Nissan XTerra Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just bought my 2004 Xterra XE w/ Vg33e non supercharged motor about two months back. My issue here initially started about two weeks ago when I was driving low speed in a parking lot and the X just died and wouldn't restart. Turned out to be a crack in the distributor cap. Now, after replacing the distributor cap, I've had a consistent idling issue. Basically, if I start the X cold, it will idle just fine in Park or Neutral. Putting it into Drive or Reverse immediately causes it to idle rough with a stall within about 10-20 seconds. I can keep it running by constantly applying at least a little throttle. After it's been driven a while and warmed up, the issue gets worse where it will also stall in Park and Neutral, and very quickly. I can still keep it running by applying throttle, but it has to be a bit more than when cold.

Last I checked, the only code was the typical knock sensor code. No Check Engine Lights. This issue did not exist whatsoever before the dizzy cap pooped out.

Any idea what might be going on? Right now, I'm considering that the distributor itself is going bad (could have caused the crack in the cap?), the MAF sensor needs to be cleaned, the idle air control valve, bad fuel even, and the fuel filter. Based on my research, seems like the issue could be like a billion different things.

Edit: forgot to say I added seafoam to the fuel, but that was after the issue first began presenting.
 

·
Registered
2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
Joined
·
515 Posts
You are correct it could be a buncha things, but start easiest and move on from there. Do your research on the site here.
Take the distributor apart enough to see down to the bearing and see if it’s in rough shape or looks intact.
Clean that MAF, or even unplug it while it’s idling and see how things change, if it’s bad I don’t think much should change, but if it’s good then the engine may cut out or get more sporadic.
Start with those things. How many miles on it? Distributor starts to give out above 150,000 usually.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mine is just above 147,000, so just about perfect timing. I'll try the MAF tonight and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update: Cleaned the MAF sensor and it was still idling rough when put in Drive. I didn't let it go long enough to stall, but I'm sure it would have if I let it go longer. Pulled codes again and now in addition to the knock sensor, I'm getting P0340 camshaft position sensor code. This makes me nearly completely certain the the dizzy needs to be replaced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,247 Posts
Yep. The sensor is integrated into the dizzy.... Thanks for that Nissan....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,247 Posts
Did you check to make sure that EGR is moving freely? Some times they get stuffed with carbon and stick open. The excess exhaust gas will choke the engine at idle. Just stick your fingers up under it and you should be able to move the diaphragm up and down.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Yep. The sensor is integrated into the dizzy.... Thanks for that Nissan....
was common in that time, many late 90s gms and fords are the same way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: Pulled an OEM dizzy off a junkyard Xterra and put the original dizzy's rotor, cap, and camshaft sensor into the junkyard assembly. I know I may have gotten a bad distributor off that X as well, but this was a quick, cheap way to try and get it going again. Unfortunately, I'm still having the same issues. I went and drove it for about 30 miles and pulled codes. Only one the scanner is pulling right now is the P0328 - knock sensor.

Checked the EGR valve and it isn't stuck. Haven't pulled the vacuum line to see if the valve works under vacuum though.

I've also discovered a slight leak from the water pump, so that'll get replaced soon. I don't think that should be causing the idle issues though.

So now I'm still at the same spot. Next things to I'm thinking to do are to make sure the EGR valve is functioning under vacuum, get some high octane fuel in it in case there's bad gas (though it's tough to use up the gas when I'm anxious about taking it out on the road), maybe just say screw it and get a replacement OEM dizzy new and stick that on there in case the jy dizzy was going bad as well.

Outside of those possibilities, I'm just kinda baffled. Any other ideas?
 

·
Registered
2003 SE 4x4 V6 100k miles
Joined
·
515 Posts
I did not see if you said this before, but when was timing belt last done? If water pump is leaking due to old age, timing belt could be old and losing/jumping some teeth and getting your timing off. I don’t know much about this and if it would cause this issue, but that’s a possibility
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Honestly, not sure when the timing belt was last done. I'm assuming it was done at around 100k because a dealership had the title at around that, but that's an assumption. Will be replacing timing belt at the same time as the water pump.

Thankfully I live within walking distance of work, so I'm trying to drive it as little as possible in case the timing belt is a ticking time bomb.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Happy Update: Today I went out to try and drive it around to waste the fuel in case it was bad gas. After driving for about 90 minutes, pulled into a truck stop in bfn. When I tried restarting it, I couldn't even get it going in drive it stalled so bad, and it started backfiring a little. I let it sit about an hour and got lunch and tried again, got it running, but it died on the highway a couple miles later and wouldn't even start anymore.

It was giving no spark at all out the dizzy, so I went into the nearest town and got a new dizzy, put it on, and it runs just fine now! I'm thinking that it was the ignition coil, since that was a piece that I had migrated from the original distributor to the junkyard one. I think it felt like it had a bit less power, so I'm going to get my hands on a timing light and get that as good as I can.

Next up is new water pump, timing belt, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Happy Update: Today I went out to try and drive it around to waste the fuel in case it was bad gas. After driving for about 90 minutes, pulled into a truck stop in bfn. When I tried restarting it, I couldn't even get it going in drive it stalled so bad, and it started backfiring a little. I let it sit about an hour and got lunch and tried again, got it running, but it died on the highway a couple miles later and wouldn't even start anymore.

It was giving no spark at all out the dizzy, so I went into the nearest town and got a new dizzy, put it on, and it runs just fine now! I'm thinking that it was the ignition coil, since that was a piece that I had migrated from the original distributor to the junkyard one. I think it felt like it had a bit less power, so I'm going to get my hands on a timing light and get that as good as I can.

Next up is new water pump, timing belt, etc.
if you lined up the rotors your likely very close on timing, never had to retime my 98 pathfinder or 2000 x after doing the dizzy as i had them so close and it actually made the low end pick up a bit so i left it be never had issues had that pathfinder to over 200k miles would likely still have it had it not been hit and totaled that was a great truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
if you lined up the rotors your likely very close on timing, never had to retime my 98 pathfinder or 2000 x after doing the dizzy as i had them so close and it actually made the low end pick up a bit so i left it be never had issues had that pathfinder to over 200k miles would likely still have it had it not been hit and totaled that was a great truck.
Yeah, I'd bet the timing is alright, no real issues getting it started now or anything. Me thinking it has lower power now might just be my brain overthinking it now. If I can find a light on Craigslist or something, I'll do it just for peace of mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,420 Posts
Yeah, I'd bet the timing is alright, no real issues getting it started now or anything. Me thinking it has lower power now might just be my brain overthinking it now. If I can find a light on Craigslist or something, I'll do it just for peace of mind.
never a bad idea to check it afterwards, i did mine with a friend's light autozone and the like have them for loan that you get the money back when you return em
 
  • Like
Reactions: psyspoop

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Happy Update: Today I went out to try and drive it around to waste the fuel in case it was bad gas. After driving for about 90 minutes, pulled into a truck stop in bfn. When I tried restarting it, I couldn't even get it going in drive it stalled so bad, and it started backfiring a little. I let it sit about an hour and got lunch and tried again, got it running, but it died on the highway a couple miles later and wouldn't even start anymore.

It was giving no spark at all out the dizzy, so I went into the nearest town and got a new dizzy, put it on, and it runs just fine now! I'm thinking that it was the ignition coil, since that was a piece that I had migrated from the original distributor to the junkyard one. I think it felt like it had a bit less power, so I'm going to get my hands on a timing light and get that as good as I can.

Next up is new water pump, timing belt, etc.
Glad you got it figured out hopefully this is my problem too! I noticed a p1320 on the scanner when it stalled today along with some O2 sensor action anyway thanks for posting!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top