97 Nissan Maxima

I had recently installed a new clutch and pressure plate. Bolted things together and started the engine, idled forward and in reverse to verify clutch performance…works great. Turned off engine and reinstalled air intake and buttoned up under the hood. Five minutes later I went to start the engine to test drive and it would turn over but will not start. There is a serious crossfire and I don’t know why. It is a3.0 electronic ignition. Does anyone have some suggestions what it might be? I could really use a little assistance, I am fresh out of ideas. There is one broken coil pack on cylinder #1, however it should run with five cylinders… Coil pack has been replaced. Still no improvement…engine turn but still crossfires… Help! and thank you.

Did you remove the flywheel? It may be installed incorrectly or damaged, or maybe the crank position sensor was damaged.

This is a bit difficult to diagnose from the info you have given. As such I would just say to start with the basics…when you turn her over for a little go and actually sniff your tailpipe…Funny I know but I am trying to see if you have the ingredients to run your engine…namely FUEL.

Do you have fuel? Is the fuel pump running? There are many ways to check this… I wont name them all but the tailpipe sniff works well. You can also look on your fuel rail for the relief valve…see if she spurts fuel with “KOEO” (Key on Engine off)…have a rag handy. You can also listen for the fuel pump…You can hear them turn on in most every vehicle if you have a trained ear.

See if you have spark…have a buddy crank her over while you pull a wire and ground it out on the engine somewhere.

DO these simple tests first before I take you into more in depth “no start” diagnosis.

Let me know the results of your tests before we continue…

Yes fuel is present. No tailpipe sniff is needed you can smell the raw fuel. The cylinders do fire at random… fuel rail is at required pressure.

No. The engine fired and ran perfectly after I had installed the new clutch and pressure plate. The flywheel was never removed. There are no error codes that are detected that would lead to this type of trouble… that is what is so confusing.

OK so you have fuel and spark…but now we need to determine if she is sparking in the right manner. I will need to look into the 97 Max…DOes she have a distributor or did they go with a coil pack and crank sensors? I believe they have coil on plug…so I have to ask…how did you test this? I know how to but I am asking you. The COP system uses an individual coil on top of each plug…Usually given the signal from a Cam sensor as to when to fire said coil… If the cam sensor is disconnected you have no hope of firing it up… Did you go thru ALL of the wire connections under the hood for the engine? You may have disconnected an engine plug to do the clutch…which one and where is up to you, but it is NOT uncommon to have to unplug connectors that have nothing to do with the clutch…in order to do a clutch job…Savvy? Go thru all of your engine plugs. Unplug and reconnect each and every one of them…prob not too many… Also make sure you didnt Detach ANY GROUND WIRES… I believe you have one where the engine and trans meet…or under the Air box somewhere…yeah pretty sure you do…LOOK FOR GROUNDS PLEASE… Check your engine plugs/connectors and check for any forgotten GROUND OR LOOSE Ground WIRES…SUPER DUPER IMPORTANT THOSE GROUNDS… Make sure each is clean and tight…same goes for your batt connections. Let us know.

I say all of this because you had her running right after the clutch job…and a loose ground will do exactly this type of “drive yourself nuts” type of condition…Works fine one day the next is chaos…Loose plugs and or ground wires will drive you totally BONKERS…Ask me how I know…