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Discussion Starter #1
Was over at NPORA, but there seem to be some more folks willing to offer assistance about Pathy issues on this forum.

Got an odd issue on a
1995 Pathfinder LE VG30E 5-spd 4x4 w/ 180k.

The Pathy has been driving very well of late - picked it up in Indiana a few months ago, and after general maintenance, drove her across the country. Learned a lot about this thing, but this one’s a head-scratcher. I do have the Service Manual.

The other day noticed engine revving a bit higher than normal, and in urban, stop-and-go traffic the oil light came on and I had no acceleration. The engine was clattering loud. Checked oil dipstick (clean and full), opened oil filler cap - didn’t seem like any oil splashing about.

Nothing out of tailpipe, have an OEM Nissan oil filter, and former owner did the timing belt and water pump.

Although I don’t recall a CEL driving home, I checked it today and it returned a Code 34 - Knock Sensor. I guess it’s possible this error may have been caused by the original problem. Which seems to point to lack of oil to the main oil gallery.

So, the first things I will check are:
- Check Oil pressure at Oil Pressure Gauge

- Test the Oil pressure switch [ DON’T SEE A CONNECTOR TO THIS - braids right into starter cable harness to POS terminal on battery]

- Inspect the Oil Pressure Relief Valve

- Try to determine if this has jumped timing (Checked rotors and cap - clean, locked down and still looking new.

- and do a quick diagnoses on the Knock Sensor Sub-Harness (to ensure that it is still good).

Any input from the experts?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It's been suggested that maybe the pickup tube to the oil pump is clogged.

Is this a normal problem with wd21 pathfinders?

Concerned about any tests that involve starting the engine, based on its seemingly oil-starved condition.

Guess I'll have to drop the pan and see.
 

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Oh Jesus Tits....
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With 180k on the clock and not knowing if any previous owners ran 25-30k on a single oil change it's hard to say on the pickup, though it's probably one of the first things I'd check. It's not a common issue, but a lot can happen in 180k miles. Could be sludged up in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Would love to drop the pan, but...Wow, getting in there is quite a procedure. Not sure I've got the tools for that job.

On top of a potential oil pump failure, I can't know what damage might have been done to the engine in the oil-starved condition.

I'm on it tomorrow.

Not a happy camper...
 

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I agree with the above, check the pickup, I know someone else that this happened to on a VG30E.

You really only need to drop the axle center section and the differential cross members to pull the pan. It's not that complicated, just a bit time consuming. I hope you didn't score the crank or bearings, that spells real trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've verified that the pickup tube is clogged.

Could only get 3 quarts in before it was full.

Guess I'll start doing my homework on the pan drop procedure.

Thanks for the input.
 

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Window Licker
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I've verified that the pickup tube is clogged.

Could only get 3 quarts in before it was full.

Guess I'll start doing my homework on the pan drop procedure.

Thanks for the input.
Unbolt the CV shafts from the diff flanges, and remove the front drive shaft.


You'll want to leave the diff bolted to the x-member. Just remove the two bolts from the x-member to the frame and then the one bolt on the front of the diff to the frame. (Put a jack under the diff before you do this. :homer: ) You might have to manipulate it a bit, but the whole thing will drop down and you'll have a clear shot to the pan.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the tip & pic BG, but isn't the process of accessing the oil pan a bit more complicated than that?

I was just about to do the front suspension and cv axles before this crap, so I'll start tearing that down and get to the differential.

Hope it's as easy as you make it sound.
 

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Window Licker
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It's been a while since I've had my head under a d21, but I'm about 90% confident that's it. I don't think the exhaust gets in the way and there *might* be another x-member to remove, but you should be able to get to it fairly easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah...I think that might actually work!

Have to take the starter out, maybe move the steering bar (Relay Rod).

I was ready to refresh the front suspension and cv axles before this happened (have the parts here), so following your procedure once things are torn down doesn't seem so daunting. Doing this without an engine lift it would be awesome.

I'll try to remember to take pics as I proceed.
 

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You will need to pull the center link on the steering to get the front of the oil pan down.

Dropping the diff is as easy as BG says, I have pulled and installed them. The passenger side exhaust pipe on a VG30E truck sweeps behind the sump and under the transmission, so that will be out of the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Appreciate the input. I am in the process....

Got the front suspension stripped down with CV's off. Damn ball joints worse than I thought, all my bushings, sheeesh, a real mess when you look at it closely...

I'll get that center link down and then attack the diff. Man, if this works it will be a miracle. When I first reviewed the procedure for the oil pan removal my eyes almost fell out of my head!

Ordered the pickup tube o-ring and gasket (gotta stay positive!)
 

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Window Licker
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Appreciate the input. I am in the process....

Got the front suspension stripped down with CV's off. Damn ball joints worse than I thought, all my bushings, sheeesh, a real mess when you look at it closely...

I'll get that center link down and then attack the diff. Man, if this works it will be a miracle. When I first reviewed the procedure for the oil pan removal my eyes almost fell out of my head!

Ordered the pickup tube o-ring and gasket (gotta stay positive!)

Since you've already done it, I guess I shouldn't tell you that you can just unbolt the CVs from the diff flanges and leave them where they are as you drop the diff. No need to pull them out completely and mess with ball joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yeah, I'm aware of that.

Really appreciate all the assistance.

Since I'm in there I might as well get this stuff maintained and tight.....
on the hope the engine is still good.

Raining hard here - got plenty of bench work.
 

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Oh Jesus Tits....
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Since you've already done it, I guess I shouldn't tell you that you can just unbolt the CVs from the diff flanges and leave them where they are as you drop the diff. No need to pull them out completely and mess with ball joints.
He did say he was replacing CVs anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree with you on IFS.
Also agree with you on the pressing job at hand (getting to the pickup tube).

Just thought it would be criminal to leave these things on - and for the 10 minutes of effort, do it right.

The LBJ's looked ok on the car - but they were basically destroyed.

The weather has been terrible here, don't have a garage space to work. I'm hoping to get the oil pan pulled soon. Will provide updates.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Messed with the differential all day today.

It just doesn't seem to clear the T-Bars. The round end portions of the crossmember just rest on the T-Bars.

I guess I really need two jacks. Maybe one to raise the front end and the other to angle it out of there.

Any suggestions?
 

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Window Licker
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Can't remember exactly, but I think you need to tilt the long side shaft of the diff down first and it should clear.

You could also just unbolt the cross member from the diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bit of a PITA to separate the x-member now that it's loose.

Damn rain....Oregon, man.

I'll give it another crack tomorrow. I'm so close I can smell it.
 
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