What did you end up doing/finding. I am having a very similar issue with my 2000 Nissan Maxima VQ30DE. (The 2000-2001 VQ30DE, and the 2001-2003 VQ35DE (in Maxima's, Pathfinders, and lots of other Nissan were extremely similar. They changed the cylinder head shape for a bit more displacement, and I think maybe the bore). Otherwise, these engines were pretty much the same, brothers, not cousins. My older Max VQ30DE has the older style secondary chain tensioners. In looking at pictures for non-Nissan replacements, the design does not appear as if it will take the newer shoes. The new 2ND tensioners are retangular on the side to accept some stabilizer prongs on the new shoes. And the shoe height looks perhaps different from the older models. So I am wondering if: 1. Do the older tensioner shoes even come off? (Depends on how the shaft/plunger attaches to the shoe), and 2. Can shoes be purchased for the design (I'm doubting it since I cannot find any.), and 3. Can shoes be swapped out at all on the old ones. Because swapping out the entire 2ND tensioner involves pulling all the COP coils, plug, lifter covers, upper CAM cover, so that you can unbolt the 2ND tensioners. (Perhaps double the work, and way more risk of moving a cam/valve accidentally.) I'd much rather just replace the shoes as well on my Max, as I assume you were trying to do on your Pathfinder. So I was wondering how it went for you?
Can anyone else answer? Do the old VQ30DE and VQ35DE (2000-2003) have a "shoe-only" replacement?
Second question. If not, can the newer VQ35DE (2004-2009) 2ND chain tensioners be installed on a VQ30DE? If I have to unbolt 1/2 the engine to swap them, I would rather put in the new style tensioner if it can be used, so that I only ever have to swap the shoes out in the future. (Not sure there will be that long of a future for this car, but you never know.)