Question about 1996 Nissan Maxima

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Nissan Timing Chain still rattling


I rebuilt the engine in my 94 Nissan Altima. It has a brand new cylinder head and timing chain kit installed, including a new tensioner.

At normal idle the chain rattles. I removed both upper chain guides and it still rattles, this time sounds like it is hitting the head itself.

Any ideas? Is it possible the chain is slightly to long? tensioner bad even though it's new?


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  • 16 more comments 
  • rpreeves Apr 15, 2009

    Yes, I did replace the tensioner. And yes, I also pulled the pin.

    I had the block hot tanked at a machine shop so I am pretty confident the oil gallery is clear.

    Last week I took down the upper chain cover to examine things, and I noticed the chain was very tight. I mean, I had to press very hard against the tensioner to loosen the chain enough to take it off. Does that mean it is working correctly?

  • rpreeves Apr 16, 2009

    No a dealer has not looked at this, but the cylinder head shop that provided the head did and they said it was the chain.

    I am confident it is the chain making the noise because it goes away at high RPMs (hence, higher oil pressure I guess). Also, the "texture" of the sound changed after I removed the guides. Before it sounded like hitting a screwdriver against a steel bracket. Now it sounds like it's hitting a solid piece of aluminum.

  • rpreeves Apr 16, 2009

    No scar marks. The head was a different, reconditioned head, so I'm not sure if it was resurfaced or not.

    I bought the entire engine rebuild kit from JIS Engine (

  • rpreeves Apr 16, 2009

    Yes, I actually had it all off last week. I didn't see anything abnormal, and the chain was very tight.

    Is it possible my oil pressure is low for some reason?

    BTW, I appreciate all the responses to my problem.


  • rpreeves Apr 17, 2009

    Funny you suggested that. I actually bought and installed a dash gauge last night.

    On my way to work this morning on the interstate I got 60-75 psi. At red lights and stops I got 15-20 psi, which is when you can hear the rattling sound.

  • Anonymous Apr 20, 2009

    If the head I replaced was one that had been resurfaced and therefore causing too much slack in the chain, what can I do about that?

  • rpreeves Apr 20, 2009

    i replaced that one

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    When you opened it up did you see any scar marks where the chain is hitting? Also, when the head was rebuilt, was it cut? Last, if you got your tensioner or other components from SA Gear co, they have absolutely no quality control...therefore anything from there is suspect.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010


  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    If the chain is tight, that's good, I'm wondering if there might be something else hitting. Are you absolutely sure the chain is on correctly? I recently ran into a problem like this with BMW 318, chain driven dohc 4 cylinder. The owner did the chain but put it on one link out and the valves were just barely hitting the pistons making quite a noise that really sounded like the chain.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    then based on what u say about the chain your rattle is not the timing chain, better look elsewhere. has a Nissan dealer listened to this noise? They would know right away what it is.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    This engine has a hydraulic chain tensioner that receives oil pressure from the block where it is bolted on. Are you sure that the oil port on the block was clear? Also, when you buy these new, sometimes they are pinned so that they don't fall apart during assembly. Once the chain is on and timed properly, you remove the pin so that the piston can come out and do it's job. Did you pull the pin?

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    did you replace the timing chain tensioners?

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    15-20 psi at idle is within normal pressure range, be it the lower end, if it were to low (10 psi) the light would come on.

  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    put a gauge on the engine and measure the hot engine oil pressure.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    Can you get the timing cover off and have a look at the whole mess without removing the engine, this will also give you a chance to have a look for marks on the inside of the cover?

  • Richard Scordino May 11, 2010

    If the chain is touching anything, it will leave a mark (like a chainsaw) If there are no marks, likely the possibility exists that cam phasing may be off and valves are striking piston tops. (very bad thing) The only thing you can do is to re-check cam and crank gear positioning or have someone actually look inside the chambers with a bore scope
    (very expensive) camera that can look inside and actually see what's going on inside cylinders...some really good shops and dealers have them. Reason I asked about resurfacing of head is that if it was taken down too far, chain slack will be more than tensioner can compensate for. Also in some engines can cause valve/piston clearance problems.

  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    my QR20 engine overheated and the cylinder head was skimmed. It is now producing a "Trrrrrr" sound at the timing chain how can i stop this sound



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  • Nissan Master
  • 902 Answers

And the lower chain guides?

Posted on Apr 20, 2009


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  1. Remove Your Timing Chain
    • 1 Check your owner's manual for the recommended mileage for replacing your timing chain. Replacement for a Nissan Altima is 60,000 miles.
    • 2 Locate the timing chain. Replace it if the automatic chain adjuster (also known as the tensioner) is damaged or worn.
    • 3 Drain the cooling system and disengage the negative battery cable. Undo the spark plug wires and set the No. 1 piston at "Top Dead Center" (TDC) of the compression stroke.
    • 4 Disconnect the engine undercover, vacuum and fuel hoses, harness and connectors, drive belts, power steering reservoir, alternator and bracket, upper radiator hose, air duct, front exhaust tube, intake manifold collector supports, collector and exhaust manifold and the distributor.
    • 5 Prop up the oil pan and take out the front engine mounting, the valve cover, camshaft sprockets, cam bearing caps, camshafts, cylinder head bolts (reverse the installation order), cam sprocket cover, upper chain tensioner, chain guides and chain, idler sprocket bolt, cylinder head, intake manifold and cylinder head gasket and the steel oil pan.
    • 6 Place a steel cutter between the steel and aluminum oil pans. Slip the cutter around the oil pan's edge. Disengage the steel oil pan, baffle plate, oil strainer and the front tube.
    • 7 Secure the car on jack stands and place a seal cutter in between the oil pan and cylinder block. Slip the cutter around the oil pan's edge.
    Install Your Timing Chain
    • 8 Reconnect the crankshaft sprocket, oil pump drive spacer, idler sprocket and lower timing chain. Position the lower timing chain on the sprockets and line up the mating marks.
    • 9 Rub on an unbroken bead of liquid gasket and put in a new front cover and oil seal. Secure the bolt at 105 to 112 foot pounds (142 to 152 Nm).
    • 10 Eliminate any old material from the pan and cylinder block mounting surfaces. Rub on a 3.5 to 4.5mm bead of liquid gasket over the oil pan and cylinder block.
    • 11 Attach the upper timing chain to the idler sprockets and secure the cylinder head bolts.
    • 12 Refill the cooling system and add clean oil in the engine.
    • 13 Hook up the negative battery cable and any other disconnected parts or items. Start the engine and look for leaks.
Tips & Warnings
  • Procedures for replacing timing chains in Nissan Altimas vary slightly depending on engine size.
  • Make sure the new timing chain matches the chain you are removing.

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How to replace the timing chain of nissan cefiro v6 2000? its 97 model.

Engine - Timing Chain/Front Cover Revised Procedure
January 15, 1999
1991-94 Sentra (B13) w/GA16DE
1991-93 NX1600 (B13)
1995-99 Sentra (B14) w/GA16DE
1995-98 200SX (B14) w/GA16DE
A revised service procedure for the engine front cover/timing chain has been adopted for the GA16DE. It is no longer recommended to remove the
cylinder head when removing the timing chain/front cover(s). Utilize the following steps when servicing the front cover, timing chain, guides or
Please reference the "Revision C" pages of the Nissan "1992-1999 Warranty Flat Rate Information Manual", Section "AG", Op Codes AG12AA,
AG14AA, AG142A, AG143A, AG144A and AG24AA. Also reference Section "CA", Op Codes CA20AA and CA22AA. You will note that the
descriptions and flat rate times applicable to the B13 and B14 vehicles (with GA16DE engines) for these Op Codes have been revised to reflect this
new procedure.
^ After removing the timing chain, do not turn the crankshaft and camshaft separately or the valves will strike the piston heads.
^ When installing chain tensioners or other sliding parts, lubricate contacting surfaces with new engine oil.
^ Apply new engine oil to bolt threads and seat surfaces when installing the camshaft sprockets and the crankshaft pulley.
^ Do not spill engine coolant on the drive belts.
^ Please refer to the Service Manual for the correct tightening torque.
1. Set # 1 piston at TDC on its compression stroke.
2. Remove the spark plug wires.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 2
3. Remove the rocker cover (see Figure 1).
4. Remove the coolant reservoir tank with bracket and reposition it for clearance.
5. Support the engine with a suitable jack.
6. Remove cylinder head front mounting bracket.
7. Remove engine front mounting, then the engine front mounting bracket.
8. Remove cylinder head front cover.
9. Remove the upper chain tensioner (see Figure 2).
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 3
10. Wipe off the links of the upper timing chain next to the timing marks on the sprockets. Put paint marks on the timing chain, matching them with
the timing marks on the cam sprockets and idler sprocket (see Figure 3)
11. Remove the four (4) front cover to cylinder head bolts.
12. Remove side and lower engine compartment splash covers.
13. Remove the accessory drive belts.
14. Remove the crankshaft pulley.
15. Drain coolant by removing the cylinder block drain plug and opening the radiator drain **** (Refer to MA section of the Service Manual).
16. Drain engine oil.
17. Remove intake manifold support of engine front side.
18. Remove power steering pump, pump bracket and tension rod. Position pump aside for clearance.
19. Remove the thermostat housing (See Figure 4).
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 4
20. Remove the lower chain tensioner (see Figure 5).
21. Remove the front exhaust tube. Refer to the "FE" section (Exhaust System) of the Service Manual.
22. Remove the front and rear engine gussets (if equipped) on either side of the oil pan.
On A/T models, remove the rear plate cover.
23. Remove the oil pan (see Figure 6).
a. Insert the Tool between the cylinder block and oil pan.
Be careful not to damage the aluminum mating face. Do not insert a screwdriver, or the oil pan flange will become damaged.
b. Slide the Tool by tapping it on the side of the Tool with a hammer.
24. Remove the A/C compressor and position it aside for clearance.
25. Remove the A/C and alternator bracket with the alternator.
26. Remove the oil pump drive spacer.
Be careful not to scratch the drive spacer when removing it.
27. Remove the front cover bolts and front cover.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 5
One bolt is located on the water pump (see Figure 7).
*1: Located on engine front mounting bracket.
*2: Located on the water pump.
*3: Located on the power steering oil pump adjusting bar.
Be careful not to tear or damage the cylinder head gasket.
28. Remove the cylinder block to front cover alignment dowels.
Do not hit the dowels or the cylinder block will crack.
29. Wipe off the links of the lower timing chain next to the timing marks on the sprockets. Put paint marks on the timing chain, matching them with
the timing marks on the idler sprocket and crankshaft sprocket (see Figure 8).
1. Install the crankshaft sprocket, making sure the mating marks face the front of the engine.
2. Install the idler sprocket and lower timing chain using the mating marks and the paint marks made during the removal process.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 6
Be careful not to tear or damage the cylinder head gasket.
3. Install the lower chain guides.
4. Front cover installation:
a. Using a scraper or other suitable tool remove all traces of liquid gasket from the cylinder block and front cover mating surfaces.
b. Install new crankshaft seal in front cover.
c. Install new oil passage O-rings and apply a continuous bead of RTV sealant to the front cover (see Figure 1).
Use Genuine Nissan RTV silicone sealant P/N 999MP-A7007, Three Bond P/N TB1207D or equivalent.
d. Install the front cover to the engine.
Be careful not to tear or damage the cylinder head gasket or oil seal.
5. Align oil pump drive spacer with the oil pump, and install.
6. Install the oil strainer.
7. Install oil pan, referring to "Installation" in the "OIL PAN" section of the Service Manual.
8. Install upper timing chain and sprockets, using the painted reference marks made during removal.
9. Install upper chain tensioner.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 7
a. Before installing the chain tensioner, insert a suitable pin into the pin hole of the chain tensioner (see Figure 2) to hold the tensioner in.
b. Once the tensioner is installed, remove the pin.
10. Install the lower chain tensioner (See Figure 3).
Make sure the gasket is facing the proper direction before installing the tensioner.
Now rotate the crankshaft by hand. Check that no binding or interference problems occur when the engine is rotated.
11. Install the thermostat housing.
a. Use a scraper to remove all traces of liquid gasket from the mating surfaces of the engine front cover and the thermostat housing.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 8
b. Apply a continuous bead of RTV sealant to the housing as shown in Figure 4.
Use Genuine Nissan RTV silicone sealant P/N 999MP-A7007, Three Bond P/N TB1207D or equivalent.
12. Install camshaft sprocket cover:
a. Use a scraper to remove all traces of liquid gasket from the mating surfaces of the cylinder head and camshaft sprocket cover.
b. Apply a continuous bead of RTV sealant to the cover as shown in Figure 5.
Use Genuine Nissan RTV silicone sealant P/N 999MP-A7007, Three Bond P/N TB1207D or equivalent.
d. Install camshaft sprocket cover.
1995 Nissan-Datsun 200SX L4-1597cc 1.6L DOHC MFI (GA16DE) Page 9
13. Apply RTV sealant to rocker cover gasket (see Figure 6a) and install rocker cover, tightening the bolts as shown in Figure 6b.
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c. A/C compressor.
d. Power steering oil pump and tension rod.
15. Install front and rear engine gussets (if equipped), and rear cover plate (A/T models).
16. Install front exhaust tube.
17. Install upper right engine bracket and mount.
18. Install coolant reservoir tank.
19. Install alternator, power steering and A/C compressor drive belts.
20. Install engine compartment splash guards.
21. Install vacuum hoses, electrical harnesses and connectors.
22. Install spark plug wires.
23. Refill with coolant. Refer to the "MA" section ("Changing engine coolant, Engine Maintenance") of the Service Manual.
24. Refill with engine oil. Refer to the "MA" section ("Changing engine oil, Engine Maintenance") of the Service Manual.

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Does 2007 altima 3.5 have a chain or timing belt

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Timing chain tensioner

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What will my car sound like, if the timing chain needs to be replaced? I have a 1997 Nissan Altima.

there will be a rattle the front of the engine. the end with all your pulleys and belts on. And it will be hard to work out if it's in the engine or the pulleys.

It is a common that a TICKING coming from the front of the engine is the timing chain guide.

This -->LINK<-- will help you alot.



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'94 Nissan Altima rattles

Hi there,
you will need new upper timing chain and sprockets. Common problem on altima your year. Nissan has TSB for it. First they had us remove the upper timing chain guide, but after that, they had us replace all top chain components.

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