So I got this truck I'm falling in love with about 3 months ago for $700. I guess it had been in the person's family I got it from for 28 years... last owner was a 18 yo kid that tore it up pretty bad. I've already done a bunch of work to the truck and have found it's pretty easy to work on overall... I like it. So it started rattling the other day and a mechanic told me it was the timing chain tensioner. I've everything pulled off the motor up to the crank shaft pulley. I need to get the right size socket tomorrow... 27mm I read somewhere. Anyway I've got a couple questions about this whole process.
1. Is it true that I would have to raise the entire engine to change the oil pan gasket? (2WD) I think mine is leaking (although it may be the rear main seal. I'd like to go ahead and change this if it dosen't involve hoisting the engine... I don't have a hoist, or means to get one over here.
2. I need to replace all of the gaskets I'm guessing. Water pump, front cover, oil pump, valve cover, distributor... what sealant do you reccomend? and it it necessary to replace all of these gaskets... (I already have the waterpump gasket) blue silicone good enough? and do I need an oil pan gasket even if I don't remove the oil pan? Chilton manual says something about cutting away the exposed part of the oil pan gasket and replacing it.
3. This is the first tme I've gotten this far into an engine. I'm probably being overly careful, but how do I make sure the #1 piston is at TDC? Maybe this will be obvious to me once I actually get the front cover off. I'm assuming I can rotate into position if neccesary with the truck in neutral?
4. Any easily avoidable mistakes when replacing the cam sprocket, crank sprocket, tensioner and guides? Honestly... I like working on this truck, but it is my daily driver... and I don't want to have to go through tear down and assembly twice.
5. If I keep everything straight... what are the chances I won't have to adjust the timing. I've never done that before. (I do have a light now though so I plan on learning at least how to check the timing)
Ok, enough questions... any advice is appreciated... once again this is a 87 nissan d21 2WD with z24 engine.
Last edited by fluxican; Aug 2nd, 2012 at 04:48 AM.
Got the front cover off, it was a broken chain guide rattling around in there. I'm trying to figure out how to know when #1 piston is at TDC. Thanks. Pretty sure I will need to go get a gear puller for the camshaft sprocket tomorrow, but If I can get the engine positioned correctly this should all be prettymuch downhill from there.
So, I figured out after an hour or so of looking at it that TDC for cylinder 1 on the z24 engine is pretty well marked. There is a 2 on the cam sprocket, and a line behind that 2 where the cam sprocket connects to the camshaft. The #2 timing mark is where the (black link) on the timing chain should go on the cam sprocket. There is a small circle on the crank sprocket where the other black link (may be another color) should go. TDC on the crank shaft is marked by the guides that the crank sprocket, oil pump gear and oil thrower slide on to. Those guides should face straight up.
Parts list, for anyone doing a timing chain replacement (so you can avoid making a bunch of trips like I did)
Valve cover gasket
Oil pan gasket
Timing Chaing replacement gasket kit (this includes the front cover gaskets, distributor gasket, oil pump gasket, water pump gasket, I think a thermostat gasket, and the front seal
Timing chain kit (includes cam and crank sprockets, timing chain, tensioner and 2 timing chain guides)
Crank sprocket is 27mm bolt
Cam sprocket is 19mm bolt
This job is a bit trickier than I thought it would be. I had trouble getting the front cover back on without getting the little pieces of head gasket and oil pan gasket out of alignment. It is 105 degrees here and the black RTV sets up way too fast in this heat. I'm going to take the front cover back off and try again.
If I find any trick to getting the front cover back on right I will post a follow-up about that. This is more of a blog right now than a forum it seems... Whatever...
Still wish someone would answer my question about the oil pan, because if it is possible to at least replace the oil pan gasket without taking the pan all the way off I will do that just so it is easier to put the front cover back on. Anyone?
Do you have jack stands or ramps? I thin all that is necessary is to get the engine far enough away from the ground to be able to drop the oil pan, not to lift it from the engine compartment. What, if any kind of manual are you using for this?
The truck is up on stands now, I've got the chilton manual.
Oil Pan removal procedure says: Remove the engine mount nuts and bolts, attach engine hoist and raise the engine slightly...
Thats why I'm wondering if this is really necessary... it looks like it will drop, but looks can be decieving... There is a crossmember that needs to be removed for sure, but I don't want to bother with that If I cant get the pan down at least a couple inches... enough to slide a new seal in... Problem being that if I do loosen the oil pan and indeed it dosen't drop much... I will be in trouble because I won't be able to reseal it. That's why I'm wondering if anyone here has dropped the oilpan before without raising the engine slightly...
Last edited by fluxican; Aug 6th, 2012 at 09:19 AM.
Ok, this is a huge relief. The front crossmember comes out real easy 19mm bolts, and the oil pan drops without any problem. This little clarification would have saved me a lot of worry. Chilton manual left a lot of doubt in my mind regarding this... oh well. Rest assured that if you have a 87 2WD D21 with the Z24 engine... you will not have to lift the engine to remove the oil pan. This should make putting the front cover back on about 100 times easier. Now I can put the front cover on before the oil pan, and not have to cut the bottom gasket, or try to wedge the gaskets in on top and bottom. Please take my advice, don't even bother trying to put the front cover back on correctly without taking the oil pan off on this model. The oil pan is very easy to get out.
Got everything back together today, and it is running, but rough. Just trying to figure out how to get the timing right. I can see with the timing light that that I need to advance the ignition, but I can not rotate the distributor any further. I'm guessing I'm going to have to reset the engine to TDC and make sure the distributor is set so its pointing to cylinder 1. At least it is running... much quieter without the chain guard rattling around in there. The timing mark on the crank pully is showing a good 2 inches off the scale... (to the right of the timing indicator if you are looking at the engine.
Make sure you hook the timing lead to the #1 intake side spark plug wire. If the distributor cannot be turned to get the timing in spec, then "yes," it was not installed properly and you're likely a tooth off.
I took the distributor back off, oil pump off, reset the cam to TDC piston #1, put the oil pump back in (2 bolts only... in case I didn't get it right), put the distributor back on... checked the position of the rotor compared to the #1 I wire on the distributor cap... looked good... put everything all the way back together... and oila... it fired right up... yep must have been a tooth off with the oil pump. I would encourage people to check the distributor cap against the rotor when putting everything back together. If where the outside bit of metal on your rotor does not liine up with 1I on your distributor cap... forget it. Timing is easy to adjust once you are in the ball park with the oil pump.
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