Question about Jaguar Xj Series

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Has no compression but the cam chain is not broken!

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  • vands296 Jun 04, 2011

    Sorry but my original claim had more than enough info I would of thought! Start engine, engine stops after engaging drive, select park to restart, NO COMPRESSION ON ANY CYLINDER!!! a day later, after cranking and waiting for all cylinders to refire a total time of about 5 mins, the car has been running fautlessly since, comps test ok with a 13 lb variation over all cyls, has the same amount of torque and revs as it did before without a hint of blue smoke nor fumes from crankcase pressure! go figure!!!



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Loss of compression can be due to a bent head, bent valve not closing all the way, bad head gasket, hole in the piston, dropped piston, bad or broken piston rings, compression checked on cylinder with valve in the open position.

Posted on May 29, 2011

  • vands296 Jun 03, 2011

    Well that answer was of no use as my description of the ailment may not have been read properly, my XJ6 X300 series had no compression on any cylinder after idling in the driveway for about 15 seconds, but cams were operating as designed, compression returned several days later by my insistant cranking (at the risk of a starter motor) over a period of some 3-4 minutes as 1 cylinder at a time came back into compression! this continued for a further 2 odd minutes untill I got the engine to red line finally firing on all 6 cylinders, the issue is however, that no reasonable answer can be found nor given to something of a completely mechanical nature, foot-note to all this is the fact that I now have no answer to this temporary failure in compression leaving me with an unreliable motor-car! I have rebuilt countless types of engines in my 50 years and have not until now witnessed anything like it! absolutely no rhyme nor reason! Disappointed, Kiwi Steve

  • vanyell Jun 04, 2011

    This was the entirety of your question,

    "Has no compression but the cam chain is not...

    By vands296 on May 29, 2011
    has no compression but the cam chain is not broken!"

    Everything else that you have stated in your reply was not given in the original question but since you decided to add more details then I can give an answer as to what you may be dealing with.

    First all of the above still holds true outside of checking the compression on a cylinder with a valve in the open position, that aside if your cranking the car over and over then your creating friction in each cylinder and heating up the cylinder walls as well as the piston rings and pumping oil through the system slowly but still getting it into each cylinder. It stands a good chance that piston rings are extremely worn to the point of not being able to hold compression in the cylinders while the engine is cold and there is little or no oil acting as a secondary sealer in the cylinders. Loss of compression on all cylinders generally indicates a blown head gasket(s), worn piston rings or catastrophic failure of the engine block or heads which could be caused by overheating which could be caused by a blockage in the cooling system or a failure of the oil pump to deliver oil as designed to the internals of the engine.

    Word of advice, when you have a problem and you are looking for help it is a good idea to include details in your question which in your original question you failed to do.



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If it collapses, the chain/s become very loose and you will hear a loud clacking noise. It can also collapse due to low oil pressure.

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I've had a few of these engines break the cam shaft after cylinder #4. meaning #5 & #6 have no compression, but also no oil pressure due to no oil pump drive from cam shaft. 2 out of 3 times the engine was toast. If it truly skipped the timing, then you will need a timing chain and sprockets. When the timing skips or the cam shaft breaks, the pistons will definitely hit the valves and bend them, thus no compression. I'd recommend tearing down the engine yourself and determine what went. To check the cam shaft, remove the front valve cover and watch the rockers for cylinder #6, if they don't move then broken cam shaft.

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2. If you have spark, check for fuel. On carbureted engines, remove the air cleaner, hold the choke open, look down the carburetor throat and work the throttle linkage. If you don't see any fuel squirting into the carburetor, the problem may be a stuck needle inlet valve in the carburetor, a bad fuel pump, a plugged fuel filter, a plugged or frozen fuel line, an obstructed fuel tank pickup screen, or no fuel (or water contaminated fuel) in your tank.
3. If you have spark and fuel, your timing chain or belt may have broken or slipped. If your engine has a distributor, remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor turns when the engine is cranked. No movement would tell you the timing belt or chain (or possibly the cam itself) is broken. Another alternative is to remove the valve cover to see if the valves are opening and closing. This too will show you if the cam drive or cam is broken.
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