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rothwem Reader
3/29/21 8:59 a.m.
docwyte said:


My daughter managed to do the engine and cabin air filters all by herself.  I helped her with the spark plugs. The drivers side bank, no sweat!  The passenger side bank?  Umm, yeah...  Pretty clear that Nissan just jammed this engine in here with no thought.  You have to remove the intake manifold to get at the passenger side bank.  That was a bit of a PITA.  Also not happy with how Nissan put the bolts for brackets behind the brackets, or underneath a bunch of other stuff.  Makes getting at them so much harder...

FWIW, the Tacoma of similar vintage is the same way and has a 30k mile spark plug replacement interval.  I did a huge WTF when I got in to do that and ended up just doing the easy side because I didn't want to take the whole thing apart.  

JeremyJ Reader
3/29/21 10:29 a.m.

The plugs are the same way in the FWD Chrysler 3.6 applications. Half of the plugs require the top half of the intake manifold to come off. It's a major pain in the ass. 

bmw88rider (Supportive Dude)
bmw88rider (Supportive Dude) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/29/21 11:09 a.m.

So there is a story to the battery. 


When I had Atomic Betty, The battery was going out on it and I ordered the wrong one because it was in a weird place and I couldn't see the numbers on it. (inside the passenger's rear wheel well) I contacted amazon for a return and they said just keep it. So I had a new battery laying around. A few months later, the battery was starting to die on the Xterra and I looked on the shelf at the Odyssey you see in it and was like why buy a new one. So cut some 2x4 to lay in the bottom of the battery tray and get the terminals to where they were approximately were they needed to be. 


And yes, the #1 plug is a royal PITA. You can get to it without removing the plenum with a rigged set of universals and extensions. They were last changed at 103K miles. 

docwyte PowerDork
3/29/21 11:14 a.m.

In reply to bmw88rider (Supportive Dude) :

Wow, they were really cruddy for 22k miles of use.  How can you get the coil packs out of the way with the intake manifold in place?

bmw88rider (Supportive Dude)
bmw88rider (Supportive Dude) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/29/21 2:30 p.m.

It was run a lot of short trips so I'm not surprised they were not great looking. 


I'm trying to remember. I know it wasn't easy. It was one of those I got started and needed to have the wife at the time to work the next day so I had to get it done. I remember there was a lot of cursing involved. 

docwyte PowerDork
3/30/21 8:28 a.m.

In reply to bmw88rider (Supportive Dude) :

They just looked entirely blocked by the intake manifold to me, so I pulled the intake.  It wasn't that hard but since it was unanticipated I wasn't happy.

docwyte PowerDork
4/3/21 3:16 p.m.

I'm chipping away at this thing, today was serpentine belt time.  Pretty easy, remove the intake hose, detension the belt with a 3/8" rachet, R&R belt.  Except I dropped the rachet.  And this thing has full skid plates.  And the rachet didn't hit the ground.  Doh!  That led to much cursing as I had to jack up the truck to remove the skid plate to retrieve my rachet.

It also looks like I'll have to remove the skid plates to do an oil change, which I want to do next, along with swapping the snow wheels/tires off and flushing the brake fluid.

docwyte PowerDork
4/18/21 3:55 p.m.

Last bit of maintenance done.  Did an oil change, which was fairly easy.  Had to take off one section of the super beefy skid plate, luckily the front part of the skid plate has an access opening for the oil filter.  Which Nissan stuck in a horrible spot, it leaks oil all over the swaybar and skid plate.

Then I took off the snow tires and bled the brakes.  Definitely due, stuff came out looking like iced tea.

Then swapped out the practically new snow tires for the all seasons, which are still good but more worn than the snows...

Truck is ready for my daughter now!

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/11/21 8:26 p.m.

So is your daughter still enjoying it? It was my Exs truck and she asked about it today. Just curious. 

docwyte PowerDork
8/12/21 9:22 a.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :

Yes!  She got her license on July 6th and has been bopping around town in it.  So far, so good!

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/12/21 11:19 a.m.

Awesome. Glad to hear it. 

docwyte PowerDork
3/27/22 9:18 p.m.

So we've had a few small issues with the truck.  Late last month it was super cold and the truck wouldn't start.  Of course I was in Vail at the time.  Told my wife to call the tow service for a jump and then take it to the auto parts store for a new battery.  The tow service never showed up the tools!  Luckily I've got a car guy friend who lives in the neighborhood across the street from me, he came over and jumped the truck and then O'Reilly's replaced the battery.

Tonight on the way back from dinner all of a sudden my daughter pulled over and put on the hazards.  I turned around but then she took off.  Got it back to the house, I checked out the battery install.  The negative battery cable was loose and tightened all the way down.  Luckily I'd bought a pack of battery terminal post covers when I needed one for the Corrado and still had one.  Popped it on, negative battery cable is now tight. 

She drove around the neighborhood and still reported some issues.  When she revved the truck I could hear "woofling" from the exhaust.  Ahhh, ok....  We bought it with cat codes, I bet the cat is breaking apart now and a piece clogged the exhaust, which caused the truck to lose power.  She drove it around the neighborhood some more and it looks like the piece got spat out of the exhaust.

Need to get those cats replaced ASAP tho...

akamcfly Dork
3/28/22 5:50 a.m.

I re-did the battery, starter, alternator and engine to chassis ground wires on my frontier. You could possible get most of the same benefit by cleaning all of those connections. Anyway, the starter motor now pees a little when I crank it.

docwyte PowerDork
4/9/22 12:12 p.m.

So got the cats replaced.  Took longer and was more expensive than I expected, but they're in.

No more check engine light and it's running great again.  Next up is an oil change and swap off the snow tires

docwyte PowerDork
4/29/22 2:31 p.m.

Spring maintenance done.  Did an oil change first, which was a bit of a PITA.  The skid plates do have access openings to get at the oil filter and drain plug (unlike the ARB ones on my Land Cruiser, dammit!) but I couldn't get enough access/torque through the hole to get the drain plug off.  It also looked like it was going to make a huge mess if I left the skid plate on.  So I took it off, which meant I had to loosen up the bolts for the front skid plate.

One of which is a 17mm, unlike all the other 19mm bolts.  These are held by captive nuts in the frame rails.  Yup, that 17mm bolt captive nut broke free.  Awesome!  I was able to get the middle skid plate off and remove the drain plug.  Luckily the oil filter access opening was big enough for me to get my hand in there and remove the oil filter.  Which then made a huge mess all over the skid plate.  Sigh.  Cleaned everything up, new filter, new oil, started, checked for leaks, skid plates back on, done.

Next up swap over wheels/tires.  No problems there but I found one lug nut on the right front wheel on backwards.  Um?  I know I didn't do that... 

Anyways, all done.  Remove gloves, see that all the wheel R&R'ing has reopening the cut/wound on my right index finger.  Doh! 

docwyte PowerDork
5/8/22 1:23 p.m.

So my daughter told me that the check engine light went on again.  So I scanned it and it spat out the passenger side primary side O2 sensor was bad.  Well, not sure if it got damaged when the cats were changed or not.  Oh well, bought another Denso one and put it on the lift yesterday morning.  Wheel off, found out that someone cut part of the inner fender liner out to get access to the O2 sensor without having to remove it.  Here it is...

Easy right?  Not so much, I could only get it to move maybe 1/8 of a turn.  Great.  Wheel back on, ran it over to Midas that put in the cats, as they had to install the O2 sensors too.  They said they'd break it free for me.  They called me a few hours later and asked me if I could leave it till Monday so the guy that installed it could look at it.  So it sounds like they cross threaded the O2 sensor and they want the tech that did it to try and remove it without damaging the threads.  Hopefully they're able to and they don't charge me for it.  The guy told me that's why he wanted the tech to look at it.  So fingers crossed...

docwyte PowerDork
5/10/22 9:27 a.m.

Shop was able to get the old O2 sensor out, then they had to retap the threads in the O2 bung.  They installed the new sensor and happily did it all for free.  Straight shooters, said they'd take care of it since they were the last people in there.  They also checked the drivers side O2 sensor to make sure it'd pop out easily and it does.

Daughter reports the truck has way more power now, which makes sense given that the old cats were totally clogged and that O2 sensor had probably been going bad for awhile.

docwyte PowerDork
5/17/22 3:41 p.m.

So truck threw another check engine light, oddly enough for the exact same O2 sensor that was just replaced.  So back to the shop.  They kept it for two days, claimed to have driven it around, said the check engine light wasn't on, that everything was ok and come and get it.

Daughter goes to get it, immediately the check engine light comes on.  :-/  Pretty obvious to me the shop either doesn't know WTF to do or didn't actually do what they said. 

It was a brand new Denso O2 sensor, there's a chance that it was bad out of the box, so I guess I'll get another one from the parts store and return this one and see what happens.  If that doesn't fix it, it needs to go to a shop that knows and works on Nissans.

docwyte PowerDork
5/26/22 8:47 a.m.

At a loss on this this, need help.  Nissan dealer tech said sometimes the ECU needs to be reset after cat replacement, which was a new one for me.  Guy was super cool and did it for me.  Warned me if this didn't work, that means the ECU isn't happy with the new cats and they might need to be replaced again.  Great.  Well, the light came on a week or so later.  Is this something people have dealt with before?  I've never had to replace cats on any of my German cars and an O2 sensor code on one of those means the O2 sensor is bad, not that the cat is bad.  So WTF?  This should've been a simple parts replacement and now I've got a persistent CEL.

I'm in the unenviable situation of having bought the cats from one shop and had them installed at another.  I've reached out to the first shop, who's owner I've known for years btw, and he's not really helping me out.  I want him to warranty the passenger side cat for me.  I guess I'll be stopping by his shop tomorrow to talk to him in person about this.  It's BS that I bought the cats from him and he's not willing to do any warranty support for me. 

Another idea I have is to use an O2 spacer on that passenger side primary O2 just to see what happens.  I don't want to run it long term but if it makes the ECU happy then that tells me that cat does need to be warranty replaced.

Mezzanine Dork
5/26/22 6:02 p.m.

If an O2 spacer makes it work right, I'd call that a long term solution without losing any sleep. I'd try that first since it's cheapest and easiest. 


BrianC72gt (Forum Supporter)
BrianC72gt (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/26/22 6:40 p.m.

Wishful thinking, but check your PCV valve.   I've had them go bad in 2 Audis and 1 Porsche Cayene Turbo.  The result every time:  excessive oil consumption fouling the cats. Replace the rubber diaphragms and good to go.  Throw in the miracle in a can cat cleaner of your choosing and say a novena.  In theory, a CAT should last longer than the rest of the car.  Heat, vibration/impact or contamination seems to take em out first though.


docwyte PowerDork
7/29/22 9:50 a.m.

Update.  Got the SUV into a different shop, they did a smoke test to check for air leaks, which there weren't any.  After a little discussion, despite the fact that Denso is the OEM supplier to Nissan for O2 sensors it was decided to just pony up for the Nissan O2 sensor.  That's installed, tests were run, everything passed.  SUV is back home and running fine, but it was taking a few weeks for it to throw the code.  Fingers crossed it's fine now.

Shop noticed that the rear brakes were really worn and I remembered when I bought the SUV Mike had given me a bin of new parts.  I thought he'd given me new rear pads/rotors, so I went to check.  Not only did I find rear pads/rotors, I also found 2 oil filter and then these...

Sigh.  Sometimes I do a great job of shooting myself in the foot.  So I didn't need to buy the one sensor from the parts store and if the truck still threw the light I could've just tossed in the other *free* O2 sensor I had.  Doh!!!

Oh well, at least I've got what I need for the rear brake job and don't need to buy parts for that...

JoeTR6 Dork
7/29/22 12:44 p.m.

Lol.  I do that with parts that *I* bought, so don't feel too bad.

I was checking out the exhaust on my 200k FJ and it appears to have original O2 sensors, or at least quite old.  Either way, they aren't coming out without a fight or possibly a new exhaust system.

docwyte PowerDork
7/29/22 12:49 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Yeah, I really feel stupid.  I've bought two O2 sensors now, only to find out I had FOUR of them in my basement.  Hopefully I don't need anymore, but there are still 3 old ones on the truck. At least I know I have them now

I was pretty sure that box had pads/rotors in it but I'd totally forgotten about the oil filters and O2 sensors.  I've been buying oil filters for this too.  I've moved those to the garage cabinet where I keep all the oil filters, so at least I'll remember them now...

MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
7/29/22 8:51 p.m.

One other trick on those engines, if you haven't already. Next time you change the spark plugs, swap the Allen bolts for stainless steel. Whoever designed the manifold thought the screws would never rust even if the hex is facing up and collects water.

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