card and credit cards with no balance!

Hard to foresee anything but a couple gallons of antifreeze, oil, transmission fluid and various fuses.

I’d just go for it and enjoy the ride whatever it may bring.


(Bruce Rieck) #5

Well, I’m glad to hear that (a) no one except John thinks I’m nuts and he gave me an out, (b) anything problem that comes up can be solved with money - my son says, “hell, it can’t go below zero”- so that puts a top on my exposure, and, best of all © Gordon’s comment “hard to foresee anything but …”

Any specific comments on the cooling issue?

(John) #6

It’s a 95 XJS, not a 64 Alfa… you’ll be fine. The trip will eventually become a monotonous slog from gas station to gas station.

My 95 was a 4.0, which ate a crank position sensor every winter… but the V12s don’t have the same sensor. The reasons I called AAA between 103,000 and 200,000 miles on that car were crank position sensors, the octopus hose (another 4.0 thing). a front wheel bearing failure, and that might be it. I don’t remember anything else going bad randomly. It was dead reliable for years and was only retired because of worn paint and interior.

(Greg) #7

Does 95 have dual electric fans? If it’s like mine (one clutch fan and one electric) I would make sure the electric fan is working. I’d also avoid any large hills (no mountains between NY and Texas, right?)

I’d just check all levels (oil, ATF, power steering, coolant, brake fluid) and make sure they are topped off. Also, put a bit of fuel additive in each fill up, and maybe even some HEET for one tank (in case there’s a bit of moisture/water in the tank). Oh, and make sure your windshield wipers work! That would be a terrible surprise!

Good luck!!!

(Bruce Rieck) #8

What wonderful news. I actually had an Alfa - can’t remember the year but it did break a lot and each time it was expensive, fun car to drive though.

Must disagree, sight unseen, about the monotonous slog, though. I’ve wanted one of these for years; except for the Alfa, I’ve never had a convertible and certainly never a V-12. Can’t wait and it sounds like things might go smoothly.

Greg, I’ll find out about the fans and make sure they’re all working - I was planning on driving the Blue Ridge Parkway - will that be mountains, or just hills? Surely, you aren’t suggesting that I might encounter rain on my long awaited road trip - I figured it would be sunny and 75 the whole way, 24/7. Seriously, you’re right about the wipers - old worn out wiper blades vs new ones is like chicken feathers vs chicken salad.

(kassaq) #9

“Rain-X” on your windshield will help immensely if you get into any rain. That stuff really works. I always take it with me on road trips. Bring a few quarts of appropriate weight oil, a gallon of radiator fluid, a can of brake fluid and power steering fluid, flashlight, hazard/roadside warning light and be sure you have roadside insurance on your car policy (no kidding). That roadside insurance saved me from a thousand dollar towing bill on the AK highway once. I have bought a couple X-types, and drove them on 8,000 mile road trips without significant problems. If you are only going a few thousand miles, I wouldn’t sweat it.

(Greg) #10

I don’t know much about the east coast. I’m used to huge mountains on the west coast, so hopefully you’ll be ok. You don’t have to cross the Rockies, right?!

Oh, make sure all your brake lights work! Don’t want to be rear ended, nor get a ticket. Oh, and don’t go 150mph. You don’t want a ticket :wink:

last thing I can think of, it will be VERY tempting to push that car hard. But I’d take it easy. You just don’t know what’s tired and needs repair soon.

Very jealous, I’m still restoring my XJS, and can only drive it around the block right now.

(Bruce Rieck) #11

Good advice. Rain X has been reported to damage car paint but maybe that’s old news as you have apparently had no problems. Are you talking about roadside insurance of some type other than AAA which, at least in the version I have, will get me towed, flat(s) fixed, battery jumped or replaced, etc. I’ve used it a number of times and been wholly satisfied. My auto policy had the same thing for more money so I dropped the rider.

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(Bruce Rieck) #12

Nope, don’t have to cross the Rockies - just NY down the east coast to FL, then through GA, AL, MS, LA, TX and home.

This is the first vehicle I’ve ever had that would go 150 - I think I’d be scared to do it except maybe on IH10 west of Sonora, TX.

(Ron McLeod) #13

Bruce . . .
I can highly recommend the Blue Ridge Parkway. Wonderful driving road, magnificent scenery, elevations from about 3,000 feet in the Gaps to a maximum of 6,047 feet south of Boone NC. And with the V12 you’ll have enough get-up-and-go to pass the RVs when the opportunity presents itself.
I used to drive my '90 V12 convertible from Toronto to Florida every fall, and back every spring. One piece of ‘insurance’ I carried was a list of Jaguar dealers and recommended garages along the route (I-75). It’s not every small town garage that knows what to do with those funny foreign cars.
Enjoy the drive.

(Greg) #14

Going from Georgia to Texas…picking up some Coors? :wink:

(Smokey and the Bandit)

(Bruce Rieck) #15

Hmm, plenty of Coors here in Texas; not sure about GA; anyway, Dos Equis is my beer of choice - I understand it makes me interesting (?).

This all reminds me of how much things have changed, 60 years ago, my father instructed my brothers and me as to proper form in disposing of glass bottles as they were emptied along the way - he said it was only good form to throw them far enough out the moving pickup window to make sure they did not land on the pavement where they would break and possibly cause a flat. Now, we can’t even drink and drive at the same time. The way things are going, it won’t be long before we won’t even be able to drive ourselves.

I thought about trying to put together a list of dealers and indy Jag specialists - Dealers are easy enough I guess - not sure where to get a list of (reputable) indies.

(Ron McLeod) #16

Bruce . . .
Here’s my list:
Jaguar of Novi
24295 Haggerty Rd
Novi, MI 48375

White-Allen Jaguar
648 Springboro Pike
Dayton, OH 45449

Jaguar Cincinnati
9111 Blue Ash Rd
Blue Ash, OH 45242

Foreign Affairs Autowerks (I can recommend this one)
624 W 4th Street
Lexington KY 40508

Harper Jaguar
9735 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37922

Jaguar Chattanooga
7648 Lee Hwy
Chattanooga, TN 37421

Hennessy Jaguar
3040 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30305

Kuhn Automotive (recommended by a JLer)
3849 Stephens Ct
Tucker, GA 30084

Imports Only (I can recommend this one)
1541 Russell Pkwy
Warner Robins, GA 31088

Jaguar Jacksonville
11211 Atlantic Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32225

(Steve) #17

Not true, I am afraid. The 6.0L has two sensors - one on front on the damper and one in the back on the flywheel. Not known to be trouble-makers, at least for me over the last 8+ years.

(Steve) #18

All XJS with the V12 engine, 5.3 or 6.0L use the same cooling setup

(Steve) #19

This caught my attention. You’re are buying the car sight unseen and are planning on a 2500 miles trip. Having never touched a V12.

My advise - do NOT!

And I say this having owned the exact same 95 V12 convertible you’re getting. After 8+ years of ownership, I am not afraid the car anywhere, but if you have no solid evidence that the radiator has been pulled and cleaned/check, all fluids replaced, spark plugs, wires, dizzy and rotor confirmed to be in top shape, please do not drive. And did I mention the Teves III ABS system (btw, do you know if you have that or the Teves IV) - must be triple-checked and the accumulator replaced in the last 5 years at the latest.

Also, from personal experience, do not look for help in any Jaguar dealership. They might be able to overnight for you some parts, but for service…

Get an auto-transport and drive the car locally until every system is “debugged”

Good luck!

(Kirbert - author of the Book, former owner of an '83 XJ-S H.E.) #20

WTH? Can’t take the cold? Maybe we need to start a thread on that thing, see if we can come up with a better fix than simply replacing them annually.