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  The XJ6 Jaguar



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.

The book is also available on the World Wide Web at page:

Author: Jim Isbell
P.O.Box 783
Ingleside, Texas 78362-0783
(512) 280-4457

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 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 experience.

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.


On to The Front Bumper


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