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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys! I've got an '02 spec v that I've had for 5 years, now; only mod is a hotshot CAI. I just hit 86k on the odometer, but I have not had any of the recalls done.

Last month, I started losing coolant, followed a few days later by a moderate amount of white smoke from the tailpipe; being a cheap bastard, I put some sealant in (the good stuff; I'm not THAT cheap), which seems to have fixed the smoke, but I am still losing small amounts of coolant, as well as about half a quart of oil per week.

My initial diagnosis is head/head gasket, but then I don't seem to be losing any power. It has become harder to start, sometimes, but once it's running, it does very well. There's a lot of info floating around here about butterfly screws getting sucked into the engine and some sort of pre-cat issue, so that has made me question my diagnosis, as well.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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they both actually produce symptoms of power loss. but you still have indication of a HG failure w/ a possible pre-cat failure. Burning oil is a symptom of the pre-cat failure. Power loss is not always the initial indication or the most predominant.

Also, w/ your hard start issue there's a TBS on extended crank time (dealer fix) and a recall on the crank position sensor (replace urself or dealer fix). Hard start can still be linked to other things as well (MAF or TB). Do you prime the pump before attempting to start?
 

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they both actually produce symptoms of power loss. but you still have indication of a HG failure w/ a possible pre-cat failure. Burning oil is a symptom of the pre-cat failure. Power loss is not always the initial indication or the most predominant.

Also, w/ your hard start issue there's a TBS on extended crank time (dealer fix) and a recall on the crank position sensor (replace urself or dealer fix). Hard start can still be linked to other things as well (MAF or TB). Do you prime the pump before attempting to start?
Do you mean do I let the fuel pump stop whirring before I start the car? If so, the answer is yes. This car has always been a little hard to start: I replaced the starter about 60k, which helped some, and then there have been weird stalling problems driving down the road, which the dealer has always tried to tell me was caused by a bad battery, even after replacing it.

It is possible that I have lost some power, but it can't be very much.
 

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Stalling while driving is a prime indicator of your crank position sensor failing. Happened to me. I replaced the sensor myself bcuz i really really dont like dealers touching my car. Fixed the issue in December last year, no problems since. There is a recall for the CPS, but it doesn't seem like your dealer is the brightest crayon in the box. Just replace it yourself. The part costs ~$35-$39.

How-to: My SpecV - Your Ultimate Nissan SE-R Spec V Resource / Info
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, 3 months later, problem is much worse.

Coolant loss is still low/moderate, but oil consumption is getting bad, and performance is starting to suffer; it's still strong, but hesitates throughout acceleration.

Replaced the CPS and had the ECM reprogrammed, but starts are getting much worse, and idle is extremely rough when cold. Tends to blow large clouds of smoke when started cold.

Took it to the dealer to check the precat; they did the ECM reprogram, but didn't check the precat. They want me to repair the fuel pump. Also said that, while my oil is low, they can't confirm oil loss unless they change it and I bring it back.

Thinking about a swap to a SR20DET. Any thoughts?
 

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What color is the smoke? Why in the heck didn't they check the pre-cat? If the pre-cat broke up and jacked up your engine NISSAN would have to replace your engine. Emissions based stuff is covered up to 80,000 miles. If they do replace your engine and you wind up keeping it, then you need to get a cat-less header ASAP.

You can do an oil analysis to accurately determine the over health of your engine.

Blackstone Laboratories - Gas Engines

They have all pertinent info on thier site.

btw, the SR20DE swap in not a simple swap by any means.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Smoke is mostly grey/white, but some blue, as well. Usually it only a bit until it warms up, but now that the mornings are getting cold, it's much worse.

The dealer didn't check the precat, because I said "hard start" at some point while describing the problem, so even though I asked them to check the precat, they just checked the computer, didn't find any codes (but ses light has been on for months), and decided that it was a leaky fuel pump.

I called Nissan, and they say that the only recall out on my car is the ecm reprogram.

I know the swap is a bear, but I'll be damned if I put another qr25 in this thing.
 

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it sounds a lot like a head gasket, you dont always loose power if your head gasket is leaking all it takes is a tiny opening to let coolant into the combustion chambers and start to smoke.
 

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How about Spark plugs? How do they look? Did you do a Compression check to see is all cylinders match up?

Is there any oil leaking? Put a piece of cardboard or plywood under the car when parked and see.

Also you can do a compression check on the cooling system.

Sounds like you definitely have some issues but remember if the oil goreslow, you will lose some water trying to keep the engine cool.

Slimbob
03 Spec V
146K miles
 

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I have been having this problem at start up too. It is intermitten, but has been getting worse. It is a leaking head gasket if you are loosing coolant. I have to check my coolant every couple months. The quickest way to know is pull a couple plugs and see if they are clean from the steam in the cylinder.
 
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