Jaguar XK8 Tuning

"Making the XK8 into a cat to be reckoned with"

The XK8 is sadly often overlooked. It is a stunning car to drive and with the right mods it can become a veritable supercar.

In this introduction to the XK8 we will give an unbiased guide to tuning the Jaguar XK8 and highlight the best XK8 performance parts.

You really don't want to spoil the character and nature of the car, but this is what will happen if you get the wrong performance modifications. The key to XK8 tuning is getting the right mods. You can waste loads of money if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Many XK8 owners uprate the handling of their cars as a priority, this will certainly increase your enjoyment of the car. We suggest that you fit uprated suspension and lower the car by 30-35mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with sports suspension.

Our aim in XK8 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end, retaining the car's fun to drive nature and character.

Spending a little bit of money on the top engine and handling upgrades will transform your car into a potential supercar beater.

Engine tuning mods.

These are the mods that are usually performed by our members, decide how far you want to go before you start.

Getting the right mods for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motorsport parts just don't work well on the road and will make the car undriveable.

Stage 1 modifications: Panel air filter, Sports exhaust, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Lighter flywheel, Alloy wheels, Remap.

Stage 2 modifications: Fast road cam, Ported and polished head, Power clutch, Fuel injector & fuel pump upgrades.

Stage 3 modifications: Competition cam, Engine balancing, Sports gearbox, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves).

You really need to keep as much low end power as you can and aim for a long power band rather than a narrow top end power hike. In this article we shall give an overview and introduction to the best performance parts for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance mod.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest performance gains for your money as far as a single performance modification goes on a NASP engine. It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power - if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a performance chip. We'd also caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engine's idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don't forget to uprate the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty. If you find you have flat spots and surges after your mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. Uprated injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine. A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Induction kits are only beneficial to increase power if your car's air intake is restricted! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NO POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and its need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction. For most XK8 engines TorqueCars would suggest you just go with a washable panel air filter. On heavily tuned engines and turbo vehicles an induction kit will help release the power, providing you address the problem of supplying cold air.

Do not go with the biggest exhaust you can get, this will slow up the exhaust flow rate - the best for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

Polishing and porting mods on the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools. In nearly all cases of XK8 tuning your clutch will start to slip and this needs an upgrade - read our guide on clutches for more information.

Turbo engines are just pleading to be Reprogrammed. You will see big power gains on most modern turbo engined cars including diesels, making a remap one of the most cost effective and big modifications for your money. Adding forced induction will see massive power gains, but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective.

You can get more power from a supercharger by using an overdrive pulley which will allow the charger to compress more air. There are of course upgraded larger superchargers on the market or you could look at twincharging your engine.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include a lower unsprung weight and better brake cooling. The drawback to large alloy wheels on your XK8 is that you're changing your final drive ratio and this will have a negative effect on acceleration. Although some people have gone larger than this without problems, we would stick to a 19 inch rim size as the maximum.

For more information on tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss XK8 options in more detail with our XK8 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Jaguar tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

We need your help improving this article, so please send us your feedback in the comments box below and pass on any tips, points or facts we have wrong or have not covered. We really like hearing from our readers, and hearing about which mods were the most effective for them, it helps us improve our recommendations and articles to reflect current trends in modifications and ensures that our guides and tips are kept up to date.

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