Well.. Over 2 years later I have read the comments to my original statement about the XJR.. I'm now somewhat calmer as I was very upset at the time (cost me a fortune to fix).
I must say though, when it was good.. It was very, very good..
Re-mapped & unrestricted with straight through stainless pipes.. Sounded like one-o-those Nas cars (snarled like an angry tiger) and with rolling road figures at 440bhp... It was pretty damn impressive!! (lit the rear soles at 100mph once)
Absolutely like mother Theresa freaking out at an Iron Maiden concert! (wolf in sheeps clothing).. The original statement!
Your Nikasil problem stems from the pore quality high sulphur fuels of the 90's, and the cool running of the AJ26 V8 in general. When in actual fact, the Nikasil engines are better than the replacement and later steel lined engines Jaguar released in October 2000.
Ironically, the British government band all high sulphur fuels in 2000 as well, but Jaguar did tell all concerned new customers in 99 what was buggering the engines up, and point blankly told them to avoid high sulphur fuels altogether, while it took them a full year to introduce the steel lined cars in late 2000.
I have an early 2000 XJR (one of the last of the Nikasil cars) with 121k that I have owned for the past 5 years, and it ticks over from a cold start as smooth as a baby's bum. I also had a blow by compression test done at 98k 3 years ago, and to my astonishment, was told that it was running 100% on 6 cylinders, with the exception of cylinders 5 and 7 at 99+, probably down to a tidy amount of valve stem wear, so I went off to my local motor cross bike tuners, and got them to Nikasil them as well.
I also use Molyslip in my oil, which in short is liquid molybdenum; the same stuff some tool makers coat their sockets and general high end spanners with. It coats all the cylinders and fills in hair line scratches on the surface, so there is a flush contact between components, including valves and stems, also reducing friction and engine temperature. Plus a 10% increase in fuel economy, which I would highly recommend to owners of older, high mileage cars
You have made my day - I recently purchased a 1999 XJ8 with a Nikasil engine and only 26000 miles from new with full service history.
The horror stories about this engine abound everywhere Jaguars are discussed, and I had considered selling it because of the possible serious expense to put it right - not now, your article has put my mind at rest, and I will continue to enjoy this beautiful car every day for the foreseeable future.
Thanks a million - Bob Murray, Northern Ireland.
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