Keep­ing it alive!

With prices for mint Mk2 Jaguars still ris­ing faster than in­fla­tion, a well-sorted 240 or a more pow­er­ful 340 makes a slightly more af­ford­able al­ter­na­tive

Classics Monthly - - Contents - WORDS Iai n Wake­fie ld

Jaguar 240 – is this a more af­ford­able way into hal­lowed Mk2 own­er­ship?

S ome­times its of­ten the runt of the lit­ter that grows up to be top dog and in the case of the Jaguar 240, what started out as a cheap­ened 2.4 litre Mk2 was not only bet­ter built and eas­ier to main­tain when com­pared its more ex­pen­sive sib­ling, it's cur­rently cheaper to buy.

In­tro­duced in Septem­ber 1967, the Jaguar 240 ti­died up the re­mains of the out­go­ing Mk2 line-up and helped stave off com­pe­ti­tion from other BM LC prod­ucts, such as the Tri­umph 2500 PI, Van­den Plas Princess R and even the Rover P6.

One of the big­gest crit­i­cisms, how­ever, was how Jaguar had down­graded the new 240’s in­te­rior by us­ing man-made Am­bla seat fac­ings in­stead of the Mk2’s tra­di­tional fine leather. A pair of cheap look­ing chrome grilles now re­placed the trade­mark driv­ing lights, which now ap­peared on the 240’s op­tions list. Other changes in­cluded ditch­ing the tra­di­tional rear pic­nic ta­bles, while in came nar­row chrome bumpers sim­i­lar to those fit­ted to the S-Type and plain 420 style hub­caps.

How­ever, the 240’s sav­ing grace was a much needed power hike. This raised the out­put of its 2483cc six-cylin­der XK en­gine from the out­go­ing 2.4 litre’s 120bhp to a far health­ier 133bhp. Jaguar achieved this by re­plac­ing the old B-Type cylin­der head with a straight-ported af­fair sim­i­lar to the one fit­ted to the 4.2 E-Type.

Other up­grades in­cluded up­rat­ing the cool­ing sys­tem, while fit­ting twin 1¾-inch SU car­bu­ret­tors and a re­cal­i­brated dis­trib­u­tor had boosted the 240’s torque to a re­spectable 144lb.ft at 3700rpm.

As well as the slim­mer bumpers, the new 240 and its 210bhp 340 badged sib­ling both fea­tured sporty twin ex­hausts tips ex­it­ing from one cor­ner of the rear valance.

With a list price of £1364 for the Jaguar 240 and £1422 for the more pow­er­ful 340, these ‘bar­gain base­ment’ Jaguars suc­cess­fully squeezed a few more years out of their well­proven Mk2 un­der­pin­nings. Although the 3442cc pow­ered 340 was culled in 1968, the 240 sol­diered on un­til the fol­low­ing year and man­aged to pro­tect these shores from con­ti­nen­tal in­ter­lop­ers un­til pro­duc­tion of the equally good value XJ6 fi­nally came on full stream.

WHAT CAN GO WRONG BODY­WORK

The 240’s bodyshell is a di­rect de­scen­dant of the MkI, Jaguar’s first uni­tary built sa­loon. This means there are plenty of rust traps to worry about and the main ar­eas to check are the box sec­tions and chas­sis rails, in­ner and outer sills, floor­pans, front and rear wheel arches and all the door bot­toms. Rust will also at­tack the front wings along the top near the front scut­tle as well as at the base of the grille around the open­ings for the op­tional driv­ing lights.

An­other se­ri­ous rust spot on the 240/ 340 range is the front cross-mem­ber, es­pe­cially where it at­taches to the front valance. Like the Mk2, the boot floor and rear valance can rot out badly and rust will also at­tack the chas­sis around the rear sus­pen­sion mount­ings.

Although the 240 and 340 all fea­tured thin bladed front and rear bumpers, many ex­am­ples will have been fit­ted with the deeper Mk2 style bumpers. Although the brack­et­ing and panel work on the 240 is slightly dif­fer­ent to its pre­de­ces­sor, it’s not a ma­jor job to re­in­state the cor­rect pro­filed bumpers on con­verted ex­am­ples.

EN­GINE

Prop­erly main­tained, the twin over­head cam XK en­gine should eas­ily be able to achieve 100,000 miles be­fore re­quir­ing any se­ri­ous at­ten­tion. How­ever, one ma­jor prob­lem that af­fects all these en­gines as the miles mount up is over­heat­ing and this is usu­ally put down to furred up wa­ter­ways. To keep the cool­ing sys­tem in tip-top con­di­tion, it’s es­sen­tial to use a

good qual­ity anti-freeze all year round and make sure the sys­tem, in­clud­ing the heater ma­trix, is reg­u­larly flushed out ev­ery two or three years.

Tim­ing chains can wear and rat­tle, not an easy DIY re­pair job on a XK en­gine, and oil leak­ing from the twin al­loy cam cov­ers is a com­mon prob­lem. More se­ri­ously, the rear crankshaft oil seal can leak and to re­place this item is an en­gine out job. Oil pres­sure on both the 2.4 and 3.4 litre en­gines should be around 45psi at 3000rpm.

The valves on these en­gines are ad­justed by adding dif­fer­ent sized shims and this job is best left to an ex­pert with the re­quired se­lec­tion of shims to com­plete the job. If pur­chas­ing a 240, check the en­gine num­ber with the V5, as many 2.4 litre units will have been re­placed with the more pow­er­ful en­gine. A use­ful clue if you com­pare a 240 against a 340 is that the smaller ca­pac­ity unit sits slightly lower in the en­gine bay.

TRANS­MIS­SION

All cars fit­ted with man­ual trans­mis­sion had a four-speed, all syn­chro­mesh gear­box with op­tional Lay­cock de Nor­manville over­drive. A three-speed Borg Warner Type 35 au­to­matic gear­box was of­fered as a cost op­tion and many au­to­mat­ics will have been con­verted to a man­ual dur­ing a ma­jor re­build. While the man­ual gear­box in these cars is tough, its not the quick­est and can be heavy in ac­tion. A badly worn man­ual gear­box will whine, crunch when swap­ping be­tween sec­ond and third and jump out of gear, es­pe­cially on the over­run.

Au­to­matic gear­boxes can slip when swap­ping ra­tios and lose drive if badly worn. Check­ing the colour of the ATF will re­veal the con­di­tion of the gear­box. Dark brown and burnt smelling fluid will in­di­cate the bands and clutches have over­heated and worn. Re­mov­ing the gear­box from one of these cars for a clutch change is a ma­jor job and when un­der­tak­ing this task, many spe­cial­ists re­move the en­gine and 'box as a sin­gle unit.

SUS­PEN­SION & BRAKES

The 240 and 340’s front sus­pen­sion com­prises of up­per and lower wish­bones, coil springs and tele­scopic shock ab­sorbers. At the rear, the sus­pen­sion set up is made up of trail­ing links with can­tilever semi- el­lip­tic springs, ra­dius arms and tele­scopic dampers. The low- geared Bur­man re­cir­cu­lat­ing ball steer­ing box fit­ted to these cars was never of­fered with a power steer­ing op­tion, so low speed ma­noeu­vring while park­ing can be hard work.

Shock ab­sorbers and road springs can wear and if the car doesn’t sit straight or looks down at one end, then it’s time to re­new these com­po­nents. Reg­u­larly check the sus­pen­sion for worn bushes; es­pe­cially those in the front wish­bones and rear ra­dius arms.

Disc brakes were fit­ted all round on these cars and one of the most com­mon prob­lems will be seized calipers and worn disks. Although it’s a good idea to reg­u­larly in­spect the brake lines

for cor­ro­sion, many cars will have been fit­ted with cop­per lines but make sure these are all well sup­ported, as ex­cess vi­bra­tion can some­times cause a flay­ing cop­per pipe to crack and fail.

Own­ers of­ten com­plain about these Big Cats hav­ing in­ef­fi­cient hand­brakes but it’s all down to how the mech­a­nism has been set up. Like the Mk2, quite a few 240s and 340s will be sit­ting on wire wheels and these should be checked reg­u­larly for any bro­ken or loose spokes. Steel rims should be fin­ished off with a growler adorned chrome hub­cap sim­i­lar to those found on the Jaguar 420.

IN­TE­RIOR

It may have been toned down for cost cut­ting pur­poses, but the 240s’ in­te­rior still looks classy and many ex­am­ples will have been re-trimmed in hide. One ad­van­tage of the orig­i­nal Am­bla trim is that it’s harder wear­ing than leather and even af­ter 50 years of use, many orig­i­nal in­te­ri­ors fea­tur­ing this ma­te­rial are still look­ing good.

The dele­tion of the rear pic­nic ta­bles in 240 may have upset Jaguar purists but the lack of this fea­ture should be no big deal to­day. Some ex­perts claim the stan­dard of the fit and fin­ish on the in­te­rior wood­work isn’t up to the same stan­dard as that in the Mk2 but again, that’s a mat­ter of per­sonal taste.

Like all Jaguars, re­viv­ing a tatty in­te­rior will be an ex­pen­sive busi­ness and if con­sid­er­ing a full restora­tion, al­low at least £10,000 to re­fur­bish the wood­work and re­uphol­ster all the trim. Fi­nally, fifty-year- old wiring can be prob­lem­atic, so if buy­ing an un­re­stored ex­am­ple, make sure all the in­stru­ments and lights work prop­erly, as a short could re­sult in a very ex­pen­sive fire.

CON­CLU­SION

Con­tem­po­rary road tests praised the Jaguar 240's per­for­mance when com­pared to the lack lus­tre 2.4 litre Mk2 and to­day these cut- price Jaguars rep­re­sent ex­cel­lent value for money. Although prices are start­ing to nar­row, a de­cent 240 can still be ac­quired for around two-thirds the price of a 3.8 Mk2.

A well- pre­sented and very us­able 240 in need of some TLC will cost some­where in the re­gion of £10,000-£12,000, while Con­di­tion One 340s can of­ten sell for over £ 20,000, more if it’s a re­cently pro­fes­sion­ally re­stored ex­am­ple. The days of cheap and cheer­ful 240s and 340s seem to be fad­ing fast and even bas­ket cases re­quir­ing a full restora­tion can change hands for be­tween £3000£5000. But if you really fancy own­ing an in­stantly recog­nis­able ' Six­ties Jaguar sa­loon, a 240 or 340 can be a very cost- ef­fec­tive en­try ticket into what is fast be­com­ing a very ex­clu­sive club. TECH SPEC JAGUAR: 240 EN­GINE: 2480cc XK in­line- six POWER: 133bhp at 5500rpm 0- 60: 12.5 sec TOP SPEED: 105mph ECON­OMY: 17mpg (av­er­age) LENGTH: 459cm WEIGHT: 1448.8kg

Although wire wheels cer­tainly look good, they can be dif­fi­cult to clean and the spokes need check­ing reg­u­larly.

From 1968, all Jaguar XK en­gines fea­tured fluted rocker cov­ers in place of the pre­vi­ous plain al­loy ones.

Ren­o­vat­ing a shabby in­te­rior on one of these Jaguar sa­loons will be a very ex­pen­sive busi­ness.

The 240's in­te­rior is clas­sic ' Six­ties Jaguar through and through and fea­tures plenty of ve­neer and leather.

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