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Trainman

Power Valve Screws Falling Out On 3.5's, 01-04

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Thanks to navygz19 for the heads up on this. i have started a new topic as I feel this is extremely important for VQ35 owners.

 

 

The background is here

 

In short, the 6 butterfly vales, held in with 2 screws each, can come loose and destroy the engine.

 

I have done some research on this and here is what I found:

 

The Kamloops Nissan dealer has quote "done quite a few of these" un-quote, so it is an issue.

 

It is the screws holding the butterfly valves, in the upper manifold. Approximately 3 hours to fix. The fix? Remove each screw and loktite it.

 

My truck is booked at my local shop for Monday to have this done, will update then if they found any loose or missing screws.

Edited by Trainman

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Great, now mayhem is sure to follow :laugh:

I think it's important to add that this is a farily sporadic occurence for the VQ. It's NOT a common problem, though if your Pathy falls victim to it the damage is irreversible.

 

It simply amazes me that the VQ can have this same issue as the QR25DE I had in my Sentra. And by same, I mean exactly! I blew an engine due to this very same problem which was (thankfully) replaced by Nissan under powertrain warranty (all 118 miles of it that was left at the time)

The most disturbing part about it was that upon checking the screws myself in my replacement engine (which subsequently was an '05 in my '02 and, according to Nissan, had the problem "remedied") I found them to be loose again, with no loctite at all. I did it myself, but I'd never try it on a VQ.

Edited by navygz19

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Great, now mayhem is sure to follow :laugh:

I think it's important to add that this is a farily sporadic occurence for the VQ. It's NOT a common problem, though if your Pathy falls victim to it the damage is irreversible.

Not to sure how widespread it is but as the dealer is saying they have done quite a few, then I get a little concerned. This same issue also has turned up on other Nissans, such as the Altima (at least in Canada :P )

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see my previously edited post :D ^^

The Altima has the same engine as the SE-R Sentra's.

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One other thing the dealer mentioned was that if "just" a screw falls out, good chance you will not notice. As it is brass and relatively soft, it will often just get chewed up and spat out the exhaust. It is when the valve drops out you lose the motor.

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True, but brass or not, I'm sure that would be enough to scour the hell out of the cylinder walls. When it happened in my Sentra, I lost my #3 cylinder in a tunnel. The spark plug had been hit with the screw itself and the electrode was bent all the way down. Running on 3 cylinders to get the hell out of that tunnel was the most fun I've had in a 4 cylinder!

And thus is the importance of regularly checking and changing oil :aok:

Edited by navygz19

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One other thing the dealer mentioned was that if "just" a screw falls out, good chance you will not notice. As it is brass and relatively soft, it will often just get chewed up and spat out the exhaust.

 

 

spat out the exhaust, haha yeah right! Have you ever seen a catalytic converter??

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spat out the exhaust, haha yeah right! Have you ever seen a catalytic converter??

Well, it would not go out as a screw but rather little tiny bits, like brass filings.

 

Sort of look like gold dust :D

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True, but brass or not, I'm sure that would be enough to scour the hell out of the cylinder walls. When it happened in my Sentra, I lost my #3 cylinder in a tunnel. The spark plug had been hit with the screw itself and the electrode was bent all the way down. Running on 3 cylinders to get the hell out of that tunnel was the most fun I've had in a 4 cylinder!

And thus is the importance of regularly checking and changing oil :aok:

Maybe the 3.5 is made of tougher stuff? :shrug::D

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*Update*

 

Anyone who owns a VQ powered Pathy, please go out and check your oil level! Isn't it all too ironic that the day I find this bulletin information I find that MY truck itself is down on oil. After posting to the other thread I checked my level, and it was just barely above the low mark. The Pathy hasn't been driven in two days, so I drove it for 5 mins. to warm it up and checked again...same thing, just above the low level.

I change my own oil w/ 10W-30, every 3K miles, religously. I DID, however, just put about 2K all highway miles on it over the holidays, but the oil was changed right before I left.

It's gonna be an arduous journey guys... :confused:

 

This is a known issue, everyone please go out and check! I don't want to see someone's Pathy's sitting on the side of the trail w/ an engine that's run dry.

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The work is done, 2.7 hours (less than the quote), no missing screws :cool2:

 

All are lokited. The mechanic and manger, once it was opened up, could see why it could be a problem. I am happy it is done B)

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Have you noticed any oil consumption, Train? The PCV valve is another issue that's a little harder to diagnose...

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Have you noticed any oil consumption, Train? The PCV valve is another issue that's a little harder to diagnose...

No issues with oil consumption but I will keep an eye on it.

 

Oil and filter are changed every 5,000 km. Switched to synthetic last year. Only issue was after the change to syn was a hot oil smell for a couple of days when working hard but no obvious leaks. No smell on any change since.

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Mine's going onto the shop tomorrow to be torn down to see why it's burning so much oil. I knew there was a good reason I bought an extended warranty.

If I said I weren't a little nervous about what they find I'd be lying :mellow:

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*Update*

 

Anyone who owns a VQ powered Pathy, please go out and check your oil level! Isn't it all too ironic that the day I find this bulletin information I find that MY truck itself is down on oil. After posting to the other thread I checked my level, and it was just barely above the low mark. The Pathy hasn't been driven in two days, so I drove it for 5 mins. to warm it up and checked again...same thing, just above the low level.

I change my own oil w/ 10W-30, every 3K miles, religously. I DID, however, just put about 2K all highway miles on it over the holidays, but the oil was changed right before I left.

It's gonna be an arduous journey guys... :confused:

 

This is a known issue, everyone please go out and check! I don't want to see someone's Pathy's sitting on the side of the trail w/ an engine that's run dry.

Take a look at this from nissan help forum. Tis could be you oil consumtion problem

 

http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/pathfinder/...onsumption.html

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Mine's going onto the shop tomorrow to be torn down to see why it's burning so much oil. I knew there was a good reason I bought an extended warranty.

If I said I weren't a little nervous about what they find I'd be lying :mellow:

Nothing like going in for major surgery.

 

Best of luck and let us know what they find.

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do we know if this problem is isolated to 2002 and later? i have an 01. i called one local nissan dealer and was told 'nissan has no knowledge of this problem.' they are clowns though...

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do we know if this problem is isolated to 2002 and later? i have an 01. i called one local nissan dealer and was told 'nissan has no knowledge of this problem.' they are clowns though...

That's a load of crap. It's EVERY VQ on the market...01's-04 in particular, though I've read that the issue was remedies for the 04's. Max's run the risk as I'm sure Alty's and Z's do. Like I told Train, KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR OIL LEVEL! Of course the dealership is going to say that. Try calling this number to inquire about it...Nissan Cosumer Affairs (800) 647-7261.

Edited by navygz19

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I did call make that call NNA and all I got in response was "there is no current campaign on the Pathfinder, with the power valve situation" This item would be covered under a workmanship defect in the factory warranty and also the Nissan Pre-owned perferred warranty, which must be purchased the day the vehicle is purchased from a dealer wether new or used. I was also told that I would be exremely happy with the VQ powered Path as it has had very high reviews from many many Nissan customer.

 

***EDIT***

Trainman, approx what did your pre-issue maintainence cost you? It sounds like extra cheap insurance!

 

Can anyone give a further clue as to what has to be removed to get to these screws? The less you remove from the motor the better chance of future issues...I may be speaking from experience! Lol!!

Edited by 98silverpathy

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***EDIT***

Trainman, approx what did your pre-issue maintainence cost you? It sounds like extra cheap insurance!

 

Can anyone give a further clue as to what has to be removed to get to these screws? The less you remove from the motor the better chance of future issues...I may be speaking from experience! Lol!!

2.7 hours, no parts req. So depending on your shop rate that would set the price. For me it was $210 CDN @$78/hr. Very cheap insurance indeed.

 

The screws are in the upper manifold, just a lot of bits and pieces to take off/put back on.

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Upper Intake manifold, and all associated components for it's removal. If it's anything like my Sentra, pop it open and VIOLA, there's the valves, all 6 of 'em.

Edited by navygz19

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Upper Intake manifold, and all associated components for it's removal. If it's anything like my Sebtra, pop it open and VIOLA, there's the valves, all 6 of 'em.

Yep, apparently real easy once opened up, its getting it opened up :o

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The Sentra had 2 screws per valve, I'm assuming the VQ's the same?

Edited by navygz19

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The Sentra had 2 screws per valve, I'm assuming the VQ's the same?

Yes, that is what I was told (I did not see them). So total of 12 screws.

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