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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aloha!

So I just bought a 2001 frontier over here on Kauai, the smallest and most northern hawaiian island, for $1200. and its not completely rusted out, actually not at all really besides some surface dirt and some small bolts... pretty unbelievable.

It has the p0300 code for random misfire, and knock sensor code, and it hesitates and loses power once it's up at operating temperature. seems to run fine if you just start and go when its cold (and it doesn't get very cold here). but when its warmed up it doesn't get too far into 2-3K rpm before it starts losing power under load. when I bought it and drove it home it had trouble initially with this pretty good size hill but then once I was cruising 45-50 mph it seemed to not lose power until i slowed down into the lower gears.

I found both exhaust manifolds cracked, replaced them with doormans from o'reillys
AND I was wondering if anyone else has these and knows which catalytic converters from rock auto, or another cheap site, will fit with these dormans??

I put new denso o2 sensors from rock auto on the passenger side and have the same for the other side I just dropped the driveline to get the drivers side cats out earlier today.

I found a piece of tape inside the distributor cap that was basically covering one of the points that goes to one of the wires... which seems like it might cause a misfire..

going to try to get it back together tomorrow to see if anything I've done might have brought it back to life..

any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as I'm sure a handful of you guys have had the same problems!

Oh yeah and my last rig was a 1995 pathfinder so pretty much same engine and tranny so at least I'm kind of familiar with it. my pathfinder never had any problem like this though for the 4-5 years I owned it. AND it had more room to work on stuff
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So I put the old cats back on with all 4 new denso o2 sensors(not sure how good these will be), new exhaust manifolds on both sides, new PCV valve and hose. It at least runs and drives at this point, I only drove it around the block because it needs power steering fluid, thing is tough to turn haha..

The engine is smoking pretty good though and might have made me feel a little queasy, which i guess is normal for new exhaust parts. I also sprayed the engine with de-greaser spray and there was a decent power steering fluid leak around where it's smoking. so I'm going to attempt to tighten down what I can get to and hope there isn't any real leak and its just the paint on the manifold, the power steering fluid that was leaking on it and/or the degreaser or PB blaster that might have been left over after I rinsed it off.

I think I might have a crack in the power steering reservoir too as there is fluid that has filled up the little ring towards the bottom of the reservoir.
 

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Sounds like the first thing to do is a tune up, since you just got the truck

Plugs, wires, cap and rotor, oil and filter, MAF cleaning and inspection, throttle body cleaning and inspection

Coolant flush if it looks bad

A common issue that happens with almost all of these around 150k is the bearing in the distributer goes bad and will cause loss of power/misfires

If it's real bad you can look under the cap and see metal shavings, you may also hear the distributer making a grinding noise as it turns with the engine running

The solution is a new distributer

If you think the distributer is good the next thing I would check is for a major temp difference before and after the cats. If it's super hot before the cat that would indicate a clogged cat. You had the cats off, could you blow air through them? You could also unbolt the pipes before the cats and go for a drive, if it's better then you've got bad cats

There are other ways to diagnose bad cats if you have a scan tool

If the cats are okay then I would check fuel pressure to spec, and keep in mind that a pump going bad might only show low pressure when hot

Your power steering looks like it could use a flush

With the residual oil around the lip on the reservoir it could be cracked, but I would watch to see if it's bubbling out of the cap and running down into that lip when you put it under load. That would indicate a bad pump and that's what happened on mine. A power steering whining noise also accompanied the fluid bubbling out

I live on the big island and I go to Kauai once a year for vacation. Its a great place

One more thing to check - if it looses power only in a certain rpm range but then once you overcome it , it becomes normal, you may have a dead spot in the the throttle position sensor or it is not properly calibrated

There is a spec to calibrate it and to check for a dead spot it's best to use a scan tool, and watch the throttle % rise slowly as you slowly press the accelerator more in, if the % stops rising or jumps then you need a new tps. Yours may get weird around 2-3k rpm like you said
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the reply.

The distributor looks like it was relatively recently replaced, but I've been reading about certain aftermarket distributors not doing good on this truck, and it is randomly misfiring on at least 3 cylinders, we just checked each one with a timing light and you can watch it randomly misfire..

So what are the best brands/ model of distributors I can get?

also there is a hole in the high pressure hose for the power steering pump, and I might have messed the pump up, I ordered a new set of hoses and I'm probably gonna just order a new pump too since the truck is at like 215,000+ miles and has had a leak for who knows how long.

I did just take it out for a drive after hooking everything back up and it ran ok, but eventually started missing and losing power and or not accelerating uphill.

Oh yeah and it idles pretty dang smooth..


here is some freeze frame data for the p0300

Fuel sys1 CL
fuel sys2 CL
Calc load% 22.7
ECT in degrees F 185
STFT B1 % 0.0
LTFT B1 % 7.8
LTFT B2 % 2.3
engine RPM 2100
Vehicle SPeed 20mph

this is from an innova 3150b code reader
 

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Best and certainly the most reliable distributor to get is a genuine Nissan remanufactured distributor. Online dealers usually sell them for around $250 and they come with a Nissan cap and rotor.
 

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Thank you for the reply.

The distributor looks like it was relatively recently replaced, but I've been reading about certain aftermarket distributors not doing good on this truck, and it is randomly misfiring on at least 3 cylinders, we just checked each one with a timing light and you can watch it randomly misfire..

So what are the best brands/ model of distributors I can get?

also there is a hole in the high pressure hose for the power steering pump, and I might have messed the pump up, I ordered a new set of hoses and I'm probably gonna just order a new pump too since the truck is at like 215,000+ miles and has had a leak for who knows how long.

I did just take it out for a drive after hooking everything back up and it ran ok, but eventually started missing and losing power and or not accelerating uphill.

Oh yeah and it idles pretty dang smooth..


here is some freeze frame data for the p0300

Fuel sys1 CL
fuel sys2 CL
Calc load% 22.7
ECT in degrees F 185
STFT B1 % 0.0
LTFT B1 % 7.8
LTFT B2 % 2.3
engine RPM 2100
Vehicle SPeed 20mph

this is from an innova 3150b code reader
She's adding fuel to bank 1 to compensate for a lean condition but under 10% shouldn't cause a major driveability issue like you're describing

I don't feel that a timing light diagnosis to check for loss of spark is precise

You say it breaks up at 2-3k, what about neutral with no load at 2-3k? If so I would look into the tps

Your freeze frame data doesn't show me much even though it occurred at a misfire

Before you start looking into parts pricing,

Check the air intake duct between the TB and the maf, inspect the accordion ducting thoroughly as you may not see a crack unless you flex it, or in other words the crack may stay sealed until the motor mounts flex, then she will suck in unmetered air only when the mounts flex

Check fuel pressure with a hot engine to spec

And check the spark plugs, condition and gap

Are the contact points on the cap and rotor in decent shape?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
so I pulled number one and thats what it looks like. gap is a little over 1mm.
are these the right plugs?

BKR5E NGK R is what it says on them

and there are resistor wires on it as well.

And I don't think it has a problem when it's not under load. It also seems to run fine when its cold and after it warms up it starts having issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so number two spark plugs washer is stuck like this meaning it wasn't fully screwed into its seat... kinda looks like fuel might have been leaking down into the seat or out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So yeah I'm gonna go grab the right plugs tomorrow and take off the intake and valve covers and replace gaskets (since I got a sweet head gasket kit for less than $60) and plugs and wait for my power steering pump and hoses to show up.
 

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So yeah I'm gonna go grab the right plugs tomorrow and take off the intake and valve covers and replace gaskets (since I got a sweet head gasket kit for less than $60) and plugs and wait for my power steering pump and hoses to show up.
Make sure to do all injector o rings you might need a separate "injector o ring sets", because the head gasket kit probably doesn't have them all, and do the knock sensor, and replace all the questionable hoses and clamps under the intake manifold
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Almost 7 dollars for each injector seal kit, for 2 o-rings... And another piece of rubber. Rip off...

Got them though.

Put the valve cover gaskets on. Lost one of the bolts last night, hopefully find it today. Also had to drill out one of the intake manifold bolts. So now I need to find replacements for those at ace or whatever..

I have new coolant bypass hoses on the way.

I'm so ready to just put it back together!
 

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Almost 7 dollars for each injector seal kit, for 2 o-rings... And another piece of rubber. Rip off...

Got them though.

Put the valve cover gaskets on. Lost one of the bolts last night, hopefully find it today. Also had to drill out one of the intake manifold bolts. So now I need to find replacements for those at ace or whatever..

I have new coolant bypass hoses on the way.

I'm so ready to just put it back together!
I ran into the same problem, needed to buy the sets of injector rings seperate

When I do head gaskets in other cars the head gasket sets don't carry all the o rings either.

Might be too late, but if you notice a lot of sludge under the valve covers and you get a lifter tick I suggest at the least you disassemble your rocker shafts to inspect the rocker arm bores and shafts for gouges and pitting, clean with fine grit sandpaper and blow out the oil supply holes inside the shaft and inside the arms..

If you want to get real serious you can check or replace lifters at the same time

For the intake manifold bolt you had to drill out, is that the upper or lower? What happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I ran into the same problem, needed to buy the sets of injector rings seperate

When I do head gaskets in other cars the head gasket sets don't carry all the o rings either.

Might be too late, but if you notice a lot of sludge under the valve covers and you get a lifter tick I suggest at the least you disassemble your rocker shafts to inspect the rocker arm bores and shafts for gouges and pitting, clean with fine grit sandpaper and blow out the oil supply holes inside the shaft and inside the arms..

If you want to get real serious you can check or replace lifters at the same time

For the intake manifold bolt you had to drill out, is that the upper or lower? What happened?
Not trying to get that serious.

As for the bolt, we drilled through the head. I still need to pull it out. and it was the upper.

And I am going to try to get replacements for the intake and valve covers after work today.

I'm not actually doing the head gaskets, it was just somehow less expensive to buy the head gasket kit, which came with valve cover gaskets, intake gaskets and more, on Amazon by about 20$ than it would have been to get just an intake manifold gasket set from oreillys here, which was like 70$.

Sent from my Game Gear using Dial-up
 

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Not trying to get that serious.

As for the bolt, we drilled through the head. I still need to pull it out. and it was the upper.

And I am going to try to get replacements for the intake and valve covers after work today.

I'm not actually doing the head gaskets, it was just somehow less expensive to buy the head gasket kit, which came with valve cover gaskets, intake gaskets and more, on Amazon by about 20$ than it would have been to get just an intake manifold gasket set from oreillys here, which was like 70$.

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It's not uncommon for steel fasteners to get seized in aluminum threads, that's probably what happened

Make sure to have a helicoil kit on hand when you work on extracting the bolt just in case you screw up the threads, my upper intake manifold has 2 helicoils in it and I replaced all the torx bolts with allens
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I put her all back together and low and behold the damn power steering pressure hose that I got from Oreilly's is defective. Leaks like a MFer.

Pretty much freaked out. Gonna try to take it back.. All covered in power steering fluid and see what, if anything they'll do for me.

I kinda want to order the pair of them off of RockAuto.. It's hard out here in the middle of the ocean. I'm having trouble with patience right now.

I'm really glad that weed, beer and cartoons exist right now... Haha

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So I put her all back together and low and behold the damn power steering pressure hose that I got from Oreilly's is defective. Leaks like a MFer.

Pretty much freaked out. Gonna try to take it back.. All covered in power steering fluid and see what, if anything they'll do for me.

I kinda want to order the pair of them off of RockAuto.. It's hard out here in the middle of the ocean. I'm having trouble with patience right now.

I'm really glad that weed, beer and cartoons exist right now... Haha

Sent from my GameGear using Dial-up
O'Reilly's should be good about returns especially if defective, but they like the parts cleaned and free of oil

Where is it leaking from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The metal fitting that goes into the top of the pump seems like it wasn't welded very good and I didn't notice until I tried to loosen that top plug that it fits around and it just snapped off. I couldn't figure out where it was leaking from until it snapped off.

Power steering fluid all over again haha..

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I got everything put back together after a ridiculous experience trying to get a power steering pressure hose.

The truck started up and then died. then I started it again and it was idling smooth, sounded fine, for around 10 or 15 minutes then it kind of just died as I was trying to burp the power steering fluid and the coolant. now it cranks and acts like its going to start but just shakes and dies immediately...

anybody have any ideas why it would run fine like that and then just stop?

I just replaced the fuel filter after that happened, looked like it might have been the original was very dirty on the fuel tank side, and its still not wanting to fully start.

the fuel pump does squirt fuel out, im not sure the pressure. I was going to go grab a fuel pressure guage to see if it might be the pump.

or maybe a vacuum leak?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So the fuel pressure after the filter was only 10 psi.

pretty low yeah? the manual says 34psi at idle I think and I feel like 10 is pretty low.

the engine still is just cranking over and not starting... guess I have to pull the tank to check if its a clog and or just replace the entire sending unit and pump assembly... or just quit dealing with the seemingly endless dead end of problems I find myself dealing with with this truck... I wanted a project but damn.
 

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Your static pressure should be close to 45 PSI and regulated pressure at 34-36 PSI, so low fuel pressure is your problem. FYI, there were problems with the fuel sending units in these Frontiers. The circuit inside the sending unit would corrode and cause high resistance and eventually the circuit would open. I'm not sure what your Nissan dealer situation is in Hawaii, but these were recalled years ago and not all were done; I bought my '03 Frontier last year and it still had open campaigns on the fuel sender and the steering shaft, which Nissan took care of free of charge. So, before you pull the tank, you may want to check to see if the fuel sending unit has a campaign/recall in it that has still yet to be done:

https://www.nissanusa.com/recalls-vin/

If not, confirm power and ground at the sending unit. If those are good, make sure the fuel lines are in good shape and not badly rusted or damaged. Next, you would have to either drop the tank or remove the bed to get to the sender and pump. You can test the sender using an ohmmeter to make sure there isn't excessive resistance through the sending unit. Also, look for signs of green corrosion inside the connector. If the sender tests bad, chances are the fuel pump is probably okay. If it doesn't, then you likely got a bad fuel pump. I try to stick with genuine Nissan pumps when possible.
 
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