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  1. #1
    casual poster XJS304's Avatar
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    Default 304 Jaguar XJS conversion/rebuild.

    I've wanted an XJS for ever but hated the V12. Have been on the lookout for a decent project car for years and this turned up locally.
    Not using any kit, 304/TH700 into a Jaguar XJS. The engine will be set back and as low as possible for handling and balance.
    It's also a major body restoration, I bought the car pretty much as you see it in the first photo. Only rust was floor rust, which is rare in a jaguar, so made it worth taking on.
    My goal is to have the vehicle fully function, A/C and all and to make it look like the car came from the factory with the 304. This won't be a dodgey hack job conversion. This is a big project, no time frame to finish, the priority is to do a good job and have what will basically be a new car.
    Trusty old Volvo:

    Some pics:


    Engine quick check for fit:



    New crossmember:

    Floor replacement:


    Boot crease:



  2. #2
    Newbie jaguar72's Avatar
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    Hi sounds like a good idea i would like a xjs or s1 xj6 there is a web site

    that has a lot of jags that have been converted and standard it is

    Jag-lovers - the Jaguar Enthusiasts' premier Internet site looking forward to you progress good luck

  3. #3
    Do you ever leave? DHOGES's Avatar
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    Love it mate.

    My brother has my dads old 76 XJ6 which as a 350 in it.
    Getting fully rebuilt and customized at some stage and getting a 427chev.

    Love the jaguars!!

  4. #4
    All Your Engine Needs Vade Velociter's Avatar
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    May be worthwhile to make it a 355 because of the weight of the Jag..

  5. #5
    casual poster XJS304's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vade Velociter View Post
    May be worthwhile to make it a 355 because of the weight of the Jag..
    Early XJS weighs about 1600kg, take off 100kg for losing the V12 and we're back to 1500kg. About what a VQ Statesman weighs, and considerably lighter than an early VT Commodore (1750kg). Add to that the fact I'll have a 3.05 first gear, as opposed to 2.48 for the original TH400. I'll also use a 3.5 diff from a sedan and I shouldn't have any problems.
    Also consider the stock 304 makes near enough the same power and torque as the V12 (and lower down the rev range) and it's really not necessary.

  6. #6
    Senior Member v8-coupe-fan's Avatar
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    One of my childhood wishlist cars.
    Subscribed.

  7. #7
    Part of the furniture phtwgn's Avatar
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    Nice !

  8. #8
    Do you ever leave? Hqtunna4me's Avatar
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    Cool car mate, never really looked at Jags but this should be fun. Have fun going to shows and annoy the Jag purists
    A minute of thinking can save hours of doing

  9. #9
    Yes, the Kingswood. HQforme's Avatar
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    I too love these but would never buy one stock.

    Personally i feel with a build of this magnitude it's be remiss of you not to at least tickle the motor; though it's a logical and sound choice as it sits. Lot of 308/350 and some 304's find their way into XJ6 jags but i don't think i've seen an XJS done before.
    EFN 202 : knowledge is (horse)power!

  10. #10
    casual poster XJS304's Avatar
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    Oh, I'm sure some day the engine will get warmed up. But for the conversion and engineering etc, it just makes a whole lot of sense to leave it stock. All I have to worry about then is wiring and plumbing if things don't work right away, instead of what if's with other issues. The build isn't really that huge, it's just some rust repairs, respray, interior and engine swap. Nothing particularly difficult or ground breaking in any of it. The goal with the swap is to have a car that is as reliable as a modern vehicle built in this configuration from the factory and also for it to be able to do anything a car should be able to do. That includes sitting in peak hour traffic, long road trips etc. This isn't going to be a one trick pony that goes fast for five minutes then overheats, or one the police can pull over and defect.
    The V12 is a pretty poor engine, Jaguar never really had the R & D money to throw at it, it could have been much, much more but it was never fully developed. Now, the 4 litre manual XJS's were pretty good cars, but also pretty rare and much more reliable than the V12. And almost as fast too, with much better balance.
    As I said, with a 3.55 diff, it won't be slow.
    I also plan to have the exterior and interior look stock, then I can go to car shows and have it parked with the bonnet open. I love watching self righteous purists convulse on the ground.
    Last edited by XJS304; 25-06-2012 at 10:30 AM.

  11. #11
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    Nice project. I did a xjs build a fair while ago. Best handling and riding car I've had and when you wound up the v12 it sounded awesome. Went like a Prius but sounded awesome. I have toyed with the idea of another one but being a sucker for punishment( the v12 was nothing but evil) I would still tickle/turbo a jag motor.

  12. #12
    casual poster XJS304's Avatar
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    The V12 was just never developed properly. This is evidenced by the fact that when they finally put decent engine management on the last few, the power and torque went way up and so did reliability.
    The XK is a fantastic engine (always wanted to hot one of the injected ones up and back it with a 5 speed) and the AJ six is also fantastic and has plenty more in it.
    If an XK fit easily into an XJS I would've considered it as a swap with a 5 speed.
    But, you just can't argue with an injected 304 and 4 speed auto for $800 with harness, ECU and all accessories!
    Last edited by XJS304; 01-07-2012 at 03:20 PM.

  13. #13
    Do you ever leave? Brettly-2008's Avatar
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    I like the way you think. Get all the conversion/engineering stuff sorted with stock stuff and go from there. I wouldn't even waste time going 355... sounds more like it's a GT type of build with effortless cruising the plan?

    You're also bound to get the obvious queries as to why you didn't go Ls1.

  14. #14
    casual poster nqrith's Avatar
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    always wanted one of these with a chev in it. will be good to see this one built up.

  15. #15
    Part of the furniture minus-monaro's Avatar
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    Back in the 1990s I knew a guy who had a red XJS with a 350 on gas. I rode in it a few times but can't remember driving it. It was a very nice city car and even better on the highway.
    King of the Unfinished Project

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