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ok..i went and looked at a 95 altima gxe 5 spd today with 100,000 miles..i want to buy it but besides it needing a battery ,the only problem i have with it is..there is a strange ticking kind of noise in what seems like under the left side of the valve cover(if your looking at the front of the car)..i tried to listen as good as possible..the guy selling it thinks its just a pulley which it might be b/c its the same side..but it didnt seem like that..ive looked up some things on it that are pretty similar but i want to be sure im not buying something that is going to break down in no time.any ideas of what it may be??.Thanks for anything
 

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it's a 95..
thinking that it has the same timing chain tensioner set up that all the early-mid 90's nissans have.
the timing chain tensioners are oil pressurized...
when an engine is idling it's actually not getting correct oil pressure..

that's why cars run so nicely between 1800-4000rpm.

when the car's idling, the tensioners aren't really getting a lot of oil pressure, letting a very slight slack in the chain, but not enough to skip teeth unless you're dealing with a 15 yr old car, like you are.
you're actually supposed to change out the timing chain around 80,000miles ~i think that's right~ cuz timing chains stretch over time... after 220,000miles it gets to be dangerous for the engine... stomp on it too many times, and you'll snap the timing chain, possibly snap a camshaft sprocket, bend valves, and gouge out the camshaft 1st bearing surface... making your Head useless in some cases.
 

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timing chains and tensioners...
but the problem arises that if you've got oil gunk in the engine.. as soon as it loosens, it will make it's way around back to the new tensioners... as well as bearing ports.

oh, and you're not going to like how you have to do the timing.

long story short.. it's easier to just pull the engine... time it w/ new stuff, and drop it back in.

course...
what's the engine that's in that car? it's a 4 cyl frntwhl drive right?

either way... iz a beach to time them in the car.

there's a huge write up on here, just for the KA timing... (to be able to do it while still in the car)
it takes all weekend unless you feel like working on it for a day straight.
then if you mess up, you've got to replace a Head.
and camshafts if you break one. namely the exhaust cam cuz that's the cam that gets turned first off the idle sprocket.
 

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I bought a 94 with 125K miles on it and it kind a little noise at idle ... has 135K miles on it now and sounds the same. I can't tell if it's the cam chain or one of the belt tensioner pulleys.

If you wanted to find out if it's the cam chain or not, have a Nissan dealer do an inspection on the car if you think the rest of the car is in good shape. It might cost a little money for the inspection but it might be worth it. Or ask the seller if you and him can swing by the dealer for them to listen to it. They might be able to tell you more.

Also, there was supposedly a TSB from Nissan that says to remove the cam chain guide that's just under the valve cover and sits above the cam sprockets. Not sure what years this applies to, but I heard Nissan stopped using that guide at some point.
 

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you're correct on the chain guide removal, but also, there's another problem with that...
this only applies to NEW chains.

you take your upper or side guide off w/ an old chain.... you've got the chance of your chain rubbing through your Valve Cover and your Water Pump Housing... loosing oil or coolant.

seen it happen. the VC. heard about the Water Pump Housing
 

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you're correct on the chain guide removal, but also, there's another problem with that...
this only applies to NEW chains.

you take your upper or side guide off w/ an old chain.... you've got the chance of your chain rubbing through your Valve Cover and your Water Pump Housing... loosing oil or coolant.

seen it happen. the VC. heard about the Water Pump Housing
Thanks for that info ... first time I have heard that the old style cam chain could rub on the valve cover if the top chain guide (above the cam sprockets) is removed. So does that mean I should not remove the top chain guide on my 94 Altima?

So are the new chains not as thick, or what is different about the new chain vs the old chain that makes it not rub the valve cover if the top chain guide is removed?

What year was the "new" cam chains started to be used?
 

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it's chain stretch man...

over time the chain stretches.. over time you can break it mid throttle on the highway... over time it can randomly skip teeth on the sprockets.

you put a new chain on it, and it's tighter....

given you've blasted the block of all oil gunk....

including the oil passages.

which you have to have done at an engine shop.

takes equipment that get this..

the reason why it's so hard to find a machinist for engines unless you're in a major city...



each damn machine in a machine shop is sold for like 12 g's used (some go for 30g's used)... they actually need business and all these f^ckin guys that just drop in some junk yard engine and tear the f^ck out of it, instead of rebuilding.... save money, but in turn ruin future rebuildable engines. they also put out of business the guys you need later, with the $100,000 worth of engine blueprinting equipment, when you've got some engine that there's no way to repair because you need precise equipment to make it even turn over.

one time i was trying to build a tool to rebuild my 240's rear calipiers... it's the spring in it... the boots are easy to replace... it's re-installing the e-brake spring that's hell. took a piston compressor (the brake tool)... cut it certain ways to fit right... then i welded on a particular size socket that i had to spend 20 bucks having bored out at a machine shop. 20 bucks for boring out a friggen socket. why you ask? the socket is made out of hardened steel.. the bits the machine shop uses are expensive... went through 1 during the bore (cutting took like 30 minutes ON A SOCKET)

these same guys have all this equipment from back in the day.

350 chevy's can be rebuilt cheaper than gettin another one, different than a KA...

so, less business has been coming in, obviously, since it's no longer the 60's & 70's.... or then.. lower priced muscle cars in the 80's... but then the 90's hit, and a muscle car was a lot pricier.

so now that you just go out and junk and engine then buy a junk engine... it's too damn expensive to rebuild your engine.
 

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making you have to buy the next line of cars instead of holding your favorite 2nd generation (early 90's) import cars on a pedestal for your grandkids to enjoy.
 

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Hmm here we go again with the ticking! I have been here before. I just hope when I start my new to me Bone yard combo today everthing will be ok and there won't be any ticking?? If I were you stay away unless it's a real cheap deal like I got and you don't mind changing out engines in your driveway! Honestly there a lot of these engines out there in wrecked cars and if you are a decent mechanic it's just time consuming.........
 

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the thing ya gotta remember is always check the crank and head.

that's the selling point..
otherwise you're just buying coffee table stands. heh.

with the ticking though on an old engine...
timing is timing..
you switch out the particular parts that keep it from ticking and it will run brand new.

hell... i reused an old chain, old shims and it ran beautifully till the reused piston rings gave out cuz... it's bs, i'm not explaining it, i'm ticked my car died the day i got my muscle car job. heh.
 

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it's chain stretch man...
Didn't Nissan have a TSB that said to remove the top cam chain guide? ... (and I believe the other slider on the top/front of the top chain).

http://www.nissanforums.com/u13-1993-1997-altima/138939-altima-timing-chain-noise-fix.html

http://www.nissanforums.com/u13-1993-1997-altima/76085-timing-chain-noise.html

So if Nissan dealerships performed this TSB without putting a new cam chain in the car, what's the difference if it's done later down the road? Sure, with tons of miles the cam chain will get sloppy and maybe break or jump a tooth ... but if I understand this TSB correctly, removing the top guide isn't going to cause any problems. The way I understand it, the guide is removed to prevent noisy operation, and also to prevent it from eventually failing and causing other engine damage.

Is there someone on this site that works at a Nissan dealership and has access to this TSB?
 
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