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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, i have a problem with my truck suddenly for last few days ive had problems with keeping it running, ive replaced several parts in hopes to get it fixed and am running out of ideas.
its a 2001 frontier xe with 2.4l and a 5spd manual trans. 146k on odo but alot of it was towing miles stated from previous owner.
New Parts:
Battery
Oil Change
Distributor
Plugs
Fuel filter
Air filter
Fresh fuel.
Crankshaft sensor(or cam unsure, its the one ontop of the trans bellhousing)

it first started to just turn turn turn and never fire up, when it would it had a misfire, we did the plugs and same result if it would even start, did distributor and fuel filter and the sensor and it ran approx 60 miles, then next morning it refused to start, the sensor came unplugged i plugged it back in and it drove fine for 50ish miles, then next day it wont do anything but turn turn turn, have new battery, checked spark and it has spark, when we did fuel filter old one had fuel in it unsure if there is bleeding or prime for the filter maybe its a bubble in line or something, but now it will turn turn and want to start but never fire 100%, if i push pedal approx 30% for fuel it had started but wouldnt idle good and wouldnt rev either and if i let off it would die... is it possible it was the fuel pump dying? and if so how to remove it? the bed bolts are phillips head and rusted/stripped from previous owner, if it would be easier to cut the heads and remove bed or is it easier to drop the tank(if thats possible).


Any and all suggestions are accepted and will be tried in attempt to get my truck back on the road, thanks in advance incase ive delayed responses.
 

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Trying to figure out intermittent problems with your KA24DE motor can sometimes make you just want to rip your hair out... roots & all!!! Hopefully you won't get to that point just yet.

First things first, if you haven't already done so, click on the attached link & download a copy of the Factory Service Manual for your appropriate year Frontier.

Since your Frontier is a 2001 model year and over 20 years old, when checking, (and BEFORE REPLACING), any of your "defective" components, make sure to check the Wiring harness plug & wiring harness leading from / to the Engine Control Unit, along with the Factory Ground points. It's possible you could have a short in the harness connector, harness wire, or ground wire. Just out of curiosity, is your truck kicking out any OBD II Error codes?? You hear any hissing sound from any of the vacuum hoses by the fuel rail / back of the engine?? Keep your troubleshooting simple...Remember: 1) Fuel, (fuel pump) 2) Spark, (distributor) & 3) Air, (Mass Airflow Sensor). One, (or more), of these item(s) could be the cause of your problem.

Depending on how much fuel you have in your gas tank, it can be easier to lift / remove the bed to swap out the fuel pump. It all depends on how stuck the bed bolts are and if an Easy Out tool can remove them or not....See Butterman's response (post #12) on link below.

If you are going to go thru all that hassle, you might as well replace the rubber fuel & vacuum lines while you are there so you won't have to raise the bed / drop the tank at a later time if you decide to keep the Frontier Pickup for years to come. If you decide not to replace the fuel lines, then disconnect the fuel line at the engine fuel regulator, take an air compressor and blow out the line between the fuel tank & the fuel regulator...remove the new fuel filter before you do. Check the wiring harness leading up to the fuel pump for 12 volts along with a continuity test to make sure you have a good ground leading up to the fuel pump. Also run 12 volts directly to the original fuel pump to see if it is working before you go thru all that hassle of pulling the bed / dropping the tank. Make sure you test the fuel pressure coming out at the fuel rail

If your problem is not your fuel pump, then check ALL your ground wires in the engine compartment along with the wiring harness. Wiggle the harness and grounds while the engine is running -that is IF you can get the motor to start & stay running. If the engine won't start or stay running, then you'll have to use a multi-meter / continuity tester to check the individual wires in the wiring harness / plug from the Engine Control Unit to the component you are testing.

Since you replaced the distributor, you should be getting constan spark to all four of your plugs as the distributor rotor turns inside the cap, (unless the harness leading to the distributor has a short in it). If you had a bad spark plug wire(s) your motor would run rough. If your Mass Airflow Sensor went bad, it should start, but will run like crap & die on you when accelerating. Use the Factory Service Manual & go thru each section, (Fuel, Spark, Air), along with checking your wiring harness / ground points. Hopefully you'll be able to pinpoint where your problem(s) is/are.

Good luck!!! Hope this helps.....
 

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Just troubleshooting:
Any chance of bad gas? New distributor, but is the cap and rotor new as well?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bad gas got ran out when we drove it up the road and refueled, it had sat for a week if even. Its down to 1/4 of a tank new gas (well now 3 days ago). New distributor came with a new cap and rotor (that or in all our buying we bought one I don't 100% remember) i just remember going through a lot of referb and saying screw this and buying a new one (insert anger here ( had to wait half a week every time)).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So we replaced fuel pump fuse and now it starts (hurray) but it idle rough and shakes and dies. Got a couple revs in before it died the second time but after that it was all shakes and dying so I stopped.
 

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2004 Nissan Frontier XE KC KA24DE
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is it possible it was the fuel pump dying? and if so how to remove it? the bed bolts are phillips head and rusted/stripped from previous owner, if it would be easier to cut the heads and remove bed or is it easier to drop the tank(if thats possible).
Can you hear the click of the fuel pump relay followed by the sound of the fuel pump energizing for 5 seconds when key is turned to ON?
The bed bolts are accessed from under the bed. It's actually a 14mm nut that needs to be removed prior to removing a bed mounting bolt. See pic.
20210722_194707.jpg
 

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@dawghelms thread about tilting the bed to replace the fuel pump is how I learned of this method.
 

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So we replaced fuel pump fuse and now it starts (hurray) but it idle rough and shakes and dies. Got a couple revs in before it died the second time but after that it was all shakes and dying so I stopped.
Check all your vacuum hoses for a disconnected or cut vacuum hose. A disconnected or cut vacuum line will cause a rough idle and the engine to die. If you can get the engine to start & run, spray some carb cleaner around your fuel injectors. The aerolized spray will help you find a leak in the rubber seals which surround the fuel injectors. If you do have a bad seal around your fuel injector then pull the fuel rail & fuel injector & replace the rubber seals. While you are at it, check the wiring going to the fuel injectors too. Use a noid light to see if you are getting signal, (the light will flash if you do), to the fuel injectors. Here is a general Youtube video showing how it's done.

Once you finish testing the wiring harness to the fuel injectors, reconnect the plugs to the injectors making sure they are connected properly. A loose or bad fuel injector harness/plug will cause the engine to run rough. Also check your spark plug wires. Use the continuity function on your digital voltmeter to make sure your spark plug wires don't have an electrical short in them. If your spark plug wires check out okay, then reconnect them to the spark plugs and to the distributor cap. Make sure the wires are connected snugly to the spark plugs and to the distributor cap. Pop the distributor cap off real quick & check to make sure the rotor is properly secured to the distributor shaft.

If they check out okay, then check the harness leading to your Mass Airflow Sensor. Follow the information listed in the Factory Service Manual. See Post #2 above. If you can gain access to anyone else that has a 2004 Frontier, temporarily swap out their Mass Airflow Sensor with yours. If your truck starts & runs fine, then your problem was a bad Mass Airflow Sensor.

Hopefully, by performing the above mentioned checks, you should be able to track down the issue that is causing your rough idling / engine dying. Hope this helps... Good Luck!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
sorry unsure proper way to quote anyone, but replaced fuel pump relay, and verified fuel, went ahead put new cap and rotor for dist, new plugs and new wires, still turn turn turns and slight starts but nothing more then .5 seconds, running out of options before selling it.... would love to keep it, have checked the factory grounds, new battery, vac lines all operating as they should, injectors have the proper voltage etc etc, all plugs are plugged in etc etc, still cant seem to get the obd2 scanner to connect, when it "connects" states no stored codes etc etc, but the scanner/code reader on other vehicles connects in moments vs this truck it seems to take 5-10 mins if not longer.... maybe anyone knows a fix for the obd2 problem maybe i can get a code read or something. thanks to all who has replied thus far.
 

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...... still cant seem to get the obd2 scanner to connect, when it "connects" states no stored codes etc etc, but the scanner/code reader on other vehicles connects in moments vs this truck it seems to take 5-10 mins if not longer....
You need a new scanner.
If Natashi's OBD II Scanner / Code Reader is working on other vehicles but taking forever on her Frontier, then chances are it's NOT her Scanner / Code Reader. She could have an electrical short in the OBD II Diagnostic Port or in the wiring harness leading to the OBD II Diagnostic Port. The truck has 20 years on it....wiring harnesses don't last forever.....

Natashi....you'll have to use the Factory Service Manual....see Post #2 above... to see if your distributor is working properly along with double checking to see if your Engine Control Unit, (and it's wiring harness), are still functioning within normal operating parameters. You also might want to double check your Mass Air Flow Sensor, (and wiring harness leading to it too), while you are at it. Follow all the procedures listed on how to test those items. Pay close attention on the procedures on how to test the Engine Control Unit....it's possible it's on it's last legs and going out, causing your start / run issues...Hopefully you'll be able to find the item(s) causing all your issues.

Those are the only things I can think of that will affect how your truck starts & runs.... Hope this helps......Good Luck!!!!
 

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Natashi....watch the attached Youtube video if you want to check your OBD II port on your Nissan truck.....

 
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