Ok, hereâ€™s what I saw in Nissan DataScan II. The dealership saw the same data in CONSULT II.
Here is the engine warm at idle, no voltage applied to the solenoid and cams are sitting in phase (zero degrees offset ordered, varied +/- two degrees) with mechanical timing:
FSM test says at 2,000 RPM, you should see the cams advance between zero and thirty degrees. Here I saw one cam moving freely:
(Yes, the solenoid voltage appears to be â€œb1â€ twice...itâ€™s really b1 and b2, a typo in the app. The data displayed fluctuates between the two in real time.)
Iâ€™ve still got to go back and get the right timing chain covers with the correct seals installed by Nissan, but since they moved the failed O-ring out of the way now I see both cams advancing freely, roughly in time with each other.
Wish I could find the thread, but elsewhere I did see where someone had installed their cam chains a tooth or two off (might not have been on a VQ40DE, but a Maxima or something) and were able to see the timing was not 0/0 in Nissan DataScan.
A side note here - last month during my 2,000 mile round trip I got a P0430 (right bank or bank one catalyst efficiency warning) in the middle of it at my parents. I changed my spark plugs the next day at ~80K miles out of 100K mile lifespan and the code has yet to come back. But one of the plugs in bank one was half eroded. Figured it was an oddity as I didnâ€™t have anything in bank one to tie it to at the time.
Since my engine is now running a bit smoother than before and thereâ€™s no way of knowing when that o-ring failed (maybe from the beginning?), Iâ€™m thinking this might have been the culprit there. Mystery solved...perhaps