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Just thought I'd post a few pics of our prototype car here- this is a 1998 Jaguar XJ8 sedan with a Chevy Camaro LS1 V8 Conversion. This has been an ongoing project for a couple of months now, and the result (as you see it here) is a great running/driving car that has far exceeded our expectations. The new eng/trans package seems to have about the same weight as the original, so handling is unaffected, but the performance (compared to the original 4.0 Jag V8) is night and day. The car is a ball to drive. At the time these pictures were taken, the car had nearly 200 miles of city/highway driving on it.
Some wiring details are still being worked out, but this project will ultimately result in a kit and related parts for our to customers to do a similar conversion on their own cars. That would be for the 98-02 XJ8 and XJR sedans.
Some interesting details on this conversion:
Accessory drive- stock GM with no aftermarket parts
Exhaust manifolds- stock GM (high flow) cast iron
Oil Pan- mild modification on a standard GM pan (so mild that oil pickup remains unmodified)
One last note- much of what was done here would also apply to the Jag XK8 and XKR coupes and convertibles, and we plan to have a kit offering for those models as well soon.
Actually, that stock 300hp (actually 290) original Jag engine was full of problems from day one, with timing chain/tensioner issues (leading to piston/valve collision and major engine damage), early failing water pumps, premature cylinder bore wear, and others. Look on some of the Jaguar forums for more details. The timing chain tensioner parts were redesigned by Jaguar 3 times before the proper solution was released in 2002 (4 years after the XJ8 first appeared). Also, transmissions in these cars (built by ZF) were "sealed for life" which also seemed to lead to premature failure (before 100k miles).
And the supercharged version had all of the above problems and more....
The summary is that this original drivetrain had/has many reliability issues, which while repairable, are VERY EXPENSIVE to repair. As a result, there was an interest in some other eng/trans combo to make the car easier to own. The LS1 fits the bill perfectly. The cars themselves are great, it's just the original drivetrain that was the problem....
I think the question was if the rear end will hold up. Since the original was a 290hp engine, Docked wage surmised it would, but I know there's a big difference in torque between the two. I still don't think the rear end is a weak link necessarily.
1987 Jaguar XJ6
2004 LQ4 6.0/4L80E in the works...