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Right now, my biggest worry is that I will do the "wait and see" - and end up with a ruined engine. Hence, the stethoscope is exactly what I need to crawl under this pup and start homing in on where the noise is coming from. I question if they dropped the skid plate and probed those areas noted by the transmission shop. I just find it somewhat incredulous that a fully qualified shop could not even come up with a "we think it might be..." after having the truck for 1.5 days....and supposedly spending over 3 hours diagnosing it.

The screwy part is that I am having absolutely zero performance issues. And why do those stupid engine codes not pop up when i need them the most! LOL!
NetxTown,

Another Thought is to FIND an Experienced OLDER NISSAN MASTER TECH that has Plenty of Experience with the 4L Frontier. A Sincere Call to the Nissan Service MANAGER @ A Trusted And Recommended Nissan Dealer to get his recommendation Might be a Good Call Too. Not all Nissan Service Department's are the Same. Also if You don't know one,, maybe a Call to Nissan Customer Service listed in Your Owner's Manual Might get some Helpful Advice on Where they recommend to take it to.

I try to do all that I can Myself to save money. I remember when I had a leak on my '93 4 cylinder hardbody. @ first I thought I had an Oil Leak comeing from the Engine, cause it was Oily and Dark on the Garage Floor. I started at the Bottom with a Rag, Shop Light, & a Shop Mirror. I steadily Wiped going UP. I must have crawled under the Truck 22 time's, looking and Wipeing up from the Bottom and then looking Down from the Engine Bay. Finally I tracked it to underneath the Water Pump and useing the Shop Mirror, My Finger, and The Shop Light, I could see the Small Leak coming from the Bottom of the Water Pump. I then ordered the Water Pump from The Dealership and Scheduled for them to replace the Water Pump. I talked with the Technician that did the Replacement and He said, " I Don't know how You were able to find that leak" . :)

IMO it would be best to make a Serious Effort to find the Noise before a BreakDown Occur's. It might save You a Ton of Money if you can find it before Serious Damage Occur's. I do go by, " If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It", But if the Writeing is on the Wall then I also don't believe in Tempting Fate Either.

BE EXTREMELY COGNISANT AND CAREFUL USEING THE STETHOSCOPE WHILE THE ENGINE IS RUNNING. You don't want to get in a Hurry and get something entangled in the Moveing Belt, Pulley's, Cog's, and/or Fans's. It's Dangerous so just be Extremely Careful. Remember the Electric Fan Goe's On and Off @ It's Own Time.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I am pretty much resolved to find the problem - or at least narrow the focus. I ordered a stethoscope - should be here next week. I've got 3 or 4 of those painter's lights and plenty of extension cords to light up the bottom of the engine bay like a search light at a prison camp! :) I figure if I take the skid plate off it should open up access in a manner that will help to stay clear of belts and pulleys. One thing i like about the stethoscope that I ordered is that the probing piece detaches...so if i get caught up in something hopefully just the end piece will get mangled.
 

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I am pretty much resolved to find the problem - or at least narrow the focus. I ordered a stethoscope - should be here next week. I've got 3 or 4 of those painter's lights and plenty of extension cords to light up the bottom of the engine bay like a search light at a prison camp! :) I figure if I take the skid plate off it should open up access in a manner that will help to stay clear of belts and pulleys. One thing i like about the stethoscope that I ordered is that the probing piece detaches...so if i get caught up in something hopefully just the end piece will get mangled.
Netxtown,

Sound's like a Good Plan.

One thing to think about is heat from the light's. Some light's emit a lot of heat that will melt plastic and rubber. I'm in the process of converting all my light's over to LED that has much less heat or none at all.

Another thing that might make it much easier is to get the Truck a little bit higher off the Ground, so you won't be so cramped when under the Truck Looking and Listening. Ramp's are one way,, but for long term idleing, IMO the Truck needs to be level so that the engine is getting good oil supply. If you don't have ramp's then a 6x6 post cut in say 3 ft length's would be good enough under each tire. I have a couple of Steel Ramp's,, but I like the Composite Ramp's cause they shouldn't be as heavy as my Steel Ramp's. @ some point I may just get me a pair of those Composite Ramp's to have on hand, so I can have a ramp under each tire. Jack Stand's are another way too, but I just like the idea of haveing something under the Tire's better, although I've used Jack Stand's to lift the Truck up and be fairly level while I'm working underneath.

Since you are on Gravel,, in the mean time, you might get a Heavy Tarp for laying on under the Truck. I like Heavy Cardboard better but I don't know where to get a large section of Cardboard to lay on. You could drive over the tarp to keep it held in place. I never did that,, but wish I had thought of that a long time ago when I was also working on Gravel and Dirt.

Here's hopeing you have good luck and able to save money doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I have pretty much switched all of my bulbs to LED. I kind of like that they don't blow out every time I drop the danged light! lol!

I have a sheet of 3/8" exterior plywood that I put down - and then I cover that with a small tarp. I also have some foam rubber "pillows" that I made to cushion my old tired knees and butt. Getting old ain't for sissies!

FWIW - can anyone point me in the direction of anything that is "constant velocity (rpm)" either inside the engine or some device attached to the engine?
 

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I have pretty much switched all of my bulbs to LED. I kind of like that they don't blow out every time I drop the danged light! lol!

I have a sheet of 3/8" exterior plywood that I put down - and then I cover that with a small tarp. I also have some foam rubber "pillows" that I made to cushion my old tired knees and butt. Getting old ain't for sissies!

FWIW - can anyone point me in the direction of anything that is "constant velocity (rpm)" either inside the engine or some device attached to the engine?
The constant velocity items are the electric cooling fans and the ABS pump motor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Guys (and gals, too!) - I can't decide whether to be relieved, pissed, or both. Truth is that "relieved" didn't last very long - and now i am just aggravated to no end.

Turns out my neighbor across the road works at a body shop - and they lease a portion of their space to an auto repair guy. I called him. Drove it down (25+ miles)....and in 15 minutes flat he had diagnosed the problem and ordered the replacement parts. The culprit?? Belt Tension pulley. Yes, I said Belt Tension pulley. heck - I even replaced the serp belt to boot. And all for a grand total of $162 and 2 hours time.

I have to admit I was doubtful that was the problem. I was certain that it was gonna be some expensive doodad internal to the engine that was gonna need 3-4 days repair time. I mean, Joe (see previous post) is a bonafide mechanic. I mean, he's got them plaques and certifications and award letters hung all over a wall in his reception area .... and he almost demanded i do the $2800 in maintenance stuff - even if he couldn't ID the problem for which I was there in the first place. In any case, I think i got his message loud and clear. I will NOT provide him any further business.

Now I have to decide whether to demand joe refund me at least half of his $140 diagnostic fee. I will have to eat the rental car expenses. Or do I just slip behind the wheel, drive on down the road, and never look back. Now.....where or where is that Yelp review thing....
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
And so I went over to Wallyworld.....and the sound is back. And I put it in park - and it stopped. Went inside - got my stuff - and came back out....and no whining. Went over to Whataburger. Lunch line was moving VERY slowly....and the noise started again. Got my stuff and headed towards home.....and the noise stopped.

Got home. Threw up the hood. No whining noise...but there were some sounds I can't describe other than "metally" and bumping - lightly clunking and infrequent.

NONE of this was happening until just after my last oil change. I have checked the level- it is fine. But is it possible the valve mechanism inside the filter is messed up? Or maybe the external tranny cooler is kinda-sorta got a clog in it?
 
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