Automotive

Advice on buying a used 1980s-1990s Jaguar XJ- series

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Advice on buying a used 1980s-1990s Jaguar XJ- series

A shot in the dark here ... any RFDers here have experience with 1980s-1990s Jaguar XJ- series? I'm thinking of buying one as an occasional summer weekends car (I have other brand(s), LOL) but I'm not sure what I might be getting myself into. Paying for repairs is not an issue, as I have the means, it's just that I don't want it to be in the repair shop >6 months out of the year.

Any insight would be appreciated.

M
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Lol my former mechanic once said

You bring one of them shits into my shop and it’s $1000 just for me to look under the hood. Guess he didn’t want to deal with those Lucas electrics

An ‘80s v12 jag though....that’s some big baller shizzz
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Danger danger *flailing arms around*
Was somehow my reaction... much funnier visualized.
Thats gotta be expensive to fix. Just on sheer size alone. Lots of V8 and even V12

If i had money to burn to be unique... i would go for an nsx! The old one. It really does have vtec power.
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UrbanPoet wrote: Danger danger *flailing arms around*
Was somehow my reaction... much funnier visualized.
Thats gotta be expensive to fix. Just on sheer size alone. Lots of V8 and even V12

If i had money to burn to be unique... i would go for an nsx! The old one. It really does have vtec power.
V8 Jaguar XJs came quite a lot later. The older ones were only I6 and V12.

As for the topic at hand, much of my info on the older versions of the Jags is 3rd hand. I heard the absolute best year for this car was 1996 XJ6 (X300). Thus if you want a good experience I believe that's the one to look towards.
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I know a guy who has 4 or 5 of them.

There were a few years in which, for lack of better words, the factory workers and management didn't get along too well, so there'd be random long-term "sabotage". ie: a rustproofing wouldn't be installed in some hard to find internal part. Or electrical grounds would be shoddily placed.

They're very intricate machines to say the least... And the Lucas electronics can be a real pain in the butt.

Even if you are made of money....the real problem is finding someone who is actually competent enough to work on them. Even dealers, good lord, they don't want anything to do with the older stuff.
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Like dating a porn star: very tempting.
But deep down, you know you shouldn't.
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You wouldn't want to touch anything Ford dabbled in.
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burnt69 wrote: I know a guy who has 4 or 5 of them.

There were a few years in which, for lack of better words, the factory workers and management didn't get along too well, so there'd be random long-term "sabotage". ie: a rustproofing wouldn't be installed in some hard to find internal part. Or electrical grounds would be shoddily placed.

They're very intricate machines to say the least... And the Lucas electronics can be a real pain in the butt.

Even if you are made of money....the real problem is finding someone who is actually competent enough to work on them. Even dealers, good lord, they don't want anything to do with the older stuff.
So, what you meant to say was “I know a guy who has one as a daily driver and 3 or 4 donors that he harvests from to keep the daily driver going” ??
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CanadianLurker wrote: So, what you meant to say was “I know a guy who has one as a daily driver and 3 or 4 donors that he harvests from to keep the daily driver going” ??
Well said. If I knew I could take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, that would be one thing. But if there's shortage of pieces and you need to buy like 5 to get one in working condition, then thanks, but no thanks. I think I may have my answer.
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Micelli_Illuminatti wrote: Well said. If I knew I could take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, that would be one thing. But if there's shortage of pieces and you need to buy like 5 to get one in working condition, then thanks, but no thanks. I think I may have my answer.
Indeed.

Big variable # 1 is do you have a reasonably convenient place to take it to get it looked after that knows these cars. There are a few in the GTA and others here & there but if you don’t have one then you’re screwed because in order to save money you need to pay more for specialized knowledge & experience with the quirks of theses cars. This essentially what @burnt69 was getting at

Big variable # 2 is what @JeganV was kind of getting at. If you’re looking at a very specific 1987 version that was rare to begin with then getting parts is going to be more difficult & more expensive. Meaning that if Jag sold 3,000 vehicles in 1987 but the one you’re looking only had 25 sales then there might only by 5 or fewer still on the road today - that’s a pretty small niche to supply parts for.

Bottom line, do your research an buy a popular/common model, try to buy the newest/latest version possible, consider recommendations on JLR forums, and find a trusted & reliable source for parts + service. And even with all that you can expect some pain from time to time, but at the end of the day you’ll be enjoying one of the finest motoring chariots in the world that will be your pride & joy and the envy of others!
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CanadianLurker wrote: So, what you meant to say was “I know a guy who has one as a daily driver and 3 or 4 donors that he harvests from to keep the daily driver going” ??
No, not really. He hasn't had to throw many parts at them or do parts harvesting. Just a lot of "elbow grease" in terms of disassembling things, re-lubing them, and re-installing. Or fixing things like electrical weirdness. One is at his place in Newfoundland, the others in the west. He's kind of a hoarder and is/was a (pipeline gas turbine) mechanic by trade, though 2 of them at any given time are basically under tarps in his backyard.
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Wht fret about parts? Basically those years you can just slap a GM 350 and transmission and call it a day.
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burnt69 wrote: I know a guy who has 4 or 5 of them.

There were a few years in which, for lack of better words, the factory workers and management didn't get along too well, so there'd be random long-term "sabotage". ie: a rustproofing wouldn't be installed in some hard to find internal part. Or electrical grounds would be shoddily placed.

They're very intricate machines to say the least... And the Lucas electronics can be a real pain in the butt.

Even if you are made of money....the real problem is finding someone who is actually competent enough to work on them. Even dealers, good lord, they don't want anything to do with the older stuff.
Berkshire Motors on Green Lane used to be good...but I havent been there in over 10 years
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Thank you for the advice, everyone. Good stuff!!!
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Micelli_Illuminatti wrote: Well said. If I knew I could take it to a mechanic and get it fixed, that would be one thing. But if there's shortage of pieces and you need to buy like 5 to get one in working condition, then thanks, but no thanks. I think I may have my answer.
I knew someone who had one back in the day and he said if you have enough money to buy one buy two because you're going to need one while the other is in the shop. One time he said his engine started smoking and he pulled over and within 5 min it was on fire. He said it was the worst car he ever bought.

Parts would definitely be a problem IMO because who is going to stock parts for a limited sold vehicle as is.
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I think step 1 is finding a repair shop that specializes in these types of vehicles and talk to them about the potential hassle, availability of parts, and their willingless to work on the vehicle. And I think chances are good they have a current client who is tired of repairs or just bored of the car looking to unload it
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camzie wrote: I think step 1 is finding a repair shop that specializes in these types of vehicles and talk to them about the potential hassle, availability of parts, and their willingless to work on the vehicle. And I think chances are good they have a current client who is tired of repairs or just bored of the car looking to unload it
That repair shop of course is going to tell you that it's not a problem and that they're "willing" to work (by the $/hr) as they're they ones making money from repairs once you bought it. The only way you justify buying old cars like this is if you're handy and you like to fix/tinker fixing cars.. => Actually more than handy, you need to be mechanically and electrically inclined.
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!

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