View Full Version : XJ12 Purchase advice

08-29-2001, 05:19 PM
I am considering buying a 74 XJ12 with 56k miles on it. It is supposed to be in good shape other than a leaking carb. I have not examined it yet. Does anyone have any pointers as to what I should look for when going over it? Also, would it be reasonable to use this car as a daily drive. I would be using it to up to 200 miles several times a week.



08-30-2001, 01:31 AM
I am a firm believer that a great deal of the Jaguar repair horror stories are overblown but we *are* talking about a 27 year old car here !

More specific details about the car would be helpful, but...

Much depends on your own abilities (or pocketbook) and your tolerance for gradually bringing things back into shape...as this car will certainly need some help unless it is an exceptional example.

The V12 engine is very robust UNLESS it has been overheated...then look out ! So, make sure the cooling system is tip top.

The heating/AC system is complex and some repairs (heater core, evap core) are very labor intensive. If everything here works like it should you're a step ahead.

If the rear axle seals and/or rear brake rotors are in good shape this is another definate "plus". Once again, changing these items is quite a job. If visual inspection shows that the diff has been leaking (and left unrepaired) then I'd be a bit concerned that the diff has been allowed to run low on oil.

Check for rust in the usual spots: rocker panels, wheel arches, doors. Also take a peek at the underbody where the rar suspension radius arms attach to the underbody. This area is known to rust---very bad news !

Other than that all the usual "used car checklist" stuff applies. If the seller has kept service records it would be very helpful. You may be able to latch onto a bargain where the previous owner has already done most of the expensive stuff !

I should mention, though, that many Jaguar repairs are well within the scope of a do-it-yourselfer.

Truthfully, though, if this car has not been well kept it could be a real money pit. A "fixer-upper" 12-cylinder Jag (or ANY Jag, really)is not for the faint-of heart ! Some people would buy a car like this and think nothing of spending thousands to bring it up to snuff.....they're are a great car.

If you want a Jag but don't want the work, then go out and buy the very best one you can find. The premium price is well worth it....and cheaper...in the long run.

Good luck,
Doug Dwyer

08-30-2001, 05:28 PM
I currently own a 74 XJ12L, and I can tell you they are wonderful cars. I plan to use mine as a daily driver, once I get it in better shape. One caution in using it as a daily driver, these cars get horrible gas mileage. They are great cars, and this one sounds pretty nice except for the carb. One more thing to check is the exhaust system, as parts for it are almost impossible to get. Some parts are relatively easy to get, and I would reccomend a copy of the Terrys catalog, as it contains most of the parts you would need to keep it in good shape.


08-31-2001, 10:13 AM
Thanks for the good input. If I were to choose from any year from about73-80 XJ12, what year would you recomend? Is the Fuel injected engine much more desireable?



09-01-2001, 03:50 AM
I would reccomend the '74, because it is the last year they did not have catalytic converters, which are very expensive to replace, and need to be replaced often. With only 56k, it should be pretty reliable, and not need too much work to be perfect.