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Discussion Starter #1
I've read a lot of post about potential causes of low oil pressure once the engine is up to temp and idling. It seems one of the possible culprits is a blown rear timing chain cover gasket. My question is if that gasket is the problem because it's blown/damaged, would there be visual evidence of oil leaking? I'm having abnormal low oil pressure readings on the dummy gauge at idle, but I also have no oil leaking from any area on the engine. It's clean as can be.
 

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Engine and year of truck?
 

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I have the original and and and an after market (Glow Gauges) oil pressure gauge and lately with 5W30 it did that to me as well. Mine is 2005 Nismo King Cab with manual transmission. Curious to see what causes this.
 

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Just got back from the Nissan dealership. The diagnostics thay ran couldn't find a problem. The instrument cluster was operating fine, oil pressure switch was good too. They hooked up 2 different manual pressure gauges to verify as well. Both gauges were indicating there is indeed a pressure drop at idle. I guess my next step is to drop the oil pan and see if I can see any debris clogging things up.
 

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I would change the brand of oil first to see. Do you see normal pressure when you first start the truck? I see normal pressure on both my gauges. I think the viscosity of the oil may be too thin for summer temps. but if you do pull the pan, let us know what you see.
Thanks
 

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I would change the brand of oil first to see. Do you see normal pressure when you first start the truck? I see normal pressure on both my gauges. I think the viscosity of the oil may be too thin for summer temps. but if you do pull the pan, let us know what you see.
Thanks
Yes, at start up the pressure is fine. It takes about 10 - 15 minutes for the engine to get the oil to temp. then the pressure drops at idle. I use the Nissan recommended oil viscosity so it shouldn't be an issue. I will pull the pan and inspect it and the oil intake tube and screen. If it isn't that, I'm fairly sure it will be a gasket failure on the rear timing chain cover which sucks because the gasket would probably be inexpensive, but Nissan doesn't make just the gasket, you have to buy the entire rear timing chain cover. Nissan sells it for $300, but the dealership said they'd cut me a deal for $250. I could live with that price if that's all there was too it, but the labor for the job is crazy. The dealer quoted me another $1100 for the labor to install the part.
 

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OK Good Luck with that. How low your oil pressure goes?
when you say rear timing chain, are you talking about the secondary timing chain?
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
OK Good Luck with that. How low your oil pressure goes?
when you say rear timing chain, are you talking about the secondary timing chain?
It's not actually the timing chain, it's the cover/plate behind the timing chain and sprockets.

At idle my pressure is 9.8 psi, according to specs, it should be 14 psi.

Here are two pictures for your reference, Is there a whining noise when you rev the engine?
No, there is no whining or strange noises from my engine or because of the timing chain. If I wind up having to have that cover/gasket behind the timing chain repaired, I'll probably just have the shop put new timing chain tentioners on while they're at it.
 

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OK before you take it to the shop let me ask you how handy you are with the tools?

If you can do your own repairs, then I found a How-to video last night that covers step by step timing chain replacement for the wining issue. It is an hour 30 minute long. The guy made that video over several weeks. I book marked it and will post it here when I get home tonight. The work is actually done on the Xterra but same 4.0L engine. If you do your own work it will save you at least a couple of grands on labor alone. Parts (t-chain etc., = 300-400, labor is anywhere from $1500 to $2000). I stayed up late and watched the whole video. Lots of parts to take out like fan, fan shroud, alternator, power steering pump bolts, AC compressor bolts, starter, Intake Manifold cover to name a few but he was following exactly the FSM. The hardest part is to find the Top Dead center on Plug #1 and lock the cams and crank there. He bought Nissan special tools for that and to locked the three chain tensinors down while removing the secondary timing chain. So if you need to get back behind the timing chain cover, then this video will be very handy for you.

When I read the post the first time, I was baffled how a loose timing chain could cause low oil pressure. It may cause other issues but to my knowledge not related to oil pressure. Usually a weak oil pump or sludge would do that.
 

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leak from inner timing chain cover

This IS labor intensive... there's no way around that. Do you have a copy of the FSM? If not you can get it from NICO
 

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Thank You. So what is the solution? Replacing the rear timing cover takes care of this issue? since it is a new part number according to the article?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank You. So what is the solution? Replacing the rear timing cover takes care of this issue? since it is a new part number according to the article?
There is another on these forums (his name escapes me) that was experiencing the same low oil pressure issue and replaced the gasket in question himself which remedied the problem. He also included pictures during the repair that showed where the gasket failed. The guy I mentioned made the gasket himself using gasket material because Nissan doesn't sell the gasket by itself, I've checked with the dealership on this. They sell the entire inner timing chain cover (rear cover) which already has the gasket in it. $250 - $300 for the OE new cover.
 

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Thanks Katanamo73. I did a search on this topic here on the forum and did not find the thread you mentioned. There is not much mentioned about the low pressure issue. One thing I did see it that for 2005 models only, the Nissan used actual gauge, the 2006 onward are dummy gauges and the low pressure at idle is normal with 5w30 oil in summer times. Some vehicles exhibited this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I finally got everything in order to fix my low oil pressure issue and the repair will start tomorrow. It's a little more expensive than I was hoping, but all in all not too bad at $1250 for parts and labor. As mentioned earlier in this thread, the problem is a blown gasket on the inner timing chain cover. I could have saved myself about $300 on this repair since the mechanic that's doing the repair for me said he could make the gasket for me, but I just bought the new inner timing chain cover from Nissan for peace of mind. But, that price also includes replacing the primary and secondary timing chains, all 3 timing chain tensioners, and all 3 timing chain guides.
 

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OP, when did you notice this issue starting to happen (just curious)?
 

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Thanks Katanamo73. I did a search on this topic here on the forum and did not find the thread you mentioned. There is not much mentioned about the low pressure issue. One thing I did see it that for 2005 models only, the Nissan used actual gauge, the 2006 onward are dummy gauges and the low pressure at idle is normal with 5w30 oil in summer times. Some vehicles exhibited this issue.
reason its not discussed much is its (thankfully) not a high occurrance. Which is also why some dealerships will even get it wrong first time around. And as the writer of the article I posted suggests, Nissan may have realized their earlier mistakes (they've had alot, and fixed alot, without publicizing it) and fixed it with one of the several revisions.
When they talk of low pressure, there is a real lower limit that an engine at idle can tolerate. FSM says you should be at 15psi. If you're seeing down to 10, I'd be looking to test some things.
 
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