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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #261 ·
"Held it "aimed" at a metal bracket"????? The threaded ground portion of the plug should be making solid contact with a clean engine block ground directly to enable a possible spark at the center electrode when testing in such a manner.
Oops, he just said aim it toward a metal object... I'll try it again tomorrow, plus it's a stormy day & I'm not playing with electric connections under a metal framed canopy lol
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #262 · (Edited)
I like how you labeled the bolts where the throttle cable bracket goes. Good job! Can I bring mine by? OK, if I do, I'll help, too. Deal? :)
@MeToo starting to think maybe I should've taken you up on this deal
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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Was that an injector you were testing? If so, then having it over a bucket is a good precaution to take.

If you were expecting spark from it, then unless it's one of those fancy new "Ionic Laser" plugs, it is as @XT2015 says, make sure the threads are well-grounded. The only thing that should come out of that spark plug is a zap.

Disclaimer: There's no such thing as an Ionic Laser spark plug.
 

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I also use a spark plug test light between the cable and the alternator. I do this simply because there is no open spark and the flash is a little brighter than with the naked spark plug. I mention the open spark simply because you need to make sure that you set the plug on the engine away from the open plug hole if you use the naked plug method. The injectors are still putting gas into the engine and it's possible for the fumes coming out of the plug hole to ignite (ask me how I know). When using the naked plug method jsut lay the plug on the engine and make sure the metal of the plug is contacting bare metal on the engine. DO NOT HOLD THE PLUG. I you hold the plug and you happen to touch the vehicle with your hand, thigh, other hand etc. the charge can pass through you if the contact between the plug and engine breaks (I've had this happen with a lawn mower and it sure did hurt). Likewise, don't hold on to the spark plug leads while cranking the engine. I have also been shocked through an old lead.

Bottom line is that for under $10 you can get a tester at the auto store that will make the job easier and also safer.
 

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I also use a spark plug test light between the cable and the alternator. I do this simply because there is no open spark and the flash is a little brighter than with the naked spark plug. I mention the open spark simply because you need to make sure that you set the plug on the engine away from the open plug hole if you use the naked plug method. The injectors are still putting gas into the engine and it's possible for the fumes coming out of the plug hole to ignite (ask me how I know). When using the naked plug method jsut lay the plug on the engine and make sure the metal of the plug is contacting bare metal on the engine. DO NOT HOLD THE PLUG. I you hold the plug and you happen to touch the vehicle with your hand, thigh, other hand etc. the charge can pass through you if the contact between the plug and engine breaks (I've had this happen with a lawn mower and it sure did hurt). Likewise, don't hold on to the spark plug leads while cranking the engine. I have also been shocked through an old lead.

Bottom line is that for under $10 you can get a tester at the auto store that will make the job easier and also safer.
Absolutely to all of that! I suggested the test light in post #258 but it didn't get any traction. So much easier that to try and catch the actual spark with the naked eye.
Amazon.com: Ram-Pro Inline Spark Tester, Plug Engine Ignition Tester, 6-12 Volt Fool-Proof – Pick Up Coil/Armature Diagnostic Detector Tool – for Automotive, Car, Lawnmower, Small & Big Internal/External Engines: Automotive
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #267 ·
Was that an injector you were testing? If so, then having it over a bucket is a good precaution to take.

If you were expecting spark from it, then unless it's one of those fancy new "Ionic Laser" plugs, it is as @XT2015 says, make sure the threads are well-grounded. The only thing that should come out of that spark plug is a zap.

Disclaimer: There's no such thing as an Ionic Laser spark plug.
no it was not an injector & I do know that there is no such thing as an "ionic laser spark plug"
 
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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
I also use a spark plug test light between the cable and the alternator. I do this simply because there is no open spark and the flash is a little brighter than with the naked spark plug. I mention the open spark simply because you need to make sure that you set the plug on the engine away from the open plug hole if you use the naked plug method. The injectors are still putting gas into the engine and it's possible for the fumes coming out of the plug hole to ignite (ask me how I know). When using the naked plug method jsut lay the plug on the engine and make sure the metal of the plug is contacting bare metal on the engine. DO NOT HOLD THE PLUG. I you hold the plug and you happen to touch the vehicle with your hand, thigh, other hand etc. the charge can pass through you if the contact between the plug and engine breaks (I've had this happen with a lawn mower and it sure did hurt). Likewise, don't hold on to the spark plug leads while cranking the engine. I have also been shocked through an old lead.

Bottom line is that for under $10 you can get a tester at the auto store that will make the job easier and also safer.
when I did what I had my friend told me, I held the rubber boot part of the plug wire with my long needle nose type pliers (like the ones you say you have) trust me, I am not trying to electrocute myself. I do have a test light but it only has the aligator clip on the end, I will go get the spark plug one tomorrow. I wsas not able to touch the X today because the storms have not passed us yet.
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #269 ·
Absolutely to all of that! I suggested the test light in post #258 but it didn't get any traction. So much easier that to try and catch the actual spark with the naked eye.
Amazon.com: Ram-Pro Inline Spark Tester, Plug Engine Ignition Tester, 6-12 Volt Fool-Proof – Pick Up Coil/Armature Diagnostic Detector Tool – for Automotive, Car, Lawnmower, Small & Big Internal/External Engines: Automotive
...sorry I had to go pick up my daughter from college yesterday, was not really online much
 

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2004 Xterra XE 4WD Auto 3.3L NA V6
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A little piece of info that might help:

The many thousands of volts that jump that gap are at a very low amperage. If you use a short piece of wire with alligator clips on each end, you can ground the electrode safely without the need for additional tools, especially if you're gonna use it only once or twice.

The wire can be 16 gauge or even 18 gauge. As above, there's very little amperage and most of the attenuation takes place in the spark plug wire itself.

Setup:
  1. Find a place that is not near the spark plug hole or gas mixture as @Satito mentions. It needs to allow the plug to rest without rolling around, and needs to be very close to a good ground. You can rest it on a rag or bend a piece of cardboard into an L shape and stick the plug through a hole.
  2. Attach one clip to that good ground, then use a test light to ensure that it works.
  3. Attach the other clip to the spark plug's threads (if it's large enough to fit around them) or to the electrode that you bend/adjust to set the gap.
  4. Crank the starter and monitor the spark. You may have to shield daylight from it, but it should be plainly visible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
So this is the test light I have. Yesterday I used this and retested for spark, (clip end on battery negative, test tip inside #1 spark plug boot) still nothing. A friend found a video on testing/troubleshooting, going to try these steps next.


@Satito ... Opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #272 ·
I feel like an idiot!... Just found this in my tool box 🙄
 

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Discussion Starter · #275 · (Edited)
ok so I was sitting here looking through other ppl's posts and I think I might have figured out why the X won't start 😲 when I cleaned all the fuel injectors and reinstalled them, I did learn about the "color coded dot" thing, well none of these had a dot before I took them out. I did however kind of study them after they were cleaned and tested and noticed that the one's I took off the non working X had a different #/letter code on them. is this the same as the color codes? @Satito @RacerXXL @Blackberry
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
Yep, I've got a few duplicate tools, because I forgot I already had one... Don't tell my wife!!!
Your secret is safe with me :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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I feel like an idiot!... Just found this in my tool box 🙄
That's the right tool for the spark detection job! Let's see if your distributor is even putting out a spark. I suppose you have verified the dizzy is actually being supplied voltage to work with.
 

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2000 Xterra XE 4x4 3.3L AT
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ok so I was sitting here looking through other ppl's posts and I think I might have figured out why the X won't start 😲 when I cleaned all the fuel injectors and reinstalled them, I did learn about the "color coded dot" thing, well none of these had a dot before I took them out. I did however kind of study them after they were cleaned and tested and noticed that the one's I took off the non working X had a different #/letter code on them. is this the same as the color codes? @Satito @RacerXXL
May be but I would just be speculating, I have just a working knowledge of the FI system on the VG series.
 
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