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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am going through the FSM diagnostics for P0011 and P0021 after replacing my timing chain. I did not have any codes before I started but have found that my methods for setting the timing might have been a little rough (broken exhaust camshaft ;) The engine runs great and is soooo quiet now.

Since getting the code I have tested the camshaft position sensors, verified operation of the VTC Solenoid with 12V power, and check oil levels. I took off the chain cover to validate the timing and I am 100% sure it is good. My engine internals are very clean - never went more than 3,500 between oil changes and I have under 80,000 miles.

My only guess is that I damaged the Intake cam sprocket while setting the timing. I used the 17mm bolts on the cams to turn the turn the camshaft and maybe even the whole engine (cant remember for sure). Has anyone ran into this before?

FSM says to remove VTC Solenoid and run starter to verify pressure at the solenoid but I don't have an assistant to stop oil from going everywhere.

I haven't tested the crankshaft position sensor but I see no reason why it would have failed with timing chain replacement.

Anything else to try? Search is not providing any help. Thanks all!
 

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You busted a cam shaft? Yikes. Besides the timing/sprocket related part being an issue... you say it runs great.

You need to rule out the oil pressure though. Could be the rear timing cover seal which I've heard can be an issue and also since you apparently replaced a cam, you had to re-seal the cam bracket. There's no margin for error on that. There are oil passages/grooves there than you need to be careful about not getting sealant on or I could see oil pressure possibly being an issue if that happened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Exhaust cam dowel came loose while installing the sprocket while replacing the chain and it was slanted between the camshaft and the sprocket when I applied the 91 lbs of torque. The part of the exhaust camshaft the sprocket mates with just rolled off...not my finest moment.

I don't think its related because I only removed the camshaft on bank 1 and yet I have both p0011 and p0021. I followed the FSM guidelines for installing the RTV on the bracket, and again, that was only on bank 1.

It runs great and would never know there was an issue with the exception of the SES light. I can almost feel a change in the engine behavior when the SES comes on, likely because it is deactivating the VVT circuit and putting the engine in a conservative mode.

I'll see if I can get an assistant to crank the engine with the fuel pump fuse pulled to ensure oil flow at the solenoid. If that doesn't clear it up I think I'll remove the cam sprockets and open them up. Nissan treats them like a black box, but I suspect any physical damage will be visible with an inspection. It takes me 8 hours to remove and reinstall the timing cover and $380 each from nissanparts to replace the cam sprockets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help IR!

My first guess was the same - 1 tooth off. I took a picture of the timing chain and marks before I buttoned it up last time and they are 100% on. I know what you mean about being 1 tooth off when looking at the crank from above, so I used my phone to snap a picture straight on.

Per the FSM I pulled the fuel pump fuse and removed the VTC Solenoid on bank 2. Turned the starter and plenty of oil came out of the port that feeds the solenoid in the time the engine would have started. This rules out oil pressure.

I plan to remove the timing chain cover tomorrow to check out the cam sprockets. One of the few relevant web searches indicated this as the problem. I'll post my findings, maybe some pictures if I can figure out how to host them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was able to open it up again today and inspect the timing and intake cam sprockets. The primary chain looked correct but I couldn't be 100% certain the secondary chain was correct on bank 2.

I opened the cam sprocket on bank 1 and did not find any damage but did find one small metal speck. Maybe it was creating friction in the operation? There were no gouges and the surfaces all looked great. I blew out the passages with air and reassembled. Did the same for bank 2 no metal found.

Reset the timing chain and I am 100% certain of it correct with photos taken after it was tensioned. Then buttoned it up and am now just waiting for the RTV to cure.

I hope I was just off on timing or the small metal bit was causing some friction. I will know tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Took it for a spin today and the good news is that the p0021 is gone. I may have had the secondary timing off 1 tooth on that side. I couldn't be certain it was lined up right when I inspected it.

The bad news is that the p0011 is still there for bank 1. That is the side that I replaced the exhaust camshaft on. I did not remove the camshaft bracket #1 to inspect the oil passages for RTV blockage. I wish I had while it was open. I think I'll remove the solenoid and run a pipe cleaner down the passages to see if there is any obvious blockage.

Any other suggestions?
 

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Check the oil pressure at the vvt solenoid on bank 1 since that is where your rtv is. You said you only checked bank 2. Since you had some debris, maybe check if the valve is stuck open. check the wiring to the solenoid and the cam position sensor.
Could the sprocket have developed some play since it was torqued on with the dowel stuck behind?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I think I found it!

When I opened it up last time and had the solenoid and valve cover off on bank #1 when I turned the engine to get perfect TDC there was a strange spurt of oil out of the oil channel furthest to the right from where the solenoid mounts (i had removed it). It was a suprising burst that shot about a foot onto the mounts and exhaust manifold. I cleaned it up and didn't think anything of it.

After I got it all buttoned up and got the P0011 code again I was determined to make sure all of the oil channels were clear. I have a spare bank #1 head (see broken exhaust cam above) and so I took my time and traced out all of the oil channels. The channel that feeds the advance circuit of the VVT was the one that spurted oil. I think the sprocket was in it's advanced position and when I turned the engine with no oil pressure it pumped the oil out of the advanced position into the open air and onto my exhaust manifold. The cam sprocket should not have been advanced - it should have been in its fully locked and retarded position. This made me think that it was the retard portion of the oil circuit that was not functioning. I knew could access 1/3 of the retard channel from the solenoid side and another 1/3 of the channel in the timing access cover.

I removed the timing access cover and I think I found the culprit. The seal that conveys the oil pressure from the access cover into intake sprocket to retard the timing was fouled up. I replaced this seal when I performed timing chain replacement, but I used an aftermarket seal that came in a Felpro kit. Lesson learned - DO NOT USE AFTERMARKET PARTS IN THE ENGINE!!!

I can't get the replacement part until Monday or Tuesday but I'm 90% sure I used the wrong seal or it didn't seat correctly, which caused the oil pressure on the retard circuit to not be sufficient to push the vanes in the intake sprocket.

I will blow out the retard circuit with air before reassembling. That should do it!

Thanks again for the help I'll report back the results and will add pics if I figure out the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)

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That left side port has an o-ring between the cover plate and rear plate. did you also replace that? Also further in that port is a port in the cam bracket that you have to seal around. Plugging up that port was my initial thought concerning oil pressure. When you seal both sides and install you have to tilt it in to avoid smearing the sealant. I have a felpro kit waiting an install and now Im thinking twice.
Did you replace that sprocket you torqued? wondering if it could be somehow jamming those vanes from moving although it all looks pretty thick to have done that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its the seal ring that goes on the intake valve timing control cover that interfaces on the intake sprocket. I think pressure is making it that far then bleeding out. My local dealership says the seal ring is not available as a standalone part, however the FSM says to replace it after every disassembly at the bottom of page EM-52. If anyone can provide a part number it would be appreciated.

Local dealership is ordering the entire covers because they say it is the only way to get the seals.

Highly recommend avoiding the Felpro gasket kit and just getting the individual seals OEM. Not worth the hassle!
 

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It looks like part# 13035HC
https://www.nissanpartsdeal.com/parts-list/2006-nissan-xterra/front-cover-vacuum-pump-fitting.html

But that seems to cross reference (at least on this site) to 15066-5E510 which is not at all the same o-ring. Who knows who is wrong where?...LOL

Doesnt seem to be an OEM part for it though. I think like the rear timing cover oil galley seal there is no Nissan part and you have to go aftermarket.... or buy the covers at $33+ each.... sucks.
I assume most people just reuse the existing ones. At least they are the "easiest" o-ring to get at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I bought 15066-5e510 and it is the other seal that mates with the cover. The one I need is not available seperately. I like my Xterra but I'm learning to hate Nissan!
 

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Are you guys talking about this o-ring? If so, then I can confirm the part number is 15066-ZL80C. I just bought 2 from my local dealership. I paid $4.63 each.

seal_ring.jpg


IMPORTANT UPDATE
The above information is wrong. Although 15066-ZL80C is similar to the seal ring on the intake cover, it is NOT the correct part. I have tried it and the o-ring breaks apart. It didn't cause damage, it just doesn't hold the oil pressure like it is supposed to and it threw P0011 and P0021 codes. I now believe it is true that the seal-ring cannot be purchased individually. Instead, it must be purchased as part of the full intake cover. The current guidance discovered by skimandan is to not proactively replace the seal-ring like the FSM recommends. http://xenforo.local.svc.cluster.local/posts/4282302/
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks good. My local dealer is getting an earful in the morning! They had me sold on buying the whole $40 cover per side to get the parts. Can't wait to get out of there under $10.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I checked with two dealerships and they both had 15066-ZL80C in stock and they both were rubber O-rings shaped like a donut. The part I need is not rubber - it is a fiber disc with a hole in the middle with square edges. I verified this with the new covers at the dealership with the 15066-ZL80C, and I remember when I removed the rings originally I had to tear them off. While at the dealership we checked with one of the master techs and he said they do not replace those unless there is obvious signs of wear, and then they replace the whole cover.

I am calling this part search done and bought the covers.

-Update-

I installed the new covers and gave it a test drive. No more P0011 or p0021 codes! (yet)

Thanks all for the help!
 

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Hi!

I just performed a rebuild of a VQ35DE on my 2002 Pathfinder. I have had a nagging P0021 since.

When putting together my replacement parts list I realized that, as stated here, the o-rings for the access covers were not available. I am glad to hear that replacing your cover took care of your P0011. I am now considering doing the same.

However, also since the rebuild I have had some noise and vibration coming from the bank 2 sprockets once the car warms up. This has me concerned. I don't want to have to remove the front cover and replace all the timing components if I don't know for sure what the problem is. Could the sprocket be locked up? Are you supposed to be able to turn it by hand?

The access cover on bank 2 has some score marks at the bottom of the nipple where the oil comes out toward the sprocket. I wonder if the seal has failed and 1. is allowing the sprocket to hit the access cover, 2. preventing sufficient oil pressure from reaching the sprocket. I have tried putting a standard o-ring on that nipple, but P0021 persists. Alternatively, it could be that the access cover and seal are OK, and the sprocket/cam is wobbly, which would cause the same issue.

Finally, I stripped some of the rear timing cover bolt holes upon installation and have a small oil leak between the bank 2 head and rear cover, just under the exhaust sprocket. Otherwise, the car runs great. What a bummer!

I suppose I should try to plug the leak with some external RTV and replace the access cover before going all-out and removing entire front and rear timing covers.
 
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