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mine started rattling about 5k miles ago, just got it done today as part of my 250k miles maintenance and surprisingly, my tensioner doesn't look as bad as some pics i've seen with less miles. took me 40-45 minutes using impact tools for loosening bolts. i'd say 3 out of 10 in difficulty. those pesky drum brakes took a lot longer and gave me more trouble

 

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Hi, I'm absolutely sorry if i'm bumping a really old thread, but this one has very helpful pics. I'm trying to replace my upper tensioner, and I'm stuck. I can't get the timing chain cover off. I've taken off all the screws around it, but there's this rod(?) connected to the timing guide, and the cover that I'm not really sure how to remove.

Here's some pics. I'm referring to that rod in between the 2 sprockets? How do I take that off? Just twist it with a wrench?




 

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Never seen that before. This is the Philippine version of the engine. 92 sentra. Are you sure it's a GA16DE?
 

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I pretty sure it's the last bolt needed to take off before the timing chain cover will come off.
 

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Yep, it's a GA16DE. this might be one of those little differences. That threw me off too - never seen it before in the fews pics available here. Not even in the posted youtube vids. Thanks for the tip. I'll see what I can do with it with a wrench.
 

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I pretty sure it's the last bolt needed to take off before the timing chain cover will come off.
Update: Thanks to jdg! You're right, it's a 12mm bolt that holds up the timing chain cover. The cover was lifting off from the block as I was loosening that bolt.

Got another problem though, the noise was louder after I've replaced the tensioner. I went back, and it seems the chain is now hitting the 2nd chain guide (not the upper guide between the sprockets). It's the chain guide-tension on the right (opposite the upper tensioner's side). That's labelled 13085+A.



I'm not sure if I need to replace it (the replacement is also full metal, dont see any plastic part at all) or just have to adjust some screws just so it doesn't hit the guide that much?
 

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I just did timing chain job on my GA16DE. I dont remember that part. I also replaced the upper tensioner about 2 years ago. Info on the chain, after the timing job or upper tensioner, I found that the chains should be tight no matter what position the sprockets are.
When I replaced my upper tensioner, there was a bit of a slack on the upper chain at a certain position of the sprockets. I was not able to observe that the intermediate sprocket was worn out and was the reason for the slack. I also had a few teeth missing on my upper sprockets.
Check all the sprockets to see if they're good. I was lucky when my chain slipped. If they are worn out, this is the best time to fix them, before they slip. Good news is that you dont have the VTC intake sprocket.
 

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I get the feeling you didn't remove the "lock pin" after installing the new upper tensioner.
Either that or you don't have any oil pressure going to the tensioner itself, i.e. plugged up the oil feed hole with gasket goop or something.
I'm pretty sure the '95-later GA16DE didn't have that front tensioner block in it.
And if I remember right, that "upper chain tensioner" was "removed" by TSB on 95-98, and absent on the '99 models anyway.
 

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Yep, made sure I took off the pin. Hmm, is it possible i got a crappy tensioner replacement? I just checked and I can still push down the tensioner's plastic part using the wooden handle of a hammer. Am I supposed to be able to do that? Or is that a sign that it hasn't gotten completely filled with oil so I just have to run the car again until the noise dies down? When I removed the old tensioner, sure as hell I can't push it down that easily, but I can do it to the new one. I'll check the chains as well tomorrow.

I run it for 15 mins during the weekend, and I just couldn't take the racket anymore. Was pretty nervous, expecting something to blow so I decided to just stop it.

I really didn't check if the oil feed hole was plugged up or not (me being a total noob) I just figured it was safest to touch the least number of parts there when I replaced the tensioner.
 

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Bad tensioner replacement? Highly doubt it, but anything's possible...(I'd bet my second to last $ on NO)
The old tensioner probably still has some oil in it. The new tensioner is likely still dry.
Since you had the timing cover off, you also had the oil pump off.
Are you sure you got the oil pump flats lined up correctly? (likely you did otherwise T/C cover wouldn't have went on easily)
How about those 2 little o-rings that go between the T/C cover and the block? Did those get installed correctly?
Did the oil light go out when you fired the engine?
And when I swapped my upper tensioner out, it must've filled up right away 'cause there wasn't any noise after a couple seconds.
 

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1995 200sx - GA16DE Upper Timing Chain Tensioner Replacement

Hey all. I'm new to the forum (at least, as a member). I've been reading different threads for about two years. HUGE help on dealing with small issues with my 200.

Anyway. I read every thread I could find on the whole upper timing chain noise thing that seems to plague these engines (GA16DE). Finally decided that my noise was the upper tensioner so I pulled the trigger and replaced it yesterday. Everything is back in and now the noise is LOUDER! Sounds like crap. I looked at the chain and sprockets during replacement and they looked great (this engine only has 115,000 on it....I was hoping and assumed that this would be the case). And, yes, I pulled the pin on the tensioner.

I ran it for about 15 minutes last night and the noise stayed constant. I drove it (very gingerly!) around the neighborhood a few times and it seems to go away at higher rpms. Don't know if that's a clue.

My neighbor, a bit of a gearhead, says the chain likely needs to be replaced (yeah, I really don't see me replacing the chain as I'd have to dig into both the upper and lower.....not sure I have the tools or ability). He also said he's seen situations where synthetic oil can cause noise like this. I've been using synthetic for the last three changes. My first "fix" is going to be to change the oil back to a standard 10-30 oil and see if that changes anything. If not, I'm kind of stuck here. Seems like every thread I read had the noise go away after changing the tensioner. I haven't found even one that said the noise got louder!

Any advice?
 

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No oil getting in the tensioner. When I replaced my upper tensioner there was a slack on the top chain between the sprockets at certain position of the cams, which I learned should not even when the engine is not running. I found that out when I replace my sprockets and chains, the chains should be tight.
If your oil is old, best to change it. Remove you valve cover and you should be able to poke the tensioner and you should be able to push it down a bit and hear a squishing sound. Another thing, check you sprockets. You might have tooth/teeth missing like mine. My intermediate sprocket was also worn out that cause the slack in my chain.

read this thread, I believe I also have pics of my old sprockets:

http://www.nissanforums.com/b14-95-99-chassis/167288-engine-stalled-w-o-significant-signs.html
 

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So, when you say "tight", I'm assuming you think the chains need to be replaced because of the 1/8" play I mentioned? Kind of my gut feeling too. Unfortunately, I don't think I'm capable. I pushed my limits getting the friggin' tensioner in!

Considering putting it on Craigslist as, with the super low mileage on this thing, it'd be a great project car for someone with more expertise than me. I figure I could sell it for about the price I was quoted for the chain job ($1,000).

Any other ideas out there?

It just doesn't seem right that my chain would be worn out at 115,000. Unless the previous owner didn't change oil or something (I always change oil at or near every 3,000).

I love this car guys. Not that it's a status symbol or anything. It's just reliable (used to be, anyway!), economical (bought for $800 in 2007, I've put about $650 in it in sensor replacements, wiper linkage, distributor, TPS, and now this tensioner but I figure that's well worth it.....that's an average of about $25 per month not counting general maintenance stuff), and no fear of getting broken into/stolen! I'd love to keep it but am hoping for ideas that might avoid the chain thing.
 

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Or, are you saying that the chain CAN have a bit of slack like I mentioned and that my issue is no oil is getting in the tensioner? I can read your post both ways.

Any insight would be appreciated.
 

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I doubt its the chains. Because with mine, even with the mess that the sprockets did, the chains were in great condition.

The least is that the oil is not getting in the tensioner. There is a tread that had someone, not getting any oil pressure in his tensioner. push on it, it should push back.

Worst, well, timing chain assembly. Check the sprockets to see any worn out tooth or teeth. It may be just part of the assembly but if it is, the only way to replace anything to the lower timing is to remove the lower front cover. And the thread I included above will give you good help.

This is the pics of my worn sprockets:

Pictures by superpanda5 - Photobucket


BTW, a work lower tensioner may create the same rattle noise. Pretty rare though.
 

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Or, are you saying that the chain CAN have a bit of slack like I mentioned and that my issue is no oil is getting in the tensioner? I can read your post both ways.

Any insight would be appreciated.
I had a slack on my chains when I first replaced the tensioner. Did not completely silenced the rattle.

Then after the timing chain assembly job, everything new, there was no slack at all and the engine was not started yet. I was turning the engine by hand a few times to check my timing.

I'm sure there will be someone objecting that pressure is needed to get tension. I can understand how that works. But with my repair, the chain was tight with out starting the engine. Actually there was no oil in it either. My car runs great ever since, feels 100,000 miles younger :)

more simple thought - defective tensioner
 

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I surely wouldn't try the 10W-30 oil either. Tolerances are tight. 30 weight oil won't flow well cold.
Lower chain @ 100K miles, not likely.
Quieter at higher revs? Might be centrifugal force throwing the chain outwards so it basically tightens itself up and doesn't have time to slap around.All other things being equal, I'm with Jopet on the 'defective tensioner' thought.
The only way you're gonna find out is to get back in there and recheck stuff.
 

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Thanks! As much as I don't relish doing that again.....seems like the right thing to do. At least check the tensioner. Hope I still have the receipt just in case.

Another thought. I didn't see this in any post or anything (or in the hayes directions) but, did you lube the tensioner prior to installation? I didn't. Just took out the old one, slapped in the new one, pulled the pin, and closed everything up.

Probably take a few days to get time to do it. I'll post back once I check it.

Now. Anybody have any ideas as to why my chain might be bad at a whopping 115,000 miles when I'm reading that everybody else seems to go 150,000 to 180,000 before they get the "joy" of dealing with this? Can it be caused by low and/or bad oil? That's what my neighbor said would do this with so little mileage. We (the neighbor and I) had this car just hummin' about a year ago. Running so quiet and smooth. Getting upper 30's for mileage. My daughter borrowed it for a few months, ran the oil down to nearly no registration on the dipstick (for that matter, the oil hadn't been changed the whole time she had it......over 9,000 miles in three months!!!). The car was making the early chain rattle noises by the time it came back to me...... I assumed it was the valves but, as it got louder, became apparent it was the chain.

I'm prayin' it's the tensioner......

Thanks again guys.
 

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Last noob post (I hope). I really do appreciate the insight.

Is it possible to over tighten the upper chain tensioner? I didn't see any spec's in the manual. I tightened it pretty decent as I realize it's under pressure. Maybe that could be the problem (i.e. too tight, oil can't get into the piston?). Ever heard of that?
 
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