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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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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
remember that part where i said I was worried that this whole thing would go south?

it did.

wham! bam! screech! clang! Coasted into a parking lot.....turned it off....and water is running out of the bottom of it. It was already dark outside, so I couldn't really see. Left it sitting there and will have it towed to a mechanic.

Being that water is running out of the bottom of the engine compartment.....I'm gonna take a big big jump here and suggest the water pump may well be involved. And with all that clashing and clanging, I'll toss in timing chains, tensioners, and whatever else is connected directly or indirectly to the water pump.

This ain't gonna be pretty!

......(but to think the truck was in a shop, the mechanic noted a very slight leak from the water pump, yet failed to diagnose the problem - and STILL asked for his $140 diagnostic fee!) UGH!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
And......Fronty dies. I will try to get it towed out to my property, and from there, part it out.
Water is running out of bottom. Water is in the oil. Minimum is timing chain and water pump @ $2800. If they have to go further.....$4000. Engine is $5k+.
At 16 years old, and 251,000 miles.....spending that kind of money on a repair holds little logic.
 

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And......Fronty dies. I will try to get it towed out to my property, and from there, part it out.
Water is running out of bottom. Water is in the oil. Minimum is timing chain and water pump @ $2800. If they have to go further.....$4000. Engine is $5k+.
At 16 years old, and 251,000 miles.....spending that kind of money on a repair holds little logic.
Netxtown,

I read from one of your ealier post's that they found the Water Pump Leaking.

From Post #17 "What is aggravating the crap out of me is the "recommendations" just to open her up - replace the water pump and the timing chain and the tensioners and the belt and the spark plugs and the valve cover gaskets....and maybe one of those will be the fix.....at a cost of $2500+."

I do remember now that I had a Whizzing Sound on my '93 4cyl Hardbody. Never could find it. Finally I saw water on the Garage Floor and Traced it to the Water Pump. Had the Water Pump Replaced and No More Whizzing Sound. I had forgotten all about the Sound Associated with it though.

So I'm thinking that your initial noise was the Water pump going out.

You could have a used motor put in it and sell it, or if you want to keep it, put a Rebuilt Motor in it if the Body is in Good Shape. Sound's like you are about ready to move on to something else though for Transportation.

You going to try and get another Truck or Car?

Good Luck,
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I think I was premature in declaring my truck dead. Shop called early this morning. They got the front area tore down and so far it looks like just the water pump went beserk. They are not seeing any damage to any thing else except water mixed in the oil within the engine. They felt they could flush that out of the engine, do a new water pump, timing chain and tensioners.....for $850. I nearly fell outta my chair!

So I gave them the ok to do it....and ....replace the valve cover gaskets as they were starting to show a tiny bit of seepage. Out the door at $1150! WOOOOO-HOOOOO! Willis LIVES! I be happier than a pig in [email protected]$!
 

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I think I was premature in declaring my truck dead. Shop called early this morning. They got the front area tore down and so far it looks like just the water pump went beserk. They are not seeing any damage to any thing else except water mixed in the oil within the engine. They felt they could flush that out of the engine, do a new water pump, timing chain and tensioners.....for $850. I nearly fell outta my chair!

So I gave them the ok to do it....and ....replace the valve cover gaskets as they were starting to show a tiny bit of seepage. Out the door at $1150! WOOOOO-HOOOOO! Willis LIVES! I be happier than a pig in [email protected]$!
Netxtown,

Water mixed in the Oil. How did that happen? I'm thinking HeadGasket Blown and with the sound's that you said that you heard, plus they are saying Timeing Chain/Tensioner's Why? Did the Valve's Colide with the Piston's? These are Interference Engine's that's True, but why would the Timeing Chain/Tensioner's need to be replaced because the Water Pump went out? Did the Engine get Hot Enough to Melt Plastic?

I hate to be pessimistic, but this sound's like a Deep Pocket Rabbit Hole. I hope I'm wrong though. If you can get it back to running good for 1150 $'s that'll be Better than Good, it will be Holy Crap Fantastic IMO.

Here's hopeing you dodged the Bullet on this one.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Netxtown,

Water mixed in the Oil. How did that happen? I'm thinking HeadGasket Blown and with the sound's that you said that you heard, plus they are saying Timeing Chain/Tensioner's Why? Did the Valve's Colide with the Piston's? These are Interference Engine's that's True, but why would the Timeing Chain/Tensioner's need to be replaced because the Water Pump went out? Did the Engine get Hot Enough to Melt Plastic?

I hate to be pessimistic, but this sound's like a Deep Pocket Rabbit Hole. I hope I'm wrong though. If you can get it back to running good for 1150 $'s that'll be Better than Good, it will be Holy Crap Fantastic IMO.

Here's hopeing you dodged the Bullet on this one.

Regards,
If I understand it all......
Water got into the oil when the water pump went berserk and blew the seals that isolates it from the timing chain "compartment". Once the integrity of those seals went - the water just kinda flowed.

As for the timing chain - with the front of the engine off for the water pump - and 90000 miles since last timing chain replacement - I figure it is just as well to clean it all up with new stuff. They will also run a compression test on the engine to make sure all is good. And, of course, the test drive.

I'm really really hoping I did dodge that there bullet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Update!! Well... IT LIVES! They were able to put her back together and I was amazed that it was even running! Tech showed me the old water pump - and it is an absolute wonder that there was even an engine to run! Portions of the metal case were broken off - including a 1.5" piece that also held the gasket that isolates the pump (water) from the engine.

And then......I got there to pick it up and they started it up....and holy crap! Sounded like a 747! The clutch fan had failed and they did replace it - with an aftermarket part. Normally, I am fine with aftermarket parts. (If Nissan wanted to sell more parts - they should take a good look at their butt-riping prices!) However - it seems the fan clutch is one of "those" parts that has got to be the genuine stuff - or you end up with something that sounds like a dumptruck on steroids. That fan clutch was still engaged at 80mph!!! Not only does it sound horrific - it is actually quite dangerous as the blades on the actual fan can/could separate./snap off - and go flying around and through anything in their way.

So, I am going back tomorrow to R&R the fan clutch.

One of the reasons they replaced the fan clutch was that the truck kept overheating once they had it back together. I'm gonna put my bet on radiator AND upper/lower radiator hoses. The radiator is 16 years old....and gunky junk builds up and blocks the cores. Hence, it looks like the coolant is moving around - but it is not getting cooled to any large degree.

IF - and the big word is IF - we could reach the inside surface of the radiator....a simple test is to run the vehicle until it is fully warmed up. Shut it off. Then, carefully reach around and place palm of hand on area of radiator directly in front of the fan(s). If it is hot - it's good. If it's cold/luke warm - it's not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Next update! had them replace the radator - but they did not want to mess with the tranny lines. It's a simple bypass - so I can handle that myself.

They ran it for a couple hours - took it for a couple test drives and all was fine. I picked it up and headed for home.

Needed to stop at the grocery and noted that when i pulled in to the parking lot, the truck was kinda sorta doing a vibration thing like it was trying to stall out. Vibration seemed to go away at higher RPM. Got my groceries and headed rest of the way home. And then.....the SES light came on. Code P0021. tried clearing the code - with engine off - and it would not erase. Truck started fine - and i kinda babied it rest of the way home.

The interwebs are pointing towards timing chain jumping a tooth. There are other reasons for the code - but the timing chain was just done in the last few days.

Anyone had a P0021 - and it wasn't the timing chain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
So....I undid the bypass and then had the tranny full serviced . The $#@%$##%$ sound remains. Auto tech at a local shop narrowed the sound down to coming from the oil filter/housing area. That little oil cooler part is way past fricking expensive - but there is a pressure relief valve behind it. It is cheap enough and O-ring is an easy replace. What isn't clear is the exact location - AND removal of the relief valve. I can't tell from the drawings (nor could the Nissan parts guy) if it is press fitted into the engine block or the oil pan or maybe even in the oil coolerm and it may not be press fit at all. So far, cannot find any drawings of the internal aspects of the oil cooler.

The pressure relief valve part number is: 15241-43U0A. The attached diagram is relevant to my VIN (dates). The part is pretty much smack center with the black 'X' on it.

If anyone has ever changed one of these out, I would certainly appreciate any insight they would share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
And, alas, the culprit of the #[email protected]%$ whiny whizzing noise was....a $13 o-ring. The irony is that even Nissan didn't have a clue or a hint to the source of the problem. Turns out - that young kid who took the time to slide under it with a stethoscope was closer than any - and I do mean ANY! of the others.

Sitting behind the oil cooler/filter housing is a big fat o-ring. Of course - based on Nissan's own repair manual - we tried to also replace the pressure relief valve along with the o-ring. The instructions say to use the appropriate tool to remove the pressure relief valve - yet give not even a rat's ass clue as to what that "tool" is. After 15 minutes of prying and wedging and cussing and prying some more - couldn't get the thing out. So only the new o-ring was installed and the whole mess torqued down with a new Nissan filter....and the noise is finally gone. (My point here is that Nissan has designed a mess that really can't be fixed without some magic tool - of which no one has ever seen.)

I would like to thank Nissan for the absolutely crappy drawings and parts references. Fourth graders could have at least colored the drawings and stayed inside the lines.... Obviously, grown men can't.

And if you think all of that sounded pissy.....
Final cost?? Money spent expressly to address the whizzing whiny sound... $200 for a diagnostic that produced nothing. $160 for transmission service. $35 for 2 Nissan parts. $170 to get 1 of those parts installed in a shotgun repair approach. And at least $50 in gas going back and forth and back and forth. Total: $645 for a F$%@#! $13 O-ring.
 
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