NissanDiesel forums

I must be nuts...
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Author:  Sleestak [ Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:47 pm ]
Post subject:  I must be nuts...

I purchased a 1985 Sentra diesel not long ago mainly because I had never heard of one. Right now I'm taking care of a number of maintenance items and such that one would find on a well used 30+ year old car. The timing belts and coolant system (found a leaking hose, the oil cooler to block, the easy to get to one right over the starter and under the IP) at the moment. The only concern I have now is the IP timing tensioner spring. It was lodged in a way that it's almost worn through and can't be used again. Knowing that these diesel powered cars are as scarce as they are I'm not sure if I'll ever locate one. But this is a project car and one I knew would present some challenges. Anyway saying hello and all!

Author:  plenzen [ Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Hello and welcome to the forum.

I think if you reach out to Al ( asavage ) in a PM he may have some solutions for you.

He is the site administrator and actually only checks in from time to time, but does respond to PM.
He had at least one of these vehicles that I recall.
He may have at one point run into the very issue you speak and is pretty good at "work arounds" to fix stuff like that.

Worth a try if you get backed into a corner.


Author:  Sleestak [ Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Sounds like a good idea. I'll do that.

Author:  Sleestak [ Thu May 26, 2016 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Just a little update. I didn't mention that when I took the timing cover off of the crank end the the cam sprocket had a nice little crack in it. That's not a good thing. As scarce as these CD17 cars are here I thought that might be it. So after a long search I gave a site called Amayama Trading Co. a go. I now have a brand new cam sprocket, the tensioner I needed, and an oil cooler o-ring, all OEM. I don't know if a US Nissan parts dept. would have found them or bothered. I know most of the Nisan sites that I visited just showed those parts as "No longer available." Anywho now I can get this little guy back on the road. :)

Author:  Sleestak [ Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Update no. 2. After putting lots of work into it, finding parts, and the fretting over whether I got the timing right, things torqued, etc. I started it up Mon. about 8 pm. It fired right up and settled in to a nice little diesel purr! At the moment I'm doing a shakedown, driving it a bit and listening for any odd noises and looking for any leaks (so far, so good).

Author:  plenzen [ Thu Jun 02, 2016 4:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Great to hear. Keep us posted

Author:  Sleestak [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 11:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

I have now driven it 1200-1300 miles and all seems okay (there was one indecent where it belched a big cloud of grey smoke and I still have no idea what that was.) Obviously with 185xxx miles and 30+ years there are things to be taken care of. I've put new struts and shocks on as they were original Nissan parts and waaaaaaay past dead. I still need to install tie rod ends and have the toe properly set. I'm in the process of changing the motor mounts (I have done the top rear torque mount and no longer get a loud "popping" nose in reverse). There's changing the transaxle oil and replacing the shifter shaft seal and dust boot, the oil pan gasket should be replaced, and 1/2 a dozen other little things. Today I replaced the driver's window regulator (now it operates smooooooth!) with a new one. Whew!

I think someone on this forum may have owned it before me as well. One of these days I need to post a pic.

I'm getting about 44 MPG with it which isn't bad considering I don't live in an area totally flat so have to chug up certain hills in 3rd often.

Author:  plenzen [ Fri Aug 12, 2016 6:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Glad to hear its running and, 44mpg aint bad.

The giant cloud of grey smoke may have been a stuck injector ?
I used to see a puff of black smoke every now and then on a constant throttle position on level ground and I would see it out the drivers sideview mirror. Didn't feel it shake or miss or anything but just a puff every now and then. Haven't seen it do it in a few years now.
Are you using a fuel additive like Stanadyne etc ? ( )
A few tanks with this stuff in it may stop that from happening.................
I use this one in the summer months
and when the weather turns ( October to March ) I use this:


An exorcism took place and a demon was expelled.

Keep us up to date as to how the wee beastie is performing.


Author:  Sleestak [ Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

The sticking injector is something to consider (I'm not a diesel mechanic but read and try to make educated guesses) because right before it does that I'll here a slightly high pitched clatter and then "POOF!" It can be a big cloud or small one and usually under load.

The PO said he had the injectors rebuilt but I'm guessing it was 80000+ miles ago so time for it again?

I am using an additive just to make sure it gets adequate lubrication. I can get 40, 45, and 49 cetane diesel in my area as well.

I'll update when I have anything worth while to report as I seem to have the only Sentra that's active here right now. I certainly am the only one in my area to have one (as far as I know).

Author:  Sleestak [ Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Close to 2k miles since I got it on the road and still doing okay. Just have had the front control arm bushings replaced (they was rotten!) and the tie rod ends too plus had the toe set. I shoulda gotten that done earlier as having the toe out of spec ate the right front tire's out side tread very quick! That being said the steering feels much better now!

Author:  plenzen [ Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

Thanks for the update. Is it still doing the odd puff of smoke ?

You could certainly take the injectors in to be tested for leaking and what their break point is.

Might want to check with injector shop first to see if they are able to supply the needed injector seals before you take them out.
I don't recall if those are the threaded in ones ( same as SD ) or the 2 bolt hold down type. If they are the threaded in ones it can be a bit of a "project" digging the old tip seals out. The later versions used a different type seal/heat shield at the end and a copper ring just at the threads which are much easier to change out.

Author:  Sleestak [ Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

I'll have to see if I can find a shop that works on injectors first. I have the FSM but I can't tell outside of it showing a nozzle gasket. Not gonna mess with it before I find out. No big puffs of smoke recently just a small one. Makes me a touch nervous.

Author:  Sleestak [ Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

A while back had the injectors checked out and they're fine. Now I'm attempting to set the injection pump timing and for the life of me can't get it to do as described in the FSM. Worked on it for about 3 hours total and have had to quit. Is there something the manual isn't telling me? Seems quite simple...

Author:  plenzen [ Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

I think that Al is probably your best bet on this.
He has done the fuel pump dance a couple of times I believe.
That being said
He does not come on here very much other than to do maintaince computer magic nerd stuff to keep us going.
A PM is the best way to go about reaching out to him.
He "May" be able to walk you through it or suggest where to look for where your having trouble.

Author:  Sleestak [ Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: I must be nuts...

I have definitely read all I can here and what I can on the ol' interwebz (mostly VW related). I know I'll get it but it's a bit frustrating for some reason. :|

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