Nissan Almera VVT Pulley Identification

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.

QG15DE Engine with Bump
QG15DE with VVT and “Bump”


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

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How I fixed my Car Audio with Zip Ties

I recently wrote how I replaced my factory head unit in my car with an aftermarket one. One of the problems I’ve been experiencing however, was intermittent sound AND no radio. I had a weird issue where the head unit also wasn’t powering up too. The speakers were dropping in and out, and also the next time I fitted the aerial wire, the head unit would no longer power up.

Needless to say this confused me, until I did a bit of investigation

Turns out that the ISO adapter harness I purchased to fit the head unit to my car, was connected to the block. However there was always a little bit of “play” where you could wiggle the connector in and out 2-3mm which I was never happy with

This small amount of “play” was enough to break the connection between the pins and cause a signal loss, and power loss. Hence why my previous testing on the head unit wasn’t showing any problems and why it randomly powered up again after I tested it

Basically I added two zip ties tightly against the harness, one near the speaker wires, and one near the power. It’s now permanently solid and worked flawlessly since

Views – 227

Finally some sounds in the car

This has been going on for some time now, but I’ve wanted to replace my factory head unit with a better one. The standard one in the Nissan isn’t exactly the best, it does the job but the CD player part was broken and it was annoying me.

I didn’t want to chop any of the wires incase I decided to sell the car at a later date, so I purchased an ISO harness.

As an FYI, the Nissan Almera doesn’t have an earth connection through the factory wiring harness. The earth connection is done to the chassis of the vehicle through the earth wire and the metal cage that holds the head unit in

Now, I fitted the head unit to the vehicle, wouldn’t power up. Balls. Went over it again, now worked. Great. I had to order an DIN–>ISO aerial adatper because the factory one didn’t fit my Alpine head unit. The standard aerial is one of those thick ones, and the normal adapter you get is usually the reverse (thin > thick), so I purchased a replacement

I went to it the next day, no power again…. annoying.

I pulled it out the day after, multimeter at the ready and tested the earth and +12 power wires. All working, test the head unit fuse, that works, ok, must be the head unit. No power… shit. Did head -unit

I unplugged the power wire and plugged in again, now working. What the hell. Sod it, it’s working for now. That will do

I’ll look into it further when I get the replacement aerial wire to see if I can figure out what’s wrong. It’s using a harness wire and there’s a connector which goes from factory harness (albeit it’s a bit loose) to the alpine ISO

I’ll post more if I figure it out

Views – 249