Engine Timing Question ? - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2016, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Timing Question ?

My X developed the timing chain whine so I decided to try and do the job myself. Everything went fairly smooth. However, I am running into a problem i think. I have all the timing components back together and tried to crank a few times to see if everything is in check. I marked the chain at each cam and at the crank when the motor was at TDC. When i rotated the crank around a few times and reset to TDC, my marks on the chain are all a tooth behind but both cam and crank sprockets are in the correct position for TDC. I also put a long screwdriver in cylinder one to make sure its not 180 out. As I rotate the crank past TDC the screwdriver peaks and goes back down. Is it possible that the links will not line up everytime even though the cams and crank are correctly timed?

Edit: I answered my question. I rotated the crank counter clockwise several turns and the marks on the chain finally met on TDC. I read that it all depends on the number of links on a chain and this will cause it not to match after rotating clockwise for many turns.

Last edited by schaaaaaad; 05-14-2016 at 10:46 PM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-15-2016, 01:04 AM
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as long as the marks on the cams and crank are where they're supposed to be, you should be fine.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 12:04 AM
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I will be scheduling mine this week. I am capable of doing the job myself just not confident enough. I have 147,+++ miles on mine and i can hear it whine during acceleration from a stop. Will the coolant be replace with the timing chain replacement?

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 12:21 AM
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Yes, you'll want to change the water pump while its apart. Might as well fill with new coolant while its drained.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 08:31 AM
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My new chain had three different colored chain links that corresponded to the timing marks on each of the three gears on the main chain. The secondary chains, if you changed them also have links that must be aligned with the marks on the gears. There are small casting in the timing chain back cover that align with the lines on the cam gears. If all is set up and the tension applied to the chain they should all stay coordinated every other rotation.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2016, 06:08 PM
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Super happy this came up now.. I am looking at doing this job myself sometime in the next 2-ish weeks.

Good to know all this, as I'd probably freak out a bit if this happened to me lol

Kudos for tackling it!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 02:55 PM
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I have the exact same question. I am in the middle of doing the secondary chain tensioner replacement also. I really want to make sure that the timing doesn't get screwed up. My question is, how many cycles does it take to have the marks on the chain, cam sprockets, and case marking all line up again?

I lined all the marks up with the #1 piston at TDC.



Then I hand rotated the the crank pulley 4 cycles (8 total rotations). At the completion of each cycle, I checked that the cam sprockets and case markings lined up correctly. After 4 cycles, the cam sprockets and case marking all line up at TDC, but the marks on the chain are off by one link. Does this indicate a problem with my timing or is this normal?
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File Type: jpg marks_not_aligned.jpg (96.8 KB, 118 views)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 03:19 PM
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It takes a bunch. But the chain links are only referenced at install. Just use the timing marks on the sprockets.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IntellectualRedneck View Post
It takes a bunch. But the chain links are only referenced at install. Just use the timing marks on the sprockets.
Cool, thanks for the info. I knew the link markings were just for the initial install. I'm just looking for a way to confirm my timing is right before I close everything up. I really don't want to have to get in here again. I was thinking that if I hand rotated it the magic number of cycles and everything lined up again, that would be my confirmation. Based on what you said, it sounds like that's not going to work. Any other ideas on how I can confirm everything is correct?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2019, 04:12 PM
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Besides checking the 3 timing marks on each rotation?

I found this video helpful in explaining how it all goes together.


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