Refining my XJ6.0 S3

Hello all,

Some of you may be familiar with my 1984 lumped S3.

I understand that this type of conversion may not be for everyone; but I like it, and have found it to compliment the chassis quite well. Rather than argue the merits of XK I6 vs GM V8, I would rather focus on celebrating and enjoying the S3 chassis :slight_smile: Out of respect for the purists I will do my best to focus on repairs and projects not related to the engine (unless one insists!).

The engine swapping portion of the project was completed in late 2022 and I have found myself more recently fixing “Jag” things than “swap” things. I figured this might be a good place to pick up this portion of the project as it’s easier to solicit specific advice as well as share my lessons learned with everyone.

Anyhow, a short introduction - I bought the car in non-running condition in late 2021 and have spent the last few years getting it back on the road. I do not drive the car in the wintertime, so from November until March every I usually take on some type of project with the car. This past winter, I dropped the IRS and rebuilt everything. 3.54 gears, Auburn LSD, new bearings and bushings in everything, reinforced hub carriers, new exhaust under the cage.

I recently convinced the stock tachometer and speedometer to read correctly. A few months of trial and error, and I went from this:

To this:

The game plan is to continue to refine the driving experience (read: tinkering) while still using the car as a fair weather daily driver and attending locals shows with my kids, who adore the car. Although they’re still too young to truly get their hands dirty, I do my best to involve them (and my long-suffering wife) in the care and feeding of this cat

Some shots from the last few summers:

I do still have the original wheels (with Pirelli tires!) and am storing them.

Having recently finished the IRS rebuild, I plan to turn my attention to the front end, which exhibits an annoying wobble at some highway speeds. The steering rack is leaking, the subframe bushings are probably original, and the control arm bushings have seen better days…


I’ve been following your car in the lumps thread and although I’m not a lump-guy it’s really nice work!

Question regarding your aftermarket wheels/tires: what are the specifics - wheel size, offset, tire size, spacer needed etc…? Also do you have any rubbing issues? I have a black 85 XJ6 very much like yours and I recently acquired some vintage aftermarket larger and wider wheels and wanna make em fit.


Hi Mike, they’re not aftermarket. They’re OEM Pontiac wheels from a late 1980s Trans Am GTA. There’s a bit of a story behind making them fit…

The OEM GTA wheels are 16x8, with staggered offsets. Fronts were 0mm offset, rears were +16mm. I bought a used set and quickly found on that the 0mm offset “fronts” stuck out too far. They would heavily foul the rear fenders under any compression, and would rub the tops of the front fenders while turning during bumps. Keep in mind my car is lowered in the front with spring pan spacers, and has an entirely different drivetrain mass, so this may work differently on a factory powered XJ.

I sold the 0mm offset pair and found another set of “rears”, so my Jag is wearing 4x of the 16mm offset wheels. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Pontiac centerbore is smaller than the Jag hub OD, so I opened up the center bore on the wheels until they fit. No issues with vibration.

Tire sizes are 225/50/16 front and 245/50/16 rear. No spacers anywhere. I did have to roll the fenders in the rear so as to avoid rubbing. The shorter sidewall in the front throws off the proportions a bit, so I may experiment with running 245/60/16 all around and see how that looks and drives.

The stock Pontiac center caps fit fine; I painted them gloss black and installed Growler emblems that normally go on the Kent wheels.

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When you rebuild the front, be Sure you find some genuine Metalastik bushings for the lower fulcrums (as they’er so difficult to change), or you’ll be doing it again in about 3 years. (I can tell you how I know that)

And then, after you get them installed, Before tightening/torquing the bolts, take it for a drive a couple miles, preferable over a speed bump to properly settle the bushings into their natural position(you’ll see the front drop 2 inches before your eyes!), or, again, you’ll be redoing it in about 3 years.

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Thanks for all the details Norbert!

Unfortunately the steering rack leak is not getting any better on its own, so I’ll be killing two birds with one stone and dropping the front subframe to replace the control arm bushings and subframe mounts while I’m at it. Wish me luck on the steering rack rebuild…


Thank goodness you had the sense to get it straight before booting it :innocent: