Infinity Cam Codes — Not a Chain Issue

Justin Mobile Technician Herriman, Utah Posted   Latest   Edited  
Case Study
Driveability
Emissions
2005 Infiniti G35 X 3.5L (VQ35DE) 5-spd (RE5R05A) — JNKCV54E95M413423
P0011 — "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 1
P0021 — "A" Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance Bank 2
No Isssues With Performance
Idles And Starts Fine

This is a used engine swap job that I was called to help diagnose the codes on. Found P0011, P0022. Customer states new cam sensors have been installed. No issues starting or running. Engine idles smooth and starts without hesitation. No lack of power felt. Scan data shows cams at 24 degrees positive at idle. No change when revving the engine in park. I checked oil level and condition. Clean and full. I checked oil control solenoids for power and manually activated them, scan data showed cams to advance to 64 degrees positive and a significant change in running of the engine. I did rev the engine during the test. I then captured the cam and crank signals as well as an ignition sync to cyl #1. I compared to my known good I had on a 2005 Maxima. I found cam timing to be different. The signals looked good. The timing of the two cams in relation to each other were spot on. It was the relationship to the crank that was off. After some research I found the crank timing sprocket has 21 teeth. If it skipped time by a tooth it would be 17.14 degrees per tooth. That doesn't work out to 24 degrees any way you add it up. 

So what could cause this? If it was off a tooth and had chain stretch it could. But the stretch would also show on up between the two cams. It wasn't It could be a skipped chain and a guide worn. It would have to be the guide between the first cam and the crank. I would expect to be able to hear this problem in the timing chain area. No noise is coming from the chain area. Ever. So that leaves the reluctor for the crank signal. This engine uses the flywheel to trigger the crank sensor. Is the flywheel indexed incorrectly? Bolted up in the wrong spot? I ask the boys in the shop if they had touched the flywheel. There is a language barrier here. These boys speak Spanish well, I don't. I am told it has a new flywheel. I asked new from Infinity? Yes was the answer. Ok now how am I going to prove the flywheel is the problem. I need a way to index the flywheel position in relation to the cams. In cylinder testing will show piston position in relation to crank sensor reluctor. I don't have a saved known good in cylinder for this engine. I ask a few friends if they have any. None are found. Not sure what to do I try to make sense of ignition timing in relation to my now acquired in cylinder capture. I am not 100% confident in my analysis. Move on with a might need to open the engine up as my best answer now. Two days later I stop at another shop I service for another job. They have one of these same cars in the bay for the famous front driveline issue. No cam codes. I asked if I could capture some waveforms off it. Permission granted I capture the known good in cylinder with crank and cam signals to compare to my car in question. It is an instant confirmation that the flywheel is in the wrong spot. I run back over to the shop with the broken car. They still haven't touched it. Good news. I show them what I find and then I'm told the flywheel was transferred off the old engine to the replacement used engine. They have the old flywheel off the replacement engine there. I look at it and confirm it can't be bolted up incorrectly as it has offset bolt pattern on it. I am 100% sure the relationship of the pistons to crank signal are off but I don't know why. My guess is there is a difference in hardware. I am guessing the donor engine is not from the same year or model. Anyone know if for sure? 

Note you can see between the two cars the relationship between piston TDC and Cam are the same between both the known good and the broken car. Mechanical timing is perfect.

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Steven Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Steven Default
 

At idle the cam timing should read 0 degrees.. that it's reading 24 degrees is probably telling you that the sprockets which are spring loaded are sticking.. The physical timing of the engine is most definitely on time.,. but these VTC sprockets usually stick from lack of oil changes. In your case this donor engine has it been sitting ??and has not run for a while?? .. Off idle the only way you…

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Randy Diagnostician
Glendora, California
Randy Default
 

G35 stick shift and automatic use two different engines . The stick shift is called a hr motor or high rev

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Brandon Diagnostician
Reading , Pennsylvania
Brandon Default
 

Sorry Justin, Im really not sure. Great captures, though👍

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

An awesome friend had some pictures of a Nissan flywheel. It looks nothing like the one the boys at this shop showed me. His pictures show six holes that appear to be the same spacing. meaning this flywheel could be mounted in six different positions. We think the flywheel they showed me was from a Dodge product.

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

I dont know how many bolt holes the one we had was off but I do know the holes were evenly the dow peg that is supposed to keep you from doing that was missing. Seems like this one was two bolt holes off and was 64 deg's. I do remember it would not pulse the injectors being that far out. Sorry thought I had some pictures of the back of the motor but can not seem to find them Good luck Bryan

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Frank Service Manager
Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank Default
 

I’m at home sick and don’t have access to service history but I swear we had this problem and there is a tsb for this.

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

I looked in ASIST this morning and did not see any tsb's for anything close to this problem

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Thanks for looking.

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Richard Technician
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Richard Default
   

Looking at the captures, the problem engine shows a 32* retarded crank position from the other car. I did a Maxima a couple of months ago and i thought they were closer to 0 on the cams with the solenoids unplugged. HTH.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Yes. That is what we know about this. The crank reluctor is the one that is off. Yes they should show zero at idle.

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Michael Mobile Technician
Clinton, Utah
Michael Default
 

Don't you love it when we have engines that look the same and bolt in have different sensor characteristics? It is especially hard when you are called in for an ever since and expected to wave your wand to fix it.

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Randy Diagnostician
Glendora, California
Randy Default
 

So what has changed from original car . Motor replacement . Look at the install and what could have changed . Flywheel exchange mmmmmmmm

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Victor Owner/Technician
Doral, Florida
Victor Default
 

A somewhat stupid but necessary question​.​Are the correct sensors mounted on this vehi9cle?

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I don’t think any incorrect or correct sensor is capable of changing the timing of the pattern.

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Randy Diagnostician
Glendora, California
Randy Default
 

true

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
Joel Default
   

I was comparing the know good wave form from the 0 degree tdc compression from in cylinder to first cursor where the 2 cmp line up in syn up transition is 134 degrees how ever the engine in question is at 151 degree taking the same measurements. the other wave form was to verify same transition in relation to the 180 degrees position. is the valve timing good, when the 180 degrees compare to…

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Frank Service Manager
Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank Default
 

I found the Repair order from the one we had - i did not find the service information, the crank shaft sensor sets this code(from my invoice:) Crankshaft position sensor needed Concern verified, found (MIL) Check Engine lamp on and fault codes P0011 and P0021 both for variable cam timing fail safe banks 1 and 2. Performed oil pressure and cam actuator tests, scoped wave forms on all cam…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Joel, regarding the vacuum or the lack of — what are crankshaft speeds for these waveforms? Do they suggest a cranking or running event?

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
Joel Default
   

thanks for that information it is true the know good vehicle was taken at idle while the other cranking , how about the degrees differences between them if I get the peak tdc compression tower is that re reason crank speed makes degrees differences to cmp up transition when I am comparing to the peak compression tower . I just should compare transition points of cmp in relation to ckp that…

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

This topic probably deserves a whole math lecture, but, to start with, this video might be of some help. You can try to adapt its findings to the digital CKP and see if the timings make sense then: diag​.​net/msg/m1kcs3tscd…

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Maynard Technician
Elmira, Ontario
Maynard Default
 

That is very interesting Dimitriy, I would never have given that rpm thing a second though really. Thanks!

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Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb Default
 

After reading your post several times Justin, it's seems the only logical explanation is that the bolt holes for the flywheel are machined in a different position on the crankshaft.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I was 100% convinced this problem was the flywheel before I posted this. I am still sure of it. Can you think of any other way to prove it without complete removal of parts and visually inspecting?

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
   

I've never tried this, but if you put cyl 1 piston at compression TDC, remove the ckp sensor and use a borescope to look at the flywheel teeth. On the good 06 Infinity, I think you would see a couple flywheel teeth and the missing teeth. On the broken 05 Infinity, you would not see the missing flywheel teeth. If someone installs another flywheel, you could look for the missing flywheel teeth…

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
Joel Default
 

That is brilliant idea

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

I was not smart enough to figure out how to tell for sure without pulling the trans out of the one we had. And to be totally honest I do not do any heavy line work but the guy next to me that does had the trans out of ours in less time than it would have taken him to read this post and the replies ;-)

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Ok, so he gets it out and you look at it, now how do you know where it’s supposed to be or what it’s supposed to look like?

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
 

With cyl 1 piston at compression TDC and with the transmission out, some flywheel teeth and the missing flywheel teeth should align with the ckp sensor tip.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
   

I know what you were you saying Ray. I was replying to Bryan when I asked. I like your thought. But I feel it would just be visually confirming what we already know.

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
 

I'm thinking that if they try another flywheel and before installing the transmission, they could put cyl 1 piston on compression TDC, to be sure that the ckp sensor tip aligns with part of the missing flywheel teeth.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Got it. Makes sense.

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Caleb Technician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb Default
 

I would do exactly what Ray said. Also since the crank sensor is mounted in the bellhousing use a paint marker to mark the location of the sensor hole on the bellhousing and then mark over onto the block. Then take the location of the mark on the block an mark the original engine block so you can check the reluctor teeth on the floor.

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

There is supposed to be a guide dowel to index the flywheel and make it a no brainer. Thinking it is missing allowing you to install the flywheel wrong

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I didn’t instal it.

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

Haha Internet thing, not meaning you "you" as in the person that installed it. Could just be Redneck speak

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Geoff Diagnostician
Lahaina, Hawaii
Geoff Default
   

No, the "generic you" is universal. Now if you had said "all y'all" well..... en​.​wikipedia​.​org/wiki/Generic_y… ps Did you get that "thank you" in the mail?

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

I did get the Thank you Brought it into the shop and everyone enjoyed it

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph Default
 

Hey Justin if they decide to pull the trans this is flex plate orientation at number 1 tdc, not dial indicator tdc but close. This is off 07 Maxima

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Joseph Technician
Lexington, South Carolina
Joseph Default
 

If you need any other views let me know

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

That’s great thanks.

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
Joel Default
 

that is dealer tech mine , yes when you are sure where is the problem you dissemble, to find out where is the problem ,discuss to learn more tecniques , like this casw frmehashelp me to understand more how to interpret the wave form that wilm help me to fix quickly the next vehicle, but I understand dealer flat rate get it done no nit waste time . that is the mentality.

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

but I understand dealer flat rate get it done no nit waste time Not sure you completely do, There is a lot more that plays into it than just flat rate tech turning and burning hours. How long has the shop had the customers car. My hours are not only feeding me there is a SW, SM, porters and a lot of other people expecting to be paid. Including hitting their bonus tied to the pay plan, you do…

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Joel Diagnostician
Soquel, California
Joel Default
   

I get paid hourly but , they check eefficiency, at the shop , diagnostic is more like art and that portion is not value on most of the shops, yes I understand when you are doing mechanical components replacements you have time set, brakes , how about diagnostic , when you read tbe service manula you spent that time en did not find any information related to the fault ? the07 nissan frontier I…

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Juan Technical Support Specialist
Lisle, Illinois
Juan Default
 

Do they have a Part # for the fly wheel? Shows to be a dual mass fly wheel. Possibly suspect the hub has shifted?

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Both engines are connected to automatic transmissions.

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Stephen Technician
Gallatin, Tennessee
Stephen Default
 

I see the TDC offset 33, retarded, on the crankshaft sensor tooth count. Compared to the known good. This is a mechanical line up of the flexplate( if that's where the crankshaft sensor teeth are) to the #1 crankshaft journal. Nothing can change that except moving the flexplate mounting or twisting the crankshaft. The flywheel teeth have the same count and spacing in both the good and bad…

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

An awesome friend sent me this picture of what the flywheel should look like. I don’t see how it could be installed incorrectly.

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Dmitriy Analyst
Toronto, Ontario
Dmitriy Default
 

Can the rim with teeth for CKP be bolted 180 degrees off?

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

That is the latest theory we have. Indexing. I haven’t had one of these apart myself before. whenever I pull a flywheel off, I mark it like the markings on the picture. It has always amazed me how many techs will not mark anything when disassembling a job. The one that I kept seeing the same mistake made over and over again with the boys in the bays next to me, was the Subaru crank sprocket. The…

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Bryan Technician
Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Bryan Default
 

I am out on the best way to diagnose the car but since you brought it up I use a white touch up paint to mark things. The newer bottles have a pointed applicator and a brush, makes it nice if you want to put a dot on something or paint a line on it. Worth mentioning is snapping pictures with the cell phone of things, for some reason I was slow to get going doing it. After making a habit of it I…

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Stephen Technician
Gallatin, Tennessee
Stephen Default
 

There are better pictures of a flexplate on eBay. I can’t make the 180* bolt offset line up with the measured offset. But, moving it 3 bolt holes gives about 150*. The good tooth is the 2nd after the gap. The bad tooth is the 5th after the(a) gap. Starting at a 2nd tooth, going 15 tooth spaces(150*) is about the 5th tooth on the next set of ten teeth. That tooth lines up with a bolt hole, 3 bolt…

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Richard Technician
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Richard Default
 

With 8 bolts that means you can only move it 45 each time , that will never get you to be the same as your known good. But if you advance the flexplate 2 bolt holes, you will move your cam timing 25*.

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Jordan Diagnostician
Roca, Nebraska
Jordan Default
   

Your cam to crank timing is off. Your compression waveform will also be off relative to the CKP because of that if actually a valve timing issue. Intake valve closure controls the timing of the compression tower. Dont worry so much about the scope/scanner math 17 to 24. It's close enough. Your known good wave is not from a brand new engine either. Even brand new would likely not read 0 degree…

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Stephen Technician
Gallatin, Tennessee
Stephen Default
 

I don’t understand what you mean by “Your compression waveform will also be off relative to the CKP”?

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Jordan Diagnostician
Roca, Nebraska
Jordan Default
   

My mistake nevermind.

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Jordan Diagnostician
Roca, Nebraska
Jordan Default
 

Stephen you had me second guess myself. You've performed relative compression test on cars with retarded cam timing and have seen the ignition sync occur after TDC correct?

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Stephen Technician
Gallatin, Tennessee
Stephen Default
 

Jordan, Thanks for your consideration. I’m not familiar with ign sync after relative compression TDC on a retarded timing engine. I don’t recall ever reading about that scenario. I know compression may be higher or lower depending on which cam is out of time but, can’t reason in my mind why the peak pressure would not be at TDC. Do you happen to have a waveform saved of one? The valves are…

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Victor Owner/Technician
Doral, Florida
Victor Default
 

I see little problems here because the ring gear can be removed from the flex plate and be repositioned if necessary​.​It has been done before.

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

Even if you moved the ring gear it would not change the trigger for the crank sensor. The crank sensor doesn’t read of the ring gear.

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Anthony Technical Support Specialist
Kirkwood, Pennsylvania
Anthony Default
 

Hi Justin: It appears that there were 4 different versions of that engine. Is there any chance that your customer has the wrong one installed? HTH, Guido

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

TBD

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Justin Mobile Technician
Herriman, Utah
Justin Default
 

I was able to talk to the shop that had this job yesterday. He told me he removed the transmission and reinstalled to other flywheel that cam with the engine. He said it ran great with no codes. He did say he could not bolt it up in a different orientation due to it having an alignment dowel.

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Ray Diagnostician
North York, Ontario
Ray Default
 

Thank you for the update!

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Caleb Diagnostician
Mishawaka, Indiana
Caleb Default
 

Cool man ,happy to learn from guys like you.

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