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1998 Jaguar XKR

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The Project

This 1998 Jaguar XKR arrived at our workshop in December 2023 with fabrication works needed to the body and floor due to corrosion. The car will also require repair work to the rear suspension and a partial respray once the bodywork is complete.

14th December 2023: In for rear and front arch repairs due to corrosion. New sills are also being fabricated and installed. It will then be prepared for respray.

7th March 2024: Fabrication work to replace both front floor pans. Inner and outer sills on both sides are now installed. Work carried out to repair rear suspension.

28th March 2024: Front wheel arches and inner chassis legs being stripped out and parts refabricated due to extensive corrosion. Back wheel arches have been fabricated and repaired.

11th April 2024: Both inner front wing arches have been repaired and sprayed. Work now moves onto the front suspension repair including some further fabrication works.

> More updates to follow.

The XK8 range offers impressive performance and style for the money. That won’t be the case for ever, because this capable and elegant Jaguar is increasingly appreciated in the classic market.

Resources at Jaguar had been in short supply for a sports car project through the end of the BL era, privatisation and then the Ford takeover in ’89. Saloons were the priority, and a long-running XJ40-based roadster proposal was scrapped.

In 1992, Bob Dover was appointed to lead a new sports car team with chief stylist Geoff Lawson, and Fergus Pollock largely responsible for the final design.

To save time and cost, the XJS floorpan was retained, but with fresh underpinnings, engine, and transmission. X-300 saloon rear suspension, plus a new front set-up, the all-new AJ26 V8 (complete with patented low-volume cooling system allowing rapid warm-up from cold) and a fully electronic ZF five-speed ’box were fitted.

Although slightly less powerful than the outgoing 5.3-litre V12, the AJ-V8 was much lighter and helped the whole car to weigh significantly less than the hefty late-model XJS. F1-derived nickel-silicon carbide (Nikasil) bore liners were used; BMW and others also adopted this process, which brought issues (now sorted) with sulphur fuel additives in early engines.

The Jaguar was built to much higher quality standards than before, thanks to Ford input. It’s cheaper and quicker to produce a vehicle with parts that are correct to the milli¬metre and need no adjustment, lead-loading, or filling.

On its launch, the car was rapturously received by the press. The engine and gearbox were top of the class – XKRs were limited to 155mph but are capable of 175mph-plus when de-restricted – as were the handling, quietness and price, but the poor low-speed ride and cramped rear seats were criticised.
The folding soft-top, developed by Karmann – complete with a heated glass screen – was widely praised, even though it relied on a clip-on leather hood cover to look tidy when lowered.

A vast range of options and extras was offered, and the build totals were: XK8 Coupé 19,748, XK8 Convertible 46,760, XKR Coupé 9661, XKR Convertible 13,895.

Decide which model, colours, and trim specs appeal, then look carefully. Not all dealers know XK specs, so shop around; you may find a top-end car at standard book price. Service history is highly desirable but check for gaps.

1. Accident damage/repairs to nose & front crossmember
2. Front wishbone spring mounting plate
3. Front inner wheel arch edges and seams
4. Windscreen surround trims
5. Floorpan, especially reinforcing plates
6. Sill seams and rear half
7. Door top and hood surround trims
8. Wheels – corrosion/damage/correct type
9. Inner arch edges/seams
10. Wing from arch to rear light

Engines to VIN 042775 used Nikasil liners: some corroded and lost compression. If a new genuine Jaguar unit has been fitted (with bills to prove it), great. If not, have a compression test done and make sure that the engine starts, runs, and pulls well. If all is fine, then it should be a good buy. Listen for rattly timing chain tensioners.

Gearbox is officially sealed for life, but it’s vital to change oil and filter at c50-60k miles. Slippage or jerkiness means an imminent rebuild (or a blocked filter).

Balljoints and wheel bearings wear, often knocking steering out of kilter. Check for slack, uneven tyre wear and costly dampers on CATS-equipped cars.

Electrical issues can be complex to diagnose and pricey to fix. So, check it all works, notably windows, seats, and column stalks (especially for trip computer).

Low-volume cooling system gives rapid warm-up but is intolerant of leaks: look for stains and smells (especially around water pump), plus signs of head-gasket failure.

Rare Sport trim featured dark maple dash and cloth seat inserts; most chose Classic (as here), with walnut veneer and full leather. Look for wear on bolsters.

Hydraulic fluid can thicken, leading to slow or failed hood operation; it should be swift. Check that it locates easily to ’screen frame/windows (new top £546)

1998 Jaguar XKR | Classic Car Restoration | Carrosserie
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I cant recommend Carrosserie highly enough, the service was exemplary from start to finish and the workmanship is second to none. I highly recommend giving the team a call for any work you need doing to your classic car, no matter what it is, you will not be disappointed!
Dr Tim Moss
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Thank you to all at Carroserie who have provided absolute commitment, professional expertise, the ultimate in personal service and 'tender loving care' for my 84-year-old car.

I cannot recommend Carroserie highly enough.
Nigel Cramp
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Great friendly and helpful team at Carrosserie. Highly quality work. This is the second time I've used their services.

Highly recommended if you want quality restoration or paint work.
Phil Sage
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The work carried out here is like magic, the standard the cars leave is fantastic, the cars they restore are works of art!

14th December 2023

7th March 2024

28th March 2024

11th April 2024

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