Advice about buying '96 Jaguar XJR

drozzy

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Hi, all! I'm new. :D

By following some advice on these forums, I decided to look at a 1996 XJR here in atlantic canada:

http://newbrunswick.kijiji.ca/c-cars-vehicles-classic-cars-1996-Jaguar-XJR-leather-Sedan-W0QQAdIdZ288494622


Anything I should be aware of before getting into this baby?

I don't mind fixing a few things by myself - I swapped a radiator, fixed some door problems, but I am not a mechanic and can't fix things like brakes, suspension or anything that requires special mechanic tools/lifts/equipment.

So I am just wandering if I will be able to afford the repairs, since my current car (honda civic 01') currently runs me about only $500/year on average, if that much.

I really like the car, and it is what I am looking for - luxury older car, I don't care about mpg as I don't drive a lot, but sometimes would like to take it on long trips on the highway (without all the noise of wind + engine like i get in my civic).

But feel like i might be getting over my head a bit... someone stop me! :mrgreen:
 
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katwalk

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This thread is not there. Why.


edit:
Now I have stolen the thread apparently.
My advice, PM Spectre who should probably have made a specific advice thread of "jaguars and why you should buy them" by now.
 
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argatoga

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Unless the engine has been replaced it will eat itself. The Nikasil cylinder lining doesn't take too well with high sulfur gas like we have in the US.

In addition the Mercedes gearbox is junk and will explode shortly after 100k.

There is also the timing chain tensioner issue.
 
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katwalk

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Can you see the thread? I was not there and then I replied and there was only my post :confused:
 

argatoga

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Ha I thought you created it. This one is in some form of limbo. I'm guessing Mr. drozzy deleted it right as you replied.
 

Spectre

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Unless the engine has been replaced it will eat itself. The Nikasil cylinder lining doesn't take too well with high sulfur gas like we have in the US.

In addition the Mercedes gearbox is junk and will explode shortly after 100k.

There is also the timing chain tensioner issue.
96s have inline six engines with iron liners and the GM 4L80E gearbox and timing chains that are not made of fail. 95-97 is my car, 98-03 is the V8 with all the above afflictions (though the Nikasil goes away after mid-2000).

The 95-97 X300R is probably the most bulletproof performance sedan Britain ever made - it even stomped Lexus at short, medium and long term quality, back when Lexus *was* quality. Sadly, it's been mostly downhill since then. Even my 2000 XKR was demonstrably less reliable (for reasons stated above,) though it was still a good car.
 
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argatoga

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Oops my bad. I was thinking the X308 for some reason.
 

EyeMWing

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I'm still looking to buy one of these - but it's an endless cat-and-mouse game trying to align the finances, FinalGear Racing schedule, and availability of one in good condition at the right price. I've looked at two - one wasn't black and smelled like smoke, and the other had trashed back seats.
 

Merc63

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Unless the engine has been replaced it will eat itself. The Nikasil cylinder lining doesn't take too well with high sulfur gas like we have in the US.
Not true. We no longer have high sulfur fuel, and any Nikasil engines still running well now will continue to do so. Those of us that deal with the BMW nikasil V8s already know this.
 

argatoga

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Not true. We no longer have high sulfur fuel, and any Nikasil engines still running well now will continue to do so. Those of us that deal with the BMW nikasil V8s already know this.
Is it consistent for all states?
 

EyeMWing

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Hey, look. The OP showed up.

I have ze service manual and most everything is pretty straightforward "lol, it's a car - you do it like every other car" stuff. That said, a lot of mechanics will try to rape you because it's a luxury car. Find yourself a mechanic who specializes in European, especially British marques. They'll appreciate the addition of a customer with straightforward, easy-to-fix problems instead of "MY MGB IS BROKEN AGAIN!"

As for parts, ask your potential mechanic if he minds you bringing your own parts. Most independents won't mind. When it comes time for parts, www.rockauto.com - or whatever your mechanic's source (which is inevitably a shed in England) quotes. Whichever is cheaper. The transmission is bog standard GM. Engine, suspension and electrical parts are a bit more expensive than a standard econobox, but still within the realm of sanity.
 
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Spectre

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Yup and has been for quite a while. We've now got ultra low sulfur diesel pretty much everywhere, too.

Disagree - high sulfur gas is still around in some states as the EPA gasoline mandate only applied to larger refineries. Some of the smaller discount ops (notably some in Oklahoma and Louisiana) are still producing relatively high sulfur gas. There are still Nikasil failures being reported on both BMW and Jaguar boards - not anywhere near the rates of the past, but they're still ongoing. More often it's the timing chain on the earlier V8 engines killing it, though. ULS Diesel is a different story.

Original poster - To add to what EyeMWing beat me to saying, you can expect an X300R like that to cost about $1500 or so per year on average to run assuming you pull all the usual maintenance that's possible for the average owner without a shop. This is assuming you're doing about average miles and you don't have any random failures (which are rare) but does include brakes, rotors (which are easily replaced on this model and don't require a lift, significant special tools, etc., etc), fluids, hoses, belts and the like. Much of that additional expense is because the car takes about 9 quarts of oil per change, more coolant than an ecobox, more brake fluids - basically more of all consumables.

As EyeMWing said, working on the X300 isn't much different from working on more mainstream cars (and in that, it is indeed extremely unusual for a high-end luxury/sports car). And, like most other cars and unlike some other high end marques, once you fix it it generally *stays* fixed. The parts are more than a Toyota Corolla's, but less than pretty much any of the contemporary European competitors. Here's a comparison from NAPA:

Water pump:
1996 XJR: $152.33.
1996 S600: $174.00, $214.00 or $439.00.
1996 BMW 750iL: $186.22 or $324.00.

Transmission filter kit:
1996 XJR: $17.99 (if you are bored and want to make sure you get OEM, you can go to the Chevy dealer and get it for $28.07.)
1996 S600: $53.99
1996 BMW 750iL: $61.49

More astonishingly, Jaguar dealers tend to be reasonable on prices as well, so even if you only go to the dealer your wallet won't be raped as badly as it would be anywhere else.

There are also sheds in Georgia (the US state) and Texas (among other places) providing mail-order/internet parts support for Jaguars, and even the nationwide Worldpac distribution system has more than a few factory Jaguar parts in their system and warehouses now.
 
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Merc63

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Disagree - high sulfur gas is still around in some states as the EPA gasoline mandate only applied to larger refineries. Some of the smaller discount ops (notably some in Oklahoma and Louisiana) are still producing relatively high sulfur gas. There are still Nikasil failures being reported on both BMW and Jaguar boards - not anywhere near the rates of the past, but they're still ongoing. More often it's the timing chain on the earlier V8 engines killing it, though. ULS Diesel is a different story.
Ongoing discussion on the BMW forums I'm on, as people buying 740s for the first time are scared of nikasil, and as we've found, it's simply not a problem anymore. Any nikasil V8s that are still running good are going to continue to run good, as the chances of getting enough high sulfur fuel to cause an issue is nil.

But you're definitely right about part prices. Though I have sources for OEM BMW stuff that's cheaper than what you're looking at, they are still more expensive than Jag stuff. And of course, there's also good sources for used parts for the Jags that are quite reasonable (like Coventry West).
 

drozzy

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I just checked the thread - Wow, thanks for the great replies!

My only question/concern/worry is getting the parts for it. I tried searching the internet (rockauto included) for Radiator for 96' XJR - and came up empty handed. Except for a few costing $500 and located who-knows-where.

Do you know where I can find the parts (e.g. radiator) for this car?
 

drozzy

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As always http://www.motorcarsltd.com/ is a good place (as Spectre alluded to).
Just checked here - no radiator either :-(

P.S.: My reasoning behind looking for "radiator" is that it is a relatively common thing to break and easy to replace, while being rather big for shipping. For example, an average radiator costs around $100-$150 for a regular jap car on rockauto.
 

EyeMWing

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Radiator replacement is overrated. Any city with a reasonable number of seedy looking auto shops will have a radiator shop run by some crotchety old dude who will patch, re-fin, re-core, re-tank, or just plain build from scratch for less than a prefab costs.
 
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