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    XJS upgr ades / MODIFICATIONS

    Independent #Jaguar-Specialist-KWE has developed and tested a range of modifications for the Jaguar XJS. It recommends renewing the steering rack bushes with polyurethane, which helps to tighten up the steering considerably without losing ride quality and they seem to last forever. It charges £220 to fit these bushes to the XJS.

    KWE also recommends replacing the gearbox mounting bush on the 5.3-litre #V12 XJS with polyurethane because the standard rubber mount is known to wear. Total cost supplied and fitted comes to £180.

    KWE’s favoured size of wheel and rubber is 16in genuine Jaguar wheels with 225/55 x R16 #Falken-ZE914 or Michelin Sport tyres.

    For the best power and economy, #KWE fits a #Hayward-and-Scott exhaust system with tubular exhaust manifolds (around £3,500). It has also found AJ6 Engineering’s TT exhaust or large-bore system (£2,000-£3,500) provides a noticeable increase in power. It favours #AJ6 Engineering’s Plus Torque kits (around £3,000, fitted) for better power and torque, which includes a super-enhanced (SE) modified ECU, larger throttle bodies and upgraded air filters. KWE also offers cold air intakes for the 5.3-litre V12 (£700 fitted).

    For the optimum engine performance, KWE recommends changing the #ECU for a programmable unit to make the most of other engine modifications. Budget for around £8,000 for this conversion, which, in some cases, includes upgrading the engine wiring and sensors.

    On the exterior, KWE recommends upgrading the headlamps to HID or gen 2 LEDs (£220 to £340). Inside, it can fit LEDs with green filters for the main dashboard illumination (£80), and fit a modern stereo system with a DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity for around £400 (speaker upgrades using JL Audio components and KWE door skin speaker mounts cost around £450). To make the most of the stereo upgrades, or to simply reduce road and engine noise, KWE can replace the sound deadening material in the floors with a modern material from the likes of Dynamat (around £450). Other areas, including the roof and rear bulkhead can also be soundproofed. And the air conditioning can be brought up-to-date witha more modern compressor (around £500).


    / #Jaguar-XJS-V12 / #Jaguar-XJ-S / #Jaguar / #Jaguar-V12 / #V12 / #1989-Jaguar-XJ-S-V12 / #Jaguar-XJS / #Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-Modifications / #Jaguar-XJS-upgrades
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    CAR #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar-XJS-V12 / #Jaguar /
    Year of manufacture #1977
    Recorded mileage 34,257
    Asking price £23,500
    Vendor Pendine, Bicester Heritage,
    Oxfordshire; tel: 07770 762751; http://pendine.co

    WHEN IT WAS NEW
    Price £8900
    Max power 285bhp
    Max torque 294lb ft
    0-60mph 6.7 secs
    Top speed 153mph
    Mpg 17mpg (official)


    This pre-HE XJ-S is one of only 385 manual-transmission models, which use the four-speed gearbox from the V12 E-type rather than the five-speed BL ‘77mm’ (SD1) unit that you might expect. It’s in excellent order and has just returned from a period in New Zealand.

    It’s been repainted (and the front wings have been off at some point) but is rot-free, with good subframes. The front dampers are new, plus there are rust repair and repaint bills from NZ around 1990. The floors are straight and solid, the door bottoms uncorroded. There are a few small blemishes in the paint, the worst being micro-blistering on the bootlid. Other than that, the door/front wing fits and gaps aren’t that brilliant, the bumper plastics are a bit wavy and the sail panels a little wrinkled – all completely normal for British Leyland production of the mid-’70s and in keeping with its demeanour of ‘honest old thing’…

    The wheels are unscuffed, shod with 215-section Goodyear SUV tyres with lots of tread, though the spare is a little corroded with lacquer peeling off and wearing an old 205-section XDX. The exhaust is in sound order and looks fabricated rather than machine-produced, perhaps in NZ. Inside, the leather is original and well creased, with one small tear in the left seat, but the headlining is so clean that it might be a replacement. The dash, door cards and pulls are all smart, with a modern face-off stereo.

    The motor is tidy enough for its age, though it’s just had a £3000 service at Classic Performance Engineering, and there’s gasket sealant visible under the cam carriers. The radiator cap is new, as are the fluids, and the compressions are as factory – 170-180psi on all 12. CPE also measured the oil pressure, because the gauge was felt to read a bit low, and found it to be fine – it shows 50psi running and 25psi at warm idle. It starts easily and driveswell, with smooth clutch and brakes plus strong synchros. Even the aircon blows coldish, weakly. The MoT runs to 2 June.

    SUMMARY

    EXTERIOR Older repaint still presents well
    INTERIOR Original and nicely patinated

    MECHANICALS Recently gone through; decent oil pressure
    VALUE 5

    For A good example of an appreciating model
    Against Probably 12mpg in real life

    SHOULD I BUY IT?
    Rarer than an outside-bonnet-lock E-type, these early GTs are tipped to be the next big thing – and this one has been carefully preserved.
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    MY FIRST JAGUAR

    Should the fact that it’s a V12 in need of work put Richard off? #1992 #Jaguar-XJS-V12 / #Jaguar-XJS / #Jaguar

    OWNED SINCE August 2015
    TOTAL MILEAGE 91,038
    MILEAGE SINCE PURCHASE 114 on a trailer
    COSTS SO FAR £250 retrieval

    Some of the most exciting, terrifying words for a car enthusiast are ‘I know where there’s a…’ – invariably leading to either disappointment or unplanned financial woe. When admiring a newly-acquired XJS on a car forum, a comment about never having owned a Jaguar elicited those very words, followed by a figure that frankly, seemed too good to be true. Needless to say, the MG F was aimed down the A14 and M11 to a barn (yes, really) in Essex, where a sickly XJS V12 had been put to rest following head gasket failure.

    Most normal people would, I suspect, very sensibly run away from such a prospect. I have never replaced a head gasket or worked on a Jaguar, but there’s a compelling argument for taking this on. Under the almost organic network of pipes, wires and linkages lies not only a classic British engine, but reputedly an extremely tough one. A price was agreed, and after 150-odd cars, first-time Jaguar ownership was checked off the list.

    Systematic, thorough documentation and patience in getting to the cylinder heads, and then the gaskets should therefore result in a relatively easy but time consuming project. I can hear your mocking laughter now, and yes, it’s justified. Having enlisted the help of a friend with a Land Rover Discovery and a substantial Brian James trailer, the XJS was brought up to Leicestershire at a sedate pace, as balancing the weight of the big coupé proved difficult.


    A six-wheel trailer would have made much more sense, or the option originally considered of hiring a 7.5-tonne Beavertail transporter. The costs are not significantly different, particularly when the 12-hour day is taken into account. Once safely home, a quick wash and glance over the car, then it was carefully moved into the garage for closer inspection. The engine, despite he failed gasket, sounds healthy with good oil pressure. The transmission on this model is the three-speed #GM400 , a gearbox which will probably outlast cockroaches after a nuclear war. The interior is good for a 91,000-mile car, and the electrics seem to work. So far, so good. With all the best advice and intentions, the bodywork looked pretty good too, with only minor rust to the scuttle to hint at the typical inner wing maladies, good subframe mounts and inner wings and seemingly good rear flanks. As always, that first shine of acquisition did not last long, as it’s clear some poor repairs have taken place and many XJS rot spots are living up to their reputation. A badly painted bonnet and quad lights hint at past accidents, too.

    However, I’m not discouraged. This is a long-term project, akin to acquiring a neglected E-type in the 1980s, and it will be seen through to completion. What chills the blood, however, is the idea that this car was advertised for £6500 just two years ago, and looked the part. To have spent that, and to discover the rust and then suffer significant engine failure, would be a nightmare for any owner.

    Two years ago, this car was advertised for £6500, and it looked in pretty good condition.
    The bonnet and lights have been poorly repainted, hinting at underlying accident damage.
    Has anyone actually sat in the back? It doesn’t look like it.

    This is what all the fuss is about. There’s a head gasket that needs replacing somewhere in this lot.
    The interior is in very good condition, and all the gadgets appear to work.
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