[Sean's Jaguar XJS Tech Pages]
Jaguar XJ-S VIN, Paint, and Trim decoding

Last modified 2010 JAN 10 02:46:35 GMT

Enter your VIN code (found on the driver's door post, and on US vehicles, also found on a metal tag on one side of the windshield, or the OEM number (different coding) stamped into the engine compartment), and optionally the PAINT and TRIM codes (also found on the door post when there's a tag there, otherwise on a tag riveted in the engine compartment above the right hand wheel arch), and the ENGINE code (found stamped into the engine - on top near the front on AJ6 engines, and in the valley behind the throttle tower near the firewall on V12 engines).

Keep in mind that the sources for the paint and trim coding information vary - if you find that the results don't jive with what you have, drop me a line at Sean.Straw+Jaguar@mail.professional.org . If you have documentation for reference, I'll gladly accept it. If you have documentation for early XJ-S serial numbers (prior to about 1980), or updates for later ones (post-1992), PLEASE get in touch with me.

BEFORE mailing me about how it doesn't decode your engine right, please carefully examine the banner on this page, and note that it says XJ-S. Not XJ6, XJ12, XJ-40, XKE, or JKLMNOP. SOME XJ saloon serials do decode okay (and I do add more information on them as it is made available to me), because they used similar coding schemes, and where I've obtained information, I've added it to the script. If you want to provide me with printed or transcribed copies of VIN (or paint and trim) coding details from another model of Jaguar, please do - I'd love it if this could decode the full range, although it isn't a big priority for me.

EARLY model years - those before 1980 or so, don't have coding consistent with the later model years, and so, they don't decode here. In fact, there is very little information present in the short VINs. I'm still awaiting further information from Jaguar Cars on early vin codings.

LATER model years - 1992 and later, I don't have any information for -- so if you've got VIN coding breakdown information (from a Jaguar service manual or parts guide for instance), I'd appreciate hearing from you. A couple minutes of your time spent in providing me with a copy of the pertinent charts could go a long way towards improving the results returned here.

Keep in mind that this simply decodes the characters and tells you what they mean. In the case of the engine, it will provide some other attributes I've collected (proper spark gap, compression). This DOES NOT report the history of your vehicle. Please do not email me asking for what else I can tell you about your car, because I simply don't have it.

Garbage In, Garbage Out: don't expect to enter random characters and get meaningful results. Enter information only for those fields which you have info (DO NOT enter junk just to fill them all up - and the number of asinine entries I've seen processed is leading me to modify the script to reject all future inquiries from people who seem to have nothing better to do than enter junk expecting some payout) - CURRENTLY, each field is independantly decoded, although I'd appreciate it if you enter information that pertains to a single vehicle at a time (which will help later in correlating engine serials to certain model years, and in turn will allow this page to be able to report that a certain engine doesn't match the model year that the provided VIN is for).

The engine serial number INCLUDES the prefix and the suffix characters, not just the number. Note that the engine serial is INDEPENDANT of the chassis serial, so don't bother typing the serial portion from your chassis into the engine serial, unless you really want meaningless junk for a response. For those running through life without the benefit of a clue, if the engine serial number doesn't match the pattern given in the example to the right of the entry box, IT ISN'T GOING TO BE DECODED PROPERLY. If your serial number DOES NOT RESEMBLE the code, then DON'T BOTHER TRYING TO DECODE IT.

VIN: will appear something like SAJNA3887JC999999
PAINT: for example: PDH
TRIM: for example: LEG
ENGINE: The WHOLE thing, which will appear similar to 8S99999HA.

Information cobbled from Jaguar publications (factory Workshop Service Manual for 1988 XJ-S and Parts Catalogue for XJ-S), Kirby Palm's Experience in a Book, and a scattering of posts on the Jag-Lovers discussion lists. Gregory Wells of Coventry West graciously provided information on XJ series decoding, which allows the above to decode some XJ model data.


Sean B. Straw
Post Box 751224
Petaluma, CA 94975-1224 USA

EMail to: Sean.Straw+Jaguar@mail.professional.org

Contents Copyright © 1998-2024 Sean B. Straw, All Rights Reserved. Theft will not be tolerated.