XJS & XJ from KWE Cars
Classic Spirit Reborn

KWE Cars Blog - Page 5

Powertrain differential – you are the weakest link!

While external crash damage to a vehicle is clearly noticeable, other parts are less so and therefore require thorough checks and repairs before a car is deemed roadworthy and safe to drive.

A car’s powertrain comprises several important components that are prone to serious damage if a vehicle is unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.

In most modern vehicles the powertrain includes the engine, transmission, drive shaft, differential and the final drive. Together, these components transmit the engine’s power through to the road surface.

Jaguar XJS differential

Our workshop technicians have been kept particularly busy recently with two Jaguars XJSs that were both involved in serious accidents. In each vehicle, part of the powertrain (namely the differential), had suffered serious internal damage.

The differential allows the outside wheels of a vehicle to rotate faster than those on the inside while still transmitting power to both. This is necessary when a vehicle is required to turn, allowing the wheel that is traveling around the outside of the turning curve to roll farther and faster than the inside one.

(This fascinating video from the 1930s explains the principles of the differential gear)

How differential gears work

In one vehicle, part of the gearing teeth on the differential had broken off causing a terrible noise as they were caught up in the mechanism; the other caused the limited slip clutches to fail resulting in one of the rear wheels to skid on every corner – unnerving to say the least!

Differential damage can be caused when a car is struck head-on or from the rear. When this happens, and the gearbox is in Park, the only thing stopping the car from moving away is the ‘tyre-wheel-halfshaft-differential-propshaft-gearbox’ chain. Surprisingly, the differential is the weakest link in this chain.

If the gearbox is not in Park, there’s usually enough inertia in the chain to result in damage caused by a strong collision, even before the wheels begin to roll forwards or backwards.

Our advice to you is that if you are aware that an unavoidable rear end shunt is about to happen, apply as much braking as possible while obviously paying due attention to your own personal safety, and to the safety of any passengers. This will, to a certain extent, protect the differential.

If you know, or suspect that your Jaguar XJS has been involved in a collision then it’s essential to have a thorough safety inspection carried out by expert technicians.

For all used classic Jaguar and Aston Martin cars, we carry out a comprehensive two-hour, on-site condition assessment. For more information, visit our website here.


Differing differentials

Unsure of your differential differences? We list the various specifications below, courtesy of jag-lovers.org.

Salisbury 4HU Powr-Lok

From 1976-1985, the differential was a Salisbury 4HU Powr-Lok that came with either 3.07:1, 3.31:1 (1976-1982), or 2.88:1 (1982-1985) ratios.


From 1985-1987, a 2.88:1 DANA unit was used for the V12. This unit can be distinguished in that the bearings on the output shafts are held in place with three bolts; the differentials both before and after these years have five bolts. It also has no drain plug.

GKN Power Lock

Beginning in 1987, there was a differential referred to as the GKN Power Lock with a 2.88:1 ratio.

Brexit and classic cars: favourable exchange rates for international buyers

Why now’s a better time than ever to source and restore a classic car in the UK


The classic car industry is international, and so are KWE – we’re wherever our clients are. Over the past few years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of international clients. We’re thrilled that our hard work and dedication has resulted in KWE developing its international profile. The secret is out!


The current favourable exchange rates are particularly good news for international customers, whether sourcing a car in the UK or shipping one over for restoration. Post-Brexit, it makes smart financial sense to take advantage of the weaker pound. As Classic & Performance Car reported in July 2016, British classic cars are currently much more appealing on the international market. They’re now approximately 15% more affordable in the U.S. – plus, the exchange rate will effectively pay the cost of shipping the vehicle.


One U.S. customer has already benefitted by at least £1000 due to the pound falling against the dollar. His car was shipped over from New York for a total KWE restoration, before being shipped back for him to enjoy. A second U.S. customer from Chicago requested that we source and build a US-compliant, beefed-up XJS for export to the U.S. – a very exciting project which has had us amping up the power of a classic Jaguar! And a Texan customer has shipped over their Jaguar XJS and Aston Martin DB7 to be restored side by side.


Further afield, we have received an XJS from Australia for a full restoration, and imported several classic Jaguars from Japan. In Japan, they don’t use road salt, and therefore rusting is rare. In addition, the MoT equivalent is much more rigorous than in the UK, resulting in Japanese cars having a virtually perfect body and structure. They therefore make great starting points for creating KWE-upgraded classics.


The Jaguar brand is revered around the globe for the quality of its British engineering and design, so it’s hardly a challenge to sell the virtues of a classic Jaguar abroad – and even less so with the current cost savings! America, Australia, Japan… next stop China?


So, if you’re based outside the UK, now is a very good time to buy a UK classic car!


Contact KWE today to discuss your requirements – whether that’s sourcing a classic car, shipping, or restoration.

Six signs you’re a true classic car enthusiast

Are you a true classic car enthusiast? If you can recognise three or more of these tell-tale signs then the answer is probably yes!


1. You’re a member of a classic car club

You enjoy nothing more than socialising with like-minded motor heads. Joining a classic car club gives you an opportunity to celebrate the life of your vehicle, and the pleasure attached to owning it, with people who care. You regularly attend events where you bond over fond memories of your prized possession, exchanging tips on rust prevention and what makes the best chamois leather.  


2. You have a boot-load of classic car memorabilia

Christmases and birthdays have become synonymous with receiving classic car-related memorabilia and merchandise in a variety of forms. Your office has become awash with replica models, mugs, stationery, and various other car-related oddities.


3. You have named your car

Your car (an inanimate metal object) has a name. Your vintage vehicle is often mistaken for your significant other, due to the way you like to bring it up in conversation. Someone who isn’t aware of your auto-obsession may not realise that Judy is actually your Jaguar and not your partner. They don’t know that when you say “Judy looked beautiful this morning,” you’re actually referring to your car.


4. You like to pamper your car

You love spending your free time meticulously cleaning your car, top to bottom, inside and out. You clean your vehicle after almost every trip on the open road, carefully polishing its chrome detailing and headlights and shining its alloy wheels. Leaving no stone unturned, you like to ensure your vintage vehicle looks as good as the day it was manufactured.


5. You relish any opportunity to show it off

Whilst in the company of others, you relish the opportunity to show your car off to anyone who’s interested (and perhaps those who aren’t). Some compare you to a proud parent, boasting about your baby and its achievements. 


6. Nothing beats sitting behind the wheel

For you, modern cars simply can’t compete and nothing beats the feeling when you are sitting behind the wheel of your classic car. You’ll never tire of hearing the engine roar on the open road!


Feed your obsession at KWE

KWE offers a range of products and services to meet all your classic Jaguar needs. Whether you want to treat your vehicle to a new set of wheels or a full body makeover, we can tailor our skills to meet your requirements. We have become the leading specialist in rebuilding and modernising Jaguar XJ-based cars.


Call us on +44 (0)1635 30030, or visit www.kwecars.com for more information.


More good news for XJS owners – join the ranks or miss out!

Earlier in 2016, KWE reported on the meteoric rise in the value of classic cars in general, and the Jaguar XJS in particular. The XJS has been widely documented as the next modern classic, with prices set to go up year on year.


Knight Frank, ‘The Wealth Report’ 2016

We’re happy to report once more that the Jaguar XJS is continuing to rapidly increase in value, from a slow start up to mid-2015 to a rate of 5-25% a year. The big stars are the rare 6 litre convertibles, and the pre-HE (1975-1980) coupés. It would be fair to say that the XJS is ‘doing an E-Type.’ In other words, as good examples decline in availability, the XJS is becoming very sought-after, with prices soaring due to the investment potential.

Although all examples of the XJS are rising in value, it is not too late to grab one at a reasonable price. However, a good un-restored example that cost, say, £5000 two years ago will now be going for £8 to £10k.

Now’s certainly the time to buy, as we don’t anticipate this trend changing for many years!

If you’d like to stay ahead of the curve, check out our current cars for sale, or contact us by calling +44 (0) 1635 30030 or emailing sales@kwecars.com.

Your chance to own a stunning 5.3 V12 Convertible

We’ve got our hands on this XJS convertible in Jaguar Crimson, available for sale now.


The car is ready to drive off in, but it could also be upgraded to the full KWE specification, offered at cost price. So whether you want it as is, or would like to see some changes made, this car offers plenty of options!

KWE has already assessed and refreshed the car with our usual attention to detail, carrying out what little maintenance it required. With low mileage and only 3 owners, it’s in excellent condition.

You can read the current specification and see the stunning new photographs here.


For enquiries, please contact KWE by calling +44 (0) 1635 30030 or emailing sales@kwecars.com.

Avoid Delanaire Disasters

KWE has developed a way of repairing the Delanaire Mark 2 aircon servo amplifier. Delanaire 2 amplifierSpares are unobtainable and the amplifier has a limited life. The symptoms of failure of this device are a lack of temperature and air direction control, even though the heating and cooling systems are working.

Similarly, KWE can now replace or repair the Delanaire Mark 3 frost thermostat, Delanaire frost thermostat sensor which is also unavailable new. This device commonly fails and forces the refrigeration compressor to run all the time. This in turn causes the compressor to fail prematurely and the evaporator matrix to freeze up (like a domestic fridge) and stop air from entering the car. Another symptom is the refrigerant pipes and hoses being covered in frost when the engine is running.

If you’ve been waiting for a solution to these problems, contact KWE to schedule your next service appointment. You can also find out more about the facts, faults and use of Jaguar air con here.




Invest in a Jaguar XJS, a modern classic with prices on the rise

Why invest?

Over the past 10 years, the value of classic and luxury cars, as measured by the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, has increased by 467 per cent. To put this incredible performance in perspective, this compares with a rise of just 111 per cent in the top end of the London residential market. Hedge fund managers saw returns of only 7.73 per cent over the same ten-year period. The index has reported a continued rise of 17 per cent over the course of 2015 alone. Due to this meteoric rise in value, classic cars are beginning to be recognised as an asset class in themselves, rather than just high-value collectibles.

Buying a classic car is clearly a smart investment choice, particularly as the stock market is volatile and interest low post-Brexit. At a time when there is little benefit to keeping cash in the bank, why not invest in an asset that will not only hold its value, but also bring you years of enjoyment? ‘Passion investing’ is increasingly expanding into the classic car arena; in the last 3 to 5 years, the volume of global purchases has exploded, driven by investors rather than casual collectors.

What to look for?

The best investment strategy is purchasing the ‘right’ brand of classic car. Only certain quality brands will hold value, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, and, of course, Jaguar. Look out for cars with documentation and proof of ownership (we have a selection of classic cars for sale here). The car should be in investment-grade condition, or restored to a high standard – something that our wide range of services can certainly help with. Other strategies include choosing a car that was iconic in its time, or is known from TV and film.

Why an XJS?

Cars from the 1970s to 1990s are beginning to be seen as ‘young’ or ‘modern’ classics, ideal for long-term investment. According to current market trends, prices are set to rise considerably. The XJS, created in 1976 in the shadow of the E-Screen Shot 2016-07-29 at 15.07.30type, quickly won over enthusiasts and achieved a long production run, appearing in numerous TV shows over the years, including The Saint. The car’s instantly recognisable lines have cemented its iconic status and ensured lasting appeal.

The XJS continues to be cited as one of the top modern classics, with numerous publications extolling its virtues. Classic Driver, The Sunday Times and AutoExpress have all published guides to investing in classic cars that recommend the XJS.

Why now?

As well as the beauty, driving experience and nostalgia-factor of the XJS, the potential for returns on investment has also been widely documented. Classic Register named the XJS as one of the ‘Top 10 Affordable Future Classics,’ saying that ‘Many are now starting to recognise the significance of the XJS… which can only mean good things for value growth in the long term.’ Petrol Blog included it as one of their ‘Top Ten Modern Classics with Investment Potential,’ noting that ‘prices seem to have really jumped in the past few years and this is a trend that will almost certainly continue.’ Tellingly, Autocar has predicted that the XJS will never be cheaper than it is at the moment, advising: ‘Find a good XJS and you’ll have an appreciating classic. Old Jags are in demand.’

Clearly, there are compelling reasons to purchase an XJS now, as more and more investors catch on to its appeal and prices continue to soar.


Contact the experts

If you need help sourcing a classic car or Jaguar XJS, or would like to discuss a Jaguar restoration project, then contact us at info@kwecars.com to find out how KWE can assist you.