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Jaguar Repair/buying a 1987 xjsc cabriolet


Hi thanks for being here! I PUT A 500 DOLLAR DEPOSIT ON A 1987 XJSC Jaguar and did a carfax that came back very good score of 70 the only worry i have is that the car failed emission test in 2001 and 2005 should i be worried? do u recommend any testing.... maybe a compression test or something im a green horn in theses matters car is in EXCELLENT SHAPE OTHERWISE

Hi John,

You for sure need something in writing from the seller about it passing emission testing as that can be something minor or major if the emission test is due.

In most states they test for HC, CO & CO2.

If it failed HC it still can be major or minor as HC is either an electrical problem in the ignition system or a problem with the engine itself. If HC is ok and only CO failed it is fuel mixture (usually not major) If it failed CO2 (not tested in many states) It is usually just an exhaust system problem.

My advice is to take the failed test results to a local Jaguar specialist to get their opinion and get a written statement from the seller that it will pass emission testing.

If it has passed this most recent emission tests you probably don't need to worry but if it is due for an inspection, that is when I would want to have something in writing from the seller.

Most Jag shops can run an emission test at a nominal fee.

A car can look and even drive ok and have massif problems so if the price it high it is money well spent to have an experienced Jag mechanic check the whole car which does include a compression test, oil pressure test, pressure test the cooling system, voltage test of the charging system and inspection of the Brakes, suspension, drive shaft and all fluid levels and the HC, CO & CO2.

The seller would expect you to pay for the tests but you could expect in writing that it pass or return your deposit. So the only thing you would be gambling would be the cost of the tests.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


Jaguar from the XK 120 to XJ-6 ser. 3 1987


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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