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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm new to the forum, but I have been reading a lot of posts and love the site. I have a 1997 hb that I bought new off the lot. It's got 123k miles and hasnt given me much trouble. I love my truck. I want it to last another 123k miles or more so I am planning to do some work on it. The most intensive thing I plan on doing is replacing the timing chain. I have read the detailed posting here on the procedure and while not easy or straight forward, I think it is doable. My questions are, should I undertake this work? What other things should I do at this mileage that I havent considered? Advice of any kind? I should add that I have done some minor work on the truck such as changing the cap and rotor, fuel filter etc. I have changed a water pump on a Saturn (most difficult thing I've undertaken.) Am I about to open a can of worms here? It has a minor oil leak and a minor ps leak. I'm hoping to address those problems as well. I appreciate any and all advice/help I can get. Have a great day!
 

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Oh, yea. What should I expect to pay for the work if I need it done and have to get a mechanic to do it? Thanks!
 

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Why do you think it's time for a timing chain change? If there aren't any issues such as loose chain or rattling, I would leave that alone! My original Z24i lasted 272,000 before I changed it and that rebuild was due to a spun rod bearing!
 

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I'm going to agree with CMAX on this one. I just got done replacing my timing chain tonight (took more than a few evenings) and it was a royal pain in the ass. Here are the symptoms that my truck was exhibiting: You know that chain rattle sound you get on startup after the truck's been sitting for a while, but it goes away after a couple seconds? It was doing that when I was driving down the road. Unless your truck is doing the same thing, I would sugest leaving the TC alone. The chains on these trucks are extremely robust. IT's the tensioner and the guides that fail. And they tell you when it's time to be replaced.

If you are just itching to get in there and do some good for the truck, here are a few suggestions:

1. Replace the crank seal. It's behind the the main pulley. I thought I had a lot more leaks than I did, just because that seal was broken and slinging tiny bits of oil all over under my hood.

2. check/adjust your timing. if your truck is as old as you say, you're probably long overdue for this. I never did, but I can imagine the truck would've run a lot happier.

3. replace your valve cover gasket. When you do this, you will be able to inspect the Timing Chain and its guides. For me, the chain was fine, and the tensioner was fine. The driver's side guide has a plastic part that runs its length. That plastic part cracked into about 20 different pieces. The noise of the chain was it running across the bare metal.

4. Replace your PCV valve. I never did mine until 120k miles. When you see how much of a PITA it is, you'll understand why you've been avoiding it, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow! Thanks so much for the input. I was going to have some time off in the next couple weeks and had decided to replace the chain due to the rattle it makes on startup, and my assumption that it was due. I think perhaps that I will put that off and go with some of hans747's suggestions. I know that I need a valve cover gasket replacement. I suspect that I need a oil pan gasket as well. The rest of the stuff will happen as well. Not sure about the pcv valve. Where is that located? Thanks again!
 

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Here's IMO the most important thing when changing your timing components go Nissan Oem parts only no aftermarket stuff! Nissan timing chains are tight as hell and the rest of those aftermarket (Cloyes) will only last about 50,000 miles b4 they fugg you!!!
 

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as for that rattle, you may want to try swapping over to an OEM filter. I hear they don't let the engine lose oil pressure over night, minimizing the rattle. Try it once. If it works, just do what I do with my wife's volvo, and buy a 10-pack of filters (probably about $40) so that you don't have to go to the dealer every 3000 miles. I just got my first OEM filter the other night. I'll decide if it's worth it in a few weeks.

If you decide to go for it on the valve cover and oil pan, just make sure you have these things handy:

10 mm socket
4-inch and 10-inch socket extensions
a socket u-joint isn't necessary, but it helps
a torque wrench that measures in inch-pounds

That last one is really important because all the torque values on these parts are about 7 foot-lbs, which is too low for many torque wrenches. you can get an inch-lbs wrench at harbor freight for like $20.
 

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PCV valve connects to a little black breather box that hides behind the alternator. If you decide to go for it, this is a great time to replace your belts and rad hoses. There are also two smaller coolant hoses near the thermostat that are probably due for replacement, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Awesome! you have been a great help. I have a harbor freight near by and will swing by before I start. I'll try the filter thing too. I have been using fram filters pretty consistently with no noticable effect, but if a nissan filter would get rid of the rattlin, then I'll switch. I am gona start rounding up all the parts here over the next few days, and start work. Thanks again for the input!
 

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WIX, Napa( relabeled WIX), Mobile1 (relabeled WIX), K&N (relabeled WIX), get my drift...I was using WIX b4 the Nascar boys could spell WIX (correctly!!!!) Fram sucks since being acquired by Allied Signal some 15-20 yrs ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Cmax. saves me a trip to the dealer. I'll pick up a wix (or a derivitave...) this weekend. Have a great day!
 

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Yeah, I've been using FRAM since I bought the truck because they put that grippy stuff on the back of the filter. It's really helpful since these engine give you zero space for a filter wrench. But I'm going to try something else for a while.

For the oil pan, you will need to buy some gray gasket sealer. Nissan sells the stuff in a caulk tube, but it costs $18. The guy at their parts desk just shook his head and said "save your money and buy any other gray sealant."
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks hans. Is that gray sealant in addition to the oil pan gasket? Both sides of the gasket or just one? I started using the fram ones for the same reason! It is such a pita to get the filter on and off an alligned properly, the grippy stuff seemed like jus tthe thing. Am definitely gona try the wix ones now though, for comparison. Have a great day!
 

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the oil pan doesn't use a fitted gasket. just a bead of gray sealant. you'll need a steel toothbrush (they cost like 50 cents) to clean the sealing surfaces of the pan and the engine block. You'll also use that sealant for the half-circle shaped rubber pieces at either end of the valve cover gasket
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thats odd. I was at autozone and asked for an oil pan gasket. The guy brought me a felpro one. I have to admit, that I havent opened it to take a look yet, but I recall that that is what it was called on the computer at the store. Is this something that they make as an after market thing? Maybe it wont fit at all. Am realy appreciatin being able to get info from yall. Have a great day!

Aaron
 

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I don't know. I have a 1996, and there was no gasket on it. Only liquid gasket. might want to post a separate thread and ask the question to owners of 1997s. I doubt nissan made the switch from liquid to solid though.

Also, make sure you get that crankshaft seal. mine had a minor leak, but since it was at the base of the main pulley, it slung a fine mist of oil all over my engine compartment.
 

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if you go to Phatg20.net, you can download the FSM for the 1996 (don't know if they have the 1997 one, but it should be close enough). They have all the procedures for the projects you're looking at doing.
 
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