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Fortunately you only need to remove the passenger side valve cover. Then turn the crank clockwise while watching the cam lobes and the valve stems. The front cylinder on the passenger side is the #1. Both cam lobes will be up and the valve stems completely up (the valves are closed). You can use a straw etc to make sure the cylinder is at TDC. Then take the distributor cap off (mark it's position first) and see where the rotor is pointing. It should be on the #1 plug.

Another option is to have someone put their finger over the #1 sparkplug hole while you turn the crank by hand. DO NOT TURN THE ENGINE OVER USING THE STARTER MOTOR WITH SOMEONES FINGER OVER THE HOLE! The presure could seriously injure them. You will know you are on the compression stroke when the pressure pushes against their finger (should push their finger off the hole) This means the valves are closed. Find TDC on this stroke and then check the distributor rotor.
The old blow hole method!
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #303 · (Edited)
No visible wet spots but I am Omw to go get new injector o'rings now...

Or not 🙄 guess I have to order them online
 

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No visible wet spots but I am Omw to go get new injector o'rings now...

Or not 🙄 guess I have to order them online
Did you check to see if the fuel is leaking from the fuel pressure regulator unit? Disconnect the vacuum tube attached to it and see if any fuel pours or drips out.
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #305 ·
Did you check to see if the fuel is leaking from the fuel pressure regulator unit? Disconnect the vacuum tube attached to it and see if any fuel pours or drips out.
When removing the plenum, the only fluid leakage I noticed was antifreeze
 

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2004 Xterra SE V6 M/T
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So, I had a problem like this awhile ago. My X would start run for 2 seconds and die. Then I wouldn't be able to get it to start at all. I would smell gas like I had a fuel leak or as if it was running super rich. Ended up doing a compression test and found that it had jumped time and bent valves on the passenger side. Hopefully since yours hasn't really ran yet this isn't the issue, but a compression test might not hurt just to go ahead and check that box off too.
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #308 ·
So, I had a problem like this awhile ago. My X would start run for 2 seconds and die. Then I wouldn't be able to get it to start at all. I would smell gas like I had a fuel leak or as if it was running super rich. Ended up doing a compression test and found that it had jumped time and bent valves on the passenger side. Hopefully since yours hasn't really ran yet this isn't the issue, but a compression test might not hurt just to go ahead and check that box off too.
So, I had a problem like this awhile ago. My X would start run for 2 seconds and die. Then I wouldn't be able to get it to start at all. I would smell gas like I had a fuel leak or as if it was running super rich. Ended up doing a compression test and found that it had jumped time and bent valves on the passenger side. Hopefully since yours hasn't really ran yet this isn't the issue, but a compression test might not hurt just to go ahead and check that box off too.
I really hope this is not the case given this all started after I paid a shop to replace the water pump and timing belt :oops: :unsure:
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #309 ·
OK, plenum is off... Any advice or ideas are very welcomed
so after taking the plenum off and removing the injectors, I noticed the o-rings were not all in good shape. Decided to go ahead and replace them, apparently no one near me carries the right size so I have to order them online. Since I have to leave the X alone til parts come in, I was going to quickly re-connect the battery and have my daughter "turn the key and roll up the window" just in case it rains or something... she did not listen to my words carefully and when she turned the key for popwer, she turned it like she was going to start the engine... fuel injectors and plenum not installed!!!
what are the chances she just ruined the engine by doing this?
@Satito
 

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so after taking the plenum off and removing the injectors, I noticed the o-rings were not all in good shape. Decided to go ahead and replace them, apparently no one near me carries the right size so I have to order them online. Since I have to leave the X alone til parts come in, I was going to quickly re-connect the battery and have my daughter "turn the key and roll up the window" just in case it rains or something... she did not listen to my words carefully and when she turned the key for popwer, she turned it like she was going to start the engine... fuel injectors and plenum not installed!!!
what are the chances she just ruined the engine by doing this?
@Satito
Not very likely any damage was done to the engine. At least when you say it was just the injectors and the upper plenum.
 

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Are you familiar with the HGTV tv show called the "Garage Squad". They travel around with a team that goes to someone's home and works on a car that is in need of restoration or repair to get running tiptop once again. You never know if you might get lucky and have them choose you to do a tv episode that ends up fixing your ride! God knows there is a story to tell there. Go for it!
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #312 ·
Are you familiar with the HGTV tv show called the "Garage Squad". They travel around with a team that goes to someone's home and works on a car that is in need of restoration or repair to get running tiptop once again. You never know if you might get lucky and have them choose you to do a tv episode that ends up fixing your ride! God knows there is a story to tell there. Go for it!
sounds like what my dad had applied for at one time for his 1970 convertible, doubt my little issue would qualify for a tv show
 

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sounds like what my dad had applied for at one time for his 1970 convertible, doubt my little issue would qualify for a tv show
Don't be a doubter now. Life is short and if you don't "go for it" it just passes you by. I think you are more of a player than a side lines watcher. Git er done! I think you might find one of the men that arrives with the squad to work on the cars to be quite appealing to the female eye. Watch one of his episodes and tell me you wouldn't want him working under your hood!
 

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As mentioned. You should be fine. The engine can crank with everything stripped down to the heads and all that will happen is the pistons will pump up and down ( I still don't recommend it as you will spit oil all over the place with the heads removed).
 

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2004 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (160k miles) & 2003 xterra 6cyl 3.3L (dead engine)
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Discussion Starter · #315 ·
Don't be a doubter now. Life is short and if you don't "go for it" it just passes you by. I think you are more of a player than a side lines watcher. Git er done! I think you might find one of the men that arrives with the squad to work on the cars to be quite appealing to the female eye. Watch one of his episodes and tell me you wouldn't want him working under your hood!
your HILARIOUS! I am most definitely not a side lines watcher, but I am also most definitely not looking to be on tv either.
 
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I noticed that you seem to have used RTV to seal your intake manifold. I recommend removing the RTV and using just the plain steel gasket. They're actually designed to be used bare. Using RTV can result in leaks over time. It also makes it 100x easier to remove and replace the intake manifold. The only reason I'd use RTV or a gasket sealer is if either of the aluminum surfaces has gouges or deep scratches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #319 · (Edited)
I noticed that you seem to have used RTV to seal your intake manifold. I recommend removing the RTV and using just the plain steel gasket. They're actually designed to be used bare. Using RTV can result in leaks over time. It also makes it 100x easier to remove and replace the intake manifold. The only reason I'd use RTV or a gasket sealer is if either of the aluminum surfaces has gouges or deep scratches.
Thank you, that's helpful.
Question... Was I supposed to use a silicone lubricant when installing the fuel injectors?
 

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You can use silicone lube. Just don't use a ton. It's just to help reduce friction as you slide the injectors in. Basically the orings should be shiney after it's applied, but there shouldn't be gobs hanging off. Also be careful to not get it on the orifice or the the filter screens.
 
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