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Something's plugged up

I have a 01 Nissan Xterra with a V-6 (200,000+ miles) so about a month ago I was having some issues with my car, turned out it was the cam sensor. So I parked for about a month until it could get the time and money to work on it. Up until I parked it it was running fine with the occasional warm no-start problems. I got the new cam sensor (which is built into the distributor) got the timing close, and took it for a test drive. I almost killed my self going out of the driveway because I had no power off the line. I drove it a couple of blocks in the hopes that it would clear it self out. I limped back to the NAPA down the road from my house, popped the hood and the right side exhaust manifold was nice and toasty red. The guy there said it might be a plugged cat. I was thinking that too at first, but how would a cat go bad on a car that hasn’t been running in a while?

The catalytic converter might not be plugged, but some rodent could have built a nest or died someplace in the exhaust system. This would have the same effect.
The other thought I have is that the timing is severely retarded. This would explain the lack of power and the red hot manifold.


someone else mentioned timing too, i’ll give that a try thanks

Retarded spark will cause the exhaust manifold to get red hot.

I don’t know but I think you’re going to need a cat now too. Mine got red hot after about 5 minutes with a miss and it was enough to kill the $700 cat.

The cat could have been plugged at the time you parked it too, but you didn’t realize it at the time.

How could retarded timing make the exhaust glow red on only one bank of a V6?

Was the left exhaust manifold visible?

I was able to see the right side, but I didn’t get a good look a the left side (both sides have heat shields covering the manifolds) and by the time i got back outside to show someone the manifold, that i saw, it had cooled enough to stop glowing.

It was the timing. Originally I had it set closer to 5* when it needed to be 15*