The XJS topic

The XJS topic

Author
Discussion

craigjm

10,797 posts

156 months

Thursday 30th April
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We all know that how many left is wildly inaccurate. Another thing about rising values is it tends to me that slumbering cars that haven’t been taxed or mot for years seem to come out of the woodwork. I have an XJ coupe which is a far more rare car than the XJS and it’s amazing how many more have found their way on to the official register in the last 3-4 years as values of good ones have really started to rise

stickleback123

6,224 posts

145 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
DP33 said:
Interesting point: the first AJ6 cars did appear to get some (not undeserved) bad press. These early examples needed a bit of finessing on the NVH front and the ride/handling balance was too close to the V12 cars, so a bit on the soft side, which was at odds with the chunky 265 Getrag manual 'box and its more sporting positioning.

By the time my sports pack 88.5 model came along a lot of those wrinkles had been ironed out. The contemporary reviews were really positive and I've been really pleasantly surprised. In terms of value the manual cars have got rarity on their side. Check out howmanyleft and for any given model year there are only 100 or so left registered (and that's auto and manual) - the self shifters only made up about 10% of production - so we are now down to a handful of cars...
John Egan mentions the poor refinement of the early AJ6 in "Saving Jaguar" and the efforts to get it up to standard, and comments that an all aluminium I6 is just about the hardest configuration for NVH. For all it was hopelessly dated, incredibly heavy, inconsistently made, not entirely honest about it's power output, and done in at 100k miles the ancient XK was extremely refined so an engine that was more akin to a cement mixer full of chippings was a real issue.

I really enjoyed the 3.6 XJ-S I drove a couple of years ago (88/9 F plate I think); that engine had a sporty and eager edge to it that was missing in the later 4.0 AJ6 and AJ16 and with a manual gearbox and firmer suspension it could be driven very quickly in that smooth flowing way that Jaguars used to respond so well to. The 4 litre six cylinder cars with an auto always felt like a Happy Shopper version of the V12 to me and had no appeal beyond "being sensible", but I could easily be tempted into a manual 3.6 or possibly 4.0 if they are a bit less lugubrious to rev out with a manual box than they are with an auto.

Edited by stickleback123 on Friday 1st May 10:58

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
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Here's mine: '88.5' 3.6 manual, sportpack.

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
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And another shot.

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
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And finally - a shot of the interior. (I'll go away now...).

CharlesdeGaulle

13,191 posts

136 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
dp333 said:
Here's mine: '88.5' 3.6 manual, sportpack.
Lovely. And welcome!

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
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CharlesdeGaulle said:
dp333 said:
Here's mine: '88.5' 3.6 manual, sportpack.
Lovely. And welcome!
Thank you!

wormus

11,650 posts

159 months

Friday 1st May
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CharlesdeGaulle said:
dp333 said:
Here's mine: '88.5' 3.6 manual, sportpack.
Lovely. And welcome!
+1 lovely colour and wheels. So much nicer with the older style rear lights.

Raging Bu11

105 posts

137 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
Heres mine. 4.0 Celebration. This pic is on the day we bought her from Clarkes XJS (what a wonderful place that is)


dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
stickleback123 said:
DP33 said:
Interesting point: the first AJ6 cars did appear to get some (not undeserved) bad press. These early examples needed a bit of finessing on the NVH front and the ride/handling balance was too close to the V12 cars, so a bit on the soft side, which was at odds with the chunky 265 Getrag manual 'box and its more sporting positioning.

By the time my sports pack 88.5 model came along a lot of those wrinkles had been ironed out. The contemporary reviews were really positive and I've been really pleasantly surprised. In terms of value the manual cars have got rarity on their side. Check out howmanyleft and for any given model year there are only 100 or so left registered (and that's auto and manual) - the self shifters only made up about 10% of production - so we are now down to a handful of cars...
John Egan mentions the poor refinement of the early AJ6 in "Saving Jaguar" and the efforts to get it up to standard, and comments that an all aluminium I6 is just about the hardest configuration for NVH. For all it was hopelessly dated, incredibly heavy, inconsistently made, not entirely honest about it's power output, and done in at 100k miles the ancient XK was extremely refined so an engine that was more akin to a cement mixer full of chippings was a real issue.

I really enjoyed the 3.6 XJ-S I drove a couple of years ago (88/9 F plate I think); that engine had a sporty and eager edge to it that was missing in the later 4.0 AJ6 and AJ16 and with a manual gearbox and firmer suspension it could be driven very quickly in that smooth flowing way that Jaguars used to respond so well to. The 4 litre six cylinder cars with an auto always felt like a Happy Shopper version of the V12 to me and had no appeal beyond "being sensible", but I could easily be tempted into a manual 3.6 or possibly 4.0 if they are a bit less lugubrious to rev out with a manual box than they are with an auto.

Edited by stickleback123 on Friday 1st May 10:58
I must dig out a copy of that John Egan book, it sounds fascinating.

I'd read all the contemporary tests of those early 1984 AJ6 cars and I couldn't reconcile those observations with the experience I had of my own 88' car. Having now read what the mags said when they tested the later, (post XJ40 launch) 3.6 XJ-S and how positive they were about the NVH in comparison to the older unit, it's clear that a ton of work must have been done to improve it!

Based on the 1,000 miles or so I've done in mine, I've found it to be quite "cammy" - it definitely feels more urgent above 3,500rpm and it's even got a bit of intake noise and exhaust rasp, (the latter I put down to the stainless steel system fitted by the previous owner). I also think that the Getrag 'box works really well with it too, I certainly would not want to swap to an auto version, it would feel out of character with my car. Nothing wrong with an auto, I just feel in this particular configuration the "Manuel" suits it better - possibly linked to Roger Putnam joining Jaguar from Lotus around that time and having a hand in the positioning of the sportpack car.

I haven't driven the nuts off my car yet (not sure I really want to being honest) - I took a bit of a punt with it, because while it looked really clean (confirmed via an inspection) and there had been loads of work done on it over the last 15 years or so, it really hadn't driven - as in it had done about 300 miles since 2005! So over the last 5 months, as I've gone through the car from stem to stern, it's been all about getting to know it and giving it a bit of a shake down,fully expecting things to go wrong.Breakages so far? One wiper motor that failed 2 days after I bought it - seized almost solid, new old stock sourced for £150. So not too bad...

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
Raging Bu11 said:
Heres mine. 4.0 Celebration. This pic is on the day we bought her from Clarkes XJS (what a wonderful place that is)

That's a super colour - love dark blue cars. I think I need to pay Clarkes a visit - I just know it could be financially painful though!

dp333

11 posts

4 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
wormus said:
CharlesdeGaulle said:
dp333 said:
Here's mine: '88.5' 3.6 manual, sportpack.
Lovely. And welcome!
+1 lovely colour and wheels. So much nicer with the older style rear lights.
It's a personal thing isn't it? I really like the multi-spokes (utter pig to clean though) and the earlier styling. While I looked at a few later cars, I knew what I really wanted. That it was BRG too was just a bit of a bonus!

stickleback123

6,224 posts

145 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
dp333 said:
I must dig out a copy of that John Egan book, it sounds fascinating.

I'd read all the contemporary tests of those early 1984 AJ6 cars and I couldn't reconcile those observations with the experience I had of my own 88' car. Having now read what the mags said when they tested the later, (post XJ40 launch) 3.6 XJ-S and how positive they were about the NVH in comparison to the older unit, it's clear that a ton of work must have been done to improve it!

Based on the 1,000 miles or so I've done in mine, I've found it to be quite "cammy" - it definitely feels more urgent above 3,500rpm and it's even got a bit of intake noise and exhaust rasp, (the latter I put down to the stainless steel system fitted by the previous owner). I also think that the Getrag 'box works really well with it too, I certainly would not want to swap to an auto version, it would feel out of character with my car. Nothing wrong with an auto, I just feel in this particular configuration the "Manuel" suits it better - possibly linked to Roger Putnam joining Jaguar from Lotus around that time and having a hand in the positioning of the sportpack car.

I haven't driven the nuts off my car yet (not sure I really want to being honest) - I took a bit of a punt with it, because while it looked really clean (confirmed via an inspection) and there had been loads of work done on it over the last 15 years or so, it really hadn't driven - as in it had done about 300 miles since 2005! So over the last 5 months, as I've gone through the car from stem to stern, it's been all about getting to know it and giving it a bit of a shake down,fully expecting things to go wrong.Breakages so far? One wiper motor that failed 2 days after I bought it - seized almost solid, new old stock sourced for £150. So not too bad...
The book is very good, highly recommended. It's a very long engine, so there is doubtless plenty of torsional vibration in the crank and cams but it'd be fascinating to hear from someone from the development team about the challenges they faced. Jim Randle died last year, sadly, but there might be others out there.

The 4 litre AJ6/AJ16 was a bit of a disappointment to anyone wanting an exciting engine from Jaguar; a decent BMEP (especially for an engine with no variable valve timing) using a long (102mm) stroke so while it has a really decent torque output even by todays standards it can't actually make particularly great peak power figures because it won't rev. Good compromise for a heavy saloon car or a lard arse 4 speed auto XJS that goes to the golf course and back but not very exciting in a manual sports car and the four speed auto and long final drive always made them feel sluggish, although not quite to the extent that the 2.88 final drive and three speed auto cut the balls off the V12. I had a 4 litre manual X300 Sport for a while and it absolutely flew in comparison to the auto, easily giving contemporary hot hatchbacks a hard time on a fun road with it's thumping torque everywhere in the rev range and it's fluid suspension and handling. Couldn't say that for my 4 litre Sovereign auto hehe

They rev limited the 4 litre to 6K RPM but a 7K RPM limit would still only be a ~24m/s piston speed and well within the realms of possibility even in the late 80s; they chose to go down the supercharged path instead for the high performance engines which is understandable but it would have been interesting to see what a naturally aspirated version could have done. The AJ16 was quite obviously just a stop gap to keep the engine vaguely competitive for 3 years until the V8 was ready so a lot of expensive work on the heads to get them to flow at higher speed was presumably a lot harder than strapping on a supercharger, and a 7k+ screamer was not really suited to the 1800KG+ cars Jaguar were selling at the time. I always wondered what the twin turbocharged versions they were preparing for the XJ41/42 was like - presumably not as good as the supercharged versions in the DB7 and XJR6!


It was also a very heavy engine, although to it's credit with it's enormous physical size and clean magnesium alloy valve cover it looked better under the bonnet than any Jaguar engine since, maybe joint 1st with the tidied up 6 litre V12 that hid the slightly scary view of the ignition system.




This thread has me XJS shopping.

Edited by stickleback123 on Friday 1st May 15:07

DP33

183 posts

82 months

Friday 1st May
quotequote all
stickleback123 said:
The book is very good, highly recommended. It's a very long engine, so there is doubtless plenty of torsional vibration in the crank and cams but it'd be fascinating to hear from someone from the development team about the challenges they faced. Jim Randle died last year, sadly, but there might be others out there.

The 4 litre AJ6/AJ16 was a bit of a disappointment to anyone wanting an exciting engine from Jaguar; a decent BMEP (especially for an engine with no variable valve timing) using a long (102mm) stroke so while it has a really decent torque output even by todays standards it can't actually make particularly great peak power figures because it won't rev. Good compromise for a heavy saloon car or a lard arse 4 speed auto XJS that goes to the golf course and back but not very exciting in a manual sports car and the four speed auto and long final drive always made them feel sluggish, although not quite to the extent that the 2.88 final drive and three speed auto cut the balls off the V12. I had a 4 litre manual X300 Sport for a while and it absolutely flew in comparison to the auto, easily giving contemporary hot hatchbacks a hard time on a fun road with it's thumping torque everywhere in the rev range and it's fluid suspension and handling. Couldn't say that for my 4 litre Sovereign auto hehe

They rev limited the 4 litre to 6K RPM but a 7K RPM limit would still only be a ~24m/s piston speed and well within the realms of possibility even in the late 80s; they chose to go down the supercharged path instead for the high performance engines which is understandable but it would have been interesting to see what a naturally aspirated version could have done. The AJ16 was quite obviously just a stop gap to keep the engine vaguely competitive for 3 years until the V8 was ready so a lot of expensive work on the heads to get them to flow at higher speed was presumably a lot harder than strapping on a supercharger, and a 7k+ screamer was not really suited to the 1800KG+ cars Jaguar were selling at the time. I always wondered what the twin turbocharged versions they were preparing for the XJ41/42 was like - presumably not as good as the supercharged versions in the DB7 and XJR6!


It was also a very heavy engine, although to it's credit with it's enormous physical size and clean magnesium alloy valve cover it looked better under the bonnet than any Jaguar engine since, maybe joint 1st with the tidied up 6 litre V12 that hid the slightly scary view of the ignition system.




This thread has me XJS shopping.

Edited by stickleback123 on Friday 1st May 15:07
I'd always wondered why the AJ6/16 had such a long stroke and why they weren't more revvy - get the torque requirement bit and then also found out that they'd designed the architecture to also work as a diesel - so the answer's probably woven into that too.

I believe that they have significant tuning potential - 300hp is realisitc - but it all has to be done the hard old fashioned way, so I can understand the supercharger work around. However it would have been interesting to see what the turbochargd XJ41 power train would have been like. A case of "what if" but that's classic Jaguar isn't it?

The biggest example of that though has to be the Munday-designed manual five speed box that almost made it to production (might still be one or two out of captivity?) - now that mated to the V12 really would have been something a bit special...



lukeharding

1,420 posts

45 months

Saturday 2nd May
quotequote all
I've got a few, but here are a couple of my favourites. The facelift car is my daily driver and has covered just under 204,400 miles, and the other car is from the TV show 'Curfew' and is a manual.




stickleback123

6,224 posts

145 months

Saturday 2nd May
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This article discussing the design of the XJS is interesting

https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2016/01/vellum-v...

The basic proportions and stance are just so very right on the car that all the cack handed black plastic and exposed screwheads they inflicted on it still couldn't spoil it.

dinkel

Original Poster:

25,410 posts

214 months

Sunday 3rd May
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There's something about beefing up them big cats:

lukeharding

1,420 posts

45 months

Sunday 3rd May
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dinkel said:
There's something about beefing up them big cats:
That looks like fun! any other info on it?

SpeckledJim

22,250 posts

209 months

Sunday 3rd May
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my 1995 4.0. Carrying a LOT of camping gear.


stickleback123

6,224 posts

145 months

Sunday 3rd May
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SpeckledJim said:


my 1995 4.0. Carrying a LOT of camping gear.
No pinstripe and that spoiler lick