Falls on its face mid-powerband... - Nissan Forum
GA16DE 1.6L Engine Engine Discussion: 91-99 Sentra, 95-98 200SX, 91-93 NX1600

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#1 Old Feb 9th, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Question Falls on its face mid-powerband...

Hi there, been searching... yes with the button and many different phrases but I have not found what I am looking for so I will post what I have, what I have done and then my question...

I have a 1997 200SX SE 1.6L with a manual transmission and 190,8XX miles. Air and Heat work. Car is in decent shape for its age.

What I have done...

New spark plugs, gaped at .44, NGK copper.
All plug wires.
Cap.
Rotor Button.
Fresh oil.
Air Filter.

What they, the mechanics shop I bought it from, have "done"...

Removed the head due to blown head gasket. They said they had it tested for warpage and cracks and said it was ok to go but had the mating surface milled. Replaced the water pump and starter. They said they put in new champion plugs (this was NOT the case, they were fouled Denso plugs).

The car does not smoke... well not anymore... does not leak coolant and shifts perfectly. Tach does NOT work

Here is the issue. The car gets 28-30mpg in town, this is good, however I am a lead foot from time to time. When I take off from a stop and get aggressive the car pulls fine up to about midpoint up the tach (I am guessing) then plateau's and falls on its face... now if I hold my foot steady it does not improve but if I floor it, it breaks through and pulls very hard the rest of the way up the RPM range. So it's part throttle is great, full throttle is great once past the stumble area but the half throttle is the butt-nut. Any ideas what could be causing this?

Also, I had/have an EGR code... P0400 so I removed the EGR and cleaned it and all the passages connected to it. EGR hold vacuum very very well so I am lost here. However now that I have cleaned it (with carb cleaner) the exhaust smells very sweet but the car pulls slightly better... again, up to the stumble... which reminds me of when my Turbo 280ZX would over-boost... could this be timing related? They did have the head off??? Oh and I had a small amount of oil in my dizzy cap. That is all.... thanks everyone... my name is Mike by the way... oh and nice site
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#2 Old Feb 10th, 2012, 10:30 PM
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Got a code today... 1320... but that was my fault and it was a pending code. I disconnected the wires to the dizzy while the engine was running. The carb cleaner has burned off and the exhaust no longer smells sweet. I cleared the code P0400 since I cleaned the EGR and all the tubes connected to it. Check engine light has not come back on yet and I put about 20 miles on the car since I cleared the code. What is the item that the vacuum line from the EGR goes to? It's right beside the EGR but closer to the firewall. I looked in the Haynes and could not find it and I also looked in the computer at AutoZone where I used to work and there is no referenced part... I am confused. Is it a vacuum solenoid?
#3 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 12:37 PM
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Been two days, EGR P0400 code still has not come back. No codes at all yet. Now at 191,000 miles
#4 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 03:54 PM
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If it's shaped like a big disc, it's a BPT valve. If it looks like a solenoids, with an electical connector and a couple of vacuum hose fittings, then it's and EGR control solenoid.
#5 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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I will look into both of those items, thanks smj.

I had a thought... my temp gauge never gets past a little below the quarter mark on the gauge, even when all the way warmed up on a decently warm day. I also noticed that my heat doesn't blow hot but rather mildly warm. Yet another thing I noticed is that my coolant looks to be straight coolant... not a 50/50 mix... just VERY green. Could my car not be warming up all the way in essence keeping the car in warm-up-mode? Could this be why I get a stumble in the rpm range... because the computer is saying hey, bud, i am still cold, I am gonna choke the car for a while until I warm up. I drove for 30min tonight back to my house and when I got here the temp gauge was pointing to the "C" for cold and my rpm's were elevated, I am guessing around 1,200+... Thoughts? Highs today here in North Carolina were about 40ish F.
#6 Old Feb 12th, 2012, 09:11 PM
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Easiest and surest way to prove what is going on with temp is to measure the actual coolant temp just as it leaves the engine - I am lucky to have a laser temp gun and can measure the thermostat housing temp by simply pointing it at the hottest spot on the housing - you should be able to measure the thermostat temp (what is stamped on it and if the stat is working fine) at the hottest spot on the housing while the engine has been warmed up and is idling
#7 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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The needle should run in the middle of the gauge. If it is sitting near cold, there's a very good chance the thermostat is stuck partially open. I would get a genuine Nissan thermostat; aftermarket 'stats tend to run a little colder than the original equipment 'stats, for whatever reason, and fail-safe thermostats tend to be problematic in sticking "open." If the engine doesn't reach approx. 158 degrees F., it will stay in "open loop."
#8 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 07:53 PM
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I talked with both head mechanics at work and explained what was going on... they too think that either the thermostat is stuck open or they never put one back in when they put the head back on. I will be getting an upper rad hose, coolant and thermostat Friday for after I instal my subwoofers and amp in the car... gonna be real busy Friday. I was able to pull the car in and balance all four tires. Found out I need a bearing for the right front and both lower ball joints. I have had good luck with AutoZone T-Stats so I will pick one up and use it. Nissan is too far away for me to get a genuine part at this time. Thanks guys.
#9 Old Feb 13th, 2012, 11:25 PM
jdg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thxone View Post
I will be getting an upper rad hose, coolant and thermostat Friday for after I instal my subwoofers and amp in the car
Anybody else think the priorities are backwards here?

Quote:
I have had good luck with AutoZone T-Stats so I will pick one up and use it. Nissan is too far away for me to get a genuine part at this time
This type of thinking is also what's known as 'false economy' or 'shooting ones self in the foot'.
Do it right, or do it twice.

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 Feb 14th, 2012, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
Anybody else think the priorities are backwards here?


This type of thinking is also what's known as 'false economy' or 'shooting ones self in the foot'.
Do it right, or do it twice.
lol no, my priorities are in order... I am doing it all in the same day because I already have the subs, amp, amp wires and other components for the stereo... just waiting for my day off from work. As for the Duralast Thermostat, I have never had one fail on me or function incorrectly. AutoZones "Valuecraft" parts are what should be avoided at ALL COST. I used to work at AutoZone so I had many opportunities to compare same part numbers and part quality. Also, when I worked there I delivered parts from time to time including to dealers and you would be surprised how many dealers will order parts from us to use as factory replacement parts or warranty replacement parts from brake pads to yes, thermostats.
#11 Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:48 AM
jdg
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Ok, fair enough.
At least you know what's what...(i.e. crap vs. not-so-much-crap).
Amazing how many people don't know the difference...

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...
#12 Old Feb 14th, 2012, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg View Post
Ok, fair enough.
At least you know what's what...(i.e. crap vs. not-so-much-crap).
Amazing how many people don't know the difference...
I agree... I put two waterpumps for the same car, same engine, same part side by side... one a valuecraft waterpump, the other a Duralast... the quality was night and day different. You could not pay me to use valuecraft parts if I was stranded and my girlfriend said she wouldn't be tender with me for 6 months... and she is cute.

Back to my cooling issue... I grabbed a laser thermometer from work and let my car sit for a few minutes when I got home until the temp gauge was at its highest point that it gets to. I measured the temp at 6 different places and the temps are as follows:

1. The radiator fins - front side of car - 158*
2. The Upper Radiator Hose - 154*
3. The Lower Radiator Hose - 154*
4. The Waterpump housing that the thermostat housing bolts to - 158*
5. The Hose connected to the thermostat housing on the back side of the engine - 156*
6. The Thermostat Housing - 131*

For kicks and giggles... the block behind the exhaust was 232* The header 500+* as it would not read the temp, the waterpump was 138* the windshield was 51* the low beam silverstar ultra was 118* and that's all.

Clearly something is a miss at the thermostat housing if it should be at least the hottest part of the cooling system. Going by these temps, what do you all think?

#13 Old Feb 14th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Me? - I think the temps are way too low on the stat housing - I don't know on your models but I would expect around 180+ (85C+) on that at least once the motor is properly warmed up. (one should be able to see the stat's opening temp there)

To me it looks like a failed open stat?
#14 Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:02 PM
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I will have the final and definitive word on this mystery in two days... stay tuned
#15 Old Feb 14th, 2012, 09:33 PM
jdg
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: ND, USA
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There's another problem with laser thermometers...reflectivity affects the temp reading on the thermometer itself. The shinier the object, the lower the reading. Don't believe me? Take a book and a piece of tin foil, put them in the fridge for a couple hours, take them out and take a reading. The tin foil will ALWAYS be lower.
I'm gonna guess that your thermostat housing is pretty clean since you swapped thermostats. Try putting a piece of black electrical tape on it, let it heat up and take another reading.

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...
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