XJ needs to be moved after 20 years... help please

Hello Ladies and Gentleman,

I know, first post and already asking for help. Bear with me please.
Me and my sisters have this old '87 XJ6 that has been sitting in the garage for over a decade.
The garage is in the house so it’s as climate controlled as the rest of the house. I would guess that is a good thing.

The car has 133.000km on it and got to its current position on its own. It was 1 year old when my parents bought it and it has only seen jaguar mechanics. The car is much older than me but I grew up having it and there is sentimental value in it for us but money is an object.

So we would like to keep the car but the house is being sold and the car needs to move.
So the question I would like to ask: What needs to be done in order to move it. The car is in Spain and needs to be moved to Germany. Biggest issue being the very steep ramp uphill to the street where we would like to put it on a trailer.

Before anything. What are the must items before we attempt to move the car. I have no idea if the engine turns over. The tires are shot. My thought is to get new tires and go from there.
-What kind of tires would you recommend for this car? papers say 205/70VR15 or 185SR15 S+M
-Would it be ok to use the break at all? or is it going to seize?
-I need to use the steering wheel to get it out for sure.
-would it make sense to get the fuel out? what is the best way to do it if it is necessary?
-would it make sense to change the oil?
-Disconnect the battery
-take out spark plugs? if so what size tools will be needed? is this funny British size I tools?
-Is there a parts catalog for these cars with instructions or similar? where can I get that.

Engine Bay

Thank you for all of your help in advance and Happy New year 2021!

*I am mechanically inclined but I am not a car person. I build airplanes. I know how to rivet and work with sheet metal, fiberglass and I am pretty good with wiring. *

If you want to share your thoughts on what it will take to get this kitten back to live I will take that too but first order of business is to get it onto a trailer so we can move it. The inside of the car is really quite perfect. I mean the only defects that it has if any are probably in the back seat made by me my self and I as a toddler…

Welcome aboard XJ !!!

I suggest that you tackle the move problem first and then the “live” issue once it is in Germany .
So, I will limit my comments to that facet.

  1. If the tires can be pumped up then do it that way. If not, go for 215 70 15. Beware, Germany may have some performance requirements. Or, just get some cheap used tires of any size that fit the wheels . AKa rollers.

2 I suspect the service brakes are inoperative. Not an easy fix. The handbrake is limited in holding ability at it’s best. it may not even work! Use a pair of 4x4 planks as chocks to control the descent.

  1. The gas should be drained for safety in transit. No good anyway.

  2. Toss the battery. It is useless.

  3. The steering will be hard. No power assist
    Same for the brakes, if they even work.

  4. Hand winch and two vehicles on the ramp. One in front and one behind to control the descent

  5. Alternate. A professional tow truck and driver. Very good with power winches on the trucks Angula pull skills amaze me.

  6. Once on the “calle”, a power or hand winch to load… Secure it well… Cover optional…

Buena Suerte!!! or is it Sehr gluck!!


cancel culture…not

Old oil ? Old coolant? Much corosion Old trans fluid.

Proably no brakes!!!


Thanks Carl. Just one thing. The car needs to go UP the ramp. and turn on the top to get out to the street. I will try to get a compressor here and see if the old tires will hold anything.

Really? you think it will just turn on? that would be sweet to hear that engine again. What good does the engine do me if the brakes dont work anyway? power steering?

Yes all Old fluids. Everything as of the year 2000ish

That will NOT work. All fuel will be gone in minutes. Returned to a tank.

Drain the left tank and stick to it. Select it too (button in) Either by removing the small (not the large!!) plug at the bottom or by hooking the fuel pump to a catch tank and ‚cranking‘ the engine in D so the pump runs.

Remove the spark plugs with a 13/16“ (21mm?) wrench which should be a standard size.

New battery. I don’t know if Spain makes it easier to dispose of the old battery and fuel.

Put oil in the bores, about a spoonful or so. Then let it sit a day.

Turn it over and if that works reinstall the plugs and try with fuel, after checking oil, water, atf and power steering levels. This is taking a risk though as a valve could stick and ruin parts of the engine (€€). Then you would have to pull it out as if it was a no start and go through the engine later. Nothing to lose when time is important.
If you do have the time remove the cam covers and watch the valves return while you turn it by hand with a 33mm bolt/wrench and breaker bar/… on the crank pulley.

Don’t trust brakes or handbrake. Have jacks and chocks and blocks ready in case the brakes do lock up, but I think they will be okay if you try them. Don’t step on them hard right away… try very carefully.

TÜV will want new 205/70, if you want to get going now any m+s all weather tyre should do (Nankang, goodride if you want cheap first, maybe a good idea if you have to get it running first, get the cheapest and upgrade later).
They could be fine with 215 but…
also for transportation the old ones could do but have a compressor at the destination.

The steering won’t give you trouble. The ramp will be. Worst case have it towed up and explain the problem on the phone…
And never shift into P on that incline.

Engine looks good, Münster the destination?

cancel culture…not

Three, I say use the left tank because the valves rest in the left tank position and this way don’t have to move. Less complicated to drain I think, but well not really much more. I‘d drain it. Makes getting off the trailer easier too and no spillage.
I just say oil the cylinders because it’s the usual advice. Can’t hurt right. But you’re probably right too, there will still be some oil…

Since it ran when parked brakes and other sitting damage are the main worry. And rubber getting old. Fire extinguisher in the flight path.

Happy new year

As long as they didn’t mix or leak out they will work. Watch for leaks.

You can move it provided the brakes work and don’t lock up on you. My two XJs both have stood for a long time and the brakes seem to be very good on both, one has since gotten new master cylinder seals after a complete brake failure, both needed/need 1L of brake fluid to flush and some for good measure.

Ok. I think draining the old fuel is a good idea. Is there a source of information on these old cars? like a build manual of some sort/ part catalog?

If I were to try to use the breaks ( have not seen any leaks/spots on the floor under the car but then again it would have had years to evaporate if there had been any. What does one do if the breaks lock up to get them rolling again? Could not think of anything worse than a locked break while trying to get it uphill.

Yes. I‘ll send you a digital collection per private message (watch for the green dot top right) and feel free to give us your name.
Scan ebay for a workshop manual(a green book), it’s the same, but a book is definitely good to have.

I really don’t think they will lock up but if so you‘d have to dismantle a lot. If it sat in a garage and was decently maintained I doubt they will lock up. My brake hoses are probably 30 years old too if not older. It appears to be a healthy well kept car so try not to worry.

to the best of my knowledge there wasn’t anything wrong with the car when it was parked. Spain is just not the place for this type for. For the most part cars here look like they park until they hit the next cars bumpers. So my parents took it off the registration and left it in the garage.

I think skipping to this step would be the best course of action.

forgive me but I don’t understand. Are you saying to skip trying to get it up myself and call a pro?

Yes: unless you or a helper is well-aware of the steps–and MANY pitfalls of attempting to start a decades-neglected car, it will save time and frayed nerves.