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XJ40 - Rust! Welding! A cat with management skills!


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#1 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

After seeing China Tom's lovely XJ12 and due to overwhelming demand (well Pete-M) it seemed a good time to start a restoration thread for my XJ40. As a fat republican, I also felt this Olympic Jubilee year was better marked by a celebration of what Britain did best; build cars that rust. By happy coincidence, it also allows me further explore the equation:

Old Jaguar + £ = Old Jaguar

which I have been examining for some time. Of course, any fool knows a Jaguar XJ40 is a classic car with significant investment potential; it's a car which rises in value by 15% just by filling it with petrol. By 20% if you're lucky enough to run a 2.9.

Mine is a 1992 Sovereign 3.2 so has the small engine, but perhaps disappointingly for Autoshite, the undesirable leather interior. It is not even slightly miserable inside, so I hope you're not too disappointed.

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This was taken about this time last year; the paintwork is still very good - enough for the car to look superficially mint. Unfortunately it has spent its twenty years earnestly rusting, and is now laced with the noble rot.

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XJ40s are lovely, beautifully finished cars. I think the AJ6 is the last handsome engine Jaguar made, before they joined in with all that plastic on top of the V8s.

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My dad took this photo on holiday in France with his Olympus Trip 35 in 1995-ish; the Jag is quite long, but he got most of it on.

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My car was once my late dad's - he gave it to me many years ago and it has real sentimental value for me and I have had it more than ten years. I wanted to have the work done properly with no bodging so it lasts for a long time. So last year I visited Dave and Gray at Autofusion {C}http://www.autofusion-uk.co.uk{C} in Leigh after being impressed by work I've seen them do on the Internet.
Kromer had the lads working on an E21 Alpina - a really lovely thing which needed lots of welding, done by them incredibly well. I also fell back in love with Peugeot 604s.

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Kromer might not say much but he is an intense negotiator: finally after signalling his agreement by deliberately walking across the dirtiest table in the workshop then jumping on my cream trousers, a deal was struck and work could begin.

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Initial assessment: look away if easily upset by stomach churning rust. Obviously, if you could do with a bit of starvation, print them out and stick them on the fridge - they'll be useful.

Rust! :shock:
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And that's just the start! :(


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1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#2 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:31 PM

(I’m not completely following the exact sequence of the work, rather grouping areas of the restoration together in order for my thread to be easier to understand.)

Dave and Gray took the wings off so the rust can be assessed. The inner wing/top of the plenum seems to be a serious rust site on late XJ40s and X300s.

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Closer view of typical rust on these cars. When water leaks in here and is found in the footwells. Strangely, my car didn’t leak. This was later found to be because the inner panel was still sound.
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It’s all properly crusty and flaky here and very weak. I kept this flake as a souvenir.

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On to the passenger’s side (RHD car) - slightly better?

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Still pretty rusty though.

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I was worried about what is going on inside the bulkhead cavity, under the scuttle. I poked my finger down the hole here and felt the rust flakes give way down below with a crunch. Not good.

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Because of this Gray removed the scuttle top panel to view the inside of the bulkhead, which turned out to be in excellent rust free condition. I was very relieved indeed!
The brown staining is dust and rust flakes on the metal and sitting on top of the seam sealer. It can be vacuumed off easily to reveal bright paintwork.

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I was very pleased to see that the top panel is as far as the rust reaches. Despite the brown look on the photograph, the ‘compartment’ floor and sides are not rusty. The discolouration is a mixture of rust flakes and dust. The crunching sensation must have been my finger compressing the flaked remains of the top panel which had dropped through into the cavity. Some of the rust was close in texture to soil. For some mad reason, Jaguar filled this small compartment with a strange white foam. It seems to be hygroscopic! On mine it was a rancid gloopy sludge.

Overview of the inside of the bulkhead cavity, now the scuttle top panel has been removed:

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Closer in:

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The whole interior of the plenum is in excellent condition – again the brown areas is just dust which was vacuumed away to reveal shiny paint.

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The whole cavity viewed from the right hand side – the only rust is in the centre of the bulkhead, which I will detail later.

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The left hand side was in similar condition, but cleaner since the top panel was not so bad on this side.

Viewed from above:

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And from the side across the plenum cavity from the left hand side:

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Again the whole structure is rust free on this side – the only rust is in the bulkhead seam in the middle:

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1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#3 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

(Again, pictures are not in entirely their original sequence; Gray had done work on the door pillar for example not yet included here)

The top of the right hand inner wing was badly rusted. These are built up from several overlaid metal pieces by Jaguar in the XJ40’s original construction. Gray built up the layers in an identical way to Jaguar when he reconstructed them.

With the rusty plenum top removed, this was revealed:
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First layer built up: Gray cut out all the rust, then welded the first metal layer of the right gauge/thickness and ground it back in preparation for the following layer. I seem to have lost the ‘cut out’ photo! :oops:

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Sprayed with zinc:

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Gray shaped and fitted the next layer:

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With side piece tacked on now:

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And now welded:

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Gray then ground down the welds in preparation for the next layer to be built up:

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And zinc sprayed again:

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Then the final layer is the plenum top. This was fitted after the centre of the bulkhead had been replaced.

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Gray carried out the same work on the left side. If anything, the rust was probably worse on this side

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Here you can see how the rust coloured staining is dust.

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Final layer is again the plenum top. as before, the plenum top piece was added after the centre section of the bulkhead had been replaced.

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Kromer's very tough and keeps the lads hard at it all the time. Here he's inspecting Gray's work - is it up to scratch?? :D

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1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#4 OFFLINE   ChinaTom

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:58 PM

There are some real similarities between our projects rust-wise! We are both lucky with our bulkheads tho' they take most of these Jags to their graves.
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#5 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:04 PM

Some great work being done there! I have met these chaps and they are mega sound and highly skilled tinbashers.
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#6 OFFLINE   trigger

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'm enjoying this, I do love an old Jaguar, I know a chap who's had a G reg 4.0 Sovereign since new that he was thinking about trading in on the scrappage scam, It's only done 45000 miles! He couldn't do it in the end so it still sits in his garage unused.
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#7 OFFLINE   jonny69

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:52 PM

My mate crashed his Sovereign a couple of years back and it would have been similar condition underneath.

Or maybe I should elaborate on that a bit. He wasn't paying attention because he was busy lighting his pipe or twisting his moustache, or whatever it is Jag drivers do, and completely misjudged a T junction. Instead of using the brakes to stop, he used the ample bonnet and structure to punt a stationary hatchback in front out into the traffic, completely anihilating it in the process. I think the Jag suffered a bent bumper and broken front light, but not a lot else.
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#8 OFFLINE   HillmanImp

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:13 PM

AARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!! I NEED A BIG JAG IN MY LIFE!!!!!!

Its looking good and good work for getting it done. Looking forward to seeing more of this.
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#9 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 04:58 PM

Gray and Dave do do some epic high standard work. The stuff they did to the 604 is excellent, and I'd recommend 'em to anyone who realises that to get this standard of work doesn't just take a couple of hours to do.

Kromer has them on too tight a leash for that.
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#10 OFFLINE   Richard

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:07 PM

Is that Pete M's number plate in the first garage picture?

#11 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 05:08 PM

Is that Pete M's number plate in the first garage picture?


Yup, they kept the original battered one as a momento. I think it reminds them not to work on Peugeot 604s again.
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#12 OFFLINE   Italianjob

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:21 PM

Nice jag, and nice work on the bulkhead. I had a 94 daimler sov xj40 last year, and it had gone quite spectacularly there and lower down. I ended up temporarily taping a binliner over the hole to stop water pouring into the footwell, and cursing my lack of welding skills

I think the later 'battery in boot' cars can be even worse as the bulkhead was redesigned
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#13 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:38 PM

There are some real similarities between our projects rust-wise! We are both lucky with our bulkheads tho' they take most of these Jags to their graves.


I agree, your V12 and my Sovereign have very similar rust. It's surprising since neither of our cars is that typical really. Most late cars with our car's sill rust would have no bulkhead left - yet both of our cars largely escaped.
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#14 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:43 PM

Some great work being done there! I have met these chaps and they are mega sound and highly skilled tinbashers.



Dave and Gray are great guys - they're hilarious and have lots of interesting stuff to say. I really enjoy visiting the workshop. Last time I was down Dave showed me metal bending too. I was amazed how much you can shrink and stretch metal, depending what you do with it.
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#15 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:45 PM

I'm enjoying this, I do love an old Jaguar, I know a chap who's had a G reg 4.0 Sovereign since new that he was thinking about trading in on the scrappage scam, It's only done 45000 miles! He couldn't do it in the end so it still sits in his garage unused.



I remember that - didn't you consider getting it, or have I remembered that wrong?
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#16 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:48 PM

AARRRRGGGGHHH!!!!! I NEED A BIG JAG IN MY LIFE!!!!!!

Its looking good and good work for getting it done. Looking forward to seeing more of this.



Everyone should have a Jag - at least once! They're fantastic things and like nothing else; if you like them, nothing else will do!

An XJ40 or X300 couldn't be any cheaper right now, but for Christ's sake don't get it wet! Mine did and it dissolved! :lol:
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#17 OFFLINE   trigger

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:02 PM

I remember that - didn't you consider getting it, or have I remembered that wrong?


I did consider it but I don't think he was ready to sell it and I didn't want to spend £2k on it as i had no use for it, I just fancied a big Jag to swan about in for a bit and it seemed a shame for this one to end up on the scrappage scheme.
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#18 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:10 PM

Gray and Dave do do some epic high standard work. The stuff they did to the 604 is excellent, and I'd recommend 'em to anyone who realises that to get this standard of work doesn't just take a couple of hours to do.

Kromer has them on too tight a leash for that.



They're work is top notch and I am really pleased with the way the car is turning out - they do genuinely invisible welding repairs. I had a good look at your 604, because I like them and also to assess how they did things. The repairs are great.

For what they do, I'd say they're very good value too. Lots of time goes into work like this, and it shows. I'd recommend them to anyone who want a properly done repair. I'm so pleased I found them. :)
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#19 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:15 PM

My mate crashed his Sovereign a couple of years back and it would have been similar condition underneath.

Or maybe I should elaborate on that a bit. He wasn't paying attention because he was busy lighting his pipe or twisting his moustache, or whatever it is Jag drivers do, and completely misjudged a T junction. Instead of using the brakes to stop, he used the ample bonnet and structure to punt a stationary hatchback in front out into the traffic, completely anihilating it in the process. I think the Jag suffered a bent bumper and broken front light, but not a lot else.



Ha ha! They're strong old things!
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#20 OFFLINE   Vin

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

This is Great. It's Ace to see fresh metal replacing rot. :D 8)
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#21 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:36 PM

Nice jag, and nice work on the bulkhead. I had a 94 daimler sov xj40 last year, and it had gone quite spectacularly there and lower down. I ended up temporarily taping a binliner over the hole to stop water pouring into the footwell, and cursing my lack of welding skills

I think the later 'battery in boot' cars can be even worse as the bulkhead was redesigned



That's right. The late cars (1993 and 1994 model years) had more than 100 metal changes under the skin along with relocating the battery; though they look close to identical they're almost an x300. Bulkhead rot is much worse on them. My car is a 1992, but since it was built in October is an early 1993 model with the rear battery.

It's surprising that neither my car nor China Tom's have serious bulkhead rot - most cars suffering our other issues would have terrible bulkheads!
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#22 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:38 PM

This is Great. It's Ace to see fresh metal replacing rot. :D 8)



Fantastic isn't it - it's a great feeling! I love visiting the guys and seeing what has been done. :D
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#23 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 08:48 PM

Next installment!

As a few on here have mentioned, bulkhead rust is the undoing of many a late XJ40 – even otherwise good cars can be rotted so badly here that they are scrapped.

The bulkhead wasn’t bad on my car, mainly having rust in a central part near the earth point. I first noticed a small blister here in about 1998, but is has developed at a very slow rate probably because the plenum has been kept clear of water – it used to slosh about sometimes back then - I thought it was something to do with the air conditioning!

Thankfully, the inner bulkhead wasn’t rusty so only needed to be cleaned up a bit. Rust through the inner bulkhead complicates the job considerably because of the huge array of internal parts which need to be removed in order to get to its inner face. The whole climate control system needs to come out which involves removing both the heater matrix and air conditioning evaporator along with all their allied pipes and electronics need to come out. I was very glad my car didn’t need this!!

The right hand side of the bulkhead is rust free:
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As is the left: late XJ40s can have really horrible rust here – it is always a place to check for rust on any battery in boot ’40.

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The bulkhead rust blister is visible here. I first noticed rust here in the late 1990s – it has developed very slowly since.

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Gray marked out the bulkhead ready for cutting - the plenum top has already been removed in order for the inner wings to be repaired:

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Cut!! :D

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Luckily the inner bulkhead was in excellent shape with very little rust and only needed cleaning up. Had this been corroded the job would have grown considerably.

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Repair section cut from a genuine Jaguar XJ40 bulkhead repair panel (JLM20631) I was lucky to find. I bought mine from Jaguar but unfortunately they are now unavailable from JDHT. The part radically reduces the amount of work needed to repair the bulkhead and is likely increase its accuracy for most people. I recommend anyone doing this repair to use the panel, if they can find it. XJ restorations in Eastbourne bought the last few - I believe they still have them in stock.

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Welded in:

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Another Jaguar part was used for the plenum top repair section, cut from a ‘Windscreen panel’ FNA1114BC - part 3 in the diagram. This is actually an X300/X308 part, used since the XJ40 one is no longer available. Jaguar list it as a supersession part however and it is identical.

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Very accurate cutting saw it fit perfectly:

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Spot welded in:

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Then the welds ground off:

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1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#24 OFFLINE   DSdriver

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:57 PM

Fantastic reading, I am awed by the quality of the workmanship. Have you made any changes from Jaguar's original build spec. that will perhaps prevent/slow down any recurrence of the rot? Or will it just be a case of try not to take it out in the rain.
I have always had a hankering for a square headlamp Jag. I think they look ace and have done ever since they first came out. But then I like the shape of the Citroen DS so my preferences are not mainstream.
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#25 OFFLINE   Lankytim

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 10:12 PM

Wow, that is nice. The sight of all those mole grips standing to attention is an emotional sight for anybody who has battled with rust before.
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#26 ONLINE   Mr_Bo11ox

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:46 PM

I love these XJ40’s, they are a proper 80’s icon I reckon, specially the square headlamp job. I have never really tried one. I suspect the ride quality could be BL Wedge-rivalling, i.e. amongst the best of all time. I might get one, although this thread is convincing me that any one I am likely to buy will have a rotten bulkhead and need the screen and the dash taking out for a 6-month weldfest before being ready to roll. I would say an XJ40 is much more appealing than an X300.
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#27 OFFLINE   stuboy

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:21 PM

loving the big and little cat..!!
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#28 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

Fantastic reading, I am awed by the quality of the workmanship. Have you made any changes from Jaguar's original build spec. that will perhaps prevent/slow down any recurrence of the rot? Or will it just be a case of try not to take it out in the rain.
I have always had a hankering for a square headlamp Jag. I think they look ace and have done ever since they first came out. But then I like the shape of the Citroen DS so my preferences are not mainstream.



I decided I wanted the car to be rebuilt to the original spec in the end, even though some of it is a bit daft - particularly the way the sill ends are constructed. Jaguar set them back under a plastic finisher and they fill with soil which is then kept permanently wet by the sunroof draining ontop of them. China Tom's XJ12 also has a sunroof - and identical sill end rot. Gray suggested a better way of repairing them which would have been similar visually, but I decided to go for the original untouched-looking design. I wanted the car to look like it has never needed to be worked on.

I love the XJ40's style too - particularly with the rectangular 'Fishtank' headlights. Non-Jag people seem to like them more than Jag enthusiasts, who don't seem to like them much! What would I know though - I have a thing for the Lancia Trevi and Peugeot 604 and reckon Mr Bollox's Biturbo is a REALLY GOOD IDEA!! My God I even like Citroens! :lol:
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1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#29 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:58 PM

I love these XJ40’s, they are a proper 80’s icon I reckon, specially the square headlamp job. I have never really tried one. I suspect the ride quality could be BL Wedge-rivalling, i.e. amongst the best of all time. I might get one, although this thread is convincing me that any one I am likely to buy will have a rotten bulkhead and need the screen and the dash taking out for a 6-month weldfest before being ready to roll. I would say an XJ40 is much more appealing than an X300.


They're an 'Eighties icon for me too, maybe it is from being a teenager when they were new and really big news. I like a lot of eighties cars though, it is probably my favourite era.
I like the X300, but it never quite appealed to me like the '40. The X300 never tried to be modern and it never tried to be the best car in the world - not like the '40 did, even if it didn't quite manage it in the end. The X300 was just content to play on nostalgia. Maybe that's unfair - they're a better car in some ways. The 'Forty looks sharper and is much better inside though. You've got to have the fishtank headlights!

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Even Arthur had a one...
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Bulkhead rust only affects the last two years of XJ40 - 93&94 model years. Earlier cars don't rust there so Jaguar must have cocked up the redesign for the V12 engine. You can spot these late cars by the battery being in the boot, not under the bonnet. Bulkhead rust is easy to spot. Luckily, the early cars don't rust on the corners of the plenum either, but they make up for it elsewhere.

The thing is, XJ40s are so very cheap at the moment that even really good cars don't cost much. There are plenty of '40s out there without serious rust and they're not expensive - you'd struggle to find an XJ40 for as much as £2,000 no matter how nice it is. A decent, respectable car is half that. They're really cheap!!
1992 Jaguar Sovereign

#30 OFFLINE   Magnificent Rustbucket

Magnificent Rustbucket

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:58 PM

loving the big and little cat..!!



:D
1992 Jaguar Sovereign




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