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My '05 has 134k miles and no whine. Will replacing the tensioner through the small access window suffice for as a preventative measure or does the entire timing system need replaced? I'm willing to replace just the tensioner but I dont want to pull off the entire front end and replace everything.

Or should I just leave it alone?
 

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My '05 has 134k miles and no whine. Will replacing the tensioner through the small access window suffice for as a preventative measure or does the entire timing system need replaced? I'm willing to replace just the tensioner but I dont want to pull off the entire front end and replace everything.

Or should I just leave it alone?
The tensioner you're referring to is the primary chain tensioner. The issues are with the upper timing chains and the upper tensioners. It's not really the tensioners that are the problem, but the chains. Some of the upper chains had links that were stamped with worn tooling, which created sharp edges that cut into the plastic tensioner faces. So, the repair is to replace the upper timing chains and tensioner faces, which means the front cover has to be removed.
 

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The tensioner you're referring to is the primary chain tensioner. The issues are with the upper timing chains and the upper tensioners. It's not really the tensioners that are the problem, but the chains. Some of the upper chains had links that were stamped with worn tooling, which created sharp edges that cut into the plastic tensioner faces. So, the repair is to replace the upper timing chains and tensioner faces, which means the front cover has to be removed.
Thanks for the clarification. I'll pass on that repair. Lol. I watched Ry the Car Guy video last night in which he tackled the repair. It looked like a royal PITA. I think at one point he was 16 hours into the repair and still not close to finished. Hopefully the chains in my '05 were from fresh tooling and havent done to much damage to the secondary tensioners. I dont seem to have any whining or clanking noises. I'll let the sleeping giant lie.
 

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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...
Oh stop. If the truck was properly serviced and not mistreated it’ll be fine. Any mistreated vehicle will have problems. I have an 09 I bought new. I’m at 113k and haven’t had a single part of any kind fail except two batteries and two sets of tires.
 
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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.
I have a 2016 Frontier SV 4.0L with only 47,000 miles on it and recently noticed a knocking sound that is noticeable when driving around for a little bit (warmed up) under a load of roughly 1,500 RPM's and 35-45 MPH. I paid to have a Nissan Dealer troubleshoot and they said they could not get my truck to make the noise. I brought one of their employees on a ride with me and he heard the knocking like sound. They put my truck up on the lift and used a Stethoscope on the front Differential and said that is what was making the noise and communicated that it needs to be replaced. I then brought my truck to a Mechanic who specializes in Differentials and he said he does not think the problem is my front differential. Now, I research and come across this helpful site where people are expressing the timing chain issues with the 4.0L Nissan Engines and I am wondering if this slight knocking are early stages of the timing chain problems that others are having? I called the Nissan Dealer today and they said nothing was showing in the TSB. I am also wondering if I should trade this truck in now? It is paid off and I own it. Also, what wording would be good to communicate to Nissan Goodwill to show them I know they are aware of this issue with these engines? Is there documentation out there on this for proof? Thank you everyone!
 

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I have a 2016 Frontier SV 4.0L with only 47,000 miles on it and recently noticed a knocking sound that is noticeable when driving around for a little bit (warmed up) under a load of roughly 1,500 RPM's and 35-45 MPH. I paid to have a Nissan Dealer troubleshoot and they said they could not get my truck to make the noise. I brought one of their employees on a ride with me and he heard the knocking like sound. They put my truck up on the lift and used a Stethoscope on the front Differential and said that is what was making the noise and communicated that it needs to be replaced. I then brought my truck to a Mechanic who specializes in Differentials and he said he does not think the problem is my front differential. Now, I research and come across this helpful site where people are expressing the timing chain issues with the 4.0L Nissan Engines and I am wondering if this slight knocking are early stages of the timing chain problems that others are having? I called the Nissan Dealer today and they said nothing was showing in the TSB. I am also wondering if I should trade this truck in now? It is paid off and I own it. Also, what wording would be good to communicate to Nissan Goodwill to show them I know they are aware of this issue with these engines? Is there documentation out there on this for proof? Thank you everyone!
Your 2016 should not have timing chain issues. That was only in the first 3 or 4 years of production. After about 2011, Nissan had fixed just about all the known issues, including the timing chain.
 

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The timing chain issue is a loud and annoying whine that correlates to the rpm. It is not a knock at all.

Clint
 
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