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
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.
The book is also available on the World Wide Web at page:
Author: Jim Isbell
Ingleside, Texas 78362-0783
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 won't accept the charges.
Those who get the book are welcome to copy or print it
for their friends and fellow Jag owners. I only request that
changes, comments, corrections, additions and updates be
sent to me so we can all benefit.
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
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
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
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.