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"How much longer did I have" Secondary Tensioners

3154 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Marko 1
Thought I would share my secondary tensioner experiance with you all.
1997, XK8 convertible on 82k miles, full service history etc.
If you are considering a change of secondary tensioners - then do it now, attached are some images of the removed 1st generation tensioners from my car, has anyone seen any worse condition units than these ? chains and primary tensioners all look fine.
For info the engine was (still is) as sweet as a nut, no chain rattle on start up even when cold.
No visual evidence of problems (or none that I could see) with these fitted. All I can offer is if you are considering changing, then don't delay.
I had the new latest generation units for a couple of weeks before the exchange, imagine if they had let go in that time !!!!.
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Days, years that is just part of the issue they might have given up on your next start or soldiered on giving eventually the rattle. Odd that they look black, they should be orange.
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P700, very odd, should be orange. Looks like bakolite.
P700DEE - Thanks for posting images, will get to grips with that soon I hope.

inditime - I agree they do look like bakolite, same colour even where the chains have ran on pads !
I expect you would look a bit black if you had hot dirty engine oil being chucked at you for some years.;)

Seriously though when I had mine changed on the old X308 they were Orange too. I'm glad to see you got them changed just in time though otherwise it could of been quite costly. :rolleyes:
Are these the original tensioners, ie the original plastic ones ?

I have nightmares about mine, the guy that I bought my car from assured me that the originals had been changed to the second generation metal type at around 60k. However I only have his word as there is no documentation. I called the garage that alegedly changed them and he is "sure" they were done !

How much did it cost to get them done ?

I believe that their is now a third generation tensioner ?

Hi Barneyboko,

Yes I believe these are the originals as they are plastic and have no spring assistance I now have nice shiney metal ones in place 3rd Generation, thought the second generation were still plastic but with springs someone on here with far more knowledge than me may confirm.
I was in the same position as you, my seller was quite sure and convincing that they had been done however we could find no documented evidence, therefore I just had to be sure and decided to change them as a precaution if nothing else, glad I did.
I have only changed the secondary tensioners and did this myself (I am a mechanical engineer) the job was quite simple using the non specilist tool method, the tensioners were about £80 deliverd for the pair from Berkshire Jags (very good service from these people) job took around 3 hours, probably the most cost effective 3 hours I have ever spent :)
its quite easy to remove the drivers cam cover and inspect them to see if they are metal. (take photos)
Great post Marko

I agree £80 and 3 hours time is a bargain for peace of mind. I am going to change mines regardless of what's on. do you know where there is any written procedure, to help guide the hand ?

Hi Barneyboko,
Yes there is a choice of proceedures on the following link, one using the reccomended Jaguar tools and the second which I used without specilist tools. - Jaguar Repair Information Resource - hope this is ok to post here, sure someone will tell me if not, let me know if you have any issues opening it. The second proceedure is what directed me, was well described and worked for me.
Best of luck.
Hi all, did mine on my XKR, three weeks ago, and they were identical to those in the photo, BOTH split and one top shoe missing on the left bank tensioner. MY MILEAGE WAS 68.000 ( S Plater), COST ME £74.00 as I re-used the gaskets which were in perfect condition.....Must drop the sump next to find all the bits that went somewhere?........Now have piece of mind and satisfactionn that I did them in time. Get um done lads.
I would advise is to get a copy of the Kelsey Publications paperback, 'Jaguar XK8 A Modern Sporting Icon'. Cost £8 plus P&P This link will show you the details:

Jaguar XK8 Modern Sporting Icon Book

There are 29 Jaguar World Monthly magazine articles about the XK8/XKR. Six of them are technical articles, with stacks of good colour photos showing:
1. A Full service
2. Replacing Timing Chains and Tensioners
3. Changing Front Wheel Bearings
4. Renewing Front Suspension Bushes
5. Replacing Front Dampers
6. Replacing Rear Dampers

For the jobs listed this book is much better than JTIS!!

PS Just seen that the XK8 Book can be downloaded (£4.99) for iPads and iPhones from PocketMags | Digital Magazines for iPad, iPhone, Android, PC and Mac. Search 'Jaguar XK8'
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Those are pretty bad. The only poorer ones you could see would be those discovered after a snapped chain!
As mentioned, normally they look orange after years of service. Those look like the've been baked dry, maybe low oil level or circulation in the past. Unfortunately Jaguar service history means nothing if the owner just relies on their dubious service and maintenance advice.
You can get what could be termed 4th generation for the early cars. Basically these are the metal 3rd generation for the later models, but have been machined for earlier cars.
Thanks Mark

These are excellent guides and easy to follow.

I will let you know if I can dig up the courage to try it myself !

The job is not difficult, the lower rear most cam cover bolt is hard to get at but with a small 1/4 drive socket and a flexible joint can be done.
Take your time put rags in the hole where the main cam chains rise to the cams to stop any "bits" dropping down there, I have an XK8 and didnt need to drain the cooling header tank just simply unbolted it an moved it out the way. Take care with cam and tensioner bolts the torque required on these is low. Let me know how you get on if you go for it.
Best of luck.
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