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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.
The 20 designation is for mileage, the thinner winter weight 0w is for flow upon startup. A thicker oil can also cause oil starvation when critically needed.


Clint
 

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let’s track down the problem first. Does the noise get louder when you drive? Fan hitting shroud?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
let’s track down the problem first. Does the noise get louder when you drive? Fan hitting shroud?
I have difficulty hearing it with the hood closed from within the cabin but it does not get louder when driving. I pushed the shroud around to see if I could change the sound and it did not. I am fairly certain that it is not hitting the shroud.

This morning I had my wife help take a video with a few gentle revs. The second rev was to 1000 then 2000 (just for a second).:

 

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still hard to tell. Try taking the belt off and running the truck. At least you can rule something else out. Like belt or pulleys.
 

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I had something that sounded very similar on my Honda Civic. It has a timing belt and the consensus was that it sounded like timing belt tensioner failure. Wrong - it was water pump bearing failure. Could this possibly be your issue?
 

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Change your Alternator/Fan Belt!!! Mine did the same thing. Louder at cold start. Could not hear it with hood closed. Cheap fix as compared to chasing your tail and spending a lot of $$$ for no results.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a mechanics stethoscope but never really trusted my ability to use it to any constructive purpose. I could hear the tapping everywhere I tried it. I tried it again with the goal of finding where the sound was loudest and focusing on the sound in the stethoscope (I know..seems a no brainer).

It is not the alternator, definitely no sound there. I can hear it in the exhaust manifolds, and it is loudest on the passenger side but not nearly as loud as I would expect it to be if there was a leak. I tested across the top of the valve covers as well. The sound is most prominent at the driver side top of the timing chain cover.

It was suggested earlier that I run the truck without the serpentine belt on. I'm guessing that this is safe since the water pump is chain driven but I wanted to get confirmation that there is no issues with running it stationary without the belt for diagnosis.

It is a great thing that this engine is so widely used by Nissan. There are Youtube videos on everything you can imagine!
 

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Definitely doesn't sound like a worn timing chain tensioner which is more of a constant whine. From inside the truck it sounds like a bad electrical gorund that changes pitch depending on RPMs.
 

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The chain whine is constant and pronounced like a supercharger and increases with rpm’s. It was such a welcome relief when hearing the first startup after the repair.

Clint
 

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Don’t think it’s the timing chain. My last 06 had the timing chain issue and it made a whirling sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I'm away from home (and the truck) until next week. My plan is to run it without the belt and check the water pump and further down the timing chain cover.
 

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To add a little clarity to the timing chain noises, there are 2 noises involved - the supercharger whining sound that changes with engine speed comes from the secondaries. The shoe wears out and the noise you hear is the chain sliding against the metal tensioner piston. If your main chain tensioner breaks, it'll usually break at the top where it hooks to the tensioner arm. It slides down, out of position and the big bump on the plastic that would normally make contact with the the tensioner piston no longer sits in the right place. The piston fully extends and can't be pushed back in because the arm is out of place. This timing noise sounds like a diesel engine running because the big chain is flopping around.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I am not saying it is a bad alternator. It is NOT. Change your drive belt.
I misunderstood your suggestion. Changing the serpentine belt is the first thing I tried and had changed it by the time of your suggestion but unfortunately it did not solve the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I ran the truck without the belt. The tapping sound is most distinct and loudest at the water pump cover. So...changing the water pump would appear to be my next step. Also part of today's work on the truck was to change the head unit...unfortunately, pieces broke off the center console bezel with just gentle pressure from the spudger. 15 years of sitting in the sun I guess. So. a replacement center console bezel is also on the agenda.
 
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