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Old 08-08-2018, 01:23 AM   #1
caseyfk
 
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Default Another Timing Chain Issue

I am stumped on how to solve my timing chain rattle. To make a long story short I have had the front of the engine apart three times. First I fixed the timing chain issue. Then, secondly, 1,200 miles after the first fix, a bolt came out on the guide and back apart it was. The third time I had it apart was to fix an oil pan leak that I had created while putting the timing cover back on.

Here is where I am at:

Replaced components:
1,200 miles ago: Timing chain, tensioner, guides, and camshaft/crankshaft gears (ITM engine components); Timing chain cover; piston rings; all engine bearings and gaskets
0 miles: Timing chain tensioner and guides (Beck/Arnley); Oil pump (Nissan)

After running smoothly for 1,200 miles, a bolt backed out and I had to replace some components. Ever since this, the truck has had a nearly constant timing chain rattle. The only times it ever goes away is under load (going up a hill) and sometimes I can get it to stop for about 10 seconds by wimping the throttle and letting off. Yes I have looked at MANY posts on this website and I did make sure to spray brake clean through the oil port feeding the tensioner. I am out of ideas so any would be appreciated. Thanks

The closest example to my problem is this http://www.infamousnissan.com/forum/...ad.php?t=30433

By the way, I can't remember how tight the chain was when I put it on, but ever since I have installed the new tensioner and guides it has been super loose. With everything back together and the valve cover off I have turned the engine over and the chain will go from tight to so loose that I can grab it and pull it almost enough to move it on the camshaft sprocket. Is this normal?

Last edited by caseyfk; 08-08-2018 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 08-08-2018, 01:34 AM   #2
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Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but the ITM timing kit is probably the culprit. I bought a similar kit on rockauto and it lasted 4 years/14k miles until I got a constant rattle. I still had a startup rattle even when the timing kit was brand new.

I just went through this myself, one day the truck developed a constant rattle any time the engine would drop below 1500 RPM. I pulled the valve cover and immediately could see that the plastic part of timing chain guide had separated from the metal backing, causing the chain to hit the metal and rattle constantly. This is probably what you're hearing. When I tore it down I found that a chunk had broken off the bottom of the plastic guide, causing it to slide down and allow the chain to hit the metal backing. I ended up buying an OSK timing chain kit and installing it. So far the rattle has not returned.

Also, if the guide bolts are backing out they may need to be torqued more. The FSM calls for 9-14 ft/lb, I went with 13 on mine.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:17 AM   #3
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Just to clarify, I now realize ITM is probably not that great. The second time I had the cover off, I put on new timing guides and a new tensioner that were made by Beck/Arnley. The only remaining ITM parts are the chain and the gears which only have 1,200 miles on them and I am assuming are still fine. As for the torque, I must have messed up. I swear I torqued them correctly, but probably not since one came out. This time I made sure to torque them to 14 ft-lbs and I used loctite.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:04 AM   #4
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Yep -- that ITM tensioner was bad in my kit. Replaced all of it. I have pics if interested.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:09 AM   #5
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Here's one of the pics. The freeze plug in the top of the ITM tensioner had popped out:


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Old 08-08-2018, 05:12 AM   #6
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I recommend the piston cover that mister Jim makes on YouTube. It’ll stop it for good and it doesn’t matter what happens it’ll stop
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Old 08-08-2018, 11:42 AM   #7
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Casey says in part:

Quote:
'I am stumped on how to solve my timing chain rattle. To make a long story short I have had the front of the engine apart three times. First I fixed the timing chain issue. Then, secondly, 1,200 miles after the first fix, a bolt came out on the guide and back apart it was. The third time I had it apart was to fix an oil pan leak that I had created while putting the timing cover back on...'
You will probably have to go into the front cover one last time. If those parts are good, you can re-use them. But here's the problem:

Those bolts holding down the guide, tensioner, etc must be secured. Next time, coat the bolt threads with Permatex brown (wearing gloves) before you install them.

On the cover bolts, be careful. A hint too much overtighten on them will cause the cover to crack. It's brittle, having done the Hot Side/Cold Side thing for a lot of years. Coat the mating surfaces both sides good with the same type Permatex, let it set a bit, and then stick the gasket to it. Then assemble.

Same thing with any other gaskets, such as oil pump. Harder to remove doing all this, but then...you probably won't be called upon again to do it anyway.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandonodom18 View Post
I recommend the piston cover that mister Jim makes on YouTube. Itíll stop it for good and it doesnít matter what happens itíll stop
I thought that this just helps with initial startup. Correct me if I am wrong. To my knowledge, the tensioner uses a spring on startup to tension the chain before sufficient oil pressure builds up. The sleeve that Jim makes helps to cure the rattle that many hear just after starting their engine because the tensioner spring is too weak. After it has been running for a little bit, the tensioner relies solely on oil pressure. So Jim's fix will not fix a constant chain rattle. I am pretty sure I am dealing with an oil pressure or volume issue. I was running 5w-30 oil and a cheap micro-guard filter. I then switched to 10w-30 oil and a Napa Gold filter. After that oil change, the truck started up and ran smoothly until it started to warm up (and the oil presumably thinned out). That is the only improvement I have had. Otherwise, the rattle is still constant. As I said before, correct me if I am wrong about anything.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:18 AM   #9
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Same symptom as mine after replacing with an ITM kit. Pull your valve cover and look down at the top of the tensioner. Freeze plug gone or loose in the tensioner's top?


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Last edited by LugNut1990; 08-09-2018 at 02:22 AM. Reason: Pic added
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:23 AM   #10
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Another cause, reported by others way back, is a blocked oil passage between the filter and the tensioner. Did you clean yours? Wasn't a problem in mine, though.
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