The xj40, unloved and even disowned by the purists but what a bargain car. For the price of a couple of nights on the tiles and packet of fags and one of these under-rated vehicles could be sitting on your driveway. They are as cheap now as they ever will be,as those that remain head towards classic status with an inevitable hike in prices on the horizon. These cars are not without their faults,but many of them are of a relatively minor nature and very few will prevent the car from going about it,s everyday business.Most problems tend to be electrical,particulally on early models,with phantom warning lights often appearing for no apparent reason or certain items only working when they feel like it.They were complex cars in their day and don,t take kindly to poor maintenance,but find a decent one and you,ll love it.The aj6 engines are a huge improvement over the "legendary"xk unit that many seem to view through rose tinted glasses.The fact is,the xk was long past it,s sell by date even before the series 1 arrived.The only reason it survived so long on life support was because Jaguar couldn,t afford to replace it.The xj40 comes in a range of engine sizes from the 2.9 to the mighty V12,offering something for everyone.If you find a nice one,don,t be put off if it,s carrying the 2.9 engine.Despite what you may have read and heard,these can be very reliable units.One of my two cars is a 2.9 with 161,000 on the clock and its never missed a beat in 9 years.Obviously it hasn,t got the power of the 4 litre,but it,s perfectly adequate for normal,everyday driving.As long as it doesn,t rattle on start up (timing chains/tensioners)or emit excessive smoke,the chances are it,s a good unit.The only other point on these engines is to keep the breather pipes and crankcase ventilator clear.I check mine every year,which takes about an hour.If it,s power you need,the larger engines have it in abundance and are capable of astronomical mileages with nothing more than general servicing.A friend of mine has owned a 3.6 for twenty years and only recently at 197,000 miles has had a head gasket replacement.The first time the top has even been off the engine.As with any car,the bodywork and undercarrige can rust,badly in some cases. Once again though,most of these problems are down to a lack of preventative maintenance and failing to keep the car properly rust proofed.It,s all well and good shining the paintwork but when was the last time the wheelarch lips were cleaned!.On many cars you,ll find enough muck and debris to grow potatoes in.That said,the xj40 is light years in front of it,s predessors when it comes to resisting the tin worm.So,what are you waiting for?.Grab a bargain whilst they are still at bargain prices.ANY Jaguar looks better than a Ford Mundano!.
The jaguar xj40
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15 November 2010
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