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removing timing cover problem

Ok - at the end of day one - the tear down....I am in a garage that is 110 deg F heat index here in Oklahoma and I have no lift, just jack stands and a floor jack. I was attempting to do this front end without removing the head. I am at the point where I should be able to separate the front cover from the front of the engine. Since the head casting overlaps the top of the front timing cover, I removed all 4 bolts from that, the water pump is gone, all bolts are gone and of course the main crank pulley is removed (the key is still in the slot and does not seem like it would interfere with removal of the cover).

This thing will not budge! I have checked and rechecked all the bolts are gone and since I have a new timing cover with pump, I placed each bolt in the proper place as then came out until I was tired and turned the bag sideways to check something and they all rolled around in the bag. In any case, I am rapidly coming to grips with the fact the head will have to come off. Unless someone has any ideas to get this cover loose.

I think with the pins, the crankshaft in the oil pump and the pressure of the head there is just no way to get it loose. It is the original Nissan cover as it is stamped on the casting. I don't really want to go hammering on things even though I have a new cover. I am worried I may damage other engine parts in the process.

Any thoughts on this dilemma?

I will have some pictures tomorrow to post - too damn tired to do more, making more mistakes than doing good at this time of night.

Also - you think would Napa have some cross member grommets for the main bolts in their Dorman selection (large rubber grommets - 2 per end of the main center cross member) Mine are shot and I need at least one but would like to replace all of them.

I always have dreams that these things go smoothly but I should know better by now after many years of working on old Japanese cars.

Thanks for the moral support and info in advance!

Jonathan
 

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A very simplified overview of what you need to get to the timing chain cover. tomorrow I may try the tricks he mentions on the way to work this off

http://youtu.be/vWxZX-LWtmk

Priming the lower tensioner BEFORE installing

http://youtu.be/JVTb06h5JCU

Pretty much what started this odyssey for me - I did the upper tensioner as shown in this video but then after 2 or 3 more weeks my timing was off again - my idler teeth are nearly gone from the upper idler sprocket. see video below on what my upper tensioner looked like at 248K miles.

http://youtu.be/6nARWo8Zw74
 

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I am stuck at the point where I am trying to get the lower cover off. All cover bolts are gone and instructions say to remove the cylinder block to cover alignment dowels - I have tried the front most dowel and it will not budge. I have seen dowel pin pullers like the Goodman model but not sure I can get the collet into this tight space. I have been able to get an Xacto knife into the crack where the cover is starting to separate but that is it. I almost feel like I am going to have to remove the head as this thing is on so tight. Almost like the head gasket is preventing movement. SEE WHAT I FOUND BELOW IN ALL CAPS! TIME TO GO GET PARTS AND START REASSEMBLY SOON.!!!

Procedure I am following is below:

1. Set # 1 piston at TDC on its compression stroke.
2. Remove the spark plug wires.
3. Remove the rocker cover
4. Remove the coolant reservoir tank with bracket and reposition it for clearance.
5. Support the engine with a suitable jack.
6. Remove cylinder head front mounting bracket.
7. Remove engine front mounting, then the engine front mounting bracket.
8. Remove cylinder head front cover.
9. Remove the upper chain tensioner
10.Wipe off the links of the upper timing chain next to the timing marks on the sprockets. Put paint marks on
the timing chain, matching them with the timing marks on the cam sprockets and idler sprocket (see Figure 3)
11. Remove the four (4) front cover to cylinder head bolts.
12. Remove side and lower engine compartment splash covers.
13. Remove the accessory drive belts.
14. Remove the crankshaft pulley.
15. Drain coolant by removing the cylinder block drain plug and opening the radiator
drain cock (Refer to MA section of the Service Manual).
16. Drain engine oil.
17. Remove intake manifold support of engine front side.
18. Remove power steering pump, pump bracket and tension rod. Position pump aside for clearance
19. Remove the thermostat housing
20. Remove the lower chain tensioner
21. Remove the front exhaust tube. Refer to the "FE" section (Exhaust System) of the Service Manual.
22. Remove the front and rear engine gussets (if equipped) on either side of the oil pan.

NOTE: On A/T models, remove the rear plate cover.
23. Remove the oil pan
a. Insert the Tool between the cylinder block and oil pan.
CAUTION: Be careful not to damage the aluminum mating face. Do not insert a screwdriver,
or the oil pan flange will become damaged.

b. Slide the Tool by tapping it on the side of the Tool with a hammer.

24. Remove the A/C compressor and position it aside for clearance.
25. Remove the A/C and alternator bracket with the alternator.
26. Remove the oil pump drive spacer.

CAUTION:
Be careful not to scratch the drive spacer when removing it.

27. Remove the front cover bolts and front cover : NOTE: HERE IS WHERE I SLIPPED UP - THERE IS ONE BOLT IN THE BACK MIDDLE IN A DEEP RECESS WHERE IT TAKES A THIN WALL 10 MM SOCKET TO REACH DOWN IN THE HOLE TO GET IT - THIS WAS THE SOURCE OF MY ISSUE - ONCE I GOT THIS OUT - WORKING THE COVER OFF LITTLE BY LITTLE WAS A PIECE OF CAKE. I VERIFIED ALL BOLTS LIKE 5 TIMES AND STILL MISSED THIS ONE SO AFTER LUNCH I LOOKED AGAIN AND SURE ENOUGH THIS WAS HOLDING THE COVER ON STILL - SO BEWARE OF THIS ONE HARD TO REACH AND SEE BOLT - IF THE ENGINE WAS ON A BENCH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS !!

CAUTION: One bolt is located on the water pump .
*1: Located on engine front mounting bracket.
*2: Located on the water pump.
*3: Located on the power steering oil pump adjusting bar.

CAUTION: Be careful not to tear or damage the cylinder head gasket.
28. Remove the cylinder block to front cover alignment dowels. (this is after removing the cover but I can't get the cover to budge)

CAUTION: Do not hit the dowels or the cylinder block will crack

29. Wipe off the links of the lower timing chain next to the timing marks on the sprockets.
Put paint marks on the timing chain, matching them with the timing marks on the idler sprocket and crankshaft
sprocket
 

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27. Remove the front cover bolts and front cover : NOTE: HERE IS WHERE I SLIPPED UP - THERE IS ONE BOLT IN THE BACK MIDDLE IN A DEEP RECESS WHERE IT TAKES A THIN WALL 10 MM SOCKET TO REACH DOWN IN THE HOLE TO GET IT - THIS WAS THE SOURCE OF MY ISSUE - ONCE I GOT THIS OUT - WORKING THE COVER OFF LITTLE BY LITTLE WAS A PIECE OF CAKE. I VERIFIED ALL BOLTS LIKE 5 TIMES AND STILL MISSED THIS ONE SO AFTER LUNCH I LOOKED AGAIN AND SURE ENOUGH THIS WAS HOLDING THE COVER ON STILL - SO BEWARE OF THIS ONE HARD TO REACH AND SEE BOLT - IF THE ENGINE WAS ON A BENCH IT WOULD HAVE BEEN OBVIOUS !!
Ya, the one at the bottom of the Timing Cover Grand Canyon. As I remember, it took me at least a couple days to find it...once I got a mirror and some hella bright lighting in there.

I used the gasket goop that's called for in the manual, the grey stuff. Worked fine for me everywhere I used it. Just let it set up a fair amount before trying to install anything with it.
 

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I noticed no gaskets were used in the factory build, only grey silicone RTV on the front cover, water pump and even the oil pan, should I ignore the gaskets that cam in the kit? I am concerned there will be a gap if I use the gaskets on the edges of the front cover on the interior mating surfaces so I am not going to use them. Water pump to cover and water pump to thermostat housing - probably ok but leaning toward no. Oil pan ??? seams to be fine without a gasket. Just seems weird. There are no mention of gaskets in the factory install procedure.

And last is the oil pump strainer. Factory calls for an o-ring seal 15053M SEAL-O RING,OIL STRAINER - but there was a full flange gasket when it came off. Trying to find a replacement now since nothing came with the kit which is dumb. EDIT: THE ORING WAS IN THE OIL PAN GASKET KIT FROM O'REILLEY'S. Pan gasket, o-ring and drain plug washer.

Looks like I am good to go.
 

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My kit came with gaskets for everything, including the oil pan. I ended up ripping the heck out of my thermostat housing gasket, but had no reservations about using only the RTV up there. Everything (except for the valve cover) got a coating of the "copper spray-on gasket"...for instance, the oil pan sealing surface got a light coat of copper spray, then the gasket, and another light coat over the top. Probably overkill, probably not the right way to do it, but it's always worked for me.
Good luck...
 

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It's all over but the shouting and documentation now...everything is in and I hand spun the engine until the timing chains lined up again . All is well it appears - now to button it all up. The procedure says install the lower chain then the guides but that is wrong - you must install the front lower chain guide first or you can't get to the bolt unless maybe through the idler sprocket hole. Since still in the car I put the guide on first. Everything is going well and I hope to have this thing done tonight sometime. I will post a final write up of the procedure and tips I learned along the way just in case some other brave soul wants to do this operation. :)
 

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It's all over but the shouting and documentation now...everything is in and I hand spun the engine until the timing chains lined up again.
Must've started last night and got done spinning this afternoon eh? :D Takes forever...maybe a bit longer.

I smeared that sticky cam assembly lube all over everything before I put the covers on. Couldn't hurt.
When I finally fired it up, I let it idle for about an hour thinking I could run out some of the old gas. Well, turns out, according to my calculations with numbers from the OBD reader/scanner, my particular GA16DE in my situation only burns on average about .26 gallons per hour at idle. I tested out my numbers by filling the tank completely, then let it sit overnight, idling, for 6+ hours. Sure enough, got out there the next morning and I was only able to fit a bit over 1 1/2 gallons back in the tank.

Are you familiar with the proper procedure for setting the base timing and idle?
 

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Post that idle and timing info please. The Haynes book sucks on this. My radiator sprung a leak so I am down for now. Engine started fine and I had a pretty nice leak in the center of the radiator. I guess I cleaned it too well. Time to find a replacement. All seems ok other than that. Thanks
 

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Haynes manual for the Sentra/200SX is the one I've got and the procedure works fine for me. And there's more than one thread/sticky posted here all about it.
Just don't try to take any short cuts when doing the procedure. End up shooting yourself in the foot repeatedly.
One thing the books don't tell you is how to make sure that you're actually in the 'timing set mode'...'cause when you're in the 'timing set mode', you're also in the 'base idle set mode'.
Normally, when the engine is idling and you put a load on the engine, the ECM will compensate...try to keep the idle at a steady RPM. e.g. turn on the A/C, headlights, and anything else, the idle will drop and come right back up to where it's supposed to be.
If you're actually in the 'timing set / base idle set mode', and you put a load on the engine, the RPM will drop, and stay there...or at least, it won't come back up to where it was.
Once you set the timing, set the idle, then go back and check the timing, and re-check the idle, and so on, until they're both set right.
You're apparently somewhere in OK. I wouldn't try to bump up the timing to gain a bit of extra power there. Altitude is low-ish and normally fairly warm there. You'll end up losing power when the knock sensor triggers and the ECM kicks back the timing for you. I can get away with 3-5-ish extra degrees of timing up here in ND, altitude is a tad bit higher, and generally quite a bit colder...and run premium on those 3 days per year it gets above 90F :D
If you end up with a bit of a engine stumble when leaving the stoplights, that extra 3-5 degrees might help, or maybe an extra 25-50 RPM of base idle.
YMMV.
 

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I'm done - had a leaky valve cover gasket that was new but tore when removed - I was tired and did not see it. I had a spare and replaced it and all is well. Car is running like new again. Will post a full write up soon.
 

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Beauty...
Good to see somebody got it right on the first try....compared to the clusterf**k I went thru to get my machine back up and running :D
 

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shit works!

so yes i was having the same prob, but a little more complicated.( 1996 nissan sentra 4door automatic 1.6l g16 engine 152,000mi....so one day i was driving the car on the freeway & it just cut off "lucky for me i was just ready to exit off ramp when it cut".......so i found that my tentioner was bare, no plastic. replaced that "thanks to this feed".....so here was the deal. 1st the fuel line was clogged, human error. 2nd no thermostat, like at all & no gaskets "previous mechanic was involved with that. 3rd no bolt in the rotor, so it was not hitting the points right.
4th spark plug #4 was broken on to the spark plug.." so no spark"...5th...distributor was junk.
& finally 6th the positive connection was so calcified that it was arching from behind the Red connection.

thanks guys for saving my little car, & saving me a valve job or engine swap.
pat w
 
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