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  #241  
Old 01-05-2018, 04:33 PM
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Just found the email letting me know of this post...

Hope all is well with your progress. I can tell you it took me two full days it seems, but it has been over seven years now. My Frontier was traded this past August with 165k miles and still running strong. Totally impressed the engine still never started to burn oil. Oil changes occurred ever 5k miles. Anyway,...

My assistant whom helped with the cam recovery is a Nissan tech at the time. He told me the he repaired many VQ35 timing chain guides and showed me the timing marks that come on the new timing chains. He brought a new paint pen to highlight the links as they are only a shade different in appearance.

The tech told me the valves are a non-interference. So, watching him he fit the new primary chain and rotated the crank and cams as needed to align the timing marks of the chain with the cam gears. I swear he spun the right bank exhaust cam a full 360 degrees.

I was nervous about this, but gave him the benefit of the doubt due how many times he had replaced timing chains. He was very confident.

So, my Frontier had about 96k miles back then and ran fine for another 69k miles.

The only thing that was different, was the slow return to idle rpm which I lived with for the rest of the time. I took the Frontier to him for his opinion on that matter and he set the idle speed with his shop computer or whatever that was. Never understood why the change in behavior, but that's what it did.

Keep us posted how you are doing.


P.S. I still have the tools for this job if anyone is interested.

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Originally Posted by geo6x View Post
I'm a late bloomer and i guess so is the VQ40 in my Xterra....i'm just doing the timing chains now. Motocopter mentioned that his right bank cam jumped when he removed the secondary chains. I'm at this point in the repair now. I want to avoid removing the valve covers if possible. My question is...IF either of my cams jump, is there an "easy" way to recover without all the added work of removing the intake and valve covers? I noticed in one of his updates, it sounds like he had a buddy help get his timing recovered without removing valve covers. And Ditto to all who have contributed here....this is a great thread! Should be required reading for all of us Nissan do-it-yourselfers!
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  #242  
Old 01-05-2018, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geo6x View Post
I'm a late bloomer and i guess so is the VQ40 in my Xterra....i'm just doing the timing chains now. Motocopter mentioned that his right bank cam jumped when he removed the secondary chains. I'm at this point in the repair now. I want to avoid removing the valve covers if possible. My question is...IF either of my cams jump, is there an "easy" way to recover without all the added work of removing the intake and valve covers? I noticed in one of his updates, it sounds like he had a buddy help get his timing recovered without removing valve covers. And Ditto to all who have contributed here....this is a great thread! Should be required reading for all of us Nissan do-it-yourselfers!
I had something similar happen to me so hereís my experience:
If the exhaust cam was the only one that moved, you may be able to just turn it back to where it should line up with the chain markers. However, if the intake cam moved, youíll need to do a little more work. Iím not 100% sure if this is accurate, but a mechanic buddy from my church said the intake cam needs to be rotated in the same direction as it naturally rotates (I believe clockwise) until you get it back to the correct postition. In other words, you canít rotate the intake cam backwards or it could mess up the variable valve timing.

That being said (IMPORTANT), before you rotate ANY cams, you need to make sure no piston on that side of the engine is up otherwise turning the cams will bend your valves. So, since thereís six cylinders, and it takes one 360 degree rotatation for all the cyclinders to fire, that means every 60 degrees a cylinder is all the way up. So what I did was rotate the crankshaft WITHOUT the primary chain on 30 degrees so that NO cylinder was up. Then I rotated the intake cam in the correct direction until it was lined up. Once the intake and exhaust cams were good and the secondary chain was back on, I rotated the crankshaft BACKWARDS 30 degrees to TDC.

Now, what I said could be way wrong in how this can/should be done, but it worked for me and my engine has been running great since. So you may want to double check with others.

Concerning the valve covers, they arenít too difficult to remove. It can be a pain to get to some bolts, but itís better to be very certain all your cams look correct before you put everything back together incorrectly and then crank the engine and bend some valves. Good luck with the fix!
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  #243  
Old 01-05-2018, 09:40 PM
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Motocopter: Wow....thanks for the quick reply, esp since you don't even own the truck anymore. After reading your comment about "only a shade different in appearance" I went and took another look.....absolutely right! i found the 3 links with only a subtle difference. This is great, now I think I have all the reference marks I need.

How did your buddy (nissan tech) rotate the EXH cam on the right bank if your valve covers were not removed? (Sorry...I realize this was 7 yrs ago for you....I can't even remember what i had for lunch today....)
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  #244  
Old 01-05-2018, 09:47 PM
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bender: Thanks!....more good input. Good comments on the VVT....I'll keep that in mind and make sure to rotate clockwise. Also, your suggestion to rotate the crank 30 deg to avoid interference sounds like good insurance.

I'll post an update later...wish me luck!!
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  #245  
Old 01-07-2018, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by geo6x View Post
bender: Thanks!....more good input. Good comments on the VVT....I'll keep that in mind and make sure to rotate clockwise. Also, your suggestion to rotate the crank 30 deg to avoid interference sounds like good insurance.


I'll post an update later...wish me luck!!
Geo, Iíve tried responding to your PM twice and I donít think my messages are getting sent. Let me know if youíve received them.
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  #246  
Old 01-17-2018, 11:25 AM
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Default Success!

Finished the timing chains and all is well, finally found some time to post some observations/tips from my perspective. Toughest part of this job was the disassembly....alternator and power steering pump are a challenge...but good news: they tend to go back in a lot easier than they came out! A/C compressor was easy....just 3 bolts and an electrical connector and secure it and move to the side. As others have suggested, print out the pertinent pages from the "engine mechanical" service manual and pay attention to the order of your work. Good diagrams and illustrations in there to help you. A few observations (in no particular order):

- Not sure if removing passenger front wheel and fender liner is a must, but I was glad I did. Makes removing alternator and PS pump much easier in my opinion.

- The ring gear stopper tool (J-48761) is a must and it works great. It's designed with enough play so you can work it in position and ensure it fully engages the ring gear teeth. Loosening the crank bolt is a bear....i used my biggest 1/2 in breaker bar and still needed a 3 foot pipe for leverage.

- I didn't buy the tensioner shoe installer tool. I used a pistol grip clamp I have with plastic feet. I'm sure a big pair of vise grips with the jaws protected will work as well. (Note: the shoes have a little detent to secure them to the tensioner piston....they actually snap into place when properly installed. Make sure you align the shoe and the piston.)

- I made tensioner retainer pins from steel wire about the diameter of a large paper clip. I found that filing the end of the pin to a point made insertion much easier when compressing the tensioners with one hand while inserting the pins with the other.

- I chose not to remove the intake manifold/valve covers. I did enough studying on getting #1 cylinder to TDC and the new chains have the copper colored links to guide you. I used paint to mark everything before disassembly and took pics to be sure. The cams on my right bank jumped as I must have jarred them during sprocket removal. Others mentioned to rotate only in a clockwise direction or fear messing with the VVT so I heeded this input. (CAUTION: Re-positioning the cams with the #1 piston at TDC can ruin your day as you will likely strike the pistons with the valves. I took bender-offender's advice: remove the ring stopper tool, rotate the crank ~30 degr clockwise to ensure no piston is at TDC, THEN reposition the cams. Rotate crank back to #1 TDC and secure with ring stopper tool. All is well....no bent valves!)

- I'm at 104K mi so would have been crazy to not change the water pump when it's sitting there staring at me. Bought a quality replacement and changed it. Note that two of the ears on the pump are threaded for M8 bolts to help you unseat the pump from the rear case. This worked like a charm, just thread the two bolts in evenly and it eases right out. (I used the two bolts that hold the center water pipe to the front of the timing cover case.) CAUTION!: When the pump breaks loose, about a cup of antifreeze is going to puke out from the engine block....be ready for it. Make darn sure you have rags in the oil pan to protect it from antifreeze or other FOD damage. I had a big towel ready for the sudden rush of coolant.

- Take your time splitting the timing case apart. The factory sealant is stubborn but it will eventually come loose at the top using the built in pry points. Work from as many points as possible...don't try to pry it loose from a single location. Breaking the casting can also ruin your day. I did it carefully without removing the two cam access covers on the front case (even though I bought the special o-rings needed 15066-5E510). Just pull off the case as straight forward as possible.

- There was black gunk inside my throttle body (this is common) so i cleaned it out when it was on the bench. Be careful if you choose to do this. I moved the butterfly gently a couple times to get all the gunk. So far, the only anomaly I had after restart was a check engine light with code P0507 idle RPM out of spec. I may have caused this when I cleaned the TB and moved the butterfly plate. No problem, there's a procedure called "Idle air volume learning procedure" in the engine control (EC) manual....followed this and it brought the idle RPM back down to spec and cleared the code.

- As others have mentioned, take your time cleaning the old RTV off the outer and inner covers. I used a bamboo skewer with a point to clean out the grooves. This takes a bunch of time to get it all off.....I was a bit anal in getting it clean, but time well spent in my opinion.

A tough, time-consuming job but very satisfying when the truck started immediately and the whine is gone!
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