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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a little guidance from someone who has previously replaced a WP on this particular make and model. I've replaced a WP on a Saturn once before, but this is the first time I've had to rip an engine apart to get to it. I have the official Nissan service manual, but not very helpful when instructions are basically: (1) Drain coolant (2) Remove hoses (3) Remove shroud (4) Remove belts (5) Remove front of engine (6) Remove Pump (7) Reverse order. Obviously I'm being slightly dramatic with this example, but not by much. I've done the Googling, but can't find the details I need. Basically I'm just wanting to ensure that I order all the parts I'll need for this. Nothing worse than progress being halted two weeks at a time while waiting on parts. All help is appreciated.
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I have removed everything up to timing cover. I know I'll have to remove the Crankshaft Pulley and timing cover, but what about seals? The manual acts like I just slap the pulley back on when I'm done, but I know there's more to it than that. Surely there's a crankshaft seal I'm suppose to replace as well??? What about the timing belt, Thermostat, etc..? How do I get the CS pulley back on when I'm ready? If it requires a tool to remove it, then obviously it doesn't simply slide back on into place by hand, right?


I apologize in advanced for how scatter-brained this post probably seems- Truth is I'm still learning 4-wheel vehicles, so right now I've just got a million questions on something I know little about.
 

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The crankshaft pulley slides right back on by hand

It's up to you if you want to change your cam and crank seals, they don't have to come off to change water pump

Timing belt needs to come off so you should get a water pump kit that comes with the belt and tensioner

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Read the sticky about timing belts, it'll have all the info you're looking for.
Actual one of the first threads I opened upon signing up. With much anticipation I might add. Sadly all the images are broken, otherwise it would be a very nice guide.
 

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Actual one of the first threads I opened upon signing up. With much anticipation I might add. Sadly all the images are broken, otherwise it would be a very nice guide.
I thought it was my old steam powered Mac that broke the pic links. I read and reread through that sticky and looked at my engine till I felt comfortable with the info.
 

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Have you looked at this Nissan Frontier Factory Service Manuals
Page LC 29 has a good view of the mounting, and bolts. That and the section about the timing belt EM around the 80's or so. Might help if you haven't seen it. Those pages are for my truck.
 

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Well Josh, I guess your screwed then, oh well. Good luck.
 

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PARTS: Gates Timing Belt and Component Kit w/ Water pump, Bando brand drive belts from Rockauto.com. From Nissan (CourtesyParts.com is a good source): front camshaft seals (2), a front crankshaft seal and thermostat. From auto parts store or department store: one gallon of antifreeze and one gallon of distilled water OR 2-gallons of pre-mix coolant, one tube of RTV sealant (I use Permatex Ultra Gray Rigid High Torque RTV silicone) and a can of brake cleaner for cleaning up parts. If you are replacing hoses, Gates works well for the radiator hoses, but, if replacing the elbow-shaped, bypass hose behind the timing cover, get it from Nissan.

They way I look at it is this way: The timing belt is rated for 105,000 miles/6-years. Do you feel confident that if you don't replace the front seals and thermostat now, that they will last another 6-years or 105,000 miles? I wouldn't! So, it makes sense to replace them all now while it is apart.

REMOVAL: Remove skid plate. Drain coolant/disconnect radiator hoses from radiator/remove lower radiator shroud section/AT cooler hoses. Remove radiator. Break loose the nuts on the fan mounting. Remove drive belts and fan. Remove idler pulley bracket. Remove upper timing belt cover. Turn crank to #1 TDC. Crank sprocket timing mark should be at 5:00 position; right bank crank sprocket timing mark should be at 11:00 and left sprocket mark should be at 1:00 positions. Remove crank bolt and crank pulley. Remove thermostat housing and thermostat. Remove lower timing belt cover and slide guide plate off of end of crank. Break loose cam sprocket bolts if removing them for seal replacement. Loosen nut on tensioner pulley and use an allen key to turn the tensioner (increase slack in belt)...I think you need a 5MM allen key, if not mistaken. Remove belt. Loosen tensioner nut and remove tensioner pulley, paying attention to how the spring sits against the stud. Remove the cam sprockets/rear timing cover. R&R bypass hose, as needed. Remove crank sprocket and rear guide plate. Spray carb cleaner on seals to soften them before removal. Use seal remover to remove seals, being careful nut to scratch the surface of the cams and crank. I usually spray some brake cleaner on a Scotch pad to clean up the cam and crank ends. Grease the seals and install them. R&R water pump, using RTV silicone for the gasket (make sure surface is clean and dry before installing). Install rear timing cover. Install crank sprockets and torque bolts to spec. Install rear guide plate and crank sprocket. Install tensioner. Turn tensioner and lock in position by tightening nut. Install timing belt: arrow on belt should point to front of vehicle/dashed line on belt should line up with right bank cam sprocket timing mark (right bank is passenger side)/solid lines on belt should line up, respectively, to the left bank timing mark and crank sprocket timing mark (don't worry if the cam sprocket marks don't line up perfectly with the bumps on the rear cover, as they are typically off a tooth. If the marks line up with the lines on the belt, the engine is in time at TDC #1). Loosen tensioner nut and let tension take up slack using its spring pressure. Turn the right bank cam sprocket about 3 teeth counter-clockwise to let the tensioner pull out any slack in the belt. Tighten the tensioner nut to 35 ft/lbs. To check the belt tension, turn the right bank cam sprocket about 3 teeth clockwise. With your thumb and forefinger placed on the belt at the middle of the span between the two cam sprockets, you should be able to twist the belt 90 degrees. If you can't, it's too tight and you will likely get a whining noise if you don't re-adjust it. If you twist it more than 90 degrees, it is too loose, so re-adjust. Install the cam sprocket's front guide plate and the lower cover. Install the crank pulley and bolt to proper torque. Install the thermostat and housing using RTV silicone for the gasket. TIP: I usually put dabs of RTV at the edge of the thermostat in three places and then install the thermostat. This helps keep the thermostat in place while installing the housing. At this point, if you want, you can start the engine briefly to check on the belt install, but don't run the engine more than 20-30 seconds. If all is good, install the upper timing belt cover/idler pulley bracket/fan clutch; if you want, you can remove the fan from the clutch if it makes it easier for you. Install the drive belts/adjust/tighten. Install the radiator and lower shroud. Install hoses. Install skid plate. I use a Lisle Spill-free funnel to help purge the cooling system. Install the coolant. Remove the coolant bleed bolt and add coolant until it comes out of the bleeder hole and then install bolt. Continue to fill system until the coolant rises up about 1/3 into the funnel. Squeezing the radiator hoses will help push out some of the air. Jack up the front of the vehicle as much as safely possible. Start the engine and set the heater to the maximum hot position. Run the engine at approx. 2000-3000 RPM, monitoring the coolant level and adding as necessary until the heater blows hot air and most of the air bubbles have purged out of the system. Let the engine idle for a couple of minutes and then remove the funnel and install the radiator cap. If low, add coolant to the reservoir until it reaches the "MAX" line. Check ignition timing with a timing light per the service manual procedure and check/adjust base idle setting. Good luck! Keep in mind I did this from memory, but, I'm pretty sure I covered the bases.
 
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The Haynes manual has a real good explanation that's what I used

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Yea, between Haynes and the factory manual, tips on this site and, Youtube, I've been good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
was in the process of creating a detailed how-to guide on performing maintenance: Pump, thermostat, seals, timing belt, etc.., but then I went and got my timing all out of whack. I have no idea how to restore timing from scratch (with no belt on)so the truck is just sitting. Probably best to leave documenting to those who actually know how to do it :(
 

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Just line up the crank and cam gears with their respective dots behind them, (if they have, if not refer to Haynes manual

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In my experience it is a combination of both, Haynes and the factory service manual, with some Youtube thrown in that gets the job done for me.
 

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was in the process of creating a detailed how-to guide on performing maintenance: Pump, thermostat, seals, timing belt, etc.., but then I went and got my timing all out of whack. I have no idea how to restore timing from scratch (with no belt on)so the truck is just sitting. Probably best to leave documenting to those who actually know how to do it :(
I explained how to time the engine back in post #10:

Install timing belt: arrow on belt should point to front of vehicle/dashed line on belt should line up with right bank cam sprocket timing mark (right bank is passenger side)/solid lines on belt should line up, respectively, to the left bank timing mark and crank sprocket timing mark (don't worry if the cam sprocket marks don't line up perfectly with the bumps on the rear cover, as they are typically off a tooth. If the marks line up with the lines on the belt, the engine is in time at TDC #1).
 

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Not at all, nowhere near as detailed but makes things simple flipping through pages in a small book rather than looking online

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What I've been doing, if I have a project, or future project, or helping out on the forum, with some research that might be useful to me later. I've printing out the factory manual, as needed. I got a 100 pack of sheet protectors $10, I have about 100 pages so only 1/2 way through the box. Slowly getting another good hard copy reference. It also doesn't get dirty in the garage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I explained how to time the engine back in post #10:

Install timing belt: arrow on belt should point to front of vehicle/dashed line on belt should line up with right bank cam sprocket timing mark (right bank is passenger side)/solid lines on belt should line up, respectively, to the left bank timing mark and crank sprocket timing mark (don't worry if the cam sprocket marks don't line up perfectly with the bumps on the rear cover, as they are typically off a tooth. If the marks line up with the lines on the belt, the engine is in time at TDC #1).
I didn't mean to imply that I disregarded the information you provided. It was an excellent write-up.

There are a few details that lead to my current situation. For one, the marks on the old timing belt didn't line up with the marks on the cams. I didn't think that was a huge deal breaker at the time. In the beginning I did manage to get the crank at TDC, both cams pointing at 10 and 3, and the distributor directly at the #1 spark plug. Had I just swapped the belts out at that point I probably would have been fine, but I didn't know if I was on the compression or exhaust stroke, so I just left it for the night. The next morning I turned the crank while the cams were loose (forgot I had loosened them the night before). The driver's side cam jumped the belt by about 7 teeth. When I retightened the cams and turned the crank (noob mistake) I noticed the distributor wasn't moving anymore. After 15 minutes of not being able to get the old timing belt tight I decided to throw the new one on just to prove the old belt was too far stretched to tighten. The moment I took the old belt off both cams sprung forward by about 5 teeth. I put the new belt on anyway and tightened it up. I turned the crank slowly (expecting the pistons to contact the valves) and now the distributor was turning again.

At some point I think I just became tired and frustrated, because I began turning the Driver's side cam 360 by hand with no belt. Oddly enough, despite the crank being TDC, I felt no metallic contact between the piston and the valve, that I know of. Unless they were already bent to high hell??? I put the belt back on and began turning the crank again, but still no noticeable valve collision. The truck had a noticeable rough idle when I purchased it, so I suspect the timing was off anyway.

At this point I've removed the intake manifold and valve covers. I'll rotate the cams until all valves are closed? I'll then set the crank to TDC using a compression gauge to determine compression stroke. The distributor will (hopefully) be at #1. At that point I'll put the new belt on and reassemble everything. That's the plan anyway.


NOTE: Yes I replaced the pump, thermostat, crank and cam seals.
 

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The belt will never line up again after first hand rotation

It took me hours of r&r timing belts over and over again watching my marks go away on 3 different cars when I rotate the motor by hand to double check my work

Eventually I just gave up and put everything back together on the cars and they all have been in time even though I could never get the belt marks to line up again lol

I still don't understand why it happens but that's what happens

You only use the marks on initial install, then when you rotate it by hand forget about the belt marks and check your work by making sure the gear marks are aligned with the marks on the engine

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