Jaguar Specialties
Innovative and Unique Products for Jaguar Cars

Telephone: 408-839-5569

Email: (Click Here) Andrew@JaguarSpecialties.com

Last Update  12-1-18
 

About Us & Our Cars (updated Dec 2018)

My name is Andrew Weinberg, and I founded Jaguar Specialties as a small business dedicated to supporting Jaguar V8 conversion efforts, and for providing unique and innovative parts for these great cars. With a background as a Mechanical Engineer, I spent many years in industry working on a wide variety of projects, dreaming up mechanical solutions and specialized parts for all sorts of applications (automotive and otherwise). And as a serious gearhead,  I've been tinkering with cars, doing engine conversions, and making special parts for my projects for probably 30 years (and playing with Jags exclusively for at least the last 15). It's been challenging, fun, and interesting, and has also helped connect me with a lot of great people along the way. I'm always doing something with these cars, so check back often to see what's new. 

And just for fun, here's a sampling of some of the cars I built along the way:

 

    

1985 Jaguar XJS coupe with 1985 Corvette TPI 350 with T700R4 ,  built in 1993, sold 2000

This actually my first Jag, bought with a broken V12 back in 1992. Back then it wasn't really an old car, but the motor was toast. I found a wrecked 85 Corvette locally and the project took off. As my first fuel injected conversion it took a lot longer than I expected, but I learned a lot, like how to read and understand a fuel injection wiring diagram, and how long it actually takes to lengthen a TPI wiring harness by 5 feet (that harness had at least 45 wires in it, so adding 5 feet was 90 or more solders- ouch, I'll never do that again). In the end, the car came out beautifully, and ran fantastic. With a TWR body kit and 16" wheels it had a pretty unique look for the time. I drove this car for about 6 years straight only getting rid of it when I started building an XJS convertible in 2000 (also with TPI...)

 

 

1987 Jaguar Vanden Plas with 1987 Camaro TPI 305/T700R4 - built in 1997, sold  2007

I liked how my 85 XJS turned out  a lot, but it was obvious early on that you could only get 1 person in that car besides the driver. So I decided to do a 4 door as well. With a little looking I came upon an 87 VDP that had just blown a piston, but had been cared for very well (and to the tune of big $$) by a local Jag shop. The stack of receipts that came with the car was impressive. Anyway, I soon found a nice 87 Camaro TPI engine and trans for it, and the build was on. This one went quickly and came out very well. It not only got the Jaguar Specialties V8 conversion treatment, but also got some of our suspension upgrades as well (big from sway bar, poly A-arm and rack bushings, etc.,.). Later on, I added 17" XJR wheels with 245/45/17 tires (all of which fit into the wheel wells with no rubbing) and the car handled like it was on rails. With the addition of our European 7" headlight kit and a set of European bumpers (fit closer to the body), it had a very unique look. I drove the wheels of this car and sold it in 2007.

 

  

1967 Jaguar XKE with  Ford 302 V8/AOD trans- built in 1999, sold 2005

I always loved the XKE models, and decided a start looking for one that could be converted to Ford power (Ford's narrow Windsor V8 was the only thing that would fit between the XKE frame rails without modifying them). I looked for a while and finally found a 67 XKE 2+2 locally that had been converted to Ford power years before (like in the 70's), but had been laid up for years, and needed a major going over to get back on the road. I tore into the car and really got it all sorted out. All of the rusty sections were repaired, I rebuilt the front and rear suspensions and brakes, essentially rewired the car, and in the end was probably only about a month's worth of work away from having it back on the road. Unfortunately, other projects and company business pulled me away from it, and an offer from a customer that I couldn't refuse sealed the deal, so it went to a new home. I learned a lot and maybe I'll have another one some day soon....

 

 

1989 XJS convertible with 1989 Camaro TPI 350/T700R4 - built in 2000, sold 2003

After having fun with my 85 XJS coupe, I really wanted a convertible and this one came along. Actually, it had been a donation to a charity, but was a total wreck- bad paint, fair body, torn top, interior that was trashed. It was a major project, but I hammered away at it. A nice 89 Camaro TPI engine and transmission were found and off we went. The end result was a beautiful car that ran like a dream, and was a ball to own. When finished, the car had a full TWR body kit, body  mods (removed side marker lights, emblems, and 3rd brake light), polished 17" XJR wheels, full Jaguar Specialties suspension package, and much more.  It ran and drove better than it looked. Ultimately this car went to a customer who flew out to pick it up and drove it 2200 miles home with no trouble at all. Now that's reliable!!

 

  

1988 XJ6 with 1988 Firebird TPI 305/T700R4 - built in 2004, sold 2006

This car was built to see if it was at all possible to convert the newer 88-94 Jaguar sedans to V8 power. The car itself was a local car with relatively low miles, but due to a blocked water drain in the fuel filler opening on the body, the fuel tank filled with water and ultimately locked up the engine (water isn't compressible). So out with the 6 and in with a V8. And while it was tight, a good fitting, good running, reliable V8 conversion was completed. Out of this project came the new XJ40 Chevy V8 Conversion Kit that is now a regular Jaguar Specialties product, but also the XJ40 Vacuum Brake Booster Conversion Kit that finally fixed/eliminated that nagging expensive unreliable power hydraulic system on these models. It was a great running car and ultimately went to a new owner in the LA area (who drove it 400 miles home....)

 

 

1994 XJ12 with 1995 Camaro LT1 350/4L60E - built 2006, sold 2008

As a next step in developing the XJ40 V8 Conversion Kits, I wanted to build a later (90-94) version. The later cars had better brakes, better electrics, and other improvements. This particular car had been owned by a local real estate agent and the V12 actually overheated and blew at only 66k original miles. The car was too expensive to repair, so I bought it to convert. Over the next several months, it got a fresh LT1 conversion from a 95 Camaro and came out very well. Losing the V12 trimmed 300+lbs off the front end, and with a 300hp LT1 under the hood, the car was a load of fun to drive. Everything worked, including the factory cruise control, and the car was fully California emissions legal. The 18" Jaguar XJR wheels made for a nice update, and great handling too. I had a lot of fun with this one, and then sold it to pursue other projects. The new owner had a great time on his 1300 mile drive home with it (to the Denver area), and has enjoyed it ever since.

    

1988 XJSC with 1997 Camaro LT1 350/T56 (6 speed manual) trans- built 2003 and still here....

This a very unusual model, built by Jaguar before a real convertible was available from the factory. For those of you who have never seen one, it has 2 removable top panels (T-tops) over the driver and passenger, and a removable rear top roof section (or folding soft top rear section) in the rear. The side windows stay in place, so it's a very different way to motor in the open air. I bought this car back in late 2002 with the plan to build something special for myself, but also get very familiar with LT1 conversions. Over the next several months the conversion progressed (you can see the 5 part article written about the building process elsewhere on this website), and the car came out beautifully. The torquey LT1 easily pushes this heavy car around, even with the  tall 2:88 differential, and having a manual trans is a lot of fun. With that gearing, it's easy to get into trouble with the law on the freeway- the car pulls only 1400 rpm at 85mph in 6th gear!!. Anyway, I've held onto this one as a toy to play with in good weather. It has received the full Jaguar Specialties suspension treatment and also a nice set of 17" XJR wheels and tires for great handling and response.

 

 

 

1989 XJS convertible with 1998 Camaro LS1/4L60E - built 2008, scrapped 2009

As I got into the new GM LS-series engines, this car became the mule for my first Jaguar-LS1 conversion. The car had a rough life before coming to me- wrecked twice, (poorly) repaired and showing serious rust. But it was the perfect car to experiment on, and the project went well. From work on this car, nearly all of the now available Jaguar-LSx engine conversion kit and parts were designed and developed.  A full year went into this project, and the result was fabulous. Although the car looked bad, it ran fantastically and was a ball to drive. Unfortunately all good things come to an end (especially when they have rust and a salvage title) and the car was eventually disassembled for parts and scrapped. The engine and trans were saved and will probably find their way into a deserving later model XJ8 or XK8. Stay tuned.....

 

   

 

1975 XJ6C with 1998 Camaro LS1/4L60E - acquired  2007,  still in process...

I always like the XJ coupes, but never had one. When I decided to do the development work on the LSx series of engines into Jags, I wanted something special to start with. After looking for a few months, this 75 coupe actually popped up for sale just 40 miles away, and seemed like a good opportunity. It had already been converted to Chevy V8 power (carbureted engine and T700R4 trans), ran and drove, but had been sitting for a while. Also, a body kit had been molded in, which gave for a unique look. The old engine and trans were sold to a hot rodder, and the work began. This project took a back seat to the XJS-LS1 convert you see above, and work slowed for a time, but it is back and moving now, and the car should be on the road before spring. It has so far received a full Jaguar Specialties front suspension upgrade (poly bushings throughout, big sway bar, upgraded brakes), new Series 3 fuel tanks and new fuel system, and of course the LS1 engine package. Did you notice it has a XJ6 Series 1 hood and grill.????.

You can see some more info and pics on this car here:  XJ6C Update- Click Here

 

  

1998 XJ8 with  1998 Camaro LS1/4L60E - acquired  2010,  sold 2012.

So this was our first XJ8, the beginning of a project to see of a GM LS conversion was possible on these models. These were nice cars, a great upgrade on the very similar 95-97 XJ6 models. But Jaguar's new V8 engine and matching ZF transmission had many reliability problems so there was a lot of pull to do this. This car came to us with a whopping 187,000 miles on it and the owner was frustrated when one day it wouldn't start (we later found that the engine had thrown a rod and made quite a mess inside the block- an odd failure for these..). We got the car here and sized it up and there was plenty of room under the hood and in the transmission tunnel for an LS drivetrain. And to keep everything in the family, the engine and trans from our 1989 XJS convertible test bed above was reused for this car. Long story short, the conversion went very well, including allowing us to develop the special electronic CANBUS interface unit to allow all of the electronics in the car to work properly (that's the secret sauce to these  and the XK8 conversions). The upgraded 18" XJR wheels/tires (even with well worn high miles standard XJ8 suspension) made the car a lot of fun to drive. After much testing, it was clear we were done with this chassis (it was only in  fair condition cosmetically and it would be far easier (and less expensive) to find another nicer car than fix this one up. It was sold in late 2012 on Ebay and went to a new owner in Tulsa who enjoyed it for 5-6 years. Last I heard it had come west again and was in Southern California....

 

  

1998 XK8 convertible with 2005 GTO LS1/4L65E - acquired 2012, sold 2016

After our successful work on the 98 XJ8 above it seemed only like the logical next step would be to try what we had learned on an XK8. The XK8 shared the same drivetrain with the XJ8, so much should carry over. And it did. The car itself came to us in an odd way; it seemed that people in some of the more affluent areas north of us made a habit of donating their old luxury cars to the local high school auto shop program, and the shop teacher there figured out that he could keep some to work on with students and sell others to fund the projects. This car had been with one owner since new and when it hit 99k miles, the timing chains skipped and trashed the engine. Overall it was in good enough shape for our needs and off we went. We located a low mileage 2004 GTO locally that had been wrecked and was a perfect donor (actually, it had been a salvage car twice- wrecked once and repaired, and then wrecked again before it came to us). What was nice is that we had the whole car so for us being still somewhat new to LS engines, having everything available was very helpful... The mating of the GTO drivetrain and XK8 chassis went pretty well and a few differences from the XJ8 experience were noted and become part of the XK8-LS conversion kit we began to offer to customers. With the upgraded XJR 18" wheels and that added GTO-LS1 power, I actually had a great time with this car, and the GTO engine covers really added the "wow" factory when the hood was opened. I  only parted with it for much the same reason as the XJ8 above- it just wasn't that nice cosmetically and again too expensive to make right- better to find another one in nicer shape. We wanted the engine/trans for another project, so it was removed so the car was  sold as a roller with all of the conversion pieces there for the new owner, a retired engineer. He calls from time to time with questions, and last I heard he was still having fun tinkering with it...

 

   

 

1998 Vanden Plas with  2002 Camaro LS1/4L60E - acquired  2012, sold 2018

So this was to be the follow-up to our original 1998 XJ8 conversion- a sedan in much better shape than that one- a keeper. And it was. When we came upon this car it was the perfect candidate- just at 100,000 miles, very  nice body/paint/interior, and the previous owners had spent an obscene amount of money on repairs in the last 1-2 years. The car had new brakes all around, new fuel pump, rebuilt ABS module, and much more. But the trans was dying so they called it quits. It came here ready for an LS and a nice 2002 Camaro was the donor. But this was to be a car to keep for a while, so it got a few upgrades as well- front and rear XJR sway bars, new gas shocks, and then also to move this heavy beast, a switch to a 3.58 ratio differential (instead of the stock 3.08).  The diff swap was more of an experiment but it really worked to move this tank at a surprising rate. When was the last time you saw a long wheelbase Jag spin the tires???? We learned a lot from this one and got a lot of enjoyment (my 10 year daughter loved the extra legroom and fold down tables in the back). After many years of enjoyment, (and the focus of our business shifting more towards the XK8 models, it seemed like a good time for it to go a new home. And if you're a local to Boston you might see it around....

 

  

1998 XK8 convertible with 2002 Camaro SS LS1 and T56 manual trans- acquired 2014 and still enjoying it.

So this car came to us pretty much out of the blue. A fellow from Colorado called one day and asked if we buy Jags and I asked what he had. As it turned out, this was something a little different. His girlfriend (a local development company owner) had bought this XK8 brand new and drove it only in the summers. By 2014 it still only had 33,079 miles on it (and that is not a typo). Well, that summer, her 18 year old son went to get the car out of the garage and the battery was dead, so he went to get another battery and put it in. Unfortunately, he connected it backwards and turned the key and it all went bad from there. The car was towed to the local Jag dealer who quoted them some $5k+ to replace the engine computer but wouldn't guarantee the car would be right afterwards. That's when we got called and we made a deal. For a conversion, this car was perfect- we don't care about the Jag ECM, right?. Once it arrived the low miles Jag engine and trans were removed and sold to a happy XK8 owner. And I had a plan for the car as well. Every since my 6 speed manual XJSC had been finished, I loved the idea of a stick shift, and wondered if it could be done on an XK8. So from time to time, using a junky XK8 shell we had here as a testbed, I tinkered with getting a clutch pedal to fit and so on. After a lot of playing around, it all worked. All of the testbed parts were transferred to this along with the drivetrain from a low miles 2002 Camaro SS. The car is a ball to drive and sounds great with it's free flow K&N intake (a standard- California legal- system for the 98-02 Camaro) and 2 1/2" mandrel bent exhaust system. And for handling, the 19" wheels/tires that came on our 2004 GTO donor car above fit this car perfectly. Some projects for it are ahead such as lowering springs and other suspension tweaks.

 

 

1997 XK8 convertible with 2009 Pontiac G8 L76 and 6L80E (6 speed automatic)- acquired 2017 and conversion in process

So this car had something of a great story attached to it before it arrived in our hands. We're located in Silicon Valley California, an area which is filled with high tech companies. The first owner of this car was a local high tech executive and the Jag, brand new, right off the dealer showroom floor, was  a present he gave himself when he was appointed CEO of the company. And it was his pride and joy in the ensuing years............until it started to need major work. Shortly after his last visit to the repair shop, a bill that totaled some $5k+,  and with still only 75k miles total on the car, the transmission gave out, and he said enough. We got the car in June 2017 and set it aside waiting for the right donor to come up. The objective was for  this car to be the part of a new conversion project using the Gen 4 LS engines (2005 and newer) along with their more modern transmissions. As fate would have it, just a few months later, a wrecked, low mileage Pontiac G8 GT suddenly popped up for sale locally, and there was our donor. For those not aware, the G8 is basically a 4 door version of the 2010 and newer Camaro so this was just the right hardware for us. That drivetrain sports a 6.0L LS engine with active fuel management/displacement on demand (which shuts off up to 4 of the cylinders under light loads) and a 6 speed automatic transmission with paddle shift capability. As of this writing (Dec 2018) , the project is continuing and the car is running. and we hope to drive it off the lift soon. The engine pic above from a few months ago and is something of a mid-stream shot, still waiting for major cooling system plumbing, and air intake, etc.,.

You can see the whole project in separate installments here: XK8-G8 Project- Click Here

 

1998 XK8 coupe- waiting for a direction.....  acquired 2018  ..........

So this is what happens when someone calls you with details of their broken cat and you can't say now. This is a local car that had been the last owner for perhaps only 2 or so years, at which point the cost of repairs at this (155,000 mile) stage in the car's life were quite literally breaking him. The last straw was when the engine developed a chronic (being generous) rear main seal oil leak. Leak is being kind- it was pouring out of there. Anyway, coupes are a little hard to come by, so I thought I'd bring this one in and put it on the back burner until a good project idea came along. The Jag engine and trans are gone, and for now, it's sitting covered, up on the lift, waiting. Got any ideas?? Maybe a CTS-V engine....???

 

Comments, thoughts, suggestions?? Email me- Andrew@JaguarSpecialties.com