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Discussion Starter #1
Was it just 05-07 Frontiers that had the issues with the timing chains and tensioners? I just bought an 09 Frontier with the 4.0 and was curious if I need to budget to fix this problem?
 

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i think over the years they have changed the part number and maybe updated it 1-2 times? but either way the guides will eventually wear down and need replaced. when is a matter of opinion for some. and others think the truck will explode the first sign of them going out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What mileage do these start having issues usually? Mine only has 52k miles on it. I see a lot of people reporting issues in 05-07 models but not much of anything in 09-10 based off carcomplaints.com

Wanted to see if this held true on here
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yea I just bought the 09 Frontier and am getting scared stupid about the SMOD coolant trans issues and now the timing chain issues? My truck only has 52k miles but after reading this stuff it makes me feel like it is going to go kaboom at any point... Just trying the get real answers if it was limited to early model years and I am safe at 09? I really want to keep the truck a long time but not at insane costs of repairs...
 

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my guides on my 08 started whining around 30k miles. my guides on my 05 were loud and clunky at 100k miles and im at 165k now with no issues and ive only done oil changes and put my foot on the skinny pedal.
i have an 07 with 130 on the motor and that thing is quiet and doesnt make any noise at all.


in my honest opinion its hard to tell exactly when it happens and what particular driving style or outside elements cause it to start happening. or they could just be from a bad line of them and they get put in random year trucks until they run out.

i dont believe im a good authority on when they need replaced because ive still never seen a case where someones chains snapped or jumped timing. although it would be a good idea to eventually change them if they are gone lol.
i wouldnt worry anytime soon.


i have seen some people in the 2010s have cross contamination though, i would look into getting an aftermarket radiator installed so it can alleviate the factory issue.
 

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Here's what happened: Borg Warner made the timing set on the VQ40DE. The chains are multi-links and during the process of stamping the links of the upper chains, the dies would start to wear and not properly stamp out the links, leaving a sharp edge on them. How much of a sharp edge would depend on how much wear was on the dies that was stamping out the links. The upper chains that had links that were not properly stamped would cut through the plastic tensioner "faces" (or "feet," depending on whose terminology you prefer). Eventually, the chains would cut through the upper tensioner face until it starts riding on the hardened steel tensioner plunger. While this wear is occurring, the "whining noise" will occur and gradually get louder. If left unrepaired, the upper timing chain could jump timing, resulting in potential damage to the valve train and/or pistons, cylinder head and even the block.
The issue affects 2005 through 2010 Pathfinders/Xterras/Frontiers with the VQ40DE engine. Whether it will happen or not, or at what mileage it may occur, really depends on what condition the links are on the upper chains. If the chain links were stamped properly, there shouldn't be a problem. If the links were stamped at a very late stage when the dies had considerable wear, the problem would occur at a very low mileage. This is why we see some failures occurring at relatively low mileage while other occur over 100,000 miles...and on some, there are no timing chain issues. On my 06 Pathfinder, the noise started at 80,000 miles; on my 2008 Pathfinder, the chains started making noise at 130,000 miles. In most cases, all that is really required is replacement of the upper timing chains and the tensioner faces of the upper chain tensioners (and necessary seals, sealant and fluids required to do the job). Primary chains stretch very little and the chain guides typically show little or no wear. However, when the engine has a lot of mileage on it, most will opt to replace the primary chain and tensioner, all of the chain guides, water pump and thermostat. Most would replace the upper tensioners, but, that requires removing the rear timing cover because there is no access to the upper tensioner bolts unless the rear cover is removed.
So, I guess the bottom line is unless the chain is making noise, don't worry about it until it does..."if" it ever does.
 

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I moderate at TheNissanPath.com. They have a lot of R51 members and there have been a lot of discussions on 4.0L timing chain issues and radiator cooler failures!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I bought a foreign truck to not have major issues under 100k miles. I am starting to regret my decision with all of these major potential problems with engines and trannys... I thought I was safe in 09because I did not see a lot of problems reported, but maybe I was wrong...
 

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I bought a foreign truck to not have major issues under 100k miles. I am starting to regret my decision with all of these major potential problems with engines and trannys... I thought I was safe in 09because I did not see a lot of problems reported, but maybe I was wrong...
The potential to have issues with any used vehicle belongs to how the original owner(s) took care of the vehicle.

These trucks run easily upwards of 150K miles so you're just getting broken in.

Keep the underside clean and maintain the engine/transmission and you should be able to roll many trouble free miles with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I still have not seen one report of timing chain issues on 09-10 models. Has anyone with any of these models had issues? Did they resolve the issue by these years?
 

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Don't panic too much. I have had two 05's my current with 101k and no major issues at all and haven't heard the timing chain whine. My older one had 175k miles and just started to get the timing chain whine and never had the transmission issue although i did a separate transmission cooler for it so I didn't have to worry. There are some very simple modifications you can make to avoid the transmission issue and other than that these are fantastic vehicles. I think you will have a long time to enjoy your new frontier with minimal issues.
 

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Here's what happened: Borg Warner made the timing set on the VQ40DE. The chains are multi-links and during the process of stamping the links of the upper chains, the dies would start to wear and not properly stamp out the links, leaving a sharp edge on them.
Where the hell was their QC department all those years?

That's the kind of crudeness you'd expect to see coming out a mud hut in Afghanistan - Not out of a corporation that has been building car parts for more than a century.
 

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shoukd that be done with 2016/2017 as well? or just older models??
I believe it only affected up to the 2010 models from what has been stated in this thread; my 2017 is under warranty so I'm not going to be worried about it...it should be covered as part of the power train warranty componets.
 

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I bought a foreign truck to not have major issues under 100k miles. I am starting to regret my decision with all of these major potential problems with engines and trannys... I thought I was safe in 09because I did not see a lot of problems reported, but maybe I was wrong...
I don't consider Nissan trucks in North America to be "foreign." They are made in Smyrna, TN, and Canton, MS. Most of the engines and transmissions are made in TN and Mexico. There are many Japanese vehicles in the US that have more US content than those vehicles put out by the "Big Three" domestics!
I worked for Nissan as a tech from 1986 to 2003. While I am somewhat partial to them, they are a very frustrating company. They have the potential to be as good as Toyota and Honda, but, instead, put out a mix of pretty good vehicles and pretty bad vehicles. Most of the ones from Japan are pretty good, like the Z-cars and current Quest. The 2011 and later Frontiers Xterras are pretty good, now, but it took them six years to work out all of the bugs. The same for the R51 Pathfinders, which is replaced by the problem-prone R52 Pathfinder that is ranked at the bottom of its class by Consumer Reports. The Sentra and Altima were, for a long time, bread-and-butter cars for Nissan that were practical and reliable. Now, they are both plagued with issues that put them near the bottom of their class. The Versa is junk, but the Versa Note is much better. The Murano is pretty good, but the Rogue, one of their best sellers, is not nearly as good as many of its counterparts, like the Subaru Forester, Rav 4, etc. They've had many problems with their CVT transmissions, although the 5- and 7- speed automatic transmissions used in Nissan and Infiniti trucks are very good (as long as you don't end up with engine coolant in them from the radiator). They are really a company that used to be good decades ago, but really needs to get their act together now!

All of the main problems...radiators, timing chains, fuel senders...are on the 2005-2010 models. After that, they are pretty good.
 

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I haven't seen anyone post specifically that their 2008 V6 had the Timing Chain whine, so I thought I would post that my Brother-In-Law's did in fact whine and he has already had it fixed. I think he was at about 50,000 miles.
 

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My 2006 Pathfinder had its timing chain before I bought it with 84000 miles on it. I did the chains on my 08 Pathfinder at 135000 miles. I did a customer's timing chains at 90000 miles on their 2006 Frontier. One really can't base anything on mileage as they are all over the place and some may never have a chain issue. It only becomes an issue when you start hearing the noise.
 
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