How big a problem is Nikasil?

I know the subject of Nikasil has been discussed ad nauseum but --
I'm considering a 1998 XJR with about 76,000 miles on it. Supposedly
no rough idle (I haven't actually seen it yet). Before forking my cash over, should I:
- insist on getting a compression check? I read somewhere that a simple air filter check (to see if it is covered in oil) suffices.
- If it is problem free with 76,000 miles on it, is it safe to assume that the Nikasil liners are and will continue to be OK? (the car has been in the Western United States for the its entire life)
- It is covered by a 30 day/1000 mile warranty; however the warranty states that it does not cover repair "of valves and/or rings for the purpose of raising the engine's compression when a breakdown has not occurred." I interpret this to mean that if after I buy it, take it to a mechanic and discover the compression is too low, the warranty will not cover it unless the engine has completely broken down. Opinions?
- How much would it cost to get resleeved?
- Should I simply forgo the pre-1999 models and focus instead on later models? I assume they stopped using Nikasil in late 1999? I think I read somewhere you can tell if it has non-Nikasil liners if it as "F" in the last six digits of the VIN. Is this correct?
Sorry for all the questions. I am attempting to become a Jaguar owner and would like the first experience to be a pleasant one. Thanks in advance.
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Greetings, Whilst I have no first hand experience with the Nikasil engine, I did a lot of research for a client of mine who was considering the purchase of a Jaguar with the Nikasil engine. My suggestion to you is that you simply go to Google or some other search engine and put in the word "Nikasil" There is plenty of information on the topic. Basically, from what I discovered, the Nikasil problem is caused by the high sulfur content of US and UK fuels. These fuels will rapidly destroy the lining in the engine. Engines have been known to go in as short a period time as 30,000 miles. The Nikasil problem was way too much a risk for my client and he opted out of the Jag he was looking at.
Cheers Webserve

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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (truegrit) wrote in message

One of the best discussions you'll find on *the effects of* a Nikasil block (but with BMW-specific information) is at my pal, Brett Anderson's, site at www.koalamotorsport.com. After reading that and getting some Jaguar specifics (Does this *particular* car have a Nikasil block and does Jaguar have an assistance plan for it?), you can make an informed decision. -- C.R. Krieger (Been there; done that)
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The use of Nikasil casting began in the '70's with Porsche's 928 and has been a continuing problem for all mfr's using the technology. Recently BMW has had the most noteable problems in terms of volume, but Jaguar has had to deal with the issue as well, particularly on early XK8s.
Problems with Nikasil technology can't seem to prevent engineers from using it, as it's a superb weight saver. Consider that while Ford chose to use an AJV8 derivative in the Lincoln LS and Thuderbird, they used steel cylinder liners rather than Nikasil technology. The new 4.2 AJ engine being used in Jaguars is also using steel liners. I fiond it ironic that in 1986 Jaguar engineers chose to use steel liners in the then-new AJ6 engine, and cited Porsche's problems with the 928 as an example of why they would not consider it for their new engine. Apparently good sense left the building when Dave Szcupack took over engine design!
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