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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well how's this for a first post I have a 2000 Xterra with a clogged cat I'm not sure if it's going to fully clog going a couple hours home so I need emergency fix advice right now. The car will get up to speed babying it but of course putting your foot in it is futile. I was going to hammer a couple holes in it but I'm open to suggestions. I think I saw somebody mention on one of the forums that the 2000s unbolt? The cat that I think is plugged looks like it's the front right attached to the driver's side block head galley under the intake manifold, and the back pressure is pushing a little oil out the bottom of the rear valve cover. I guess I can't be sure it's not the rear cat but I looked under there and thought I only saw a muffler so? Fairly new car to me bought it today and need to get home. Any advice greatly appreciated !
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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Many of the early 2000 trucks only had 2 cats. The cat bolts directly to the Ex manifold via 3 studs/nuts with a crush type gasket. I pulled mine 10 years ago 1st nut welded to stud so stud backed out of the cat. 2nd also welded snapped off the stud in the cat. Needed a sawzall to remove the 3rd nut from the stud so chances are it’s not gonna be easy.

The oil leak more than likely has zero to do with the clogged cat as the valve cover gaskets are known for leaking as they age.

RH cat with broken hardware



Pretty much the condition of all the nuts/studs. Truck has lived in the SE it’s entire life no snow or road salt.



Bad drawing of the early 2000 exhaust systems
 

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+1 on the exhaust having nothing to do with an oil leak. The 2 systems are completely separate.

For an emergency of very short duration, you might be able to remove the O2 sensor from each cat, but driving any distance could cause issues you don't want. You'd have very hot exhaust coming out of the holes. If it's directed toward anything, such as the body, firewall, cables, harnesses, brake or transmission lines, or anything other that open, free air, you could end up with more repairs or even the total loss of the vehicle and possibly your life.

Removing the sensors is a trick you can use to help determine if the cats are clogged. If they are, then the added flow will help the engine gain a little power back, and that's your sign to replace them.

As far as getting it home, your idea of whacking it with a hammer could break up the honeycomb inside, but what you don't know if it'll become a bigger clog elsewhere. I suppose it's better than doing nothing. If there's a way to drop the pipes bolted to the back of the cats, you could possibly drive a rod or screwdriver up inside to break the innards and let them fall onto the ground. Try to capture them as they have very expensive coatings that could become a health hazard if they become dust. Wear a mask!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
RacerXXL,
MeToo,
[/QUOTE]
Thank you for the sage advise! I think I am going to find a storage facility and go get a truck and trailer, cast iron! that's one heavy cat! On a separate note I started her for the first time myself today, I noticed a smell of unburnt fuel so she is running quite rich, drivers side bank I think.
She was running when I got to the seller hate that, but fell in love with her when she revved great in park, different story in drive have to baby her up to speed. But I guess that would make sense that she runs great revving in park at higher rpms because she has the fuel she needs. I guess I could try going from 2 to 1 to drive using the automatic and higher gearing rpms to mask it and probably make it but just going to wait.
Ps seller said they had a code 1320 at one time
 

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It's not gonna work in first gear, either. The load on the engine will be great enough that it just won't wanna go much, that is if it's a clogged cat.
 

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RacerXXL,
MeToo,
Thank you for the sage advise! I think I am going to find a storage facility and go get a truck and trailer, cast iron! that's one heavy cat! On a separate note I started her for the first time myself today, I noticed a smell of unburnt fuel so she is running quite rich, drivers side bank I think.
She was running when I got to the seller hate that, but fell in love with her when she revved great in park, different story in drive have to baby her up to speed. But I guess that would make sense that she runs great revving in park at higher rpms because she has the fuel she needs. I guess I could try going from 2 to 1 to drive using the automatic and higher gearing rpms to mask it and probably make it but just going to wait.
Ps seller said they had a code 1320 at one time
[/QUOTE]
Factory Service Manuals - NICOclub
page EC-1028
FYI. The 1320 code highlites an issue with the ignition signal that is generated internal to your distributor by a power transistor and coil relationship. Lots of troubles with those distributors documented on this forum. Just so maybe you don't get tunnel vision. Hard to say what the seller meant by "at one time". Last week ....a year ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
It's not gonna work in first gear, either. The load on the engine will be great enough that it just won't wanna go much, that is if it's a clogged cat.
True, 1 little overkill, but it did work better starting off in 2nd to get me up to D, got her to the storage facility !
Mechanics diagnosis paperwork that came with the truck from 3 different shops main complaint from previous owner was stalling while driving.

On 3/20/18 at 169,108 Nissan dealer found p1320 Ignition signal primary & p0340 cam position sensor(the cam~ps is in the distributor on the 2000 XT) Distributor has been replaced recently with OEM unit 01/04/2021.

Next shop she complaint of stalling while driving and strange ABS problem(dead battery written all over that) 173,469 03/08/2019 independent mechanic found code p0325 Knock sensor and P0340 cam position sensor. Their second road test returned a p0430 Catalyst problem bank #2. suspect distributor and or computer.

01/04/2021
Different Independent shop advised towed in vehicle died, had issue on and off for years. 175,369 P0325 knock sensor performance and P0340 Cam position sensor (phase) fault. Shop advised vehicle only dies after being really hot. Installed fuel pressure tester found when vehicle randomly dies it also loses fuel pressure(lol). Shop advised when vehicle towed in: Upon arrival battery was dead tech charged it to 100% scan system for codes p0325 knock sensor performance p0340 cam position sensor testro vehicle and it died twice during tests was able to restart back in the shop vehicle died twice fuel pump is good fuel delivery is good vehicle seems to only die after it is warmed up issue is intermittent tech installed a fuel pressure tester found that when vehicle filters it loses all fuel pressure but you can still hear the pump running installed fuel pump and fuel filter then retest vehicle ran fine took for test drive and it died vehicle was able to be restarted after brief delay scan for codes again and p0340 code was back on tech notice a drop in one cam single which is in the distributor researching identifix database found several technicals who fix this issue with the OEM distributor only. Since we believe this issue in the vehicle is the distributor we ordered a second distributor from Nissan and will get this one warrantied after a second distributor was installed by the shop we test drove the vehicle multiple times with no more dying fuel gauge tank unit remove and replace all applicable models includes r&i fuel tank where necessary. Additionally the tech found that when removing fuel pump the fuel feed line was not clipped in all the way somebody installed wrong. Shop also noted that the vehicle was empty needed to add fuel to complete test drive hahaha. The final note says although we knew the customer had replaced the distributor in the past everything in our diagnostic was pointing to the distributor we got one from Nissan and it has solved the original issues with the vehicle.

Fast forward to 01/01/2021 I went to the Girls house car was running when I got there noticed a hitch in it's get up I thought it might be a plugged cat(fairly sure at the time). Strangely it revved really nice I went to a conservative 3500, pretty smooth which is weird if she truely had a plugged cat! Now I am beginning to think she Running really rich on bank 2 obviously I need to do a compression check no shop did that and maybe look at replacing the knock sensor. I gave her a test drive and noticed a wall of hesitation getting up to speed but once I was there it was onto the next gear, so I bought it and drove off into the snowy sunset. About a mile and 4 blocks later I decided to turn on the headlights and within a block the car went dead. The battery was deader than really dead and my large anti-gravity jump pack and even it struggled to start her back up. With the head light's off we were able to navigate to a seedy motel for the night. In the morning swapping the battery for a new one I noticed the really sketchy looking ground wire with about 4 different kinds of tape on it going from the negative terminal to the passengers side head.(ill replace that stat) After doing some research I am Leaning towards bad 02 sensor on Bank 2(pretty sure I only have 2 cats only saw 2 cables blu and white on top passenger side of intake, I'll try that first. Also curious if that bad battery had had a hand in some of those dead moments and maybe a fried sparky alternator had been teaming up on the couple 3 Distributor this seems to have had? Seems to have not lasted a year?!
Anyway thanks for you experiences and knowlege you can share regarding these 3.3's truely a finicky beast..I have her in storage about 2.5 hours away and a snowy pass forbids my hands under her hood(for now) and probably a couple weeks to a month for the pass to be trailer-able hopefully not too long!
Ps. One more strange thing I swear there is some sort of synthetic manual gear oil in the tranny smells like dino oil and is clear definitely not atf.
PPS. Found an online forum where some nice lady with the EXACT same story talks about throwing seafoam in the tank etc.
PPPS. Mechanic say's bad o2 readings require good ground!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Got the beast home,
Figured out why she was running rough! Cause she's a rough rider...While testing bank 1 injectors with a multimeter on OHM. All read 11.4 11.4 11.5. Getting #1 injector connector off twas a bitch, required spraying wd40 4 times in the clasp mechanism wiggled that thing for 10 minutes must have spent 20 minutes on it, that was a blessing because # 3 came off so easy and that made me focus on how the clasps move in and down and make a loud click and then the green lock mechanism moves back up towards flush with the top when it is properly seated and #3 was not doing that so I cleaned it with wd40 cleaned the dusty grit on the injector plastic and CLICK Xterra back to running SMOOTH!!

So smooth I decided to go for a drive and she stalled 3 times :/ once going up a slight hill, once taking a right at a stoplight once idling at a stoplight. Strangely only with the headlights on(could be a coincidence, would also only restart with the headlights off hmm could also be coincidence), Back home with my scanner on live data idling I saw
FUELSYS1 CL
FUELSYS2 CL
every onece in a while I noticed CL would change to OL-FAULT but both not a the same time on FUELSYS1 and FUELSYS2, maybe when she stalls both go to OL-FAULT?
FUELSYS1 OL-FAULT
FUELSYS2 OL-FAULT (forgot to turn on and off headlights while scanner plugged in :/, next time)
Also got codes
P0134
O2 sensor Circuit no activity
Detected bank 1 Sensor 1

P0154
O2 sensor Circuit no activity
Detected bank 2 Sensor 1

P0155
O2 sensor heater Circuit
Bank 2 Sensor 1

Just ordered 4 O2 sensors, hopefully that will get her back to closed loop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got smart today and disconnected the 4 O2 sensors so I would go full open loop. About 4 miles from home she stalled just as I was relishing in how smart I was. I did get a new code though which points (no pun) to the distributor that was code p1320 ignition signal primary.

Error Code P1320: Ignition Coil and Power Transistor
Error Code P1320 Ignition Signal, or Ignition Coil and Power Transisto is set when the ignition signal in the primary circuit is not sent to the PCM.
autoservicecosts.com
autoservicecosts.com

Now thinking it's the coil or the wire to the coil. Open or shorted Ignition primary circuit anyone know which color wire that is?
Also could be Condenser or a fault in the famous CPS. Going to test everything as stated in the link.
 

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We're going to have to report you to the Pun Prevention Police! Modern distributors don't use breaker points, so you were attempting to mix modern and ancient technology. You've been a bad boi. Just for that, you'll have to replace the needle valve and float in your Throttle Body.
 

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Thank you for the sage advise! I think I am going to find a storage facility and go get a truck and trailer, cast iron! that's one heavy cat! On a separate note I started her for the first time myself today, I noticed a smell of unburnt fuel so she is running quite rich, drivers side bank I think.
She was running when I got to the seller hate that, but fell in love with her when she revved great in park, different story in drive have to baby her up to speed. But I guess that would make sense that she runs great revving in park at higher rpms because she has the fuel she needs. I guess I could try going from 2 to 1 to drive using the automatic and higher gearing rpms to mask it and probably make it but just going to wait.
Ps seller said they had a code 1320 at one time
Factory Service Manuals - NICOclub
page EC-1028
FYI. The 1320 code highlites an issue with the ignition signal that is generated internal to your distributor by a power transistor and coil relationship. Lots of troubles with those distributors documented on this forum. Just so maybe you don't get tunnel vision. Hard to say what the seller meant by "at one time". Last week ....a year ago.
[/QUOTE]
I think you may have missed my Nissan FSM link on the 1320 code thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Factory Service Manuals - NICOclub
page EC-1028
FYI. The 1320 code highlites an issue with the ignition signal that is generated internal to your distributor by a power transistor and coil relationship. Lots of troubles with those distributors documented on this forum. Just so maybe you don't get tunnel vision. Hard to say what the seller meant by "at one time". Last week ....a year ago.
I think you may have missed my Nissan FSM link on the 1320 code thread.
[/QUOTE]
Took my dizzy cap off today while I had a little time and low and behold all the 6 cap tips had white aluminum oxide on them, could not tell if they were scored but they were caked with white...Soo I forgot to look if the wires were tvrs radio suppression wires or brass and solid core Cause I know brass and solid would cause the aluminum oxide that or the rotor is slightly out of phase?

I also put a new air filter in and cleaned my maf with maf cleaner, love these Japanese cars I was like how the heck am I gonna get that filter housing out / in there without cracking the rubber intake. Amazing just fits in there like a glove 1MM clearance, I swear these are very high quality build's.
 

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Well how's this for a first post I have a 2000 Xterra with a clogged cat I'm not sure if it's going to fully clog going a couple hours home so I need emergency fix advice right now. The car will get up to speed babying it but of course putting your foot in it is futile. I was going to hammer a couple holes in it but I'm open to suggestions. I think I saw somebody mention on one of the forums that the 2000s unbolt? The cat that I think is plugged looks like it's the front right attached to the driver's side block head galley under the intake manifold, and the back pressure is pushing a little oil out the bottom of the rear valve cover. I guess I can't be sure it's not the rear cat but I looked under there and thought I only saw a muffler so? Fairly new car to me bought it today and need to get home. Any advice greatly appreciated !
Didnt read the whole saga. You can get stainless headers on ebay for $110 shipped free. They replace the cats. You also get a noticeable power bump. The leak doesnt have anything to with the cats. Its kinda a pain to r&r the headers. But they do bolt up to your existing system.
 

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I think you may have missed my Nissan FSM link on the 1320 code thread.
Took my dizzy cap off today while I had a little time and low and behold all the 6 cap tips had white aluminum oxide on them, could not tell if they were scored but they were caked with white...Soo I forgot to look if the wires were tvrs radio suppression wires or brass and solid core Cause I know brass and solid would cause the aluminum oxide that or the rotor is slightly out of phase?

I also put a new air filter in and cleaned my maf with maf cleaner, love these Japanese cars I was like how the heck am I gonna get that filter housing out / in there without cracking the rubber intake. Amazing just fits in there like a glove 1MM clearance, I swear these are very high quality build's.
[/QUOTE]
So did you clean up the distributor cap contacts and reinstall? You want to look for any carbon tracks inside the cap that would show evidence of random discharge due to cracks in the plastic cap. Those cause performance issues also. Replacing caps and rotors are a good maintenance practice when running with distributor motors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Didnt read the whole saga. You can get stainless headers on ebay for $110 shipped free. They replace the cats. You also get a noticeable power bump. The leak doesnt have anything to with the cats. Its kinda a pain to r&r the headers. But they do bolt up to your existing system.
Good to know! Cat's ended up being fine, the symptom that sounded like plugged cats was actually an unplugged injector ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Didnt read the whole saga. You can get stainless headers on ebay for $110 shipped free. They replace the cats. You also get a noticeable power bump. The leak doesnt have anything to with the cats. Its kinda a pain to r&r the headers. But they do bolt up to your existing system.
Good to know! Cat's ended up being fine, the symptom that sounded like plugged cats was actually an unplugged injector ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
[/QUOTE]
So did you clean up the distributor cap contacts and reinstall? You want to look for any carbon tracks inside the cap that would show evidence of random discharge due to cracks in the plastic cap. Those cause performance issues also. Replacing caps and rotors are a good maintenance practice when running with distributor motors.
[/QUOTE]
Did not have time was just investigating, according to the paperwork I got when I bought it, this distributor has only had 40 miles on it since it was replaced with a OEM nissan distributor..Come to think of it the rotor looked like it was brass so that was probably reacting with the aluminum?, anyone else have a brass rotor head? I'm thinking aluminum would be better?! My original thought of the dissimilar metals would show in the top spark sockets not under the cap of the dizzy I guess also hard to find a set of non resistance wires for this I would think.
 

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