Jaguar XJ6

More Repairs

The cruise control is inoperable and the first problem with that is the vacuum unit. The rubber mounts had sheered off and when the car arrived the unit was rattling around in the engine compartment (and promptly removed to prevent further damage). The bellows (rubber bit) is probably original - it's as hard as a rock and ripped! It's supposed to hold a vacuum, so it's clearly not working.

A new bellows will solve that problem. Here's how it should look.

And with some new mounts and fasteners, it can go back onto the car (along with new vacuum hose, of course) and with this, the cruise control issue is sorted.

The steering wheel's leather has seen better days. It's worn and rough at the top, somewhat faded throughout, and hard. Conditioning will help, but it's too badly damaged to make it like new again, so the leather will be replaced.

And here is the newly-restored steering wheel. The leather is as good as new and features the proper basting stitch. It's also quite soft and comfortable.

Seven Inch Headlamp Conversion

One thing you'll notice about all US-spec XJ6s is the big rings around the outer headlights. The XJ6 was designed to use two seven inch headlamps and two five inch headlamps, but the US-spec used four five inch pieces (due to government regulations at the time). A large chrome trim piece was used to fill the gap and this gives the XJ6 a "bulging eye" appearance that just doesn't look right.

It's easy enough to solve the problem with a few bits. Seven inch headlamp buckets are readily available in both plastic (won't rust) or metal (more stock). The chrome bezels are not so easily-obtained. They were never sold in the USA, so they're extremely rare here. After contacting a few UK-based "breakers," two were obtained. Luckily, these were in such good shape that they needed no further refurbishment.

Installation is trivial and it would be easy to reverse. Though unless you're shooting for concours-level originality, I don't know why anyone would want to...

This might be THE best improvement you can make to the XJ6 (and it's free!). This is the "door ajar" warning buzzer, which is tuned to the resonant frequency of the human brain and causes severe irritation whenever the key is inserted whilst the door is open (which is frequent for me). The solution is simple: 1) remove the LH fuse cover, 2) disconnect it from the wiring harness, 3) place it in the trash bin (or parts drawer if you're like me and want to keep original parts just in case there's a need to reinstall them).