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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Sorry if this has been asked a thousand times, and not in the technical section, but as I wanted a general view on this topic, both from a model and gearbox perspective I thought I’d put it here.

I‘ve had numerous Jaguars over the years, some good, some not so much, and some which share gearboxes with other manufacturers, however I’m looking at the XF, and there seems to be a lot that suffer and are advertised with gearbox failures around the 100,000 mile mark.

Now, I don’t believe in sealed for life gearboxes, as this is just asking for trouble and I had no issues with a 1998 XKR as I changed the oil regularly and had no problems of any kind, whereas other people did, believing the main dealer in that their gearboxes weren’t serviceable, when they were/are.

I’m not very familiar with some of the later Jaguars, other than diesel Land Rover units being used, so my question is simply this; which XF gearbox seems to be the strongest, either diesel or petrol, and what model spec is considered the best?

I’m looking at trying to find something sub-100,000 miles with a half decent history (I was/am a mechanic, so can do most of my own work, which is above what a dealer would do as I over/short service all my vehicles out of choice and experience).

I don’t mind diesel or petrol, I just want the smooth comfort factor with a good boot of welly if required 😎.

Budget wise = £10-15k ish.

All and any opinions or knowledge would be great 👍🏻.

Thanks,

Jim
 

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XJ Portfolio.2014.Amethyst Black.
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Best XF to buy imho is the deliberately dyslexic one, Jim Bob…..the XJ.….LOL. Furramore, deffo the 3 Litre diesel one with 8 speed auto box and pre. Euro 6 oil diluting problematic ones. Plenty of poke at approx 275bhp and that can be further chipped. Buenos Luckos in your quest.
 
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Hi Jim. Welcome to the forum.
All of the later model Jags use one or other of the ZF gearboxes (6 or 8-speed) which are fairly bullet-proof IF, as you wisely point out, they are serviced by way of an oil change every 60,000 miles or so. A DIY job if you are able to comfortably work under your car or a relatively inexpensive garage job. I've just had mine done for £375.
 

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Both the 6 & 8 speed transmissions have been very reliable in the XF with no notable failures on this forum. If you use the paddles the 6 speed is a more rewarding drive, however the 8 speed is smoother & more economical.
 
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Having had both, I preferred the 8 speeder overall. It kept the 3.0 diesel in the power band for more of the time (unless you put it in Sport+dynamic when it tried to rev it like a petrol :rolleyes: ) and made better progress as a result.

I don't think there is anything in it 6 vs 8 speed for reliablity/strength, they are basically the same architecture anyway.

And yes - regular fluid changes help a great deal!
 

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MY 2012 XF S Portfolio Ultimate Black
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I had 6speed on my S-type 3.0 petrol and 8 speed in my XF 3.0D. I agree 8 speed is better, smoother and has faster response. They are more clever as well.
it doesn’t mean you will feel gear changes in 6speed one like newer dual clutch transmissions.
As mentioned above, both gearbox are one of most reliable parts of these cars and a few failures you have read are probably linked to power flush oil changes that is against ZF recommendation.
Just adding to previous suggestions, please don’t develop an OCD over oil changes. It’s recommended by ZF for cars driven in harsh conditions like going through a lot of stop starts or you are heavy on throttle.
my XF had its first gearbox oil change at 155k and my S-type was sold with 180k with factory oil. Non had issues nor my XF was noticeably smoother after change.
60k is way too early that your gearbox will run on fresh oil if you swap 50% at each service. The reason you hear about failures at 100k is that people do power flush oil changes that is against ZF recommendation. They could save the box by avoiding the service or use a conventional oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the prompt replies everyone, and the general overview 👍🏻👌🏻.

I did wonder where the issue may have been, because I had the older ZF box in an Audi A8 and never had an issue, other than the torque converter, but that I blame myself for due the way I used it, however being ‘a little bit‘ older now, I’ve lost the need for a more ‘spirited’ drive 🤪.

The power flush change issue I wasn’t aware off; I simply do a conventional box service myself and have various ATF types in my workshop for different spec boxes.

Cheers 🙃.
 

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A gearbox problem with an xf is the last thing to worry about,unless you are very unlucky. A facelift xf 250 is a wonderful car, but as with all jaguars they do and will have issues. If you have to rely on main dealers you will need vast amounts of disposable income. But if you can maintain the car yourself they are fairly reasonable in terms of cash to run. If you read up on here almost every problem is covered,( a good idea before purchase), as some things which seem simple faults can be a pain to fix and expensive. don't worry too much about mileage most faults happen before 75000 miles. 100000 miles with regular service is fine as most common faults will have happened. I would go for a top of the range car like a portfolio as they have most of the things you wish you had if you get a lesser model, sound system etc. You may have to look around and wait for one to show up but it will be worth the wait. Active suspension and 20inch wheels are worth the wait the 20inch are comfy with the active and stick like glue to the road. A face lift will have the 8 speed which is superb.
The 3L v6 D S will do 50 mpg on a run (that is what I got on a run from yorkshire to the Isle of Wight) there and back on 1 tank, and I didn't hang about.
So good luck to find a good one.
 

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My 2014 XFS box was awful. The dealer tried many times to fix but I pretty much couldn’t use dynamic due to the neck-jarring changes around 30 mph. Shame as it was fine otherwise. The XFR-S was sublime.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fortunately I don’t need a main dealer for anything other than main dealer only parts (I can cover most mechanical / tech work and a friend of mine is the best auto-electrician I’ve ever known, and who has boxes and boxes of diagnostic kit and dealer software for just about anything). I’ve owned, maintained and rebuilt numerous Jaguars, Mercedes, Audis, BMWs, VWs and so on, be it a diesel or petrol, and all have their own problems, as with anything. I’m not fussed about potential issues, I just like to know about them, hence an initial question on here, which leads to other research like you say and cruising through technical pages on the later Jaguars as I’ve not had or worked on any of them ‘to date’.

Here’s a VW CFJB unit I’ve recently rebuilt and my opinion of it as you can see 🙃. It wasn’t factory when it went back in. I work on the basis that if it’s coming apart, apply all and any upgrades where applicable to improve it 🤪😎.
Hand Motor vehicle Engineering Audio equipment Machine
 
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