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Hey all, new over here. I've restarted an old project. '84 Sentra 5sp wagon I got 6 years ago. It was my sister's car till she bought an Escort and gave it to me. There are $800 in reciepts she spent on this "problem" back then. Seems it would quit, then she would run the battery down trying to start it. Garage loved that one alt, batt & starter........

So Question 1:

I had it for a few days and found the ignition was failing. I got 2 transistor/coil sets from the junkyard and niether one fixed the problem. Guy at the dealership gave me a tech article about the ignition problems they have. The transistor was $135 from the dealer and it is unclear whether it is THAT or the pickup in the distributor (~$400 for distributor).

Now I want to nail this thing dead nuts the first time. I have the factory shop manual for it and there is NO help for testing the ignition parts.

So, how do I check this thing out, and where can I get cheap parts for it?

Question #2. For years when you start it it will race to ~3500 RPM then come down till you touch the gas & try to move it, then it will race again till it warms up. Warm it's OK. What to look for here?
 

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Rick_E said:
Question #2. For years when you start it it will race to ~3500 RPM then come down till you touch the gas & try to move it, then it will race again till it warms up. Warm it's OK. What to look for here?
Clean and adjust the carb. Adjust the idle speeds, if that doesn't work, you will probably have to take it apart and rebuild it. These carbs are known to be major PITAs.
 
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Thanks for the info.

Are there any swaps that would be cheaper, I.E. a mechanical distributor off something else. For example. the repair manual lists the california emissions models as having mechanical distributors. Will the existing computer work right in controlling the carb if it does not see a distributor connected to it?

And also I read something here about Weber carbs for these things. Any other non-feedback carb options that work? What about TBI? We have pretty tough emissions here. But it's every 2 years so swapping the carb for the test is not that big of a deal.

Basically I want to "fix" it as cheap as possible, dont mind doing some mods to get it running.

Thanks again.
 

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You could switch to TBI, and pass emissions. The system is pretty simple but is also reliable. The Weber carb conversion is very hard to find, and will NOT pass emissions. Basically the carbs on those engines are crap and the easiest way to fix the problem is to go TBI, but it may not be worth it on a car that's 17 years old.
 

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So Question 1:

I had it for a few days and found the ignition was failing. I got 2 transistor/coil sets from the junkyard and niether one fixed the problem. Guy at the dealership gave me a tech article about the ignition problems they have. The transistor was $135 from the dealer and it is unclear whether it is THAT or the pickup in the distributor (~$400 for distributor).

Now I want to nail this thing dead nuts the first time. I have the factory shop manual for it and there is NO help for testing the ignition parts.
*****I have something important to check, for a no spark condition. When the car quits, and you've verified that there is no spark, leave the key on, and take a look under the driver's seat [at the ECU]. See if the red diagnostic LED light is on. If it's not, then I can take you right to the problem, and it won't cost you more than a dollar to fix it. Look behind the pass headlamp, where you'll remove two #3 phillips head screws holding a plastic cover in place. Behind that cover are a couple relays. One of them has very heavy gauge wires, [that one controls the mixture heater-That's not it] The other one is ECCS relay. You will find that the Yellow [power] wire going into it is either horribly corroded, and about ready to fall off. This is a common ailment of the old B11's with the "hopeless chokeless" carb. Clean all of the green corrosion out of the relay ,and replace the rotted four wire connector with insulated spade crimp connectors. Of course, make sure you put the four wires back in the correct order. I have seen this problem drive technicians [and owners paying the bills] crazy! This is a great example of why shops get paid for diagnostic time. Because fixing a problem like this is easy, IF you know WHAT the problem is! I hope this helps.
So, how do I check this thing out, and where can I get cheap parts for it?
*****The junkyard. I have seen distributors [called Crank angle sensors] go for $25. Don't even think about paying $400 for a new one.
Question #2. For years when you start it it will race to ~3500 RPM then come down till you touch the gas & try to move it, then it will race again till it warms up. Warm it's OK. What to look for here? [/B][/QUOTE] ***** This problem gets complicated. But simply turn the fast idle screw in all the way, and 90% of the problem will be solved. The screw is on the driver's side of the carb, down low on the linkage. You have to hold the throttle wide open with one hand, to access the screw with a flat blade screwdriver. Wandering idles are common on hopeless chokeless equipped E16's ['84-'87].
 
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Hey Thanks. I'll check it out.

So THAT'S what they call the distributor, huh. (havent checked the book in 5-6 years)... BUT I mighta found some surplus ones...

BTW. The switch on the ECU. ON or OFF and what's the difference. (I know it's in the book someplace). RTFM as they say :D
 
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UPDATE.

I've isolated the problem to the CAS.

Here's what I did:

Let it run till it quit. The red light was on so it wasnt a relay problem.

Ended up where if I removed the distributor cap, rotor, and dust plate, and blew compressed air on the LED sensor unit for a few minutes (to cool it off), it would start right up (after replacing the parts of course :D). Then it would quit again. Did this several times to verify it. So that's the problem with it.

After I locate another distributor (or crank angle sensor if you prefer) I will try my luck with the Hopeless Hitachi :p
 

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Glad you found the problem, it's so much easier to fix a car when you know what's wrong with it, isn't it?!?!
 
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