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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a 2000 Xterra that's set for a year while I was over seas, it'll start, but stay at very low rpms and then die. I siphoned out the old gas, put in fresh gas, seafoam, new fuel and air filter, and new plugs. The pump still kicks on, I'm not sure what to do next. Not sure if it's relevant or not, I had replaced the knock sensor before I left and new seals for the injectors into the block. I'm open to ideas and suggestions
 

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Try pushing on the gas a bit and see what happens. If it dies, then you have a fuel-air ratio problem.

You might have gelled gasoline in the line and the fuel filter is plugged up.

Do you have enough fuel pressure? What about the throttle or idle control valve? are they clean? maybe they got stuck in position ( hence, press on the gas peddle).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tried the gas pedal, it didn't change anything. Unfortunately I don't have a fuel pressure gauge, accidentally broke mine... I am getting fuel to the rail, I'm starting to wonder if it is the pump clogged up, now I can't hear it hum, more like an electrical ringing noise, but it's still sending fuel. Gonna grab a bottle of throttle body cleaner and clean the throttle body and IAC valve too
 

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Makes me wonder if the pump is weak, it sends fuel, but not enough....

Let us know how the throttle cleaning goes. You have nothing to lose there...

Also, what about a bad ignition coil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So with the distributor cap off, I noticed there's no spark coming from the distributor. Sadly, the ignition coil is part of the distributor, at least that's my understanding from the repair manual
 

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Boy, I looked up parts at Autozone and O'Reillys and there is no ignition coil. But when I looked up distributor, it looks like it's built together.

Just for your info, If there is no spark, the only things that could be is bad coil, bad rotor, bad distributor cap, bad camshaft sensor, or bad electronic control module.
As far as I know, 2000 Xterra just has the coil, but it must be part of the distributor.

It doesn't look too hard to change, but BOY you better make sure it is lined up properly!
 

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I checked my manual ( for 2000-2004 Xterras).

If you have a 4 cyl or 3.3L - V6 then the coil is part of the distributor.
If you have a 3.5L V6 model, then the coil is under the duct near the throttle body.

The instructions for removing the distributor is only 6 steps ( for the 4 cyl. and 3.3L models) . The main thing is to make a mark on the distributor base and the engine, so when you put the new one in, it lines up properly.

Then you have to do a tune-up with a timing light.
 

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plugs, wires, cap, rotor, or inspect the distributor for metal flakes that are a brownish color inside the shaft. If you see metal shavings that are brownish / red, your dizzy bearing is gone, and needs to be replaced. The bearing is cheap but a pain to swap out. I just did a huge maintenance on my 02 xterra for similar issues. I did all injectors, MAF sensor, distributor as a whole, plugs, wires, fuel filter, intake manifold gasket and something else im forgetting. Runs amazing now, no codes or misses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
plugs, wires, cap, rotor, or inspect the distributor for metal flakes that are a brownish color inside the shaft. If you see metal shavings that are brownish / red, your dizzy bearing is gone, and needs to be replaced. The bearing is cheap but a pain to swap out. I just did a huge maintenance on my 02 xterra for similar issues. I did all injectors, MAF sensor, distributor as a whole, plugs, wires, fuel filter, intake manifold gasket and something else im forgetting. Runs amazing now, no codes or misses.
I was able to get it to idle long enough for a CEL, good old Camshaft position sensor and ignition coil codes showed up. I just wish Nissan didn't put them in the distributor on the 3.3 motors.
 

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I am surprised about the camshaft position sensor code. If it has a distributor, it shouldn't have a camshaft sensor.

Anyway, looking at the manual, it doesn't look like a big job at all to replace the distributor (6 steps to remove and 6 to put back). The most important thing is to put the new one back in at the same position and the rotor at the same angle. Then you have to adjust the timing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well new distributor and adjusted the timing properly. Still a crank but no start. The only other thing I can think of is the crankshaft position sensor. I'm not sure if it's relevant or not, but the spark is an orange color, it was blue.
 

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From my experience, spark should be blue. You have nothing to lose by trying to change the crankshaft sensor. Only $24 at Autozone.

I have a question... How did you set time timing on the distributor if you didn't get it running?

Also, are you SURE the battery and the alternator is good?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
From my experience, spark should be blue. You have nothing to lose by trying to change the crankshaft sensor. Only $24 at Autozone.

I have a question... How did you set time timing on the distributor if you didn't get it running?

Also, are you SURE the battery and the alternator is good?
I manually turned the motor to TDC on cylinder 1, and installed the distributor facing cylinder 1 on the rotor. I know ignition timing is the 3rd notch on the crankshaft pulley, so I rotated the engine to the third notch.

Also, it backfires now when trying to start.
 

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Did it backfire before you changed the distributor? If not, then the timing is off.

When you changed the distributor, did you put the new one back in with the mark in the same direction (same as the rotor)? Did you manually turn the motor while the distributor was out? I am afraid that the alignment may be off. That's why I make a mark on the distributor body and put the new one back the same way, and the rotor in the same position as the old one.

In the meantime, hold off on replacing the crankshaft sensor. You need to go back and double check the position of the distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Did it backfire before you changed the distributor? If not, then the timing is off.

When you changed the distributor, did you put the new one back in with the mark in the same direction (same as the rotor)? Did you manually turn the motor while the distributor was out? I am afraid that the alignment may be off. That's why I make a mark on the distributor body and put the new one back the same way, and the rotor in the same position as the old one.

In the meantime, hold off on replacing the crankshaft sensor. You need to go back and double check the position of the distributor.
I had the distributor out when I manually turned it. It didn't backfire as much with the old one. Honestly, timing is something I never could figure out. Aside from rotating the motor to tdc for cylinder 1 and inserting the distributor and rotor facing cylinder 1, what else can I do?
 

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Try rotating it one way or the other and see if it helps, probably off a tooth

Darin
01 Xterra SE 4x4
COMING SOON:
Intake mod, timing belt, hoses, belts
Wish list:
PML, EFan conversion, shocks, 32" tires, and eventually UCA'S
 
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