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1997 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder near the chesapeake bay
02-25-2012, 12:59 PM
Post: #1
1997 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder near the chesapeake bay
The distributor went bad and the cap broke. The entire part was thrown away so I had to replace everything. I bought another distributor with cap and button and put it on. The car will crank but it won't turn over. Is the timing causing it not to start? What other reason could cause the car not to start?
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02-25-2012, 03:41 PM (This post was last modified: 02-25-2012 03:42 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #2
RE: 1997 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder near the chesapeake bay
Wrong timing COULD be the problem so I would start there. Set the engine up to TDC and reinstall the distributor pointing to #1 then see what happens. Just remember that you might be off by one full turn of the crankshaft on the first try.

There may be other issues, especially if the mileage is high. Do yourself a favor and take a look at the cam (via removing the oil cap) and see if that's turning while cranking. This may point to a timing chain problem.

If all else fails then I would try doing a scan of the ECM to see if there are any codes, but that may not help if it just quit. Usually the engine needs to be running to set a code. If you have any codes then post them here.

Let us know how you make out.
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03-11-2012, 07:59 PM
Post: #3
RE: 1997 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder near the chesapeake bay
UPDATE: Well we got the distributor on and the car will start. The engine runs extremely rough and stalls if you hit the gas at all.
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03-11-2012, 08:08 PM
Post: #4
RE: 1997 Nissan Altima 4 cylinder near the chesapeake bay
Sounds like the distributor is off by a bit or the cam timing is off or you got the ignition wires mixed up when sticking them back into the cap. You will need to do further detective work to verify.

Of course it could be something completey unrelated, but I always double check my work before going back for a fresh diagnosis.
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