XK8 / XKR ( X100 ) 1996 - 2006

New Project: Tensioners

 
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:03 PM
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Default New Project: Tensioners

I started tackling the replacement of the timing chains and tensioners. I have most of the parts and tools, the remaining ones are ordered and should arrive soon. I was going to wait until I had everything, but I have enough to get going and I wanted to get started.
The car has 103,000 miles and no symptoms of any engine problems, nor did it ever have any. It purrs like a kitten but it's time to do this, before bad things happen.
I'm planning to document the experience for myself and others as I go. 35 years in commercial aircraft maintenance will do that to you.
I replaced the spark plugs with Autolite Iridium XPs which I got from Rock Auto and with a rebate that came out to $16 including shipping. Two bucks each for those in my hands is cheap. The removed plugs were blacker than I'd like to see but they were all the same color so no individual cylinder issues. Maybe better fuel in the future will lower the carbon deposits. I admit to buying some cheaper gas in the past, but not anymore. Just the good stuff from now on.
Another enlightening moment was that I did a compression check while replacing the spark plugs and I came to the conclusion that there is no reason not to check compression any time I replace spark plugs. It is so quick and easy there is no excuse.
The Harbor Freight Compression test kit P/N 62638 costs about 25 dollars and you can always find a 20% off coupon, so do the math. It's cheap. The threaded end of the hose provided in the kit fits so there is no need for the adapters in the kit. I put a little oil on the threads of the hose end and shoved it into the spark plug hole. Gently spin the rubber hose by hand until tight and it went in 8 times out of 8 tries. Crank the engine and read the gauge, then move it to another cylinder. It was ridiculously easy.
I removed the fuel pump relay in the trunk during the compression check.
Now the battery is out of the car and on a trickle charger for the duration of this event.
Today I got as far as removing the right cam cover which was easy except for the lower back bolt. It was a little tight for clearance, but not too bad.
I'm not rushing this job, I expect it to take a few weeks, depending on how much time I can devote to it each day. I'm much more interested in remaining organized and good results than breaking any land speed records.
Harbor Freight moving blankets are serving well as fender covers.
A husky puppy and a black lab/shepherd mix make sure I don't get disturbed, except when I first go to the garage and they extort me for protection biscuits. That's my fault for keeping dog biscuits in the garage.
If anyone has any questions or comments, fire away.
Greg
 
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2019, 08:18 PM
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Default Good luck with the front end rebuild

As usual on these cars, youíll find (or accidentally break) other things as you work. When you take the bonnet off, put it somewhere safe. I always put copper anti seize on any big steel bolts going into the aluminium engine block.
Stock your fridge with beer as some of the jobs are 2 men jobs. Plus I hope you have a hard ware store close by, as youíll need bits even with merticulous planning.
Key decision is whether to take engine out as it could make access a lot easier. Other people have done this job in situ, but here in Bahrain, labour is cheap so I would ask a local mechanic to take engine out so I could work on it in my garage.
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:52 PM
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Today I removed the left cam cover which was about the same as the right. No surprise there. The lower rear bolt was tough, as expected. I considered moving the coolant reservoir for access, but I didn't need to. The oil dipstick tube is secured to one of the cam cover bolts so it has to be moved. Once the nut is off the dipstick bracket bolt/stud, a tug on the dipstick frees the lower end of the tube from the engine. I can't see where it goes into the engine so I only moved it as much as needed. I hope it just pops back in later.
I put the hood in the service position, which I didn't know existed until recently.
I needed to disconnect the upper radiator hose for access to remove the fan shroud assembly. Some coolant can be sucked out through the cap on the tower with a kitchen baster, then I was able to drain coolant from the upper radiator hose connection to the engine by placing a two cup measuring cup from the kitchen under the open connection. It fit well under the connection and I would fill it by lowering the hose end, then raise the hose and empty the cup and after a half dozen times I was done and I barely spilled a drop.
Removing the fan shroud was a little tricky as it is a tight fit between air conditioning and transmission cooling pipes.
I had to jack the car to get underneath to release an air conditioning pipe from a clip on the bottom of the shroud.
That's all for today. It's time for a cold one.
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:37 PM
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Default Tensioner project

I like your style. Slow and easy. I recommend A remote hose clamp pliers. I also have an aircraft maintenance background, 13 years heavies. I found replacement coil connectors for my 98 NA 4.0 at Rock Auto, just in case they break.
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:03 PM
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:14 PM
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In the previous post you can see my progress.
First picture is looking down the front of the engine with the fans shroud removed. The second is the left bank and the third is the right bank. I'm not too surprised, or concerned, about the evidence of oil leakage in the first picture, as I found several cam cover bolts loose.
Not sure why as I bought this car in 2005 with 18,000 miles on it so I doubt anyone did any engine work prior to this, but who knows. I'll clean everything up when it goes back together.
LTD, thanks for the comments. The connectors all came apart intact. No issues there.
Greg
 
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:31 PM
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Default Slow and steady

Ditto... like your style. No prizes here for doing it quickly. Do cover the open cam shafts over night as you donít want anything to fall in there.

i made a note of the special tools- Turkey baster and kitchen 2 cup measuring jug.

iíll need todo the same job in the future so keep us informed of any problems/tricks you come up with.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:40 AM
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This is a job that you can't sprint through in a day so there is no point in rushing. I know that care taken now will pay dividends later.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:28 PM
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I am removing the crankshaft bolt. I braced the tool with a piece of wood as shown. I used a two foot long 1/2" drive breaker bar with a two foot pipe slid over the end. You need at least three feet of leverage.

Now I'm removing the damper. Watch out for the air conditioning pressure switch wiring and connector.

Another view of the damper puller installed.

Here's the front end of the crankshaft.
 
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Old 03-05-2019, 10:08 AM
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I wanted to post a picture of the tool kit I used from Christopher's Foreign Car Parts. You can buy it for $150 or rent it for $50.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:02 PM
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These are the cam cover bolts with their retainers and O rings.
I replace the O rings on the cam cover bolts today and they don't really want to come out of the cam cover without some help. I used a brass punch as shown in the picture. The reason for the brass punch is that I don't want to damage the bolts. Don't use a steel punch. A decent hit with a ball peen hammer on the brass punch gets the bolt and retainer out. They might come out together, or they might come out separately. You can see an example of each.
The O ring doesn't touch the bolt, instead it goes on the outside of the retainer. There is a small interference fit between the threads of the bolt and the retainer, so the bolt won't just fall out of the retainer, nor can you slide it back in by hand. I used a socket and my bench vise to press the bolts back into the retainers. This wasn't difficult, you just have to do it 28 times.
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 06:41 AM
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Greg,

I want to thank you for documenting your project in this thread. I'm planning on performing this same work on my '97 soon and you have been both informative and motivating.

Ron
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 08:23 AM
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Ron,
Thanks. I'm glad that this thread will help someone.
The most important thing you have to do is prepare by having the proper tools, parts, time, and space. And absolutely stay organized. Make notes during disassembly to aid in reassembly.
I cleaned my workbench before I started this project. I printed the directions for the whole job and put them in a 3 ring binder. Read through it and highlight important information. I check off each step as I complete it.
Label every part and document every step taken so you can pick up it up the next day without relying on memory. Retain every bolt during disassembly to go back into the exact hole it came from. This practice seems like it costs time, but it actually saves time and frustration during assembly.
No part of this project has been really difficult so far.
Decide that you're going to do it, get ready, and dive in. Don't rush. No points for speed here, it's the finished product that counts.
And if you have any questions, there is a ton of knowledge on this forum. You are not alone.
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:42 PM
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Attempting to remove the front crankshaft seal while the timing cover is installed on the engine is a waste of time. Since the timing cover is coming off, remove the seal from the timing cover once you have the timing cover on the workbench.
Removing the timing cover wasn't difficult, but remember it is aluminum (and expensive), so no prying. I wiggled it a bit from the tops, then gave it a few taps with a rubber mallet near the bottom. More wiggling got it free.
With the timing cover removed, I can now see what I'm here for.
A quick preliminary inspection reveals everything is intact but I do see some cracks in the guides.
I estimate that I have between 8 and 10 hours in this job so far.

I removed the front crankshaft seal (in the middle of the picture) with one piece from the kit (the blue piece) and I put an oil filter socket behind the timing cover for support, then tapped the seal out. I will install the new seal prior to installing the timing cover. The deformations in the seal are the result of failed attempts to remove the seal with the tool while installed on the engine.

You can see the VVT unit on the right bank here along with the primary chain, guides, and tensioner.

Right bank primary chain, tensioner, and guides. The alternator is in the picture on the left.

Primary chains where they meet the crankshaft gears.

More of the left bank primary chain, tensioner, and guides.
 

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Old 03-09-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by stu46h View Post
I put the hood in the service position, which I didn't know existed until recently.
.
HI, i have also recently discovered the hood service position,
i believe there is two holes that line up and a safety bolt can be fitted to stop the hood closing accidentally (must remember to remove when finished)
Good thread and i will be watching with interest, Thank you.
 
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:11 PM
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Yeah, I've owned the car for well over a decade and I'm still learning basic things about it. I thought I might have to remove the hood for this project, but so far the service position is fine.
You do need to install bolts in the holes and remove them when finished. I removed the hood struts so I'll remove the bolts when I reinstall the struts.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:17 AM
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I have placed the hood into the service position for several jobs over the years and really appreciated being informed about it here on the forum back in mid-2014 or so. It made the plastic coolant outlet pipe assembly replacement job in October 2014 much easier. It also made the alternator refurbishment / serpentine belt replacement job in July 2018 possible. Everyone who owns one of these vehicles needs to be aware of how to do it....
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 10:43 AM
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Default Raising hood to vertical service position

i bought short fat bolts for the hinge holes to safely safely secure the hood in the vertical position. I even put a set of bolts in the spare tyre tool set in the boot. You never know when/where you need it.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:03 PM
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I spent a couple hours cleaning the timing cover and bolts, then I installed the new crankshaft seal in the timing cover. I used a bit of engine degreaser, WD40, alcohol, and brushes for cleaning. I use the alcohol as the last step kind of like a rinse especially on sealing surfaces because it leaves no residue when it evaporates. Tomorrow I expect to dig into the chains.
 
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Old 03-11-2019, 03:02 PM
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Today I removed the variable valve timing (VVT) solenoids and brackets. Simple stuff but the three mount bolts for the each bracket are different lengths. And one on the left is a nut for a stud. Don't mix them up.
When you remove the brackets, there are two seals (split O-rings) that you are removing. Very light pressure from a small pry bar will get the bracket off.
Then I moved on to installing the camshaft locking tools (one on each bank) and the crankshaft setting (locking) tool. I almost said bad words but I got through it.
Once I reinstalled the crankshaft bolt, I rotated the crankshaft until the cam flats were on top. Under the car, the crankshaft sensor was easy to find. It's behind the oil pan, and on my convertible the center of the crossmember does a great job of obstructing the view into the window where you are supposed to be able to see a triangle on the flywheel. The crankshaft sensor bolt takes an allen wrench just to make life more difficult but after trying to squeeze a variety of allen wrenches in there, not knowing which size I needed, I put vise grips on the bolt and it loosened easily. The rubber cover over the window gave me a little fight but I got it out with two screwdrivers prying it out.
Now comes the fun part, if you don't have a little patience. The window for the triangle offers a horrible viewing angle for the triangle. I didn't bother. I didn't need to find a triangle, I needed to find an oval hole in a row of square holes. As you rotate the engine in the normal direction, the window does not show you the square holes that are coming up to the crankshaft setting tool as you look for one oval hole that fits the tool, it shows what just passed the tool. This tried my patience a little. After almost believing that there was no oval hole for the tool, I rotated the crankshaft one more time and I caught it coming up to its position. I rotated it a little with a screwdriver through the viewing hole to get the crankshaft setting tool in.
I would suggest rotating the engine until the cam flats are almost on top, then rotating the crankshaft as little as possible, checking the fit of the crankshaft tool, then rotating the crankshaft again and checking the fit of the crankshaft tool again. Go too far start over. I did start over a few times but I got better at it each time. It may take a few tries or more, but if you're alone, you have no choice. A helper here would be, um, helpful.
Use the cam flats as an indicator of crankshaft position, but resist the temptation to install the cam locking tools until the crankshaft setting tool is installed, or you will be removing and reinstalling the cam locking tools to rotate the crankshaft around again when you miss the oval hole. Ask me how I know.
In the end I never saw the triangle,, maybe because of the crappy viewing angle,, but I got the crankshaft setting tool and camshaft tools installed.

Installing the camshaft locking tools is a great time to use your 10mm ratcheting box wrench especially for the lower bolts. I got this set from Harbor Freight.

Reinstall the old crankshaft bolt to rotate the engine, then remove it once all the locking tools are in place.
 

Last edited by stu46h; 03-11-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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