Thought you might like to follow my project.
I am building an XJ40 Supercharged AJ16. The project has started and the first pictures will be available in a couple of weeks’ time when the first panel cuts are made.
By way of introduction and before I show the build progress, I thought you might appreciate the background and thought process.
If you find my monologues boring or unwelcome, please don’t be backward in coming forward just shout and I’ll cut to the chase with the pics –as some of the olders members on here know only too well, it’s not unknown Carsie to talk boll**cks and talk the hind legs off a donkey
For this project, I am taking an XJR300, stripping it to its central shell and then transferring the outer XJ40 panels and interior trim into the XJR.
The build objective is to create an XJ40 upgrade that would have come down the production line if the XJ300 facelift hadn’t occurred.
Engineering integrity and presentation will be paramount – for the fun, for the idiom, think E –Type Series 1.5 – better engine, gearbox, deeper floor pan and yet retaining the beauty and simplicity of the early design lines.
My aim is to build a car that has the look and feel of a two year old car i.e. not concours, not afraid to be driven hard and in the wet and yet be special enough to warrant the occasion to remove the dust sheet if I want to dine out with my lady SLIMBO.
The reality is that if the value of the ’40 was anything other than rock bottom this project would not be being considered.
A quick tour and a little patience of any of our popular For Sale haunts elicits any number of really nice quality ‘40’s needing little to no work, nice provenance and low mileage, all for under maximum figure of £5k, a figure in itself which is derisory when compared to the laughable valuations placed upon such mediocrity as “Barn Find Ford XYX” ; the stunning 3.2S ‘’40 for sale in Preston with 60k mls at £3995 a case in point.
The XJR300 is in my view a little more debatable and perhaps contentious. We are all well versed in the integrity of the powertrain, platform and the performance; these cars too, having descended past the quality forecourts, now find themselves popularly advertised on Gumtree et-al. where the market buyers are. (Poetic licence )
As with the ’40, it is my view that a quality XJR of excellent provenance, history mileage etc. can also still be bought for under £5k and with records indicating there are some 350 “survivors” I think there will be plenty to choose from in the future and that is before we debate the merits of the Supercharged 308.
And so to the cars in question.
I have two Jags’ a ’40 and an XJR300 both of which need money investing in them to bring them up to standard
XJ40- late ’94 Model ‘300 switchgear, airbag etc
Make no mistake, I really like my ’40, I’ve had several Jags over the years and I come back to the ’40 time and time again. I like the styling, cuboid though it is, I find it elegant and restrained. The story of mine is well known and I have aired my well intentioned long term plans many a time- the car is a keeper, albeit I have wavered on a couple of occasions
Over the past couple of years I have been buying all of the different parts needed to bring my ’40 back up to standard- new front bumper, grille, shockers, mirror covers etc etc – the shed is nicely glinting.
Turning my attention to the bodywork deemed the need to replace the bulkhead – new panel in my shed stores, attend to front arches and install new floor pan c/o Nakki and generally apply mig and panel wherever required. All do-able and within the skills of a decent panel beater and therein lies the rub- I have the knowledge but not the skill.
To create a project that involves taking the final knife to it will be really hard and emotionally challenging but I will be building a better car and therefore I will seek solace that the spirit of the car will live on.
XJR 300- early ’95 Model
Fate stepped in and offered me the XJR, in number sequence only a few thousand from my own ’40 which in manufacturing terms makes this car interesting to compare and contrast and by co-incidence the XJR is the same colour in Flamenco and also fitted with a sunroof.
Having had the opportunity to use the XJR for some four months with daily long trips in excess of 200 miles up and back down the motorway it demonstrated how capable and what a fantastic car this Jag is and that, set me thinking.
The ‘300 facelift was definitely a success, as sales demonstrated, but for me the facelift was not cohesive. I find the “face” very well executed, the fluting and the integration of the grille and bumpers re-affirming the design cues that this was a Jag, alas for me, from this point forward the fluidity of design falters.
In side profile, the extension to the lower section of the bumpers extends from the bumper trailing edge and not from the trailing edge of the wing and tailamp/headlamp, leading to an visually overly long car with a small compressed cabin; the facts are, that the cars have the same dimensions it’s just not a beauty, unlike the stillborn XJ90.
Ford pushed the design compromise and of course design and taste are personal; for my taste the late Geoff Lawson team didn’t hit the mark. The high boot, fantastic for luggage, was a rump stuck on a fine design and lacked the finesse of the sloping ’40 further endorsing my decision to stick with the ’40. As an aside it is for the same reason that I’m not overly fond of the XK8, a car that I think looks as though it is standing on “Tippy Toes” with a big backside and too high wheel arch gaps.- This is of course the world according to me .
And so to content..
Project Management and Work Content
This project is to take an XJR 300 and remove the outer panels, replacing them with XJ40 panels.
The XJR300 interior will also be exchanged for the XJ40 interior albeit the XJR dashboard will be retained. The softer edges of the interior panels and better quality dashboard and fitting will enhance the cabin.
I am looking to present the car with “surprise and delight” and so the hunt is on for xj40/Daimler picnic table and XJ300 inlays to match to outgoing inlays of the ’40.
Tan dashboard and matching cant rails and door tops have been sourced to match the ’40 AEE trim code and replace the piano black and cream XJR trim; carpets will be changed over from XJR black to rattan XJ40.
I am interested in buying any perfect to near perfect trim if anyone has anything for sale.
1. No rust!! The 300 shell is in amazing condition needing only a little remedy, but then it is gazzillion years old.
2. No Rust!! – Sorry – have I said that already?
The difficulty experienced in transplanting the AJ16R engine is primarily due to the software aspects of integrating the Engine Management Systems ESC, ABS, ECU and Security into the target vehicle. As we know, the preferred option/ route is to use an aftermarket ECU e.g. Emerald and to build the Management Profiles from there.
• By retaining the core model, all of the headaches are circumvented, leaving only the integration of panel work and sundry electrical componentry
• Retention of the standard XJR ESC
• GM 4L80-E transmission
• Biggest benefit - 325 BHP and 150 mph capability
One can’t have power without control can you?
• Retention of lower ride height suspension of XJR including spring/damper rates
• Brakes – Std XJR
• Limited Slip Diff
• Traction Control
• The XJ300 was built with new robotics at Castle Bromwich providing a structurally better engineered platform
• The majority of the panel work in the late ’94 model year is interchangeable (I think….. lol!) with the exception of the boot floor, rear qtr panels and the roof. The C Post has a different bonded screen and different footprint at the join to the ¾ panel removing the need for the ’40 sticking plaster joint.
• Headlamp panels may need to be changed but as both cars feature quads, the expectation is that the changeover will be “nut and bolt” including benefit of actually having rubber backing covers for a change
• Both cars have front fog lamps including XJ40 self-melt variety –investigations underway as to possible alternatives without changing aesthetics but the wiring including all relays provides the opportunity to “plug and play”
Retention of :
• Larger sunroof in XJ300 including tilt/slide facility
• Harmon Kardon Stereo system
• Nippondenso Air-conditioning
• Heated front screen
• Heated front seats
I am truly excited about this project – it has been a long time coming but the wait has been worthwhile particularly as synchronicity stepped in to make the project a whole lot more exciting and present me with the chance to build a unique car.
I will still be constrained by monies as my priorities are elsewhere but I am not wanting a long build time either.
Both cars will be dropped off this coming Saturday and will be keeping company with XJ40R, E Type, XK140, MK2 and an immaculate MK7 whilst I endeavour to squeeze my expanding frame into a pair of overalls. Does anyone remember that young lady with the angle grider I posted some time ago ….yes?....
…..well no! SLIMBO say’s she can’t help me! lol!
Scary and fun eh?
Let me know what you think and I will post pic’s along the way.