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01 Xterra - Cranks but won't start

8218 Views 25 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  kms1990
I have a voltmeter on my X, over the past few days the voltmeter would read low (10-11v) when I was at an idle but would go to the normal range (13-14v) when cruising. I was idling in a parking lot for like 2 minutes when it just died. It cranks, but won't start back up.

Within the past 10k miles I've replaced:
-timing belt/pump/t-stat
-distributor cap

my money is on the distributor rotor. fuel filter was replaced like 7 years ago. it's still on the on the original fuel pump i think. i should also note that it's throwing a bad cat code.
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You pull a wire and check for spark? If no spark check if rotor is spinning that little bolt for rotor might of fell out. Also out of curiosity, you changed wires,plugs and cap but not the rotor?

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so i finally had some time to tinker with it. i tested the ignition system first by pulling a plug wire and putting an extra plug in (grounded) - it got spark.

i then checked the fuel pump relay, felt a good click when the ignition was on. opened up the gas cap and put the ignition on, heard the pump.

next i sprayed some starter fluid in the intake manifold, and then it started right up.

i figured it may have been the fuel filter, replaced that and it now starts like a champ.
Looks like i spoke too soon. Today was the first day I actually drove it. It started fine, engine warmed up and all seemed well during a 5-minute drive. I realized I forgot something at the house, so I turned around and came home - it idled for like 10 seconds in my driveway and died. It wouldn't crank back on without a healthy dose of starter fluid.

Any other fuel related things I should be checking for?

I ordered a distributor rotor that should be coming in soon. But it seems to get spark.
Also eliminated the MAF being the issue today by unplugging it after it started.

The fuel pressure regulator sounds like a possibility, I'll look into it more
Good deal - got one on order. I've never done a fuel pressure test before. Which line on my engine do I tap into?

finally had some time to tinker with the xterra. My fuel pressure kit somehow never came, but the OEM (used) distributer did come in. I installed it, made markings to orient it as best i could. The car is so close to cranking over now. It almost fires up, dies, then tries again, then dies.

is this a timing issue now? of note - whenever i pull the dizzy cap off, the rotor is pointing to a new point.
update (final?):

the xterra works! took C23rd's advice with the paper towel in the spark plug hole - worked great! somehow even managed to time it perfectly without adjustments. have driven about 20 miles so far with no issue.
i wish this forum had a like and/or thanks feature like the mazda 3 forums

thanks for your help btw.

great folks we have on here
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