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Hello everyone, I put this together to help others out when doing timing in these engines. As great as this engine is, internally it has some life-threatening issues that will decrease it longevity if not addressed.
These are in the timing chain area: Gallery gasket, Chain tensioners and guides
Note: Most will adopt the mentality of marking the removal and repeat the install and this is a great idea. Unfortunately this wont work for all. Turning the engine until all marks are aligned can be a waste of time due to the many times it might require and removal and resetting might just be the easiest.
Here are some simple picture explicit ways of how to double check your work. You can start by aligning the damper with this timing mark in the cover, if doubtful about the crank cog you can use the this method as confirmation
Once timing cover is loosened and removed you’ll be left with this view. As you all can see my gasket has broken.
Then after everything comes off
To make sure your cams are aligned the pin need will align with the indentation in the cam girdle like so:
I learned that even that it had 120k miles this had happened: I had no suspicion of this nor heard any noise.
This job can be expensive to do. How expensive is entirely up to you.
to fix these the proper way OEM tensioners are a $120 + option that requires the removal of the camshafts girdle and removal of the VVEL Eccentric shaft that I had no interest in doing. With the VQ40 nissan sells replacement cam shoes but not for the VQ37 . The plunger part of the tensioner does not go bad so soon.
The plunger/Shoe from a VQ35 DE is the same part and can interchange. These parts are $27 for the pair. The shoe appears to be made from the same material of the OEM one so I’ll check it again in 100k miles
I painted the marks and between the FSM and other pictures I was able to find I confirmed. Final result was the start.
Circle dots are for Bank 1
Oval dots are for Bank 2
These you will align with the two orange links on the cam chain, the single chain link with meet the oval mark on the VTC for bank 2 and circle on the VTC for bank 1
There are 3 ways to verify the crank, with the Damper like the first pic showed, aligning the crank tooth with the mark on the pump and with the chain’s orange link and the mark at 5 o clock on the cog.
Make sure you leave NO tension on the untensioned sides of the chain as any looseness can alter timing.
The last tension you should pull the pin from is the main cam, check tension and if it’s too loose use a bar to click the tensioner over one click