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Discussion Starter #1
I just picked up an 04 3.3 with what I can best describe as a knock/rattle on the passenger side of the engine. It has 160K, ONE OWNER and has a pretty good service record history as far as routine maintenance goes. The previous owner stated that it recently had "all the belts hoses and gaskets replaced along with the recent oil change" I asked if she had ever had the timing belt changed or any major repairs such as clutch, wheel bearings, etc and she stated no, other than the front wheel bearings about 2K miles ago. I guess I am looking for what is "common" for these engines with this kind of mileage. Hoping I do not have to do a complete engine so I am asking for some advice before I pull the thing out. Planning on starting with valve cover removal and look for something obvious like a sticky lifter. I have done some research that indicates the timing belt should have been done around 100K. One last question, what kind of mileage (longevity) is common for these engines if properly maintained? Any help is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I can't get over how CLEAN it is in general inside, out, and underneath. The thing doesn't even have a "ding" on it that I can see. Other than some fading on the plastics the body is almost perfect.........for now.
 

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NICE! When I pull the covers I'm hoping it looks clean and I will start diagnosing exactly where the noise is coming from, repair it and put a new timing belt/tensioner on.
I cant believe the timing belt has not already broken . Any chance the tensioner is making the noise ?
 

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I cant believe the timing belt has not already broken . Any chance the tensioner is making the noise ?
That's what I am hoping. It sounds like a cross between a lifter and a bearing/rod knock that fluctuates and gets quieter when the engine RPMs are raised. With the service records and how clean it is it's hard for me to believe its anything major internally.
 

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When you get all the front belts off crank it up for a min to see if any thing changes.
I plan on pulling the passenger valve cover and if there is nothing obvious (lifter, valve spring, or sludge) I will strip the front down and start it up for a few seconds and see if it's the tensioner. Even "if" I find something in the valve train I am still doing the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump.
 

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I wonder if maybe she grouped the timing belt into the "Belts replaced" grouping when she told you. Very rare to last that long.
Thats a good point if it is the original belt it may the longest lasting belt i have heard of.I love a good mystery !!! Keep us posted.
 

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The work to look at the t-belt's about the same as to change it...so, I'd bite the bullet and at least have a clean slate.

If you have a stethoscope, you can listen to hear where the knock is coming from...and isolate the part(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

Original belt! LOOSE. Not the worst part though. There was a bad lifter and the valves were suspect as well with a LOT of moisture and sludge in the top end. I also think there is a LOT of wear in general. Oh well. I ordered a JDM engine today and will do a New belt/tensioner/water pump on it, and a new clutch when the swap is done. Not too disappointed since I got the X for a REALLY good price. I bought it for just a little over what the NEW tires on it are worth! Anyone ever install a JDM engine? I've heard they do not use a crank sensor so that will have to be changed over and possibly the intake, have to use the domestic harness as the JDM's are right drive applications so some splicing may need to be done. Other than that they are "supposed" to be low mile 45-65K engines. Comes with a 90 day unlimited mile warranty but of course no LABOR "if" there is an issue. I will be doing it myself so it just TIME anyway. Looks like I have me a PROJECT!
 

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Got a friend with a path finder with the same v6 these have. Its going strong at 410k and its nothing but a mud truck. It burns some oil but that truck is nearly unbreakable. assuming the timing belt wasnt changed i would think by now it would have done broke. most people dont really go too far over 120k before theres break. And check those lifters. Some of these vg engines are bad about lifters.
 
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