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Jaguar XJ40 BUYING & MAINTENANCE covers:
When the new XJ40 model Jaguar XJ6 was introduced back in 1986, I well remember, as a young journalist less than a year into the profession, looking at the press pack with a mixture of awe and worry. I was in awe of the exceptional value for money and stacks of sophisticated electronics and other luxury goodies.
But I was worried because I knew that by the time I could afford one, all that complex gear would be several years old, and therefore possibly not quite as reliable...
Twelve years on, I had the opportunity to find out about the latter first-hand, when we decided to run an XJ40 project car in Car Mechanics. The aim was to buy a basically sound but run-down example and show how it could be maintained and improved using cost-effective but wholly acceptable techniques.
F103ARP was bought at my local general car auction in late 1996. It came as seen with a service history for the first few years, but nothing since, and a years MoT. Of course a general auction is the worst possible place to buy a car like this. But not for us, as if the project was to have any reader benefit, we needed not a perfect car, but one with a complete set of typical faults!
And F103ARP certainly obliged. As you can see from the pages that follow, we had to sort the engine, rear axle, brakes and suspension, the full range of electrical faults and some water leaks. The year's MoT turned out to be a little, shall we say `suspicious' too!
Then there was the rot. XJ40s are generally very rust-resistant and just about the only places they ever go are the bonnet and bootlid. Guess what – our car had rot aplenty in them both!
We hope that this book serves as practical help to anyone who already has an XJ40 and as an inspiration to anyone considering buying one. Here my advice is quite unequivocal – do it! Even with our seriously-neglected example the pleasures of ownership far, far outweighed the pains!
Editor: Car Mechanics