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#682422 - 17/03/14 07:49 AM Re: 2000 3.3 hard to start when warmed up [Re: 2kbadxterra]
2kbadxterra Offline

Registered: 23/10/13
Posts: 22

Ok, after all this time. I pulled he intake off Thursday.
( This is now a 30 minute job for me with all the practice I have had. )
Pulled the fuel rail. ( Watch the spacers under the bolts and rubber gaskets each injector bucket sits in if you do this. )

Raised the fuel rail up and found 3 injectors wet.
Dried them all off, pressurized the system again, and watched 2 start to ooze gas in about 5 minutes.

So at this point, I had 2 definite bad, and 1 unsure.

Decided to replace O-rings on all 6 to be sure they were not actually leaking at the O-rings.

#1 and #4 - The screens were falling apart. No, these were not the ones dripping.

At this point, I just said "eff it, 4 out of 6....replace all of em."

Talked to a mechanic friend, he said these older Nissan injectors fail a lot and said "replace all of em."
The good news he gave me was that he has had no bad experiences with rebuilds, even the cheapest on-line stuff.

I was still scared of 25 dollar injectors, and with the core charges and the price to overnight the parts because I could not wait a week for them to get here, I went with rebuilds from the local part store. 59.95 each + 20.00 core charge, but no shipping both ways and no hassle.

Now, I had 2 assembly issues.

#1: This one was painful...had trouble with the fuel rail sealing. Got it all back together and it was a 5 cylinder, big vacuum leak on the fuel rail, under the intake side, of course.
Did I mention I am real good with that intake yet? lol
2 hours later, had pulled it, corrected the fuel rail seal, installed the intake and was ready to restart.

#2: The injectors are a real tight fit in the buckets.
I got clever, and put some grease on the O-rings and insid the buckets. I had also used a liberal amount of grease to hold the fuel rail O-rings in place while assembling. Can you guess what happened next?

Restarted it, it was idling smooth and running great. Checked for leaks, and all was well. Left it idling and went inside to wash my hands and kill a few minutes while it warmed up.
Came back outside, it was smoking like a tired old Briggs & Straton and idling worse.

WTF? lol

Looked things over a bit, said some really bad words, pulled a couple plugs, they were looking a little nasty now. Oil....
Started it again, it was real hard to start. Smoked a bit, then cleaned out, and settled into a nice idle.
Have you figured it out yet? lol

Took it for a short drive, wondering what was wrong, wondering if one or more of the new rebuilt injectors could be bad, then the light bulb went off.

As it was idling, it naturally warmed up.
As it warmed up, the grease melted in addition to the fuel diluting it, resulting in a temporary fuel mixture a 2 cycle engine would likely have been reasonably happy with.
After running a bit, it washed away and all was well.

End result:
It starts fine now, no matter how long it has sat, or what the engine temp is.

Time will tell if the rebuilt injectors are ok, but they seem great right now, and saved me a couple hundred bucks at least.

Hated to do all 6, but as I had 4 bad, it just seemd that the other 2 would surely be soon to follow.

Now, I did replace 2 simply because the screens were falling apart. It did occurr to me that I could put an extra in line fuel filter before the fuel rail, and would likely have had no issues, but it is not my car, and I don't want to experiment on a car unless it is MY daily driver so I can closely monitor things.

If you are real tight on money, and find screens falling apart, I think the extra filter would likely work just fine in place of the screens on the injector bodies. I could be wrong and YMMV.
I do find myself wondering if screen material fragments could be be getting inside the injectors and causing them to not seal well. Wondering if they could possibly be flushed and they would seal properly? Perhaps even the ones where the screens looked ok, the screens were actaully beggining to decay and getting in the injectors? I just don't know.

I only know I am very happy to have finally worked out this starting problem and I would suggest to anyone with a mystery condition to consider removing the fuel rail / injectors and having a look.

Edited by 2kbadxterra (18/03/14 08:10 AM)
Edit Reason: Fixing typos, does anyone even read these posts?

#682427 - 18/03/14 08:08 AM Re: 2000 3.3 hard to start when warmed up [Re: 2kbadxterra]
2kbadxterra Offline

Registered: 23/10/13
Posts: 22
Rebuilt fuels injectors......

Well, one of them quit after 2 days, the car went onto 5 cylinders, began smoking terribly, and began literally drinking gas. I suspect my earlier thought about the grease in the gas was actually that injector all along and that it was intermittently sticking open.

Happily it was #1, which is a 5 minute job to change, and the computer immediately said #1 misfire making it easy to head to the problem cylinder.

Pulled all the plugs and #1 was black, and wet and I could hear gas dipping and sizzling as it hit the hot piston.

Took that injector back, they had no rebuilt in stock, so I got my money back for it, and bought a new one ( just 30 bucks more ) to replace it, and all is well again.

It did cost me almost a half tank of gas in just under 40 miles of driving, and an oil change because gas had made it into the oil, but at least I didn't have to pull the intake off again.

I'll post again if any more issues, but right now, I have a less than "warm and fuzzy" feeling about rebuilt injectors.

If any more of the rebuilds fail, I will take them all out and replace with new.

#682781 - 14/05/15 10:03 AM Re: 2000 3.3 hard to start when warmed up [Re: 2kbadxterra]
2kbadxterra Offline

Registered: 23/10/13
Posts: 22
Long term update.

Popped a head gasket in late Feb.

When you hit the starter, the motor would barely turn, then make a scary hammering noise, then the smoke started, and the noise stopped, of course it had a horrible miss too, so I shut it off, and towed it to the barn I did the work in as I was afraid to try to drive it there.

One cylinder was actually filling to the top with af when you shut the motor off. The tow was a wise move, as water does not compress and I feel lucky it did not damage the bottom end.

Called a friends shop, they said it was 13 hours of labor.
I replied, it will take me 3 times that long then, and was pretty close to the mark in my guess.

As I had previously done a timing belt, and upper intake, it really wasn't too bad.

The head torquing sequence was really odd, torque, then release all pressure was scary, but the factor manual, and he chiltons both agreed so I held my breath and did it.

The connectors were a pain to disconnect as there were a few differing types of connectors and ways to release them.

I took my time, took lots of pictures, bagged up bolts and labeled them in groups, taped and labeled connectors, and spark plug wires so it wasn't hard to reconnect in the correct places. Really, the wiring harness when you lay it down in place for re-assembly, well, the connectors are all different shapes and will only go the right place.

I replaced all hoses that were exposed and removed just because. Put a new timing belt on just because its only 32 bucks from Nissan and I could not bear the thought of putting a used one back on, eve if it was low mileage.

It lit right up when I hit the key after assembling.
Had a thermostat housing leak right away, no big deal to correct. A few other minor issues that are normal for a job this big. It smoked horribly right away, which scared me very much, but it was not an issue. Remember that the exhaust had been filled with af when the gasket popped. Also had a check engine light from the o2 sensor that got covered in oil and af.
The sensor cleared up after driving a couple of weeks though.

Its back to running fine.

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