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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Good news! I musta been really tired at the end of the day. I took a shower, had dinner, and then started thinking.

Lo and behold! After removing the water pump, there was the bolt sticking out past the block. I removed it with my fingers! It apparently got to the bottom of the hole it was in and stopped. I wonder how or why, but no problem. I'll have to source a new one with that fancy head, or do without the cover bolt in that one spot. I think that's more likely. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
The rubber dowels that go between the ends of the water pump and the oil pump that forms part of the timing case came up missing. I put them in such a safe place that I couldn't find them. While searching for a replacement (search for "timing cover seal"), I came across Parts Geek and ordered a set with the 2 dowels (they call them a grommet), 3 oil seals, and 12 rubber washers. Nice!

In the first image, I turned one of the cam seals around to show its design. 6 of the washers are facing 1 way, 5 the other, and 1 on its edge. There's also an end view of the dowel showing the metal wire in the center. Tape measure to help see the sizes. The 2 dowels installed and the 6 replacement bolts torqued to 15 ft-lbs. Sizes of new bolts up front and stock bolts behind, all with anti-seize. The special bolt on the far right is the one that snapped off. Dang it!

Don't worry about the rust. It's just surface, not down deep! It's been sitting in the humidity for a few weeks while I make progress, break stuff, order parts, and wait...




 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Thanks for the pic I could not remember where the rubber sticks went exactly. I would say definitely used as guides and vibration reduction so the WP does not chatter/fret where it contacts the oil pump housing
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Cam gears inspected and cleaned up. The passenger (RH) had a bit of oil on the back side of it. Some Dawn and a small wire wheel on my cordless took years and miles of grunge and worn belt accumulation away. Squeaky clean!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Yesterday was Saturday and it was raining on and off all day. I made very little progress. Today, the weather is so much nicer: it's not only cooler but less humid. Currently, it's 81°F (27°C) with 65% RH. The "feels like" temperature is 84°F (29°C). For those who listen to the weather on TV, the Dew Point is 69°F (21°C). Not ideal conditions, but still nice enough.

Since I removed the t-belt without setting #1 to TDC, I had to rotate the crankshaft and both cams, which forced me to pop the cap on the dizzy to make sure the LH (driver) cam was also in the same alignment.

Since I couldn't see it from above, I crawled underneath to ensure that the belt was lined up with the crank pulley, and it was! That drop hanging off the cover is from yesterday when I sprayed the crank snout with WD40. It got into the threads and came out when I needed to turn crank.

I still need to fix the small plug on the dizzy, but no worries; I have the connector! A member was kind enough to provide an entire dizzy for me to use, and it was as cool as a breeze from Alaska when I received it. Thank you very much, @bremmike12!

I didn't need to put as many pics as I did, but I figure that some fella in the future might benefit from seeing it all.




 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Not done, but a whole lot closer...


Most of the old rubber washers were so brittle that they broke apart, but some came off whole. They slide up onto the shoulder of each bolt like this:


 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
The specs call for 6 different lengths of bolts! Some of them are unique, too. Watch for "rear" in the description of #2 for 4 pieces. On mine there were 3 that did not make the cut:
  • the special head on one of the water pump bolts snapped off (1 of 4 of #3, just to the right of the water pump rotor),
  • the bolt below the AC bracket snapped off in the block before I took possession of it (1 of 8 of #1),
  • the only #6 at the very bottom, which actually broke the timing cover in a small triangle. This happened when I did the t-belt on my 2001 in August 2020, too!


 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
After getting the t-belt tensioned, loosely install the lower front cover and the harmonic balancer without bolt #4 and #5. This will let you get the cover centered on the pulley so it doesn't rub. (Can you say "poor design" here?)

Keep the lower cover loose while starting all of the shorter bolts in the upper front cover.

Start the last two, bolt #4 and #5 in the lower cover.

Finally, tighten all and step back.
 

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If you remove the water pump then the rest of the bolt will probably walk out. Put a magnet on it and see if it will twist out before doing anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
If you remove the water pump then the rest of the bolt will probably walk out. Put a magnet on it and see if it will twist out before doing anything else.
I hadn't thought of that. Do you think it can be removed easily from what you see in the circle? I never even tried since the bolt was missing before I took it off.

The other one that I snapped off came out after removing the pump. Of the 5 around the center water pump hole, it was the first hole clockwise from 12 o'clock.

 

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Discussion Starter · #32 · (Edited)
Last Sunday, I was able to get the t-belt installed and the engine running (no coolant!) to make sure that the tensioner was not too tight. Covers and harmonic balancer installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Today, Saturday, I was able to mount the external trans cooler below the right headlight, and attach the 7" fan to it. The long screws will be shortened once the bumper cover is back on and checked to be sure that the cooler is not touching the plastic.



 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Along with the trans cooler, there is also a thermostatic valve for it that will be installed between both hoses and the cooler, plus a fitting that adds a sensor to turn on the fan. The fan wiring is all there from an earlier mod.

Last year, I removed the stock clutch fan in favor of twin electric radiator fans. All I've needed so far is one fan to keep things happy, so 2 is just good insurance. :cool:

Around that time, I also bought a Moroso kit to convert the water pump to be driven by an electric motor. Today was the right opportunity to make the mod.

With an electric motor, the pump will run at a high enough speed to keep things cool no matter if it's idling or powering down the freeway. Plus, I won't have to hit the throttle to spin the pump when it warms up more than I'd like.

That also meant that the stock 486K5 belt for the PS, water pump, and tensioner had to be shortened, so I now have a 430K5 to spin the PS and tensioner. I'll test fit it on Sunday since I've buttoned it all up for the night.

So, after the trans cooler, I started figuring out how to mount the electric motor.

From the images in the post above you can see that I have a metal bumper under the plastic bumper skin. It came from my slightly wrecked 2001, which got a new bumper that went to the new owner. I still have the ends. I cut up one of them to serve as the cradle. Next is mounting it so it doesn't interfere with moving parts. I have a plan, but it involves a hardware store!
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
My buddy stopped by yesterday. He made a very good point about the new trans cooler being in harm's way from a simple fender bender in a parking lot. So, my next effort will be to move it, either by mounting it vertically or in a new location.

After he said that, I put the bumper skin on to check for fit and somehow it was now holding the cover too far out. How did I miss that? Oh well, glad he said something! Honest friends are good friends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
It has been sweltering here over the weekend. I was gone Saturday, but Sunday was not walk in the park, either. The high temps (Saturday 99°F, Sunday 95°F) and the high humidity (over 85%), meant that it was sticky just being outside! Sunday afternoon I was able to move the heat exchanger from the corner to the center, mounted horizontally just above the air flow at the bottom of the center opening in the bumper. I intend to wire the fan to push the air down so as much heat as possible is directed away from the radiator, mostly at idle and slow speeds, such as when 4-wheeling.

The fan is strapped down using the 4 little feet that come with it, plus I added more zip-ties through the other 4 holes for insurance. I'd rather it didn't move, but if it does, it won't.

The holes in the bumper are how I mount the 2004 bumper skin to the shortened bumper from my former 2001. The one on the left of the image will now do double duty by holding up one end of the cooler.

With the conditions mentioned above, that was all I could do before becoming calling it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 · (Edited)
The weather was a bit better than before, so today (Saturday) I got the trans cooler completely plumbed. Wiring is all that's lacking, but most of that is already in place. The fitting that came with the trans cooler temp switch was some kind of flared fitting, so I went old-school and got some brass.

The thermostatic valve from DeRale is mounted with two ¼-20 bolts to a piece of 1/16" x 1½" x 1½" aluminum L channel. The valve has holes for 4 bolts, but the heads are so close that they interfere with each other! Using the instructions (yep, i kin reed!) I marked the raised arrows with magic marker, then added T and C for trans and cooler. They'll wear off eventually, but helped me to install it correctly.

First, I found out which line was pumping fluid TO the cooler by starting the engine briefly. Then I got all the hoses in place as well as a brass Tee for the temp switch. After cinching down the clamps, I started it again. There was 1 leak at the original lines where the new hose was supposedly clamped. I found out that the ends of both lines actually get smaller right at the end, so I slid the hoses further onto the lines and then clamped them there. No leaks after that.

The hoses are in a bit of a tight spot, so I used both pieces of the hose that I was cut off when I shortened the coolant bypass hose a few weeks ago. I just sliced it lengthwise, then zip-tied it around the hoses.

Don't hate on me for using worm-gear clamps on some of the fittings. I used the crush type on half a dozen, but the hose got a bit too big when it went over the barbs, so I had to switch to wormy clamps. I tried re-using the spring clamps that came on the stock trans cooler lines, but the hose is too big for them as well.

After making sure there were no leaks, I cut off the excess lengths of the wormy clamps.




 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
After further contemplation, I've come to the conclusion that running my water pump on an electric motor is not possible with the Moroso kit that I purchased. The reviews since buying it have not been stellar, and it's designed more to be a motor for occasional use (drag strip or show car) rather than as a daily driver.

Completed over the weekend plus Monday:
  • Three new drive belts installed
  • New SC radiator is in place
  • New radiator hoses are all hooked up

Items to finish:
  • Add some rubber (from pieces of hoses) to prevent DeRale valve from vibrating
  • Change the heater hoses
  • Fill with water just for leak test, then drain and top with the proper coolant
  • Transmission cooler fan wiring
  • Improve the wiring to the radiator fans
  • Reinstall the air horns in a new location
  • Put the dash back together after having had it apart to service the IPC
  • Adjust the positions of the needles to be as accurate as before the faceplate swap
  • Replace shifter light with an LED like those in the dash
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
All I can say is thank you to CX for all the comments about the plastic heater hose nipples! To replace the heater hoses, all that info came in handy and I did not damage them as a result.

I used a utility knife to slice the hose, then a screwdriver to release each one from its nipple, including the metal ones behind the block. Boy, were those hard to get to! But I prevailed and now they're done.

There's also a bracket that holds the harness coming out of the cabin, and it was easier to remove it that leaving it attached.

 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
The line from the transmission to the cooler has a temperature switch that was wired to the OH control panel that had a switch and relay already waiting for it, and it got wired up, along with using some of the old heater hoses to pad the thermostatic valve while adding a brace to more securely mount it and keep it from vibrating and breaking loose.

The fan was wired up using a WeatherPac connector. (Funny story: I tested the fan to be sure which way I needed to wire it up and still got it backwards on my first attempt! Two wires and I mixed 'em up. SMH . . . Oh well, it's fixed now.)

It pushes air down. If I'm sitting still or moving slowly, I believe that this should blow the hot air down and away from the radiator rather than add heat to it.

 
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