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Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? - Car Talk - Nairaland

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Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by tfabz: 8:55am On Nov 26, 2012
Sir,
I want to know which is d best in the timing leather belt for engine of toyota models or chain timing belt of the same car.
Thank you
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by bigx(m): 9:04am On Nov 26, 2012
t_fabz: Sir,
I want to know which is d best in the timing leather belt for engine of toyota models or chain timing belt of the same car.
Thank you

Go for a timing chain car of the same model, it would save you stress. My timing belt has cut on me once and I know what I went through. Timing chain availability would be part of my criteria in choosing my next car.
The experts can bring a different viewpoint though.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 11:08am On Nov 26, 2012
Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

All my cars bar my BMW E30 M3, BMW E30 3251 M-Tech Sport, BMW 1602 and my Toyota Celica have all been belt-driven. In all my years of driving, I've never had a snapped timing belt. All engines have a replacement interval, and in Nigeria, most drivers will wait till it snaps. I replace all my belts at least 20,000 miles before the due time.

Chains don't last for ever either. The tensioner guides wear, and if not replaced, wear the chain out prematurely. As with a belt, if it breaks in service, the valves and pistons will make contact, so bent valves. The chain is worse though - if it breaks at high engine rpm, the chain will act as a whip, and smash everything in its path, in the chain chest. And when it drops down into the lower chain chest, it will lock up the still turning engine (getting caught on the crank sprocket). The result is messy - often the crank can get twisted, and not be visible, the sprocket can lose all the teeth, and of course the tensioners will be smashed to bits.

With chains, it's also very crucial the CORRECT oil grade is used, and it's replaced REGULARLY. If it's ignored, the chain links will seize, resulting in breakage.

Yes, belts may be stastically weaker, but they don't need lubricating, they're self lubracating. They're quiter in operation, and replacement is cheaper, from a labour point of view. Try replacing the chain on a twin-VANOS BMW 24V I6, then try replacing the belt on an Audi V6 30V, and see which will be completed first, and at a much lower cost.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by cretin: 11:16am On Nov 26, 2012
timing chain is better...lasts almost the life of the vehicle..diff models hv either timing belt or chain..2003 to 2009 toyota 4runner..the v6 engine has a timing chain, while the v8 has timing belt....the 2003 rav4 also has the timing chain while other older models have belt...etc
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 12:03pm On Nov 26, 2012
cretin: timing chain is better...lasts almost the life of the vehicle..diff models hv either timing belt or chain..2003 to 2009 toyota 4runner..the v6 engine has a timing chain, while the v8 has timing belt....the 2003 rav4 also has the timing chain while other older models have belt...etc

Errr, some manufacturer's don't give a replacement schedule, but that does NOT mean they never require attention. If you ask a dealership, their answers are vague and pretty evasive. The chain will NOT last the engine's entire life - bearing in mind the average lifespan of modern engines has increased. When engines were considered spent at 100,000 miles perhaps. With engines that will now do well over half a million miles and beyond, would you really want to take that chance?

I repeat - if a belt is replaced at the required interval, it will NOT break. I've owned well over 44 belt-driven cars, and have never suffered breakage, because I look after my engines, and replace the belts way before they're due! A worn chain gets stretched, and rattles, and that's a warning many users ignore. As long as the car still drives, they won't touch it.

I have had current model year Toyota Avensis in for repairs, with the CEL illuminated. Codes come up as implausible signal from the VVTI. Some have had the mega expensive VVTI units replaced, with the CEL still illuminated. Once the chain is stretched, the VVTI does NOT function properly, and if you connect an oscilloscope, you'll see the timing reference between inlet and exhaust camshafts changing, erratic. Because the slack in the chain alows excessive to and aft movement, beyond the correction capabilities of the VVTI. I replace the chain, and the light goes off.

Current Mazda 6 fitted with the 2.2 direc-injection diesel engine have a recall, to replace the chains, with modified chain tensioners. This is done free of charge. There have been chain failures, which have caused enough damage to require a brand new longblock in a crate to be fitted, again under warranty.

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Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Ikenna351(m): 2:40pm On Nov 26, 2012
The PRV V6 engines in my Peugeot 505 V6 and 605 V6 use timing chains.

I took my time and asked all the owners of 505 V6 i met online (before i bought it) or have used 505 V6 before, about the timing chain in that engine: ZN3J; how often they have changed them. All of them told me they have never had to replace the timing chains and most of them have done more than 300,000 miles, still with the chain. Only one complained that his 604 V6 timing chain snapped once at 200k mileage. He said he belived he abused the engine a lot with the bad engine oil. Few had head gasket failures when their vicous fan of their radiators failed and they didnt noticed on time.

I dont know about other brands, but the timing chains in PRV V6 in Peugeots and others last almost the life of the vehicle. A timing chain that last more than 400,000 miles, what else does one need?

Another advantage of timing chain, apart from its reliability and durability it has over timing belt, is that it will give you sign for ages, before it finally snaps or breaks. You will get to know with the rattling noise. Most times, adjusting the chain tensioner or adjuster solves the rattling issue. My point is, timing chain is adjustable, incase it stretches, usually caused prematurely by bad oil (improper lubrication). But if its timing belt, make the mistake of not replacing it when its due and you kiss your engine good bye, if care is not taken.

I will take timing chain over timing belt, anyday, anytime.

Ikenna.

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Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 3:48pm On Nov 26, 2012
Premature breaking of a chain is often down to the misconception, that a chain is for life. So nothing else - tensioner, tensioner shoes, chain tracks, spring-loaded assembly ever gets checked. And that's where problems brew. No chain, simplex or even duplex are immune to stretch.

Stretch may not affect older engines, like the engines fitted to Ikenna's Peugeot. At least not to the point of being noticeable. Any engine that employs any form of Variable Valve Timing under their respective trade marks - VVT-I (Toyota) VANOS (BMW) etc, or that have a CPS (Camshaft Position Sensor) are very sensitive to chain stretch. The VVT will compensate within a certain range. Exceed this by even one degree, which you will with a stretched chain, and the CEL will illuminate.

I don't know of any timing belt that has no replacement interval. Some that are scheduled for replacement every 80,000 miles have gone on for 250,000, without snapping. And some that are scheduled for replacement at 120,000 miles have let go as eaely as 100,000. My old Volkswagen Golf Mk2 GTI 16V was belt-driven, replacement due at 90,000 miles. I purchased the car with 320,000 miles from the original owner, and it had never had a belt! I also know lots of other guys in the VAG scene who are running engines on borrowed time, no belt failure. These things do happen, though are not the norm.

I know plenty of chain-driven engines that the manufacturers don't specify a replacement interval. Some say nothing, some state tensioners and guides should be checked at 80XXX miles. But in reality, this doesn't get done. In most engines, checking the chain guides with the chain in place is virtually impossible, and by the time you've stripped the lot down to check, it will be daft to re-use the old chain.

Engine failure in Nigeria is seldom looked into - a new engine is simply slapped in, without knowing why the old one failed. With chains, the biggest issue is oil grade, and how often it's replaced. The tensioner on automatically-tensioned engines rely on oil pressure to keep the chains taught. If that pressure drops for whatever reason - sludge, dirty oil, worn oil pump etc, the chain gets slack on ONE side. That's when the links let go.

On both my BMW's, and my Toyota Celica, I replaced the belts. BMW had a replacement schedule on my M3, but not on my 325i M-Tech Sport. My Toyota Celica had a "checking" interval, but I replaced the entire chain assembly too.

Belts stretch, but only slightly. Most are now Kevlar-based, and pretty tough. Any slack will get taken up by the automatic tensioner (if fitted).

Chains stretch too. Ask owners of current Mazda 3 and 6 with the 2,2 direct-injection diesel engine. They've been recalled. I don't know how this would affect cars exported to Nigeria. The worse culprits are engines with the chain at the BACK of the engine. The VW Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne with the 3,2 VR6 engine are prime examples. The drive chains are at the rear, and when they stretch (at about 100,000 miles) the VVCI don't work properly, and the CEL will come on. Replacement requires engine and transmission removal, then separation on the bench. Volkswagen and Porsche charge £1,750 inclusive. I've done the same job, and still charged £1,200. A big job.

Lots of manufacturers are moving to rear-driven chains to allow for a shorter engine assembly, for packaging purposes. Good idea in principle, not so good in terms of maintenance and repair. How do you even check the guides?

It's often components that are deemed indestructible, that tend to suffer failure, because they're ignored. Either way, it's pretty dumb to ignore the timing belt OR chain on any engine, and is often at the owner's risk.

Just because an engine still runs smooth, doesn't mean all is well. I haven't really worked on older chain-driven engines, but I'm aware of the chain-drive concept regardless. And have spent long enough in the automotive industry to understand a chain will still degrade. It may well be more durable than a belt, but it's still not indestructible, and the replacement cost between belt and chain are huge. With chain replacement being as much as 70% higher than a comparable belt-driven motor, in terms of labour.

2 Likes

Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by cretin: 5:01pm On Nov 26, 2012
yeah good comments by siena n ikenna....

but in nigeria where maintainance culture is poor, and poor mechanics abound....few nigerians would want to change their belt, cos the mechanic can install it wrongly and the timing will be off, from there problems would just multiply.
my advice to peeps that hv belt driven engines is to take it to reputable mechanics to change the belt, when due..most change is recommended at 90k miles
i will take a chain driven engine, OVER A BELT DRIVEN engine any time any day.......if the 2 engines were placed side by side
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by bravolad: 8:52pm On Nov 26, 2012
How do I know when to replace the timing belt of a 2004 Toyota Sienna with 139,000 miles when I bought it & there is no replacement interval specified by the manufacturer. I bought a Camry at 150,000 miles that had timing belt replaced at 90,000 miles so I knew I had to do another 30,000 miles before I replace it.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 9:02pm On Nov 26, 2012
bravolad: How do I know when to replace the timing belt of a 2004 Toyota Sienna with 139,000 miles when I bought it & there is no replacement interval specified by the manufacturer. I bought a Camry at 150,000 miles that had timing belt replaced at 90,000 miles so I knew I had to do another 30,000 miles before I replace it.

If there's no interval specified on your Toyota Sienna, then it's your call. For peace of mind, I would be looking to get it done before the 200,000 mark. That's my advise to you, though if it was my own car, I'd be replacing it about now, if it's chain-driven.

Are you sure it's not belt-driven though? What engine does your Sienna have? I know the 3MZ-FE (3,3 V6) is belt-driven.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by tfabz: 11:40am On Nov 27, 2012
Wow, thanks to all who ave contributed, fink I would go along with d chain driven .
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Ikenna351(m): 1:28pm On Nov 27, 2012
As for me, I will not refuse to buy a car I like because it has interference engine, which the timing are mostly belt-driven (though we do have few timing belt engines that are non-interference engines like the chain-driven).

My point is, if i would buy a 406 V6 tomorrow, and 406 V6 happens to have options of two petrol v6 engines: timing belt and timing chain. I would choose the timing chain V6 without even a blink.

Last two Sundays, on my way back from Sunday Mass, my Alternator & Water pump belt broke. I had to tow the car home, since i had no spare belt in the car and it was on Sunday and no place to buy the belt. I eventually bought the belt the next day. But the quality of the new Belt (1050La) was so disappointing. It was so glaring that it was just a question of time for it to give up. I would be glad if it last up to a year. I had to buy more than two for just spares and kept in the car, incase it decides to embarrase me on the road soon. Now is this the quality of belt you want me to have rest of mind when it goes into the engine timing chamber? Meaning a new timing belt in Nigeria market may not even last upto 10,000 km, even though most car manufacturers recommend the belts in their engines to be replaced every 60-80km.

The only way i can live with a timing belt driven engine is to be replacing the belt kits every 2 years because of poor qualities of belt we have here, unless if you are lucky the dealerships sell to you from their stores or you source for a quality/genuine belt outside the country.

There is nothing wrong with timing belt. It just that it shouldnt be taken for granted like the timing chain. Timing chain can break or snap too. After all, its man-made, it cant last forever. But the chances are very slim, as long as the engine is well lubricated with good oil and the engine oil regularly changed when due.

One thing am sure of is, timing chain gives one a piece of mind to push the engine as hard as he/she wants, as long as the chain has not starting giving the rattling noise, a sign that it has become weak. Unlike the timing belt that wont give you any sign. The engine will just suddenly die and "Hello!!" Your bank account will pay heavily for it.


Ikenna.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by dilbert100: 2:21pm On Nov 27, 2012
chains are better if you can find one...but i havent had a car for a while so...
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by OkwaIfugo(m): 2:26pm On Nov 27, 2012
Siena pls open Auto school. your just too much.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by chiebube: 2:37pm On Nov 27, 2012
Siena:

Errr, some manufacturer's don't give a replacement schedule, but that does NOT mean they never require attention. If you ask a dealership, their answers are vague and pretty evasive. The chain will NOT last the engine's entire life - bearing in mind the average lifespan of modern engines has increased. When engines were considered spent at 100,000 miles perhaps. With engines that will now do well over half a million miles and beyond, would you really want to take that chance?

I repeat - if a belt is replaced at the required interval, it will NOT break. I've owned well over 44 belt-driven cars, and have never suffered breakage, because I look after my engines, and replace the belts way before they're due! A worn chain gets stretched, and rattles, and that's a warning many users ignore. As long as the car still drives, they won't touch it.

I have had current model year Toyota Avensis in for repairs, with the CEL illuminated. Codes come up as implausible signal from the VVTI. Some have had the mega expensive VVTI units replaced, with the CEL still illuminated. Once the chain is stretched, the VVTI does NOT function properly, and if you connect an oscilloscope, you'll see the timing reference between inlet and exhaust camshafts changing, erratic. Because the slack in the chain alows excessive to and aft movement, beyond the correction capabilities of the VVTI. I replace the chain, and the light goes off.

Current Mazda 6 fitted with the 2.2 direc-injection diesel engine have a recall, to replace the chains, with modified chain tensioners. This is done free of charge. There have been chain failures, which have caused enough damage to require a brand new longblock in a crate to be fitted, again under warranty.
Siena, u are too much o! When will u start producing ur own cars? Am sure u can make cars with dual timing belts or even more. Ur experience with cars is mind blowing!
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by P4VS20: 2:39pm On Nov 27, 2012
chain forsure. no worries of loss of power from slips due to wear n tear of the serrated edges of the belt. sides if that belt cut, naa tow be that. and also everything in your top cylinder goes with it.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by tumababa(m): 3:14pm On Nov 27, 2012
bigx:

Go for a timing chain car of the same model, it would save you stress. My timing belt has cut on me once and I know what I went through. Timing chain availability would be part of my criteria in choosing my next car.
The experts can bring a different viewpoint though.

u spoke my mind. word for word. the timing belt cut on 3MB around 5:30am on a monday morning during the maintenance period. I will NEVER buy a car with timing belt again.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by jambogini: 3:15pm On Nov 27, 2012
Hello siena, i am considering studying mechanical engineering, please which school would you recommend me in germany, i love your level of approach on cars and it is my dream to do more like you do.
thanks and God bless
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by mane4(m): 3:28pm On Nov 27, 2012
Smh
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 3:30pm On Nov 27, 2012
As automobile manufacturer's strive to make their engines shorter, timing chain replacement, or even tensioner renewal / adjustment will get even more expensive. This is because they're moving the timing chains to the REAR of the engine. On some older cars like the Saab 900, the cost of replacing a chain could spell the end of the car's life, cost of repair versus current value.

My 2008 BMW 120D M-Sport is chain-driven, and the chain's at the rear. So replacement will require an engine pull. Not an issue for me, but if I had to pay a garage to do the work, I would seriously consider buying a belt-driven car. This rear-mounted chain drive is used on lots of newer cars - all BMW E90 / E60 with the 1,8 / 2,0 / 2,3 diesel engines, Audi S4 / RS4 B6 / B7, Audi A4 / A5 / A6 / A7 / A8 3,2 FSI, VW Touareg 3,2 VR6. A lot of Japanese models with longitudonally-mounted engines are also migrating to rear chain-drive.

The point is, both timing belts and chains need replacement, no question. Ignoring either will spell doom, if they break, with broken chains obliterating everything the chains strike. I understand reservations with regards to Nigerian mechanics not getting timing right, but there ARE bigger, well-reputed garages in Nigeria that will do the job, and properly too. They'll cost, but then that's the price of salvation.

If any maintenance is an issue (either belt or chain) then the other options are to buy vehicles with OHV, (Over Head Valve) otherwise known as the Pushrod engine. All GM LS series are OHV. Or go for an engine that is still OHC (Over Head Cam) but is gear-driven. No belt, no chain, just a simple gear set-up.

I'm not a dealer, trying to sell cars with belts, so having to convince prospective clients that belts are better than chains. My input here is based purely upon my engineering background, experience, technical bulletins I have access to, and what I've had pass through my shop over the years. My last engine replacement on a client's car was the early part of this year, a 2004 Vauxhall / Opel Vectra 2,2 SRI 16V. This suffered chain failure at 93,000 miles, and was messy enough to require a brand new GM crate motor.


And some links to timing chain failure. Nothing's indestructible, as long as it's man-made:

Toyota timing chain failure: http://www.brian894x4.com/timingchain.html

Mazda timing chain failure: http://www.mcx7.com/showthread.php/6498-Official-Timing-Chain-Failure-Discussion-Thread

BMW timing chain failure: http://www.bmwland.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=139761

Cadillac timing belt failure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szA7xa3II9w

Ford timing chain failure:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhq60f4BC5s

BMW Mini timing chain failure: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?t=90800

Dodge timing chain failure: http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f188/timing-chain-failure-dodge-challenger-69216/

Corvette timing chain failure: http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-tech-performance/2205820-2008-ls3-timing-chain-failure.html

Fiat timing chain failure: http://www.fiatforum.com/tech-talk/281458-timing-chain-failure-1-3-jtd-grand-punto.html

These are just a few examples. I have not included belt failure, because the general consensus is that timing belts do fail (they do, if not replaced) and that chains don't. Some chain failures have occured at as low as 40,000 miles.

Interferance and non-interferance (freewheel) engines exist in both chain and belt-driven engines).
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by slimming: 3:31pm On Nov 27, 2012
Timing chain ok
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 3:35pm On Nov 27, 2012
P4VS20: chain forsure. no worries of loss of power from slips due to wear n tear of the serrated edges of the belt. sides if that belt cut, naa tow be that. and also everything in your top cylinder goes with it.

Bro, the power losses in either belt or chain drive are minimal. But if you go by the highest friction levels, then the chain will sap more useful power. And I'm not sure what you mean by if a belt snaps, the top end will be destroyed. Because the same applies with a broken chain. Regardless of the drive type, breakage WILL cause piston to valve contact, unless the engine's a free-wheeling motor (non-interferance).
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Nobody: 4:14pm On Nov 27, 2012
I do not think the problem is the belt or the chain,rather the problem is the mechanics. A mech should be able to tell a loyal patron when the chainm or belt of a vehicle is due for a replacement,but due to either incompetence or delibrately they most times fail to do this.
An imerdiate change costs less than a belt cuty that always ends up damaging the pistons and valves.
It is advised to have a change after at least 20,000 kilometres to be on the safe side. A belt cut in an isolated bush in Nigeria in the night is not to be joked with,trust me.
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 4:27pm On Nov 27, 2012
^^^ Rich! What are you doing in this section?? shocked I thought you were a Family section guy. wink
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by sureboykris(m): 4:50pm On Nov 27, 2012
Good day siena. Pls I've A̶̲̥̅ problem. Î drive an infiniti qx4 î really don't know what A̶̲̥̅ timing chain or belt is. And î don't trust mechanics here. They know nothing. D problem is I've started hearing this rattling sound in d engine. Could it b d chain? Pls help me. Explain what timing belt is and where it is located. Pls. God bless you. Much respect
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 5:14pm On Nov 27, 2012
sureboykris: Good day siena. Pls I've A̶̲̥̅ problem. Î drive an infiniti qx4 î really don't know what A̶̲̥̅ timing chain or belt is. And î don't trust mechanics here. They know nothing. D problem is I've started hearing this rattling sound in d engine. Could it b d chain? Pls help me. Explain what timing belt is and where it is located. Pls. God bless you. Much respect

Hello bro.

What year is your Infiniti QX4?
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by sureboykris(m): 6:00pm On Nov 27, 2012
Siena:

Hello bro.

What year is your Infiniti QX4?
its 2001
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by tondifari: 7:03pm On Nov 27, 2012
For siena, what happened to the audi and volkswagen resolution thread. please help address some complaints that have been posted since 26/11/2012
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by sureboykris(m): 7:08pm On Nov 27, 2012
Siena its 2001model
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by tondifari: 7:12pm On Nov 27, 2012
Dear siena, I am an avid follower of your comments on this thread. my details are as follows:-

Make: Volkswagen
Model: Touareg
Engine size: 4.2L, V8
Transmission Type: 6 speed tiptronic
Model year: 2003
Specification: U.S
Drive Configuration: 4WD

I bought this car as tokunbo in march 2012. Since then I have had cause to change the brake pads twice the upper and lower arms and the back arms but the car still makes noise when i encounter gallops. However the major problems I have now are as follows:-
(1)Transmission (Gear).
The car refuses to engage gear from (P)park to (N)neutral or (D)drive occassionally. Normally this happens five days to a week after a red warning sign appears on the dashboard. The sign reads thus " BRAKE. BRAKE FAULT STOP VEHICLE". This has happened about four times since purchase. Each time I have to wait for my mechanic to come and 'scan' and "reprogram' the vehicle before I can move. I have changed the transmission oil recently to no avail. Other yellow signs that are permanently on the dashboard are ABS,Exhaust system malfunction, Airbag fault, ESP malfunction. Can any of this unresolved issues cause this embarrassing problem?.
Again the vehicle seems to be movement seems epileptic whenever it comes out of lagos traffic. The mechanic had to top nup the transmission oil with almost seven litres of 'Holt' Atf. He says the fibre seems burnt and is soaking up the oil. What do you think?
(2)Engine
I noticed after a recent trip lagos - abuja - aba - lagos that the engine oil was totally short when i dipped the next morning( not showing on the dipping stick). My mechanic has confirmed that there is no leakage but that two plugs are soaked. He has changed them and the car is moving normally. Does this confirm my worst fears?. The mileage is just 79,000km.
(3)Shaft?
Occasionally on turning fully i hear sharp noises 'pum pum' as if the tire wants to pull out. But when i return the steering the noise ceases and the car moves normally. My mechanic removed the two front tyres to check the suspension etc and he claims everything is intact. What do you think.?
(4) Front Light
My head lamps are weak and i cannot drive comfortably at night. My mechanics have changed the bulbs and the setting but the result is the same. He is suggesting I may need to buy the 'charging" system. is he correct?
I look forward to your response. Thanks
Re: Timing Belt vs Timing Chain: Which is the best? by Siena(m): 7:18pm On Nov 27, 2012
sureboykris: its 2001

If it's a VG33E (3,3 V6) it'll be belt driven.
If it's a VQ35DE (3,5 V6) it'll be chain driven.

There are quite a few owners experiencing rattling from the chain gear on the VQ35DE engine, which was also fitted to other vehicles besides the Infiniti range. Here's a discussion board:


http://x.nissanhelp.com/forums/quest/16432-67-cure-vq35-timing-chain-rattle-05-quest.html

And another concentrating on replacement:

http://my350z.com/forum/engine-drivetrain-and-forced-induction-diy/287184-diy-attacking-the-timing-chain.html

Here's a Technical Bulletin. Please read through, and see what relates to your own engine (VQ35 / VQ35DE). There are symptoms of inpending chain failure listed:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Speedytimzalez/2011-01-06_205906_wergewrgwerwrewg.pdf

Here's a video, identifying rattling chain tensioner failure in the VQ35DE engine:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2kGCfTFurs

If you suspect your timing chain has a rattle, or there's any rattle coming from the top of your engine (timing chain area) please get it checked out, and rectified by a Nissan dealership. There are good Nissan-specific independent specialists in Lagos and Abuja, that can get your chain tensioner looked into. It's not always chain failure, but a failed tensioner. It's when these symptoms are ignored, that catastrophic failure could occur, and you'll grenade your engine. The VQ35DE engine IS an interferance motor.

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