Timing & Idle Issues - Oil in Distributor - Nissan Forum
GA16DE 1.6L Engine Engine Discussion: 91-99 Sentra, 95-98 200SX, 91-93 NX1600

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#1 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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Timing & Idle Issues - Oil in Distributor

OVERVIEW:
I'm in a 1992 sentra, standard GA16DE - B13 engine. I failed the TX inspection with high HC (but the NOx is fine after past repairs). The car's performance has not changed at all in the last 4 years. 105k miles on the car, 65k on engine (previous owner replaced engine at 35k miles). The air conditioner belt is cut, the compressor was dead anyway.

I'm using a relatively cheap timing gun from Autozone, and a Sunpro Tach from same place.

ISSUES:

After failing the HC for the 3rd time, I did more and more inspections and finally found oil in the distributor (internal oil seal shot, need new one).

I tested the following per FSM (voltage and Ohms or vaccuum) and they appear fine: IACV (ohms and clicking), coolant temp sensor (some corrosion on sensor and plug), injector ohms, TPS ohms and 0' voltage, power steering oil pressure sensor, (new) EGR + PCV. No readily apparent vacuum leaks. Completely cleaned out IACV (which didn't change anything).

When I first checked timing per FSM and the "sticky thread" instructions the timing was at 25'+ BTDC!! (yes, about 5 past the 20 mark). I tried to adjust the timing via the same route, but dialing the screw back all the way only lowered RPM (in my Autozone Sunpro Tachometer) to about 1000rpm (it was at about 1200rpm).

I adjusted the timing to about 10' and dialed the idle down to 1000rpm but the car lacked power and would flatten/surge when accelerating under load above 2800RPM or so. I moved it to 15' and the problem got a bit better. I dialed it to 20' and the car performs "normally."

Now, I realize that the oil in the distributor may have something to do with this, but I cleaned out the distributor with some carb cleaner and no change on the timing or idle conditions.

I'm running out of things to test.... I could just replace the distributor with a new one, but I'm thinking that the results will not be any different.

Suggestions?

Last edited by coldfoxred; Sep 7th, 2011 at 01:42 PM.
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#2 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 10:05 PM
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It appears that the car is not entering the "timing adjust mode" despite my best efforts to do so (precisely following the FSM and the sticky thread). Are there certain issues that may preclude entering the "timing adjust mode"?

When it says "race the engine to 2k-3k rpm 2 or 3 times" does this mean within some specific time frame? (e.g. within 5 seconds, etc.?).

I bought a Blazt cable - gonna test this out the precise way.
#3 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 10:59 PM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,672
Are you running the engine at about 2,000 rpm for a minute or two before running the engine up to 2K-3K rpms?

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#4 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 06:05 AM
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Yes. Procedure:

warm car up at idle until full temp
run at 2k rpm for 2 min
turn off
disconnect tps
restart
rev to 2-3k three times
(rev, fall to idle, rev, fall to idle, rev, fall to idle, adjust)

I'll try again this morning to do the rev/idle faster ...
#5 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 07:03 AM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,672
I've got slightly different in the book...

warm up, idle stays below 1000 rpm
2000 rpm for 2 minutes
rev engine 2-3K three times
idle for one minute

turn off
disconnect tps
start
rev 2-3K three times
adjust timing

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#6 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Followed precisely, no luck. Unclear why. When the car was almost warmed up, the engine started idling slightly rougher, and the coolant temperature sensor contacts were quite corroded. Perhaps the ECU is not seeing the temperature change.

At any rate, I set everything back where it was before I started and will revisit this when the cable comes and I can see what the ECU sees.
#7 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 11:40 PM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,672
Ya, I'm almost positive it's gotta be in closed loop for the procedure to work right, and a bad reading from the coolant temp sensor would probably keep it out of closed loop.
If you get a good OBD scanner, you could check Mode $01, PID $03, check the 4th bit, should be a "1", or at least the byte will readback as a $10 if you are in fact in closed loop.

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#8 Old Sep 17th, 2011, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Cable came. Turns out the Blazt cable works just fine with ECUTALK on a 1992 Nissan Sentra. Found the following issues:

1. Despite proper OHM readings across the range of movement, the Throttle Position Sensor voltage goes from 0.5v at idle to a max of 1.0v or so when the engine is at 4k rpm. It seems to max out around 1v despite more throttle movement. Also error 43 in the fault codes on startup.

2. The cheapo Sun Pro RPM gauge (autozone) is fairly accurate vis-a-vis the cable/ECU within +-75 or so RPM.

3. The O2 sensor is all over the place between 0.2 and 0.80 but sometimes sticks at one end or the other. What is the expected behavior for this sensor?

4. Coolant temperature sensor is just fine. Starts out at 60C and warms up to 81C when the gauge is in the middle.

5. Idle is 1100 RPM at full warm up. Timing is 11-14 BTDC at warm up.

6. AAC is 10% at full warm up. Is this right?

SOo....

Any recommendations on Brand of O2 Sensor? Brand for TPS sensor? Would either of these issues cause high idle and high HC levels?
#9 Old Sep 17th, 2011, 09:37 PM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
Posts: 2,672
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldfoxred View Post
1. Despite proper OHM readings across the range of movement, the Throttle Position Sensor voltage goes from 0.5v at idle to a max of 1.0v or so when the engine is at 4k rpm. It seems to max out around 1v despite more throttle movement. Also error 43 in the fault codes on startup.
TPS should run from near 0v to near 5v. 0-1 volt range isn't gonna cut it...

Quote:
3. The O2 sensor is all over the place between 0.2 and 0.80 but sometimes sticks at one end or the other. What is the expected behavior for this sensor?
Normal depending on mode of operation. It should 'bounce around' like that when the engine is at a steady rpm. When accelerating, it should go rich (higher voltage). When decelerating, it should go lean (lower voltage)

Quote:
5. Idle is 1100 RPM at full warm up. Timing is 11-14 BTDC at warm up.

6. AAC is 10% at full warm up. Is this right?
Seems like that warm idle rpm is a bit high, as well the AAC seems bit on the low side for that rpm. I'm thinking your base idle set screw is out a bit too far letting in too much air or you might have a small air leak after the throttle plates.

99% of the questions that are "STRANGE" have a dirt simple answer...usually answered by a dirt simple search.

NISSAN GOOGLE

Is it just me, or does the majority overlook the obvious?

Somebody ate a whole bag of dumbass for breakfast.

Why do people continue to run a vehicle when a warning light comes on or starts flashing? Isn't that a clue that something is wrong and you probably should NOT drive it?
Is this whole car driving thing really freekin' brain surgery?

Here's something new for the crowd/clowns...
"A little bit of Google goes a long way!"

Ever notice the one post wonders for info on turbo'ing a GA16 are never heard from again after they figure out the cost???

And if you can read this, you don't need glasses! :)

And yes, I am diggin' it...
#10 Old Sep 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 9
Endless adventure. Fixed the TPS issue, the TPS now gives the proper voltages from about 0.48 (min) to 4.12 (petal to metal). All other values seem normal, except:

A. 1050 RPM Idle with idle screw fully turned down.

B. AAC -> Varies during driving, but always at 10% roughly when idling.

C. Timing -> 11 +/- 1 during idle.

D. A/C switch and relay do not turn on in the diagnostic software when I turn on the switch and put the fan on level 1. The green light on the switch goes on, but no signal goes to the ECU. However, my AC has not worked for a long long time.

The "Base Idle Adjust" button in the ScanTech Nissan 1.51 software has no apparent effect on my car. I click the button and nothing happens.

Not sure how to check PID with ECU Talk or Scantech 1.51
#11 Old Nov 19th, 2011, 07:33 PM
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Posts: 9
Endless frustration.

Replaced:
Air Regulator Valve
Idle Air control valve
more tubing
upper intake manifold gasket

Cleaned and tested:
EGR solenoid
BPT valve
EGR valve
All tubing related to these 3.

Despite all this, I still idle at 1000 RPM with the idle screw all the way in.

I failed emissions for the 4th time or so. High NOx. However, I did have the timing set back to about 7 or 8 deg. BTDC.

HC, O2, CO2 and dilution were all just fine.

I've dialed up the timing to 10 degrees and next weekend I'm going to retest at the service station.

Any thoughts? Would a new cat help when everything else is way low except NOx?

I also note that when I idle at 3000 RPM and cycle the EGR solenoid, no change in RPM happens... but the solenoid is functional and switches w/o leaks... the BPT appears to function when removed from car ...
#12 Old Nov 27th, 2011, 08:12 PM
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Location: Peachtree City, GA
Posts: 23
About the idling, isn't the thermo-element of Fast Idle Cam stuck at the cold engine condition?

About the high Nox, have you checked the voltage of EGR temperature sensor just to know if the exhaust gas is really flowing?
#13 Old Nov 28th, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Posts: 9
Unfortunately, I don't have the California model and thus no EGR temperature sensor.

My sentra doesn't have a fast idle cam as far as I know. Can you give me a location for it??

The IACV and the Fast Idle Solenoid both function properly. The Air Regulator was also replaced and is functioning properly as well.

I'm almost certain its a lower intake manifold leak and I need to rip tons of stuff apart to repair it. I think I'm just going to block up a few less useful vacuum lines which will accomplish the purpose of lowering RPM and making the car run less lean.

In other words, I've boiled down my overall problem to vacuum leak = high rpm = lean mixture = high temp = high nox. And to compound the issue: vacuum leak = less suction to EGR = high nox.
#14 Old Nov 28th, 2011, 09:19 PM
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Posts: 292
IMO blocking "less useful vacuum lines" are not on given a EFI engine - any and all vacuum lines are coupled to closed circuits - ie the vacuum acts as a power source and is not actually feeding ANY air to the manifold - thus blocking such lines will not make any change to the mixture quality in the inlet manifold ..................... apart from that, the EFI system has some finicky control parameters that you may screw-around with if you start blocking vacuum lines.

As a matter of interest - what would you have considered to be "less useful vacuum lines" anyway?
#15 Old Nov 28th, 2011, 10:25 PM
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Location: Peachtree City, GA
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Sorry, I should have read your first post. Yours is B13. I blindly assumed yours is B14 like mine.

How about MAF sensor? I had problem on MAF sensor such as solder crack behind the connector. How about PCV system? Is the rubber grommet around the PCV valve OK? I had to replace mine.
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  Nissan Forum > Sentra, Pulsar, NX, B14 200SX > GA16DE 1.6L Engine

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