Question about 1997 Nissan Pickup

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Hear timing chain rattle when starting.

The dealer said I need to replace the timing chain and guides. The total would be $1250.00. My 1997 truck has 75,000 miles. I questioned them and they're answer to the low mileage was perhaps I did not get my oil changed every 3,000 miles.

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  • elgato_backy Jun 21, 2009

    I appreciate your advice. I did not mention in the post that the oil was not changed. That was the response from the dealer. I get the oil changed 2-3 times a year. The average mileage for the vehicle is 6,300 a year My question is it a valid expense(to change the timing chain) or will it last for several more miles/years.

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If the rattle occurs only for a few moments, it could also be a cheap oil filter without an anti-drain valve, or just a cruddy one. Try using an OEM oil filter. Why does that matter? After sitting for a while, it allows all the oil to drain back down to the pan, so, on start up, it takes a second for all the oil to circulate and you could get some chatter. Bit of a cheaper fix to try before doing the timing components. BTW, this is a bit of an issue on the Ford trucks/SUV's with the 5.4L V8 engines. At the shop I work at, we had to stop putting the generic filters on and went to putting the Motorcraft filters on once we found this out. Haven't had anymore customer complaints.

HOWEVER, if it is a legitimate timing issue, don't let it go. The 98 Sentra 1.6L I drive now had to have a new engine (which I did myself with a friend at his shop from start to finish, no cutting wires, everything back in it's place like it never came out) after the original engine's lower tensioner failed and jumped timing. Rule of thumb with timing components is that they don't really give warning when they are going to fail. If they do give one, LISTEN TO IT!

Posted on Dec 06, 2011

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???

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

  • texastallguy
    texastallguy Jun 23, 2009

    I have a 97 nissan with 130,000 miles and it has the same problem.
    Its problem is that there is a hydraulic timing chain tensioner on the top end of the engine that over time will loose it's prime, so when you first start the engine, you will hear the rattle for a second or two until it primes itself.
    I'm not saying that it should not be repaired, but mine has been doing it for two or three years now and I have had the valve cover off and looked at the timing chain and the housing that surrounds it with no wear to the chain.
    I don't think it has anything to do with you only changing the oil a few times a year because I do change mine every 3,000 from brand new and it still does it.
    it's just a part that will wear over time and need to be replaced, but don't try it yourself unless you know what your doing, because you can end up with more problems.



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AND? are you going to change them or run it till it breaks and destroys the engine? You SHOULD have been changing the oil and filter at least 3 times a year, regardless of mileage--once before winter (mid Nov) once early Feb, once mid June.
Winter operation short trips causes lots of fuel dilution in the oil, leading to very rapid wear of timing chain, guides, and other sliding surfaces. 3 changes per year, 12 years, $20/change at 'jiffy lube' = $720, vs 1 change/year costing $240, 'saved' $480--but the worn-out timing chain is only the first of many more badly worn parts that will be showing up now.

Posted on Jun 20, 2009

  • keith bowers Jun 21, 2009

    the rattling timing chain will not last long at all. If you could see the tremendous flexing and vibrations going on--you would be scared to run it at all. I would take the vehicle to an independent shop that works on them and has ASC or similar certified mechanics (competent, proud of doing good work.) Should cost about half of Dealer price.

    Low annual mileage means much more frequent (mile wise) oil changes are necessary to protect the engine from excessive wear rates due to corrosion from moisture condensation in the oil.


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

Regards

Philip

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