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I am looking at a 2004 Frontier with 186K. The current owner doesn't know if the cam belt has been replaced. When does it need a cam belt replaced?
 

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Timing belts can go at any time and they can ruin your day. But I think they stretch first before breaking. The stretching will affect timing which will affect engine performance. If this is the first belt change, the truck is way way overdue.
 

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Most are recommended between 60k and 85k, with a few at 100 > 105k. If this is OEM you have a live bomb on your hands. For time, its recommended every 5 to 7 yrs even if it doesn't hit the mileage yardsticks.
 

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Thanks for the reply. As a newby to the Frontier, what could I expect to pay for a replacement service?
I remember paying $400-600 for timing belts at the dealer. It is labor intensive but skill is needed to maintain the integrity of the timing. I think the Hardbody like other trucks have interference engines. Meaning, if you screw up the timing, you bend valves.

If the previous owner did not even think about changing the timing belts, the entire vehicle is suspect. The price would have to be real low for me to have any interest.
 

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I am looking at a 2004 Frontier with 186K. The current owner doesn't know if the cam belt has been replaced. When does it need a cam belt replaced?
Re: your profile pic. One of my favorite cities in the world -- Amsterdam!
Good luck with your truck.
 

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Re: your profile pic. One of my favorite cities in the world -- Amsterdam!
Good luck with your truck.
Good catch on the city. Amsterdam is a unique place for a variety of reasons. Last time I was there, I entered a "Coffee Shop" to get a latte or similar. I saw no coffee machines in the establishment. In fact I was totally confused as to what was going on until I saw a patron take a deep draw (toke?) on something. There must be some local law that prevented them from proper signage: "Head Shop."
 

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When I had my 2002, a few years ago I paid $1000 for the timing belt, tensioner, seals, and drive belts - the full job, at a dealer.

You can buy a kit that has everything you need if you are inclined to do it yourself.
 

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While it’s apart I’d do a water pump and thermostat as well, it’s all located right there anyway. Good luck.
Clint
 

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Years ago, on my 87 Hardbody v6, I did the timing belt. Shops would bill it out as a 6-8 hour job. I actually had to replace the water pump, which is behind the timing belt, so stupid not to put a new timing belt on since I had to take the old off anyway to get to the pump. The truck had near 300,000+ miles on it when I did that and there is a good chance this was the original belt. Years later the pump went out again (normal wear n tear) and I think I just kept the same belt on or not, cant remember. So, belts can outlast the truck or they can go early. The scary part was knowing if I put the belt on wrong I could shoot a valve through the hood.
 

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I am looking at a 2004 Frontier with 186K. The current owner doesn't know if the cam belt has been replaced. When does it need a cam belt replaced?
I'm pretty sure it's not a belt, but a chain.
 

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When I had my Gen1, I did it myself. It is labor intensive and you do need to have some technical engine background knowledge. Tip: Wherever you go, go ahead and pay a little extra to have the water pump replaced, as it's also due and if it goes out, the same labor is needed to replace it. Also, they'll check the timing belt tension pulley and it may be within specs, but you should just pay to replace it while your there. Good luck.
 

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thanks smj999. Hope I dont have to find out personally anytime soon.

Literally, my neighbor's friend is a nissan mechanic and when he got word I was changing the timing belt/water pump in my driveway (on the Hardbody 3.0) he was, I think, pissed, if I can say that here. "You guys can't do that, you are not qualified to do that work..." he said.
In reality it was a quite easy concept, it just took a long time to take off all the parts hiding the waterpump.
I put paint marks on the belt and the wheels so I could line it back up exactly. I transferred the paint marks to the new belt. The hardest part was holding the belt on the 3 wheels myself with only 2 hands. The cam wheels/pulleys will move a little so it is possible to jump one tooth on the belt, which cold be disastrous.
Then, years later I had to put another water pump in (dont use cheap parts). The 2nd time around I used a 10mm wrench and jammed it in between the belt and something to hold tension and keep the belt on the lower wheel while I suffered with the upper two wheels. Don't forget to take that wrench out. It took a while to figure out what that noise was where the wrench was squeeling against the belt. Amazing that the only damage was a scuffed up wrench. I probably drove a couple hundred miles with the wrench scraping the inside of the belt inside the lil engine. The belt seemed fine so I left it alone. It went years then I sold it.
 

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The timing belt on the VG-series trucks are probably one of the easiest V6 timing belts to do. Some of the early R50 Pathfinders had an A/C line that ran right in front of the timing cover which made for a little more work.
 
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