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Yes the timing cover gasket can leak coolant. The coolant passes the waterpump and is pump into the engine block thru the timing cover. to see the actual leak jack up passenger side of car support with jack stand take off wheel and the splash guard now you can see the crank shaft pulley look up at waterpump on both side it goes back to engine block with a mirror you can see it leak.
Remove the tank to access the top cover of the engine so the chain is accessible, hold the adjuster bolt, loosen the lock nut, then carefully take the slack out but not too tight, then tighten the lock nut to secure the assembly. replace the top cover gasket and the cover, and re-install the tank.
Check your owner's manual for the recommended mileage for
replacing your timing chain. Replacement for a Nissan Altima is 60,000
Locate the timing chain. Replace it if the automatic chain adjuster (also known as the tensioner) is damaged or worn.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Install Your Timing Chain
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.
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).
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.
Attach the upper timing chain to the idler sprockets and secure the cylinder head bolts.
Refill the cooling system and add clean oil in the engine.
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.
style engines have timing chain covers that are sealed to the engine block using a gasket. With
time this gasket can become weak allowing engine oil to leak. If after
inspection this is the case with your engine, the only remedy is to disassemble
and remove the timing chain cover to replace the gasket. Top should read Timing chain style engines. hope this infor will be of use
Sounds like a bad head gasket. Try the following. Remove the head cover and tighten down the head bolts. Don't tighten the cam bolts. Remount the cover and hope that sealed up the leaking gasket. If not, the head will need a new gasket. Remove the head cover and sparkplug, put the piston at TDC compression then note the cam gear reference mark)s) position. The gear will need to go back in in the exact same position. Remove the cam gear and dismount the chain from the cam. Hook a wire to the cam chain so it can't fall into the tranny. Now pull the head off and remove the carbon from the head an piston then replace the gasket. It would be a good idea to reseat the valves since you have the head off. I don't really recommend this repair for the beginner. Please rate my answer.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION NOTE: The manufacturer recommends that the entire powertrain be removed from the vehicle before removing the cylinder heads.
Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
Drain the cooling system.
Properly relieve the fuel system pressure.
Remove or disconnect the following:
Negative battery cable
Timing chain front cover
WARNING Align all timing marks before performing the next step.
Chain tensioner from the timing chain
NOTE: The timing chain remains in the chain case.
Timing chain guides, access for the retaining screws is through the plugs at the front of the cylinder head
Cylinder head bolts by reversing the torque sequence
Cylinder head and discard the gasket
WARNING With the camshafts remaining in the cylinder head some valves will be open at all times. Do not rest the cylinder head on a flat service with the cylinder face down, or valve damage will result.
NOTE: Clean all gasket mating surfaces. Clean the head bolt holes in the crankcase. WARNING Be careful when cleaning aluminum gasket surfaces to prevent damage to the sealing surfaces.
Check the cylinder head for warpage; it must be less than 0.002 in. (0.05mm). If the cylinder head was resurfaced, the dimension between the combustion chamber gauge pad and the deck surface must be at least 10.5mm.
To install:NOTE: Refer to Section 1 of this manual for the cylinder head torque sequence illustration. The illustration is located after the Torque Specification Chart.
Install or connect the following:
New cylinder head gasket
Cylinder head, lubricate the bolts with engine oil
Torque the M11 bolts, in sequence, as follows:
Step 1: 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
Step 2: Turn an additional 60 degrees.
Step 3: Turn an additional 60 degrees (total 180 degrees).
Torque the M6 bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
Set the camshaft timing
Camshaft guide bolt access hole plugs in the cylinder heads. The plugs should be seated and snug
Install or connect the following:
Intake cam covers
Timing chain front cover
Chain tensioner to the timing chain
Timing chain guides
Exhaust manifold. Torque the nuts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) or the bolts to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
Negative battery cable
Fig. 1: Minimum head resurface dimension
CHECK FOR LEAKING WATER PUMP WEEP HOLE OR GASKET.ALSO CHECK WATER PUMP HOSE FOR LEAKS.IF ALL LOOKS GOOD.YOU COULD HAVE PINHOLE LEAKS IN RADIATOR CORE LEAKING ON FRONT OF ENGINE OR INTAKE MANIFOLD GASKET LEAKING COOLANT.
Before you go out and replace the timing cover gasket; check to see if the timing chain tensioner is not the cause of the leak. I will bet you a FixYa rating that the tensioner is the culprit, not the cover gasket. I replace tensioners every week, and I have never had to do a cover gasket.
Also, the answer given to you by "suterman" is 100% WRONG. Your car has a timing chain, not a belt, that is why you have a tensioner, and it is leaking. And, if he had any clue about cars, he would know that you pull the balancer off BEFORE you pull the cover. In any case, you need to do little more than replace the tensioner.