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Discussion Starter #1
MY baby..my sweet baby....its a pearl grey sentra in gorgeous condition...i love the car to death there is just no way to describe it...however it is having problems.....*sigh* and i would appreciate everyones help.....
it was shaking a lot and making a lot of noise so i brought it to speedy and had everything from the catalytic converter back, replaced....but its still shaking, and i know that there is a small small hole in the catalytic converter could this be the cause of my car still shaking after the new exhaust system or is it something else? i just put new spark plugs in....PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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Shaking can mean alot of things... is it an ENGINE SHAKE? Chassis shake? Suspension shake?

Help us help you! <to coin a phrase from Kids>
 

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Discussion Starter #4
okay when i start the car and run it for a few seconds it just shudders i can see the whole exhaust system shake from the cat to the muffler including the muffler....yes the engine does shake.....
 
Z

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Well... could be blown motor mounts. Does the car idle normally? It should be idling smoothly at about 850 RPM when it's warm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no as a matter of fact it does not idle nicely.....it shudders every so often...like it just..shakes......how much its its blown engine mounts??
 

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Whole engine shakes? Might have a dead cylinder... Is the car RUNNIN normally, or is it slow as a dog?

If it's slow, and the exhaust sounds weird, check the spark plug wires, and the cap and rotor...

Sounds more electronic than mechanical from the sound of it, and the way it JUST started happening...

Ever put fuel injector cleaner in the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
no i havent tried fuel injetor should i?? i was just looking at that today.....is it a good idea?? will it fix my problems.......
 

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Discussion Starter #10
okay i just went to candian tire and got some fuel injector,,,
i put one treatment in, how many before i can start seeing some results because i dont think its helping so far however im sure it didnt hurt...
anymore cheap suggestions?
 
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did u get a basic tuneup recently? check your plugs, wires, fuel and air filters, base ignition timing, MAF ground, TPS adjustment, vacuum leaks, carbon build up on throttle plate. You gotta diagnose the basics first before you try to determine the problem.
 
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Yeah, and just an FYI: aftermarket spark plugs and spark plug wires have been known to cause driveability issues. Believe it or not, stock NGK Platinum plugs and stock wires are absolutely the best way to go on the SR20DE motor. If your car is idling roughly then you've got a problem somewhere. It could be fuel related, it could be spark related. Bad motor mounts could be contributing to the whole car shaking, but if your idle isn't smooth you've got other problems.

As others have said, check your distributor cap and rotor, check your plugs and plug wires, it's possible you have an injector leak... it could be a lot of things but start with the basics and go from there. Also, make sure your base timing is set where you want it to be and not too high or too low.
 

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Still doin' the shakes? / What's the 411 on Bosch?

I recently had my first mysterious problem on my '92 Sentra XE (68K). She idled & ran roughly. It was painful to drive her that way: no power, she felt whipped & plainly she was hurting.

I'd just bought a tank of gas & we've had monsoons, so I suspected contaminated fuel. Meanwhile I swapped the ditributor cap & rotor, wondering about condensation under the cap. Then I replaced the fuel filter & oxygen sensor. None of this helped; I finished running the tank of gas, bought another, and it was still doing that chugging.

I'd already checked all my ignition wire connections & they were kosher. But then I let her idle & raised the hood, pulling off one spark plug wire at a time as I listened to her idle. (-----> NOW HEY: If you do this, you'd better be careful, because it's low amperage but very high voltage there, bro; you can shock yourself or zap an under-hood component beyond repair if you don't take it slow & easy.)

In every case *except* pulling the #3 wire, the engine idled even worse. So I knew I wasn't getting any spark there, and no spark = no fire = disabled cylinder.

I cut off the engine, pulled the #3 wire & replaced it with the OEM wire. Voila! Crank her up & we're back to normal! The car loves to get out & run again.

BTW: The wire that went bad was one of a set of Bosch metal-core wires (as opposed the carbon-core or whatever the OEM wires were) with 46,000 miles & 7 years on it. And I can see where the problem is: about 2" above the plug, on the boot, there's a visible crack on the hard rubber with evidence of arcing. Bad mojo. Wonder if this is covered under my "limited warranty?" Definitely not the result of any abuse.

I've read nasty things about Bosch plugs of late, but the single-electrode platinum jobs have worked okay for me. Never had any problem with a Bosch part until now.

Next month (& next paycheck) I intend to get a new set of metal-core wires. Any reason why I should not go with Bosch again? Are the NGKs worth twice as much? Are Crane & Vitek [sp?] wires worth their price?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
im sorry

Sinatra u have to excuse me i have absolutely no idea what u just explained...are u saying that u replaced the wires that lead into where the spark plugs are?? shall i give that a go?? how much did it cost u??
thanks...and sorry once again
 

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Process of elimination on ignition wires

Kosh,

No problem. Try it like this:

1. With the engine OFF, raise the hood & prop it open. Then look at all the wires right across the top of the valve cover (where it says "Nissan 16 valve" or "Twin Cam" or whatever). Yes, those wires are your plug wires. Do NOT pull on the wires (you can break them), but only the boot (thicker part on the end) where they attach. Be careful never to pull off more than one wire at a time. Just go over each & every one, from the plug end (across the top) to the distributor end, too. Do they snap down nice & tight? Is there some crap in the boot that might prevent a good connection? Does the wire look burned or perforated at any point? Remove each one (only one a time) to examine it. Then connect it back where you found it & proceed to the next wire. The object is never to have more than one off at a time so you don't mix them up (which can cause real damage if you try & start it that way).

After you've checked all the plug wires, check the one between your distributor & the coil. It's the wire in the center of the distributor cap. The coil is only about four inches from it.

2. Once you've checked all your wires, crank up the engine. Give it a good listen. You want to know exactly what the problem sounds like with the hood up. Then turn it off.

3. Since you seemed a little confused by my last post, we'll do this the safest way. Pull exactly one wire & set it aside. Then start the car. Don't race it; just let it idle.

4. Then shut off the engine.

5. Repeat step 3 above for each spark plug wire.

6. If in fact you do have one cylinder not firing (as was the case with my car), when you run the engine with the wire to that cylinder removed, it will make no difference. The problem will still be there: no better, no worse.

7. But if you've pulled a particular wire & run it & it seems even worse, you can eliminate the cylinder from which you've just removed the wire as the site of the trouble.

If step 6 above points to one cylinder, odds are good you have a bad wire. Or the plug has fouled out. For whatever reason, you've got no spark there.

But man, from what you've said, before you do anything else (including what I've described above) I'd really recommend you buy a Haynes manual (about 12 bucks). It's a great way to learn about your car. Just make sure what you're reading pertains to your engine (each book covers 3-4 models, so be careful of that), but it has tons of photographs & drawings. A Haynes manual can be a good friend & it costs a lot less than a mechanic.

Good luck!
 

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That bad shake

Kosh,

Some other things to check:

1. You said you installed new plugs. Is there any possibility you got the wires mixed up on the distributor end? You get those out of sequence, man, you can be screwed. That's why I was so insistent in my last post. Doesn't matter what kind of car--as a general rule you never want to remove more than one wire at a time.

2. When you changed the plugs, assuming you got the wires back in the right order, might you have damaged a wire? The conductors inside (especially factory equipment) can be very brittle.

3. If you've got any condensation under the distributor cap, you'll need to replace the cap & rotor. They get wet, they're ruined--and they cause erratic firing.

I don't mean to be a pain, but to avoid ruining youe engine, make sure you don't go anyplace else until you're sure the wires are in the right order. It's easy to mix those up.

Hang in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
okay all my wires are in the right places and i took out each one and ran the engine like you said...individually of course....yet each time it sounded equally bad....what do i do? what am i looking for?
 

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Well. . . .

I'm afraid that I explained it about as well as I could.

But if it didn't make any difference to pull off one wire at a time--if the engine ran just the same, no difference--that probably means you can eliminate lack of spark to a cylinder as the culprit.

And that's really about as much help as I can give you without seeing the car.

Buy that Haynes manual yet?

Good luck.
 

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The utility of a Haynes manual

Kosh,

If you're gonna try & fix this problem yourself, the Haynes book is your best bet for a start. They have an extensive troubleshooting section which lists a symptom (in your case, that shaking) and just about all of its possible causes. Their books are very detailed, plus illustrated with lots of photos & diagrams--as opposed to the Chilton's manuals, which tend to leave out a lot of necessary steps because those are really intended for much more experienced mechanics.

Read the pertinent parts carefully (so you understand each procedure), starting with the cheapest & quickest solutions, working slowly up to the more costly & complicated ones. In the meanwhile I'd avoid driving the car, because you could do more damage to it.

Again--best of luck, man. And that's about all I can do for you.
 

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Time for my story! When I bought my '93 XE years ago it didn't run right from the get go, but it was the only Sentra for sale worth a shit so I bought it anyway, plus I used it's shortcomings as leverage with the price. It had a break light on, the muffler was peeling and the throttle would cut out sometimes. I peeled the metal off the muffler to fix that issue. I put brake fluid in because it was low, hence the light. Then I replaced the fuel filter, cap, rotor wires and plugs and still no change. Checked the timing and that was the problem. Been running Bosch Platinum +4's for years now and have had no problems. The end. As for the Haynes it's all I have right now, but I plan to burn it, it sucks. I'll eventually get a FSM. I'd recommend the Chilton's Total Car Care book for your car. Have had good luck with those in the past. The problem iwth the Haynes and the Chiltons, is they "base it on the complete tear down and rebuild" of one car, yet they write the book to cover several generations of a car, or several different badgings and different powertrains. They're always lacking. FSM is the only way to go if you're going to keep your car and do a lot of work yourself.
 
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