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Discussion Starter #1
When I pull out from a stop it sounded initially like gravel flinging up and hitting the wheel wells. My next thought was my serpentine belt is coming apart or a piece of wire wrapped around the drive line or something it's this scratching rattling noise that sounds rotational. Cant see any obstructions though... belt is intact (old though). I think it's coming from up front. Pretty hard to describe. It doesnt do it revving in neutral or accelerating above like 10mph. Just randomly started doing it today. Any thoughts?

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Can you jack up the front end and turn the front wheels by hand... see if you hear it then?
(Suspecting wheel bearings)

If nothing obvious there, I'd also pull the wheels and inspect the rotors/pads/calipers and have a look at the brake lines to make sure they are secure.

If those are good, I'd check the play in the tie rod ends and have a look at the swaybar bushings and end links.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Took the belt off... idler pulley and tensioner pulley seemed to have a lot of slop in the bearings so will change those tomorrow and see what happens. At 122k miles this is no surprise. Note: drove a very short distance with the belt off to see if the noise went away to rule out pulleys. Engine sputtered quite a bit with no alternator and power steering fluid sprayed everywhere out the reservoir cap. You can do that on most engines without an issue but dont try it on a VK56! Ps fluid all over my new driveway. Dammit!

Any tips on getting the new belt on there by yourself? (It's getting a new one) Or is this better for two people? I tried putting it back on to run some errands and I was swearing too much and gave up. that tensioner takes some serious cranking with one hand trying to fiddle with the belt in the other hand. Waiting for a friend to come help me out.

The pulley and tensioner came off easy peasy though so replacement should be a breeze. Just 4 easy to reach bolts total.

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What year is it? I put a belt on my 07 and fought with it, trying to get the driver tensioner the last hookup. When I finally realized it had to go over the idler pulley last (far driver's side on top) it went easy.
My tensioner had the hole in it so I could hold it with a screwdriver inserted in it. Wasn't that bad once I did it all in the right order.
 

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Pretty easy. Just pin the tensioner and use a long handle breaker or pipe for a cheater. I used electrical conduit emt.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys I got it back together with new idler, tensioner, and belt before seeing these helpful comments. The key is to use a skinny handled ratchet and slide your jack handle on it for a cheater. Crank from the DRIVERS side of the upper radiator hose. Got it to slide right onto the tensioner pulley last after a lot of trial and error/cussing. My friend held the tensioner down while I slid it on from below the truck. Theres only one way you can position your ratchet to get the tensioner all the way over.

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Discussion Starter #9
What year is it? I put a belt on my 07 and fought with it, trying to get the driver tensioner the last hookup. When I finally realized it had to go over the idler pulley last (far driver's side on top) it went easy.
My tensioner had the hole in it so I could hold it with a screwdriver inserted in it. Wasn't that bad once I did it all in the right order.
Now I have to look if the napa replacement has a hole too. This job took me 5 minutes alone on my 351W Ford idk why this one was so much harder for me lol

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Discussion Starter #10
The noise is back! No doubt it needed new pulleys anyway but I think I narrowed it down to bad needle bearings in the U joint. I just noticed there is grease blowing out of that area and it definitley sounds like a bad bearing somewhere... ima go ahead swap it out and see if that fixes it. Anybody try changing the front u joint without taking the rear yoke off the diff? Or is it better to take the whole drive shaft off? Not sure what will end up being faster/easier in the end.

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