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Discussion Starter #1
I just recently bought a 2007 Frontier SE w/ 110k miles in the hopes that it would be more reliable than my lemon of an F150 (2004; warped cam chain-->low piston pressure--> complete engine failure-->scrap yard). I used to have a 2002 Frontier and loved it, so figured I go back to my first love.
This one seems like a money pit, though. I feel like I can't escape the lemon trucks...
While test driving I heard a high-pitched hum, which I figured was an idler pulley and though "shoot, if I can talk this guy down $1000, I can easily fix that noise and come out way on top". Nope. After scrolling through some of these forums and looking at some youtube videos I've come to realize that this is the infamous timing chain tensioner... On top of this I have some rattling at idle, airbag light, TPMS light, and really hard steering that I'll have to look into as well. I have heard about that transmission/radiator having some serious issues as well, so I'm going to take a deeper look into that. I got the truck for $7500 (truck prices in Houston are locally inflated, I know), but figure I'll have to invest another $3k to get it in tip top shape. If I'm going to spend this much, I'd almost rather replace the entire engine.
My questions are the following:
-In y'alls experience, have y'all seen any slipping/engine failure due to the metal-on-metal contact of the tensioner on the chain, or is it just annoying? Are the aftermarket tensioners made of a different material as to not wear out as fast?
-Would it be worth it to go ahead and get a new engine? And if so, where's the best place to get a really low-mileage engine?
-Regarding preventative maintenance; are there any good write-ups for the radiator/transmission bypass that you'd recommend to a DIY-er such as myself?

I figure I'll be spending a lot more time in these message boards and would love to post some write-ups of my own after fixing some of these issues. Any helpful links would be much appreciated. ::grin::
 

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The 4.0L engine does "rattle" a bit when cold, but that is designed in. Some say certain oil filters help with this. but again, it's not a problem, just kind of odd.

The TPMS light is probably one of the tire sensors battery going dead. Common on ALL vehicles of similar age.

I would trust a 110k mile original Nissan engine over pretty much any remanufactured engine. Never know what you are actually getting. You can search on Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market for used, but keep in mind the earlier 2nd gen 4.0L engines will have the same cam tensioner follower issue (someone else can tell you what year this was corrected by Nissan)
 

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Welcome!

I think $7500 is a pretty good deal. When I looked recently I'm expecting a bit more for mine if I traded it in my area and I have a 2007 SE crew cab as well. (not that I was ever able to get blue book trade in value for any vehicles I traded in)

The bypass actually doesn't seem to be too bad if it's something that you choose to do. When I read the threads on this forum it seemed kind of complicated. But in looking on Youtube it seemed a bit more simple. I think you basically just:
-remove the skid plate
-drain the coolant
-swap the hoses
-refill the coolant

I can't search Youtube right now but do a search for cross contamination nissan (you can look up videos for either the Xterra or Frontier). And you'll find links on what to look for. There was a video where someone described the bypass but didn't actually do it, which is where I'm getting my reference from.

With the tensioners, a while back some users posted how they would just live with it and it's more a nuisance than anything else. Don't know how long they just lived with the issue. But there are a couple of members on here that mentioned replacing it on their own and can't remember if there's a write up. There are videos on youtube on how to do this too if you want to get a general idea on what needs to be done.
 

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My last 3 nissans have all rattled at idle and my Sentra did with all 3 motors I had for it (2 QR25 and 1 VQ35) Could definitely hear it more after I put headers on. Just a Nissan thing. Took me a while to deal with. Could check butterfly valve. Search VIAS on the forum.
 

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I'll check the butterfly valve. The rattle isn't like a bearable subtle rattle, it's like a "oh crap, something is seriously wrong here" rattle.
Have either of y'all had issues with hard steering before?
 

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Welcome!



I think $7500 is a pretty good deal. When I looked recently I'm expecting a bit more for mine if I traded it in my area and I have a 2007 SE crew cab as well. (not that I was ever able to get blue book trade in value for any vehicles I traded in)



The bypass actually doesn't seem to be too bad if it's something that you choose to do. When I read the threads on this forum it seemed kind of complicated. But in looking on Youtube it seemed a bit more simple. I think you basically just:

-remove the skid plate

-drain the coolant

-swap the hoses

-refill the coolant



I can't search Youtube right now but do a search for cross contamination nissan (you can look up videos for either the Xterra or Frontier). And you'll find links on what to look for. There was a video where someone described the bypass but didn't actually do it, which is where I'm getting my reference from.



With the tensioners, a while back some users posted how they would just live with it and it's more a nuisance than anything else. Don't know how long they just lived with the issue. But there are a couple of members on here that mentioned replacing it on their own and can't remember if there's a write up. There are videos on youtube on how to do this too if you want to get a general idea on what needs to be done.


That bypass explanation could cause some confusion.

OP search the forums for the How To's on this. It's super easy; It's even easier if you add a secondary trans cooler. You just remove the 5/16"? hose on the drivers side, bottom of the radiator, and attach it to the inlet of the new cooler. Then do the same with the passenger side but install it on the outlet of the new cooler. Mount it in front of the radiator. Plug the radiator. Add transmission fluid. Done.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Exactly, as long as it's not already eff'd.

Check the coolant tank and radiator for any signs of pink milkshake (atf fluid). If the radiator looks new, it might have been replaced already. But that doesn't mean they replaced the tranny. Ask me how I know...

That's how I figured out they tried to screw me over. A slight amount of pinkness in the coolant reservoir that I scraped out with a Q-tip, and the "rumble strip" sensation while driving around 55-60 mph.
 
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