In terms of common complaints about XJ40’s, it seems that most are
centered around electrical issues, the door handles, the flaky
hydraulic suspension/brake boost, bushing/swaybar issues and the
rear output bushing…oh yeah, I forgot to mention the rust that
occurs on Jags. It seems to me, having just bought my '89, that
these are the kinds of problems that tend to accumulate if they are
not taken care of as they occur. That would tend to make one think
the cars are ‘‘lemons’’…but, other than the hydraulic and rear end
problems, they are mostly annoying, rather than serious.
BUUUTTTTT…I am worried about one problem…
Apparently, these cars often(?) blow head gaskets at around 100,000
miles…so I hope I don’t get a nasty surprise, since my car shows
I do not have the slightest leak at the front right side of the
engine, which is supposed to be a telltale sympton of ‘‘things to
come’’. But I sure would like to hear from anyone about this issue.
Can it happen to anyone or is this a problem that comes with
pushing/stressing the engine, by high-performance or high-speed
operation, that might cause the head to overheat and warp.
…or is this a design defect (not enough space between head/gasket
openings, or not enough head bolts, etc.)???
I have seen comments, somewhere, that the headbolts actually
stretch with age! Is that true? Would it be appropriate to re-
torque the bolts or even replace with new ones before the gasket
blows? I do recall, from my '66 3.8S manual, that retorqueing the
head was standard periodic maintenance…though, ‘‘periodic’’ in this
case was something like every 50-60,000 miles. Of course, my '66
rusted to nothing before I had any problem like this!
Mays Landing, United States
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