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I have a 1989 Sentra Hatchback with a GA16i and 5 speed manual... When the engine warms up (and thus, idle drops) it starts to clatter... it sounds like a diesel... or like an old solid lifter engine that needs a valve adjustment... When revved up (past about 2500) there is no noise. The problem is these are hydraulic lifters and as such don't need to be adjusted... I didn't find anything loose when I pulled the valve cover off. The car has 210,xxx miles on the original engine and tranny and it runs GREAT (smogs just fine). The only thing I can think is that the rocker arms need to be changed... there are no performance issues though and gas mileage is just fine at 27MPG 50/50 city/fwy.

Anyone ever have any similar issues? Any suggestions/solutions? Also what is the interval for replacing the timing chain... or is there a suggested interval?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Bump... any advise?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So no one has an answer?

Time to tear down the head and figure it out..
 

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I had a diesel-like noise at about 3000 rpm under load and only when hot, thought it would be the valves but after investigations the result: crankshaft center bearing and some well used rod bearings.(E16 engine)
 

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GA16 is solid lifters...measure the clearance.
timing chain tensioners go out, guides wear, are you sure this isnt an upper or lower timing chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry GA16i has hydraulic lifters... there are no valve clearance specs available (even called the Nissan Dealer to no avail.. looked it up in Mitchell On Demand and found nothing as well.

Timing parts are a possibility and I did consider looking into it. Is there a recommended interval for replacing the chain? I can't find any... I'm assuming just replace it when it make noise or breaks... I am probably going to pull the head off and send it to get rebuilt and replace the timing components.

b12brothers: my noise is definitely diesel-like but it's not under-load. It's only at idle and any engine speed below about 2200-2500RPM.
 

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Ok but for the record my 97 GA16 had solid lifters with shims for adjustment.
The upper tensioner and guides seem to last around 120K 150K or more depending on the car on the B14's on the forum here.
Lowers go longer, maybe 200K miles or more.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You have a GA16DE... I have a GA16i. Your's is a dual-cam, mine is a single-cam. It is very possible you have shim options, but the GA16i doesn't :(

I will look into the timing components. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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Sorry, I miss understood, doesn't your have a timing belt ?
Another forum member just posted similar problem with a GA16DE at 216 K and he replaced the engine
 

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Sorry, I miss understood, doesn't your have a timing belt ?
Another forum member just posted similar problem with a GA16DE at 216 K and he replaced the engine
ga16i has timing chain.
e16i, e16 have belt
 

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So I hate being the guy bringing up old news, but I have the exact same problem you described in the first post of this thread. GA16i sounds like a diesel at idle. The engine bucks when it is in gear, any gear with the gas pedal depressed slightly. Runs ok with wide open throttle. Thanks to the fourm I learned how to pull the codes from the ecu. Code 55-belive this means all systems OK.
So with your chatter problem - Did it turn out to be the timming chain?
Any one else encountered and or fixed this problem, please chime in.
Thanks
 

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Correct me if I am wrong but didn't the chains come in about the 90 1/2 model ?
So an 89 should have a belt ?

more info would help, miles, history etc.
 

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Ok, don't understand because I remember them changing from belt to chain with the newer body style after 1/2 model yr.

maybe get a video with sound and post on you-tube and post a link here so we can listen.

have you pulled the cover and checked the slack in the chain ? how many miles and has it been touched yet ?

If its really loud then maybe its bearings ?? the comment about was mains and rods.
 

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Maybe a lifter ? had the hydraulic lifter crap out on me, used a Oil cleaner additive for lifters and that cured it.
 

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B12 sentra with the model years of 1989-1990 only came with the GA16i which has the timing chain.
The problem you are describing is the timing chain rattling. The fix is to replace the timing chain, tensioner, guides.
Remember that when replacing the tensioner that you do NOT use RTV on the gasket. There is a small hole that lets oil pressure from the oil pump through to keep the chain tight.
I would also recommend replacing the oil pump at the same time, since you have over 200,000 miles on the engine.

The lifters on a GA16i have a distinct TAP TAP TAP, and increase rate with engine speed (never to be silenced). The timing chain when worn, will have a very ratty buzzy sound that is most noticable at idle, and gets softer with higher RPM's.
I have had 3 different GA16i engines in different cars that have had warn timing chains and tensioners.
 

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Thanks for clearing that up, so its basically the same as the GA16DE's sold here, 91 to 99. approx.
So the upper tensioner and guides go first starting around 150K, upper and lowers around 220k ?
 

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with solid lifters.
 

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Yep plastic chain tensioner on the front side of the motor was broken at the eye holes and hanging loose on mine. Replaced chain, sprockets and tensioners. It runs like a champ now, all the diesel noise is gone.
I found the easiest route was to drop the oil pan to get the timing chain cover/oil pump off.
 

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So your fix included replacing timing chain tensioner and the oil pump and did you do all tensioners or just the top one? I've got the same noise on my Nissan sounds like a old Volvo diesel engine at idle and goes away after increasing rpm's. I pulled the valve cover and looked over at that upper tensioner and it looked fine from what I could tell but it was difficult to see but looked like that plastic deal that's on the tensioner was still there but the chain may have been grooved into it some what but again hard to see, maybe I need to get a real strong flash light and some glasses that would probably help lol.. but it does make sense because as you increase rpm it should increase oil pressure which means the slacking tensioner in theory would tighten up but of course this theory would also apply to week oil pump, more rpm's more oil pressure to the valves causing them to stop clattering.. I'm just trying to figure out what exactly fixed the clattering sound, was it the tensioner or the oil pump?
 
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