Go Back  Jaguar Forums - Jaguar Enthusiasts Forum > Jaguar Models ( Modern ) > XJ XJ12 ( X305 )
Reload this Page >

This is going to be a tough one... Goodbye XJ12

XJ XJ12 ( X305 ) 1995 - 1997

This is going to be a tough one... Goodbye XJ12

 
  #1  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:26 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default This is going to be a tough one... Goodbye XJ12

It's been a couple weeks since I've said goodbye to my XJ12. I've been dreading posting about it here, but it's time to end this chapter.

As some might know, I started out with my '92 XJ6, bought from my great aunt who treasured it, and after about a year or two of owning it, found a 1996 XJ12 locally on eBay, listed as a parts car. "Won't go over 40mph. Engine issues."

Here's the original listing picture, and a few shots of the car the day I looked at it.







The car was in great shape physically, with no rust, just a couple dings, and while the paint needed some polishing, it was overall very good. I took it for a drive. As promised, it would not go over 40mph, even with the pedal floored. Transmission shifted though, and all electrics worked.

The car was sitting at the owner Khaled's go-to gas station mechanic. They told him they thought it was an internal engine issue and they'd probably have to take the heads off and weren't sure what they'd find. The car started and idled fine. No smoke, no smells, no noises. Idled SO nice. It just wouldn't make power. I thought maybe clogged cats? It had a couple codes set, one for a MAP sensor. He was asking $2,000. I offered $1,850 and it was mine.

I regretted the purchase as I followed the flatbed home. What did I do? What if it's a major issue? Can I get my money back if the engine is blown? They dropped it in the driveway, and I had to get ready for work in an hour. I admired the big V12 and how neat it looked compared to XJS V12s I saw, with all those hoses and cables and wires. I worked the throttle at the pedestal, watching the complex linkages move. Something didn't look right... Turns out, the cinch bolt on one of the throttle butterfly shafts was loose. The linkage was spinning around the shaft instead of turning it. I grabbed a wrench, tightened it up and revved the engine up, not believing that I had fixed this project car so easily. I got inside, put the car in reverse and mashed the petal. It burnt out! I was beside myself.

The car wasn't without repairs, of course. I've been lucky though. The steering rack was leaking (probably due to sitting) and needed to be replaced. It's not the same as the XJ6 as the mounting ears are different. Unlike earlier XJ12's though, it has speed sensitive steering. So its a bit harder to find. I found one rebuilt, and installed it myself. The existing rack looked quite good, but I had to send it back for the core refund. To my surprise, my core refund was much much bigger than I had expected. The rack looked so good that they assumed I was returning the rebuilt one and wanted my money back.

I also had to replace the starter and transmission cooler line, both of which require the removal of the RH exhaust manifold and downpipe assembly. That constant spray of Dexron on the front suspension bushes did some damage, too. They were a bit swelled but nothing major. No clunks or such at this point.

More recently, when doing the last oil change, I noticed the front two tires were worn badly at their inner edges, showing metal through. The car was due for an inspection so I bought two new Michelin Premier tires, had them mounted, replaced the front tie rod ends and rack boots at the same time, and had the car aligned then inspected. The front had started clunking a bit over bumps so I started collecting the bushes for a complete front end rebuilt, as well as the spring, insulator and seats for a rear engine/transmission mount rebuilt at the same time.
 
  #2  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:28 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

All in all, I was able to get the car to where I wanted it to be, and with a little elbow grease and some research here, got the car looking and driving really well.






June 10th:

I left work at 11:30pm and headed home on my 35 minute drive. It had rained most of the day, and the roads were wet but nothing crazy. When I left it was barely misting, so I threw my jacket in the trunk along with my laptop and lunch bag. The drive was uneventful until 5 minutes before home, on I-95. It was still misting out and I had to turn my wipers off intermittent to stop them from squeaking. I was passing through a rather large interchange in the slow lane, fourth lane from the jersey barrier. Two lanes merge in from the interchange at the right, so once I passed that point, I was more or less in the middle of the road. A white Audi SUV flew by me in the high speed lane doing what I'd say was at least 85. I remember thinking "Wow, that guy's gonna wipe out!" I was doing about 65-70. Within a few seconds, I felt the rear end of the car slide out from under me, counterclockwise. I gently let up on the throttle while trying to get the nose back in line to the right. The rear kept sliding and the front left, front and front right made contact with the jersey barrier. The right rear quarter slammed into the barrier before the car came to a stop in the high speed lane, facing traffic.

I turned on the hazard flashers and the high beams to make the car as visible as possible before kicking the drivers' door open to get out of the car and walk towards traffic. I could smell oil and coolant. I ran back and turned the engine off to prevent further damage. I called 911 and state troopers were there in minutes. The trunk had popped open, throwing all of my belongings all over the shoulder by the jersey barrier. The trooper asked if I could move the car to the other side of the highway, but the rear right wheel had cracked upon impact and the tire was fully deflated. Also, the front right fender was lodged into the tire, making the car immovable. I didn't have the state of mind to call AAA and have the car towed home for free. They called the tow and I had to deal with storage charges and towing fees in the morning.

Here are pictures from the tow yard the morning after:







 

Last edited by NTL1991; 07-01-2019 at 08:48 AM.
  #3  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:55 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

I didn't have much time to deal with things, but I did have a day to have the car towed home to look at options.

Here's some more pictures after getting the car towed home:



















 
  #4  
Old 07-01-2019, 09:10 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

So I called around, listed the car on Craigslist for parts (I only had a day to keep at the house). No bites. I started calling car junkers. It felt so, so wrong to have the car go that route, but I had few options. I ended up stripping many things off the car to keep or sell, including all of the ECUs with the harnesses, all the interior wood, hood ornament, lamps, trunk finishers, spare tire, complete audio system, interior switches and bezels, center console armrest and rear extension, overhead console, power lumbar bags/motors, rear courtesy lamps, and on and on.

I now am down to my original Jag, my 1992 XJ6 Sovereign. I bought the XJ12 with 93k miles for $1,850, drove it for about 4.5 years, had my fun with it, and just as abruptly as it came into my life, it leaves. I walked away from the accident with no more than a cut on my wrist from my metal watchband. As they say, it gave up it's life for me. And I learned a few valuable lessons here:

1. Always install four new tires. If you MUST install an axle set, ALWAYS always always install them on the REAR of the car, no matter what type of drivetrain. It is much easier to detect and control a front end hydroplane compared to a rear end one. The brand new Michelins on the front made it through the water no problem, but as soon as the rears hit it, they rode right up on the water. Letting off the gas, even as gently as I did, just made the situation worse by unloading the rear of the car and making it lighter.

2. Don't make assumptions when it comes to insurance and coverage and values. When I bought the car, it had a NADA book value of about $5700. I assumed that comprehensive/collision insurance coverage would cover the car to that book value. At least as far as USAA is concerned, I have found out (after the fact) that they do not use book value, but actual sale prices. As we know, sale prices for these X305s are commonly quite high as they are getting rarer and rarer. I typically see listings of $10,000-$15,000 depending on condition and mileage. It really would've softened the blow if I walked away with a check like that.

3. It goes without saying, but slow down in the rain. I had absolutely no indication that the car would've lost traction at any point in my drive, until it actually happened. Apparently, it had downpoured in that area just minutes before I reached there, and much of that water was still draining off the road towards the storm drain, causing essentially a river across the lanes of the highway. When I was walking back towards traffic picking up my stuff off the road, the water was over my shoes in certain spots near the storm drain.

I like to think I'm a generally cautious driver and I don't take risks, but a combination of bad factors can hit anyone. Please be safe everyone.

-Nick
 

Last edited by NTL1991; 07-01-2019 at 09:15 AM.
  #5  
Old 07-01-2019, 10:09 AM
1 of 19's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Eau Claire, WI.
Posts: 988
Received 245 Likes on 182 Posts
Default

No bueno, good to hear your ok. If some of your woodwork is good pm me as I have needs. Hell I could probably use the whole car. Send me a list of items left, I may be interested in some of them. I need a leaper too.
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #6  
Old 07-01-2019, 11:37 AM
AJ16er's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location:
Posts: 774
Received 105 Likes on 90 Posts
Default

What an utter shame. There are more Bentleys and Rolls-Royces from the mid-90's out there than X305's, especially minty ones like your was. I would part it out given the rarity of the car.
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #7  
Old 07-01-2019, 03:48 PM
SleekJag12's Avatar
Veteran Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,113
Received 327 Likes on 256 Posts
Default I loved your car Nick!

I am as crushed as the car, to hear about this.

What's most important is what you realized already: that the car gave up its life for you.

I was naiively hoping you just sold it when I saw the title of the post!

I'm pretty speechless right now but as we also always realize, it could have been worse.

My condolences, Nick.
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #8  
Old 07-01-2019, 04:54 PM
Veteran Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 1,115
Received 409 Likes on 297 Posts
Default

Those pictures are really sad to see. Glad you are OK tho.

Yes, always amazes me when it starts raining here in Fort Worth and nobody slows down, not even a little bit. Everybody just keeps going 70 or 75mph. It seems like nobody has ever been in a car wreck in the rain before. Anyone who has you would think would naturally be more cautious. But here we get these pop-up thunderstorms that are like Niagara Falls. You'll be driving along in a light drizzle and all of a sudden the bottom drops out into a flash flood. You can't see a thing in front of you and the water is six to ten inches deep across the freeway. 18-wheelers jacknife left and right and dozens of cars spin out or get washed off into the bar ditch. But I guess when the weatherman says there's 20% chance of storms and NWS issues a flash flood watch, most people just think its a joke.

I try to avoid driving in the rain if possible. Way back as a teenager, I too often found myself facing the wrong way in an intersection because I had a heavy foot and a loud stereo. Often didn't hear my tires spinning and my first indication of my mistake would be feeling my tail end swinging around, by which time it was too late. Of course back then I was surely invincible, but rather liked to have died from embarrassment if any of my friends saw me lose control. I'm slightly more skilled now, just ever so slightly, but it still makes me nervous to drive in the rain. I figure even if I'm being careful, nobody else is. If its absolutely necessary, like having to go to work, I have an underpowered Honda with all-wheel drive for bad weather.
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #9  
Old 07-02-2019, 10:19 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

Thank you everyone. I was debating whether or not to post here or to quietly remove the car from my signature, but I knew in the end I had to.

I still can't believe I'm without the car. Due to space limitations, I had to get rid of the car ASAP, and that meant less than a day of pulling parts before the scrapper came to haul the car away. Still a very, very sad picture in my mind.

I do have a pile of parts and about half a dozen storage bins full of various parts. I didn't want to pull too much off the engine with hopes that someone, somewhere would at least salvage the engine, but I have a feeling the car will be crushed if it hasn't already...

One of the first things I swapped over to my XJ40 was the wood shift knob. My original Jag is now my one and only Jag, and now every time I shift out of Park, I remember the XJ12. I hope to find something that'll be a bit better for our winter weather. I have done much research and I will take my time to find a minty Range Rover Sport to fill the void.

The one good thing that's come out of all of this is my renewed appreciation for my Sovereign. It's been on the back burner for a long while, so this has given me a renewed interesting in getting some small things tackled.

Thank you again, everyone.

-Nick
 
The following users liked this post:
SleekJag12 (07-02-2019)
  #10  
Old 07-02-2019, 11:01 PM
SleekJag12's Avatar
Veteran Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Posts: 1,113
Received 327 Likes on 256 Posts
Default

It seems like a solid and heavy car like the XJ12 wouldnt tend to slip on a wet road, but it can. I remember a few occasions when my car got loose in wet weather. You never know where the rainwater will collect. A puddle on a curving freeway is the worst. Even if the tires are new.

That rear impact must have been pretty severe to throw the whole back of the car out of alignment! Heavy damage all the way around the car. No panels untouched it seems.

That car had a great four more years thanks to you, Nick. Who knows what would have happened to it back then if you hadn't stepped up! You gave the car it's life back. Eventually, it returned the favor. She went out in a blaze of sparks and glory, instead of being sadly neglected like we see all too often. Excellent job.

Maybe with a decent insurance payout, you will be able to say you owned and drove that beautiful car essentially for "free"!
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #11  
Old 07-04-2019, 09:22 AM
GGG's Avatar
GGG
GGG is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Durham, UK
Posts: 109,109
Received 10,326 Likes on 8,490 Posts
Default

That's been some impact. Good to hear you're OK.

Sad end to a beautiful car. I hope you get a fair insurance settlement.

Graham
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #12  
Old 07-04-2019, 10:05 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South Bend Indiana
Posts: 506
Received 98 Likes on 63 Posts
Default

Sad to see the car go out like that. I remember reading your original post about fixing the loose hardware on one of the throttle bodies and thinking brilliant!
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (07-04-2019)
  #13  
Old 07-05-2019, 03:27 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London
Posts: 23
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Oh my, you are one lucky fellow!
So sad to see a good car go, but that is one hell of a crash to walk away from unharmed.

One point to make is you have learned an important lesson,
"
1. Always install four new tires. If you MUST install an axle set, ALWAYS always always install them on the REAR of the car, no matter what type of drivetrain. It is much easier to detect and control a front end hydroplane compared to a rear end one. The brand new Michelins on the front made it through the water no problem, but as soon as the rears hit it, they rode right up on the water. Letting off the gas, even as gently as I did, just made the situation worse by unloading the rear of the car and making it lighter."

But it's one that a tyre shop should already know. If they didn't advise/instruct you to fit the new tyres on the rear you might have a claim against them!
 
  #14  
Old 07-05-2019, 07:48 AM
1 of 19's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Eau Claire, WI.
Posts: 988
Received 245 Likes on 182 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Cafcpete View Post
But it's one that a tyre shop should already know. If they didn't advise/instruct you to fit the new tyres on the rear you might have a claim against them!
It's always somebody else at fault....
 
  #15  
Old 07-05-2019, 01:19 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London
Posts: 23
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 1 of 19 View Post
It's always somebody else at fault....
I thought that was the American dream 😂
 
  #16  
Old 07-05-2019, 10:47 PM
AJ16er's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location:
Posts: 774
Received 105 Likes on 90 Posts
Default

Too late now but I was going to say that perhaps somebody here would want the engine.
 
  #17  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:15 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: London
Posts: 23
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Default

I don't suppose you saved the speedo pod? I have an XJR6 that was factory fitted with the Walnutt interior but without the speedo 'wood' insert and I would very much like to get my hands on that one part.
 
  #18  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:16 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Posts: 475
Received 217 Likes on 137 Posts
Default

I should be clear: The cause of the accident was my speed during adverse conditions. I felt completely comfortable with the vehicle and its handling at that speed, in those conditions, and I was absolutely wrong. I am embarrassed and disappointed with my naiveté, but I do not believe in casting blame on the tire installer, the tire, the car, or the roads. I should've known better. I've been lucky with the car, though, and I'm supremely lucky I walked away from the accident.

I wish I had grabbed more parts off the car, or had time to store if for other's to pick from, but I didn't have that luxury.

It was a beautiful, fun car and it was a great experience owning it. Not many in their 20's have had a Jaguar, let alone two, or a V12.

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I'm glad the car made a good impression on folks here. I've tried to share as much as I've learned seeing that the car was so rare and repair advice was hard to come by. I suppose this post serves as my last piece of advice that I've learned from owning this car.

Nick
 
The following users liked this post:
SleekJag12 (07-09-2019)
  #19  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:25 AM
AJ16er's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location:
Posts: 774
Received 105 Likes on 90 Posts
Default

Another lesson that should be pointed out: Don't drive rare cars in the rain period, much less while speeding. I am glad you were not harmed.
 
The following users liked this post:
NTL1991 (Yesterday)
 
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
YYC guy
XK8 / XKR ( X100 )
1
03-09-2012 06:12 AM
tsingtao35
XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III
6
08-25-2011 04:56 PM
ronmexico
XJ XJ8 / XJR ( X308 )
37
04-26-2011 04:13 PM
BVP
XJ XJ8 / XJR ( X308 )
0
05-12-2009 04:12 AM
whosjk
X-Type ( X400 )
2
04-30-2009 11:32 PM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 6 (0 members and 6 guests)
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: This is going to be a tough one... Goodbye XJ12


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: