A Tale of Two Shittys

During the slow seasons, we often take up projects we normally wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pipe wrench.   Some cars do not age well, but these old cars teach us the physics of auto wear, and often, quite a bit about the people behind the pile.
Jaguar XJ6 (XJ40) 1986-1994 Art
Pile 1:  1994 Jaguar XJ6.

This is actually a pretty nice looking car. We bought it from people that did not want to deal with registering it in the grand mafia that is the California DMV.  It needed minor work, and The Man drove it as his personal car for a few months.
Volvo 960
Pile 2: 1994 Volvo 960

This is another car we bought, came in with a broken timing belt and bent valves.  customer didn’t want to spend the money to rebuild the head.   We fixed it, and The man drove it as his personal car for over a year.

Both of these piles have in common that they were built around the time that the big blue oval bought their companies. While this has been an improvement for Jaguar, this was a disaster for Volvo.  IMHO, the last real Volvo was built in 1994, but that model was the 940, that still had the bullitproof 2.3L engine.  The post Ford Volvo’s just do not stand up to the tough image of the old ones.  This poor old 960 has had wire harness issues, ignition problems, hard starts and crumbling parts.   While these same problems were prone to many Volvo’s,  The older cars manage to stay running, and are easier to fix.  The Jaguar, however, is still a tough durable car.  It has some interior issues, but the engine is strong and reliable.  English electronics have always been complicated, but this Jaguar is easier to figure out than some other Brit buckets like Rolls Royce.  Sad to say, as Jaguars got more Ford-ed up, the quality and image appears to have gone down.

Today, the Jaguar is more pleasant to drive, holds its style, and has greater overall value than the Volvo.

2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Shittys”

  1. The car in the picture is an XJ12 or XJ6 sedan. The XJS is a two door model and comes with either a in line 4.2 six cylinder or a 6.0 twelve cylinder. Maybe you could not find a good picture? The XJS was a great car and in it production years a world leader in suspension and ergonomics, the engine is ok, but many a tech has lost his temper with it.

    Yes i mistaken. the car in question is an xj6. ours was a champagne Vanden Plas. My dealings with this engine are limited, but i have heard stories about timing covers and throttle bodies. We didn’t have to mess with this engine, but I’ve learned a few things. for one, a sliced up coolant bottle works better than a row of feeler gauges for squeezing that timing cover in place.

  2. Ford sucks.

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