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Nissan Primera P12 running & starting issues

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perpakyrse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perpakyrse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Nissan Primera P12 running & starting issues
    Posted: 11 May 2020 at 4:10pm
Hello! I decided to make this a separate thread since my last one was about audio, even though I touched on this subject on that one. The specimen in question is a 1.8 litre P12 Wagon. Borrowing from my last post:

It isn't new and it sure isn't perfect in other areas either (problems that probably shouldn't be discussed in this post).
The thing has had two error codes pop up (multi cyl misfire prior to clearing the codes and cyl 4 misfire after). There are two main problems with the engine at the time, which are 
- running/accelerating jerkily
- having a hard time starting randomly,
neither of which have anything to do with the engine being warmed up/cold.

Swapping the coils around did nothing towards changing the error code, 0304 popped up again. Then came the visual inspection of spark plugs, three of which were fine with plenty of electrode. The fourth one on the other hand was quite dark in colour as seen alongside a brand new spark plug:

In an attempt to resuscitate the thing I swapped a new spark plug in its place and now it won't start. It does crank and try but does not start, new plug or old. The crank position sensor has been swapped out by the previous owner some 10 thousand kilometres ago, which again points to having issues with the timing chain. 

Having owned the car for a mere five and a half days does thoroughly bum me out now that it's in this condition, as I desperately need it to get me to work this summer. I could get the timing chain swapped out by a family friend, but I'd have to be able to get to him first.
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roy.2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roy.2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2020 at 12:34am
Hi. I would try the Rear Light Earth Fix for a start, Thumbs Up    On page 5 in the How To Section                        P12 rear light removal *now with simple earth fix*
 
This cures a lot of evils. LOL
It may be that the Coil Pack on No 4 Cylinder is giving up , Swapping them around will not cure the problem, it just moves it elsewhere. Ouch
With the plugs out and plugged into the coil packs, put them near the rocker cover and get someone to turn the engine over while you look to see if there is a spark at each one. 
Let us know how you get on. Smile
Roy
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perpakyrse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perpakyrse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 May 2020 at 7:47pm
Thank you for you reply.

I've checked and cleaned the car's most critical chassis grounds (points M17-18) and each one visible and reachable by my socket wrench kit in the engine bay. Those were all OK and adding soldered grounding points from both of the taillights had no effect. I did this during the diagnostics of my malfunctioning audio, which turned out to be caused by the CD/radio unit. 

Swapping the coil around didn't move the problem unfortunately. The same behaviour persisted, which meant that all of the coils were fine. All cylinders do have ignition, as checked per your advice. 
As my diagnostic abilities are depleted (due to lack of tools), I will be turning the car in tomorrow for inspection at a local shop. I'm hoping for no machining necessary to fix the issues, though others have reported a need to replace exhaust valves and machining of intake valves + head. A local blog post describes his horror story from 2015-2017 here: http://babelbabek.blogspot.com/2015/12/nissan-primera-2005-p12-4-cylinder.html (written in Finnish, Google Translate should make it comprehensible, at least all but the spoken dialect and other nonsense).

I do believe this to be a bargain even if I end up having to spend 1.5 - 2 thousand euros on repairs, as I got this by trading in my 1999 Rover (leaking brake fluid). Every bit of kit it has is fully functioning and the thing is practically rust free. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote imckay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2020 at 7:12am
I believe most of the time, a replacement Chain, Tensioner and Guides fixes this without other problems.

Another Finn joined the new Chain to the old one and fed it through
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perpakyrse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote perpakyrse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 2:45pm
Some more information about the car has now surfaced. Cylinders 1-3 tested OK for compression and so did the valves for them. Unfortunately for me cylinder no. 4 had zero compression and 100% blow-by through the exhaust valves in the head.
I've decided to get this car fixed and the quote I got was 1.5 - 2 thousand euros with 8-10hrs of work, excluding the machining done elsewhere (of course included in the price). The most important thing is to get the engine trouble-free for years to come as the rest of the car is shipshape. The head gasket and timing chain will also get replaced now that the head will be taken off anyway (and because the gasket had a small leak).

It's a real bummer but at least I'll soon be driving care-free with my Primera! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timeshock! Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 6:01pm
Ouch
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