3.5 Infamous Engine Rattle Fixed - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 10-05-2012, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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3.5 Infamous Engine Rattle Fixed

I went thru hell and back but just wanted to let everyone know that the rattle noise I have been tracking down for two years now has been whittled down to the timing chain guides. If you are facing the engine from the passenger side, it will be the rail on the left that breaks at the top and slides down towards the bottom. This causes the tensioner to push all the way out and (its a $90.00 part by the way...$50.00 online) the chain will clank around until it builds enough oil and pressure to silence it (how that works, I don't see it). Anyway, it's a 10 hour job to tear everything out and get that cover off. Here are the links from YouTube I found to help me fix it. I put in new guide rails, tensioner, and a waterpump, along with seals and belts since I don't want to be in there again!!! This guy is also pretty funny as he goes through it and gives you his mechanic tips! Best of luck!!!

Part 1:

Part 2:



Steve

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post #2 of 26 Old 10-05-2012, 12:59 PM
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Wow those are great video's! Thanks for sharing!


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post #3 of 26 Old 10-05-2012, 04:51 PM
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Did you have any issues with low oil pressure. Seems like a common issue around here and it seems to be linked to the rear timing chain cover gasket failure. Nice video from what I saw, no sound here at work, so I definitely plan on taking a better look at home. I've had a rattle at start up for some time now and this sounds like the same issue I have, but I also have pretty low oil pressure at idle after it warms up. I already replaced the oil pressure switch and still have a low reading.

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post #4 of 26 Old 10-05-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I've had to replace my low oil pressure switch just recently as it went out and I thought that was causing a lifter noise issue and that the oil was not getting to the valves fast enough during start up (because the noise will go away after you gun engine a couple times). However, to diagnose this, I finally bought a cheap auto stethoscope and started it cold after having removed the plastic engine cover. The noise started immediately so I put the scope on the valve cover and it sounded smooth. Then I moved to the rear manifold and heard the noise a little louder but it didn't seem to be emanating from there so I then moved the needle down to the passenger side of the engine on the timing cover and "clickety, clickety' clickety....and it was very pronounced. Could hear more tapping on the back side of the cover near firewall vs. front.
Once I got the oil pan cover off, the oil strainer screen was pretty gunk-ed up so that could be your problem but oil pumps typically last the life of the engine or close to. You can see it in the second video like an upside down singer's microphone. Replace your oil pressure switch. They definitely go out around 90-110K without fail. Everything in this car explodes at a certain mileage that is for sure...just like my old Mercedes Benz, but these are tougher to repair due to no room!!!
I also did my right front axle shaft, oil pan and oil mount seals, and my water pump (only about a $70.00 part and you DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS JOB AGAIN SHORTLY!!!).
Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope that helps!

Steve

BTW. this is my wife's car. I just got a new BMW 335i which is also SWEEEEEET!!!! But man, is that engine compartment TIGHT!!!!

Last edited by sptt144; 10-09-2012 at 02:19 AM.
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post #5 of 26 Old 10-08-2012, 11:08 PM
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Found another video that explains this problem in very good detail. I'm pretty sure I have this issue. It's not as noisy as the video posted by the OP, but similar and definitely at cold start and shortly goes away.


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post #6 of 26 Old 10-09-2012, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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That is exactly the same thing. That red chain guide should be at the top of the rail. Different guy doing the video but exact same issue my car had and same engine to a degree. This is one of two of his original videos. The guide rail on the left slides down because the hook on the top of it breaks, it slides down, and the tensioner ends up pushing all the way out (notice the hump behind the red chain guide that the tensioner pushes on...when in it's in place) but its not enough to keep chain tension if it slides down. I had seen this one also but this guy pulled his engine and we don't all have that time and ability but its another good example.

SP

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post #7 of 26 Old 10-09-2012, 06:10 PM
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I am pretty good around engines, however, never really worked on my wife's Altima, other than brakes, suspension and inner tie-rods.

You mentioned this was 10hours to "tear everything out" is that time a re&re time or just the removal?

Between this and the HUGE hole in the floor I just found I am losing faith in the car. disapointed to say the least.
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post #8 of 26 Old 10-09-2012, 06:50 PM
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Im going to have my chains,guides,and tensioners done soonish as well. What belts and seals should be done while theyre in there?

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post #9 of 26 Old 10-10-2012, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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1. Yes, it took me most of the day working by myself to get everything off and outta there on that side engine area. Another 5-7 putting it back on once I figured out how to get water pump out and put guide rail and new tensioner back in. I also did my Oil Pan Gasket and my oil filter housing gasket so that added a few hours to my job. But absolutely no leaks now. No need to do a timing chain. They are bullet proof and don't stretch unless they are damaged somehow. Mine was pristine but you can buy the whole kits for about $230.00.

2. I just bought whatever serpentine belts they sold at Auto Zone and used those. Easy to get on and off (once you do this and understand how to access).
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post #10 of 26 Old 10-10-2012, 02:41 PM
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My warranty runs out in the spring, so I'm going to get this done now. I've talked to the shop I trust and it goes in Monday. Probably have the water pump replaced while they have it apart too.

Just enough mods to make it mine.
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post #11 of 26 Old 10-10-2012, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Great for you Sily Rabbit! No labor or parts to worry about. You'll be good for another 100k!!! Get 'er done!
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post #12 of 26 Old 10-12-2012, 01:14 PM
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Those are great videos! Thanks guys! I'm getting ready to do this myself...Just looking at the calendar to see when I can afford the down time. Doesn't look too bad, just time consuming.



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post #13 of 26 Old 10-16-2012, 03:13 PM
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My car is with the mechanic and still doing diagnostics. They didn't think it was making a noticeable sound yesterday. To eliminate possible noise from anything on the belts, they removed the belts. They did hear the noise this morning, but said it went away too quickly to pin point. They are going to remove the inspection covers and put in a scope to see what the guides and tensioners look like. They want to verify the problem before getting into the timing chain area.
Better safe than sorry and one of the reasons I like this shop, they don't just throw parts at a problem, they make sure they know the issue before going at it blindly. Will update as I find out more.

Just enough mods to make it mine.
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post #14 of 26 Old 10-16-2012, 10:11 PM
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Shop called and verified that the lower guide has fallen apart and the tensioner is fully extended. They have started the paperwork and contacted the warranty company. Warranty company is requesting all service records. Not sure what to give them for oil and filter changes since I do it myself. Hopefully they will be happy with my oil analysis reports from Blackstone. I have 10 that cover the last 5-6 years. Getting a sinking feeling from the mechanic that the warranty company may be looking for an easy out. Figures, but I hope not.

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post #15 of 26 Old 10-16-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Good luck! I had taken mine in when under warranty and they wouldn't fix it until I replaced my rear pre cat (and of course, that was out of warranty and not covered!) because they could not diagnose the noise and my check engine light was on. Oil changes should not matter but that sucks they requested that info. I had to replace my own precat and fix the chain guide issue and both failed under warranty!!! Can you dummy some oil change docs real quick on an excel sheet? Maybe the repair shop will take care of you. Good luck!

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