Several Options On Repairing And Maintaining A Jaguar Tensioner

by Chloe Gib

In the years between 1997 and 2004 Jaguar not only built cars, but also designed the engines that powered them. One such engine was the V8, which in all aspects was a fine piece of engineering. Until people began to notice a rattling sound when they turned the ignition to start up, as the engine's temperatures and pressures rose this noise would eventually disappear. The rattle was traced to a slight slackness that was starting to be found in the Jaguar timing chain at rest, often caused by the upper Jaguar tensioner chain becoming old.

There is a non return valve, designed to trap pressurized engine oil, and so maintain pressure on the timing chain. This is what stops the rattling noise on start up. Should oil bleed past the piston into the tensioner, this pressure will be temporarily lost and allow the chain to rattle until the pressure has been rebuilt within it.

Another problem with these V8 engines was also caused by timing chain tension problems. These prove to be a bit more problematic to overcome, especially for the home mechanic. Unless you have your own set of specialist tools, it is often advisable to have it dealt with in a garage.

Once the plastic facing has failed, the chain will then ride on the metal face of the tensioner. The engine will perform as normal until one day the chain snags on the broken tensioner, causing it to derail and damage the valves. These broken pieces may also then entangle themselves in the guides for the main timing chain.

As the driver would be unaware of this potential problem, there is only one real course of action. This would be to physically check the actual parts, and this can only be done by removing the cam covers. This is a long job, often over three hours, and that is if there is no problem found.

Gaining access to the cam covers is no easy task, and can take both time and patience. You will need specialist tools to complete the job. As with any maintenance job, make sure that you have the tools and any spare parts that might be needed before starting the task.

Sometimes it is easier just to book it into a garage straight away should you have an issue with the Jaguar tensioner. If you can, try and take it to a dealership, or at least someone who specializes in Jag repairs. As they will have come across this problem previously they will already have all of the tools necessary.

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