I’m in the process of installing new timing chains and tensioners in my '97 XK8. Luckily, the right side chain just loosened enough to make it run like total crap, but no damage. In the process, I removed the oil pan to make sure no plastic bits from the tensioners were there (there were), but to my surprise I also found 1/2 of a valve keeper. To the best of my knowledge, this engine (with 130K) had never been apart, but where did this come from. Was it a bad day at the factory and guys were throwing valve keepers at each other in the engine assembly line?
I’ve decided not to pull the valve train apart (engine was mostly back together when I removed the pan), and go on the assumption that there’s really no way a displaced keeper could travel past the piston or valve lifter in the other direction and make its way to the oil pan. If anyone out there disagrees with this thought, please let me know! Any other ideas would also be interesting to read. Thanks for your time!