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 Post subject: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:25 pm 
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Location: Northern Ireland
Car:: X-Trail
Model: 2.0 DCI 150 Sport Expedition Extreme
Year/Plate: 2008 May
Colour: Blade Silver
Mods: Roof Rails with Driving Lights / Nissan Chrome Side Bars / Tow Bar with Caravan Lights - All fitted in an earlier life!
I've been researching quite extensively about the T31 X-Trail timing chain and was already forming an opinion however I was chatting today to both the parts guy (an older man with a lifetime of fitting experience at Nissan) as well as a mechanic at my local Nissan dealer.
I was getting the price of a crankshaft oil seal and inquiring about the timing cover gasket. He asked me what I needed that for and I mentioned a slight oil leak (see my other thread for full story). He said he wondered as they don't change timing chains!
The timing chain on the M9R engine is for life. He added that he doesn't recall ever changing a timing chain on a T31 X-Trail and has never heard of one braking or stretching locally.

Yes, I am aware that at least one forum topic reports a timing chain stretching with engine damage and there are possibly two examples UK wide of T31 timing chains breaking resulting in severe engine damage. But we agreed that it should only happen if:
1. Oil changes done at periods much in excess of recommended service intervals,
2. Car has been run for an excessive period on low oil level,
3. Car has had low oil pressure due to a bad oil pump for an extended period (you would have received a warning),
3. A clogged oil filter has not been changed for an excessive time period,
4. The wrong oil has been used,
5. Car has been out of use and has sat for an excessive time period allowing chain (and other parts) to corrode in certain conditions,
6. Engine has been otherwise seriously abused.
7. A very rare manufacturing defect - that could happen to any part on any car.
In most of the above scenarios, it will be more than your timing chain that has been worn / damaged.

So, if your T31 has a 'normal' service history or you have yourself always changed oil and filter at around the recommended 12,500 miles or annually, and you have not raked the guts out of your car, your timing chain should never need changed.
Yes there are videos on Youtube on how to change your chain, but this is only done if engine has been damaged from one of the above scenarios, or an old engine is being fully overhauled / rebuilt as a length extension project.

Even the Nissan owner's service manual for the T31 X-Trail states that on overhaul, 'Inspect and replace timing chain IF necessary'.

Youtube has a very clear step by step video by DAYCO (Australia?) on how to change the T31 timing chain, but I think its main purpose is to advertise DAYCO timing chain kit, DAYCO special tools, DAYCO crankshaft oil seal, DAYCO liquid gasket, DAYCO accessory drive belt tensioner and DAYCO accessory belt idler ;-)

If any other forum owners would care to add their comments, experiences or knowledge that would be an interesting discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 6:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 9:08 pm
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Location: Swindon ,Wiltshire
Car:: Xtrail
Model: T31 Adventurer 2.0dci
Year/Plate: 08
Colour: Iridium Graphite
Mods: Safari lights
The most important service you can do on any engine is change the oil ,so I do this religiously at no more than 5k miles on all my vehicles .You can get good deals on ebay for 20l drums of decent oil ,so doesn't work out a great expense .My other vehicle is a Mercedes Sprinter and that has 365k miles on it on the same timing chain.


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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:51 pm 
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Location: Naarfolk
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Model: 2.0dCi Tekna 173
Year/Plate: 2011
Colour: Ebisu Black
Mods: Nice full size mat in boot to stop dog sliding...and Celtic Remap 221hp!
I had several Saab's over the years - 9000's and 9-5's both of which had timing chains. One a 1995 early 9-5 2.3 estate is still on the road with 217k miles on the clock and a clean MOT. The early 9-5's used to suffer with sludge in the sump (engine inherited from GM) due to a poor oil pick up etc and my second 9-5 a 300 hp Aero estate suffered from this and needed an engine rebuild costing £2500 back in 2006. Various bits replaced but original timing chains and balancers re-sued at 145k miles.

My son had a 9000 CS Aero and on his way home one evening on Norwich southern bypass was accelerating pretty fast when a big bang and car coasted into a nearby layby with oil spilling out underneath. The car had only 105k on clock and full service history from main dealers and spotless condition considering it's age. Recovery truck arrived and first thing chap said was 'your cambelt has bust and conrod come through side of block.......' and yep there was a clear hole size of your fist in side of block. Car went to my Saab specialist who immediately said it wasn't a cambelt as it uses chains and in if that had bust it wouldn't have caused that type of damage on this engine - he only once in 35 years seen a timing chain brake and never replaced one for normal use. He found the oil filter was missing and reckons as son accelerated oil pump wanted more oil that wasn't there which quickly dried engine so no lubrication and simply jammed up! It had also ingested the turbo vanes due to no oil which speeded things up yet engine night before engine was quiet as a mouse!!!


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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:00 pm
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I'm considering getting the timing chain changed on my T31 , it's 9 years old but only done 65k miles. The book says replace every 7 years but having read this thread the concensus seems to be that it doesn't need to be changed at all. Now I'm unsure what to do. It runs perfectly fine with no issues , I mean at 65k it's barely run-in. I wondered what other owners opinions are about this.

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 6:11 pm 
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Model: T31 2.0dci auto, LE
Year/Plate: 2012
Colour: Grey
Mods: Towbar, ptc heater fix, probright drl system, Eberspächer aux FBH with GSM remote.
When no wrong noises when starting, then I would not do it. But thats me.
Also I have read the service manual qute alot and never seen the 7years change story. Maybe I missed it. Can you take snapshot from that statement?

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:28 pm 
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Sorry it says drive belt , is this different to the timing chain ? Apologies for the picture being sideways. Image

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:09 pm
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Location: Estonia
Car:: Xtrail
Model: T31 2.0dci auto, LE
Year/Plate: 2012
Colour: Grey
Mods: Towbar, ptc heater fix, probright drl system, Eberspächer aux FBH with GSM remote.
Jep, it is the rubber belt that drives the alternator, ac compressor and the waterpump. No powersteering pump anymore, because electric assist motor under the dash.

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:43 pm 
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Ah ok thanks Ahto, that's put my mind to rest. As you say, if it's not broken don't fix it.
Is this drive belt much of a job do you know ?

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:28 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:09 pm
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Location: Estonia
Car:: Xtrail
Model: T31 2.0dci auto, LE
Year/Plate: 2012
Colour: Grey
Mods: Towbar, ptc heater fix, probright drl system, Eberspächer aux FBH with GSM remote.
Have not done it my self yet, but it is not rocket sience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahMyGRzwuFA

It is recommended to change the crank pulley too, because the it is a 2piece unit, rubber damper layer between outer and inner ring. The rubber gets soft and over time and can even brake.

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 Post subject: Re: T31 2.0 Diesel M9R Engine Timing Chain - Dealer Verdict
PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2021 10:57 am 
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Yes it's a good idea to do everything , doesn't look like it would take long to do.
Is it better to use genuine parts or does anyone have any recommendations ?

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