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What was a nice little 96 GXE with 117K is now a big question mark as to whether it will ever be safe again or headed to the parts pile.

My 16 year-old step-daughter took a look at the iPod and cell while adjusting the radio and talking with her girlfriend in the passenger seat while the boys were driving by in the other direction. Result: a 25mph off-road trek off the right shoulder, over-corrected to the left off the other shoulder, over two mailboxes, jumped a driveway, over a telephone ground pedestal, over another mailbox and back on the road. Total of 100 feet, nobody hurt, car towed to the yard.

It sat for 5 months until I cooled off (daughter is still car-less) before I looked at it close. It snapped the inner CV joint when it jumped the driveway and the axle flopped around ripping out a couple legs of the wiring harness and snagging the throttle position cable, ripping it off the injection end and wrapping it around and pulling it _tight_. The mailboxes tok out the drivers fender and the ground pedestal smacked the oil pan but good.

I soldered in a new section of harness and she ran. I replaced the axle and it drove. Badly.

It wouldn't shift out of first gear. I figured it might be the TP cable, so I jammed the cable back into the trans. It shifts, but no down shift and 4th gear at 30 is tough.

Question 1: Anybody have experience replacing the throttle position cable on the trans side? No references can be found anywhere on it.

Alignment guys say the front end is too far out of spec to adjust, it needs heavy-handed tweaking. I looked pretty good at frame rails and such while replacing the axle, I could see no wrinkling or obvious damage. Some references to the engine cradle twisting on these cars has been noted on the web. Radiator core support is buckled upwards maybe 1", but isn't even enough to push on the radiator or knock the hood/fenders out of whack. The alignment guys (Manny, Moe & Jack) couldn't/wouldn't say what specific number was out, but she crab-walks with the left front 3" too far left and camber on the left is off riding on the inner tire half.

Question 2: What's the most common damage point/weakest frame area/crumple point in the front end that may be my culprit? Where do I look?

Any/all assistance is appreciated. Thanks!
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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Ouch!
I have two of those, daughters i mean, that did unmentionable stuff to our cars
and one son, at least the damage there was a rightoff !! no more family owned cars for him, made him buy his own, it worked, more wore wrecks !!!

Anyway did they give you a print out ?
No guesses as "they" have not done this to a B14.
Since it unibody the right way is to put it on a frame machine and have it pulled back to spec.
However if you can figure out whats out and the direction, then come-alongs, etc have been used to coax things back to approximately where they were.

whats it worth do you think?
 

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2018 Nissan Pathfinder SL
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An Auto I guess ? I have manuals so cant help with the Auto cable question.
Did you try the FSM?
 

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I have fooled with this cable when I did my engine swap and to be honest it is something I just tweeked. I kept messing with it until she felt like it was shifting properly again has been good since the last adjustment. Oh I forgot to add you have to push in and slide it toward the throttle body for adjustment
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyway did they give you a print out ?
Nope, nothing. I think it was out of their adjustment range so they just wrote it off as "needs frame work". My bet is they just didn't have a clue as to what made it out, just that it was out

No guesses as "they" have not done this to a B14.
Since it unibody the right way is to put it on a frame machine and have it pulled back to spec.

That'd be the way to go, no doubt. But lacking a frame jig to see how far out it is and where, I'm dancing in the dark. I hoped there was a known weak spot to look at, sorta like the front main seal.

However if you can figure out whats out and the direction, then come-alongs, etc have been used to coax things back to approximately where they were.

Wouldn't be the first time I utilized a logging chain and a telephone pole to square things up. I've got the heavy tools, just not sure in which direction to yank.

whats it worth do you think?

Well, while I don't have a lot in it, I've got too much in it to discard it without a try at a fix. It' s probably worth $1K, so it'd be worth putting $3-400 in it if it fixed it.
Thanks for replying!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, automatic. Just pulled the FSM, going thru it now. Thanks for the heads up, I wouldn't have known it was there otherwise!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Time for her to not be allowed to drive with friends. Teenagers--the most dangerous drivers on the road. Car less is the safest route.
And so she shall remain for the remainder of her school years. Could have been fatal, even at 30.... makes me shudder to think of what could have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nope, gonna use it for the older son who's been driving a '95 Escort wagon for 4 years without heat or incident. But only if I can get the thing to cooperate

Determined part of the pull problem is two bolts missing from the engine cradle/cross member. The throttle wire replacement will be a pain in the rear: went to Pull-A-Part and yanked one from a junker. The lever it's attached to inside the pan is *kinda* accessible, but the angle at which the cable end inserts into the lever end is going to be a tough one. Think I'll get the filter changed and have the little mom&pop tranny place change the cable at the same time.

Thanks for all assistance, now I have to go change those 4 bent steel wheels......
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Final talley: front struts bent in at the steering knuckle attachment point, just enought to lay the tires in at the top several degrees. Torched slots in the attachment bracket, alligned it: works like a charm. It's beat, but it'll run a while longer before it goes on the pile 'o parts.

Thanks for all assistance!
 
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