As an update on the original post here, the unreliable running was traced to the fuel management system. Cost: $300.
Then the air con died - all the gas we put in in August leaked out. Replaced pipes, gas: $450.
Still having difficulties starting - mechanic has given us a couple of things to diagnose with. Looking like a fuel pump issue or a fuel return valve (?). Has to return to mechanic.
And new tyres - not dear at $691 for four new tyres (the old ones were 7 years old - result much better grip).
In consolation, I was told that the run-flat tyres for the current humble BMW are $650. Per tyre. Yeeowch.
It's still a great cruiser. Not a commuter though. Still pushing through.
You obviously need another mechanic. Can I volunteer to replace your current con-man? I'll charge you half of what he did for the repairs, and still be able to retire early when I finish the work.
Although this seems to be a love / hate relationship, I agree that this is the first and best sport sedan made. My story with a series 3 started 9 years ago. Bought an 85 black and tan with 27,000 miles. The funny part of this story is that everything that has failed to date, have been factory original GM products.. Yes, the AC, power steering, alternator, steering rack, come from the USA...
Fast forward to today, I drive this car daily, with smile on my face every time I drive the car. Yes things break, the trick is planning for "predictable failures". Join a local JAG club, and they can provide the predictability.
Hi, gee you have had a lot of bad luck with your Jaguar.
We bought a 1985 Jaguar XJ6 Series 3 Sovereign 7 years ago for our wedding car. She was 21 years old, we bought her privately for $10,500, we are the third owners, and she has never broken down whilst on the road!
When we bought "Bessie", she had done 160,000 km on the clock. She has now 230,000km, and since purchase she has had a new coil, at 23 years, a new thermo fan at 24 years, a new starter motor at 25 years, and a new A/C compressor at 26 years, and a few hoses.
I drove Bessie on the hottest day ever recorded in Victoria Australia (45.7 degrees C), and she didn't overheat. Her body is not perfect as she has rust around bottom of windscreen, which I want to have repaired when I get a new windscreen.
You are right about the electrics, I believe it's their weakest point as Bessie's high beam, radio and cruise control don't work at present, but I will have them sorted.
But I have to say I have owned a number of makes of cars, and Bessie over the 7 years has been the most reliable car I have owned, which is impressive given she was 21 when we bought her!
As I make this comment, she is having a new water pump installed. Again, can't complain; she got 27 years from the original one!
Bessie is BRG with light mushroom interior, you can see her on YouTube; just type in "Jaguar XJ6 Sovereign wedding car" or go to "save colac library" on YouTube and you will see she still looks good for her age. I use Tech wax often as she really could do with a repaint, but I don't want to do that for two reasons, one - no money, and two, I'm sentimental as she was our wedding car, and I try to keep her looking as she did on our wedding day!
Good luck with your Jaguar, and find a good mechanic; ours does a service on Bessie for $400,00 once a year. The right mechanic makes a big difference with these cars for sure.
OP here - I have seen the Bessie video, and that's a nice car.
Since the above observations, we have replaced the alternator in March and a few other cosmetic things. Alternator was another $700 - apparently they're a bugger to get to.
We had another breakdown as well, which was traced to the fuel diode - apparently different to the fuel management system that was replaced before. Another $800 or so. Made a huge difference to idling - works much better.
Also had to weld the headers, as a certain in law failed to mention a lack of driveways at her house. Jags do not like paddock bashing.
Having an issue with cold starting, and narrowed it down to the cold start injectors. Currently firing it manually avoids funny stares in the street. But I am sure it can be fixed.
Some other little things going wrong, but we can live with them for the moment, until we get our financials in a position to fix those issues.
So it's still a bit of a punch drunk experience, but no major bills apart from petrol for six months or so. Could be worse - a friend mentioned she spent $14000 fixing an 02 Holden Astra over 2 years.
Would you believe that the day after writing the above, the car's speedo stops working ($400), and while on the hoist the mechanic finds the universal joints are gone ($1000) and the exhaust needs fixing ($500), and it needs a service ($400).
In its defence, it does have 324,000 kms on the clock.
And it still doesn't cold start...
Yeah, I purchased an XJ6 1985 Sovereign. Yes, it's beautiful driving, can't explain it; rides better than Holdens...
I had a couple of problems, not too bad, touch wood, lost all power and found myself on country road with night approaching. I'm lucky a local cocky allowed me to leave her there till I could get back with an alternator; what a mission to fit it. 6 hours.
Just put two 300 tyres on the front, nice, and now I've found I have a master cylinder to replace, and driver's side rake. Can anyone out there can direct me to cheap, good replacement parts? Thanks.
OP here again :(
Well, we persevered, we spent, we reviewed and assessed. Took the Jag to another Jag mechanic in town, and he's read it the last rights. Took it in for the usual to-do items, but now it's blown the head gasket.
The engine was only rebuilt about 30,000kms ago. Apparently the head gaskets are 'touchy'.
I am told that this means an engine rebuild ($12,000). I have spoken to the original mechanic, who says he can put a replacement in for $3,500. But I think it's time for this Jag to go to God. Even if I do that, it won't fix the creaking sound from the rear, the broken seat belts, the clapped out park brake, the reversing lights, the headlight turning off, the rust that needs to be cut out... but it may fix the cold start ignition :).
You live and learn. If you don't, you die.
Hey. I might be absolutely mistaken, but it seems to me like your Jag is one of those, as we call it in Poland, "post-flood" cars. We had a huge flood going on in 1997, and after that you'd see a lot of cheap "A1" on the market. Your Jag might have experienced some kind of trauma like that, so all they needed was a little bit of surface refurbishment and a client like you. Or it's haunted. That's always a possibility.
I've wanted one of these 1985 models since I was a kid, and I'm currently thinking of acquiring one and your review is of course making me doubt myself. So thank you for it.