Tech Tips: 1968-'92 Jaguar XJ6


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EXPERT

Paul Tsikuris
Tsikuris Classics
(863) 858-7981

All three generations of the XJ6 have their pluses and minuses. The first generation, with those low-slung bumpers, is widely regarded as the prettiest of the three, and the Series 3 cars have a much more reliable drivetrain.

The automatic transmissions in the Series 1 cars are archaic and don’t shift well. Converting to a four-speed gearbox with overdrive–as the car came in Europe–is a big step in the right direction.

Series 2 cars (specifically the XJ6C) have gone up in value and are very good-looking. However, most of the interior, especially the switches, feels cheap. This is much improved in the Series 3 cars.

The engines in the Series 3 cars were much less prone to overheating thanks to larger water jackets in the head and block. You can identify one of these engines by two parallel castings in the block that run top to bottom.

Keep an eye out for rust around both the front and rear windows. These cars tend to rust there.

Once in an accident, the bodies on these cars are difficult to get straight. You can gain some insights on the car’s past by studying the body panel gaps.

Try to remember to park the car with the steering wheel straight. Parking with the wheels turned stresses the steering rack seals over time and makes them degrade faster.

In stock form, the rear brakes are very difficult to bleed. We recommend running a steel brake line from the factory bleeder under the car to a location that allows for easier access.

If I could make my own XJ6, I would use a Series 2 body, Series 1 bumpers and the driveline from a Series 3 car.

EXPERT

Dave Welsh
Welsh Enterprises
(800) 875-5247
welshent.com

Convert the original self-leveling rear suspension, if the car still has it, to conventional shocks. The self-leveling system is known to fail, and trust me it will. And when it does, the cost to repair or replace it can be astronomical. We sell a conversion kit that includes all the parts you need. The part number is JLM11698K and it costs $415.95

If you’re shopping for an XJ6, there are a few things you should keep an eye out for. First is the brake accumulators and switches. When were these parts last changed? Were the cam and head gaskets ever replaced? Was the rear differential ever replaced or rebuilt? Does the car have the original self-leveling rear suspension kit or was it converted over to conventional shocks?

Low mileage is always a major plus in a used car, but it’s especially important in an XJ6.

Once you have your new-to-you XJ6 in the shop, start by checking the cam covers and rear differential for any kind of leakage. These cars are known to leak badly in these areas, especially if there’s more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. I recommend changing the differential fluid at this point as well as every time you change your oil and oil filter.


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Comments
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hurstad
hurstad New Reader
3/1/19 11:51 a.m.

Problem is, by having this cover 1968 - 1992, you're really talking about two completely different cars. Up to 1987 was the original XJ-6 in its various permutations. 1988 - 92 was another. IMHO, the 85-87 Series III VDP is one of the most beautiful - and reliable - motorcars ever built! We've had several.

 

RMVR53
RMVR53 New Reader
3/1/19 10:46 p.m.

Dave's comments cover the XJ40 (the 88-92 variant). The S3 body shell continued past 87 to 92 but only in V12 form. So the XJ6 is from 68 (69 in the US) to half-year 87.  I have owned several S2's over the years and currently have 3 S3's (82, 85 and 86). To me, the best is the last (85-86) as the 87's were kinda ignored. They were more for using up parts before the transision to the XJ40.  I would love to find an S1 and put a S3 engine in it but stick with carbs. You can't use too late an engine tho as the mount bosses changed in 85 so an 84 or earlier block would be required. I've got an 83 long block currently being prepped for an S2 E Type. 

I only have 284,000 miles on my 85 so all those people that say the cars aren't reliable are full of crap...

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