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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Today I noticed a loud-ish tapping sound coming from the front of the engine of my 2006 SE CC 2x4 frontier w/ the VQ40DE engine and 95k miles. After watching a number of youtube videos, my best guess is that it is an issue with the timing chain guide. So of course I had to take my own video and post it to youtube:


Am I close? Something else entirely?

Thanks,

Michael
 

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My truck is an '06 4.0 Liter with 126k miles. I made a video of a warm start and have attached the link to the video.

Comparing mine to yours, you have a tap tap sound that seems to me to be a loud valve. My reading of a timing chain guide problem shows as a screeching sound. This is cause by the plastic guides wearing away leaving metal to metal contact.

I would like to hear from others who have experienced a timing chain wear issue.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply CT_Nismo. So maybe not the issue is not what I thought it was. It is interesting that these engines have so much valve noise when they start up. Mine has that same clattering.
A "loud valve" doesn't sound like something on the edge of catastrophic failure 😀
 

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How old is the drive belt? Old belts can caused a tensioner to 'bottom out' causing a similar tapping.
It's hard to tell from the recording. In addition, it also sounds like you need an oil change.
 

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Thanks for the reply CT_Nismo. So maybe not the issue is not what I thought it was. It is interesting that these engines have so much valve noise when they start up. Mine has that same clattering.
A "loud valve" doesn't sound like something on the edge of catastrophic failure 😀
I also recorded a "cold start" video which is much louder.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How old is the drive belt? Old belts can caused a tensioner to 'bottom out' causing a similar tapping.
It's hard to tell from the recording. In addition, it also sounds like you need an oil change.
I replaced it once at around 50k, so the current belt has about 45k on it. I'll try putting in a new belt. I have changed the tensioner pulleys twice due to the chirping but finally have one that is quiet.

I'm less than 100 miles into a new oil change....
 

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After listening on computer instead of phone, it's not the tensioner.
Switch your oil to 10w-30 which will quiet everything down a bit when cold...at next oil change.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I replaced it once at around 50k, so the current belt has about 45k on it. I'll try putting in a new belt. I have changed the tensioner pulleys twice due to the chirping but finally have one that is quiet.

I'm less than 100 miles into a new oil change....
I misread my maintenance records, I have never replaced the belt on the frontier. It still looks to be in great shape but could definitely have stretched. I'll try replacing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I missed some replies that came in before my last post. I didn't see any excess motion in the tensioner but went ahead and replaced the belt any way. Not the fix obviously.

RamTest, I will consider changing the oil viscosity (I have also been considering switching to synthetic). What do you think is the cause of the sound?
 

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Did this noise start with the oil change?
Did you change it yourself or was it done at a garage?
Is it noisy with both cold and hot engine?
Check oil level.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Did this noise start with the oil change?
I changed the oil in 1/12 but just noticed it yesterday. It's certainly possible that it started then but I just noticed it.

Did you change it yourself or was it done at a garage?
Up until this oil change I had been taking it to a local mechanic to change the oil. I did this one myself. OEM NIssan filter & Pennzoil 5w-30

Is it noisy with both cold and hot engine?
It seems to sound the same regardless of whether the engine is cold or warm (I just finished warming up the engine to make certain)

Check oil level.
The oil level is correct/full (just checked again to make certain).
 

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Listening on my phone but sounds like a exhaust manifold leak.

I know sounds really change on video but is it really that noisy??
 

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OP, a couple of mild revs would've added something to that sound byte. Any chance your fan blades are contacting the plastic shroud?
 

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Listening on my phone but sounds like a exhaust manifold leak.

I know sounds really change on video but is it really that noisy??
I would look for a manifold leak as well, it can make that ticking sounds just like a valve. A fuel injector can get real noisy also.
 

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10-30 will be thicker and flow less on a cold start so you’d actually hear more noise. Mobil1 0w-30 will flow better sooner and lessen the chatter if anything.
When I bought my Challenger Chrysler sent a notice to use 0-40, not 5-40 as the manual stated.
My 18 Titan, 18 Rogue and 14 Sentra all spec Mobil 1 0-20, other members here have posted going to 0 to quiet it down.

Clint
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Listening on my phone but sounds like a exhaust manifold leak.

I know sounds really change on video but is it really that noisy??
I have listened to some videos of exhaust manifold leaks and it definitely sounds similar. I'll look into that possibility. It is pretty loud and seems to be getting louder (or maybe I'm just focusing on it). I can just make it out in the cab w/ the hood closed and the windows down.
 

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10-30 will be thicker and flow less on a cold start so you’d actually hear more noise. Mobil1 0w-30 will flow better sooner and lessen the chatter if anything.
No, you need thicker oil, 10w-30, to quiet down the slap from worn parts on an older engine. Thin oil will simply run out of the voids.

Thin oil serves one purpose only...fuel economy.
 

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Michael, you can make a stethoscope from a 3-4 ft section of garden hose, or 1" clear tubing. With that you can isolate the source of the sound. If it's coming from the timing chain cover then you need to have it checked out. But from what I can hear from the recording, it sounds like noisy valve lifters, but they usually develop noise slowly over time. That sound would be coming from the valve covers. Worn camshaft bearings would also cause noisy lifters.
 
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