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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a '98 200sx. It makes a noise that sounds like rattling tin (I thought it was just a loose heat shield) between 2500-3000 RPMs. Upon further inspection I determined that the noise is coming from the valve train. So my question is are there any things I can do like tightening lifters or something to quiet them down? It is pretty loud. Also the front crankshaft seal is leaking quite a bit. Would running the engine out of oil cause noisey valves? I am starting to wonder if the previous owner ran it out of oil.
 

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My valves began to keep noise when oil began to loose its Properties. So it's possible that bad oil is causing some of the noise. I also suggest you to use liquid that cleans your oil space and all lines that leads up to tensioners etc.

it will be mixed with old oil and itäs strictly forbidden to drive not a single metre when that stuff is in your engine. You only run your engine about 20 to 45 minutes and sometimes give some gas so oil pressure spikes occurs. Thhen change oils and filters.

there is a good possibility this atleast makes your engine quieter. :)

- No-Pain -
 

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Hmm it sounds as if you have the same exact issue as I do on my 96. I have the same noise it sounds like a lifter and or a valve shim once the engine gets ware at around the same rpms. I had numerous leaks and I am beginning to think that someone ran this one very low on oil to?? If I get the time I am going to dig into this further by pulling the cams and doing a very thorough check of the whole valve train. My problem is definitely valve train related.
 

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My valves began to keep noise when oil began to loose its Properties. So it's possible that bad oil is causing some of the noise. I also suggest you to use liquid that cleans your oil space and all lines that leads up to tensioners etc.

it will be mixed with old oil and itäs strictly forbidden to drive not a single metre when that stuff is in your engine. You only run your engine about 20 to 45 minutes and sometimes give some gas so oil pressure spikes occurs. Thhen change oils and filters.

there is a good possibility this atleast makes your engine quieter. :)

- No-Pain -
 

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just like anything else on the inside of your engine...

you do it halfass, the problem will still be there

i never even think about cleaning out old oil gunk unless i'm gonna do a full rebuild.

you knock that crap loose and it's gonna clog every oil passage you've got.

my suggestion to you... get a beat up version of your engine... fix it up to spec.... do a quick swap. then, after you rebuild the 2nd, you'll have a spare engine lying around for later.
 

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you may need new springs
after valvetrain springs wear over time... which is common and rare at the same time. it depends on the drivers.

basically the spring doesn't have enough tension to keep the lobe of the cam riding securly on the cup follower's shim.

what i mean is.. you know what a cam lobe looks like right?

well.. it looks like an egg... now.. imagine if it looked like another similar shape... the football.

what happens when you roll a football on the ground?.... it peaks at the end and pops up off the ground til it hits a revolution slow enough for the momentum of the rolling ball to not pop off the ground...

same thing here.. valvesprings keeps the shim that rides on the cam lobe securely against it.

can't remember what someone called it, but that's what it is.

or... it could also be a timing chain guide, or a tensioner, constantly clicking against the timing chain.

does your engine have lifters???
or does it have Over-Head Cams.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just made myself look like an idiot. I should have thought about it harder before posting the lifter thing. I did read something about timing chain tensioners going out. Is that something that is difficult to replace if that is what it is?
 

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just like anything else on the inside of your engine...

you do it halfass, the problem will still be there

i never even think about cleaning out old oil gunk unless i'm gonna do a full rebuild.
you knock that crap loose and it's gonna clog every oil passage you've got.

my suggestion to you... get a beat up version of your engine... fix it up to spec.... do a quick swap. then, after you rebuild the 2nd, you'll have a spare engine lying around for later.
the keyword here is FULL REBUILD thats what i did to my ga16 fully rebuilt to stock specificationsand not a single engine problem...and when this engine blows...SR20 HERE I COME!
 

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Agree'd And that is what I will be doing pulled an engine and trans out of a wreck and will be going through this one now! If anyone has any good high po tricks on a rebuild let me know. I will also be looking for a roteting assembly,is this somthing that is readily available or does it have to be jobbed out??
 

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I just made myself look like an idiot. I should have thought about it harder before posting the lifter thing. I did read something about timing chain tensioners going out. Is that something that is difficult to replace if that is what it is?
gotta learn somewhere, i don't like ppl on here that flame new guys for trying to learn a trade.

it's not easy, yet it is.
most ppl open a hood and see everything at the same time.. it looks like a maze.. but when a mechanic looks under the hood he sees systems..
he sees a Central Nervous System
sees a Circulatory System
sees a Hydration System
and definetly with today's prices, he sees a Gastro System.

;]

(this isn't just for you... it's for the other 300 guys that signed up yesterday)

...and then you've got all the parts those systems use.

batt, start, flywheel, distributor, CPS, harness, fuses/relays, ecu, coil, distributor/plugs & injectors....(how you start your car)

tank, pump, filter, pressure regulate, inject... (how your car drinks gas)

cylinder creates vacuum, airbox, filter/maf, throttle body/TPS, intake manifold, mixes with gas, turns to fire, pushes cylinder down, cylinder comes back up and... exhaust. (how your car breathes)

they're all systems. you screw up one part and it's like taking out your shoulder and wanting your fingers to work.


as for your timing chain tensioners... i did a write up on the whole thing for the shadetree mechanic.. but in the end i ended up just pullin the whole damn engine and rebuilding it. was cheaper... time=money too... can't make money if you're car's engine is in 50 pieces.

i'll see if i can find it.

here's two good reads... never had time to look for more.
tell you the truth.. when i did my timing chain, headgasket, etc. etc..
i used the manual and my common sense.. nother words, i bashed my head against a thinking wall for a month and a half. but got ''er done.

http://www.nissanforums.com/s13-240sx-1989-1994/141210-cam-removal.html

http://www.nissanforums.com/s13-240sx-1989-1994/135640-help-setting-timing.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cool thanks! I don't want to spend the time or money to rebuild the engine. If the problem is too serious then I will sell the car for what I am into it and find another one. I really like the 200sx. I bought it for a fun car that gets good gas mileage which it seems to. I am gonna check to see what it is getting today (have been 376 miles and still have an 1/8 tank left :). And it seems easy to work on.
 

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i've heard a lot of good things about them
and i've seen some pretty sick 200sx rally vids

i just was always more for circuit racing even though most of my badass driving was done on rockroads.

but yeah... the Nissan engines of that era are extremly easy to work on... and for the most part and strong.. just gotta pay attention for the weaknesses or it'll destroy the whole thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I went and bought a Hanes manual today and it shows how to adjust valve clearances. It says to do them every 60k miles and my car has 112k and I doubt it has ever been done. I am gonna do this either later today or tomorrow. Hopefully this is the cause of the noise.
 

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i'd really like to see the inside of that engine.
it's a DOHC right? *Dual Over Head Cam*
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes it is a DOHC (I'm not a complete newbie). I am gonna adjust the valves tomorrow. Got home too late tonight to do it. If I remember to take my camera with me to our shop I will snap a quick pic for you. I just gotta find the feeler gauges and get a new valve cover gasket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I took my valve cover off today to check valve clearances and I got looking at the slack in my upper timing chain. I have about a 1/2" of slack. I am thinking that this is really where the noise is coming from. After seeing that I didn't bother taking the time to check the valve clearances. I know the tensioner is a common problem with these engines but I didn't think the noise was coming from that part of the engine. I have thurs off work so I think I will replace the front crank seal and the tensioner on that day.

Oh and to do the valve adjustment if necessary requires the replacement of the shims below the cam lobes. They are available from the dealer and come in 50 sizes.
 

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Well I hope that things work out better for you then me! I replaced the upper tensioner and the crank seal and repaired several other leaks and started driving the car only to have a lifter start to make noise. In a nut shell if the engine is worn if you repair one thing somthing else is more than likly to appear. Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, the car only has 112K on it so hopefully the engine isn't too worn. I am kinda torn on this one too. This car is just a base model with nothing special to it. I almost want to sell it and find either an SE or an SE-R. I am pretty sure I can sell it pretty easy and not lose anything on it. The only problem is there aren't many that pop up for sell around here and when they do they have high miles.
 
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