1979 Jaguar XJ6 Series 3 4.2 litre FI 6 cylinder from North America

Summary:

Lovely car - we've owned it for 31 years of reliable motoring, and are not planning to sell it

Faults:

At about 245,000 miles, the oil pressure was starting to fade. I dropped the sump off the engine, mic'd the big end journals, found about one-quarter thou wear from factory specs. Put in new standard main and rod bearing shells, plus a new oil pump. Oil pressure has been factory+ since then.

Had the radiator re-cored at about 255,000 miles - used a 'dimple tube' core, which has proven incredibly effective. Rock steady coolant temperature on 100+ degree F days in traffic.

Replaced the water pump at about 280,000 miles.

As far as I know, the head has never been off the engine, but valve clearances are checked regularly.

General Comments:

Maintenance would appear to be the key - regular oil changes with good quality oil - used to use Castrol GTX, but am worried now about lack of ZDDP additive. I have found that every 5,000 miles oil and filter works - witness the miles. If a little something goes wrong, attend to it at once - you will be much happier.

The car is a delight to drive with a smooth ride, excellent predictable handling for its size and not unreasonable fuel consumption for its weight. (We have an E-Type and a Lotus Elan in our fleet, and I used to race Formula Fords, so appreciate handling.) Great on open country roads - a bit wasted on freeways, but still very comfortable.

Incredible value for money, especially if you don't mind working on the car yourself. It has quite a lot of components, but the design is not really complex and parts are surprisingly affordable and available.

Next major job: it is getting a Jaguar 4 speed overdrive manual transmission.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2010

1979 Jaguar XJ6 Series III 4.2 litre 6 cyl petrol from North America

Summary:

A really lovely vehicle, worth its upkeep

Faults:

Only breakdown in 14 years has been due to the failure of the inertia fuel cut-off switch. Once this was bypassed with a small piece of wire, the car was driven on to our destination, and then home.

Car is sometimes hard to re-start on very hot days after a short stop - fuel vaporization?

Over the years, have replaced the steering rack with a neoprene sealed one - no more drips at all.

Rebuilt the alternator and brakes.

Recently rebuilt the front suspension, and while the cross member was out, checked the crankshaft.

Less than a quarter thou down from factory spec in 240,000+ miles!

Replaced main and rod bearings with standards, replaced the oil pump, cleaned everything, and we're back on the road with excellent oil pressure.

General Comments:

This is a fabulous car for the US, where fuel consumption isn't quite the issue it is in Europe and Britain. It rides and handles phenomenally well for a car whose design dates back to 1968, or earlier if you consider the components in the Mark X / original S-type, etc. It also still attracts favourable comments from almost everyone, whether they are 'car-oriented' or not. It helps tremendously to be able to do most of your own work on these cars, especially in the US, where the majority of service shops still don't understand Jaguars. Knowing the best places for spares at reasonable prices is a good move too: recently I replaced the original steel wheels with XJS alloys - $100 for the set, in near perfect condition, from a local classic car dealer. Apparently, XJS's sell better for them with wire wheels!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2000

21st May 2001, 20:30

I also have a 1979 XJ6, with some problems. I was wondering if you could help me? E-mail me at IloveMyTots1969@aol.com

Thank you.

11th Jun 2001, 19:57

I have owned a 1985 Jaguar XJ6-S3 Sovereign for around seven years. It's a magnificent-looking car, in metallic silver with biscuit upholstery. It looks and runs like new and still creates a small stir among its many admirers. It has, of course, required occasional repairs, notably to the A/C system and it developed an intermittent headlight problem which was eventually rectified. Otherwise, a work of art. No, it's definitely NOT for sale.

2nd Sep 2006, 11:32

Crap car, broke down a few times, where as my Citroen BX has never broken down.

8th Aug 2007, 02:21

Hi

I'm thinking of buying a 1976 Jaguar XJ6, it has 97000Km on the clock.

I would like to know what to look out for and what parts tend to give trouble.

Many thanks

Sam Morrison

reverendbear@gmail.com

6th Jul 2009, 17:45

I actually just traded one of my boats for a 1979 XJ6 (not sure what series). The car was one of those converted to a 350, so I'm guessing finding parts might be easier. Really, I'm not a car guy so I'm just guessing here. Basically, the poor thing just needs a new paint job, some brake work (possibly a master cylinder), and a new windshield. Other than that, it's a beautiful car. The interior is amazingly perfect. It set in some guys garage for years. I'm thinking I got the better deal here. LOL!

Feel free to email me with any suggestions for this project at: thatboatguy71@yahoo.com

I could use all of the ideas/suggestions I can get with this project. I understand there is some sort of weird issue with the braking system on this car. Not sure.