Repair or replace

Let’s talk about engines. We all have seen the great low prices of the V12 80’s XJS up to the 95 and many of us take the leap and purchase some of these cars. Now too many people buy them because the car jumps out at them and the keys magically land in your hand and you find yourself the new owner of the deal of the century. And of course, in no way is the deal of the century a well-documented car as that would make sense rather than that $500 deal that you just volunteered to participate in.

So now you begin to sort it out in your head as to what to do with this great deal in V12 form. So, you take it to a service shop and the shop is one of those places that claim “we can fix anything” well perhaps they can. Eventually. The famous comedian Henny Youngman once said, “I was an only child, eventually”. So now this magic shop tells you after only checking the oil that you need to rebuild or replace the engine and if you do not have other options for a repair shop, then the money in your pocket will magically disappear as if a magician can magically perform a disappearing act.

So now you ask if you should just replace the engine with one from a donor car. Or you may have someone in your ear telling you that you should replace it with a Chevy motor. Well, this act can get you arrested by the Jaguar police. This is my suggestion for addressing this problem. First Ask yourself some questions that will give you some answers that will yield positive results.

  1. Is the car overall in great cosmetic condition?
  2. Is there rust holes the size of the Grand Canyon?
  3. Have you asked others you may know to recommend shops?
  4. Have you used social media to make your location known and posting your needs to get nearby suggestions?
  5. Do you realize how the value of the XJS has increased in the last five years to more than double?

These are somethings to strongly consider when you find yourself with an XJS V12 especially that you were told needs a replacement motor or total rebuild. So the choice between rebuilding or replacing a V12 XJS motor to me is a no brainer considering the value of an original motor when dealing with a classic and the XJS is now there, and if you do not believe it then look at the auction results are for the best examples in the last five years. I suggest that you adapt to the slogan of a man named Sy Syms who was the founder of a clothing store in NY, “An educated consumer, is our best customer”


  • Always buy the best condition, newest, and lowest mileage XJ-S car you can find. Some collector cars with ultra low mileage may be leakers also. Sometimes the best Jags are driver’s cars.

  • Yeah – I have an 89 convertible that I have had for about 20yrs now. I bought her to get my mind off of girl problems I was having. it worked. O – yeah My other car is a sail boat.


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