I decided to write this based on my own research and findings. The easiest way is to ring Nissan, they should tell you. If they’re being awkard about it, then you can use the below procedure to help work it out. Hopefully this post should add some clarification to people who are unsure if their car has VVT or not, and which timing chain kit they should purchase.
For reference there are 3 timing chain kits for the Nissan Almera QG15DE Engine. They all use a 154-link timing chain with tensioner, but have different Inlet pulleys based on the car if it has VVT. The 3 timing chain kit codes are as follows
- TCK32 (Timing chain kit for NON-VVT Engine. Both Inlet/Exhaust pulleys are the same
- TCK32VVT (Timing chain kit for a VVT Engine. The Inlet pulley is 50.65mm (or around that) in size
- TCK32DVVT (Timing chain kit for a VVT Engine. The Inlet pulley is 75.00mm (or around that) in size
OK. Now you know 3 sizes, which ones the right one for your car. A lot of guides on the web suggest if the side of the block has a flat face it is non-VVT and if it’s a squiggly bit / bump it has VVT. People who follow this guide when they have a “Flat” face rocker cover are then then later surprised when they remove their rocker cover and usually find their car has VVT fitted to the engine.
Please note the information written below is with my car having the MK2 Engine (Metal Rocker Cover), I’m not sure if the MK1 Engine (Black Cover) use a “bump” for both types of VVT Pulley. This information has been written to try and help with identification
The reason why Almera have a squiggly bit I believe is because of the Deeper VVT pulley. There are actually 2 types of VVT pulley, one is around 50mm, the other is around 80mm. The extra bit is needed on the rocker cover and casing because of the larger pulley. Here’s the 3 timing chain kits for comparison. If you look at the pulleys, you can physically see the different sizes for the two VVT kits. This is why some have a “bump” on the rocker cover. It’s there to accomodate the larger VVT pulley. That’s it.
Now. How do you identify if your car has VVT or not. Firstly, most Almeras have VVT now. Here’s a couple of checks you can do.
- Does your car have the “bump” – YES? – Then your car has the VVT Deep Pulley (TCK32DVVT Kit) – No?
- You may require additional checks if you have the MK1/Black Top engine as noted above
- Open your oil cap, you see a chunk of metal in your way like below?
- YES? – Then your car has the VVT Small Pulley (TCK32VVT Kit)
- NO? – Then your car does not have VVT (TCK32 Kit)
Hopefully this will help avoid future confusion and help people out for later reference