• In case you hadn't noticed, this community is SPAM FREE. Wonder why? Because it's actively maintained. If you're planning on posting anything non-automobile related, don't waste your time. We have 24 hour coverage.

1988 Nissan d21 won't start

jegamble

New member
So a few weeks ago I drove my nissan a short distance and it seemed to be running fine. I parked it for about 2 hours and then it failed to start after that. The engine turns over but nothing. After asking my brother who is knowledgeable about such things, he suggested it was either no gas or no spark. I replaced all the spark plugs and wires and the fuel filter. Still no start. I tested the fuel system and can verify that gas is flowing and I can also verify that electricity is reaching the spark plugs. I tested each connection coming out of the distributor. So still not starting. With the air filter removed I did notice something new, when the engine fails to start and I stop turning the key, air or vapor or gas is forcefully ejected from the throttle body. My brother says that is a sign that it has jumped timing. Any ideas?
 
Last edited:

jp2code

Active member
V6 or 4-cylinder?

V6 has a timing belt that needs to be replaced every 60,000 miles. The belt for the V6 requires removing all of the components from the front to replace (radiator, AC compressor, all of the belts, and Harmonic Balancer). Once you have come that far, it is smart to go ahead and replace the water pump and thermostat at the same time. Those are really easy to get to with everything else off.

The 4-cylinder has a timing chain. The chain lasts a really long time, but the plastic guides for the chain wear out and the chain gets loose. You can remove the valve cover from the 4-cylinder and look at the timing chain to see if it is loose.

Another option is that you burned out a fusible link. One of the fusible links sends power to the injectors. Fusible links are different from fuses. They can take some abuse, but will prevent your injectors and ECU from frying if the alternator or voltage regulator are going out or if someone jump-starts your vehicle or another vehicle. Here is a good read on Fusible Links:


A side note: I have been subscribed to the D21 posts on this forum since 2012. This is the first D21 post that I have seen since 2018. If you want decent help for a D21 Hardbody, go create an account on Infamous Nissan.
 

jegamble

New member
The fusible links checked out ok, I tested each wire and found power flowing through each. I tried starting the truck today and it acted differently than it has been. This time it tried to start and sputtered and that continued for a few seconds even after I released the key.
 

jp2code

Active member
I'm not sure.

But if the ECU thinks the engine is warmed up, it doesn't know to add extra fuel to crank.

If the code went away, you could have a dirty connection. Try cleaning up the electrical contacts where the wire plugs in so the code doesn't happen again.
 

jegamble

New member
I'm not sure.

But if the ECU thinks the engine is warmed up, it doesn't know to add extra fuel to crank.

If the code went away, you could have a dirty connection. Try cleaning up the electrical contacts where the wire plugs in so the code doesn't happen again.
thx
 

Latest posts

Top