XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

1988 XJ6 w/200,000 mi, what do I do when it fails?

 
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:36 AM
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Default 1988 XJ6 w/200,000 mi, what do I do when it fails?

So, I just bought a 1988 XJ6 3.6 with 198,000 miles off craigslist for $1000. This is the first luxury type car I've ever owned and I love it. Runs well with a few bugs, namely tired window motors, blower/AC is out, and the booster in the braking system doesn't work so I feel like I'm braking without pads.

Other than that, I've had it looked at by a mechanic and most other things are in good order. Body is straight, though the paint is tired, and it looks like it's been spray painted. No visible rust. Seats are a bit worn, upholstery on the headliner needs re-done.

All things considered, I absolutely love driving the car. I love the body and look of it. I love owning, and taking care of it, topping off the fluids, and checking the tires. This is the first car I've owned that I've cared about. So much so, I'm considering learning to work on it with my dad (who is good with cars and knows many decent mechanics). I want to pull my own maintenance to keep the cost lower.

The mechanic I took it to quoted me $1,500 for the brake booster and installation. The part itself I found for $300. Case and point. All in all, I don't mind putting a good $4,000 into this car to make it nice again. If not more. The thing is... with 200,000 miles coming up, I have to accept, at some point the engine is gonna go, and I need to be rebuilt, swapped, or converted to keep the beast running.

My question is what should I do? As 24 year old, I've been told by something boring and Japanese but I already own this XJ40 and I really want to keep it.

Yeah the price of a conversion, rebuild, or swap might be close to a cheap new car, but I'd rather put the money and time into making this car what I want.

Economically speaking, both now and in the long run, what is my best bet here? Also, does anyone know about the Chevy V8 conversions?
If so, do they yield better gas mileage, or cheaper maintanence than what I'm currently looking at?

I don't know that I'm so concerned with maintaining originality here (though I wouldn't mind it), I'm more just concerned with keeping it running after I put money into it for the cosmetic stuff, and motors and what not.

I kind of want be driving it 5-10 years from now. Any suggestions or help would be wildly appreciated.

Yours truly,
New oldschool Jaguar owner
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:31 AM
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The 3.6 is not a rare engine at breaker yards. For $1000, drive until it breaks, get another engine and drive until it breaks. If you are restoring to concours, rebuild engine nd reinstall. Fix the other stuff, which isn't cheap, but you can renew everything knowing engines are everywhere.
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:43 AM
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Welcome to the forum.

When time permits please do an into in the "New Members Area"/

Your XJ6 is known as an XJ40 in Jag talk.

It is way more modern than the "Series" cars in here.

As said, that 3.6 is strong, and plenty in wreckers anywhere in the world.

It also has the non-electronic transmission, ZF4HP22, which is also strong.
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:55 AM
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You've fell in to the cheap car trap. It's ok though many people here and there have also done this and it's a part of being a auto enthusiast.

I just did it again myself for the at least the 25th time and acquired a non running basket case Porsche 928S for 500$. Already sunk many more hundred in to it and it's not running right yet. But it's a toy for me...big boys, big toys but my daily driver is a reliable yet uninspiring Lexus hybrid.

I'd enjoy the car for what it is. No way would I sink 1500$ in to it to fix the bakes as designed because even Jaguar abandoned that braking system after 1 year. If you do anything at all..you're best bet it to convert it to vacuum assisted brakes.

Jaguar Specialties

Keep in mind the 88 XJ6 is probably the poorest quality modern vehicle Jaguar ever produced. It was the first model year of an all new design when Jaguar was simply struggling to survive under the weight of pressure from BMW and the Japanese. This may be the allure for some but be prudent and dont sink any money into what could be considered a rolling parts car.

You best bet is to bide your time. If you need safe transportation fix the brakes and use it as is. If you like the car and are mechanically inclined get another one with, perhaps a well sorted 1992 with a smashed fender or door or in need of some other non electrical parts that you can swap over. Its hard not to like these Jags...is a nice ride with good looks inside and out. If you're not mechanically inclined get a 2nd job because you're gonna be working for the mechanic.

Want a 2nd opinion? Head on over the the XJ40 forums. There are many more owners there with more first hand experience.
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Hollowitz View Post
Economically speaking, both now and in the long run, what is my best bet here?

First evaluate what you want out of Jaguar ownership,

If your long term goal is a Jaguar that you can really be proud of then consider that paint and upholstery will cost *many* thousands of dollars. Add this to the list of inevitable mechanical expenses and you'll see that you can go out and buy a really nice Jag that will make you smile even more broadly for much less than you'll spend fixing this one up.

That's what I would do.

There's a lot of fun and satisfaction in bring an old car back to former glory. I get that, 100%. But when you ask what your best bet is 'economically speaking'....well...you just read my opinion


Cheers
DD
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 11:34 AM
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I say get rid of it and buy a series 3
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:27 PM
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Default Thanks for the Quick Replies!

I've been racking my brain over this for awhile so I really appreciate the quick feedback. I work as a Security Guard for a big tower in my area, and one of the tenants owns an 1986 XJ6, which is series III if I'm not mistaken. I talked with him some and I believe he's a lawyer in one of the firms who restores them for fun. Says he has an 85' and a convertible as well. The car is an absolute thing of beauty and I walk by it every day to admire it. That car was part of my motivation in buying this one.

Truth be told, I was just putting in luxury car names in Craigslist, looking for a deal in the "Under $1,500" filter. When I got to this one, I knew I wanted it. The thing I probably like most about it, is how it's a Jaguar that reminds me more of a challenger with the flat hood and round headlights.

At first the fact the hood didn't have the rounded curve of the other jags (specially the one in the garage), kind of bummed me out, but now I kind of see it as a cool novelty of it.

What I'll probably end up doing is drive it the way it is, and pulling some minor repairs myself here or there. Install a new stereo, maybe try to do the upholstering myself. Then when the engine dies, if I have the money and time, a chevy conversion with the vacuum brakes will probably be the route that makes the most sense if I don't just end up finding another engine cheap at a wrecker.

The new jags bother me because the back of the body reminds me of all the other Ford cars (Taurus and Crown Vic), but maybe if I can keep this guy in good condition, I'll have enough one day to buy an F-Type or restore an old Series III XJ6.
If I do get a new car, you can bet your bottom I'm gonna miss driving this all metal machine. I love all metal cars/muscle type cars.

Thank you all so much for your help on this, and the warm welcome. It's helped immensely in deciding my course of action for my 3rd car, and I will definitely check out the welcome section when I have more time.

I'll be lurking in the XJ40 section, and maybe some others to ask about good engines and talk nice cars.

Til then,
Sincerely,
Blossoming Auto-Enthusiast
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:46 PM
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The early XJ40s were a bit of a disaster all round, but one component was far better than that in the old saloons, namely the engine. The all aluminium 3.6 litre six was absolutely streets ahead of the old XK engine. This is how your car has managed to get to 200k miles. However as stated by others, Jaguar were really struggling, and the rest of the car proved to be pretty awful.

The cars improved a huge amount after Ford took over Jaguar, and only then after Ford had spent almost the US Defence budget on production machinery !!

Run this car, but don't spend money on it, you'll be better finding the same model, but from about 1993 on. Whizzy stuff like the very odd Teves brakes was dropped then. Actually the engine will probably go on for ever, it is the other parts that will fail.
 
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:48 PM
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Having had both Series 3 and XJ40 (although my XJ40 is a '90 car, which is free from a lot of the issues with the earlier 88-89 cars)....



.........my conclusion is the XJ40 is a better car from a technology standpoint, but doesn't "quite" capture your heart like a Series 3 does.

Anyway, as others have said, "There's nothing more expensive than a cheap Jag" As you are already appreciating the way these cars look, I suspect after a while the sub standard paint and interior will start to get to you, and then you'll start sinking money in. Trust me, I know. I have an XJS that I bought for $4k, have spent $25k on, and would be lucky to get $10k for it. (although I kind of knew what I was getting myself into)

Your choice is to spend just a little more, and get a car thats got good paint, interior, lower miles, history, and is not an 88-89 car...... think they exist ? Sure they do..... 1994 Jaguar XJ6 Vanden Plas sedan, 80K ORIGINAL MILES!!! You could offer that guy $2500 and he would bite your hand off (probably) There you have a car that you can spend your first weekend of ownership just polishing. In general, XJ40s are quite unloved compared to other Jags, and command very little money, even very nice ones.

In the overall spectrum of "how difficult is it to run a Jag?" I would put a 90-94 XJ6 way, way into the "slightly easier" section, compared to the "anything with a V12 in it thats older than 25 years" section. (I have 2 so I am kind of qualified to comment)

As you have already bought your XJ40, my advice would be to run it sympathetically into the ground (meaning do frequent simple maintenance, and run it until there is a repair bill that exceeds the value of the car), while learning as much as you can about the cars, and start saving for a really, really nice (cheap) one.
 

Last edited by Sarc; 06-14-2016 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:21 PM
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When I bought my first XJ40 after owning multiple Series IIIs, I was absolutely amazed by how well it ran. It felt like driving a space ship in comparison, it was so smooth. But it definitely doesn't capture your heart like the Series III.

I still want a Series II or XJC one of these days...
 
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Old 06-15-2016, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sarc View Post
As you have already bought your XJ40, my advice would be to run it sympathetically into the ground (meaning do frequent simple maintenance, and run it until there is a repair bill that exceeds the value of the car), while learning as much as you can about the cars, and start saving for a really, really nice (cheap) one.
I agree with what all the above posters have said. My $2000 Series 1 is now up around $15000 mark and only worth some of that if I found a buyer.(not that selling it has ever been considered)
For most of us here it is a labour of love and a hobby, although a lot of us use them as daily drivers we have other vehicles to use when they fail to proceed.
 
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:47 PM
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So maybe a 3.6 in a series 2 xjc? I've seen 4.0's put in them, would the 3.6 be a better motor? The 4.0 does seem to look quite big in the engine bay, and the monolithic cam cover certainly doesn't do it for me like the twin covers on the xk motor. Don't know much about the later motors...
 
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Old 06-23-2016, 06:16 PM
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Nooooooh!!!

Actually i was considering this at one stage, but quickly changed my mind to keep it original as they are so rare.
A four door XJ6 might be within consideration but not an XJC..IMO of course.
 
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by anjum View Post
Nooooooh!!!

Actually i was considering this at one stage, but quickly changed my mind to keep it original as they are so rare.
A four door XJ6 might be within consideration but not an XJC..IMO of course.


But the xk motor is such a slug! And you can buy four xjc's for the price of a really nice old VW Beetle.
But really, I do love the c's flawlessly penned shape. A gorgeous car but it does need power to match. Mine is a '75.
 
 
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