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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Okee dokee, here is the simple version of fixing the notorious Altima timing chain noise (rattle)

Having worked on a couple of KADE's with this issue (truck motors primarily) I recently worked on a new-to-a-friend-of-mine 93 Altima with 146K miles that had this issue.

The first thing that comes to mind is the timing chain guides. The lower timing chain guide is known for breaking into a million pieces, this is common on the truck motors. To check for this, drain the oil and remove the lower oil pan, if there is nothing in the pan, that is GREAT NEWS!!! If you find a bunch of broken pieces of plastic, then your in for a long haul to replace that lower guide. This will not cover that, but if it is clean, consider yourself lucky. At this milage its probably good to redo the lower oil pan seal anyway, so consider this a *free* check to the problem.

Now that we have primarily checked the the lower guide, its time to move onto the upper cam chain guides. When I first pulled the VC off the motor the upper guide was broken, so I removed that, put the VC back on. When first starting the car, the noise was gone, but after it warmed up, the noise reappeared.

At this point I called a buddy of mine that works at an Infiniti parts department asking some questions. He pointed out a TSB for this issue, the TSB stated to remove BOTH the upper guide and the side guide on the cam chain. He also stated that they dont even offer replacement parts for this anymore...this is from Nissan/Infiniti.

This is a photo with the guides removed (red arrows) You can see the lower timing chain guide is still there (blue arrow)

(Mods, can you please upload this image somewhere on your server, i will be removing the image from my server in month)



Steps for this are pretty straight forward, a bit time consuming, but here you go.
- Remove VC
- With the VC removed, you can now remove the upper chain guide.
- Remove motor mount bracket that wraps around the head.
- Remove Alternator.
- Now support the motor with a jack under the oil pan or somewhere on that side.
- Remove Passanger side motor mount
- Remove upper Altenator bracket
- Remove Motor Mount attachment point (3 17mm bolts on the side of the motor, you dont have to remove this completely, just get it out of the way so you can get to the upper timing chain cover)
- Lastly, remove the upper timing chain cover. dont forget the two 10mm bolts that attach this to the lower timing chain cover.

From here you can easily remove the second timing chain guide (2 10mm bolts). If your upper chain tensioner is sticking (push on this with something, and check for ease of movement) this is an excellent time to change that too. After that simply button things back up.

This is a great time to replace the belts on the car since your this far in, might as well do it.

This is time consuming since you dont have a ton of room to work with, but after I buttoned things back up, the noise was completely gone.

I hope this helps out others with the same problem. Good luck.

PS: For a free Altima FSM, goto PhatG20 - Home, you might have to register to get it, but its free.
PhatG20 - Home > downloads > FSM > Nissan > Altima
 

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PS: For a free Altima FSM, goto PhatG20 - Home, you might have to register to get it, but its free.
PhatG20 - Home > downloads > FSM > Nissan > Altima
Thanks for the info. FYI ... you can download the FSM (Factory Service Manual) in the link, but it's a .RAR file, which needs RAR decompression software to open. RAR decompression software can be downloaded for free off the web.

A comment about checking if the bottom chain slider is gone. If there are pieces of it in the oil pan then some of these pieces should come out of the pan when the oil is changed ... just check the bottom of you oil drain pan after each oil change.
 

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I have a 97 Altima built in April of 1996. Would I have a Upper Chain Guide? If so , where is it facing the frony of the engine?
 

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Okee dokee, here is the simple version of fixing the notorious Altima timing chain noise (rattle)

Having worked on a couple of KADE's with this issue (truck motors primarily) I recently worked on a new-to-a-friend-of-mine 93 Altima with 146K miles that had this issue.

The first thing that comes to mind is the timing chain guides. The lower timing chain guide is known for breaking into a million pieces, this is common on the truck motors. To check for this, drain the oil and remove the lower oil pan, if there is nothing in the pan, that is GREAT NEWS!!! If you find a bunch of broken pieces of plastic, then your in for a long haul to replace that lower guide. This will not cover that, but if it is clean, consider yourself lucky. At this milage its probably good to redo the lower oil pan seal anyway, so consider this a *free* check to the problem.

Now that we have primarily checked the the lower guide, its time to move onto the upper cam chain guides. When I first pulled the VC off the motor the upper guide was broken, so I removed that, put the VC back on. When first starting the car, the noise was gone, but after it warmed up, the noise reappeared.

At this point I called a buddy of mine that works at an Infiniti parts department asking some questions. He pointed out a TSB for this issue, the TSB stated to remove BOTH the upper guide and the side guide on the cam chain. He also stated that they dont even offer replacement parts for this anymore...this is from Nissan/Infiniti.

This is a photo with the guides removed (red arrows) You can see the lower timing chain guide is still there (blue arrow)

(Mods, can you please upload this image somewhere on your server, i will be removing the image from my server in month)



Steps for this are pretty straight forward, a bit time consuming, but here you go.
- Remove VC
- With the VC removed, you can now remove the upper chain guide.
- Remove motor mount bracket that wraps around the head.
- Remove Alternator.
- Now support the motor with a jack under the oil pan or somewhere on that side.
- Remove Passanger side motor mount
- Remove upper Altenator bracket
- Remove Motor Mount attachment point (3 17mm bolts on the side of the motor, you dont have to remove this completely, just get it out of the way so you can get to the upper timing chain cover)
- Lastly, remove the upper timing chain cover. dont forget the two 10mm bolts that attach this to the lower timing chain cover.

From here you can easily remove the second timing chain guide (2 10mm bolts). If your upper chain tensioner is sticking (push on this with something, and check for ease of movement) this is an excellent time to change that too. After that simply button things back up.

This is a great time to replace the belts on the car since your this far in, might as well do it.

This is time consuming since you dont have a ton of room to work with, but after I buttoned things back up, the noise was completely gone.

I hope this helps out others with the same problem. Good luck.

PS: For a free Altima FSM, goto PhatG20 - Home, you might have to register to get it, but its free.
PhatG20 - Home > downloads > FSM > Nissan > Altima
What did you didi about the gasket between the uper and lower chain cover ...did it brake apart...Or you jus use silicon to put everthing back to place.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Just to add to this a little, the upper guide removal works but is really Nissan's half-baked fix to what the real problem is, which is restriction of oil to the timing chain tensioners.
Originally, problems occurred on the GA16i and KA24E engines. Sludge or debris in the oil channel to the chain tensioner would restrict the oil to it, causing a drop in pressure, especially at start-up. This would cause the chain to slack and slap against the plastic, fixed timing guide, which would break in time. The Nissan fix was to update the guide with a metal backing, which kept the guide from breaking, but didn't really address the issue with the oil channel. I always recommend removing the tensioner and oil filter and clearing out the oil channel with brake cleaner and compressed air whenever timing components are replaced.
Those engines led to the GA16DE and KA24DE, the latter being more prone to upper chain rattle. Behind the timing main gear (the gear that connects the upper chain to the lower chain) lies the oil channel to the upper chain tensioner. Sludge can build up behind the main gear and create a lack of sufficient oil pressure to the chain tensioner, causing the chain to slack and rattle against the two timing guides. The proper fix, which is a lot of work and time, would be to remove the timing set, remove the main gear, and clean out the sludge behind it and up to the upper chain tensioner. Nissan's "fix" was to remove the guides, thus eliminating the noise of the chain slapping against them.
 
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