Important service for 4.0L Jaguar XJ8s, XK8s and S-type timing chain
Timing (cam) chain tensioners are high-failure rate components in most 4.0L Jaguar XJ8s, XK8s and S-types. The original chain tensioners consisted of a metal spring and piston with a composite body and a shoe (or “slider”) made of similar composite material. After many miles of service, the original tensioners are inclined to crack along the sides and/or lose the shoe that the chain slides along. When the plastic shoe at the end of the tensioner breaks off, it can get caught in between the chain and the camshaft gear, causing the chain to break. When the chain breaks, your engine will stop running. Furthermore, if the valves are in the wrong position when the chain breaks, they will come into contact with the piston, causing extensive damage to either the valves or the piston itself. If this happens, it is necessary to remove the cylinder head in order to replace the damaged components. The updated tensioner bodies are made completely of metal with a more robust composite shoe and are unlikely to ever fail.
Frequently asked questions about this service