Nissan Titan Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I bought this truck back around May. I found it on CL nearby and the owner advertised it as only needing a transmission. So I went and looked at it and aside from it sitting for a couple years it wasn't in too bad of shape. The engine seemed to run good but had a large exhaust leak (driver manifold cracked).

After getting it home I dug into it further. It had several lights on in the dash, ATP/4Lo, VDC/Slip and Service engine soon. I first dug into the transmission. As I tried drive and reverse it seemed to want to move but was bound up then I heard a pop in the transfer case. So I pulled the drain plug on the transfer case and man was it burnt! I pulled it and split it open and found it destroyed. I found another case for $325 and put it in.

The truck drove pretty good other than now I found that the LF wheel bearing was completely toast. So I put a wheel bearing in it. The truck smelled horrible so I drove it about 30 miles to a detail shop. Just prior to dropping it off I stopped to put gas in it. Took me forever to put $20 worth of fuel in it. When I started it up it smoked like a chimney, I thought it blew a head gasket but it still ran great. It filled the parking lot full of white smoke. I got the hell out of there and it went away within seconds.

So I did some research on Titans and white smoke after a long drive and it came up with bad PCV valves and valve covers. Turns out Nissan sells them pretty cheap so I ordered both sides. When they came in I pulled the old ones and found them packed with sludge as well as the top of the cylinder heads. I spent about an hour cleaning the heads before installing the new covers. Took it for a drive and no more white smoke!

I then worked on the driver exhaust manifold. I took it off and sure enough it was cracked where they all crack. I had a friend weld it up and put it back on. Seemed to work good. After fixing the exhaust leak I could hear an engine rattle. Knowing the heads were packed with sludge I decided to pull the lower oil pan and check the oil pickup screen to see if it was plugged as well. Man was it ever! There was a spot about the size of my thumb where oil could pass so I cleaned it all up and put it back together. The rattle was still there so I pulled the driver side timing cover cam gear cover. Again all packed with sludge and the timing chain was extremely loose to the point it was rubbing the inside of the cover.

So at this point I ordered a timing chain set complete with guides and tensioners and a new oil pump. Off came the front end of the truck and started on the timing chain. After a bunch of reading I couldn't find for sure if the oil pump could come off without removing the oil pan. Well it will not! So I crawled under the truck and started removing the oil pan. This is when I noticed the dreaded differential failure...axle popped out and the axle shaft bearing wasted. That was a problem for another day for now. I then lowered the pan and replaced the oil pump, chains, tensioners and guides. I put it all back together and what a difference in performance and how quite it was.

So I decided to hold off on the front differential until some money came in and pulled the front axles and front driveline and just drove it around as a 2wd. At this point all the dash lights went out for about 2 weeks. That's when the check engine light came on and showed a driver side catalytic converter code. Also now the passenger side exhaust manifold cracked. That's when I decided to find a decent newer set of manifolds and found some on here from robstrevor. Finally replaced both of the manifolds and seems to be working good.

Now back to the front differential. I have the big tow gears 3.357 and what a pain in the butt finding a used differential. I tried to get a couple on here but just couldn't make it work. I finally said to hell with it and took the front cover off and inspected it all. The axle was still in good shape surprisingly so I ordered the bearing, seal and clips from Nissan for about $70. Yesterday I put it back together and so far it's holding together.

I did replace the vent valve back by the fuel tank but haven't tried filling up the tank yet so not sure if that will fix it and still have the clicking noise under the dash that needs attention. Not to worried about that yet as winter is almost here and the heat part is working.

Well, that's my Titan experience so far. Honestly not too impressed yet with all the major work it has needed but I'll give it some time and see what happens.

Oh yeah, the smell was from mice making a home in the cabin air filters.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
Cheese and rice I got chills reading your post lol! Sorry to hear all the issues you ran into. The previous owner sounds like he never kept up the Titan?
 
  • Like
Reactions: flynnardspub

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That's what I thought when I pulled the valve covers and saw all the sludge. Pissed me off that he didn't take care of it. He was the only owner of this truck before me so he can't blame anyone but himself. The only saving grace so far in my opinion is that I'm only into this truck about $3800 total.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,669 Posts
From the picture it doesn't look too bad
 
  • Like
Reactions: flynnardspub

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Good on you for resurrecting it! I hope you bought it for song (or free).
Thanks but would have been great if it only needed a transfer case tho! lol I paid $1900 or it plus transfer fees which puts me around $2100. I have about 1700 in parts give or take.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Great write up! Damn good thing you are mechanically inclined, none of those fixes were easy jobs! I bought my 04 two years ago this month with 84k and it had been maintained pretty well (both exhaust manifolds and axles were replaced prior to my ownership) I've kept up the maintenance now at 104k and doing very well. I hope with all your repairs you get some time with no issues. I have the same clicking under the dash, I've dealt with it for 2 years. There is a post on here with a step by step fix for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Great write up! Damn good thing you are mechanically inclined, none of those fixes were easy jobs! I bought my 04 two years ago this month with 84k and it had been maintained pretty well (both exhaust manifolds and axles were replaced prior to my ownership) I've kept up the maintenance now at 104k and doing very well. I hope with all your repairs you get some time with no issues. I have the same clicking under the dash, I've dealt with it for 2 years. There is a post on here with a step by step fix for it.
Thanks! Growing up poor meant learning how to fix things yourself cause I didn't have the money to pay someone else to do it lol! I've looked a little bit at the clicking issue but I really don't like dash work. Being 6'2" and over 300 lbs I don't fit well when it comes to that kind of stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Great write up man,I would of probly gave up after taking the valve covers off,knowing the previous owner was even to lazy to maintain the easiest part of maintenance,the oil.Its hard to believe the truck was still running.I think it proves just how tough these trucks are,based on yours which appears to of had zero maintenance done to it.I give you lots of credit for doing what you ve already done,very impressive.I wish you the best of luck with your Titan,and keep us all updated with your progress,we all love a great Titan story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Great write up man,I would of probly gave up after taking the valve covers off,knowing the previous owner was even to lazy to maintain the easiest part of maintenance,the oil.Its hard to believe the truck was still running.I think it proves just how tough these trucks are,based on yours which appears to of had zero maintenance done to it.I give you lots of credit for doing what you ve already done,very impressive.I wish you the best of luck with your Titan,and keep us all updated with your progress,we all love a great Titan story.
You make a great point...it was still running and pretty good at that. I didn't mention that when I took the timing cover off and checked the timing marks the driver side exhaust cam was off by several teeth. I've put just over 1100 miles since doing the timing chains and the motor is strong. Going to change the oil here pretty soon just to be cautious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Great write-up and story. Unbelievable that the truck was running fairly well, in spite of the neglect.

You probably already know this, but with that amount of sludge, you may have some real crud in the oil pan after the fresh oil starts to clean things up. I would probably consider dropping the pan again, especially if you get lumps coming out when you drain the oil.

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
  • Like
Reactions: flynnardspub

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Great write-up and story. Unbelievable that the truck was running fairly well, in spite of the neglect.

You probably already know this, but with that amount of sludge, you may have some real crud in the oil pan after the fresh oil starts to clean things up. I would probably consider dropping the pan again, especially if you get lumps coming out when you drain the oil.

Good luck and keep us posted!
That is what I was thinking or if I can get my hands on a boroscope and take a peek inside without having to pull the lower pan again would be nice.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top