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2005 v6 frontier nightmare, new here

1306 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dubie2003
Hi all, I used to have a 1976 datsun 610. I bought it for 600 bucks. It was buried under a huge pile of dead grass and leaves; wasn't started for 2 years. from the day I bought it, it ran on 3 cylinders. I drove it back and forth from Riverside to Mexicali over 25 times. I bought it with over 128k. I drove it without water in the radiator for 30 miles. someone hit my front end, insurance payed me 650 for damages. It was falling apart and I couldn't afford to fix it, put it up for sale after 5 years and an additional 268k miles. Sold it for 600. I miss that truck!

Fast forward to 2006, bought a used 2005 with 8k+ miles on it. I remembered my old truck and thought "the other truck was excellent, this one has to be also". so it was for a while. Now have 103k on it, and suddenly my beloved truck went from hero to zero.

One day I tried to start the vehicle after driving it to a pick a part. It started, but then the "cel" came on. The engine was started but it was barely idling, black stinky smoke came out and the vehicle wouldn't move. It sat idling like this for 20 min and suddenly it started running ok. Since then, it has quickly gone down hill. Could drive it for a while, but it is a terrible feeling when your vehicle is wishy washy with dependability. Now, the truck is parked in front of my apartment. the engine light is on solid except when i drove it, then it started to flash. got code p0300 and p0420. changed plugs, nothing, found out it may have ecu problems, timing problems, possibly catalytic converter problems, honestly don't know. I am just sick. I could repair anything on the old truck, this one, too many variables to figure out. HELP HELP HELP. Was a mechanic in Marines, now disabled and poor.

Anyway, if there is anybody else having these same problems, I could really use some help.
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Where are you located? Maybe another member could help you take a look at it. Could just be a clogged cat
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Welcome to CF. Somone will come by with good suggestions and where to start looking.
Thank you for your service to our country!

thanks all for replying. I have had hell on earth for the past 3 months and have not had the time to log on to this forum. Since I posted, I have bought an obdII scanner and realized that it will spit out different random codes. Not a real help. I have taken it to a Nissan dealership for diagnostic tests and they say all four of my cats have gone bad at the same time. I service my vehicle regularly, and have never put any kind of gas in it that didn't have detergent additives to keep my fuel system clean. There is no possible way that all of my cats could have gone bad.
Bad cats is a fairly common issue with our trucks. If you want to save some money, I would suggest getting 2 magnaflow cats for about $80ea and get them installed if you can. Put them in the primary cat location and forget about the secondaries. They are good cats, several members have used them, they are very cheap compared to factory, and hopefully you can find a shop to do it since yours are apparently bad. Good luck and I hope you can get your truck fixed soon. They are actually great trucks.
Once again I want to thank all of you for your help. I am not sure if this is the right forum for this dialog so let me know if it has to be held elsewhere. Telling me "bad cats are common..." just doesn't set well with me and cannot be legit. I mean with all the green talk and global warming, the last thing Nissan would want is attention like Toyota.

I live in Escondido CA. I have checked into the magnaflo cats and they say they are 49 state legal and they will not sell or ship to CA. If anybody knows where CA CARB certified cats are being sold in a parts chain or on line, please let me know. I have done some pretty extensive searching online and so far have hit the big "0".

The dealership charged me 100 bucks to tell me that my cats are bad and that it will be $2900 to for parts and labor. I didn't even get a detailed report on what kind of testing they did on my truck. I know there are many ways to troubleshoot other than just hooking this puppy up to an OBDII tester. Also, I heard that the PCM in Nissan's have problems and need to be replaced, usually after a rain. It is funny but I only started to have problems after some really bad rain storms over here. Usually we don't receive a lot of rain so are roads tend to flood really bad. I bring this up because if it is the PCM and they use it to diagnose the problem, How can they tell if it just wasn't the PCM causing all the problems? (sounds like HAL from 2001 space odyssey).

Last but not least, I did quite a lot of repairs on the USMC base autoshop. They have ASE mechanics there to help and answer questions. One told me he has had this problem with his Nissan for 6 years. His MIL comes on, he gets the same codes. He takes some octane booster and some injector cleaner, throws it in the tank and it cleans out his cats. He says he has to do this every 6 months. I went and bought some Lucas carb and octane boost, and some seafoam stuff that says I could put it in a vacuum line that circulates throughout the whole engine. Does this sound like a good idea, and what are your thoughts of this working? Also, where is the best place to pour in this seafoam stuff?

OK that's all. Thanks again in advance, and if any one lives close by and wants to give an assist, they are more than welcome.
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The magnaflow cats and an exhaust shop are your best bet and cheapest fix for this. All vehicles will need some work every now and then
According to Magnaflow's website they do make CARB legal cats. It's just a matter of finding out what model number you need.

It may be beneficial for you to post a new thread in the General Discussion Forum as a lot of members don't look into the New Member Intro threads. I would just give a brief scenario of what's going on and a link to this thread.
Do you have more then 80k miles on your truck? If not then the CATs are covered under the emissions warranty and will be free.
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