The "Questions for Spectre" thread

Spectre

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Has anybody retrofitted an IRS into one of the older Jaguar Mark sedans (Mk.9 or older)?
I know someone who tried to put one in a Mark VII/M and I've seen other attempts. Mostly it doesn't work out well because the IRS subframe takes up quite a lot of space vertically and you either have to cut the body/mod the frame or get quite a large rake. Most people don't want to do either.
 

Spectre

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It is not just GM 15 passenger vans that have the rollover problem. The Roadmaster video Spectre links even points out that the GM vans are a superior design. Anytime you get the weight that high up above the centerline, you will have problems. But the van you linked is a conversion, it will never have 15 people in it.
I did say that the entire class has problems with rollover.

And as I did note, the GM vans with a relocated rear axle was an improvement - but it wasn't a big enough improvement. It's an improvement in the sense that a Yugo is better than a Trabant - it's better, but it's still craptacular.

The conversion vans are actually worse than the 15 passenger vans when both are partly loaded due to the higher roof and larger side sail area. Plus you can actually get more crap in it and load it more than a 15 passenger van.

The frame is completely different from the truck platform, although it does use suspension components from the RWD truck.

Maintenance is more expensive on any full size van. Tune ups are the worst, but I have not done it on any LS powered version. It should be easier than on the previous SB versions.
Have fun changing the water pump. Or the front drive belt. Or anything on the front of the motor. :p

I have read that the T600/610 frame is the 2WD T400 frame with the front trimmed back and the pickup's rear axle arch flattened out for the van floor and the body mounts relocated. Otherwise, the attachment points and dimensions for the suspension, etc., are the same.

If you treat it like a sports car, it won't take it. Drive like a reasonable person and it will be fine.
Professional fleets would disagree with you - more importantly, their insurance companies disagree with you. Same thing with schools - there's a reason standard-bodied 15 passenger vans are banned from use as school buses.

Many states ban them entirely. Amusingly, my local school district recently discovered after using them and touting their efficiency and safety that they were breaking state and federal law.

 
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GRtak

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The GM full size vans are uni-bodies*, the trucks use a full frame. It uses the front suspension A arms from the RWD truck with different springs and shocks. The rear suspension is different.

*- I think all from the Big 3 are.

Again, all full size vans are a bit of a pain when it comes to more than an oil change. But when you are going to change the water pump, the coolant gets drained anyway, just remove the Damn radiator and the grill. You just made it as easy as a full size truck.


Yes, with 10 or more passengers and someone careless driving, they are potentially dangerous. The way that conversion van is laid out, it is all but impossible to make that unstable. There is not enough room behind the rear seat to put a lot. Maybe a water tank that goes to the ceiling would be a problem, but again, no sane person would do that.


I have either owned or operated full size vans of every size from all of the Big 3 configured just about any way you can think of. There is nothing wrong with that conversion van posted when it is used by a driver with common sense.
 

Spectre

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The GM full size vans are uni-bodies*, the trucks use a full frame. It uses the front suspension A arms from the RWD truck with different springs and shocks. The rear suspension is different.

*- I think all from the Big 3 are.
Actually, the predecessor to the Express (pre-96 G-van) was unibody. The T600 and T610 are body on frame.

See for yourself.

The E-vans post-Carter were also always body on frame:

I've been helping pull Saginaw pumps and steering boxes off of E-series vans a lot lately. (Yes, Ford used Saginaw steering pumps and four bolt steering boxes on their E-vans.) I can testify that they do indeed have frames because the steering box is bolted to it. That and the frame gets in the way when you're trying to get the hoses and linkage off.

Pretty confident the Dodge Ram Van from the Carter era until the end was body on frame as well but I'm not positive and I would have to care more about the Ram Van to be bothered to go look it up. :p

Again, all full size vans are a bit of a pain when it comes to more than an oil change. But when you are going to change the water pump, the coolant gets drained anyway, just remove the Damn radiator and the grill. You just made it as easy as a full size truck.
Except as noted in above videos, sometimes you have to lift the body off to do work. Not to swap the motor, but to get to things. :p

Yes, with 10 or more passengers and someone careless driving, they are potentially dangerous. The way that conversion van is laid out, it is all but impossible to make that unstable. There is not enough room behind the rear seat to put a lot. Maybe a water tank that goes to the ceiling would be a problem, but again, no sane person would do that.
Actually, TxDOT did a study several years ago after a rash of rollovers occurred in highway work crew vans. As few as 6 or 7 men with their work tools could make a 12-15 passenger van badly unstable and want to roll, even with a professional driver.

TxDOT no longer dispatches work crew in vans.

As for the actual conversion van - one word: Waterbed. Hey, now you have up to 1000lbs of sloshy liquid weight in the back! :p There's also heavy cabinetry, electronics and other crap they put in those things.

I have either owned or operated full size vans of every size from all of the Big 3 configured just about any way you can think of. There is nothing wrong with that conversion van posted when it is used by a driver with common sense.
Again, professional fleets and their insurers disagree with you. Fleets have largely moved on to the more stable coachbuilt van-buses (of the US style vans - the E350/450 base for the one below is still on sale along with the Transit in the US) with dually rear axles; they're also rapidly adopting the more stable Euro-style vans now on offer here.





It's also telling that Nissan didn't even try to make a 12-15 passenger van of their NV series when they introduced it a few years ago.

I've owned Jags and other generally considered unreliable vehicles in the past too and had favorable experiences. That doesn't mean that all are like mine. :p
 
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CrzRsn

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The speedo in my Jeep has been on the fritz for a few week now - showing 0 while driving, or jumping around randomly. Could be going about 30 and it would show 5, 55, 10, 40, 20 all within 10 seconds. Or showing that I'm going 50 while I'm stopped at a red light. Figured it was the speed sensor, so was going to order one from Rock Auto. Did a bunch of random jobs yesterday touching the HVAC panel, the vacuum lines and the radio wiring. Got in the Jeep today and the speedo worked fine. Is there any chance that any of those systems were messing with the speed sensor signal?
 

Spectre

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It's certainly possible that you had some weird crosstalk or a chafed wire somewhere, sure. Given where you were working, it 's more than possible that you disturbed whatever the problem was by moving a wiring harness.
 

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Is the engine bay of an XK8 long enough to fit an AJ16, specifically the supercharged one? I have occasional dreams of doing a drivetrain swap from my XJR into an XK8 with a blown engine or transmission. Given that the XK8 is part XJS I'd hope that there's some compatibility.
 

Spectre

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Is the engine bay of an XK8 long enough to fit an AJ16, specifically the supercharged one? I have occasional dreams of doing a drivetrain swap from my XJR into an XK8 with a blown engine or transmission. Given that the XK8 is part XJS I'd hope that there's some compatibility.
IIRC from discussions a while back, if you completely strip the engine bay it does fit but the hood doesn't clear. The slope of the body over and ahead of the wheel wells is the problem. And of course like all engine swaps on the X100, you lose all the active suspension, instruments, and some of the neat gadgets with it.
 

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Spectre

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A shift kit will improve shifting speed and such, as will that B&M device. However, the problem with shifting the J-gate in anger is that the detents aren't very firm, so it's easy to move the shift lever too much and go beyond the intended gear. It isn't like on the earlier cars with the fore-and-aft slap shifter and its hard gate lockouts. There was (reportedly) a proposal to make the short side of the J-gate more stepped to allow for more positive shifts but it never made production.

At one point there was a company in England that would overhaul a J-Gate shifter to make the detent stops more positive, but I can't find any trace of them online and the last phone number I have for them rings with no answer.
 
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Labcoatguy

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I wonder if simply Dremeling out some detents in the shifter gate (the way Reverse already is) is one solution. Incidentally, is the 4L60E shifter in the 6-liter V12 XJS different from the earlier ones?
 

Spectre

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I wonder if simply Dremeling out some detents in the shifter gate (the way Reverse already is) is one solution. Incidentally, is the 4L60E shifter in the 6-liter V12 XJS different from the earlier ones?
It's a 4L80E - the V12 never had a 350, 700R4 or relative behind it (of GM transmissions), only 400s and 4L80Es.

And yes, the shifter is different in detail (lever has round knob and threaded stud under it instead of the two piece T-handle) as well as down on the lower gears (straight push/pull instead of slap up, then right and up or the reverse) because the 4L80E gear selection is done electronically. However, it's still a slap shifter style and the detents between the gears is usually pretty positive. Otherwise, similar to the one in my XJ6 that you tried when you were here.

The line on the gear position label shows you the path the shift lever takes to get into each gear. It's not there for styling reasons but for practical instruction. :)

XJ6S3:


1995 XJS 6.0L V12:
 

peterbbell

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Spectre - greetings! Your handle came up in my google search re 1992 xjs V12's... actually, this site did and lo and behold, you and FordCrusherGt had a wealth of information on the subject. Of course trying to respond to that thread required joining the site which [of course] then dispatched that thread in to the nanosphere. Net, the first answer would be very a very straight forward one, as when one is approached about annuities... RUN! But I'm afraid I have the bug and am looking to buy a low mileage [28k] 1992 xjs v12 convertible. One family ownership til the current owner bought it (Texas), chatted w/ him and seems to be a genuine car guy sooooooooooo... the leap of faith? Road trip? Looks like I may be catching a plane in the coming days unless someone refills my prescriptions :) What say you? About the car? :)
 

Spectre

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You're not the first to mention that, but I still find it surprising. You'd think Google would hit on JaguarForums.com or some of the other dedicated forums first, but I guess their search algorithms kinda suck at that.

Honestly, if you're buying it unseen and unevaluated by a mechanic experienced with the car model, have it shipped. It's cheaper than a major mechanical breakdown thousands of miles from home and you can do your initial working up close to home instead of doing Hot Rod's Roadkill for yourself and hoping. :p

I would say that while it would seem like a low mileage example is the way to go, with these classic Jags, a somewhat higher mileage example is often the smarter buy. These cars really, really, really hate sitting and a 1992 that's got only 28K... well, it's likely to be a bit unhappy if made into a regular driver. You can expect to need to replace everything external that's made of rubber - weatherstripping, engine seals, underbody seals, door seals, etc., etc. You can also expect to have to replace the convertible top material (due to age if nothing else, even if it's lived inside its entire life) and possibly replace the electro-hydraulics that raise and lower the top. You may get lucky and not have to do that, but figure on having to do it anyway. Figure about $10-12K or so, though not all at once in a lump sum. Substantially less if you plan to spin your own wrenches and shop carefully; also, once fixed, most things on the car will *stay* fixed for a good long while.

You should also demand and require a service history on a car this low mileage, because since it was so rarely driven the owner may not have done any maintenance. Maintenance is required on a time elapsed basis as well as mileage - and sadly most people don't understand this. Brake fluid should have been changed every 2-3 years, coolant every 3 at most, oil every 6 months or at worst annually. If you don't have all the service records? Run - low miles or not, you're looking at your expenses going from significant money to OMGHUGE because you're looking at potential total system overhauls. V12 overhauls are, uh, not cheap. Tack on a 4L80E rebuild, which while not outrageous is still going to be a low four figure job to get done right, an 'everything in the rear subframe rebuild' at about $3K (all prices including labor), etc., etc., and you're looking at a potentially bottomless money pit.

If you want someone to look over the car, I can give you some references to skilled and experienced classic Jaguar mechanics (sadly fewer every year it seems) here in the Dallas area that would be happy to help you. Expect to pay them for at least an hour of their time to properly go over the car once it is presented to them - with a convertible I'd say perhaps even an hour and a half.

All that said? While I'm not the XJS guy, they're still a classic Jag. They're still like literally nothing else on the planet and if you get a good one, you'll never regret buying it.
 
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SquareLeft

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Looking for yet another car

Looking for yet another car

Well, I guess it must be official - I'm my wife's girlfriend's family's official used-car buyer. <_<

Searching for the same basic type of car, but this time I've got a bit more freedom on the financial side - the limit is $6,000.

This is the first decent-looking prospect I've found. I'm not a big Hyundai fan and don't know a lot about them, except that my friends who have purchased them are NOT 'car people'. I do have on autocrosser buddy who has a Tiburon that he's turbo-ed and generally thrown gobs of money at without any good results, but that one really doesn't count.

So, any and all comments are welcome:
https://huntington.craigslist.org/cto/d/2012-hyundai-accent-gls/6387802177.html

SL
 
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Spectre

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Let's step back a bit - what are you (or the ultimate end user) looking for the car to do?
 

SquareLeft

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19-year-old female will drive the car to a local college.
It's not THAT far away, so she'll be living at home.

The car should:
1. be safe and reliable
2. have an automatic transmission
3. be a 4-door
4. be equipped with a decent radio (must have phone/music player jack)
5. be somewhat stylish (in 19-year-old girl-think)
6. get decent fuel mileage
7. cost less than $6,000

That's a pretty wide set of parameters, but I don't want to recommend anything that doesn't have a good track record. So far, I've found them a Sentra and a Corolla, both of which have been exceptionally reliable. This Accent just looked very clean...

Edit: For certain reasons, the car I recommend should be close to home, so I'm limiting my Craigslist search to the Huntington, WV one. I'm also looking at ebay & cars.com, but I'm mostly relying on Craigslist and local newspapers.

SL
 
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