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93 Nissan Pathfinder: Timing belt replacement question(s)


MrEviLDeD
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I wonder if your timing is actually way advanced vs what the light says, but the only thing I can think of that would do this is if you installed the balancer without the key and it shifted a little as you tightened down the crank bolt. I'm guessing you didn't have parts left over, though.

 

My first check would be the vacuum lines, just on the off chance something didn't go on properly. A lean mix can cause pinging, though I would be surprised if it was enough to make it ping at low idle--when I had an intake manifold gasket leak it just sputtered and shook at idle, though to be fair I didn't run it like that long enough to warm it up. (You did bleed the cooling system, right? Not that it's likely overheating in Canada this time of year.)

 

If you start it again, and back off the timing when it starts to make the noise, does the noise go away?

If it doesn't make the noise again the next time you start it, or doesn't stop when you turn down the timing, look for other causes. None of what you did behind the timing cover should cause this unless you left a tool in there or something. I recently tracked down a minor knocking noise on mine to the air conditioner compressor. Turns out it cycles when the defroster is on (with the silly auto hvac head, anyway) and the truck only made the noise when the compressor was engaged.

 

Again, hopefully it's something simple.

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I will have a double check tomorrow morning. I did not lose the key. I was surprised when I saw this part circle part and at first thought that it must have come from the water pump innards. However thankfully I was still turning the engine with the ratchet and saw immediately that the key had come out. I cleaned the area put it back in then slid on the pulley. Proceeded to torque the bolt to FSM spect ft-lb. So the key is in fact in there and the crank bolt was not over torqued.

 

I wonder if maybe plug #6 boot is not completely making a fully connection with the plug. It is very loose when I put it back on so maybe that tat-tat-tat could be a spark jump under the boot? Is that possible? It is really hard to get in there properly, and that plug was a complete pain to get out and put back in, very very awkward. That is one thing that comes to mind.

 

As for being far advanced. Would the timing marks still be in the right place if it was? Should I turn the rotor a few more teeth? However one thing you said above stands out is that it smells very lean but I really have no other setting in terms of timing that the truck runs at all.

 

I put a glass of water on the intake today. The glass shifted slightly but not a single ripple.. I was impressed actually so I have done at least some things right :) not to just get that last little tweaks out.

 

I cannot afford new set of plug wires so hopefully there isnt much trouble getting the #6 boot back on so it clips on like the others did.

 

Note: the timing does not stay right on the line it seems to jump back and forth slightly. Is that common as well?

Edited by MrEviLDeD
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Neglected to answer on the bleeding of the coolant. I am unable to find the air release bolt and the image in the FSM isn't very helpful. So what I did was fill the radiator until it stopped taking water. which was about 8 liters (2 gallons) and it topped right up. I then ran the engine to warm it up with the cap off until I saw some water flowing past the cap. Put the cap back on and added some coolant to the overflow so the system could burp out any air and pull back in any coolant it needed.

 

Where is the air release plug located I can opening tomorrow and top up the coolant.

 

 

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Ah, sorry, left the tab open and didn't see you'd replied before I posted. Good to hear things aren't as bleak as they looked.

 

The bleeder bolt is towards the back of the intake on the driver's side IIRC. Should be a sticker next to it that says don't open while hot. I think it's the only bolt on the top of the intake with the head facing up, apart from the ones holding the throttle cable bracket on. What I do is take it out, gently squeeze the rad hose until coolant starts to come out of the hole, then hold it there and put the bolt back in. Then remove the rad cap and top up if needed.

 

Not sure about the tack noise but spark leak sounds as likely as anything else. If you look in the end of the spark plug boot, there should be a little metal bit inside that you can probably tighten up with pliers or a screwdriver. Be careful with it, though, they're just crimped in. You might also check the fan shroud to be sure it's clearing the fan, though I imagine that would be a more constant ticking.

 

So long as the balancer is on properly (and it sounds like it is), you can trust your timing marks. And yes, the ECU changes timing based on conditions--the service manual says to warm it up, then hold it at around 2k in park or neutral for two minutes, rev it a few times, give it a minute to idle, and then set timing. I wouldn't worry about the line wavering a little. If you do suspect it's running lean, try and track that down first. There should be a vacuum routing diagram on the underside of the hood. You might also clean the MAF while you're in there.

 

And expect to be wondering at every smell and jumping at small noises for a while until you're sure it's settled in.

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I was just catching up on this thread and was going to add the bit about timing when the engine is warm and idles down.

 

If the six plug boot was leaking spark, that cylinder would miss. I think you would notice the miss.

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You absolutely need to set the timing to the proper spec when warm. If the idle is high and you set it to 15 it will be way retarded. In the manual it states this. As for the ticking could it just be lifter noise the truck had before? Possibly from sitting a while the oil has drained down and they need to be pumped back up (this happens automatically).

 

If the spark plug wire is not sitting properly, its best to get new ones. Maybe take one from that other pathfinder in your pics?

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Yea I considered taking the wire from the other Pathy. My problem is it is out of town on the farm so its a good 2 hour drive out of town and I was wheel-less :) I will check the boot tomorrow. As well as search for any vacuum hoses that may have come off or loose.

 

Not sure how I missed the air release bolt. I will try to bleed it properly tomorrow.

 

Thanks for everything guys. I appreciate it very very much!

 

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At first I was wondering what you were talking about describing the timing process. Lol found it. Even though I have had the manual for a bit now I am still getting used to where it put information. Thanks for pointing that out.

 

With that said, is there a reason I should pull the passenger seat and run the diagnostic tests from the CPU? I have been trying to avoid that process unless there was a dramatic problem?

 

Sorry for being lazy, or hesitant.

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This is a late model 93 I believe if that is of any help. Not sure it has a CEL though and if it does it has never gone off that I have seen.

 

Sorry for the delay. Took a little ill physically. I apologize.

 

I have since done the timing as the FSM and you guys have suggested. When warm, after idle has dropped and the temp is at normal (about middle on the dash as mine never goes higher than a little before the middle mark in the dash. Timing marks appear to be lined up as well as could be but she sounds like she is running a little rough..

 

With that said I noticed that I have a couple of leaks in my exaust one before the muffler and one after and wondered (note that it is the engine that sound rough, it isn't loud like it isn't using the muffler) if those leaks could cause the newly timed engine to lose a little bit of performance and sound like it is running kind of rough.. Wish I could describe the sound better.

 

Following up, how would I know that the engine was far advanced? Could I have this 180 degrees (lack of a better way to describe it)? still in the right place but far enough out of range to still work? I am at a complete loss here.. It is rather cold so I am not going to pull the seat but I guess I should do this finally just to see what the ECU is saying to help diagnos what might be wrong.

 

Again sorry for disappearing for a few days. Feeling better.

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You don't have to pull the seat. You can lay on the back floorboard and pull codes. Pulling the seat makes it easier though. If the leak is before the O2 sensor, then it could affect performance.

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Round or square dash? And yeah, you can just push the passenger's seat all the way forward and get at the ECU if you don't mind squatting down, though IIRC there might be a cover on the ECU that makes things more challenging. If you do have to pull the seat, it's just four bolts. If you have butt toasters, then it's four bolts and a clip. Keep in mind that the computer only codes if it realizes that something is wrong, and it's not the most perceptive unit.

 

There's a writeup over on Infamous Nissan for building a code checker that'll plug right into the factory diagnostic port under the dash. Not necessary by any stretch but I hooked it up on mine with two LEDs and a button on the dashboard--should make running codes a whole lot easier if/when I have to track something down.

 

I don't think it would run if you had something 180° out.

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If the timing belt marks are lined up and the ignition timing is good when warm, then you must have an issue with a plug or plug wire somewhere. You could always try turning the distributor a little while its running to see if it runs better.

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Do you happen to have a link handy for that code checker? If not, no big deal, I can search for it.

 

I think the info's in here somewhere. Test it before buttoning it up, I remember I had the LEDs backwards the first time I put mine together... don't remember if the diagram was backwards or if I derped on which way they were supposed to go.

 

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