I own an 89 XJS convert and even though it's been a lot of work maintaining it, I totally enjoy driving it. I replaced most of the suspension rubber with polyurethane (make sure you check your steering rack mounts on this). I think that British rubber turns to bubble gum after about 50,000 miles. The only other mod you might want to consider is an aftermarket thermostatic controller for the electric fan. It keeps the post cool-down temps under the hood lower and saves you from replacing hoses and belts every few years.
Jay Westra (Textronjay@Netscape.Net)
I wouldn't dismiss the 6 cylinder variety. I've just recently got a 1989 model XJS 3.6 manual with 102k miles, and it's the most fuel economic of the lot (see 1989 entry - 'beautiful piece of sculpture'). I've monitored its mpg over 2000miles (using mileage/fuel used method) and it's returning 27.7mpg. This might drop again as I cruise on the British motorways at 70mph. I don't like to take this faster, or feel the need to, as this car is to be admired going at a 'gentleman's pace'.
I bought a 1986 XJS V-12 in January of 1988, and even though I had to learn the hard way initially, I am glad I have kept her! I am now in the process of refurbishing the whole thing.
I have found some excellent places to get parts and accessories, and a wonderful automotive shop that has my XJS running better than it ever has (as a matter of fact, it is because they have it running so well that I have gotten fired up to do this fix her up job).
A great place to get all sorts of wood trim (yes even for the instrument panel) is at myrtleprod.com, and I have found a gem of a supplier at thedrivenman.com. It is at The Driven Man that I found some of the improvements I can do that I knew nothing about.
For one: The comment above about the steering rack and bushings is 100% correct, and I have just received the new bushings and have the control arms on order. I got the best looking wheels ever from them last month, and I have their exhaust system on order as well. I am also putting on their rear end sway bar, and I'm replacing my front end sway bar with theirs. I have also ordered their fuel injection ECU computer and recommended filters. With all of this, I will get a fantastic ride with more horse power.
The first comment stated what he would do different was go manual. Well guess what, these guys have a great conversion kit to go either 5 or 6 speed.
Another place for accessories like license plates and valve stem caps and screw covers (you know the little things that bring it together) is www.xks.com and coventrywest.com. Hope this helps, and I will be at EuroFest in South Carolina to show off my "new" JAG. After watching Overhauling and American Hot Rod, I have now just found someone to do a custom job on my seats (I want the logo on my front seats, like I saw on one of those shows).
Great JAGing to ya!
I just purchased a 86 XJS with only 39,500 miles on. It is mint with the exception of an exhaust leak and some front end steering play. Is the play something that is easily fixed in my garage.
I have had an '87 XJSC since 2000 and bought it from my brother in law who had it since 1990. We have always taken good care of it and had it serviced whenever it needed. I just took it out for a drive for the first time this year. I don't drive it in the rain or snow (which we hardly ever get). I put about 1,500 kilometers on it per year. Since I purchased the car, I have had to replace the rear shocks, brakes, exhaust system. I have a small oil leak coming from the front of the car and I am looking at getting my seals replaced. I wasn't aware of the steering bushes and I will look into that as well.
Since I don't drive it every day, what can I do to make sure the seals stay lubricated. I could start the car everyday without driving it, but would that be damaging in any way. Are there any storing tips I should consider?
Thanks...and I love this car.
I have a 1987 V12 coupe which I am currently replacing the starter motor on. Those boys in Coventry certainly crammed everything into the engine bay. It overheats as well when it runs but I love it and would not part with her.
I had a 3.6 in England and that was a lovely car, almost as fast and better on fuel.
Never a dull moment with a Jag. LOL.