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*Updated: 01/17/2022 6:54PM PST

How to change your timing belt!


5523Pathfinder
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If you just pulled the cap and rotor, you shouldn't need to find TDC, the rotor only goes on one way.

 

I pulled the rotor and shaft that goes down into the engine block with the little gear on the end, which seems to let me insert it back in almost any direction.

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Precise1,

 

For someone who simply disrupted the timing by removing the dist. cap rotor and didn't mark it's direction, I need to rotate my crankshaft to get the pulley to line up at TDC. Have you gotten to the bolt from underneath? I am trying to avoid removing the radiator and fan shroud, and whatever else that will probably have to come out, am I just high hoping or can this be done?

 

Chris

You can easily get to the crank bolt from underneath once you have removed the skid plate. I can't recall if the fan shroud is in the way, but to move it is only 4 bolts IIRC. You don't have to remove the radiator.

 

B

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You can easily get to the crank bolt from underneath once you have removed the skid plate. I can't recall if the fan shroud is in the way, but to move it is only 4 bolts IIRC. You don't have to remove the radiator.

 

B

 

 

Thank you for giving me my confidence back. I may take a shot at it tonight instead of tomorrow.

 

Chris

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I pulled the rotor and shaft that goes down into the engine block with the little gear on the end, which seems to let me insert it back in almost any direction.

 

Ah, you pulled the whole thing out. Nevermind then, you're on the right track looking for TDC.

 

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Ah, you pulled the whole thing out. Nevermind then, you're on the right track looking for TDC.

 

Good looking out though....by chance would you (or any others) know if I want to turn the crank clockwise or counter clockwise? It's a 94 4WD AT. Also, I imagine I want to put the key in and place the vehicle in Neutral?

 

Chris

 

 

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Still troubled,

 

I tried to rotate the crank to be at TDC and try to reset the distributor cap rotor to look at spark plug wire #1, still no turn over. Also tried to find valve #1 at the top of it's compression stroke by placing something over the hole and waiting til it blew out, then set dist. cap rotor to look at plug #1, still no turn over. Couple questions, should I be setting the distributor cap rotor to look at spark plug wire #1 or at the actual direction of the spark plug #1? Second, I noticed my crank varied from my FSM in that the crank on the manual had 4 marks (for 0, 10, 20, 30), where as the crank actually has 7 marks (I assumed it was for 0-30 by 5, but hoping someone could confirm? I have heard some start at ATDC like -5?). Let me know if anyone has any suggestions, for I am starting to lose hope and patience and tempted to put a for sale sign on her.

 

Chris

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Disregard my last few comments. I just kept trying and it finally lined up perfect. Tuned it and test drove it seems to be running fine. Boy do I feel foolish. Anyhow, thanks for the original post!

 

Chris

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Sorry, I missed those last posts somehow, but I'm glad you got it all sorted out. Sometimes it just takes dinking with it a bit...

 

B

Yea, it was just funny cause I was definitely letting it get the better of me. Can I get your suggestion, I have the no reverse problem with my tranny. It's automatic, I want to attempt to drop it myself but everyone tells me it's a pain. If I go slow I think I can do it. The real question I guess is should I get a rebuild or a reman tranny? I feel like rebuild is cheaper but I hear remans are reAlly good.

 

 

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  • 7 months later...

my girlfriend has a 98 SE,4x4. She had someone else change the timing belt, and after installing belt,he vanished, leaving everything disassembled. So I put this thing back together, and it runs like crap.I do a little research on the subject,(and I'm pretty well rounded with engines), pull it back apart, and find that he had set the timing belt wrong,(43 teeth from LH mark toRH mark, and 40 teeth from EH to crank). I reset it, put it all back together, and it runs a lot better, but not quite perfect. My question is, should there be 40 teeth between LH mark and RH mark,(excluding teeth with mark)? so there should actually be 40 teeth IN BETWEEN the teeth at the marks? and 43 teeth IN BETWEEN LH mark and crank mark?

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Just line up the 3 dots on the timing cover
OR line up the lines printed on the timing belt with the dots on the gears. If the belt was installed backwards the count between crank gear to cam gear and cam gear to cam gear will be reversed.

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my girlfriend has a 98 SE,4x4. She had someone else change the timing belt, and after installing belt,he vanished, leaving everything disassembled. So I put this thing back together, and it runs like crap.I do a little research on the subject,(and I'm pretty well rounded with engines), pull it back apart, and find that he had set the timing belt wrong,(43 teeth from LH mark toRH mark, and 40 teeth from EH to crank). I reset it, put it all back together, and it runs a lot better, but not quite perfect. My question is, should there be 40 teeth between LH mark and RH mark,(excluding teeth with mark)? so there should actually be 40 teeth IN BETWEEN the teeth at the marks? and 43 teeth IN BETWEEN LH mark and crank mark?

MY1PATH might have it right with the belt being backwards...

Yes, you will count the belt teeth between the marks, the pulley having the mark on a tooth (valley on the belt) as in this picture. http://www.nissanpathfinders.net/forum/topic/12828-how-to-change-your-timing-belt/?p=204054

Seeing how the previous guy didn't seem to know what he was doing, you might want to go back in and verify that the cam marks line up at TDC #1, count the belt teeth, adjust as necessary...

 

B

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  • 3 months later...

I have a 1994 Pathfinder SE V6 with 80k miles. I am the original owner. I've been thinking about attempting the timing belt / water pump / seals / thermostat replacement for a while now. I'm sure that there are either bad seals, or a bad water pump as there is coolant leaking from the weep hole. Not a lot, but I can see a few drops on the garage floor every time I move it in or out.

 

The vehicle is still in overall excellent cosmetic and running condition. But it does have a few other problems. The driver side power window motor is broke (Nissan replaced the motor about 15 years ago, but it broke again!) There's a parasitic draw somewhere, so I have to leave a battery tender attached or it goes dead after a week or so. The remote door locks won't lock from the key, and sometimes when the doors are locked and I try to unlock them with the key, the door locks want to stay down in the locked position. And finally, the muffler's outer wrapping is hanging (I have it wired up with a coat hanger to hold it on) and will need replacing soon, although there's no increase in noise levels as yet.

 

Problem is, the book value of it is so low now, that I'm wondering if doing all this work is justified. I suppose that I could try to sell it with all these issues, but I doubt that I'd get very much. And even if I fix all the problems, it's still not going to be worth a heck of a lot more.

 

One more thing. The instrument cluster conked out at 77k. I replaced it myself with a junkyard one for $40, but the odometer on that one read 127k. It now reads 130k, but there's actually only 80k on the vehicle. FWIW, I saved the old cluster, and have the receipt from the junkyard.

 

The only argument for keeping it, is that I built a custom roof rack for my paddle boat, and that's the only way I can transport the boat to various ponds and lakes in my area.

 

I just inherited a 2007 Toyota RAV4 from my nephew who moved to CA. It's got 100k on it, but has new plugs, coil packs, and front and rear brake pads and rotors, and runs great! So I really don't need the Pathfinder any longer (except maybe for the paddle boat).

 

What would you do???

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If you are going to keep it, probably best to do that belt sooner rather than later, partially because it's old and partially because the coolant probably isn't doing it any favors. As for whether to keep it, well, I guess that depends on what you'd use it for and how you like it vs the rav4.

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If you are going to keep it, probably best to do that belt sooner rather than later, partially because it's old and partially because the coolant probably isn't doing it any favors. As for whether to keep it, well, I guess that depends on what you'd use it for and how you like it vs the rav4.

 

Yes, I'll have to make that decision soon. The Pathy has served me well these past 22 years. The only thing that I don't like about it is the terrible turning radius.

 

If I can solve the parasitic draw problem, then perhaps I'll buy a kit for the timing belt/water pump/seals and ask my mechanic brother to give me a hand with it. I'd probably be able to do it myself, but it would take much longer because I don't have an air gun, or the harmonic thingamajig, plus taking the cams off to replace the seals, and getting the timing belt on correctly lined up and tensioned scares me.

 

I'll keep studying the how to videos on YouTube and reading the service manual.

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I did the belt on my '93 last summer. It wasn't too bad, but I did have a couple snags. First, while you're in there, plan on doing everything. Bypass hose, crank seal, cam seals, everything. I skipped the crank seal because it didn't look like it was leaking and it started piddling as soon as I had it back together. (It was much easier to take apart the second time, I'll give it that.) I made a seal puller out of a screwdriver but I'm sure there's a proper tool. I also welded a couple pegs to a steel rod to hold the cam sprockets while I removed and reinstalled the cam sprocket bolts (to do the seals). You could probably improvise with vise grips and the old belt, or (again) find a proper tool. I did buy a proper puller for the balancer.

 

The crank bolt might give you a bad time if you've got an auto trans. I got lucky and it came out easily with an electric impact that just barely fit into the available space. I put it back in the same way. IIRC you can pull the starter and jam the flywheel with a crowbar or something to hold the crank in position if it comes to that.

Edited by Slartibartfast
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I have a 1994 Pathfinder SE V6 with 80k miles. I am the original owner. I've been thinking about attempting the timing belt / water pump / seals / thermostat replacement for a while now. I'm sure that there are either bad seals, or a bad water pump as there is coolant leaking from the weep hole. Not a lot, but I can see a few drops on the garage floor every time I move it in or out.

 

The vehicle is still in overall excellent cosmetic and running condition. But it does have a few other problems. The driver side power window motor is broke (Nissan replaced the motor about 15 years ago, but it broke again!) There's a parasitic draw somewhere, so I have to leave a battery tender attached or it goes dead after a week or so. The remote door locks won't lock from the key, and sometimes when the doors are locked and I try to unlock them with the key, the door locks want to stay down in the locked position. And finally, the muffler's outer wrapping is hanging (I have it wired up with a coat hanger to hold it on) and will need replacing soon, although there's no increase in noise levels as yet.

 

Problem is, the book value of it is so low now, that I'm wondering if doing all this work is justified. I suppose that I could try to sell it with all these issues, but I doubt that I'd get very much. And even if I fix all the problems, it's still not going to be worth a heck of a lot more.

 

One more thing. The instrument cluster conked out at 77k. I replaced it myself with a junkyard one for $40, but the odometer on that one read 127k. It now reads 130k, but there's actually only 80k on the vehicle. FWIW, I saved the old cluster, and have the receipt from the junkyard.

 

The only argument for keeping it, is that I built a custom roof rack for my paddle boat, and that's the only way I can transport the boat to various ponds and lakes in my area.

 

I just inherited a 2007 Toyota RAV4 from my nephew who moved to CA. It's got 100k on it, but has new plugs, coil packs, and front and rear brake pads and rotors, and runs great! So I really don't need the Pathfinder any longer (except maybe for the paddle boat).

 

What would you do???

Just rip that outer muffler shell off, it doesn't do anything, mine has been missing for years. Also, it probably just has a ****** battery or you don't drive it enough for it to stay charged. That is what happens to vehicles that sit.

 

I would keep it, but I love these trucks. Change the timing belt and water pump, and it will probably outlast you! PS it is way more fun than a boring rav4 :tongue:

 

You can also adjust the steering stops to fix the turning radius.

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Just rip that outer muffler shell off, it doesn't do anything, mine has been missing for years. Also, it probably just has a ****** battery or you don't drive it enough for it to stay charged. That is what happens to vehicles that sit.

 

I would keep it, but I love these trucks. Change the timing belt and water pump, and it will probably outlast you! PS it is way more fun than a boring rav4 :tongue:

 

You can also adjust the steering stops to fix the turning radius.

 

Thanks for the info.

 

I will get rid of the muffler shell. BTW, the only parts that I ever replaced on this in the last 22 years were the starter, and the belts and hoses (probably around the 50k mark.) Everything else is original (including the brakes!) I don't ride them like some people. ;)

 

The battery is a new one from Costco. Only about a year old. I'm going to test the alternator next time I start it and see if it's putting out enough juice. I've heard that the diodes can go bad. Gotta find that parasitic draw somehow. It's really a pain to have to keep the battery on a trickle charger all the time.

 

Had no idea that the steering stops could be adjusted to help the turning radius. Will have to look into that at some point too.

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I'm still debating what to do with my '94 Pathy. I'm pretty sure that I can get to the point of exposing the timing belt, and water pump. But is there a good "how to" video somewhere that shows how to change the 3 seals? I'm really scared of removing the gear sprockets and possibly screwing up the timing. And I understand that getting the crankshaft pulley off can be difficult as well.

 

The more i read and watch about this procedure, the less confident I become. Many of the videos I've watched seem to have conflicting information on what should and shouldn't need to be removed to get access to these parts. If I start this project, I really need to know ahead of time that I can successfully complete it.

 

Sure, I could have a dealer do it, but the total cost would probably equal or exceed the vehicle's book value. If the interior and exterior weren't in such nice condition, I'd just scrap the thing.

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I hadn't done a timing belt before I did mine. There was a learning curve, and it took a while (partially because I did a bunch of unrelated work while I was in there), but it really wasn't that terrible. Some people may remove more stuff to make things easier, others don't mind reaching around stuff. I was doing a bunch of other work at the same time so I removed whatever seemed like it was going to be in the way and wasn't welded on or pressurized.

If you accidentally turn the cam sprockets a little, it's not the end of the world. Don't turn it around and around just for the hell of it, but if you turn it a little and it jumps, don't sweat it, one of mine did that and I turned it back it didn't hurt anything. Make sure you know which sprocket came from which side. They're marked left and right IIRC but you get to wondering, my right or the truck's right... take a few pictures as it's coming apart and you'll save yourself some trouble.

 

You have to take off the cam sprockets (bolted on) and crank sprocket (should just slide off the crankshaft once you're in that far, and be sure you don't lose the key between it and the crankshaft) to access the seals. To pull the seals, I heated up a flathead screwdriver with a torch and bent it like a paint can opener. Then I polished the convex side with 800 grit sandpaper so it wouldn't scratch anything. Work it between the shaft and the seal, get the bent part hooked under the seal, and give it a pull. I've heard that tapping the seal in a little first can break it free so it comes out easier. I slid an impact socket onto the bent screwdriver and used it like a slide hammer, tapping against the handle, to help bring the seals out. Get it off, make sure the shaft looks alright, wipe clean if needed, then put a little oil on the new seal and work it on. I used the end of a nut driver to push the seals into place, working around them until they were flush with the surface around them, but I've also heard of using a large socket to push the seal more evenly.

The more you think about it, the more intimidating it seems, but it's not terrible once you get into it. It's not a Steinway and it's not made of glass. Make sure you've got a few days so you're not rushing yourself. And if you decide you're not up to it, the dealer's not your only option. A local independent mechanic did the belt on my '95 and charged about $800 IIRC.

Oh, and don't get hung up on the blue book value. If you're not fixing it to flip it, who cares what it's worth to somebody else?

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  • 5 months later...

I need some help with my 1994 Pathfinder XE. Fan clutch and water pump pulley broke off while driving! Before this, it was running hot (not overheating fully) and the temp usually stayed around the 3/4 point. Was told that the water pump could be going bad, and then the break happened. I am going to change the water pump, thermostat, water pump pulley, fan clutch, fan, timing belt, alternator, upper and lower rad hoses... at risk of sounding dumb, how do you get the drive belt off of the power steering pump? I have already removed the upper rad hose, fan shroud, upper air line to head, upper section of the timing cover, rad hose that connects to the thermostat housing...also, with cylinder 1 at TDC, the driver's side (exhaust side?) cam is one tooth off of the dimple. How do you fix this? I can't tell where the crankshaft is at, can't get the darn belts off to finish removing the lower timing cover! I am doing this today, so I need to know as soon as possible please! Thanks!

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