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space.gif (49 bytes) Jaguar XJ Buyers Checklist           John's Cars, Inc. space.gif (49 bytes)
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Classic XJ Sedan
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This checklist covers all classic XJ Sedans (1969 to 1987) and all XJS (1976 to 1996).  This checklist is by no means a complete reference on how to check out a used vehicle, but rather an overview of common problems with Jaguars.

I strive to run a fault free shop (I’ve nearly given up on efficient) but when you heal a long dead vehicle, "flaws" come to light that may have long since been forgotten.  If the vehicle is still running – check it out.  A test drive to verify the condition of the leftovers is also a good idea!  If not, at least put a battery in it and check what electrics you can.  Any doubts – take pictures.  Since you are probably comparison shopping, JCI hereby exclusively grants you the right to print this web page to evaluate Jaguars for your own personal use.   Any other reproduction, in part or whole, even if modified, is prohibited by law.

XJS Convertible:  The 1986 to 88 convertibles had their tops chopped in the U.S.A. by Hess and Eisenhart.  Parts for this convertible mechanism are non-existent – think twice before you buy one.  1989 to 96 were factory convertibles.

The Exterior Dimples in tops of front fenders
Missing hubcaps and emblems
Dings, dents, etc.
Headlight chrome, tail light lenses
Spare tire and jack (in bag)
Check the
Alignment proper ____________
Edges chipped ____________
Closes properly ____________
Hood Pins tight in hood __________
Releases evenly ____________
Stress cracks ____________ esp. at LH hinge mount
XJS: Hood shocks – will they hold the hood open? Part # BD48027
Body Rust Generally, southern climates away from the ocean should have little rust, while northern climates will be more susceptible to rust due to salting in winter.   Especially vulnerable areas are the rear wheel arches and the front of the rocker panel.

All Sedans: Leaking windshields and plugged A/C drains lead to rusted floorpans.   Remove the mats and check them thoroughly.  New floorpans are available from JCI.

Series III Sedans: The glued-in windshield gasket design causes rust at the lower lip of the windshield or behind the lower lip of the rear windscreen.

XJS: The body seam to the rocker panel behind the door and around the taillights.

Under the
Brake bottle nipples
Leaky master cylinder (front of booster wet)
Battery: Take note or test the battery condition. It may crank a Jaguar perfectly but will not have enough OOMPH to crank a V8, especially on a cold morning.

A/C Fittings: If fittings are oily they may have been overtightened.
A/C Evaporator: One of the most difficult jobs and explanation is when the hose connections for the evaporator are damaged/leaking. The fittings should protrude straight out of the firewall then turn 90 up. If they are bent or oily, note it. If you find them cracked, kinked or leaking, the evaporator must be removed for repair. Trying to weld them in the car is extremely dangerous as it is possible to set the firewall insulation on fire (inside the dash).

Cruise control actuator - there or missing?

Key on –
Engine off:
Oil Light ____________ should be illuminated
Ignition Light ___________ should be illuminated
Brake Warning Lamp ____________ if "on" try shifting to "D" with hand brake off
Parking Brake Lamp ____________ pull hand brake to test
Tach _____________ should read "0" RPM
Start Mileage ____________
Guages &
Turn signal operation including dash indicators
Hazard switch – 90% are broken
Brake lights – more LUCAS parts
Headlamps – low beam (dash light off Y/N) – high beam (indicator on Y/N)
Horn __________
Wipers __________ swipe - inttermittant (some models) - low - high
Park Position __________ Squirters __________
Fuel Level – Left ____________   Right ____________

Window and door switch operation (rears also)
Sunroof opens/shuts
Mirrors: Left and Right
Turn Radio on:  Radio Y/N   Aerial Y/N (1980 on should go up when radio turned on)
A windshield slimy on the inside can indicate a leaking heater core

Damaged or worn interiors, headliners, carpet, etc.

Start the
Tachometer Operation ______________
Speedometer Operation ___________ smooth over 10 MPH
Engine Temperature ______________
Oil Pressure ____________ – dash light off Y/N
Alternator Charge ____________ – dash light off Y/N
Test Drive
look fors:
A/C Cold ____________  Center Vent (1974 on) opens ____________
Heater Hot ____________  Center Vent (1974 on) closes ____________
Defrost ____________

Cruise Control Works ____________  Resume ________ Off w/brakes __________

Steering Vague – Rack Bushings, steering coupler, etc.
Horn honks on turns or bumps
Rattles and Clunks
Hood pops up on irregular surfaces (common problem)
Brake Pedal – soft or sinks – people often add the wrong brake fluid which causes failures – only use Castrol Girling or Silicone Dot 5 fluid
Brake shimmy
Exhaust System ailments
Ending Mileage ___________  Difference matches trip odometer?  Yes/No

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Phone: (214) 426-4101
Fax: (214) 426-3116
800 Jaguar Lane
Dallas, TX 75226

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