James A. Chaney, 85, proprietor of Chaney's Garage in College Park for more than 40 years, died March 8 at Prince George's Hospital in Cheverly. He had been suffering from a heart condition.

Mr. Chaney was born in Muirkirk, Md., and went to work at the Washington Navy Yard as an apprentice machinist in 1909. He remained at the Navy Yard until 1923, by which time he had become a trained tool maker. He opened his garage a year before he left the Navy Yard and operated it until he retired in 1965.

Mr. Chaney also built a shopping center in College Park in the late 1930s. He was a member of the board or directors of the Suburban Trust Co. for many years and was a member of its honorary board at the time of his death.

He was a member of the Terrapin Club of the University of Maryland, although he never attended the school, and was a member of the College Park Rotary Club. He had been a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in College Park since 1914.

Survivors include his wife, Marguerite, of the home in Hyattsville; a son, Robert J., also of Hyattsville; anda brother Charles, of Maitland, Fla.