$1100 is not too bad for this work, but you should consider having a shift kit installed. Jaguar re-tuned this trans starting is 1988 for firmer shifts. Hot-rodders have been doing this for years with the TH400. I had the trans in one of my '84's rebuilt and asked that it not be as "mushy" when I got it back. I was extremely happy when I drove the car. Also, firmer shifting is actually easier on the transmission than soft shifts because the clutch packs do not slip for as long while shifting. It costs almost nothing extra to have this work done ($50). Go to a trans guy (not a "Jag guy") for anything relating to work on the GM TH400. The XJS is notorious for being hard on this transmission. Yet, this is about the strongest automatic transmission made. The problem is that the transmission is tuned to shift a heavy car with a powerful engine too smoothly. Firm it up and it will last longer and be more fun to drive. Also, learn to remove and install the trans yourself. You will save a lot of heartache this way. The GM TH400 comes out differently in a jag, so this will annoy your trans guy. Besides, you'll want to do the rear mount yourself (trust me).
Have become the 3rd owner of 1989 XJS conv --- fittipaldi rims (which I do not like and want to sell) 57000km orig driven distance ---- over last 10 years. 2nd owner drove 36000km.
It's now in my garage waiting for the snow to go. I have not driven it yet. It has never seen snow. Lakefield Ontario is very cold and snowy. I have every work order and oil change record. Costly little girl eh what? But ya gets what ya wants to drive and I like driving good horses.
Well folks, I have come here to report the death of a fine automobile, the finest I've ever owned. She passed under a blaze of roaring fire that erupted from the dashboard, starting with a stingy smoke. Thankfully, I was the only one occupying the luxurious cabin at the time, the only one enjoying her subtle purr as we glided down the freeway.
I will miss you always and forever.
Kenton Merritt, Washington.
It's good that your grandfather's Jaguar hasn't had any problems since new, but if you love the car so much and if it reminds you of your grandfather you should keep it in the garage. Keep it in good condition and It'll be a collector's item in the next few decades.
Firstly, it's bad for an engine to just leave it running. The oil pressure is low and it takes a long time to get up temp. And the fuel consumption is as good as a new car? Only in America! Enjoy the cheap fuel my friends, peak oil is just around the corner.
I have a 89 XJS and love it. It ran well until I washed the side and back of the engine. I noticed 3 spark plugs buried in water (boot not touching) so I blew all off with air compressor. Still no start? It turns over well but no perk! Any ideas?
Ideas for the rest, I added 2 bilge blowers on the top of the motor (side) and governed them to be controlled when engine is off for approx. 4-7 minutes, which keep the top end cool after shut off. I also added 2 pusher fans, which made a huge difference in the cooling. Those are thermo operated at 195-200 degrees. I am looking forward to the car running again with a clean motor!
The the guy who asked if you can install a different transmission into the XJ-S, the answer is YES. There is a company in the United States called The Driven Man that offers both 5 and 6 speed manual transmissions for sale for the XJ-S. I will eventually convert my 88 XJ-S to a manual transmission. Apparently they make your "cat" lively and also adds to better fuel efficiency. Forget the Toyota Supra manual transmissions offered for the XJ-S, why put a Japanese transmission in a British car?
And whatever you do, don't be talked into dumping your V12 British engine for an American V8, your car will be worthless when and if you try to sell. Jaguar "purists" will NOT buy your car with a V8 engine. The V12 is maligned and often reportedly expensive to rebuild and maintain, but this is not true, look after your V12, never let it be overheated, give it regular oil changes and you will not be disappointed in your engine. The V12 is virtually indestructible if looked after, and will go 300,000 miles with little problem, after all, it is not like one of today's cars - disposable.
There are a lot of myths surrounding Jags.
I have been a Jag man for the best part of four decades now.
All of my current cars are exclusively V12's and they are spectacular. That last bit of advice was good BTW.
I bought a beautiful Jaguar 1989 XJS 3 weeks ago. The deal... I bought it from a dealer, but he cannot get the car past smog! The motor is running on 6 cylinders!
His comment was, let me pay you your money back and keep the car. I see now why. I like the car, so I called a Jaguar service shop (a small shop in San Diego). They are going to check out the motor for 95 $.
I hope it will cost me not a arm and a leg to repair the car.
These have been entertaining, informative and interesting comments.
I have always wanted a Jaguar XJ12, but heard they are nothing more than trouble and to steer clear. If the reviewer with four decades has owned only V12s, this brings some levity to the doom and gloom of owning the larger engine Jaguars.
I currently drive a well-cared for 1990 Mercedes Benz 300E. I have never driven a Jaguar, but from everyone's comments, a unique and wonderful experience awaits.
Thanks again for your comments, everyone.
I'm on my third XJS V-12, and have had no major problems. Most of these cars are low mileage or spare cars, so they don't see many miles. Most of the daily driven cars in warm climates are more reliable cars. The cooling and fuel system rubber hoses should be inspected often, and after sitting.
Overall, these cars can be made with routine maintenance. Avoid high mileage and multiple owner cars!
I have just purchased a V12, and have yet to make the final arrangements. I live in Canada, and of course will not drive it in the winter months. Someone told me these cars have to constantly be driving, or a lot of problems may occur with the heating and cooling. Does anybody have any experience with this? I plan to park it Oct thru May.
It is what it is; a historical British road car, so elegant it's breathtaking. It awakens your senses.
Greg, Reno NV.