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Topic: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement (Read 4225 times) previous topic - next topic

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  • bbzuki
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Simple Idiot
Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
I'm starting this thread to chronicle my timing chain replacement. I had a "ping ping ping" sound when the truck was running and it was coming from under the cover, so replacement is necessary sooner rather than later to avoid catastrophic damage. This Sport has 218K miles on it!  :o

Disclaimer: I am not a professional mechanic and this is not a job for the faint of heart. This is a serious procedure and if you don't feel competent, take it to a good mechanic.

AutoZone has a free repair guide HERE (free registration required) that has all of the steps and diagrams necessary to complete this. I am putting my own steps and information in as I go through this to help guide others. Hopefully this all turns out OK (fingers crossed). I will edit this post as I continue.

Parts Required:

  • I HIGHLY suggest you get a Japanese-made timing chain kit. I went with a FULL OSK kit (part number S601K) which includes new gears, gaskets and all.





  • It is also a good idea if you haven't recently done it to get a new water pump and thermostat!  :)

  • I also suggest going with a new, full, valve cover gasket set (including the spark plug tube gaskets) since you'll be pulling the valve cover anyway.



Tools Required:

  • 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 14mm, 19mm sockets

  • 10mm, 12mm wrenches

  • Various breaker bars, cheater bars/pipes, socket extensions and the like


Steps:

  • Disconnect the negative battery cable

  • Chock the wheels well so the vehicle won't move

  • Remove the accessory belt (14mm on the tensioner pulley, clockwise)

  • Remove idler pulley (14mm nut on the stud coming out of the front of the block)
    Here is what the idler pulley looks like (note it has a nut, not a bolt):

  • Remove accessory belt tensioner pulley (14mm bolt into tensioner assembly)
    Here is what it looks like (sitting next to the tensioner assembly):

  • Remove tensioner assembly (2x12mm - see above photo)

  • Remove water pump pulley (4x10mm). I inserted a properly-sized allen wrench through 1 of the 2 holes in the pulley to block it against the water pump housing, enabling you to remove the 4 bolts.
    Here is what it looks like, removed:

  • Drain the coolant (put a bucket below the drain [censored] on the bottom of the radiator and open the drain [censored])

  • Loosen the A/C line on the top of the radiator (if you have A/C) to help facilitate removing the fan (2x10mm on the clamps holding the line in place)

  • Carefully remove the fan shroud (4x10mm on the corners) by bending it around the fan

  • Remove the fan belt tensioner arm assembly, fan belt & fan (2x14mm)
    Here is what it looks like, removed (from the back side):

  • Carefully disconnect the 4 coil pack electrical connectors

  • Remove the 4 coil packs (8mm bolts hold them to the valve cover)
    Here is what it should look like with them removed:

  • I have the 5-speed, so I put the car in 5th with the parking brake on to be able to remove the crank bolt
    At this point, it should look close to this:


  • Remove the crank bolt (19MM) with a breaker bar and the car in 5th/parking brake on.

  • Remove the crank pulley (mine came right off pretty easily)
    Here is what it looks like, removed:

  • Remove the two bolts on the little coolant hard line mounting plate (2x12mm) and swivel it aside out of the way

  • Remove the PCV line (rear) and breather hose (forward) on the valve cover

  • Remove the shroud (2x10mm) that covers the throttle cable assembly

  • Remove the valve cover nuts (6x10mm)

  • Remove the lower radiator hose and if you're doing the thermostat, the thermostat housing (3x12mm)
    Note: I also ended up removing the upper hose just to make elbow room (2 clamps)


  • Remove the A/C compressor (if applicable) and swivel it out of the way (3x12mm - one on top, two below)

  • Remove the A/C compressor bracket (4x14mm)

  • Remove the valve cover and cover everything up with some rags to help keep as much dirt out as possible.

  • Remove the timing chain cover (15x10mm bolts around the sides, two underneath going through the oil pan, and one nut below the idler pulley stud)



More to come as I continue!  8)
  • Last Edit: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015, 06:20 PM by bbzuki
98 Sidekick Sport - Won't Die<br />01 Suburban - Fool-Sized Wheeler

  • ericmike
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #1
Not to bad of a write up maybe should be in how to section
Pic is worth a thousand words

  • bbzuki
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Simple Idiot
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #2
Additional tools required: 17mm socket, large wrench (1-1/16 is the one I found fit well, since I didn't have a large metric equivalent)

When the timing cover is off, it looks like this:


26. Put the car back in neutral and place the crank bolt back. Using a 19mm socket, align the timing marks so they look like this:



27. Using a large wrench (1-1/16 is what I used) hold each camshaft in place at the hexagonal section while using a 17mm socket on a breaker bar to break the camshaft bolts free (mine were very tight).

More to come!  :)  [red_s]
  • Last Edit: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015, 09:34 PM by bbzuki
98 Sidekick Sport - Won't Die<br />01 Suburban - Fool-Sized Wheeler

  • bbzuki
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Simple Idiot
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #3
28. Put the car back in 5th to lock down the crank after you've aligned the marks. Stuff a rag down inside the opening to the oil pan to keep debris out of it.

29. Remove all the old timing tensioners, guides, and chains. Tensioners are 10mm and 12mm bolts, respectively. Don't discard anything yet, because you'll need some of the spacers and such later. I placed the bolts back into the block so I'll know what went where later!
When you've finished, it will look like this:



30. Clean everything very well! All sealing surfaces and the interior areas should be clean.

31. Remove the crank sprocket and cam sprockets if you bought new ones:

32. Install the new crank sprocket and get out your new inner chain. The blue link lines up with the dot on the idler sprocket, like this:

The yellow link lines up with the dot on the bottom of the crank sprocket, like this:

33. Install your new guides after lubricating them with clean engine oil and using the aforementioned spacers you kept. Verify your two links have not moved during installation:

34. Install your new inner chain tensioner adjuster and DO NOT pull the pin yet:


35. Place your new cam sprockets on your camshafts with the dowels in the groove on the sprockets and put the bolts in for a few threads so the sprockets don't fall off. Put your new chain over the cam sprockets, aligning the blue marks with the dots on the camshafts:

Align the idler sprocket mark with the yellow link on the outer chain:


36. Tighten your camshaft sprocket bolts while holding the camshafts steady with the big wrench so they won't move around on you!

More later!  8)
  • Last Edit: Thursday, Jan 15, 2015, 08:03 PM by bbzuki
98 Sidekick Sport - Won't Die<br />01 Suburban - Fool-Sized Wheeler

  • recon
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #4
Totally agree. This should be a permanent sticky post. 
Kudos to you!  Very well documented and the tips are to the point!   The factory service manual (as well as other write-ups I've seen) do NOT have this quality of pictures depicting the gear and block markings (which are difficult to see at best).  The chain markings alignment on the gears pics are good too.
Well done studmuffin!
2002 Tracker with a  2 Liter and 5 spd... it works for me.

  • bbzuki
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Simple Idiot
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #5
Thank ya!  ;D
I should have this all wrapped up this weekend and the howto should be complete.  [red_s]
98 Sidekick Sport - Won't Die<br />01 Suburban - Fool-Sized Wheeler

  • bbzuki
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Simple Idiot
Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #6
37. Install the outer chain tensioner:

38. Pull the pins! 
39. Put the car back in neutral and put the crank bolt back in. Turn the engine 2 complete revolutions and verify that all the timing marks line up properly still. If you did everything right, you're good!
40. Install a new oil seal in the timing cover using a seal driver tool or an appropriately-sized socket.
41. Use RTV to make a gasket around the perimeter of your cover, adding a tiny bit extra where the block meets the head and not forgetting about the dowels in the center.
42. Install the cover with the 15 perimeter bolts, two oil pan bolts and one nut in the center:

43. Put your valve cover back on with a new valve cover gasket (if it needs it) to help keep debris out of the head:

44. Put the car back in 5th and install the crank pulley:

Finally, go through the reverse steps of putting everything back on!  8)

Here are all the torque values I could find:

  • Timing Cover Bolts: 97 in-lbs

  • Inner Chain Tensioner Pivot Bolt: 19 ft-lbs

  • Inner Chain Tensioner Adjuster Bolts: 97 in-lbs

  • Inner Chain Guide: 97 in-lbs

  • Camshaft Sprockets: 44 ft-lbs

  • Outer Chain Tensioner Adjuster Bolts: 97 in-lbs

  • Idler Sprocket Nut: 33 ft-lbs

  • Crank Pulley: 109 ft-lbs

  • A/C Compressor Bracket Bolts: 40 ft-lbs

  • Belt Tensioner Mounting Bolts: 19 ft-lbs




Other tips: 

  • I suggest removing the radiator entirely to make room. There are two 10mm bolts on the sides at the top and it pulls directly up/out.

  • If you do the water pump, you must remove the 4 mounting bolts that hold the housing to the block in order to get it off the front of the pump housing. There is also an o-ring between the housing and the block.




Have fun!  [red_s]
98 Sidekick Sport - Won't Die<br />01 Suburban - Fool-Sized Wheeler

Re: Sidekick Sport J18A Timing Chain Replacement
Reply #7
I'll probably be crossing this bridge one day. Thanks for the fantastic write up!