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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #1
So, out of the blue my 02 4x4 manual transmission, sc has a burnt rubber smell from the hood. I can smell it while driving & of course stronger after popping the hood. No indicator light, oil level fine, not over heating (new radiator install couple months ago), belts seem ok but im still new to fixing cars. [Though I must admit I rather enjoy playing mechanic] Also, the last week its been idling higher than usual upon start up then returns to normal while driving and at rest until shutting it off. Small quiet "ticking" sound too. Not sure if it's a normal engine noise or something more. Please ya'll, some advice would be great. 馃
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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Sounds like a hose or plasticky part has come loose or somehow shifted, or a heat shield isn't doing its job, and now you're plagued with a stinky ride.

Idling higher than usual suggests that the throttle cable is out of place and/or bound up, possibly being the source of the burnt rubber smell or its movement is being affected by it.

The cruise control cable could also be an issue here, as well as the CC canister and rubber hoses.

Being "new to fixing cars", you might wanna find a YT video of a Gen1 SC Xterra to see what things should look like under the hood and then compare it with yours. If you see something different or out of place, it could be helpful to inspect that more thoroughly, or it could just be something the other owner did but has no bearing on your issue.

Probably the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you're looking for stuff that gets hot, so look more closely at those items: heat shield, exhaust manifold, cats, etc. Also, look for parts that are rotating (belts, pulleys, etc.) to see if anything is touching them that shouldn't be.

If you're not sure what you're looking at, take pics, share 'em here, and there will be plenty of members who'll know what it is and give you a nudge in the right direction.

Someone may also have already dealt with this and knows just where to go, saving you some time and effort.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you! My dad is the 2nd owner. My uncle paid cash for it when they rolled these out. YouTube is so helpful. First car I fixed myself was easy wiring harness on a jeep.
The belt didn't appear obstructed in any way. I did check hoses but that's not to say I didn't miss something.
My speedometer is also jumpy at times, works fine sometimes, or just not at all. Does that play into anything? Now when I crawled under to retrieve my dropped radiator cap, I noticed a small amount of fluid that to me seemed to be water. Fitting since when I removed the cap water or antifreeze came out too. But it did not smell like water, wasn't greenish tinted like coolant, and def was not oil. What could that be?
 

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2001 Xterra 4WD Auto 3.3L V6
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Back on topic (we can get to those other things later on...), were you able to find anything that appeared to have been damaged from heat?

I'd say, find the smell and you may find answers to some of those other issues as well. Something isn't right and your olfactory is tellin' you so.
 

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I don't have a Gen 1 so can someone tell me if they sense intake manifold vacuum to control ignition and fuel functions? If so, I would be looking for a displaced or broken rubber vacuum hose that has dropped on to a hot exhaust manifold. Old school distributor engines with vacuum controls that I used to have would certainly mess with your idle if you had a vacuum hose off.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #6
No. I did not see anything that seemed charred or melted or out of place. Im about to look at a video like you suggested and double check. And recheck my oil and such too 馃し鈥嶁檧锔 the other questions I ask wondering are they all tied together? They started prior to the smell. If I locate the smell ill def tell you. Thank you again!
 

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03 XE A/T, SC coming soon
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I don't have a Gen 1 so can someone tell me if they sense intake manifold vacuum to control ignition and fuel functions?
vacuum on this engine only goes to EVAP purge, fuel pressure and boost control. Some of the NA trucks had EGR. MAF is used for fuel mixture control and distributor timing is controlled by ECM based on engine speed/load/temperature etc
 

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Burned rubber smell or could it be a burned oil smell?

I have that same Xterra. A couple of years ago, the valve cover started leaking a tiny bit of oil onto the hot exhaust manifold. It wasn't enough to notice a big difference in oil level but it smelled really bad. When I pulled the Xterra into the garage, it stunk up the entire house. Only smelled it when X was fully warmed up.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #9
No. Not burned oil i don't think. I actually spilled some when topping off my oil and I didn't get it cleaned good enough and after idling a bit I could smell the burned rubber and then the residual oil too.

Going with the exhaust though... So I am pretty sure I've got an exhaust leak (idk if that's even something that can happen because isn't that exactly what it is fumes escaping?) Would that create or cause the rubber im smelling?

I only know about under the hood SOME. Deff nothing as far as exhaust or transmission.

Also mentioned was cc wire.. As far as I know its fine. It hadn't worked but I stumbled upon why it wasn't when adhering a penny to my brake pedal a few month back. Its been working ever since.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #10
Now could the clutch smell like burned rubber? I haven't noticed the smell as strongly and it was upon getting warm until parked. Not anymore. Im asking clutch because I have noticed more freedom in the pedal before "catching". I had it throw out baring, master cylinder and slave cylinder replaced in the spring. It had been really tight so do they just loosen over time?

Honestly I do have a lot of questions馃ぃ sorry! Do I make new threads per each question/issue/query or all here?
 

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Now could the clutch smell like burned rubber? I haven't noticed the smell as strongly and it was upon getting warm until parked. Not anymore. Im asking clutch because I have noticed more freedom in the pedal before "catching". I had it throw out baring, master cylinder and slave cylinder replaced in the spring. It had been really tight so do they just loosen over time?

Honestly I do have a lot of questions馃ぃ sorry! Do I make new threads per each question/issue/query or all here?
A burning clutch has its own different smell.
Could it be the fan clutch making the smell?
 

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Did you use the spare tire? Does the exhaust system have any broken hangers? Exhaust might be touching the spare tire.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #13
A burning clutch has its own different smell.
Could it be the fan clutch making the smell?
I apologize but the what? How do I locate that? Like for the ac? If so possibly because my ac clicks on and off rapidly sometimes and works find others
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #14
Did you use the spare tire? Does the exhaust system have any broken hangers? Exhaust might be touching the spare tire.
I haven't used it but its ok. When looking for condensation though so i may double check. Its intermittent also.
 

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You may have a separate odor issue going on under the hood but this looks like a fairly active leak here in this picture. In the lower left of the picture it appears the frame is wet and the exhaust heat shield looks like the migrating leak fluid has dropped on to that shield and it is dark brown from burnt fluid. Is that what you were seeing under there?
 

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Now could the clutch smell like burned rubber? I haven't noticed the smell as strongly and it was upon getting warm until parked. Not anymore. Im asking clutch because I have noticed more freedom in the pedal before "catching". I had it throw out baring, master cylinder and slave cylinder replaced in the spring. It had been really tight so do they just loosen over time?

Honestly I do have a lot of questions馃ぃ sorry! Do I make new threads per each question/issue/query or all here?
Your noticing more freedom in the clutch pedal before catching is a good warning sign that the clutch is possibly near to being completely worn out and may soon leave you on the side of the road. The clutch plate doesn't loosen up it just wears out because it is an abrasive material plate that wears out between the flywheel and the compression plate that moves in and out when you depress and release the clutch pedal. Have you ever experienced what it feels like when the clutch actually slips when it is fully engaged and the vehicle moves forward at less than normal rate? Time to have that looked at before you need to call a tow truck.
 

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2002 5 speed 4脳4 SC
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Discussion Starter #19
Your noticing more freedom in the clutch pedal before catching is a good warning sign that the clutch is possibly near to being completely worn out and may soon leave you on the side of the road. The clutch plate doesn't loosen up it just wears out because it is an abrasive material plate that wears out between the flywheel and the compression plate that moves in and out when you depress and release the clutch pedal. Have you ever experienced what it feels like when the clutch actually slips when it is fully engaged and the vehicle moves forward at less than normal rate? Time to have that looked at before you need to call a tow truck.
Yes I just had it replaced less than a year ago
 

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Well it certainly doesn't seem likely your clutch would be worn out in a year. The bottom of your transmission looks pretty wet with some kind of leak there and your exhaust pipe tip is pretty black inside and that would be a sign of the engine running rich[too much fuel in the mix]. The fluid leak looks like it's dripping down on to the exhaust heat shield there in the picture.
 
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