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Too good to be true? Am I being rash?

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Greetings fellow forumites,


Been eyeing the S-Types for a while now
and may have the opportunity to purchase a 2005 V8 (80,000 miles) for
about a third of what they normally go for here.


But there is a catch. The add says
“engine needs attention – cylinder head gasket” but it also
says the car is drivable. It's being sold as spares “just to be


It gets worse, it's about 2000 miles
from where I live. Apparently it's in good condition inside and out
but then I’ve seen “immaculate” cars that were anything but.


The only way to know for sure would be
to go and look at it myself. My options are to fly there and try and
drive it back, or to drive there with a friend and drive it back or
tow it if necessary.


I've searched “over heated”,
“heating”, “gasket”, “cylinder head”, and more but
incredibly, no one on this forum seems to have successfully
overheated an S-Type. By successfully, I mean actually broken


What say you guys? I'm desperate for
any information that would help me make an informed choice.


At this price I wouldn't have to sell
my existing car which means I could take my time sorting the Jag. I'm
reasonably handy with a spanner and I have friends that could help


I've done this once before (flying
across the country to look at a car) and it was a total disaster. The
car (which looked great in the photos) turned out to be a complete
wreck. But I’m the eternal optimist :)


I think what i'm asking is if it's
drivable, would there be something I could add to the coolant to try
and seal the gasket and then drive very carefully and slowly back
home? Are there any known cylinder head / cooling / water pump issues
with this engine?


Thanks so much. Sorry if this is a bit
windy :) By the way the car is black which makes me want it even

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Hi Chris,


The 4.2 V8 is generally considered "Bomb Proof", if someone has taken the time and trouble to blow one up I should leave it in their tender?!? care.


I think the words I'm looking for are, RUN AWAY, but that's just my opinion.


Good luck whatever you decide.



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Hi Mike,


Was worried i'd hear this :(  Phoned dealer today and have not been able to find out too much about the car. Apparently the engine starts but is misfiring, so it would have to trailered home. I got the distance wrong but it's still over 1000 miles one way. A friend suggested i look at a worst case scenario - replace complete engine. If the engines are as "bomb proof" as i've heard, then there shouldn't be too much demand for them second hand which might mean i could pick up a good one from a wrecked car at a good price.  Lots of "mights" here i know.....  I could get the car for less than a third of it's usual retail price.


I was horrified to see what a gasket set for this engine looks like. There must be over a hundred bits and pieces, and apparently it can take up to 25 hours labour to fit because the engine bay is so cramped.


Has anyone done an engine swap on a V8 S-Type? And how long did that take? My buddy suggested that rather than trailer the car back, we take an engine with us and fit it there. Is this crazy? We've both done engine changes before but on older cars without all the fancy electronics.

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Hi Chris, forget this one mate there are plenty of good second hand S-types out there. Trawl the 'net that is what I did and after a little while I dropped on one just a few miles from where I live even though I was prepared to go further afield for the right car. But 1000 miles plus for an "iffy" motor? Avoid it like the plague, because even if you were lucky enough to get it home in one piece the chances are you would need to spend a shed load of money to get it up to spec. Be patient and keep looking and I am sure you will find a good one nearer to home. Good hunting and good luck, keep us informed as to developments. Best wishes Geoff.

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Hi Isis,


You're not going to believe this, i've just found another one and only a few km from where i live! And wait for it..... it has an overheating problem!! What's with these cars and overheating? This one is a 2002 type R. Only 70,000km on the clock. Surely not even run-in yet? Those sort of km over 11 years must have been what killed it. Dang! And it's also black with a sunroof! Ever since seeing a clip on YouTube and hearing that supercharger whine....well, the R would be my first choice. Thing is they're not as plentiful as the others. It's even harder to find a black one.

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HI Chris,


I think I'd follow isis' advice on the first S-Type - travelling 2000 miles for a broken car seems crazy but having a look at the STR a few k's away (even if it has issues) is a bit more sensible.  It sounds like you've experience taking an engine apart and doing a bit of work, to tease out the reasons behind the overheating problem should be straightforward.


Good luck


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Hi Dave,


You guys are right, it's nuts even if only because of the distance.


I've also passed on the STR because i just don't know enough about them yet. I'm not under any pressure so i'm just going to keep an eye open and take my time.


Part of my reason for passing on the STR is also that i don't have a properly closed in garage. For a going concern, that's not a problem, but if i'm going to have the car in pieces i should really have a secure well lit and properly sheltered place in which to work.


I'll keep you guys posted though.



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Hi Chris, a wise decision to pass on both cars, believe me if you are patient and diligent with your search you will come across the right car for yourself sooner or later. Good luck with it my friend it will be worth it in the long run, keep us informed,best wishes Geoff.

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Hi Chris, a wise decision to pass on both cars, believe me if you are patient and diligent with your search you will come across the right car for yourself sooner or later. Good luck with it my friend it will be worth it in the long run, keep us informed,best wishes Geoff.

Thanks Geoff,


You know what comes across in so many of the threads i've read? It's that so many people really "love" their cars. (Jags)


When i was a kid, my best friends dad had his brother staying with him. "Uncle John" was down and out but he did own an early S-Type. This would have been in the early seventies. The car was already quite old by then. My friend and i (we were about 6 or 7 at the time) would sit in Uncle John's Jag and play with all those switches and pretend to drive, no doubt much to Uncle John's dismay. I never once saw that Jag leave that parking space, or heard it started but it made a life long impression on me. I sincerely hope it found a more "solvent" owner and that's it's been lovingly restored since then. 

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Hi Chris, I was interested by your post regarding your best friend's uncle's 60s S-type. For me these cars along with the Mk2 of the same era were the most stylish and classy cars of their day, I loved them. It was not until 12 months ago that I was in a position to purchase a Jag and for me the only model was the present S-type, it truly is a son of these 1960s models. The genes of these cars can be seen in our S-types today and as they say fashions may change but style lasts for ever and that certainly is the case with the modern S-type. Owning my Jaguar has fulfilled an ambition I have held since the days of the late 60s when I drooled over the Mk2 and you're right I along with many other Jaguar owners really do love our cars. All the best mate and as I said before good luck finding your Jag, I hope it won't be long before you do. Regards Geoff.

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  • 1 month later...



Well you saved yourself a trip to CPT?


155Km on the speedo,

2003 built and sold 2004

Someone has been at the engine recently, judging by the Silicon sealant everywhere.

4 well used plugs in the engine sill?

Body: good.

Inside: fair.

Lots of dealer stamps in the service book. (for what it is worth?)

Yes it is Black. and Yes it is still for sale.


There was a guy breaking a 4.2 in JHB a few months back so parts and engines do pop up.


I walked away from this one.


Had a look at a 2007 Diesel 2.7 engine less today, (it's there but in bits)

Light blue



An interesting long term project.



Jaguars in SA (ZA) are not as common or as cheap as in the UK. and a lot do have overheating problems because, Its hotter down here, People don't look after them, they are (very) expensive to fix, repair, service, unless you DIY.



Happy (JAG) hunting from Cape Town.





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Hi Bydand,

Yep, I'm still looking. This black car you looked at, was it the same one I wanted to see? Sorry, not quite clear. I see it's still being advertised - as a 2005.

Are you going to make a bid for the diesel? I'm not aware of this particular car.

Have decided to first secure my garaging before I start any projects, but I'm still keen as a bean :)



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Hi Chris,


Yes, indeed it is, see  AT.za & Gumtree CPT

Yr, mileage, and photo all wrong!



The Diesel 2.7 is also in Gumtree.za  CPT,  OK if you have a spare engine, and at good price. But a little too big a project for me at present.


A garage is a very good idea! It's no fun in CPT, at the height of a Scottish summer. (rain) 



Happy (Jag,) Hunting,




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