XJS ( X27 ) 1975 - 1996 3.6 4.0 5.3 6.0

How Should An XJ-S "Feel"?

 
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:18 PM
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Default How Should An XJ-S "Feel"?

My '86 Jag's suspension situation is probably as bad as it could be and who could blame it, the car is 33 years old. The bushes and body mounts are disintegrated, the springs and shocks are shot, ball joints and tie rods are worn, and to top it off the tires are the wrong size (265's instead of 275's) and some off brand crap. The brakes are also spongy and occasionally will randomly pull to the right under braking. The steering has tons of play and I get a lot of vibration through the steering wheel.

All this adds up to a decidedly bad ride, to put it kindly. To put it less kindly, my pickup truck rides better. The Jag plows into corners and lists like a ship. It has more understeer than any car I've driven. Any bumps in the road upset the car and all vibrations are transferred to the cabin. It's like the car takes the driver's input "under consideration" and ultimately does what it wants instead! The steering is reminiscent of when I learned to drive in my dad's 1968 Oldsmobile sedan.

Fortunately I'm preparing to completely rebuild the car, suspension, engine refresh, manual transmission conversion, respray, etc. I've just been wondering how these cars feel when they're fresh. On one hand, Jaguars have notoriously excellent ride, but on the other hand it's a 45 year old design. I hope with all new suspension, tires, and maybe some uprated sway bars she'll sharpen up quite a bit and maybe be up for some spirited driving from time to time- something that is much too scary at the moment, but I'm also trying to temper my expectations with the car's age in mind.

So to whoever has redone the suspension on their xjs, how much of a difference did it really make?
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:50 PM
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With everything up to snuff the XJS should be smooth but stable and very controllable. And rock solid at high speeds. Of the many cars I've owned and improved, the XJS has had the best overall combination of comfort and cornering/handling/steering ability.

A larger front anti-roll bar, addition of a rear anti-roll bar (not too big!) will make a good improvement in cornering. Good shocks and good tires are a must, of course. For most, these things will make the XJS as good as you'd want it to be without any significant drawbacks.

For an old design it works surprisingly well. It'll never be a Lotus or 911 but, still, it's good even by today's standards.

Cheers
DD
 
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Old 05-22-2019, 11:25 PM
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With Doug 100%.

Done a few over the years, oh boy.

My Red HE had the works, STOCK, except the addition of the rear sway bar (factory kit found/stolen). Gabriel shockers, OE springs (as in the ones the car came with), and Maxxis tyres (225/65 X 15)

Then that car was the BEST bar any Jag I have ever driven/owned.

Highway, at near Redline, stable as ever, and NO way was I chasing the thing at all, it went where the tarmac went NO fuss.

Dirt roads, we got shiite loads, at 140kph ish, NO issues at all.

Round OZ (25000kms) twice, its a Jag, nuff said, and we traveled some weird and wonderful roads (loose terminology there) on those 2 trips.

Said before, DO it ONCE, DO it ALL, REPEAT in 30 years, way to go.

To answer your question, "how does an XJS feel", like a contented Woman.
 

Last edited by Grant Francis; 05-22-2019 at 11:30 PM. Reason: spelling seriously sucks
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:02 AM
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Redid my entire car in uprated shocks, poly Superflex save for a few key points, upper inner? I don't remember, but almost all racing spec bits...car went from casually piloting a rolling yacht to super nimble highway cruiser. One finger on the wheel 180kph bends no issue..the more she leans in the better the turn.

Your XJS should be your source of faith and confidence on the road at ANY speed listed on the dash. A proper XJS fails due to driver error not engineering deficency. Anything less than a sublime driving experience and your not performing as it was ment to.

Redo it all, shocks bushings subframe mounts etc. do it right and do it once you'll be good for another 30 yrs. And as Grant would suggest...stay hydrated with your favourite beer.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by VancouverXJ6 View Post
Redid my entire car in uprated shocks, poly Superflex save for a few key points, upper inner? I don't remember, but almost all racing spec bits...car went from casually piloting a rolling yacht to super nimble highway cruiser. One finger on the wheel 180kph bends no issue..the more she leans in the better the turn.

Your XJS should be your source of faith and confidence on the road at ANY speed listed on the dash. A proper XJS fails due to driver error not engineering deficency. Anything less than a sublime driving experience and your not performing as it was ment to.

Redo it all, shocks bushings subframe mounts etc. do it right and do it once you'll be good for another 30 yrs. And as Grant would suggest...stay hydrated with your favourite beer.
Hell yes, the MOST important Section, Inner Lube for YOU, and the more the merrier with a HUGE refresh like that one will be.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:01 AM
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I've often wondered the same thing. Mine's as normal as possible, and I don't want it to ride like a sports car at all--I want a luxurious cruiser. It corners very flat, very well--I have no idea what Doug Demuro was wittering about with his comments about massive body roll. The ride is not harsh, but it's not a land yacht either. In my car, I can definitely feel expansion joints thumping, rather more that I would like to be honest (though I was probably expecting too much). It is somewhat sensitive to road surfaces, in that small potholes and the like are definitely felt, but don't affect the car. On good roads she glides like on ice. I'm getting the wishbones (upper and lower) redone soon with OEM parts, so we'll see if that affects anything.
I can't really speak to speed much--the highest I've had her is 180 kph,* briefly, but she was solid and planted. She very much gives the impression of being a safe car, in the "don't worry, I've got you" sort of way.

As to feeling like a contented woman... my woman is most contented napping in front of the telly, so I'd say the Jag is definitely a bit more lively....

*For legal purposes, this should read "80 kph" as 180 kph is of course highly illegal and I would never ever break the law no sir no how.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:23 AM
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All the above SO true. When correct to factory spec the XJS should feel supple, quiet, stable, fast, refined, have no cabin shock at all on normal road surfaces, with a refined liveliness and an indefinable eagerness to go faster. It should corner evenly with very little roll, have light direct steering and no directional wandering regardless of speed. The brakes should feel powerful and unstressed and stop the car evenly and silently.
BUT, this requires the car to be at factory spec, you have to understand that the rubber and suspension are a cumulative "pile" of components supporting the passengers' feel experience the cabin, and if one in the pile is not to spec, the stability of the pile is compromised. That is why - as the Great XJS Prophet of the Southern Cross, and the Sage of Seattle have taught us all - you have to fix the lot to get the desired result outlined above.
My experience is that it is the dis-assembly of the old parts that takes he time, putting on the lovely new bits takes almost none in comparison. So it makes no sense at all not to do everything; particularly as parts costs are so low in comparison to other classic makes, and to new cars of any make. The XJS is also extremely sensitive to tyres and non-factory size and spec tyres ruins the feel of the car.
Finally, do not for a moment think the layout of the suspension is "old fashioned", the Aston Martin DB7 and the Jaguar XK8 and its successor XK all used the XJS floorpan, front suspension, brakes and front subframes, the rear axle was a lightly modified derivative of the rear axle. That rear axle design is still one of the best ever put on a road car regardless of price or age; while the double wishbone front suspension is still the best layout, in principle, ever designed and is used throughout the supercar gamut today. What has changed is that electronically controlled mounts and shock absorbers are not used to damp out road shocks and vibration, as they are on a modern top-range vehicle; it is the cumulative "pile" of vibration and noise-absorbing rubber components between the tyres and the passengers' bodies that does it. That is why having all that in factory-spec is so important.
Get the car right and you will find everything else you drive is just transportation!
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 03:24 AM
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WEEEELL, the "French Connection" has said it all, and what a way with words Greg, WELL DONE.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 04:43 AM
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This video might (might!) be of some use as a reference. Depending on the quality of my own car's ride, I guess.
It's taken from my car's drive recorder, and you can hear the odd thump of a road surface imperfection, the odd jolt here and there, but there is minimal body roll and it is fairly smooth throughout.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Grant Francis View Post
To answer your question, "how does an XJS feel", like a contented Woman.
No such thing!
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Some Day, Some Day View Post
I have no idea what Doug Demuro was wittering about with his comments about massive body roll.

Haven't heard or read Demuro but "Massive" isn't the word I'd use at all. But I guess it depends what you're used to and what your expectations are.

Here the thing. Minimal body roll is nice but a lot of people equate "good handling" with "no body roll" as though no body roll was the only component, or only standard of measurement, of a 'good handling' car.

They're wrong.

Heck, my Ford F250 truck has virtually zero body roll. Corners flat as a pancake. But, trust me, it isn't a vehicle you'd want to take for a fast ride up thru those curvy mountain roads. For that matter, you wouldn't even want to exceed the posted advisory speed on a sweeping highway on-ramp. It would be terrifying. Eeeeek! But, by God, there's no body roll !

Jaguar, when faced with comfort vs. sporty decisions, always went to the comfort side of the compromise. But, still, the XJS stands tall in the suspension, steering, and road holding departments.

Cheers
DD
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Some Day, Some Day View Post
This video might (might!) be of some use as a reference. Depending on the quality of my own car's ride, I guess.
It's taken from my car's drive recorder, and you can hear the odd thump of a road surface imperfection, the odd jolt here and there, but there is minimal body roll and it is fairly smooth throughout.
Driving at XJS in the Countryside
U


nice!!!! What size engine?
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:14 PM
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Brinny - it's a 5.3 litre V12.
Doug - this is your namesake's infamous video trashing the XJS:
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Some Day, Some Day View Post
Brinny - it's a 5.3 litre V12.
Doug - this is your namesake's infamous video trashing the XJS: The Jaguar XJS V12 Is the Cheapest V12 Sports Car On Earth
That was grossly biased.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:17 PM
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My favourite part? His proof for the unreliability of the XJS - the owner bought new floor mats.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Some Day, Some Day View Post
My favourite part? His proof for the unreliability of the XJS - the owner bought new floor mats.
and got oil changes lol

I saw some of his other scores and videos. Nice guy, but his standards for aesthetics and what “makes” a car are really ridiculous.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:36 PM
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I first started watching him when he did videos about his own cars, like "Can you use a Ferrari as a daily driver?". Those were interesting. And his focus on the small features can be interesting. But the "Doug Score" is just there to satisfy those who absolutely have to know whether a 2017 Ford VR4 Ramscoop is a better car than the 2018 Bentley Carnuba SUV Majestic.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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That guy moans when he wipes his fat ***. You don't test drive a V12 in downtown traffic...the engine is barely awake until 3500rpm.
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Some Day, Some Day View Post
B
Doug - this is your namesake's infamous video trashing the XJS:
Thanks

I couldn't slog thru the entire thing. Six minutes was enough for me.

Cheers
DD
 
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by VancouverXJ6 View Post
That guy moans when he wipes his fat ***. You don't test drive a V12 in downtown traffic...the engine is barely awake until 3500rpm.
Yes and the 2.88 diff doesn't help in the series 2 either

He is a ****
 
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