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Q: broken timing belt do i have a boat anchor?

asked by on

I have a 98 Nissan Pathfinder, the water pump went bad. so about six months ago i replaced the water pump timing belt and water hoses. while i was there. This weekend it started acting up sounded horible so i headed out to my fathers big shop to see if i could figure out what the problem might be. but only made it about two miles up the road. the car stalled and wouldnt crank back. i had it towed the rest of the way and it opened the motor up to the point i could see the timing belt. It was shreeded and out of time. the engine turns over but will not fire. It isn't leaking oil so it doesn't appear that i threw a rod. there is no water in the oil or oil in the water. When the engine turns there is no knocking or ticking it just doesnt fire. Is there any chance that i can retime the moter replace the belt and tensioner and it run again or is it a complete rebuild at this point. ie bent lifters and valves?

My car has 130000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Unfortunately pretty much every Nissan engi...

Unfortunately pretty much every Nissan engine, whether belt or chain-driven, is an interference engine. The valves and pistons occupy the same space but it is the job of the belt or chain to make sure they move in the proper time as to not hit each other. From sheer inertia, when either a belt or chain breaks, the valves will slam closed due to the valve spring tension, and the crank shaft will continue spinning, causing the pistons and valves to collide. That's not to say that every piston will hit the valves, but odds are good that more than one piston is damaged and many if not all valves are bent or otherwise damaged. If you want to keep the vehicle and repair it as inexpensively as possible, a completely remanufactured engine is a good choice. Also, a known good used engine may be an alternative. Just be sure to replace the timing belt, tensioners, water pump, etc, before installing it.

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