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1997 Nissan Hardbody
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1997 automatic base model Hardbody.
Truck has 97K miles. Oil leaks from block.

Items checked/replaced:
  • Seafoam in gas tank
  • New Rotor, Cap, wires and Plugs
  • Cleaned MAF sensor
  • Air filter is relatively new
  • Belt tension is correct
Still stalling, so I took it to a mechanic.
They checked the fuel filter, replaced old vacuum hoses and raised the idle.

Still stalling.
Could one or more of the following be the cause?
  • Worn out brake booster
  • Dirty transmission filter
  • Timing belt worn out (it makes racket at start up but quiets down quickly)
  • Something else
Dave
 

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Admin and Sup Mod keeping the peace
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7,721 Posts
One of the first things to do is perform an ECU code readout with a portable scan tool to see if any fault codes are set. The tool can be purchased at most auto parts stores or online at Amazon.com. Post the actual codes here on the forum so that we may be able to help you further. If there is one or more fault codes set, they can help point to the malfunction. If you have a copy of the FSM for your vehicle, the code readout procedure is described there along with a listing of codes. You can download a copy of the FSM from this web site: Nissan Hardbody D21 Truck Service Repair Manuals. The section EC.PDF is the one you need to read.

Several things that could cause misfires:
  • Is the misfire occurring on any particular cylinder? What brand of spark plugs are you using? You should be using OEM NGK plugs; other brands such as Champion or Bosch many times cause driveability problems in Nissan engines.
  • The cam position sensor may be marginal; it's located inside the ignition distributor.
  • Incorrect fuel pressure. Tee-in a temporary fuel pressure gauge between the fuel feed hose and the fuel rail. The readings at idle should be as follows:
  • with vacuum hose connected to the fuel pressure regulator: 34 psi
  • with vacuum hose disconnected from the fuel pressure regulator: 43 psi
  • There may be a major intake system vacuum leak. To check the intake system for a vacuum leak, attach a vacuum gauge to a full vacuum source. With the engine fully warmed up, the reading at idle should be 18 - 20 InHg. At 3,000 RPM, it should be 21 InHg. If readings are under 18 InHg, check the intake manifold nuts to make sure they are tight. The gasket may have failed; spray a water mist at the gasket to see if the gauge reading changes. Also check the intake plenum bellows at the throttle valve and at the MAF for cracks or loose clamps.
  • Dirty fuel injector(s). Run some good injection cleaner, like BG products 44K, through the system; give the cleaner about a week or two to do it's job.
 

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Registered
1997 Nissan Hardbody
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the support.
I’m guessing the stalling is related to the brake booster.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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If you think it's the booster, try removing the hose and plugging the end of it and see if the engine still stalls. There is no timing belt in a KA24E; it has a chain. Chain rattle at startup is pretty common on these engines as debris gets into the oil channel to the chain tensioner and restricts the oil pressure to it. There are a couple of things to fix this, but requires taking the front of the engine apart. It usually doesn't cause stalling issues unless the chain is stretched, which is very rare in these engines. EGR valves have been known to sometimes stick open on these engines. Intake gaskets can sometimes fail on these engines, as well as the one at the bottom of the throttle body. You could also have a faulty IACV-AAC valve, which controls the idle. Checking the fuel pressure is not a bad idea, as well.
 

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Software Developer
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If you think it's the booster, try removing the hose and plugging the end of it and see if the engine still stalls. There is no timing belt in a KA24E; it has a chain. Chain rattle at startup is pretty common on these engines as debris gets into the oil channel to the chain tensioner and restricts the oil pressure to it. There are a couple of things to fix this, but requires taking the front of the engine apart. It usually doesn't cause stalling issues unless the chain is stretched, which is very rare in these engines. EGR valves have been known to sometimes stick open on these engines. Intake gaskets can sometimes fail on these engines, as well as the one at the bottom of the throttle body. You could also have a faulty IACV-AAC valve, which controls the idle. Checking the fuel pressure is not a bad idea, as well.
I know that most people with the KA24e say to replace the timing chain and guides whenever the timing chain rattle starts, but I can see where all it would need is one of the Jim's Cam Chain Tensioners. Also, is there a good way to clean out the oil passages, something like BG MOA?

 

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Admin and Sup Mod keeping the peace
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I know that most people with the KA24e say to replace the timing chain and guides whenever the timing chain rattle starts, but I can see where all it would need is one of the Jim's Cam Chain Tensioners. Also, is there a good way to clean out the oil passages, something like BG MOA?

Generally if the engine is starting to make the "chain rattle" noise, that means there's excessive wear in the chain assembly or the tensioner oil passage gets plugged up with debris. You might try using the BG MOA as a last resort but it's unlikely to help. The oil passage to the tensioner is like a dead end street; the only way to clean it out is to remove the tensioner allowing you to flush the passage out. So while you have the engine front disassembled, it would be a good time to replace the entire chain assembly.
 

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Registered
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1997 automatic base model Hardbody.
Truck has 97K miles. Oil leaks from block.

Items checked/replaced:
  • Seafoam in gas tank
  • New Rotor, Cap, wires and Plugs
  • Cleaned MAF sensor
  • Air filter is relatively new
  • Belt tension is correct
Still stalling, so I took it to a mechanic.
They checked the fuel filter, replaced old vacuum hoses and raised the idle.

Still stalling.
Could one or more of the following be the cause?
  • Worn out brake booster
  • Dirty transmission filter
  • Timing belt worn out (it makes racket at start up but quiets down quickly)
  • Something else
Dave
Always, i repeat, always buy namebrand electronics such as Maf sensors. Chinese knockoffs that you buy from online places like ebay are hit or miss. I know for a fact. It may be a lot cheaper but you will regret it in the end. I purchased a maf sensor for my 94 nissan d21 on ebay and ended up replacing numerous other parts, thinking that the maf was good. Finally said screw it and decided to try a new one from Autozone because it was doing the same thing as before(only running smooth when the maf was disconnected). I even tested the old one with a multimeter first. And tested wiring from maf to ecu. So please do yourself a service and purchase namebrand like duralast. It would have saved me numerous hours, time and money, sigh.
 

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NF Mod/Nissan Master Tech
2006 Pathfinder LE, 2003 Frontier SVE
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10,487 Posts
I agree with what you're saying, but even Duralast parts can be a gamble at times. When it comes to sensors or electronic parts for Asian vehicles, I stick with (other than the manufacturer's OE part) NTK, Denso and Hitachi.
 

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Sorry about that, didn't mean to just suggest Duralast. I meant to go instore and purchase. That way, if it doesn't work, you can take it back and exchange it. Buying online, you tend to have to repackage and send it back in, resulting in a waiting game to get another, along with more money lost. And god forbid the next one doesn't work either, lol.
 

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Registered
1997 Nissan Hardbody
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for your support.
I have new info regarding the truck.

The arrival of the cooler weather has “cured” the stalling problem.
Perhaps the problem is the original radiator/coolant? The coolant has been changed over the years.

A side question; anyone had luck using a smartphone “Strobing” app as a light gun?
 
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