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Full disclosure...this is a 2000 VG33E frontier(125,000 miles), I've found more helpful information here while researching than elsewhere so I'm posting here.
My truck died at idle while waiting for road construction at the bottom of a mountain pass...far from cell service. After it had died it would turn over and fire and then immediately die. I had the truck towed to a mechanic who, after a couple days wait, diagnosed a "no-spark" condition and recommended I replace the distributor, plugs and wires. Quoted me $1400 for the work and I declined their services. I left the truck at a friends and came back in a week to attempt to fix whatever was wrong and it started right up. So I skied for 3 days and then tried to drive it home...it died at freeway speed and refused to start until the next morning and then it drove the remaining 200 miles home without a problem.

I had the codes checked at autozone and it showed a Po325 knock sensor code...I believe there were no other codes unless the autozone moron didn't know to scroll down. I drove it around the block consistently trying to get it to break down so I could check the spark and listen for the fuel pump. After hearing the fuel pump while it wasn't starting and seeing what I believe was weak/inconsistent spark...sometimes none at all and reading about the common distributor problems on the VG33e I replaced the distributor, cap and rotor with a brand new one from the local part store.

I researched the distributor replacement carefully and felt confident about doing it. I first attempted it the easy way by just marking the rotor position and slipping the dist. out and slipping the new one in the same position. To my surprise it started up and idled perfectly for 10-15 minutes and then it died suddenly and would not fire when I tried to restart. I figured id messed up the timing by doing it the easy way...so I set it to 15 degrees BTDC with the Crank shaft pulley bolt and set the rotor to the number 1 plug....Wouldn't fire. I figured maybe I'd accidentally found TDC of the exhaust stroke so I turned the crank pulley over one more time and tried it then...still wouldn't fire.

SO I used a spark tester and again observed what I think is intermittent weak spark. I'm not experienced at looking at spark on High Energy Ignition systems but what I'm seeing orange and not consistent spark.

I've checked the resistance value of the ignition wires against the repair manual values and they all look good.

Spark plugs were replaced at 105,000 miles along with the timing belt/water pump and intake manifold gasket(nightmare)

I have checked for battery voltage to the ignition coil from the ignition switch and it is available

I have checked for a trigger signal to the ignition coil and it is present.

I checked the resistance of the ignition circuit resistor and it is good

So my question is....What next? Thanks in advance to all who have survived the essay I just wrote...I just know that to help me you probably need to know all the blood and guts...
 

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The crank sensor is less than $20 i would start there just to rule it out.It is located behind the drivers side head on one of the bolts trans to engine about 11 o'clock looking from the back to the front.If i was working it i would pull drives side tire and inter plastic fender and its right in front of you than stand on your head under the truck. Sounds to me like a electrical sensor over heat and shuts off till it cools down and then works till it heats up.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. Crank Sensor sounds like a good stroke. I was worried you'd tell me to take it to the dealer to have them look at the ECM. I thought it was a sensor getting warm and shorting at first as well. Unfortunately right now it won't fire either way....warm or cold,
 

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Can somebody please provide a little more information about this Crank Sensor? Does anyone have a picture so I can locate it properly? Is this the same thing as the Crankshaft Position sensor?

Thanks.
 

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Can somebody please provide a little more information about this Crank Sensor? Does anyone have a picture so I can locate it properly? Is this the same thing as the Crankshaft Position sensor?

Thanks.
hi , I've found that my 2004 pathfinder dose not have a crank angle sensor.
ignition runs from the cam angle sensor inside distributor.
I've been in this same situation and after an intensive investigation of entire system the culprit was spark from the back of coil jumping across and earthing out on the inner wall of distributor creating everything your experiencing ending in burnt out coil.
it's very cheap to replace yourself and there's no need to remove distributor from engine.
also this will happen again if the condenser remains on the black wire in to coil instead of the blue wire going from coil to power transistor.
I hope your able to make it happen for yourself and u get back to loving the pathfinder .'
 

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i read that you checked the disk in the distributor, but did you check the metal bearing at the bottom of the rod?? I've had the same issue and my problem was that the metal bearing was disintegrated. its a common problem because that little bearing spins around at 1000rpm with no oil or lubricant to cool it down or to keep it from wearing out.
easy fix, common problem. I would start here If you already haven't
 
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