2001 XTerra 3.3L: Crank but no start, no code - Nissan Xterra Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-08-2017, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Question 2001 XTerra 3.3L: Crank but no start, no code

Thanks in advance for taking your time to read this and (hopefully) provide a little feedback for me. I've got a 2001 XTerra SE with 3.3L and automatic trans, 158k miles. I've owned it since '02, so basically all those miles are under my care. She's never given me any problems, but the harmonic balancer's rubber seal has given way finally, so I replaced it. I cleaned my engine, replaced the harmonic balancer, spark plugs, and distributor. Upon reassembly, the engine won't start. Plenty of crank, and I verified timing with an induction light while cranking (and the belt is only a year old). Verified every plug has spark to it. No blown fuses. Fuel pump works. I replaced one cracked vacuum hose on the back of the intake manifold. No codes. Any suggestions on what to check next? I'm thinking I need to verify injectors are working by spraying some starting fluid into the intake.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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I've been reading all kinds of stuff trying to figure out some possible cause to this crank/no start problem I'm having. I checked all the relays and they're all good. I put a multimeter on my throttle position sensor and got abnormal readings (at least I think so - I may be doing it wrong), so that may be the problem. What I don't understand is why it won't start after a couple of relatively minor upgrades. It started and ran fine before I changed the harmonic balancer and distributor. I wonder if disconnecting the battery for so long set something off with the electrical components.

Last edited by baldbeard; 05-09-2017 at 12:43 PM.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 02:01 PM
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Wish I could help you out... but as soon as things go past the basics it takes me a lot of research to be able to fix things myself. Hopefully someone on here can give you a hand!

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 02:39 PM
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The worse thing that can happen when disconnecting the battery is you lose your clock time. I can't imagine anything else... unless you leave it disconnected for months.

My bet is you pulled something loose or forgot to connect something. Maybe check the connections that have to do with the distributor. Disconnect them and reconnect them again and make sure you plug them in good!
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 02:48 PM
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How did you verify the fuel pump was working? With a fuel pressure gauge? Having the battery unhooked shouldn't be an issue.

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post #6 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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When I turn the ignition to the 'on' position, I hear the fuel pump kick in for a couple seconds. I didn't check the fuel pressure. I don't own a fuel pressure gauge. I can smell fuel when I crank the engine.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 03:34 PM
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I'd think smelling fuel and wet plugs would indicate sufficient fuel pressure but I don't know with certainty. You mentioned cleaning the engine....How does your MAF sensor connector look? I know my rig won't run with that connector unplugged.. If it's making a poor connection it may act similar. I'd get some MAF cleaner and clean up those connections inside the connector and clean the MAF sensor while your at it. There's a write-up on MAF cleaning somewhere around here.

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post #8 of 16 Old 05-09-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't thought to check the MAF. I wrapped it up when I cleaned the engine, but maybe some moisture still got in there. It's raining here now so I'll have to wait for a break to go out and test the MAF. Maybe clean out the throttle body. Thanks for the tip.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-10-2017, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Not much new information here. I'm posting this more for my own information and for those of you who care to see all the steps.

2001 XTerra SE, 3.3L, Auto, RWD

Before beginning, the engine starts beautifully, but makes that awful screeching noise on startup associated with a dislodged harmonic balancer pulley and the fast, somewhat random clicking noise associated with that harmonic balancer clacking around because its rubber seal to the crankshaft pulley is blown.

•Disconnected battery and removed it from the engine compartment
•Dry brushed to clean, then tightly wrapped up MAF and other electrical connections with aluminum foil to avoid getting them wet
•Degreased (with all purpose cleaner, not a strong engine degreaser) and washed the engine and underside of the hood
•Allowed to dry for 48 hrs
•Removed fan shroud, fan, belts, and harmonic balancer (diagnosis correct - it has a blown rubber seal, and the back pulley just falls right off)
•Installed new harmonic balancer and reassembled, properly tightening all belts
•Removed distributor and replaced with new one
•Cleaned out spark plug wells and replaced spark plugs
Crank, no start, no code.

•Verified engine timing with induction light
•Checked all fuses (audio fuse was blown, but I don't have a stereo at the moment, so ... whatevs)
•Verified spark at each port of the distributor and at each plug to test wires
•Checked fuel pump by listening for it to turn on when ignition is in "on" position and smelling fuel while cranking
•Removed fuel pump fuse for about 10 minutes with the ignition in "on" position to depressurize fuel lines. Replaced fuse.
•Let sit overnight. Crank, no start, no code.
•Visually inspected MAF and tested with multimeter. Sensor power supply normal(Black/Pink wire, 12.4 V). Can't properly test it without the engine running per the service manual.
•Visually inspected TPS and tested with multimeter. Sensor power supply normal (Brown wire, 5 V). Can't get normal readings from the TPS Blue wire (should be 0.2 - 0.8 V with throttle closed, and 3.5 - 4.5 V with throttle open).
•Sprayed starter fluid into intake. Backfired. Crank, no start, no code.
•Visually inspected three fuel injector connections (not the ones under the intake manifold) and tested with multimeter. Resistance across contacts of 11.3, 11.5, and 11.9 Ohms for the three injectors tested (higher than the 'normal' range of 7.3 - 9.9 Ω).

At this point, I find that there is the potential that I need to replace the MAF, TPS, and all six injectors, but I have a high degree of certainty that
(A) I would have to go replacing other components after these
or
(B) these items do not actually need to be replaced at all, and the problem lay elsewhere.

--
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-15-2017, 07:52 AM
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You get any tinkering done over the weekend?

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3.3 , crank no start , distributor , harmonic balancer , no code

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