[x300] news from X308 seminar

The JEC ran a seminar in Birmingham last weekend for X308/XK8 owners. Just a
few brief snippets of news for interested parties - of particular interest
may be the mechanical notes at the end.

A hundred people in attendance, great venue and refreshments. Three
Nigel Thorley ,as solid as ever on the X308 and XK8 history,
Andrew Swift, the most entertaining of speakers on the most anorak of
subjects (brochure history),
David Marks, owner of an independent Jag servicing business.

The latter occupied the most time in the day, and the following is my ‘top
10’ precis of his observations for any would-be purchaser.

  1. The Nikasil issue has died down, presumably as a result of any car
    needing an engine change having already had it. Typical blow-by figures are
    9-13 litres/min, though many read over 20 without other problems.
  2. Secondary chain tensioners remain a regular problem (he recommends only
    changing these rather than the whole chain/tensioner assembly).
  3. Water pumps and thermostats are also still a problem. Contrary to what
    many people say, in his experience the AJV8 engine does burn oil, which he
    attributes to overheating. But the engine itself is much more forgiving of
    overheating problems than earlier alloy engines.
  4. XJ8 and XJR transmissions are both problematic, typically at around
    60-70k miles. Problems appear as a lack of drive, which can be temporarily
    solved by vigorously shifting up and down the box. Preventative maintenance
    involves an oil, filter and gasket change, which is a 2-man operation.
  5. Rear wheel bearings last for ever, fronts 30-35k and as little as 20k on
  6. Front brake callipers are prone to the piston sticking due to corrosion -
    watch for blue discs indicating overheating.
  7. Front bottom ball joints last 30-35k. Wear will lead to the inside of the
    front tyres disappearing faster than the outside.
  8. An attempt to undo the nuts from the drop links on the anti-roll bars
    will often break the links themselves. Be sure you have bought spare drop
    links as well if you are thinking of changing the anti-roll bushes.
  9. The rear handbrake shoes are often incorrectly set, even by the dealer.
  10. Problems involving electrical functions are often due to a wire
    breakage. The wires are very thin, and he has learned to ‘feel’ along the
    insulation for where a breakage might be. Particularly problematic are the
    steering wheel based functions, where the wiring is constantly being shifted

All in all an excellent seminar. Well worth the �40 and a day trip.


David Wood
1998 XJ8 4.0