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1988 Nisson D21 Pickup

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HarveyH42

Banned
I bought a truck last week, and need some help/information. Spent a lot of time searching the web, and reading the manual (basically useless). The problem is the Z24 engine. It's a 4 cylinder, but has 8 spark plugs, two coils. The manual barely mentions it, general not in the sections I need. Never had an engine with two plugs per cylinder, and want to know what I'm getting into, before getting into the tune-up.

It idled a little rough when I bought it, but a look under the hood told me it hadn't been serviced in a while. A new fuel filter smoothed it out considerably, least enough that I can put off the spark plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. Hoping to find a diagram of how the wires are routed first, just in case... Also kind of want to make sure they are right, who knows what previous owners did to this thing.

Bought a PCV valve, but can't find it on the engine from the top. Going to change the oil, so maybe I'll spot it from underneath.

Have an electrical problem with the running lights, there weren't any. No dash lights, taillights, nothing. With the headlights on, still no dash or running lights. After checking the fuses (some missing, but labeled for optional stuff), didn't find anything blown. My dog (2 year old Lab) decide we were going for a ride, and squeezed past me under the steering wheel. Check the lights again, and they work. Not sure if it was a loose fuse, or a bad wire the dog rubbed up against just right. Got to find out for sure before driving at night. Faulty equipment tickets aren't expensive, just a pain in the ass to take care of.

If anyone has owned one of these, or know a good Nissan website, it would be much appreciated.
 

Mike_2545

Super Moderator
If you replaced the fuel filter, it would be a good idea to change out the spark plugs. I had an issue with an older truck where I changed the fuel filter. The engine was running lean with the old one and fouled the plugs when it was changed. You would be surprised how much a new set will help.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
If you replaced the fuel filter, it would be a good idea to change out the spark plugs. I had an issue with an older truck where I changed the fuel filter. The engine was running lean with the old one and fouled the plugs when it was changed. You would be surprised how much a new set will help.
I usually do a thorough tune-up, fluids, filters, brakes. When I get a 'new' vehicle, because then I know exactly when it was last done. I've got the parts, just a little unsure about this engine. Never seen two plugs per cylinder before. Did find out that it suppose to ignite the gas evenly for an even burn. The wires on the distributor are really packed tightly, should post a picture (probably closest I'm going to get to a diagram).

I'm going to keep driving the Explorer until I get this Nisson fixed up some. It'll drive as is, but want to make sure its good. The lights are kind of a concern, since it's still dark out in the mornings.
 

HiTech

Well-Known Member
If you're gonna buy a rice-burner truck at least get yourself a Toyota! Old Nissans are headaches.:(
 

sPuDd

New Member
The second set of plugs is usually after the exhaust valve to burn off unburnt fuel. Those 80's Nissan engines were fuel guzzlers. I had the same engine in a Nissan van. It got 200klm on a 50litre tank. I now have a VW diesel van that gets 900klm from 80litre tank.

That’s 25litres/100lkm Vs 8.8litres/100klm.

Oh, and the old van topped out at 100k/hr barely loaded
New one does 160k/hr with 1ton load.

sPuDd..
 

Andy1845c

Active Member
Do the running lights use a fuse or a self resetting circuit breaker?

If they are on a fuse, and the fuse isn't intermittantly blowing, you must have an intermittant open circut someplace near or in the switch. Seeing as you say all the running and dash lights go out at once.

I would pull the headlight switch out and take a look at it. 21 years of dirt could be the problem. From there you can kinda work back to the fuse panel and see if anything looks bad.

Does it have dimmable dash lights? If it does, I would guess the dash and running lights go their seperate ways from the switch, and the problem lies in or before the switch.
 

HarveyH42

Banned
Lights still work, jiggled some the wires the dog may have hit on his way through, but no the stayed on steady. Hope it was just a loose fuse. The switch looks clean, almost like it was new. Been really hot outside this past week, not bad in the morning, but the afternoon sun is a killer. Might have to wait until the weekend to dig into it more. Don't think there is a dimmer for the dash lights. Long row of relays under the hood, have to check those next time. Currently 97 degrees out, just not in that big of a hurry on this.
 
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