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Old 10-19-2020, 02:29 AM   #1
Bluefalcon76
 
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Default Nissan D21 spark issues

Hi there. I'm new to the site. I'd like to thank y'all for all the held so far. All the posts i have read so far, helped me get to this point. Here's where I'm at. I recently purchased a 91 Nissan 4x4. I got a really good deal on it, because it ran horribly, you couldn't drive it. After fixing a few obvious things, I set the TPS sensor, replaced the bad MAF sensor, new plugs and wires, and now she drives pretty good. The idle is still a little rough though. I was gonna check the timing next. when I hooked up the light, i noticed it wasn't consistent. It would fire 3 or 4 times, then miss a couple, then fire a couple more times and miss. it never fired more than five times in a row before missing one or two. I'm not sure what to make of this. It does it on all 4 cylinders. The cap and rotor looked new, so i didn't replace them. Any ideas what might be causing this, or what i should be checking? Thanks. Also, on a side note, it's slow to build oil pressure on startup. There's no guage, just a light. The light stays on for quite a while, and you can hear the lifters. When you rev it up a bit, it sounds horrible for a second, then the light goes off and she's quiet as a mouse. Is that common with these oil pumps?
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Old 10-19-2020, 11:26 AM   #2
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Man, this is hard. I will split up your post and try to answer your questions individually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefalcon76 View Post
Hi there. I'm new to the site. I'd like to thank y'all for all the held so far. All the posts i have read so far, helped me get to this point. Here's where I'm at. I recently purchased a 91 Nissan 4x4. I got a really good deal on it, because it ran horribly, you couldn't drive it. After fixing a few obvious things, I set the TPS sensor, replaced the bad MAF sensor, new plugs and wires, and now she drives pretty good.

XoX: Good start.

The idle is still a little rough though. I was gonna check the timing next. when I hooked up the light, i noticed it wasn't consistent. It would fire 3 or 4 times, then miss a couple, then fire a couple more times and miss. it never fired more than five times in a row before missing one or two. I'm not sure what to make of this. It does it on all 4 cylinders. The cap and rotor looked new, so i didn't replace them. Any ideas what might be causing this, or what i should be checking?

Xox: How many miles are on the truck, and do you think the distributor is original? If so, you may need a new one. Check for vacuum leaks and cracks in air hoses.

Thanks. Also, on a side note, it's slow to build oil pressure on startup. There's no guage, just a light. The light stays on for quite a while, and you can hear the lifters. When you rev it up a bit, it sounds horrible for a second, then the light goes off and she's quiet as a mouse. Is that common with these oil pumps?

XoX: No. One or two seconds of quick lifter/chain noise *may* be normal. Anything beyond that (because of the symptoms you described) you may need a complete chain job. The whole kit with new water and oil pump, etc. No worries. This job is not as hard as you think on a KA24E. It's way harder on a six banger. Sounds like weak oil pump and sloppy chain. If you want to really blow the bucks you can pick up a Mr Jim Chain Tensioner and never listen to chain noise again. But it's $130 for that and you can get a complete chain set with all the goodies for not much more.
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Old 10-19-2020, 01:25 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help XoX. The truck has about 240,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt at some point. The original owner kept all the paperwork from everything he did to it. I’ll go through it later, and see if I can tell when it was rebuilt, or if there is a receipt for a distributor. The second owner only put about 20000 miles on it before it started running bad. He didn’t seem very mechanically inclined, so I don’t think he replaced it. Just by looking at it, I’d say it’s the original distributor. Is there any way to test it to know for sure?
I’ve sprayed carb cleaner all around the intake, vacuum hoses, and the throttle body. I didn’t find any leaks. But I did that when it was running really bad, so I may not have missed it. I’ll check again this afternoon. I’ll check the receipts for a timing chain also. Do you think I should replace the oil pump, just to be safe? Thanks again.
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Old 10-20-2020, 12:51 AM   #4
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A distributor cap can look fine and be burned out along the contacts. A new cap and rotor would be cheap.

A few recent issues with other owners on here have turned up bad distributors. I'm not sure how to know when a distributor is bad, but bad ones can make an engine run weird.
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Old 10-20-2020, 12:57 AM   #5
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Cap and rotor can be bad. I had 173k on my factory cap and rotor. Contacts were almost worn completely through and the rotor contact was almost completely gone. Was like a new truck with new bits. Worth a shot!
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Old 10-20-2020, 04:55 AM   #6
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Thanks guys. I’ll pick up a cap and rotor in the morning. It can’t hurt to replace them. I didn’t get a chance to go through the paperwork... Long day. I was looking at distributors online. Rock auto has em for 200.00+. But I saw some on eBay for around 100.00. Has anyone tried those out? Are they any good? Is there a specific brand I should look for? Thanks again for the help. I’ll see what happens with the cap and rotor.
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefalcon76 View Post
Thanks guys. I’ll pick up a cap and rotor in the morning. It can’t hurt to replace them. I didn’t get a chance to go through the paperwork... Long day. I was looking at distributors online. Rock auto has em for 200.00+. But I saw some on eBay for around 100.00. Has anyone tried those out? Are they any good? Is there a specific brand I should look for? Thanks again for the help. I’ll see what happens with the cap and rotor.
Did some checking around. Looks like Amazon might be your best bet. But with Amazon, you have to add your vehicle to Your Garage there or they can't match you up. Make sure you fill out ALL the questions including motor type. I saw a few four banger distributors there for less than a hundred bucks. They are reman or rebuilt, of course. Check the Amazon ratings before you buy and screen the results by 'Highest Reviewed' usually gets better results.

At least with Amazon returns are easy if it doesn't work, but on 'some' parts I have had pretty good luck with them. The thing about D21 parts is you have to go all over the place sometimes to get the best deal, or the thing that works, etc. It's a group of sites. RockAuto, eBay, Amazon, Car Parts dot com, you know how it goes.

I save a ton of money and get big discounts on the easy stuff by registering at Advance Auto Parts. (Batteries, tune up stuff, wires, oil, filters, brakes, like that...but nothing technical.) Sign up there and for their Speed Perks program where you combine five dollar off your order coupons with 20-25% discounts. (Online orders only, no in store discounts)

Recently, I got all three Gates belts for my 97 four banger, plus a pulley for forty bucks and that included the tax. That was Advance Auto. 25 percent off, with a five buck Speed Perk coupon tossed into the order. Just don't go to them for anything really technical or complicated. Too much money.

One thing Advance does REALLY well is batteries. Their warranties are full replacement for the length of the warranty, not pro rated. They bought out Die Hard recently, and I talked to the store manager I go to. Know him really well. He said, they aren't like the old Sears Die Hard batteries, which were crap. They just bought the name. You can get a good battery there for less than about anywhere else. Few months ago they sold me a 105 amp hour deep cycle for camping, and after the discounts it was less than a hundred bucks. For that kind of power, it was dirt cheap. A 105 weighs sixty pounds or more.
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:01 AM   #8
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> I was looking at distributors online. Rock auto has em for 200.00+. But
> I saw some on eBay for around 100.00. Has anyone tried those out? Are
> they any good? Is there a specific brand I should look for?

In general, you want to look for a name brand. In those situations, a company is taking enough pride in their work to put their name on them. Cheap parts imported from China typically do not have name brands and often do not last.

Hitachi is typically who Nissan used, so that would be an OEM product. Standard, Beck Arnley, Spectra Premium, Cardone are all good brands as well.

Also, remanufactured products should typically be avoided - particularly when the part you are replacing is difficult or time-consuming. A name brand part is not always rebuilt by the same name brand company.
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Old 10-20-2020, 02:26 PM   #9
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Used a new Ebay-dealer distributor on my daughter's '98 Pathfinder, was fine, and about $85 with a 10-year warranty.
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Old 10-20-2020, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cusser View Post
Used a new Ebay-dealer distributor on my daughter's '98 Pathfinder, was fine, and about $85 with a 10-year warranty.
Not trying to be difficult here, but if it died after 90 days:
  • do you know for sure that this eBay dealer would refund it?
  • If you had to return your distributor to the eBay seller, how long would you be down until he sent out a replacement?
I'm just pointing out that for critical parts, it's always worth it to me to pay an extra few dollars to reduce the frequency of issues that I could encounter.

If I've got to spend time working on it, I want to give it a higher chance of success.

If it's something as simple as replacing a gas cap, I'm OK with going cheap.
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