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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1988 Pathfinder 3.0 V6 5 Speed Manual Transmission. Every time I check the codes, I am coming up with something different. I have replace both injectors, ECT sensor, IAC, fuel filter, oxygen sensor, cap, rotor, plugs, crank angle sensor, and the timing belt. All parts due to different codes with the latest code being DTC 11. Visually, the circuit board on the computer looks fine, but I do not have the tools to test the computer. The last time I drove it, it idled fine, but it stalled when I let off the clutch under initial acceleration and I had to tow it back to my house. It acts like its falling on its face at initial acceleration. I am experienced with manual transmissions, so I know it is not my driving. Is it possible that I am having clutch problems now?
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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A code 11 indicates a problem with the camshaft position sensor. The sensor is located inside the ignition distributor; from what I've been told it's not a replaceable item. You would have to replace the entire distributor.

If you're experiencing various fault codes popping up, then check out the charging system. When a charging system is not charging, or overcharging, a lot of "strange" things can occur. It's not uncommon to see a multiple of stored trouble codes in the ECM memory. So, whenever a car is setting a multiple of trouble codes, idling funny or stalling, or anything out of the "norm," test the charging system before you start pulling hairs!

A properly working charging system puts out about 13.2 to 15.0 volts, but this is a general spec, and the factory service manual should be referenced for the correct charging system voltage specifications for a particular vehicle. A battery should have a static charge of 12.2-12.6 volts. If a battery is not good, the charging system may not be able to charge properly. If a vehicle is not charging properly and the battery is good, the first thing to do is to turn the ignition switch to the "ON" position without starting the engine and make sure the charging system warning light is operating. If the bulb is burnt out, the charging system will not charge. If the bulb is OK but still does not illuminate, the circuit must be tested. If the warning lamp does illuminate, then the next thing to check is to make sure the circuit between the battery positive post (+), or fusible link, to the connection in back of the alternator is good. On Nissans, this will be a thick (approx. 10 gauge) white wire to the "BAT" post on the back of the alternator. With the negative cable (-) disconnected from the battery, measure the resistance between the "BAT" post on the back of the alternator and the battery positive (+) post; the resistance should not be greater then 0.2 Ohms. It's not uncommon for this wire to get corroded and burn up, creating resistance in the circuit. So, before assuming an alternator is bad, make sure this circuit is good and battery voltage is getting to the alternator. It's also important to make sure the alternator belt is tight and not slipping and the battery connections are clean and tight.

When replacing electrical components such as alternators, starters and distributors, fuel injectors and sensors, always replace with new or reman'd Nissan OEM components; aftermarket components generally don't last long, don't work right and many times are DOA.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply. I have not replaced the distributor yet, but I have replaced the crank angle sensor that is located inside the distributor. It came up a lot previously when I searched for camshaft position sensor. Within the last few days, I have replaced the timing belt, thermostat, and crank angle sensor. I started it up this afternoon, and it started and idled fine. Once the engine got warm enough for the thermostat to open, it stalled and will not idle now. I had the cap off of the radiator because I was filling it with coolant waiting on the thermostat to open. I have a lot of automotive knowledge and abilities, but diagnosis is my weakness. Could I possibly be dealing with a blown head gasket now?
I bought this Pathfinder with an idle issue. I tuned it up and put fresh fuel in it and put 250 miles on it within the first week before it went into fail safe mode. At the time, it had a 51 injector circuit code. I was told by another mechanic to replace the injectors, so I replaced them. Then, it had a 13 ECT sensor code, which I had experienced warm starting issues. I replaced the ECT sensor. At this time, I put another 200 miles on it before it started experiencing issues under acceleration, and I had to tow it home. When I checked it at home, it had a 33 Heated Oxygen Sensor code, a 45 Injector Leak code, and a 51 Injector Circuit code. I replaced the oxygen sensor and fixed a wiring issue with the injectors. After that, it had the 11 Crank Angle Sensor/Camshaft Position Sensor code. The engine had 260,000 on it, and the timing belt had roughly 100,000 before I replaced it the other day. I was told by another mechanic that timing belts or computers usually cause the 11 code and not the sensor itself, but I replaced the crank angle sensor anyway. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. Thank you. It has a new battery and a new fusible link at the battery, but I will double check the remainder of the charging system. I know that it is at least getting 12V because I have checked it at various points and the red dash light illuminates. Also, the vehicle has a history of alternators going bad often.
 

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Sup Mod keeping the peace
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Ok. Thank you. It has a new battery and a new fusible link at the battery, but I will double check the remainder of the charging system. I know that it is at least getting 12V because I have checked it at various points and the red dash light illuminates. Also, the vehicle has a history of alternators going bad often.
Your statement of "I know that it is at least getting 12V" is not good enough; you should see about 13.2 to 15.0 volts during engine running. Seriously, you need to test the charging system.

The crank angle sensor that is located inside the distributor is really the camshaft position sensor; they're one and the same; just a difference in nomenclature. Since you've replaced the "crank angle sensor", there's no need to replace the distributor; however inspect the rotor to make sure it's tight on the shaft.

A bad history of alternators going bad often is probably due to replacing with an aftermarket alternator. Like I said previously, when replacing electrical components such as alternators, starters and distributors, fuel injectors and sensors, always replace with new or reman'd Nissan OEM components; aftermarket components generally don't last long, don't work right and many times are DOA.
 

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Ok. Thank you for the input. The former owner told me that he had replaced the alternator often (he probably bought the cheap ones). I replaced the battery when I bought it in March, and I have had it retested since then because of concerns. Problems in the injector wiring fried fusible links at the battery two different times, so it also currently has a new fusible link. If I can keep it running long enough, since it will not idle now, I will check the charging system; if not, I can pull off the alternator and starter and have them tested. My "12V" comment was stemming from working with the injector wiring, so I really should not have referenced that. I replaced the rotor the other day. There seems to be only one way it goes on because it is attached with a screw into only one hole into the side of the distributor shaft, but I will recheck it too. I appreciate the help. Thank you.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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Assuming you don't have a charging issue, most of the code 11's I've run into were due to a bad distributor assembly. IIRC, the only way you can replace the internal sensor is with an aftermarket part, which are always a gamble as they usually aren't as good nor last along as the OE part. Sometimes it's not the sensor, itself, but play in the distributor bearing that creates the issue. When dealing with a VG distributor with over 100,000 miles on it, it's usually best to replace the assembly rather than try and fix or rebuild it yourself. It's also best to stick with a Nissan or Hitachi brand remanufactured distributor than other aftermarket options.
 

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Thank you for your input. Once I started it after the timing belt, thermostat, and crank angle sensor replacement, it idled fine until the engine got warm enough for the thermostat to open. At that time, it stalled and will not idle now. When trying to keep it running, a coolant leak was noticed at the thermostat housing which I have now fixed, and excessive smoke was coming from the driver's side bank exhaust manifold vent. I have removed the alternator to have it tested since I had already replaced the battery due to not having one when I bought the vehicle and I have replaced the fusible link at the battery. If i cannot find a charging issue, I am going to look into a distributor replacement. This has definitely been a challenge for me to get running right. Since March, it has been torn up more than it has ran right, but I have had a couple of instances where I have put 250 and 200 miles on it at a time with no issues.
 
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