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Jaguar XJS

Jaguar XJS Published: 30th Jan 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Jaguar XJS
Jaguar XJS
Jaguar XJS
Jaguar XJS
Jaguar XJS
Jaguar XJS
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Attention of our XJ-S and Land Rover Discovery gives us a warm glow

It was the threat of the return of the Beast from the East as early as November – so predicted the Sky News weather girls – that had me booking the XJ-S in for a quick winter service. Good thing too as the anti-freeze was as weak as Gnat’s pee and I was also keen to try some better engine oil. Where to have your classic maintained is always a dilemma; should you always entrust a specialist or can a good small old school garage provide a worthy alternative? Although the XJ-S is quite prestigious, it’s been around long enough to become familiar to many garage mechanics; after all it’s based upon the now 50 years old XJ6 (the XJ12 came out in 1972).

Perhaps if H257 JKV’s service history was more complete then I’d be more particular who dishes out the TLC but I’ve always had good service from my local MoT testing station and garage (Five Bells Garage of Fobbing, Essex) for many years and besides John used to own an XJ-S.

The rusty coolant contained pink OAT anti-freeze which was unnecessary for this age of car and so was replaced by cheaper conventional Glycol. Incidentally, if you have an anti-freeze tester (which are strangely scarce in the shops at the time of writing) bear in mind that there’s a different type for testing OAT anti-freeze; use an older tool and you risk inaccurate readings. The V12 takes a fair amount but using too strong a dose (say over 75 per cent) can be counter productive as pure anti-freeze solidifies at around minus six degrees, it is claimed.

The engine oil I carefully selected as I wanted to specifically perk up the oil pressure which can be inherently on the low side after a fair few miles according to Jag experts, such as KWE, and ours could change like the weather. At the recent International Jaguar Spares Day at Stoneleigh Park I got chatting to www. who advised the new classic oil from Fuzz Townsend called Heritage 20W/50. Two 5-litre packs and a new oil filter later (bought from David Manners also at the show) and I’m surprised at the quite marked all round improvement although I intend to replace the pressure switch and sensor just to make sure – as the V12 engine runs as sweet as a nut I’m sure all is well (fingers crossed!).

Apart from adjusting slack front wheel bearings (a known XJ-S fault) all seemed ok and John remarked that underneath it appeared sound and tidy although the car’s lights decided to go completely on the blink when it was on the ramps. The fault was traced to a dicky underbonnet relay displaying corroded connectors which were cleaned up and the relay cable-tied to keep it secure until a better fix can be devised – although I fear it may become one of those ‘permanent temporary’ repairs… but what a stroke of good luck!

Other than this, the H257 JKV has provided pleasing classic transport and gets admiring comments when it’s parked up or taken to some local end of season shows. On one trip to the local supermarket I had to squeeze between a pair modern of ‘compact’ SUVs and was surprised just how small ‘big’ cars like the XJ-S have now become…

It’s been ages since we last reported on our Land Rover Discovery II and poignant considering we’re championing this modern classic elsewhere in this issue. There’s good reason to because apart from complimentary comments when it’s been taken to shows, I recently discovered how well regarded they remain when refuelling it. There I was at the counter flashing the plastic when a bloke walks in saying “Who’s that Discovery out there”? Thinking that it either was leaking something or someone has clouted it, I turned around and replied the affirmative, only to be offered instant hard cash to buy it (it’s not for the first time either); apparently he has a Discovery III and it’s been nothing but trouble. Come to think of it, I do recall when travelling down to the aforementioned Jaguar Spares Day I spied two such later models on low loaders…

Not that our earlier mount had been entirely reliable; the PAS steering box developed a serious leak and needed to be replaced late summer and engine oil is now weeping along the wiring rail that leads to the engine’s ECU – a common TD5 fault so I’m told and requires attending to otherwise misfires result. Some slight chassis rusting, picked up at the MoT in September, was swiftly eradicated before it spread and now our jet black Discovery is as good as gold – as a highly practical and usable workaday classic that many people want.

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