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Daimler V8250

MOD & MEND Published: 24th Mar 2014 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Daimler V8250
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Do you drive this great classic or are thinking of buying one? Here’s how to ensure that you get the best out of your car for years to come

The dowdy dignied Daimler V8 250 may have been a bit of a oddity in the sporty Jaguar Mk2 range but those who tried it invariably liked it for its superior smoothness and cruising abilities. At long last, genuine cars that have retained Daimler power are starting to be recognised for their qualities and they make a good alternative to, say any sub 3.8. Parts supply from the likes of David Manners and Bryan Purves is excellent and if anything, the simple V8 makes the car easier to own than a Mk2.


Few tuning parts are available but having the cylinder heads gas-flowed with larger valves tted and appropriate carb rejetting will see some 160+bhp with smoothness and reliability. When engine was run on four Amal carbs, over 200bhp was reportedly seen by tuners in its heyday. Electronic ignition is a good move to replace the quirky standard twin points set up.

Of simple 1950’s design, the V8 is long-lasting, if serviced on time. There’s no real need to convert to unleaded valve seats as the engine copes well enough – although worth doing if they need renewing or valve guides (sometimes a weak point on this engine) require renewal. Tougher exhaust values are further advised if the heads ever need to come off.


Amazingly, given its popularity, new Mk2 shells aren’t available so you have to renovate old one. Jaguar specialist Ken Jenkins restores bodies and makes them stronger at certain points such as at the ‘crows’ feet’, suspension points and bulkheads. The V8 doesn’t suffer from major overheating like the XK, although it can still run hot if furred up. If all else fails, a Coombs replica louvred bonnet really helps.

The Jag shell is a a rotter and a wise owner regularly pressure-washes underside and over does things with Waxoyl. Main areas to care for are the aforementioned crows’ feet up front, which is welded to the front valance and crossmember, all box sections, bulkheads, inner wings, doors, sills and floors. There is more to restoring a Mk2 shell properly than you’d think warn specialists.


Cleverest way to go large is to simply slot in the 4.5-litre V8 from a Majestic, as Jaguar tried. It puts out as much as the best XK unit and is easier and cheaper to t plus keeps the car ‘authentic’ as many have been ‘Jaguarised’.

Lowly oil pressure (you need 40psi), general decay and hot running due to corroding alloy waterways can occur if anti-freeze has gone stale. SP250 engines differed by using securing studs not head bolts and a relocated water pump; later V8-250 got piston, camshaft and block mods.


Benets from usual tweaking with stiffer springs and dampers. If you want to improve and t power steering, go for set up found on 420/Sovereign and also gain better brakes. ICS has just launched close ratio steering kit to give 3.25 turns lock-to-lock (see News for more details).

Watch when selecting replacement springs as Jag ones will give wrong ride height and spoil handling; car that sits too high has Jag springs.  Wear in swivels can be re-shimmed out. When renewing wishbone bushes opt for longer lasting ‘poly’ types but renement suffers.


Unlike Dart, saloon relied upon Jag transmissions, manual and auto, the latter which accounted for majority of sales. Converting to manual with 240 unit is straightforward or you can go further and graft on Jag’s own ve-speed box as found on S3 XJ6 although it’s not as easy as with an XK engine.

Three-speed auto (changed in ’64) is lazy but smooth. Manual Jag ‘box suffers from usual ills, but lazy change may be livened up by a swap to modern oils. Overdrive ailments normally stem from duff electrics. As on the Mk2, a clutch change is a major event for DIYers.


A host of different Mk2 ratios were offered depending upon engine and whether overdrive or automatic were tted. What ratio is now installed?  It was altered in ’64. LSD axles offered on Daimler but rarely specied, S-type IRS has been tried on a Mk2 and while effective, is not worth the effort involved.


Axles are usually silent and strong – it’s their location which has been known to cause trouble where age and wear can cause it to move about slightly and alter rear wheel alignment and funny handling. Odd tyre wear should give you a clue here.



Daimler interior differs from Jaguar in several ways; seats, centre console deletion (due to smaller engine), fabric dashboard top after 1967 and one less interior light but the wood used was said to be of greater quality. Stock bench-style seats were Mk1 derived and lack support; better alternatives are S3 XJ6 perches and t reasonably easy.


While costly (up to ve gures for a full blown quality renovation), all that you need to restore an interior at home are available but the Daimler has its own style and originality can suffer using second-hand bits; Mk2 seats can be used, but differ in design, as do door trims, etc. Both hub caps and optional wire wheels were Daimler embossed, if tted.



A simple ’50s leaf sprung design that can be improved in the usual manner with uprated spring and dampers plus harder poly bushes, although the ride and renement suffers. As at the front, springs settle with age – ensure correct Daimler ones are tted unless uprating anyway. Rear disc brakes are entirely adequate for road use.


Handbrake is the bane of Mk2 ownership but it needn’t be so, if you keep the linkages well lubricated. Trick when adjusting the handbrake is to disconnect the cable and adjust any play at the brake calliper, checking it with a four thou feeler gauge (between the pad and brake disc) before even attempting to tackle it at cable end.


Daimler differed from the Mk2, here’s the signicant details. Fluted 20 slat grille and boot plinth, Daimler hub caps (with chrome rim rings) and body badging with special ‘D’ badge instead of ‘Growler’. Twin exhausts, tted, one each side of the car. The interior featured bench style front seats (but no picnic tables), wood veneer set below dashboard centre section incorporating the heating controls and radio. Late’67 cars featured vinyl topped dash and ‘420’ style door trims.

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