Question about Nissan Sentra

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1987 Nissan Sentra hatchback XE. Starts fine after shut down but will die after about 10 minutes of running or as soon as I get off interstate and it begins to slow. O.k. here are the facts: 1. Bought from neighbor after sitting for a couple of years, it is a 3 door (XE). 2. Condition existed prior to me buying. They suspected cam sensor? 3. I put another carb on it and it ran fine till I parked it for about a month or so. 4. Drove to work, got off exit ramp and when I slowed down to turn right, it died. 5. Took to mechanic and he replaced coil. Said it is not getting fire when it dies. He suggests getting an ECU (under passenger seat) or maybe distributor. I thought it may be a fuel problem but the mechanic says its getting no fire when it is refusing to start. I do know that after it refuses to start, if you let it sit for about 15 minutes or so, it will start. But will die again after running a short period of time. Anyone have any ideas? Tried a different ECU and still no luck. It is 1.6 litre, carb and auto transmission. Has only 68,000 original miles. Oh yeah, the speedo/odo quit working around the same time also. The only thing I can think of similar to this was when I had the exact same symptoms with a '66 Olds I had. After a couple of years of frustration, I found the solution by accident. Sitting on the side of the road in the dark one night, I lifted the hood and noticed a blue spark when the ignition was trying to start. The cable to the starter was intermittently bumping against the frame. It had a worn spot and was grounding out ignition but only sporadically. Wonder if something similar could be happening. Any help on this brainbuster would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Joe in Nashville.

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Hi Joe , well it seems as if you're on the right track and i would have thought the same thing hm-mm the fuel is flowing and all the vacuum lines are not dry-rotted causing a vacuum leak and there is no spark ! ....as well you said it will restart briefly ...i would next said ecu as well and yes finding it grounding out would also be in my thoughts a burnt wire a short can be traced with a spray bottle and water spray the wires while it is running and look for an arc "...spray around the manifold with brake parts cleaner or choke cleaner for any vacuum leaks you will hear a distinct change in the engines will to want to start ...yep check all your "obvious "look and inspect the vacuum lines by bending them to ensure they are not cracked as well the same way for your plug wires .
as well make sure proper flow of fuel to the carb and or injectors as well and the fuel pressure regulator is working properly ...this is directly the areas in which i would begin inspecting as well as under the wire harness tubing ..look at all your connections too do you think the Ignition itself is shutting down on its own maby sometimes people have a lot of weight on their key rings causing the switch to shut down , just another note to think about ..also ensure the fuel line is not rusted and leaking once it runs sometimes it may take a few minutes for it to seep through .i sure hope this helps you and points you in the same direction you already are heading and thinking

Posted on Dec 09, 2009

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