Admitting Defeat: 1989 Jaguar XJS V12

This next car comes as a tip from Johnny Bouncewell who writes: Oh man. We’ve all been there. No matter how deep you dive into aa project, it sometimes just doesn’t work. Someone please buy this so I don’t. I already have a Jag I haven’t (though probably should) admitted my own defeat. Find this 1989 Jaguar XJS V12 offered for $2500 in Albuquerque, NM via craigslist.

From the seller:

Admitting defeat. Bought this as a pandemic project, and had it running on several occasions, but now can’t get it to stay running. When it ran the engine was smooth, transmission shifted strong, and brakes worked well. Such a cushy ride, and the white with blue interior is a nice looking combination.

I feel like its a sensor, or replacement wire, away from running again. Problem is wiring is complicated to me, and Jaguar has a lot of it.


  • new tires – all five (yup, I was that confident in getting it running reliably, without any research. smh)
  • hood struts replaced
  • fuel injection hoses replaced
  • fuel regulators replaced
  • cleaned and verified all injectors are firing
  • two fuel filters now. One before fuel tanks (primary and surge) cleaned, and another after
  • distributor cap and rotor replaced
  • cleaned distributor internals to ensure advance weights move freely and return (also lubed so they should continue doing so)
  • spark plugs replaced
  • thorough radiator cleaning, last time it was running temp stayed right on N
  • both thermostats replaced
  • both radiator caps replaced
  • starter replaced
  • alternator replaced
  • new battery last summer
  • HEI module replaced
  • primary coil replaced
  • both O2 sensors replaced
  • solid car – one rust bubble on passenger door and some rust at bottom corners of the back glass.
  • still has owners manual, and original jack setup

Cons (other than not running):

  • cracked dash
  • seam in passenger seat came apart
  • headliner held up with t-pins
  • trunk paint is yellowing (expected this could be solved with light wet sanding and a polish)
  • driver exterior door handle recently stopped working
  • actual mileage unknown
  • Lucas “prince of darkness” electronics

Thanks for looking. Please contact me through craigslist email, leave phone or email. I’m slow about looking at my personal email, but will respond as long as the message doesn’t look like a bot put it together.

Open to offers.

Thank you,

See a better way to drive yourself crazy?