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Looking for some advise on purchasing an XJ6 Series III

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

Looking for some advise on purchasing an XJ6 Series III

 
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:30 PM
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Default Looking for some advise on purchasing an XJ6 Series III

Hey guys!


So I found a '85 xj6 series III VDP all original with about 80k miles, two owners in great shape for $2500 (looks hardly driven) Now, I've only seen it online since it is about 4 hours away from my hometown but cosmetically, this thing looks pristine although I have not committed to anything yet...


I've done research and I'm getting a lot of mixed reviews mechanically. Some people rave about how great the engine is whereas others say to stay away from it completely...which is why I've come to the experts!




This will (potentially) be my third jag and my first was a '93 VDP and that had the inline 6 and that was a great engine. Had lots of other little problems (mostly the a/c) which forced me to sell but I cant recall of any major issues with the engine. Basing my info from my '93 on the '85 it seems like a great investment, but again, I would like to know first-hand.


What can you guys tell me from personal experience as far as reliability? / Ease of maintaining?


Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:31 AM
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if it is as pristine as you say it is, and you have confirmed it in person. and it runs fine when you test drive it, and if you had it raised on a lift and inspected the exhaust system and underside and some idiot didn't try to jack it by placing the jack in the wrong spot distorting the floor, and if you removed the spare tire panel and the spare tire and inspected the spare tire compartment's floor, and if there are no rust bubbles around the front and rear glass, and if the tires, wheels, and brakes are good, and if it doesn't overheat and the a/c works cold, and if the headliner is not collapsed, and if the seats aren't cracked, and if the carpets aren't stained, and if all the windows go up and down fine and the sunroof too, and if there is no body damage and the paint is nice and shiny, then just let me know where to send a deposit.
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:35 AM
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just keep in mind its a 29 year old car! its gonna need something! most electrical gremlins can be addressed by cleaning contacts and switches! Inspect very carefully for rust, as Jose says especially around base of front and rear glass! this will not be surface rust it goes deep!!!
Mechanically, its likely time for a head gasket failure unless Gasket has been done already!!

This list was made by out very own Doug!
Read it! you will learn a lot!

http://www.jag-lovers.org/xjlovers/xjbuyersguide.html
 

Last edited by Darrenmb; 10-09-2014 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:01 AM
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Mechanically they are OK. It's really a hit or miss. Jaguar quality control was very poor and the quality of construction from car to car was very different. This accounts for the varied opinions. Some engines and the surrounding vehicles were assembled better than others. This effect diminished somewhat in the mid 80's. I've disassembled many Jaguar over the years and I'm talking from experience. This is also true for the wiring, many engines are mechanically fine but have wiring issue that creates driveability problems, like stalling, non-starting and low performance. The wiring was much better in the 80's compared to the 70's but Jaguar never used weather proof connections on the Jag so problems persisted.

This may sound harsh but it comes from an honest place.... If a A/C issue caused you to sell a 93 then a 29 year old series 3 is probably not for you. These are hobbyist cars for people who like to tinker and solve problems and derive satisfaction from doing so.
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies guys!

Yeah, that seems to be where the cons are coming from, of course, the electrical gremlins that were often common with these earlier jags. I suppose that was the cause for the mixed reviews I was getting if the differences vary from car to car with poor quality control as mentioned by icsamerica. The fact that weather-proof connections were not used is surprising, but I recall having those issues with my '93 as well. Being that I live in florida, a/c is a necessity and I had electrical gremlins over and over with the a/c in particular. So it wasn't simply that it went bad once and I sold it, it was a repeating problem that I got fed up with. Not to mention our weather conditions here can be rather extreme, so that is something to consider as well.

I'm going to call again and have them give me an idea of the amount of rust (if any) and head gasket replacement, which obviously is my main concern.

Oh and Jose, I am very detail oriented so when I'm checking out a car, I crawl all the way under and inspect every inch haha.

Thanks again for all the info! I'll keep you guys posted!
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:08 AM
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Rust! Look for rust under the wings and around the window seals.
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:51 AM
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Rust ,rust ,rust, had an 84 XJ6 and it was falling apart under the car, other than that ran great!

for myself on an old car i'd prefer to do mechanical work not rust issues, to do properly would require a well equipped welding/sheet metal shop,and a good lift!
 
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:44 PM
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I have a 1984 XJ-6 and it has never had, and it doesn't have, ANY electrical gremlins at all, zero, nada. It has been the most reliable CAR I have ever had since my first car in 1969, and it still is totally reliable today, I purchased it in 1989 when I heard that Ford was buying Jaguar and I said "ohh ohh, better get a Jaguar NOW while I can".

Sure if you mess with the wiring something is bound to short sooner or later. I liked the XJ so much that I started looking for an S type after I saw a blond lady driving one, and it has not let me down electronically either.

What has let me down in my XJ, {and apparently everyone else}, are the WIPERS, for heaven's sake, they are so lazy. The XJ wipers cannot keep up with Florida's monsoon storms, it is embarrasing, I have to get off I-4 when it is raining hard.

Ironically the S type's wipers, which are the same exact "cable" system, are twice as effective in any rain storm.
 
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Old 10-10-2014, 05:09 PM
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Hi
Your 93 engine was the all-aluminium AJ6 engine, a beauty of an engine, but the engine in the 85 Series 3 you're looking at is completely different, albeit still a straight 6. It is called the XK engine and first came out as a 3.4 litre in 1948. It has an iron block and aluminium head, with twin overhead camshafts and 2 valves per cylinder. I have owned two cars with the engine, a 2.4 litre Mark 2 and a 4.2 XJ6.

Development over the decades eventually saw it get to 4.2 litres in 1964, and then a long stud variant came out in the 70s. As an '85, your engine should have the "slotted block" which was a late development to cure block cracking. Even so, head gasket failures can and often do occur after about 80k miles. but are a reasonably easy fix, unlike earlier engines !

Reliability came good around the year of your car, but regular and meticulous maintenance is needed to ensure this, neglect can lead to lots of issues occurring that can be frustratingly difficult to track down and cure. The fuel injection is "analogue" not digital and there are no diagnostics to help you, although the system is reliable.

One thing is absolutely essential if you buy and want to maintain the car, and that is the Workshop Manual and the Parts Manual. These are still available on the internet and are mines of information, and well worth the money
 
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:23 AM
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Jose:


Odd, Ford spent tons of money on Jaguar. Up dating an antiquated factory and instilling severe quality control. Tata is reaping the benefit of the money and tech.


I find the quality control on my 83 was probably at least decent. I bought it at 115,000. The engine ran great and although a bit quirky, the AC was decent enough.
although, the engine pooped out not long after on a business trip 9n CA's central valley. it was hot, but not as hot as it can get there. The AC kept me very comfortable. alas, the instrumentation let me down. It cooked!!!, Came home on a flatbed, the 4.12 never to run for me again. 0 compression in all holes.


After a loot of doings, it got an LT1.


I've had my adventures with the electrics, but always won. Well, the horns don't toot. but, I don't really care. I'd just as soon see cars not even have them. I say, instead of tooting, steer, brake or accelerate!!!


I fixed the n on op tail lights by running a redundant switched and fused 12v to the brake switch. And, replaced it while I was there.


I cleaned the head light fuse box and tightened the holders. A finger roll of the fuses has fixed good light combo's.


I am a self proclaimed master of the window and sunroof rockers. Two tins, two screw drivers, one Pozi or Phillips and the other a blade. A bit of dielectric and an abrasive. I also have serviced spares!!!


An on op headlamp fooled me. Heck on any other car, simple, pull it and install anew one. Nope. not here. Fixed the ground and it lit up!!! It has one newer lamp that is a tad brighter than it other three!!! the original is in my spares shed!!!


Not lng after I got my Jaguar, detailed to the max and looking great, I was at a local gas station. A lady admired it. she told me she had one like it til recently and sorely missed it, but the electrics were driving her to the poor house. Sad,a s her new steed was a rather mundane Chrysler product. I asked myself. "oh me, now what have you done?"


Nah, I did OK. Of all the cars I've owned or had furnished, this one is up at the top.


Carl.
 
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:18 AM
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That's so much for a the info guys! I learned a lot from what yall are saying, this is exactly the info I wanted with first hand experiences.

I'll give you guys some info on my situation so it'll make more sense why I am weighing my options so heavily. I currently own a 99 XJR and I absolutely love it and she has been great to me up until about two weeks ago...the camshaft cracked in half and caused more damage to the engine making it more expensive to fix than to replace the engine itself.
So, my options: fix her or sell/replace her. I have NEVER heard of this happening and unless the previous owner messed with the engine not knowing what he was doing, I don't know what else would cause it?
I'm also a college student working full time/going to school full time. I have time for minor repairs but bigger stuff I don't have the tools/time for and take it to a loyal, mechanic who is a family friend that has worked in every car I owned.

He found an engine (only one in FL) with 80k on it but between the cost of engine/labor I'm looking at about $4k which I don't have. I have a work van that I'm going to sell along with some money saved.

$2500 for the 85 seems like a great price, especially considering that the previous owner apparently put about 3k into it a month before trading it in, but as a daily driver idk if that is the best choice. I'm currently leaning more towards fixing my XJR and get her back on the road and focus on a car that needs as much attention as the '85 could need when I have more time/money.
 
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Old 10-11-2014, 03:42 PM
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just my opinion but I think the XJ-R is the money pit. If the XJ-6 is in good running order, it will cost less to maintain than the XJ-R. Parts are cheaper for the XJ-6 and plenty of suppliers.
 
 
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