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I just completed replacing the upper tensioner on a 1995 Sentra GLE (1.6). I figured I would post instructions and pics to help people in the future. I have to say thanks to 'Kyu-ju-kue', 'tieggonzalez', and 'off_da_meter' for helping me get started and prviding advice on this one. My car has 233K on it and is still running strong, however it sounded like a tank. I though the entire timing chain would need to be replaced, but through the advice of people on this forum, I checked the upper timing chain tensioner. IT WAS TOTALLY SHOT. Cost of the tensioner was $55 from Advance, and total time spent was about 2 hrs. Hopefully I can leave the pics for these instructions on my server, however if someone wants to make them permanent here or add to them, feel free.

Let's get started:

Step 1: Remove the valve cover and move the Coolant Reservoir and Relay box out of the way. The reservoir (1) should just lift out. To remove the relay box (2), there are two screws that hold it in place. You may need to unplug a relay or two to get to the screws:


Shown are where the two screws are that hold the relay box. Now is a good time to remove the reservoir bracket (A). It'll give you room later.


Step 2: I moved the power steering reservoir out of the way (Screws 1,2,3). Next you will need to remove the engine mount bracket that attaches to the head. (Screws 4,5,6)


Step3: Support the Engine with a jack. (I placed mine under the oil pan). Remove the engine mount (Screws 1,2,3,4)


Step4: Remove the upper timing chain cover. There are a couple of nuts and 5 bolts.


YOU WILL GET DIRTY!!! (SHAMELESS PLUG......GO JACKETS!)


Step5: Now your upper chain cover should be removed. Inspect the tensioner and chain.


Here is the tensioner. Go ahead and remove it if it looks bad (Screws 1,2)


Mine was totally shot. There was no plastic left on the tensioner and the chain was eating into the metal (the cause of all the engine noise). Old and new tensioner shown.

Another view...see how it ate the metal (!?)


Step 6: Install new tensioner using the old bolts. Be sure to release the pin if your new tensioner came with one!


Step 7: Re-assembly is reverse of dissassembly. At the advice of some folks on this message board, I used RTV Gold to seal the upper tensioner cover. I just ran a bead similar to the factory bead that was on there. I had to monkey with the engine a bit to get the mount bolt back in. Nothing major, but if the hole doesn't line up perfectly, just push and tug on the engine and adjust the jack to get it to line up.

Hopefully this will help someone else. All in all, this took 2 hours of work.
Robert
 

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thank you so much man! i had similar noises and as soon as i popped the valve cover off i checked the tensioner and it was just like yours, maybe even a little more worn down! i have mechanical background from shop class but i lack experience and i might have gotten someone else to do this for me if it wasn't for your picture instructions! thank u.
 

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Yeha!! I just bought a Sentra and the seller told me that I did not want it because it need a lot of work on the timing chain! Man O man I hope like heck that this is all I need!! Thanks a bunch! Nothing like an idiot proof pictorial! I'll let you know how I make out!! Do you have the part number?? Thanks
 

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Hi there. I have a Nissan Sentra 97 base model with 120k miles. It was only owned by my mom and taken care of quite well. After it was given to me about a year ago, I noticed it had a light knocking/rattling sound coming from within the engine. I took it to a mechanic in town this morning thinking it might need a lifter adjustment (I'm not too mechanically savvy, as you can tell by my own diagnosis). The mechanic instead said that it sounds like my timing chain may be shot and that I should buy a new car, or pay the $1300 to fix it (which isn't worth it since the car needs other work as well).

Based on the mileage of my car, and the fact that it's been taken care of pretty well, would you guys recommend this procedure? I have a socket set and all the basic tools, and I'm pretty handy when it comes to doing things, but I've only done basic service on cars. However, I'm thinking maybe I should try the procedure before throwing the car out. Afterall, I'm a poor college kid and could do without incurring more debt. :)

What do you guys think? Any advice would be excellent.
 

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Step by step right here! This Gentlemen was good enough to show us what more than likely is your problem,the tensioner. I just picked up a 96 with 190k and it run's like a top after I just tuned it up! My tensioner will be here in the A.M and then I will install it. Hopefully it isn't the whole timing set?? But with 120k I would say it's more than likley a given that it's the simple tensioner. New car???? Get cracken and replace it no one has any dough for a new car these day's we are all saving up for our winter oil!!! Lol!!
 

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So if I understand correctly, there are no gaskets are sealants needed for this procedure? Thanks so much for replying by the way. :)

I just want to make sure I grab all the right parts from the store, besides the upper timing belt tensioner.
 

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I just did mine and sure enough it was the cause of the noise! As far as gaskets go I would recamend getting a new valve cover gasket because the original more than likley will have some shrinkage. I replaced mine and so far it seems to have cured my oil issues. To bad the damage is already done previouse owner had never done anything about the oil and I have a huge mess under the hood now!!
 

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Just wanted to let you all know, this fixed my problem as well. I'm a novice with mechanics, but this fixed a problem that a mechanic told me would cost $1300 to fix, and took me only one hour with a car jack, a socket set, screwdriver, gasket sealant and optional valve gasket replacement. No more noise.
 

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Cool! You see just because you are not a mechanic does not mean that you can't be one if you want to be one or if you need to become one out of necessity!!! Was there a lot of plastic missing from the foot? I was thinking that what ever is missing from this piece could very well be sitting in the oil pan waiting to get sucked up into the screen........Just a thought......
 

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I don't really know much about how an engine functions, but the way I envision the wear on the tensioner is a very slow wear, as opposed to the entire chunk of plastic coming off at once. I imagine most of the tiny, tiny fragments of plastic-dust end up being caught in oil filters throughout the 120k miles driven so far. That's just a guess though. One thing that's amazing is how long the plastic even lasts on these tensioners. Quite brilliant.
 

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This is one cool dude! Up for the man! I'm having the same problem with my B12 and after i read this i called up a friend so that we can check it out. I have a strong gut feeling that it is the culprit of the sound on my engine. Hope other Nismo's out there would be kind enough to share their knowledge to help other save a lot of dough! Salute to all Nismoneers out there! Gud Jeb!
 

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more tech tips pleease!..I'm a real dork when it comes to cars and i've been pulling my hair to know other things just to make my Baby in top condition. I've been there, done that but i always ends up fixing a new problem everytime i go under the hood!

thanks a lot!!
 

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upper chain tensioner

will it be the same in my engine? my car is 2001 nissan sentra 1600 QG16DE engine,manual trans, similar block in your photo. when i rev the chain rattles and a bit loss of power when pulling at the same time rattling.

Heres the photo of my engine..

 

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Hello guys!!! I'm new to the forum and I see there's plenty of information!!! I just got a 98 Sentra GXE with almost 99000 and notice a small rattle coming from that side since day one. It reminds me of those old VW beatle, but not as loud. I've never done anything like this before, but the hell with it, I'll give it a try this saturday.Quick questions: Whats the best way to clean the tensioner cover before aplying the silicone?, Do I have to apply any silicone to the valve cover gasket? When tightening the bolts for the VCG do I have to follow any order? Same with the tensioner cover? How tight (I'm afraid of squeezing all of the silicone out).
Thanks,
 

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you can use permatex grey rtv silicone, its the same kind of silicone nissan uses, you can use a scraper with a razor blade it works fine, just try to avoid gouging the mating surface, and yes use some on the valve cover, and if you need more info go to phatg20.net and go to downloads and get yourself a copy of the fsm (factory service manual) from there for your sentra.
 

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I just completed replacing the upper tensioner on a 1995 Sentra GLE (1.6). I figured I would post instructions and pics to help people in the future. I have to say thanks to 'Kyu-ju-kue', 'tieggonzalez', and 'off_da_meter' for helping me get started and prviding advice on this one. My car has 233K on it and is still running strong, however it sounded like a tank. I though the entire timing chain would need to be replaced, but through the advice of people on this forum, I checked the upper timing chain tensioner. IT WAS TOTALLY SHOT. Cost of the tensioner was $55 from Advance, and total time spent was about 2 hrs. Hopefully I can leave the pics for these instructions on my server, however if someone wants to make them permanent here or add to them, feel free.

Let's get started:

Step 1: Remove the valve cover and move the Coolant Reservoir and Relay box out of the way. The reservoir (1) should just lift out. To remove the relay box (2), there are two screws that hold it in place. You may need to unplug a relay or two to get to the screws:


Shown are where the two screws are that hold the relay box. Now is a good time to remove the reservoir bracket (A). It'll give you room later.


Step 2: I moved the power steering reservoir out of the way (Screws 1,2,3). Next you will need to remove the engine mount bracket that attaches to the head. (Screws 4,5,6)


Step3: Support the Engine with a jack. (I placed mine under the oil pan). Remove the engine mount (Screws 1,2,3,4)


Step4: Remove the upper timing chain cover. There are a couple of nuts and 5 bolts.


YOU WILL GET DIRTY!!! (SHAMELESS PLUG......GO JACKETS!)


Step5: Now your upper chain cover should be removed. Inspect the tensioner and chain.


Here is the tensioner. Go ahead and remove it if it looks bad (Screws 1,2)


Mine was totally shot. There was no plastic left on the tensioner and the chain was eating into the metal (the cause of all the engine noise). Old and new tensioner shown.

Another view...see how it ate the metal (!?)


Step 6: Install new tensioner using the old bolts. Be sure to release the pin if your new tensioner came with one!


Step 7: Re-assembly is reverse of dissassembly. At the advice of some folks on this message board, I used RTV Gold to seal the upper tensioner cover. I just ran a bead similar to the factory bead that was on there. I had to monkey with the engine a bit to get the mount bolt back in. Nothing major, but if the hole doesn't line up perfectly, just push and tug on the engine and adjust the jack to get it to line up.

Hopefully this will help someone else. All in all, this took 2 hours of work.
Robert
Can we get the pictures back?

Jason
 
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