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But now we change directions a bit......



Part 8 - And then, something slightly different....  Sept 2019

(This is the eighth in a series of articles on installing the later Gen4 LS engine packages in our Jaguar cars. Check back from time to time for an update)

So for those of you following along, we had gotten to the point that the car was up and running and could be moved around under its own power. That was all well and good but part of the serious side to our business is being knowledgeable about a variety of different Jag models relative to our kits. And in this case we had worked on many XK8 convertibles, and had a few XK8 coupes pass through the shop on their way to new homes, but we never kept one. I always liked the coupe body style and not many people know that Jaguar only built 1 coupe for every 7 or 8 convertibles, so these cars are actually a little rare. The story about how this green 97 coupe came to be in our hands is actually a good one.

A fellow called one day from Santa Rosa (about 150 miles from us) and asked if we might be interested in an XK8 coupe he wanted to sell. Being always interested to listen, he went on that he had bought this car a few years back and liked it, but the car was bleeding him dry as far as repairs. It had 15x,xxx miles on it and although some major work had been done before he owned  it (rebuilt transmission, new throttle body, new shocks, engine timing chain upgrades and more), he was now facing a huge repair of a massive leak of the engine rear main seal. The car was otherwise in perfect running order and had even just passed the biennial California emissions inspection. He sent some pics, we talked some more, and a good deal was done. He even offered to send the car down to us via AAA auto club at his expense- that was a plus. Well when the car arrived, it overall looked like we expected, but had the worst rear main leak I had ever seen. Not a problem since then engine was promptly pulled and given to a local  Jag shop, the transmission  went to a XK8 friend in need, the ECM went to a customer who wanted to try it on his 97 (good used early XK8 ECM's are hard to find...), and now we had a decent roller XK8 coupe and no plan.....

Again, as I mentioned above, we hadn't actually worked on coupes and since Project XK8-G8 was essentially done, it raised the thought of transferring the complete LS drivetrain from the convertible to the coupe. Then we would have an LS coupe to play with and better understand any differences between the different XK8 versions.  And so the work began and it was a cupcake. When repairing most cars, it is mostly a matter of replacing a broken or worn out part with a new one- pretty straightforward. But on conversions, we are starting from scratch  for the most part and creating as we go. Now don't forget, this car used one of our regular XK8-LS kits and that worked perfectly, but there is still plenty of opportunity for the jag owner or technician to lay out and install wiring, plumbing, exhaust, etc.,. to his or her liking. In this case, since the car was essentially done, it was more cookbook. Everything was disassembled/disconnected on the convertible and the entire engine package, with wiring attached, came out as a set. It was a snap- like playing with Lego. Here's a couple of pics of the engine and trans package coming out of the convert and going into the coupe, and yes the hood is still on in both cases. XK8's- and XJ8's too- have a great feature in the hood hinges where you can flip the hood open very far forward for easy access for work like this. And with an engine tilter, the engine and trans go in from the side, easily, even with just one person. That saves having to pull the hood..




Anyway, the whole package went in without a hitch and then the rest of the work was just a matter of laying all of the other pieces back into the car- wiring, exhaust, evaporative plumbing, cooling system and more. It was a snap and went very quickly. As of this writing the car had already been started up and we are taking care of loose ends before getting it out on the road for some real testing.

Here's a pic of the installation at 99% done and ready to fire up. All of the covers are off the brake master cylinder and ECM compartments. Those areas will all be covered with the standard Jag pieces and look very tidy when done. The air intake ducting/system is a modification of a K&N high flow kit made for the 04-06 GTO's. A divider plate between the hot area around the exhaust manifolds and the air filter will be added to keep intake air cool.. Note- the stock Jag air box pulls fresh air from a fenderwell opening just outboard of where the filter is located in this pic.

More to come later....

Want an LS-powered Jaguar for yourself??

Click the links below to Jaguar-LS conversion information on our website and a also photos of many different completed cars, most by our customers:

Our Jaguar LS kits and parts:                

Gallery of completed LS-power Jags: