XJ XJ8 / XJR ( X308 ) 1997 - 2003

Associated work with head gasket

 
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:14 PM
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Default Associated work with head gasket

I bought a Carnival Red 1998 XJR with 99k mi on the clock for pretty cheap, with the knowledge that it needs a head gasket. I am going to replace the thermostat and water pump as common sense preventive. The first question I would like to inquire here, are these SC V8 motors prone to timing chain failure? I can get a complete kit w/tensioners and rails on partsgeek.com for $140usd, but also want to know, is this too much of a bargain to be worth it? Am I better off spending the $450+ for this kit?
The second question, I want to do a valve clearance check/adjustment. I have a shim kit for old 8 valve VW 4 cylinders. It looks the same diameter, or is there a better option available for new shims?
 
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Old 03-12-2019, 03:35 PM
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Nice color!

KTM, the 1998 XJRs are susceptible to timing chain tensioner failure, and the earlier the year, the more susceptible they are. If you are really lucky yours may have been replaced, but don't bet on it. You can remover the right/passenger side valve cover and see the top tensioner, if it is a red color it is original, if it is a grey/metal color it has the replacement tensioners.

Good to replace the thermostat, and water pump, best to replace the plastic thermostat tower with a upgraded metal one too.

I have no knowledge of the quality of the tensioner kit on parts geek, but I always recommend the kits that Christopher's Foreign Parts puts together. He knows his stuff, and his customer support is excellent. For peace of mind I would go there. https://christophersforeigncarparts....ections/jaguar

You will need a timing kit, they are very reasonably priced..........https://www.ebay.com/itm/Engine-Timi...EgC6:rk:4:pf:0

This is a well priced crank holder/puller set. .............
Amazon Amazon

I have no knowledge on the valve shim question.

.
 
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KTMTech View Post
The first question I would like to inquire here, are these SC V8 motors prone to timing chain failure? I can get a complete kit w/tensioners and rails on partsgeek.com for $140usd, Am I better off spending the $450+ for this kit?
The second question, I want to do a valve clearance check/adjustment. I have a shim kit for old 8 valve VW 4 cylinders. It looks the same diameter, or is there a better option available for new shims?
As advised, go for a top quality complete timing kit (you don't want some cheap timing parts with questionable origin). As for the head gaskets, I would only go with genuine Jaguar - it's a high performance supercharged engine. With regard to the crankshaft pulley holding tool, the usual tool for XJ8 won't work on an SC engine. The XJR's crank pulley is much deeper so you need a tool which comes with an extension segment like: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Laser-6412-...OAjKJDb3cz6jzw.

I don't think valve shims from any other engine will fit. Furthermore, the XJ8/XJR shims come in very small increments for accurate clearance setting, otherwise you will have a lot of "ticking" from the valve train. For the clearance setting, you will also need a set of feeler gauges in as many small increments as you can find.

If you want the new head gaskets to last, have the flatness of the head faces checked and skimmed if necessary. The height of unskimmed heads is 131.0 mm measured from the head face to the top face where the cam cover gasket seats. Check whether the heads have been skimmed before and that, with your skimming (if required), the head height is not too much below 131.0 mm. I believe 0.1 to 0.2 mm below should be ok. And certainly get new cylinder head bolts.

You don't need to worry about the thermostat housing - on SC engines it is aluminium, not plastic.
 
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by M. Stojanovic View Post
With regard to the crankshaft pulley holding tool, the usual tool for XJ8 won't work on an SC engine. The XJR's crank pulley is much deeper so you need a tool which comes with an extension segment like: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Laser-6412-...OAjKJDb3cz6jzw..
Didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out.


Originally Posted by M. Stojanovic View Post
You don't need to worry about the thermostat housing - on SC engines it is aluminium, not plastic.
I did know that, but had forgotten!


 
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:19 PM
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You may want to replace the starter and alternator while you have the passenger-side (right) head off. It's infinitely easier to get at both from the top side with the head out of the way. They might be OK now, but consider that starters are designed to operate 20,000 cycles. How many times do you suppose your car has been started since 1998? As for the alternator, the bearings eventually fail even if the alternator still produces current. Both are easier to do now when you're planning for it than somewhere down the road when you are least prepared. Or at the side of the road, as these things tend to happen.....
-Steve-
 
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:17 AM
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The job is complete. I used a more expensive (eurospares) timing kit with gaskets and genuine Jaguar head gaskets (gaskets only), sent the heads out to be planed, but the machinist said they were fine. I did not change the starter or the alternator. I measured all of the valves, 4 were out of spec, I was able to mix and match 3 shims, but had to buy one shim. Upon first start-up,then warmed up, the idle was very high (2k rpm). I cleared any fault codes, then did a hard reset and it then idles fine at 750ish RPM. I bought a cheap cam timing tool that broke upon my last usage on the right side cam, and will return that for a refund. I also bought the PMD crankshaft holder/removal tool which worked very well. The sad thing is, I will probably not use it again. I am happy I have the motot sorted out, now I can do a few other things the car needs like the L/F inside door handle, cupholder and subwoofer/speakers. A full detail is also in order. Thank you all for your suggestions and recommendations, and apologies for a late Thank You!!! As you know, I have been a little busy with this project :-)
 
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:25 AM
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Hi I have a 2000 xjr that I plan to do full timing chain job . If your tools will work with my car could I buy it off you. Thanks. Sacho
 
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:50 AM
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Hi Sacho, I can sell you the crank holder/puller, but I have had to return the cam/crank tools, as the cam holder broke while tightening my last cam. They do sell stronger tools for more money, but if you like, I can sell you the PDP-1276 from PMD products crank holder. PM me for details, as I don't think this is the arena for selling stuff.
 
 
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