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Random misfire gone wild 3.3 xterra Forums > > Random misfire gone wild 3.3 xterra Random misfire gone wild 3.3 xterra
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:52 PM
Mauimobilemarine Mauimobilemarine is offline
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2002 Xterra
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 1
Default Random misfire gone wild 3.3 xterra

Hi. Looking for some insight on my 3.3L 2002 Xterra. I've had a random misfire that started small and now has me completely crippled.
Here's what I've done over the course of months:
-checked distributor cap
-knock sensor
-spark plugs (went to iridium)
-plug wires
*All the above temporarily made the situation better
-new timing belt (was and still is properly timed)
-checked for vaccum leaks

-at this point my catalytics clogged and I drilled out the old material per the advice of my much more car savy coworker.
Then things went from still not great to totally fubar

-the slight misfire quickly deteriorated into major loss in power, engine searching hard at idle, and an almost inability to move the thing

-mycoworker suggested a fuel problem, so I did the Filter, pump and injectors. Still no luck improving the problem

Only code being thrown is still 0300 random misfire.

I've continued to check for vacuum leaks through my whole process

Noticed a crack on the passenger exhaust manifold which probably happened around the time I did the cats. But I didnt think this could be the issue.

Getting fed up.
-distributor rotor with no cam sensor code?
-did I mess up by removing my catalytic mesh?

Any ideas?
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:06 AM
smj999smj's Avatar
smj999smj smj999smj is offline
Master Enthusiast
2006 Pathfinder
2003 Frontier King Cab
2003 Frontier KC SVE 4x4
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Prospect, VA
Posts: 1,842

Bad distributors are a common problem in VG engines when they get over 100,000 miles. Sometimes the module goes but other times the shaft bearing or seal will go bad. Try removing the distributor cap, rotor and the metal plate under the rotor. Look for signs of metal shavings and/or rust and/or oil. You can also see if there is excessive play in the shaft, as well, by grabbing it and moving side to side. Something else to look for would be a major vacuum leak, such as a stuck open EGR valve or leaking intake manifold gasket...or, a split in the intake air duct allowing unmetered air to enter the engine. The self-diagnostic capabilities of the ECM were "state of the art" back in the 80s and early 90s, but are pretty primitive compared to today's diagnostic abilities. It usually takes a pretty hard failure to trigger any kind of code. Still, if the problem is not an engine management issue, i.e. fuel pressure (which you should check and should have checked prior to replacing any fuel system parts) or vacuum leaks. The gutted converter, a bad knock sensor nor the cracked exhaust manifold won't cause what you're describing.
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misfire, random, wild, xterra

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