1981 Jaguar XJS HE Engine



I found a 1981 Jaguar XJS HE engine at a junk yard for 500$. They say it works. I want to use it as a racing engine. My question is… is it worth it to buy and put into a car. I was thinking an older BMW like a 1976 2002 Tii but im not sure if it will fit im going to measure the engine. Thank you



The good new is that it’s not a ford.

I would actually be surprised if it will fit in a 2002, not much room in there. What class will let you run a jag engine in a 2002, vintage?

I assume you are just buying it for the core to do a build, sounds like an interesting project. Have you sourced all the parts you will need for the rebuild, they may be expensive.


“It works” can mean a lot of things, including knocking and smoking. Parts for these engines are expensive and what happens if you invest a lot of time/money into a project and the engine is borderline junk?

If the exhaust ports are oil free, the spark plugs are burning decent, and you can verify the car that it came out of was a total wreck due to a bridge abutment; maybe. You could at least assume the vehicle was moving under its own power when it crashed.

Another option. A fuel injected Ford 5.0. Available everywhere, much more power, compact, and no limit to performance modifications.


well thank you for your answers. The car it self is totaled the whole right side is broken, but the front half aka engine compartment is in perfect condition. Im looking to put into a 1990 honda accord but i doubt it will fit thats why i think it will fit better in a BMW. All i really need is a shell of a car that it will fit into.


The good new is that it’s not a ford.

Actually in this case it’s a bad thing. That era Jag was a piece of crap. Their quality actually IMPROVED when Ford bought them.


The better news is that ford has them up for sale again.

I don’t like the 90s jags either, but making them look like a taurus was not helpful.


If you’re going to build a BMW for racing, why wouldn’t you want to use a BMW engine?
The early 80’s Jaguars and their engines didn’t exactly cloak themselves in glory.



I’m getting the impression that he’s really trying to build a sleeper for the street.


Given that the Accord uses a transverse engine layout, that long 6 cylinder Jag engine absolutely would not fit in the Accord. However, there is a larger issue:

How do you propose to mate up a Jaguar engine with a BMW (or Honda, or…) transmission? And what about the motor mounts, which are in very different locations on the two engines?

This seems to be a project that suffers from either very little technical knowledge on the part of the OP, or at least virtually no planning. I can guarantee you that there are no adapters on the market for that kind of combination. So, you would have to have a skilled machinist fabricate an adapter for you, and I doubt that this would be cheap.

And, there is no guarantee that the transmission ratios of the Beemer would work well with the different torque curve of a Jag engine. Ultimately, I see this as a project that would be far more costly than simply buying the type of car that one wants in the first place.


I agree . . . my 89 accord with a transverse FOUR cylinder is a tight fit. The timing belt replacement is a real pain, busted knuckles every time. I would think that a long six like the jag would do better in a RWD with a bigger engine bay, like maybe a T-Bird. You had better get out the measuring tape. Cool project! Rocketman


If you’re planning on using an Accord your first step needs to be a visit to the bank.
You’re going to need a very healthy loan to accomplish a project like this. The materials and engineering/machinist help you will have to pay for is going to run into a small fortune.
Transverse mounting is a deal killer.