Motor Sport readers' survey continued

Jaguar 2.4, 3.4, 3.8.

Is service satisfactory? 72.4% of Jaguar owners found the service satisfactory, 19.8% are dissatisfied, 2.8% carry out their own servicing and 5% made no comment under this heading.

If car is modified give brief details. The most popular modification is the fitting of Koni shock absorbers, 11.9% of the survey cars being so fitted. Next in popularity comes the high ratio steering box which is fitted to 10.2%, 7.3% of them being fitted to the 3.4 and 3.8 models. Naturally engine modifications are not so necessary on the Jaguar as on most other models but 2.8% have fitted different carburetters, 3.4% have carried out cylinder head modifications, and 4.5% have modified the exhaust system. On the chassis side 2.8% have converted to disc brakes, these being early models which were not fitted with discs, 5.6% have fitted an anti-roll bar whilst other modifications are mostly concerned with optional extras such as wire wheels, overdrive, reclining seats, laminated screens, safety belts and radiator blinds.

Engine. It is obvious that both the 2.4 and the 3.4 and 3.8 engines have been generally very reliable. Although only 56% reported that they had suffered no troubles the majority of faults were of the minor type. The timing chain tensioner was changed on 4.5%, and the timing chain itself broke on 5.1%, carburetter trouble was experienced by 7.9%, a further 1.7% having trouble with the.automatic choke, oil leakage trouble has been experienced by 6.2% while a further 3.4% remark that oil consumption seems to be excessive. Other faults have occurred but in view of the small numbers reported they are not considered to be the type of failure which is likely to occur in any quantity.

Clutch. Clutch trouble does not appear to be a Jaguar problem for 72.5% expressed satisfaction with the clutch. Only 5.6% have required replacement clutches and other troubles are relatively minor, 3.9% remarking on clutch judder, 3.4% requiring replacement flexible hoses due to bursting and 2.8% having master cylinder replacements.

Gearbox.  Although 64% of Jaguar owners had suffered no gearbox trouble many people remarked on various unsatisfactory features of this box. Poor synchromesh was complained of by 15.8% of all Jaguar owners while 3.9% remarked that the gearbox is excessively noisy. Quite a large proportion of owners have the fully automatic transmission, although we cannot give an exact percentage as some people did not mention which type of gearbox they had. Of actual failures 5.6% have suffered overdrive solenoid failure, 1.7% have had damaged oil seals and 1.1% have suffered from seized bearings. Despite its shortcomings this gearbox has obviously proved to be extremely sturdy for very few replacements have been made.

“No failures or trouble but what a poor gear change.”

“No trouble—a most sloppy box for such a car.”

“In excellent condition, I cannot understand why the Motoring Press complain about Jaguar gearboxes.”

“No better, no worse than my previous 3.4. How obstinate the makers are, third to second is a horrible change.”

“No trouble but usual lousy design—-slow gear change easy to beat synchromesh, etc.”

Brakes. No braking trouble has been experienced by 57.5% of Jaguar owners. Few troubles have been met with on the Jaguar braking system, the only real complaints being levelled at the frequent adjustment required by the handbrake, mentioned by 4.5%, and the ineffectiveness of this component, reported by 7.9%. However, the self adjusting .handbrake on the Mk II model seems to be free from these complaints.

“New front pads required eveiy 10,000 miles, rears every 30,000. Handbrake quite useless until current Mk II selfadjusting type fitted.”

“Front disc pads need replacing every 15,000 miles. Handbrake is a joke-requires adjusting every week.”

“Inside pads on disc brakes wear quicker than external ones.”

“Pads required renewing at 9,800 miles due to extremely uneven wear. Handbrake virtually useless-requires adjustment every 200 miles.”

Steering. 72% of Jaguar drivers suffered no steering trouble. Most remarks were made about the low gearing of the steering and reference to the list of modifications show that 10.2% have fitted the optional high ratio steering box. Of actual failures, which are commendably few, report on defective universal bushes, 3.4% had to replace the steering idler and 1.7% replaced the track rod ends.

Suspension. 67.5% of Jaguar owners had no suspension trouble. Shock-absorbers accounted for most failures, 50.7% being replaced. A number of people changed to Koni shock absorbers when a failure occurred. Broken springs were reported by 4.5%, defective anti-roll bars by 2.8%, and broken panhard rods by 1.3%.

Instruments. No instrument trouble has been experienced by 41.0%. As is now becoming evident instruments are one of the most unreliable aspects of motor cars. On the Jaguar, 18.6% of speedometer heads and, 6.8% of speedometer cables have been changed. 15.2% of clocks have failed, requiring repair or replacement, 13% of rev-counter cables and 11.3% of speedometer heads have been replaced, 6.2% of fuel contents gauges have failed as have 4.5% of oil pressure gauges and 2.3% of water temperature gauges.

“Clock just packed up-Smiths! On last three cars each costing over £1,500 the clocks packed up within six months.”

“New car was fitted with kilometre speedometer on delivery.”

“Speedometer cable renewed four times in a year.”

“Two new speedometer cables and have just installed, third speedometer head. Rev-counter recently failed, also the rev-counter gearbox.”

“The clock prefers to be half-an-hour fast.”

“Two replacement speedometers, one replacement clock (which doesn’t work), one rev-counter, one oil pressure gauge and one cigarette lighter. The first one shorted and nearly set the car on fire.”

“New speedometer head. Rev-counter now needs replacing, these being Smiths (Jaeger) rubbish.”

Electrical. No electrical trouble was suffered by 53.5%. The battery is the most criticised component, 17.5% being replaced, mostly within the guarantee period. Other replacements include direction indicators (7.9%), horn (5.1%), dynamo (3.4%), fuel pump (2.8%) and voltage regulator (2.3%).

“Headlamps replaced by sealed bearns as normal narrow beam useless on winding roads.”

“This car needs more powerful headlamps for its top speed.”

“Lucas battery had to be replaced after 12 months. Dagenite replacement is still good after 4 years.”

“At 21,000 miles new Lucas battery fitted. This was replaced free of charge nine months later due to faulty cell.”

“Lucas battery failed at 19 months. Replaced with a different make.”

Rear axle. 74% of Jaguar drivers have had no rear axle trouble. Few failures were reported but 9.1% remarked on excessive noise, many of the 8.5% who changed rear axles doing so because of axle whine. Universal joints have been changed by 1.7%, differential bearings by 1.3%, and oil seals by 1.3%.

Bodywork. 46.5 have experienced no bodywork problems. Water leaks in various places have afflicted 13%, poor paintwork is mentioned by 10.7%, body rusting by 10.7%, poor chromium plating by 10.2%. Defective door locks were reported by 8.5%, 7.4% mentioned body rattles, 4.5% remarked on ill-fitting windows and 3.4% suffered from ill-fitting boot lids. The main areas of rusting are at the lower edges of doors and on sharp edges of boot lids.

Other serious defects. Few troubles other than those mentioned under other headings were reported although there was a general tendency to criticise some of the minor accessories not manufactured by Jaguar.

Tyres. Dunlop tyres are fitted to 70% of the survey cars, Michelin “X” to 17%, Avon to 4%, and Pirelli to 5.7%.

Would you buy this car again ? Yes 78%, No 22%. Obviously few Jaguar owners can think of other makes which they would prefer to own as 78% would buy the same model again while a further 4.5% will purchase another model in the Jaguar range.