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Discussion Starter #1
Summary: If I want to buy the parts needed to replace everything related to the timing chain failure problem, what all do I need to get? I know this is a very detailed question and may not be able to be answered by many.

When I drive this truck I hear a "whine" when I press on the accelerator at certain speeds. It almost sounds like wind noise coming through the intake. Based on what I have found during research this is due to the Timing Chain tensioners which seems to be a somewhat common issue for this generation of Nissan engine. Could some of you experienced members give me some insight on what this exact issue it, and how it could be potentially fatal to the motor if not addressed? I am not a mechanic, but I do like to work on things and learn. I also have a few friends that are very experienced and I want to be able to properly explain to them the issue, and why I want to fix/prevent it to see if they can confidently help me out.

There is also a constant "tick" when the truck is at idle. It runs fine, and the noise isn't loud or absurd so this "tick" may be nothing, but I am a paranoid dude so yeah.....thoughts?

Also, (as stated in the summary above) I am wanting to begin sourcing the parts needed to fix this problem in order to get the most life out of my truck. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I am looking to get this "new to me" truck running as smooth and as good as possible in hopes of it being a family vehicle for a long time. This website has been such a wealth of knowledge, I just don't have the mechanical "know how" to decipher some of the topics and how to write ups.
 

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Mine whined like it had a supercharger that was easily heard at idle and got louder with acceleration. Nissan did extend the warranty on those parts, what is the in service date and mileage?

Clint
 
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Discussion Starter #3
It's a 2007 and has 132,XXX miles on it now so I highly doubt it is under any type of warranty.

Do you know if they issued some sort of recall on this? Maybe if my truck was in a Nissan shop during the year/mileage range and they didn't address it I can use that as leverage to get it fixed.
 

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You'll have to do a search, I do remember they extended the warranty substantially and even reimbursed those who paid for the repair prior to caving in to public pressure. I'll look and see if I saved any paperwork.

Clint
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That'd be awesome if that's the case. Please let me know sir
 

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I looked into this a little too and decided to call the dealer just now. I gave them the vin to my '07 and no surprise.... they said no TSB and nothing would be covered, but they would be happy to set up an appointment and diagnose the problem for 139$ and let me know how much the repair would cost..
 

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Just called another dealer and again, nothing on the timing chain guides, but there is a safety recall on a steering part that he said they would check and he'd also have one of the techs listen to my truck to see if there was any urgency for the guide replacement. Fair enough, ill be headed there tomorrow.
 

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Just called another dealer and again, nothing on the timing chain guides, but there is a safety recall on a steering part that he said they would check and he'd also have one of the techs listen to my truck to see if there was any urgency for the guide replacement. Fair enough, ill be headed there tomorrow.
I saw that recall. I think it's for the control arms.
 

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The control arm recall was back in 2010 when my last truck was new. They had trouble getting the bolts out and the truck was just a couple months old and was factory ordered so it didn't sit, I picked it up the day after it arrived.

Clint
 

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When the timing chain tensioner guides are getting cut through by the upper timing chains, it makes a "whining" noise, similar to the as described supercharger whine or like a P/S pump going bad. I wouldn't describe it as a wind noise through the intake; that noise is actually normal on the VQ40DE and mostly due to the plastic intake plenum. They don't offer as much noise "muffling"of the sound of the air rushing through the plenum as the cast aluminum plenums.
The timing chain problem on the VQ40DE engines occurs due to the upper timing chains cutting through the plastic faces (or, "feet") of the tensioners. These parts were made by Borg-Warner. As the chain link plates were stamped, the dies would wear. As they would wear, they started to make poor stampings of the link plates, resulting in sharp edges. These sharp edges on the link plates are the reason the chains start cutting through the plastic tensioner faces. Because the quality of the stamping depended on how much wear was on the tooling is the reason why some engine have no problems, some have problems at low mileage and others don't have the problem until long after 100,000 miles. The problem occurs on some 2005-2010 model years. There was no recall for it, but Nissan did release a TSB for the repair and procedure in NTB09-128. The bulletin calls for replacing the two, upper tensioner faces, the upper timing chains and related seals, coolant, oil and filter. It also calls for two, special tools to do the job. One tool is used to press on the plastic tensioner face onto the tensioner plus a pin to hold the plunger inside the tensioner body. The press is not really necessary as the tensioner face can be installed with a set of Channel-Lock pliers with a rag between the jaws and tensioner face to protect the plastic; some have stated they've been able to get them on using their hands. *Note: some get kits that include the entire upper tensioners. The problem is that if you want to replace the entire upper tensioner, you also have to remove the rear timing cover, which is a lot more work and a few more seals. The other tool is a ring-gear holder. Nissan has you install this to lock the engine in place. When it comes time to torque the cam gear bolts, the timing chain and locked crankshaft serve to hold the cams in place and keep them from turning. The ring-gear holder has gotten hard to find for purchase and many are searching for used ones so they can do the job. You can do the job without the ring-gear holder by using a wrench on the camshaft flats to hold them, but this requires removing the upper plenum, the variable cam timing actuators and the valve covers, which adds valve cover gaskets and, if wanted, plenum gaskets and actuator gaskets, to the job.
Typical cost have the job done at a shop usually runs about $1200-$1600. However, if the engine is high mileage, then it makes sense to have some add-ons, which bump the cost. Many choose to include the water pump, the thermostat, primary timing chain and tensioner and timing guides. Aftermarket timing sets are out there in various combinations of parts; I haven't heard anything bad about these sets, yet, but like any aftermarket part, you sometimes take a gamble on quality. Water pumps range from $25 to well over $100 for Nissan parts; personally, I would opt for a Hitachi or Aisin pump, which make the OE parts for Nissan on the VQ motors. I would stick with a genuine Nissan thermostat. As far as sealant, I tried the Three-bond sealant in the bulletin and it was a real pain! Keep in mind that you are going to be applying a LOT of sealant on the front cover. My recommendation is Permatex Ultra Grey Rigid High Torque RTV, which can be purchased in a tube to be used with a caulk gun. I would also recommend getting a new, primary timing chain from Nissan, if only for the clear identification of the timing marks. Note: if you do the job and get a P0011 or P0021 code, you likely have the timing chains off a tooth. Another popular add-on is the serpentine belt and tensioner, as these engines have had squeak issues with the original parts. If you go aftermarket, make sure the belt or the belt/tensioner kit is listed as the "enhancement kit." This basically means that it has the updated serpentine belt, which is 6/10th of an inch shorter, which creates a little more tension on the belt to correct the squeak issue. *Note: another cause of this is a misaligned P/S pump, so pulley alignment should be checked.
It's a do-able job for someone with basic mechanical knowledge and pays attention to detail, but not what I would consider and "easy" job. Refer to the TSB and the factory service manual (Engine Mechanical chapter) before doing the job to get a good idea of what's involved.
 

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Good day for the fronty, traveled 45 min to a different dealer than I bought my truck from, which is about 15 min away, and all was good. The service writer had a tech come out to my truck and look it over, started and listened and said he didn't hear anything concerning and that if the guides were bad there wouldn't be any question about the sound, basically what everyone else described .... guess I was worried for nothing. The control arm part number on my truck, didn't fall into the recall and that also looked fine..

Walked out only having left a tip, where the dealer by me wanted 130$ or 140$ to look at it (I don't remember which)

Thanks you Smithtown Nissan

Now the only thing I need to address is tires


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