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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So to start there's a little bit of backstory to cover:

Had my '02 X for about 2 years, and took it out into the desert plenty of times on 120+ degree days where it ran for 10 hours straight no problem. Moved just this past summer about 1500 miles, during the drive about 800 miles in, the truck started bucking and hesitating, usually worse when under load/going up a hill. Finally it died completely, would start up, run like garbage, then die again. Towed it the rest of the way. Took it to a shop, the thing started up, ran for quite a while, then did the same thing. The shop screwed me over on a bunch of work (still super salty about it) and ultimately ended up replacing the distributor, and swearing up and down that's what it was. After I got it back it ran for about a month. I took it on the interstate, had it up to about 70 mph, it behaved perfectly normal.

After using the X and then parking it up at home, I went out the next day to run some errands. Hop in, crank the motor, it fires up, hits 3k rpm, then the tach just comes straight back down to 0 and the engine dies. No roughness or shuddering to it. Just a normal start, rev, RPMs start coming back down like it's gonna idle, but then the motor just stops altogether. This happens every single time I try to start it.

Replaced so far: Fuel sending unit, fuel pump relay, fuel filter, fuel pump fuse, PCV valve, MAF (the circuit board case was cracked so it needed replaced anyway)

Checked so far: Following FSM procedures, checked the fuel pump electrically and verified it's providing the correct fuel pressure at the fuel injector rail. Everything up to the injectors can definitely be considered working. Checked cam sensor and distributor for correct continuity/resistance across terminals. Have not verified spark, but it fires up to 3000 RPM for about a second, so I imagine it has spark. Checked timing by turning crank to TDC, verified distributor rotor points approximately at plug 1's wire. Checked vacuum at the brake booster, it holds to about 25 PSI. Fired it up while spraying starting fluid in the intake and didn't have much luck. Fired it up while spraying starting fluid in a vacuum hose and it kind of limped along a little bit, but just barely. Only got it to stay started about 1 second longer than normal.

I'm pretty much at the end of my rope. I hate to throw parts at it, but I'm highly tempted to just swap another distributor in. Can anybody help me out with what this could be, or maybe a couple more troubleshooting steps I can take to narrow this problem down? Could the fuel injectors be bad if it's firing up and running at 3k RPM for about a second? That's right around 50 revolutions before it dies, and it sounds completely normal during that time, no stuttering/sputtering/roughness.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No codes at all. I checked again yesterday just to make sure. Nothing new has been thrown. Is the crank position sensor awfully important to the operation? Or will it just use the default fuel/air mapping if it gets a bad signal?
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Could a partially clogged fuel pressure regulator be the problem?
Since the thread is 2½ years old, does this mean that your X has a similar issue? If so, please share info about it:


Also of benefit are the free FSMs for download from the thread below.

 
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