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Nissan QR25 Cam Chains

Now here is something to put into your pipe and smoke. Yes, cam-chains do stretch and they do cause mayhem on your ECU, sometimes so bad that your car won’t start and it will leave you stranded. I have a Nissan which has the QR25DE motor and this is what happened. The car would start surging after hard acceleration, pull over, switch off ignition, re-start and the car would behave just fine.


Once the ECU (Engine Control Unit) warning light came on. Then the car remained in limp-mode. Switching off and restarting the engine ran just fine. Now why on earth would the control unit allow the engine to run if there was something wrong with the valve timing. Unfortunately, being a performance engine, this sis a safetyguard. A car that has been religiously serviced from day one, a car that I was told had an incredible engine, a car that the service center told me had a cam chain and not belt and which only needed replacing when it started becoming noisy. Now here’s the thing, the problem was caused by a stretched chain which did not make a noise. I will play the victim here because I am not working on the engine and can say anything and my raging is not at Nissan, it’s at modern design. The bill is going to amount to R20 000.00 or U$ 2 100.00 – I believe the engine has to be removed and three chains have to be replaced. I don’t have the workshop manual – forums suggest two chains – one for the valve timing and the other for balancer shafts. On previous services nobody picked up a noise, the last service was 5000 km back. Strange or Just Plain Bullshit?

Personally speaking I am just tired of all the crap that goes with modern cars – we must buy a new car with extended warranty because if something goes wrong we need to pay the mechanic (technician? engineer?) the same rates as a medical doctor.  We are been held to ransom by the car manufacturer. I do not want a car with all the fancy gadgets that go with it to make it run like clockwork and have exhaust gas emissions of an electric motor. I smell bullshit in the air.  If the engine had a stretched camchain there should be a readable error code for all to see, just like a standard PCs error log. Then we know what is wrong before taking it to the dealer. Not some innuendo which can only be read from a very specific analyser. Yes, I am venting but I think engines have not evolved that much, the electronics hasn’t evolved that much but design has become poor and I base this more on layout, not the electronics.  Why does one have to take the engine out to replace a cam chain?  Or the starter motor? Let’s start seeing some clever designwork where all parts of the engine are accessible.  I’m not looking at the racing enthusiast – I’m looking at the old V6 motors of yesteryear (read Ford V6) – fit the necessary fuel injection and sensors in but let’s have some transparency – an engine fault that tells the user what the problem is.  Start using sensors that are colour coded that are clearly defined in the user manual and that next time you buy a car you know what the sensors are and what they do. Long time back the DIYer could do a full service in his backyard. Nowadays the engine checklight goes on and that’s it. $$$$$$$$.

Easy to work on cars, early Escorts, Subaru, early VW, Beetles.  Want some links:

I would have liked more pages with Japanese or British flavour but who cares, older cars were easier to work on. Never as easy as electric though!



One Reply to “Nissan QR25 Cam Chains”

  1. Just as an add on to these woes the cam chain was obviously not the problem – the vehicle continued to surge, mechanics hauled it in, did something miraculous because it stopped surging, had no power and then it used 6 pints of oil over 300Km. The catalytic converter had overheated, flaked and caused engine damage. The cam chain cost about U$1200 and the car was hauled off to 3rd party repair center for an engine overhaul. (F**k Nissan). The overhaul cost about U$3000.00 – thanks to Mitchum Pasqualli for an excellent job – go here: – they replaced the brake pads for free as well.

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