Changed Timing Belt, Z32 running but with problems, video included - Nissan : Datsun ZCar forum :Nissan Z Forum: 240Z to 370Z
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Changed Timing Belt, Z32 running but with problems, video included

Hi,
Here is the short. 1990 300zx NA MT and a friend and I just accomplished a 120K timing belt change (parts ordered from Z1). We spent most of the summer in our free time working away at this task and finally tackled the job using some pretty useful resources online.
http://www.zhome.com/ZCMnL/PICS/timi...imingBelt.html
The end result of many hours is a disappointment. I didn't hook up any of the accessory belts or install the radiator so I can see how it runs first in case I need to take it all apart again. Did not run the engine past 2.5 min. It runs rough and obviously backfires (drivers side). Scary ping noise happens at the 20 second mark after starting the car. There is smoke rising from the drivers side which smells like exhaust. I set the engine to TDC and marked the old belt before installing the new. The marks on the both intake and exhaust cam gears lines up exactly on the factory marks on the belt. One thing that has been burning my mind is the crank gear, I didn't mark it, but had the car in fifth gear the whole time. Could it have moved? I ask myself that question but cannot be 100% sure. I need some expert advise! Right now I am fearing the worst and hope I didn't cause irreversible damage. I am prepared to take what I gather here and apply it during labor day. I am not very experienced but have tackled projects on my 280zx, '97 Pathfinder and Nissan Quest over the years.

-Removed EGR and installed bypass kit.
-PCV Delete
-Coolant line bypass
-Replaced all vacuum lines with silicone
-Replaced all fuel lines
-New lower harness
-All new gaskets everywhere (except head gasket)

Here is the video with sound.
https://youtu.be/2d2l79TH0OA

Supplemental History
I have always been around this forum through the years since I had a 280zx. I have mostly just lurked and read a lot. I obtained my 300zx in 2006 from a friend. It had 212k miles and it was in sad shape. Since I obtained the car for a decent price, I decided to work on it myself. If I had the choice again, I would of just purchased another Z like many people have said on the forum. I had a third party rebuild the engine (low compression in 2 of the cylinders) and transmission. I also had them install a new clutch, new injectors, new upper, main wiring harness. Much work was done but the car had a pretty bad oil leak (Cam seals as they were not changed by them) and it didn't pass emissions due to a lower intake gasket leak. I regret going through with having the third party work on it. I also need to change the drive shaft and passenger side tie rod as it ruined my new tires I purchased in 2006 due to heavy inner toe wear. I would turn the car once every 6 months to at least keep the car running occasionally. Every year that passed, I would tell myself I am going to fix the car, or many a time I told myself I would let it go, but thanks to my friend, he encouraged me to fix it and with his help I am where I am now. I love the car, and have enjoyed working on this project. It is difficult as I have 4 kids and a wife so it has been cost and time prohibitive but that is expected with a Z32.

Thanks for listening.

Nanakai
1990 NA 2+2 (-rebuild in progress-)

Last edited by Nanakai; 09-04-2016 at 04:09 AM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 11:30 AM
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Sure sounds as if your timing is off. Using a timing light a good way verify for sure. Do that and report back what you find.

Was the engine ever tested after the rebuild and before the t-belt job? Did it run ok before the t-belt change?

+++ John's NJ Ride +++
'91 2+2 101k miles, Chromed OEM Wheels, Chrome Plenum, JSPEC Clear Corners, Toyo Proxes 4's, U/D Pulley, Custom Mod'd Control Pods - White LED Lighting with Blue LED Indicators
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jzack View Post
Sure sounds as if your timing is off. Using a timing light a good way verify for sure. Do that and report back what you find.

Was the engine ever tested after the rebuild and before the t-belt job? Did it run ok before the t-belt change?
jzack,
Yes, it was compression tested and ran fine despite the oil and air leaks. Passengers side had a slight backfire after the engine was warm. I will look into the timing.

Nanakai
1990 NA 2+2 (-rebuild in progress-)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 04:57 PM
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If it had a backfire before this work that's a clue timing might have already been off or the engine already had another issue (sticking valves, etc).

Yes, definitely check the timing since that's a key engine setting.

BTW- even if crank shaft moved a bit during the work that wouldn't matter. As long as the timing belt mark aligned to the crank shaft sprocket gear marking AND the t-belt aligned correctly to all the CAM gear marks all would be good. The engine would be in proper sync.

+++ John's NJ Ride +++
'91 2+2 101k miles, Chromed OEM Wheels, Chrome Plenum, JSPEC Clear Corners, Toyo Proxes 4's, U/D Pulley, Custom Mod'd Control Pods - White LED Lighting with Blue LED Indicators
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 03:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzack View Post
If it had a backfire before this work that's a clue timing might have already been off or the engine already had another issue (sticking valves, etc).

Yes, definitely check the timing since that's a key engine setting.

BTW- even if crank shaft moved a bit during the work that wouldn't matter. As long as the timing belt mark aligned to the crank shaft sprocket gear marking AND the t-belt aligned correctly to all the CAM gear marks all would be good. The engine would be in proper sync.
I think I have a good idea of what to do. Thanks for the advice as I will just line everything up including the crank gear which was missed and then reassemble. I am sure the crank is off. I will then check timing with a light at set it to 15 degrees.

The belt that the re-builders used didn't have any lines. Before changing the belt, the engine ran fine, but when it warmed up, It would slightly backfire without pattern on the passenger side. I could almost say that there was slight white smoke, which means I am burning coolant, which points to a head gasket leak, but after much thought I decided against changing the head gasket. In all honesty, maybe I should have since I was right there. If I come across the same result after this episode, I will take it all down again and replace the head gasket.

Nanakai
1990 NA 2+2 (-rebuild in progress-)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 03:07 AM Thread Starter
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Well, after some toil, we resolved this issue. We made sure the crank gear lined up with the notch and also noticed that the drivers side was off by a tooth despite the factory markings on the belt. I am going to test the timing with a light tomorrow. It sounds 100% better than it did in the original video.

Nanakai
1990 NA 2+2 (-rebuild in progress-)
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