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

Jaguar XJ12 Series III- 1983

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Old 08-10-2017, 02:26 PM
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Default Jaguar XJ12 Series III- 1983

Good evening!

I'm currently considering investing in an Jaguar XJ12 Series III 1983. I apologize if there's an existing thread. But I'm wondering what to look for and common faults etc.

Right now I have an S-type 4.2 2003. And that's my first Jaguar.

And sorry for my english but it's not my native language.

GMY
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:23 PM
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Hi, your English is fine.

a 1983 12 cylinder will be a nightmare, so you would be buying someone else's problem generally speaking.

unless it is a perfectly maintained 12 cylinder and it is delivered to you with no problems,
then whatever happens after that....

easier to fix will be a 6 cylinder, and even those have problems.

In US Dollars, what are they asking you for the car?

does it have any rusted areas?

what does not work?
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:43 PM
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The thing is that it's a trade mine S-type for his XJ12. So the price is hard to estimate. But the S-type is in very good condition.

According to him it does have some rust. But very limited.

The things that doesn't work is AC, the roof has fallen, passenger side window and rear view mirror.

The engine and tranny is supposed to be all fine.

But it has 18000km (11250 miles).
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:51 PM
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hold your horses Neptun!!

he is getting the best deal and you are getting a rusty car with no a/c, non-working windows, fallen headliner ???

not a good deal at all. A bad deal for you, a great deal for him.

"some rust" is always too much rust. It is never "some".

in a 12 Cylinder of 1983 vintage with 112k miles, the engine and transmission is NEVER fine.

My advice to you is to say Thank You NO Thank you. You will regret getting rid of your S type, and your wife will divorce you!
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:58 PM
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Thank you Jose. I really appreciate your answer and experiance!
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:12 PM
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you are most welcome Swede.

if you really want a Series 3 XJ, look for a 6 cylinder without rust, without a fallen headliner, without non-working windows, without a missing rear-view mirror, and who knows what else that car is hiding, especially the engine, because 12 cylinder engines are a nightmare of maintenance and servicing.

Also you need to raise the car on a lift and inspect the exhaust system, the pipes and mufflers are most likely rusted out by now.

look for oil leaks in the steering system, the Rack & Pinion, the power steering pump, the transmission.

lots of problems hide under the car.

don't rush, be patient and you will find a choice car, they are not very expensive.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:30 PM
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Hi Neptun,

I agree with all Jose has said, including your good English!

If any issues exist with a 6 cyl, they would mostly relate to aged ancillaries, wiring, fuel system etc. but usually nothing insurmountable and not as daunting as 12 cyl. Fundamentally the 6 cyl engines & trans are strong and reliable as anything else.

As for what is a good price - well only your market will determine that (perhaps Europe in general if not Sweden specifically), so you need to do some research on local / typical Series 3 values. They will most likely be quite different to the U.S market and the market in my part of the world.

Good luck with your search!

Last edited by jagent; 08-10-2017 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:04 PM
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Jagent,

how do you like the T700 transmission? What kit did you use? How difficult was the conversion?
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptun View Post
The thing is that it's a trade mine S-type for his XJ12. So the price is hard to estimate. But the S-type is in very good condition.

According to him it does have some rust. But very limited.

The things that doesn't work is AC, the roof has fallen, passenger side window and rear view mirror.

If you're looking for a project car, you've found one !

If you're not looking for a project then wait for ...and be ready to pay for....a premium example.

As far as the V12 goes, well, they're not for everybody. They can be challenging but for for many of us that's part of the fun. With challenges come rewards. I'm on my second Jag V12 right now and love it.

If you're an avid Do It Yourself mechanic with *patience* it isn't so hard to sort out (and keep) a V12. In many cases the most ominous remarks of doom and gloom come from those who have never actually owned one.

If you have your heart set on a V12 Series III your choices will be much more limited as they've always been a low production variant compared to the six cylinder cars.

Cheers
DD
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
in a 12 Cylinder of 1983 vintage with 112k miles, the engine and transmission is NEVER fine.
Total, absolute hogwash. Who told you that and why-o-why did you believe him?

"Never" and "always"...the two most troublesome words in the English language.

At 112k miles the engine and trans might be running like a watch! Or might be total junk.

Cheers
DD
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagent View Post
If any issues exist with a 6 cyl, they would mostly relate to aged ancillaries, wiring, fuel system etc. but usually nothing insurmountable and not as daunting as 12 cyl. Fundamentally the 6 cyl engines & trans are strong and reliable as anything else.

Great engines but more than a few need head gaskets at 100-120k miles or so. Fairly common failure point. Not that big of a deal, though, for a DIYer to repair. Couple weekends of work: one weekend to remove the cylinder head, the next weekend to do the rest of the job

Cheers
DD
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jose View Post
Jagent,

how do you like the T700 transmission? What kit did you use? How difficult was the conversion?
Conversion to the T700 had already been professionally done by a Jag specialist prior to my ownership. It was a prime motivator for deciding on this car vs. other examples. Anecdotally, I understand the conversion is not especially difficult, BUT I wasn't involved in the process so I can't comment further on the job itself.

By comparison, I did drive a Series 3 with standard 3sp BW trans for a short time and the difference is remarkable. IMO the T700 unleashes the XK's potential enabling far more spirited acceleration right through the band, also providing for more relaxed cruising at lower revs. It's probably the reason I have trouble with the occasional "less than complimentary" opinions about the XK 4.2 (I imagine they emanate either from those who haven't lived with one, OR are only used to the standard trans.)

Other than the engine's fairly ordinary breathing capacity in standard form, I believe the trans was the XK's true Achilles Heel.
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Old 08-10-2017, 10:12 PM
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Things to look for (based on my limited experience on one car, and having seen 3 others now pass through our club)

Rust - Mainly around front and rear windows, gently lift rubber and look
Cooling system - cooling system issues and head gaskets seem to be a theme
Rear brakes - leaky calipers or scored discs mean major job as the rear cage needs to be dropped. Doable at home if you have the facilities, and there are a couple of good threads on here covering that.
Electrical niggles - if you do a bit of proactive connector and contact cleaning you can avoid a lot of issues. Download the s57 wiring diagrams , some of the best and clearest diagrams I have ever seen for car wiring.

Last edited by yarpos; 08-10-2017 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:16 PM
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Didn't the OP quote 11k miles, NOT 112k?
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:44 AM
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I like that never and ever comment by Doug. It's been a favorite of mine for decades.


Fixing the windows is probably the easiest thing on the "project" V12.


Even swap Naah, I'd want some "boot' to even think of it.


Carl
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:08 PM
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The V12 Series 3 was made up to 1992. However as I recall, they were all badged as Daimlers, but a few may have escaped as Jaguars ! The big question for me is why this guy is so eager to take over your S-type. Can it be he has had enough of V12 and other Series 3 troubles ?

Doug is our resident expert on the V12s as he actually runs one, so knows the ins and outs. The big problem you have is that the car could be wonderful, but on the other hand if it isn't, it will cost you a lot of money to put right. Personally, I would tread very carefully. YOu would be better, if you want a V12, getting a much later one in the XJ40 or X300 body. Better made cars under Ford. Jaguar never spent a cent on production machinery, it was Ford that spent almost the US defense budget sorting out the factory.
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Old 08-11-2017, 03:52 PM
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I have owned many - many of the Series III V12 cars, and like my friend Doug, I love them. I never had an engine problem of any consequence, and the GM 400 transmission is silky smooth (but a modern 4 speed would be better). But they are complicated cars and they are now old. Even the last ones, and best ones (1992) are 25 years old and as a simple consequence of age will be expected to have some potential failings. Having also owned modern Jaguars I can say with confidence that trading your S-Type for the 1983 V12 would be a mistake - a very big mistake. Don't do it. Especially if there is any rust in the body anywhere. Unless you have the wealth of Creosus.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:44 PM
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I'm not sure what is more strange: Jose's dramatic denouncement of the car based on little or no evidence (AC might just need recharging and headliner: about as trivial as a reverse lamp bulb) or Neptune's instant gratitude.

The car is from 1983. That's 34 years old. Any car of that age without a bit of rust is probably in a museum.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:53 PM
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Guys, let's view this context for the OP. Most of us have suggested, in one way or another, that he take a cautious approach with the V12. Despite his enthusiasm, the OP is asking what to look out for, so it's reasonable to assume inexperience.

I don't believe anyone here is outright condemning the V12, but let's be honest, it generally takes some experience, skill, knowledge, equipment and/or a very healthy bank account to manage one. More so than a 6 cyl, and even they can be demanding.

So, I'm envisioning an OP with little or no experience of V12's or older Jags in general, and he may be heading into a minefield. It's not the same thing as any of you with much more experience taking on a V12 potentially with many unknowns.
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Old 08-11-2017, 08:54 PM
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Hi Neptun,

The V12 is a marvel of engineering and a magnificent, effortless and addictive means of eating up the miles.

Every so often I do dream about the 'what if I had one under the bonnet of my 6 cylinder Series 3 now'.

Then I think back to when I had my V12 XJS.

I had it for 10 years. It was a weekender. I did 20 thousand odd k's in it, including some interstate trips of 1000 k's.

It never let me down or stranded me anywhere.

BUT, I had it serviced every 12 months religiously by a trained Jaguar mechanic who knew these cars inside and out.

And I never spent less that $1000 AUD each service.

And that didn't include fuel (which it drinks at a prodigious rate<that coming from someone who currently drives the 6 cylinder XJ6 every day in peak hour traffic>) or regular speeding fines.

There was never anything majorly wrong with the engine, just stuff that needed replacing or adjusting. 12 cylinders just meant twice as much to do as the 6 cylinder and as the engine is tightly packed into the engine bay, more often than not, inconvenient to get at to work on.

If your wallet is deep enough, I say go for it, the turbine like power is more than a little seductive on the open road, but be prepared to shell out for very regular preventative maintenance with these V12 engines.

And don't even think of flogging it, that just makes servicing more regular and more expensive, I should know.

Good luck whichever way you go.

Cheers,

Nigel
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