Swapping the 50's american pick up style hand brake with something a bit more sophisticated?

Has anybody ever fitted the handbrake configuration from an XJ-S or the X40 or the X300 to it’s older XJ saloon brethren? I think this is something that I would like to do.
I’ve never been a fan of the '50’s american pick up style hand brake on the Series 1 - 3 Saloons. It’s a kin to pairing a designer tuxedo with converse sneakers; or a stunning evening gown with military style boots.
It just takes away from the sophistication of the Jaguar moniker

Just curious.

I’ve considered a floor mounted handbrake from an XJS, yes. With enough effort I’m sure it would be doable. It’s just never been high enough on my priority list.

I think you should be the trailblazer :slight_smile:


I would think it would be more worth your time if you adapted a modern electric emergency brake system.

Not a big fan of electric ebrakes cause I don’t use them just for parking

Your very welcome to try, Mark - but I doubt if it is worth the effort…

The main weakness of the ‘series’ set-up is the disc brakes - requiring some very hefty force for effect. A long lever handle would be beneficial - but the real improvement on later models were that a far more efficient drum was added for the handbrake…

xj6 85 Sov Europe (UK/NZ)

I also looked at the XJ40 / X300 parking brake configuration but it’s same set up that is on all of my GM cars, one big loop hooked at the apex of the loop where the parking brake lever pulls on. .
on not going to work on the Series parking brake configuration.

Looking at the parts catalog, there’s far less bits to contend with on the XJ-S than the XJ Saloons. It doesn’t really look that hard. The hard part is making sure the seat and seat rail clear the hand brake; and you get it in the correct position.

Is this one more of my hair brained ideas?
Is this a case of if it’s not broke don’t fix it?
Is @Doug_Dwyer and I the only people who’ve considered such an undertaking?
If you were to purchase a Series III would the hand brake from an XJ-S be a deterrent or a selling point?
Am I the only one that find the hand brake a bit offensive?

I suppose I could still use the fulcrum for the brake cable and just relocate it to the side like the XJ-S

I don’t find the XJ saloon handbrake offensive but I do worry about its effect on my right knee in a bad accident.



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Thank you @PeterCrespin I appreciate your input


even though I’d be with David on the safety side I’d share Frank’s opinion on the technical. With a poor brake design the removal of the lever won’t get you much further. Maybe it would help your decision process if you found an XJS to test the degree of improvement over what you get fromt the original XJ setup.

Good luck


75 XJ6L 4.2 auto (UK spec)

Thanks Jochen,
for me it’s not so much “effectiveness” as it aesthetics. I know it’s boy racer childish, but the looks I get from passengers when ever I reach under the dash to pull the parking brake… well it’s embarrassing.

My '66 Mustang had one of those pull-handle handbrakes. One time I was driving with several passengers, and I heard the guys in the back seat talking about how worthless those pull-handle handbrakes are. So I reached down and gave it a yank. It locked up the rears and we came sliding to a stop.

Meanwhile, a friend had a Valiant, and the pull-handle brake on that thing was so worthless that it would not hold the car still with the shifter in D and the foot off the throttle. And that was with both hands pulling with all I could muster.

I owned an XJ-S, and after my brake rebuild the handbrake worked quite well. I suspect it’d work nearly as well with a pull-handle, as it should apply similar tension to the cable. The only downside I can think of is that the cable would be longer and therefore stretch a bit more.

Me too.

The umbrella handle thing is just…frumpy :slight_smile:


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We would run foul of the “absolutely standard” requirement when reregistering our cars under the historic registration scheme - has to be signed off by club specialist - who really does know.

Thank you @Breen60 That’s good to know. Knowing how I operate, If I did modify the '86 XJ6, I would most definitely keep the stock bits so I could put it back to original. I’m weird that way. I deleted the air pump, but I still have it in a box to put it back. If I have to.
I have 2 XJ6 series III’s the '86 is rough, really rough. I can’t leave it out in the rain because it will literally fill up with water. The rear wings are rusted through, it’s rusted out in all the usual places except the A pillars and the floor go figure. I originally bought the car for the headlight rings and a parts car. I did a compression test and the compression was 155psi straight across all 6. So I figured I’d spend a little effort and see how she ran. Replacing the alternator, the whole ignition system, and tightened up the intake cam chain she fired up immediately. I took her out for a spin to and wow! I’m thinking this car has been apart and possibly had some head work. done because this XJ6 is quick!
I was amazed on how quick it is compared to my bone stock '85. The '85 I will definitely keep original.

The '86? I’m still on the fence. This car I literally saved it from being crushed. I was leaving with the car as the salvage yard was coming to get the car. The interior is in good shape, The leather is dry, but not cracked or ripped. the veneer is pealing off, headliner gone, sun roof panel rusted (not through), it doesn’t have any carpet, it looks decent from about a block away. no dents, the paint is till on the car - the special '86 grey that people talk about.
Anyway, this car I’ve been kicking around making it grandpa’s sleeper using Jag period correct parts. to help pick up the pace a little. I have an extra XK6 engine and transmission that I’m going to build for it… I want to put something together that is unsuspectingly fast.

When I was in high school, I had a '72 Chevrolet Vega GT. I replaced the 4cyl with a 327 solid lifter V8. I left the car looking bone stock; kept the single exhaust (bigger diameter obviously) kept the rumple down too. I made a lot of money street racing that car. Anyway, It would be fun to have a sleeper again. My 02 XJR-100 looks the part - fast; and it’s bone stock.

Sorry, side tracked.

But thank you for the tip. It was just a thought, and way down on my to do list.