Nissan Frontier, Xterra 1998-05

Timing Belt, Cover, Sprockets, & Seal

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Removal & Installation



3.3L Engines
  1. Remove the engine undercover.
  2.  
  3. Remove the radiator shroud, the fan and the pulleys.
  4.  
  5. Drain the coolant from the radiator and remove the water pump hose.
  6.  


CAUTION
When draining the coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted by the ethylene glycol antifreeze, and are quite likely to drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantity. Always drain the coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or several years old.

  1. Remove the radiator.
  2.  
  3. Remove the power steering, air conditioning compressor and alternator drive belts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the spark plugs.
  6.  
  7. Remove the distributor protector (dust shield).
  8.  
  9. Remove the air conditioning compressor drive belt idler pulley and bracket.
  10.  
  11. Remove the fresh air intake tube at the cylinder head cover.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the radiator hose at the thermostat housing.
  14.  
  15. Remove the crankshaft pulley bolt, then pull off the pulley with a suitable puller.
  16.  
  17. Remove the bolts, then remove the front upper and lower timing belt covers.
  18.  
  19. Set the No. 1 piston at Top Dead Center (TDC) of its compression stroke. Align the punchmark on the left camshaft sprocket with the punchmark on the timing belt upper rear cover. Align the punchmark on the crankshaft sprocket with the notch on the oil pump housing. Temporarily install the crank pulley bolt so the crankshaft can be rotated if necessary.
  20.  
  21. Loosen the timing belt tensioner and return spring, then remove the timing belt.
  22.  


    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Timing belt alignment mark locations-3.3L engines


To install:


CAUTION
Before installing the timing belt, confirm that the No. 1 cylinder is set at the TDC of the compression stroke.

  1. Remove both cylinder head covers and loosen all rocker arm shaft retaining bolts.
  2.  


NOTE
The rocker arm shaft bolts MUST be loosened so that the correct belt tension can be obtained.

  1. Install the tensioner and the return spring. Using a hexagon wrench, turn the tensioner clockwise and temporarily tighten the locknut.
  2.  
  3. Be sure that the timing belt is clean and free from oil or water.
  4.  
  5. When installing the timing belt, align the white lines on the belt with the punchmarks on the camshaft and crankshaft sprockets. Have the arrow on the timing belt pointing toward the front belt covers.
  6.  


NOTE
A good way (although rather tedious!) to check for proper timing belt installation is to count the number of belt teeth between the timing marks. There are 133 teeth on the belt; there should be 40 teeth between the timing marks on the left and right side camshaft sprockets, and 43 teeth between the timing marks on the left side camshaft sprocket and the crankshaft sprocket.

  1. While keeping the tensioner steady, loosen the locknut with a hex wrench.
  2.  
  3. Turn the tensioner approximately 70-80 degrees clockwise with the wrench, then tighten the locknut.
  4.  


WARNING
If any binding is felt when adjusting the timing belt tension by turning the crankshaft, STOP turning the engine, because the pistons may be hitting the valves.

  1. Turn the crankshaft in a clockwise direction several times, thenslowly
  2.  
  3. Apply 22 lbs. (10 kg) of pressure (push it in!) to the center span of the timing belt between the right side camshaft sprocket and the tensioner pulley, then loosen the tensioner locknut.
  4.  
  5. Using a 0.0138 in. (0.35mm) thick feeler gauge (the actual width of the blademust12slowly!12
  6.  
  7. Slowly rotate the crankshaft clockwise several more times, then set the No. 1 piston to TDC of the compression stroke.
  8.  
  9. Position the 2 timing covers on the block, then tighten the mounting bolts to 24 ft. lbs. (35 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Press the crankshaft pulley onto the shaft, then tighten the bolt to 90-98 ft. lbs. (123-132 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Connect the radiator hose to the thermostat housing.
  14.  
  15. Reconnect the fresh air intake tube at the cylinder head cover.
  16.  
  17. Install the air conditioning compressor drive belt idler pulley and bracket.
  18.  
  19. Install the distributor protector (dust shield).
  20.  
  21. Install the spark plugs.
  22.  
  23. Install the power steering, air conditioning compressor and alternator drive belts.
  24.  
  25. Install the radiator.
  26.  
  27. Reconnect the water pump hose and fill the engine with coolant. Install the fan shroud and pulleys.
  28.  
  29. Install the engine undercover.
  30.  
  31. Start the engine and check for any leaks.
  32.  

 
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