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Old 07-22-2008, 01:25 AM   #1
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Replacing timing chain tensioner

Hi guys. Well. I bought my 05 max used with 88K miles. The previous owner didn't maintain the car well with regular oil change intervals and now I have the dreaded rattling sound of the timing chain on start up. It has steadly increased over the past few months and now lasts longer when the car is on. I was quoted about $600 for a local mechanic to replace the timing chain tensioners. Here's my question: Should I also replace the timing chain since they will be replacing the tensioners anyway?
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Old 07-22-2008, 06:23 AM   #2
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YES!

Anytime someone is doing extensive repairs in an area where other parts may be worn out or getting there always just have them replace anything they can because the parts are not that expensive it's the labor that is going to kill you.

I had a Camaro one time and it developed a leak in the timing chain cover and it was going to be the same labor as if they were replacing the timing chain and gears. So for an extra $50.00 they replaced everything and I never had to worry about it again.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:35 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cklamer View Post
YES!

Anytime someone is doing extensive repairs in an area where other parts may be worn out or getting there always just have them replace anything they can because the parts are not that expensive it's the labor that is going to kill you.

I had a Camaro one time and it developed a leak in the timing chain cover and it was going to be the same labor as if they were replacing the timing chain and gears. So for an extra $50.00 they replaced everything and I never had to worry about it again.
Thanks! The mechanic was saying the timing chain would never go bad, but I may just get it anyway.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:46 PM   #4
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timing chain doe not go bad. It can be examined for wears and cracks if it show those sign why spend money to replace it.

I have never heard of a motor going due to a bad timing chain. There are several 200k+ Maxima with the original timing chain. 88k is still very young especially for these motors.

Even the Z/G guys have never snapped the timing chain, or broke it and many of them are pushing well past the normal limits of the stock motor.

just my .02Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
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timing chain doe not go bad. It can be examined for wears and cracks if it show those sign why spend money to replace it.

I have never heard of a motor going due to a bad timing chain. There are several 200k+ Maxima with the original timing chain. 88k is still very young especially for these motors.

Even the Z/G guys have never snapped the timing chain, or broke it and many of them are pushing well past the normal limits of the stock motor.

just my .02Click the image to open in full size.
Good deal. Just called Nissan and it would be an extra $110($70 for big chain and $20 each for the 2 smaller ones). I let the mechanics examine it first.
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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How common is this problem, do other VQ engines besides the Maxima suffer with the same tensioner problems.
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STARR View Post
How common is this problem, do other VQ engines besides the Maxima suffer with the same tensioner problems.
4th gens get that problem all the time. mainly the 95/96ers.... havent heard much 5th gens with that problem.

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Good deal. Just called Nissan and it would be an extra $110($70 for big chain and $20 each for the 2 smaller ones). I let the mechanics examine it first.
wow thats a little pricey.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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Same problem here. My car is going to the dealer on monday and they said it would be better if the engine will be removed from the car due to small space... According to the FSM, it doesn't have to go out, but i already agreed w/ them.

As for the parts, i ordered everything stated in the TSB NTB07-042. Also got some additional parts and here they are:

Chain-timing camshaft 13028-7Y000

Tensioner assy chain 13070-7Y000

Guide-chain,slack side 13091-7Y000

Guide chain 13085-7Y000

Guide chain 13085-7Y010

Good luck and keep in mind that the parts above were ordered after my own research, so think twice before buying something!
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:55 PM   #9
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seems like this might become a common problem on 6th gens.

It can be done in the car but with the small space and risk of easily dropping a bolt and its lost in the timing case and risks the motors longevity, I agree with pulling it and changing. it. Well an experiences tech could get the job done in a decent amount of time with it in the car, they have access to more tools and a lift that would make the job not as difficult.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:19 AM   #10
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Here's an update.

So my car is at the dealer since tuesday, because of the secondary chain tensioners issue... I went there today to see how the repair is going on. After speaking with the mech, i was like groggy. He told me that there is a big problem with some plate metal cover. This thing has own gasket and it is shot, which caused a pressure lost or something like that(don't know much about engines). The worst part is that the plate cover can't be ordered as a separated part. It has no part #. You can see it on the first pic and the second one - it's location.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


As for the rattling coming from the secondary chain tensioners. It turned out to be a bad slack guide of the main timing chain! The upper part of this crap is made of plastic and it broke as you can see on the picture below. The mechanic said that's the reason why i always heard the rattle on every start-up, so there is no need to replace the secondary timing chains, their tensioners etc even that i have all parts stated in the TSB NTB07-042.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-07-2008, 11:13 AM   #11
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Wow. So what do they plan on doing about the plate cover? Is this the reason why the maxima might burn oil because this part is not replaced after the fix? My car has been the mechanic's shop since Monday getting repaired for the same thing as well. The noise just got so unbearable and embarrassing and last a heck of a lot longer than normal after startup even while driving for like 5 minutes. To believe a Nissan service manager said the car just just that and doesn't need to be fixed since it's due to the oil primer pump.My AC started blowing hot air on the way there, so they're checking that out as well.
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Old 08-07-2008, 03:18 PM   #12
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just to let you know, this is how the repair goes.
IF it is just the tensioner (secondary-cam sprocket) its a job that can be done within the day. Labor times can go from 4-8 hours depending on who is trying to help or ***** you. You will know this repair is needed if the motor makes a chain noise on first start up, then goes away as the engine gets warm.

IF the noise from the motor stays present at all times you will need to replace the timing chain set and tensioners. This is a MUCH more involved job which will have to have the motor dropped and complete front timing cover removed. labor times will be usually 10-16 hours. BE SURE YOU HAVE A COMPETENT MECHANIC!

Also, even though a timing chain set "supposedly" does not need to be replaced IT WILL stretch and show wear, this can lead to jumped timing and damaged motors. Anyone including Nissan telling you otherwise is FOS.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:09 PM   #13
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listen to winter, I'm in the process of getting this job done, but I ordered all my part on AAA Nissan Parts website, and I'm replacing EVERYTHING (all chains, tensioners, guides) because while its all apart I would rather do everything then replace the minimum and then have something else go bad. I paid $417 for all the parts, including all chains, all tensioners, all guides, o-rings, gaskets, oil filter, oil and water pump (100k miles, might as well replace it while its off for another $60). I have the full parts list if anyone needs it, with OEM part numbers.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athlon omega View Post
Wow. So what do they plan on doing about the plate cover? Is this the reason why the maxima might burn oil because this part is not replaced after the fix?
They bought some kind of gasket(don't know where), which is resistant to temperatures up to 250celsius and are going to cut it in or out... I really don't know how they will make it fit. Honestly, i do not have a good feeling of this improvisation, but what can i do.
Yeah, i asked the same thing about the oil and the mechanic said this is not the reason for sure.

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My car has been the mechanic's shop since Monday getting repaired for the same thing as well. The noise just got so unbearable and embarrassing and last a heck of a lot longer than normal after startup even while driving for like 5 minutes.
Maybe my car has a different issue than your, because i could hear the rattle on almost every cold start-up for like 5-10sec and after that was gone. If i remember correctly it was more noticeable at 1500rpm or so. But that's not all. Everytime i parked my car for an hour and then started it up again, i could hear another strange rattle. It sounded just like a diesel engine.

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To believe a Nissan service manager said the car just just that and doesn't need to be fixed since it's due to the oil primer pump.
In the beginning i was told the same thing, but the dealer changed his mind right after he sow the broken guide.

BTW, you can see on the picture exactly where the main chain's tensioner was hitting the slack guide.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:59 PM   #15
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listen to winter, I'm in the process of getting this job done, but I ordered all my part on AAA Nissan Parts website, and I'm replacing EVERYTHING (all chains, tensioners, guides) because while its all apart I would rather do everything then replace the minimum and then have something else go bad. I paid $417 for all the parts, including all chains, all tensioners, all guides, o-rings, gaskets, oil filter, oil and water pump (100k miles, might as well replace it while its off for another $60). I have the full parts list if anyone needs it, with OEM part numbers.
Why you did not send me my money back and round the cost that you spent on parts to $500?

With all my heart i wish you next time spending not $400, but at least 4k for parts
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:27 PM   #16
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funny thing i noticed about my car making this timing chain noise for longer than normal on startup...it only makes the noise for a long time and is more pronounced when the oil level gets near the low mark....when i fill the oil near the full mark the noise either is very faint or sometimes doesnt make the noise at all (even on cold startups) i am going to see about getting it repaired at a mehcanic soon...my engine does vibrate sometimes on accceleration maybe its due to jumped timing like someone mentioned before? other than that runs smooth.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by brio_max View Post
Why you did not send me my money back and round the cost that you spent on parts to $500?

With all my heart i wish you next time spending not $400, but at least 4k for parts
uhhhhh ok?

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funny thing i noticed about my car making this timing chain noise for longer than normal on startup...it only makes the noise for a long time and is more pronounced when the oil level gets near the low mark....when i fill the oil near the full mark the noise either is very faint or sometimes doesnt make the noise at all (even on cold startups) i am going to see about getting it repaired at a mehcanic soon...my engine does vibrate sometimes on accceleration maybe its due to jumped timing like someone mentioned before? other than that runs smooth.
I seriously doubt you have jumped timing. Your car would run like ***. Ypu are better off getting the tensioner done sooner than later as it keeps the chain from having play and keeping the probability of it jumping or grinding the covers down and possibly getting into oil passages.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:24 PM   #18
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if you need a timing cover I have a full set that I can sell you for $250 if you want them shipped priority, much less ground shipped or picked up obviously.

Chains = waste of money, bought a new one and compared it to one with 250k on a beat up blown up 3.0, and the 3.5 one is beefier.

If you need just a main tensioner = pulling entire outer cover (which is borderline motor-pull worthy as someone mentioned, I've done it both ways several times) is a HUGE waste of money. Access covers are there for a reason, if you drop a bolt and have to pull the whole cover (been there, done that, but motor was out already thank god) well you haven't lost any time towards that job.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:59 AM   #19
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I've got some weird noise on start up in the morning, sounds like a squeaky belt whine, no metal sounding noise like a chain just a weird low pitch screeching whine, I sprayed the belts with some water and the noise stopped completely but then started up again, the sound is steady if I give it some gas but after a short drive it's gone and then only returns the following morning on start up again.

What do you think WINTER, the only way the dealer can hear it, would be for me to leave the car at the dealer and return the next day
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I've got some weird noise on start up in the morning, sounds like a squeaky belt whine, no metal sounding noise like a chain just a weird low pitch screeching whine, I sprayed the belts with some water and the noise stopped completely but then started up again, the sound is steady if I give it some gas but after a short drive it's gone and then only returns the following morning on start up again.

What do you think WINTER, the only way the dealer can hear it, would be for me to leave the car at the dealer and return the next day
check the all the tensioner, maybe a pulley going bad too. Check the compressor clutch..alternator etc...
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #21
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I seriously doubt you have jumped timing. Your car would run like ***.
Probably a stupid question:
I also had small engine vibrations occuring when slowly driving(for example on 4th or 5th gear) and then suddenly flooring the gas pedal, if you know what i mean. I was told by the dealer that my main chain was loose on the left side..., so could that be that reason for vibrations?
BTW, looks like my motor mounts are fine


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uhhhhh ok?
Long boring story...
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:03 PM   #22
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I stopped by the shop to see the progress on my max. It was stalled since they had to order more parts according to the Nissan TSB which includes replacing both secondary timing chains and a bunch of seals among other things. He showed me the list it's a lot more than just the tensioners.
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:33 PM   #23
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having a similar problem

just bought a 04 maxima se, its making a ticking noise from the passenger front hand side when you first start the car, it seems the noise goes away after driving about a mile or so. i got my oil changed today and they told me there are slight metal shavings that are very very fine in the oil filter. i want to take it to nissan to find out what the problem is, when i called and talked to the service advisor he said that timing chaing tensioners are not common in these cars and im assuming thats what it is. also i think my clutch master/slave cylinder went because i lost all pressure in the clutch yesterday and it worked fine today. im just looking for some advice on what people have done with their similar issue. would there be shavings in the oil from the timing chain? what else might this noise be i listened to some clips on here and it seems mine sounded more like a timing chain issue than a valve tap and im so stressed out about all this can anyone give me some advice?
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:29 PM   #24
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The clutch loosing pressure is a well-known issue. Last I've heard, Nissan refuses to issue a TSB or recall on it. But undeniably, MANY MANY people have had this problem. It is typically narrowed down to the slave or master cylinder, and usually the master cylinder is to blame.

These metal shavings in your oil ... you can do yourself a favor, here and at the next oil change, send a sample in to Blackstone Laboratories (www.blackstone-labs.com).

Have the oil analyzed and that will tell you if the engine ACTUALLY is wearing and can point you in a direction as to WHAT is wearing.

Metal shavings in the oil FILTER???? Don't know how they would know that unless they actually cut the oil filter apart and examined it - did they do this???

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Old 10-14-2008, 07:15 AM   #25
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nah they didnt cut it out, ill def check my oil in a couple weeks and send it out and see what it is, i saw that the clutch prob is very common and although the shop couldnt get it to do that im replacing those 2 parts anyway. with the timing chain do you think its the tensioner or somethign else its comming from the passenger side and it does go away after driving for a min or two. is this a serious problem that needs to be taken care of right away if it just started or can i wait towards the end of the month when i get my bonus? im dropping it off at nissan thursday but their tech is saying they NEVER had any issue with timing chain tensioners on the maxima only the altima and the van, didnt make sense since multiple ppl complain so im going to to call around to dealers near me till someone knows what this issue is before taking it.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:59 PM   #26
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I have the same problem. On cold starts, I hear a ticking/rattle and it dissapears after I start driving. If it is the tensioners or timing chain, will I be in danger of damaging my car if I dont get this fixed? I work at a credit union therefore I make poverty wages and I really dont' want to spend $500+ fixing it
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:40 PM   #27
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I have the same problem. On cold starts, I hear a ticking/rattle and it dissapears after I start driving. If it is the tensioners or timing chain, will I be in danger of damaging my car if I dont get this fixed? I work at a credit union therefore I make poverty wages and I really dont' want to spend $500+ fixing it
Yes you will be in danger if you don't get it fixed. It will get worse after a while to the point that it makes the noise for longer than 10 minutes while you're driving. The mech said it was a good thing I brought it in when I did because the damage would have been a whole lot worse.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:39 PM   #28
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so im planning on taking my car in this week finally got paid, i only get paid once a month so had to wait. What can i expect to pay the dealership to fix the timing chaing tensioner problem?

As for the master and slave im having a porsche tech do that on the side he just doesnt have time to pull the engine apart right now so taking it to nissan. Has anyone ever felt that their car made a funny noise when down shifting or shifting at higher rpms almost like the clutch didnt completely engage? does that have something to do with my master slave cylinder issue
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:26 AM   #29
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:13 PM   #30
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Help!
04 Maxima about 85,000 miles. Sounded like a rod had gone south, until I read through this post. Went through the joy of replacing the bad tensioner-slack side. Poor design I guess.
Fairly time consuming for a newbie to the Maxima-wrenching wise.
Did puill the cover off with the engine in place. All seemed to go pretty well. Hand spun the crank to make sure all seemed good before using the starter,but the car does not run. Sounds like it does not try to fire at all now.
Is it possible that through my weekend wrenching adventures that I changed the crank to cam timing so badly that it will not even fire? Any suggestions on how to re-time the engine withouth pulling the timing chain cover? Any suggestions would be great!
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:02 PM   #31
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if you spun it by hand and set off the timing I believe it will not run - if the timing is off the compiuter will not let it run I guess so no damage is done.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:16 PM   #32
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Y2k2maxse. Thanks for the reply. I meant I spun the motor by hand after everything was together. I tried pretty hard to not spin the cams vs the crank during the work I did with the cover off. Just need to know if I can set the timing without taking the cover off again?
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:59 PM   #33
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Y2k2maxse. Thanks for the reply. I meant I spun the motor by hand after everything was together. I tried pretty hard to not spin the cams vs the crank during the work I did with the cover off. Just need to know if I can set the timing without taking the cover off again?
Wonder if resetting everything (unplug battery, etc) and returning crank positions to top dead center would solve your issue. Why would you remove the timing cover without pulling the engine or disconnecting the power tho?
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:18 PM   #34
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I did have the battery unplugged. It was the first thing I did during the teardown. Why not pull the engine? I guess I thought I could do the job without pulling the engine. Not a lot of room, but not impossible. More room and easier than the Z28 I have to work on.
I may try to pull the battery out of the loop and go to tdc though.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:27 PM   #35
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OK. Returning to TDC and reconnecting the battery did not get me what I was wishing for. So I tore it down again. Any comments on this link from Autozone? I guess do you see anything wrong with what they have to say?
http://www1.autozone.com/shopping/re...00c152801a3ae5

Thanks
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:40 PM   #36
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your link doesnt work but I would use the FSM for your car to properly set TDC. Not sure if the autozone you were trying to post is a copy and paste from the fsm but try to use the fsm. downlaod it read it and set it properly using the dowel pins.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:59 AM   #37
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anyone replacing their motor mounts when they pull the engine? curious what kind of condition you are finding them in and which one(s) are worn the most.
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:00 AM   #38
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I should have refille dmine. Mine are in terrible condition
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Old 02-18-2009, 06:24 PM   #39
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Y2k2maxse. Do you know what tolerance there is for the computer to limit the engine to run? I mean say 5-10 degrees or something like that. I thought I was pretty good. Hopefully I was out of the allowable gap. Otherwise I am at a loss since there is basically no sensors to go bad in that area of the engine bay.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:28 PM   #40
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04-07 3.5's and the VQ40's are having a lot of T-chain issues.
The upper secondary chain tensioner guides are wareing off and causing the chain to rub on the metal plunger inside the tens assy.

They make a semi loud whine/rattle noise that does not go away cold or warm.

I have done 3 in the last 2 weeks.

I will see if I can get some pics posted of the tensioners tomorrow to show what is happening.

There is a TSB out on them now.
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