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Hi I am Jim I have owned my XJ8 from new to scrap yard at the weekend. It has been a magnificent beast it looked like it had just left the showroom but the underside was beyond repair. I now want to replace it but I am scared of another run in with the tin worm. The car I am considering is an XKR 4.2 L V8 with a six speed auto gearbox convertible. I want a good one when I buy it but over the years (it is going to be my last car) it will be developed into a fabulous car. The body is aluminium I understand does this mean safety ? I am an ex BL BIW production Engineering manager so know quite a bit about car bodies. I worked for Triumph and the Truck division. I still have a track day car ( 550 Spyder replica ) which I use for hill climbs. What say you all any advice will be welcome. 


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Hi Jim, below is some pointers I posted a couple of weeks ago for someone else looking at procuring a New XK (X-150) with the aluminium body. There was a specific car in mind for this chap, so some of my comments are car / mileage specific. The 4.2 New XK was only available from introduction in 2006 until MY 2008, meaning you may find a 2009 car, but most of the 2009 cars will be 5.0 litre engined. I regularly keep an eye on the Classifieds and right now there are a few 4.2 litre convertibles for sale, but practically all are the NA XK, as opposed to the S/C XKR. Let us know if there are any specifics yu come across in your search.


There is quite a bit of information around on various Forums in regard to the New XK (X-150) model, which production ceased in 2014, despite some registrations taking place in 2015. I appreciate that you state you would like a 4.2 litre engine, but you should not discount the 5.0 litre engine, especially in Supercharged format. Most of what I gave below will also apply to the 4.2 litre engine.

The 5.0 litre engines are very reliable, but there are some areas to watch out for, like the supercharger coupling. A relatively simple and cheap fix, but not if you go to a dealer. Listen to the top of the engine at tick over. At 86k miles, the gearbox Oil should have been changed, probably around 60k miles so check that has been undertaken. Supercharger belts and serpentine belts should have been changed at 10-years, so check service records. Look at the MoT history on the free DVLA check website.

The aluminium bodies are very good, but can still corrode. Areas to look at are the boot, above the plinth. Here is a water trap and if the boot plinth is loose, it can rub through the paint allowing the corrosion cell to develop. Other areas are on the A-pillars and the front of the roofline, where stone chips have been allowed to progress - check for bubbling. Easily fixed, but the bodyshop needs to know how to work on aluminium panels. Aluminium corrosion that hasn't broken through the paint looks surprisingly like rust bubbling, so check these areas, the leading edge of the bonnet and the rear bodywork after the doors, ahead of the rear wheels

Biggest area of concern is underneath where the subframes meet the monocoque. If the car has been used all year round, and at 86K on a 2012 model, that sounds to be the case, then exposure to salt roads can cause significant corrosion on the underside. It also may not need to be a year round car, there is a suspicion that living in the salt laden air by the seaside can cause the same issues, so spend plenty of time scrutinising the underbody.

Inside, the interiors are very robust, but wear on the driver's seat could be an issue to be sorted with a repair kit, or a good trimmer. Note that the convertible can get quite grubby with road dirt if driven plenty with the top down and not regularly cleaned / treated. All of the switchgear should be tested and all of the various screens / menus on the centre touchscreen should be checked and working. A lot of functionality is controlled via the touchscreen. Obviously check there are no warning lights illuminated on the dash and if available, check for stored codes via the OBD port.

Depending on your own abilities, or skill levels, it may be worthwhile investing in a full inspection of the vehicle by an "expert" either from a Club, or one of the motoring organisations. If you have any doubts, come back here, with details / photos and the community will get back to you.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Again thanks for the advice I still have a hankering for a convertible, did Jaguar do one? If so was the chassis stiff enough to handle the grunt of the supercharged motor. 
What is the spec for your next car?
Best regards Jim 
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Again thanks for the advice I still have a hankering for a convertible, did Jaguar do one? If so was the chassis stiff enough to handle the grunt of the supercharged motor. 
What is the spec for your next car?
Best regards Jim 
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Hi again Jim,

My own car is an XKR Convertible and possibly one of the most photographed cars in the UK - it is in quite a rare colour scheme and always attracts attention at shows / outings. I parked on my local High Street last week when I was off for a haircut and came back an hour later with several folks standing around admiring the car. Everyone wanted to chat about it.

So, the the answer to your initial question is YES, Jaguar did make a convertible version of the New XK (X-150) and the chassis is stiff enough to allow full use of the 510PS in my car.

I have no intention of changing my car so next car specification is not relevant, I have exactly what I want and it is going to be growing old with me - already owned it for 12 years.

There are around 10 good XK Convertibles for sale on the JEC Classifieds site at the moment and I would suggest you have a look there to see if anything catches your eye. Link is:


I live a bit too far away from you to assist in the physical purchase of a car, but if you want to PM me regarding any specific car you have an interest in, I will see what I think.


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