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Old 03-20-2010, 10:06 PM   #1
Russ Bellinis
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?'s about Xk8's

At the present time my "fun car" is a 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am with a mild 350 and 5 speed. It probably is putting out about 275-285 hp at the flywheel and monster torque. The problem is that my wife and I are in our early 60's and the 1982-92 Camaros and Firebirds have a hump in the passenger side floor to allow clearance for the catalytic converter. As a result she has to keep her legs and feet at an awkward angle that aggravates her arthritis in both hips, knees and ankles. I prefer sports cars, but with the need of decent luggage space, a true gt is probably a better choice. I'm thinking of replacing the T/A with a Jag Xk8. I will have less than $10k to spend, so in So Cal I'm looking at an early model from @1997-2000.

I've tried to do some research, but I still have a few questions. I understand that the cylinder liners on the early Xk8 are Nik-sil, and are susceptible to problems if the engine overheats. Does the 4.0 liter V8 have separate cylinder liners, or would the block need replacing if there are problems? The second question I have concerns the rear brakes. A friend of mine has an Xjs that he had a Chevy Lt1 swapped into. He wanted to do an Ls1, but couldn't find anyone who had ever done one of those, or offered any pieces to make the conversion. I've heard from a mutual friend that he has had problems with rear brake failure due to oil from the differential leaking onto the saxle stubs and being thrown onto the discs. Does the Xk8 still run the inboard rear disc brake set up that Jag pioneered with the E-type? Are there any other issues that I should be aware of with these cars? I'm a retired mechanic, primarily in the diesel trucking industry, so I don't mind doing my own mechanical repairs including an engine overhaul if needed.
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Old 03-30-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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Re: ?'s about Xk8's

Here are some links where a thorough reply to your questions can be expected.

Good luck.
2002 T&C EX
2000 XK8 Convertible
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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Re: ?'s about Xk8's

I have a 2001 XK8 and previously had a 2001 S type.
The XK8 is awesome!
The engine is like silk and even at 80mph+ you can't hear it - just tyre noise!
I've never heard of the rear brake issue, so forget about it.
Most early XK8's with Nicasil liners have been re-sorted.
If the engine has been replaced with a factory unit (preferable on very early XK8's) the engine block will be painted GREY. If not, don't touch it!
The main thing to have checked is the THROTTLE CONTROL BODY.
These tend to go at around 70,000 miles and cost (in the UK) about 1,300 to fix.
A refurbished unit is still around 600.
Any Jag dealer can plug the car in and diagnose it in minutes. You can't test the unit any other way, and Jag diagnosis is very difficult without Jag software. Most roadside diagnosis people can't look at Jags.
Start the engine and look at the screen readout on the dash.
If it says 'Traction control unavailable' for a second or so, there's a chance the ABS pump has gone - another expensive fix.
Both these items are infrequent (particularly the ABS issue) but worth noting.
I hope I haven't put you off an XK8 - I don't mean to.
They're FANTASTIC cruisers, as well as bl--dy fast and generally built like battleships!
You won't find a car with better panel fit or paint. Pre-2002 cars were painted by the same plant that did Rolls Royce and Aston Martin.
Don't be too tempted by the XKR just because it seems to be 'better' either.
The car is only marginally quicker, and a well looked after older XK8 will still blow the socks off a poorly serviced XKR.
Also, you will pay a LOT extra for the badge, higher servicing and worse fuel consumption.
My advice?
Get a 2000+ XK8. Nikasil issues were resolved and they're amazing cars.
Park it in a Mall and watch the looks and crowds!
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: ?'s about Xk8's

I have a 95 XJS and the rear brakes are outboard. You might assume they gave up on the inboard brakes. Also, the E used very heavy wheels, and the modern cars use alloy wheels. This may balance out the unsprung weight advantage of inboard brakes.
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