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The XJ6 Jaguar from Bumper to Bumper

                            The XJ6 Jaguar from Bumper to Bumper
                                          Jim Isbell
                                  Copyright September 3, 1996
                                       Austin Texas USA
                            Revision 1.5 Copyright Sept. 23, 1996
                            Revision 1.51 Copyright Oct. 3, 1996
                            Revision 2.0 Copyright Nov. 18, 1996
                            Revision 3.0 Copyright Sept 11, 1997
                                        "The Small Print"
       This book covers the XJ6 Jaguar from 1968 to 1986 (1987 in countries other than the USA).
       Even though the later Jaguar sedans are marked on the back with an XJ6 badge they are more
       commonly known as the XJ40. This book does not cover the XJ40.
       NOTE: A statement followed by ....8-) indicates that the statement is made "tongue in cheek"
       and is not meant to be taken seriously.
       There are jokes in this book, don't take them seriously.
       If I state that something is "expensive" I mean it has been expensive in the area where I live.
       By expensive I mean that it costs much more than an equivelent part for a more common
       Suggestions that something "can be done" are not recommendations that it "should be done."
       Any modifications to the original car are made at the owners risk.
       This book is not meant to replace a proper repair manual. This book is a supplement to a good
       manual. If something in this book does not make sense to you then use your own judgment,
       that's what it's there for.
       The author has made every reasonable attempt to ensure that the information in this book is
       correct, however no liability will be accepted by the author or the publishers for loss, damage or
       injury caused by any errors in, or omissions from, the information given.
                         The XJ6 Jaguar From Bumper to Bumper
                            Help for the Jaguar XJ6 owner
                                   by Jim Isbell
       This book contains things that a Jaguar XJ6 owner should know, but doesn't know who to ask.
       This book is directed at the TRUE XJ6 and not at the XJ40 which was made after 1986 but had
       an "XJ6" badge on the back. However owners of other Jaguars may also benefit, as much of the
       cars are similar. In general, it is written for those who do their own maintenance, although those
       who don't can still benefit from it.
       Some of the contents of this book was contributed by members of the Jag-Lovers list on the
       internet. Where known, their names are noted. 
       Major sections include maintenance tips, modifications, and sources for parts. The information is
       not intended to replace a repair manual, but rather to supplement it.
       To receive a printed copy of this book send $20(US) PLUS $3(US) for Canada or $5(US) for
       other countries. To receive a Word for Windows or DOS Text file so you can print your own
       copies, send $12(US) PLUS $2(US) for Canada, $3(US) for other countries outside the USA. Be
       sure to give your name and address, and state what you want: printout vs. diskette, type of
       diskette (5.25" or 3.5") (IBM only).
               Author: Jim Isbell
               601 N. Sandpiper Drive P.O.Box 783
               Ingleside OTB, Texas 78362-0783
               (512) 776-7884
      If you have a question I may be able to help with, you are welcome to call me at the above
      number. Please don't call collect, I wont accept the charges.
      This book IS copyrighted. You are NOT allowed to make copies for sale. The information in this
      book is for the benefit of Jag-Lovers and is not to be used for commercial gain.
      My first experience with automobile maintenance was at the age of 12 when I bought a 1929
      Model A Ford for $40(US). I had never looked under the hood (bonnet) of an automobile before
      and this one needed an overhaul. Needless to say, I had no more money after the purchase.
      I pulled it into the back yard to begin my first overhaul. The first thing I did was to dig a hole
      three feet deep, three feet wide and 6 feet long. Then I pulled to car over the hole so I would be
      able to work under it, I had no jack.
      The second thing I did was done out of a realization that I knew nothing about what I was doing. I
      got three 12 foot long 1x12 planks out of the woodpile and laid then alongside the car. Then as I
      pulled each part, bolt, washer, etc. off the car I laid it, in sequence, along the planks. I knew that
      if I put everything back on in the reverse order of removal, leaving nothing out, that I could
      reassemble it.
      The process worked and my overhaul was a qualified success. I say a qualified success because
      there were three things that I learned the hard way during the overhaul. These three things are
      general in nature so I will repeat them here so any "new" mechanics may benefit from my
      The first thing I found was that some merchants are not as honorable as you are. I took my
      brake shoes to a local parts house and asked for a quote to re-surface them. The quote was $6
      (remember, that was a long time ago, I am an old codger) so I left them for the work to be done.
      I returned several days later to get the brake shoes to find the price was now $12. My father
      burned up the phone lines and the price was reduced to $6. I had just paid the price, though I
      couldn't afford it, and left. I learned from that that you have to stick up for yourself and question
      everything. This is especially true today with the quality of help that many automotive shops
      employ. And it is doubly true with a Jaguar since so few mechanics have any idea what they are
      doing when it comes to the Jaguar.
      The second thing I found was the rule about tightening bolts on something that has several to
      tighten. The thermostat housing and radiator hose mount was a cast iron part with two bolts
      holding it to the head with a gasket in between. I merrily tightened one side down firm and then
      proceeded to the second side. The result was that the part split right down the center. Even back
      in pre-historic times those things were hard to find. Remember, always, when tightening down
      pieces with multiple bolts you must tighten each bolt in turn, a little at a time. The usual
      sequence is to tighten bolts across from each other in the pattern, but this can vary, such as on a
      head. The correct sequence is usually documented in your standard manuals on the automobile
      you are working with.
      The third thing I learned was scary. After rebuilding the front end I took the car for a drive. The
      car had been parked at the curb side for the front-end work so when I got in it was already
      pointed straight down the street. I started the car and headed for the corner. When I got there I
      found that the steering would not turn! After manhandling the car around the block with almost
      super human effort required I finally got it parked in front of the house again and went inside to
      my father to seek advice.
      I discovered that my mistake was that when the king pins would not fit into the axle ends I
      should not have used a hammer to drive them in. There was tool called a reamer that I should
      have used to size the new bushings before putting in the king pins. This taught me that what you
      buy at the parts house is not always ready to use, and it also taught me that if it doesn't fit, seek
      advice, don't force it.
      The above three lessons were learned by me on one automobile in one overhaul and they have
      stood by me well over the years, heed them.
      A fourth lesson, one I use daily, came directly from my fathers mouth, "You can do anything you
      want to do. You can put a quart of piss in a pint jar if you want to bad enough." Remember that
      the mechanic who charges you $40 an hour puts his pants on one leg at a time, just like you do,
      and he isn't any more intelligent than you are.
      A few years ago there was a condemned prisoner who willed his body to science to have it cut up
      in very thin slices from head to toe so that a computer program could be made of the information
      gained. This book will follow that format with the slices starting at the front bumper and moving
      back. At each slice I will try to cover all the important information as to what is there and what
      maintenance needs to be done and how to do it in general terms. The "how to" will not
      necessarily be a step by step so much as an "essential information that may not be in the
      manual" sort of thing. It is assumed that you will have some sort of manual to work with,
      preferably the factory manual.
      I strongly recommend you get Kirby Palms XJ-S book if you have a modern Jaguar. His book is
      available from the internet or directly. It is full of general auto repair information. See the
      APPENDIX at the end of this book.
                                   The Front Bumper
      The first thing you come to when you start at the front of the car is the license plate. If the law in
      your locality allows it, you can remove it. The license plate on the front of an XJ6 seems to have
      been an afterthought. As the design was conceived the car had an adequate cooling system and
      perhaps in England where the summer temperatures rarely reach 80F degrees, let alone 105F
      degrees, the addition of a license plate meant nothing. But in warm climates where you need
      every bit of help you can get, the license plate can rob you of 10 degrees (C) of cooling capacity.
      My 1982 XJ6 ran at 85C to 90C on the highway at 70 mph. When I got to the track I would
      remove the front license plate and the car would run at 75C even though I was running at
      120MPH on the straight and averaging over 85MPH for the entire road course.
      In order to get sufficient air flow through the radiator you need a smooth flow under the car to
      draw it through the engine compartment. The license plate destroys that smooth flow and the air
      tends to pile up somewhat in the engine compartment so get rid of it if you can or at least you
      can bend it under against the bottom of the bumper.
      Next back are the horns which are fastened in the center just below the front bumper. The horns
      are not anything spectacular. They are just a standard vibrating diaphragm powered by an
      electromagnet that switches on and off when the horn button is depressed. These are repairable
      and are not complicated. Anyone can open one up, clean it out, clean the contacts, replace the
      gasket and put them back in operation. Their location near the road makes them susceptible to
      getting full of all sorts of junk that gets pushed back to the diaphragm and jamming up the
      works. The gaskets are paper and tend to deteriorate quickly allowing water into the inner
      workings of the horn. You should use one of the liquid silicone gasket materials when you put it
      back together as they will last longer than a paper gasket. BUT.... new horns made of plastic are
      so cheap that repairs are hardly worth the time unless you are just into the pure satisfaction of
      being able to say "I did it". I recommend doing it once if you are new to auto repair, it will give
      you a project that you can do and feel proud of.
      If the electromagnet is badly rusted or the coil is burned, I don't recommend trying to repair it
      but it can be done.
      Also, I might mention that as Kirby says, "12 volts is 12 volts" so any 12 volt horn from a
      "chevy" or any other car will work just as well.
      Continuing back, to the headlight wipers. Not all XJ6s have this feature. If you have it you may
      not be happy with it as it seems they do not always function. If you don't have it and want it, it
      can be added by acquiring the parts from the dealer or from a junk yard (breaker) in a country
      where the feature was available. In this case, I know only that England and Australia had this
      feature. There are probably others.
      From the advice I got when I sought to add this feature to my XJ6 the consensus was that you
      don't want to add it. More thought on the subject revealed to me that I could not remember when
      the last time was that I had to wipe the headlights on my car, so the feature may not be really
      needed unless you go off-road with your XJ6.
      Moving further back we come to the headlights themselves. In Europe, England and Australia at
      least the outer set of headlights are 7" diameter and the inner set is 5" diameter. Because of the
      wonderful foresight of our glorious leaders here in the US the XJ6 was supplied to the US with
      an adapter that allows 5" headlights in all four positions. The air intake for the cockpit comes
      through a screen in this adapter. A change in the law since then would now allow the 7"
      headlights again. 
      On the models with the 7" headlights there were two types of trim, one with the air intake screen
      and one without the air intake screen. This depended upon whether the car used the headlights
      for an air intake or not. In converting a US model to the 7" headlights, a step I highly
      recommend, you should try to get the trim with the air intake screen.
      Converting a US model to 7" headlights does two things. First it looks great. The designers
      knew what they were doing when they put 7" headlights on the outside. Second, you can now use
      the H4 Halogen 7" headlights with the replaceable elements made by Hella in Germany. I don't
      have the part number on these, but some numbers from the front of the lens may help. Mine are
      marked "1R7/R20" just below the center of the lens. Around the perimeter are the markings
      "111 603" and " MADE IN GERMANY- SAE MP 76". These bulbs have a very sharp, flat, top
      that allow you to use them on the highway without blinding oncoming traffic. The top of the beam
      is so flat and defined that the first time I drove down a country road at night, where there were
      trees where the beam could be defined, I ducked as it looked like I was running under a low
      bridge. But you will get used to it.