Engine Renault J8S

The 2.1-liter Renault J8S diesel engine was assembled at the company’s factory from 1979 to 1997 and was installed on many popular models of its time such as Espace, Safrane and Jeep Cherokee. There was both an atmospheric modification of a diesel engine with 64 hp, and a turbocharged version with 88 hp.

In 1979, the naturally aspirated 2.1-liter diesel engine debuted on the Renault 20. At first it was simply called 852, but then it received the more familiar J8S index for the concern. It was the company’s first diesel for passenger cars and was created on the basis of the Douvrin engine, that is, it had an aluminum cylinder block, and cast-iron liners were placed there for strength. Otherwise, there is an aluminum 8-valve cylinder head with a single camshaft and prechambers, a timing belt drive and a reliable mechanical injection pump of the VE type manufactured by Bosch.

Following the atmospheric diesel engine with a capacity of 64 hp, a supercharged version appeared already at 88 hp. There is also a rare version of this unit for motorhomes such as Winnebago LeSharo, equipped with a modern variable geometry turbine with a power of 92 hp and 190 Nm.

The engine was installed on:

  • Renault 18 (L34) in 1980 – 1989;
  • Renault 20 (R20) in 1979 – 1983;
  • Renault 21 (L48) in 1986 – 1995;
  • Renault 25 (B29) in 1983 – 1992;
  • Renault 30 (R30) in 1981 – 1983;
  • Renault Fuego 1 (E34) in 1982 – 1986;
  • Renault Espace 1 (J11) in 1984 – 1990; Espace 2 (J63) in 1991 – 1996;
  • Renault Master 1 (T35) in 1980 – 1997;
  • Renault Safrane 1 (B54) in 1993 – 1996;
  • Renault Trafic 1 (TXW) in 1980 – 1997;
  • Jeep Cherokee 2 (XJ) in 1985 – 1994;
  • Jeep Comanche 1 (MJ) in 1986 – 1987.


Production years 1979-1997
Displacement, cc 2068
Fuel system prechambers
Power output, hp 63 – 72 (atmospheric)
85 – 92 (turbo)
Torque output, Nm 125 – 140 (atmospheric)
180 – 190 (turbo)
Cylinder block aluminum R4
Block head aluminum 8v
Cylinder bore, mm 86
Piston stroke, mm 89
Compression ratio 21 – 21.5
Hydraulic lifters no
Timing drive belt
Recommended engine oil 10W-40, 15W-40
Engine oil capacity, liter 6.3
Fuel type diesel
Euro standards EURO 0
Fuel consumption, L/100 km (for Renault Safrane 1995)
— city
— highway
— combined
Engine lifespan, km ~500 000
Weight, kg 171

Disadvantages of the Renault J8S engine

  • This diesel unit is very afraid of overheating and breaks the gasket in it regularly. But the most dangerous thing is that the cylinder head often cracks and it is not easy to find a replacement.
  • Grease leaks happen all the time, especially from the pipe that goes to the oil filter. In supercharged modifications, the turbine also often drives oil by 100,000 km.
  • The timing belt here does not have a very large resource, plus oil often gets on it. So it breaks quite often and at the same time it usually breaks the rocker arms, as well as their axis.
  • The mechanical injection pump is reliable here and often only injector nozzles are repaired.

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