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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some SE-R owners have had an issue with a metallic rattling noise at idle when the motor is hot. Usually, this rattle is attributed to two things: either the timing chain tensioner, or the upper timing chain guide.

This write-up is catered to showing you how to remove the upper timing chain guide in case this noise comes up.


To begin, start removing the valve cover bolts. Also remove the bracket that holds the cruise control cable and the crankcase ventilator.









This is the timing chain guide. Over time, the timing chain starts hitting this guide, therefore causing the rattle at idle.




Start removing the two bolts that hold the timing chain guide.




Remove the timing chain guide.





Make sure this is what you take out.




No more timing chain guide!




After having removed the timing chain guide, I noticed that there were deep grooves that were made on the underside of the guide. This most likely happened due to the timing chain hitting the guide for a long, long time.


Now that the timing chain guide has been removed, start closing up the motor. Make sure you don’t have any extra bolts sitting around! Also remember to torque down the valve cover bolts to the correct specifications as outlined by the Factory Service Manual.




Have fun driving your car rattle-free!
 

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Harris said:
Make sure you don’t have any extra bolts sitting around!
Don't you mean:

"Make sure you don't drop any bolts into the timing chain cavity" :D

Good to see you got it out. How'd you go about getting it? Bright light and a magnet antenna?
 

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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Haha! I got the bolt out. The bright light wasn't even necessary. I fished around for maybe five seconds with the magnet wand before I caught it.

In three weeks, I will be removing the motor and tranny to repair what I need to so that the car can be deemed street worthy. Detailed writeups like this one should be coming up as and when I do the work on the car.
 

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Harris said:
In three weeks, I will be removing the motor and tranny to repair what I need to so that the car can be deemed street worthy. Detailed writeups like this one should be coming up as and when I do the work on the car.
That is great! If I had more time available, I'd love to help, but since I don't just keep us updated on how things are going!!!!
 

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Is it ok to drive around with out the chain guide? Isn't that there to help keep it from jumping timing (spinning the cams & wrecking the engine)? If the tensioner is working correctly, why does it start hitting the guide in the first place? I have this same problem (the noise) that's why I'm asking. I cannot afford to wreck/replace my engine right now,so I'm hoping to cure it.
Thanks for the advice.
 

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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It is safe to run the motor without the guide. But, like everything else with cars, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Nissan actually stopped installing the upper timing chain guide on the SRs around '98. The reason why this rattle occurs is because over time the timing chain starts to slack a little, even in the presence of the timing chain tensioner. The resultant effect is the rattle that you hear at idle with the car warmed up. I removed the guide after replacing the timing chain tensioner failed to shoo away the rattle. With the guide removed, the rattle is completely gone.
 

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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #9
I do not know about the GA. I do know that this is quite a common thing for KA and SR owners to do. The issue with GAs is that they have two timing chains, so there could be other reasons behind the rattling in them compared to the SRs and the KAs.
 

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thanks for the info. I'm going to go ahead & remove the top guide, then. Someone said the guides on the sides could be worn out,too. Should I replace these? Do I have to pull the engine? The milage is really high on this vehicle so I wouldn't want to do it if it required pulling the engine. It wouldn't seem worth it.
 

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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #11
For the lower guides, you will have to pull out the motor. Not an easy task at all! So to answer your question, its not worth the time to replace the other guides. Just get another motor if you decide that its time your current motor retired.
 

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Harris said:
For the lower guides, you will have to pull out the motor. Not an easy task at all! So to answer your question, its not worth the time to replace the other guides. Just get another motor if you decide that its time your current motor retired.
I ended up with a damaged motor after the timing chain jumped..156k miles. (Only the last 6k by me..) The JDM replacement is MUCH better..and after pricing replacement parts, like timing chain, guides, tensioner, and the headwork that was suspected to be needed..like valves, the replacement motor was definitely the way to go...one old one out..one different one in...NO PROBLEM!!
 

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cappy111 said:
I ended up with a damaged motor after the timing chain jumped..156k miles. (Only the last 6k by me..) The JDM replacement is MUCH better..and after pricing replacement parts, like timing chain, guides, tensioner, and the headwork that was suspected to be needed..like valves, the replacement motor was definitely the way to go...one old one out..one different one in...NO PROBLEM!!
I have a Sentra GA16DE 1.6L Engine model 1992. You mean I have to change the timing chain when it reaches 150k miles?
 

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cappy111 said:
I ended up with a damaged motor after the timing chain jumped..156k miles. (Only the last 6k by me..) The JDM replacement is MUCH better..and after pricing replacement parts, like timing chain, guides, tensioner, and the headwork that was suspected to be needed..like valves, the replacement motor was definitely the way to go...one old one out..one different one in...NO PROBLEM!!
A week or days before did you hear or feel something before your chain jump?
 

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Timing chain guide vs tensioner

Harris said:
For the lower guides, you will have to pull out the motor. Not an easy task at all! So to answer your question, its not worth the time to replace the other guides. Just get another motor if you decide that its time your current motor retired.
Hello. I just wanted to say great guide to taking the chain guide out! I have a question or two regarding that. I too have a rattling noise when the car idles and when I step on the gas. A mechanic friend said it's probably the tensioner, which you said is one of the options as to the rattling. I have a 96 200sx, and it's at around 167000 miles. My questions are this-what further steps are necessary to take the tensioner out and replaced from where you were in the guide> Also, with the high mileage on the car, would you suggest I replace the chains, since we will be in there anyway? Oh, and a third question-do you, or anyone know if the rattling of the chain area can contribute to premature distrubutor failure? Over the last 4 months, I have had to have about 3 distributors replaced on my car, as usually the rotor goes first, but this last time, just this last Thursday, the distributor went again. Thanks for your help.
 

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Super-Mod with a 240
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Discussion Starter #19
mjbw372d said:
Hello. I just wanted to say great guide to taking the chain guide out! I have a question or two regarding that. I too have a rattling noise when the car idles and when I step on the gas. A mechanic friend said it's probably the tensioner, which you said is one of the options as to the rattling. I have a 96 200sx, and it's at around 167000 miles. My questions are this-what further steps are necessary to take the tensioner out and replaced from where you were in the guide> Also, with the high mileage on the car, would you suggest I replace the chains, since we will be in there anyway? Oh, and a third question-do you, or anyone know if the rattling of the chain area can contribute to premature distrubutor failure? Over the last 4 months, I have had to have about 3 distributors replaced on my car, as usually the rotor goes first, but this last time, just this last Thursday, the distributor went again. Thanks for your help.


I would suggest that you get the Nissan Factory Service Manual for good, detailed instructions as to how to go about removing the tensioner. There is a write-up on http://www.se-r.net about this too. Here's the link:

http://www.se-r.net/zotz/se-r_tensioner.htm.

One thing I would do a little different than what is recommended is that after removing the old tensioner and installing the new one in, simply put the car in fifth gear and push it a few feet (with the car turned completely off). This'll help the tensioner pop in correctly.
 

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I would use a 27mm socket on the crank pulley bolt to turn the motor to releash the tensioner instead of pushing the car. If you take the car out of gear, it isn't hard to do.
 
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