Even though the oldest of the Jaguar V8 engines is now 16 years old (beginning with the introduction of the 1997 Jaguar XK8), we are still seeing cars with their original plastic timing components, tensioners & guides, failing. Some of these V8 Jaguars are still out there with these original plastic parts just waiting to fail – an actual ticking time bomb! No longer do they just fail from mileage, but age also causes the plastic components to crack, crumble and fail. When the plastic breaks it usually causes the timing chain to jump or break. If this happens as you start the car you could be lucky with minimal damage. However, at 20 mph you will definitly bend a few valves and possibly damage the entire engine beyond repair. I have seen a few break valves, pistons, and con rods. Several engines shot the piston thru the side of the engine block. A new engine is over $10,000 which is usually cost prohibitive – unless you really LOVE your Jaguar.
If you own a Jaguar V8 from 1997-2003 and you dont know if you have had the updated timing components fitted to your engine – You might want to save yourself alot of headaches and get it checked!
In this photo you can see a broken piece of plastic tensioner sitting in the lower right corner. We caught this just before it caused MAJOR damage.