I don't want to put you off buying one of these great cars but they do have their faults.
The valve guides tend to go. This means oil leaks down the valve stems and into the cylinders. This fault will show itself as a puff of blue/grey smoke on startup, the more smoke their is the worse your leak. Make sure the engine is cold when you test this because if the engine has just been run it probably wont do it, as the oil wont have had time to drip down.
Also listen for a whining noise from the rear whilst driving. some people mistake this for wheel bearing noise but its more likely to be the differential. If you get a replacement from a scrap yard it will probably whine too (most of them do) and a refurbished or old stock replacement wont give you much change from £300 even if you fit it yourself,
If it does turn out to be a wheel bearing then you haven't got away with it, the rear bearings on the XJ40 are a pig to change. They have to be removed/refitted using a mechanical press so not a D.I.Y job for most people.
The suspension takes a hammering on these fast, heavy cars. Drive the car at speed and check that it feels stable. If it wanders about and needs constant correction then the suspension is probably worn.
A lot of these cars seem to have been bottomed out. The suspension is quite pliant and the car is low to start with so if anyone plays Dukes of Hazard over a hump back bridge, floorpan is going to meet tarmac. At the very least this will scrape off the underseal and let the rot in.
The exterior door handles are weak so check all of the doors open from the outside.
The twin headlight units let in water, if any look darker than the others with the lights off, then the reflector inside is probably rusty, a corroded reflector is an M.O.T fail
finally, if you want to run a Jag on a budget please remember, exhausts cost a bloody fortune for these cars and a half decent tyre will set you back £150. You could buy an absolute minter apart from worn tyres and a blowing exhaust and it will still cost you the thick end of a grand to get it through the next M.O.T
I hope this hasn't put you off, these cars have many good qualities and a well sorted XJ6 is an absolute pleasure to drive.
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13 November 2006
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