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Old 02-16-2021, 10:49 PM   #1
86.5D21SE4x4V6MT
 
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Default Help diagnose: Engine pulling? dragging? encountering resistance?

1986.5 Nissan D21 Hardbody, SE 4x4 V6 Manual Transmission, 183,000 miles

For more than a year the truck's engine has gradually felt more and more resistant. At slow speeds when I accelerate, if I don't use enough gas, the engine will drag, causing the car to lurch to a halt. At high speeds I have to push the gas harder than I used to in order to get up to speed.

I change the oil regularly, but even immediately after my last oil change I had this problem with the engine.

Is it somehow the transmission or goopy fluid in the clutch? That small oil leak in the headgasket? The cracked tailpipe? Catalytic Converter maybe? Halp I don't really know anything.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:47 PM   #2
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If you want to check the cat get your hands on a thermometer. On a working cat the outlet will be hotter than the inlet.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:51 PM   #3
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Check the simple stuff first. Are your breaks dragging? Get wheels off the ground and spin them.

Gotta start somewhere, right?
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:05 PM   #4
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check if the throttle cable is loose. this happened to me once. it started getting slack in it. word of advice, adjust this while the engine is at low idle. otherwise you can over-do it without realizing it and itll never come off of "cold idle speed" or it will basically hold the throttle body open a wee
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Old 02-18-2021, 04:00 AM   #5
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Could be brakes dragging, but if they were you probably would have smelled the burning by now. I do agree with doing the wheel spin test, though.

Sometimes it isn't the fixing of something. Sometimes it's figuring out WHAT needs to be fixed. Consider dropping a modest amount on a good shop to diagnose the problem. And there are tricks to doing that.

First...tell the shop that if the bid is reasonable, you will have them fix it.

Second...when they call you in to pay for the report, get a written report and take notes on paper, too...from what they tell you.

Third...tell them you will think about it on fixing, (unless its something simple and cheap and you let them fix it)...take the truck home and fix it yourself.

NEVER take a car in for a diagnosis and say you ONLY want a diagnosis. They will just do a cursory check and blow you off. They do a much better diagnosis if you tell them you will have them fix it if the bid is reasonable. That's because they have to know what's wrong FOR SURE...in order to bid you.

LOL...in other words...just lie to them. Try to pick a shop that actually knows how to repair these trucks. Many of them don't. "All I want is a diagnosis" NEVER tell them that.
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Old 02-18-2021, 04:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89'HBV6 View Post
Check the simple stuff first. Are your breaks dragging? Get wheels off the ground and spin them.

Gotta start somewhere, right?
The resistance goes away when I take the car out of gear.
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Old 02-18-2021, 06:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XoXSciFiGuy View Post
First...tell the shop that if the bid is reasonable, you will have them fix it.

Second...
First, I think he's here to fix it himself?

Second, maybe no "First"? lol


I'm trying to help him fix it, not to a shop.


Hey 86.5D21SE4x4V6MT, you up for this? Got some metric tools? Follow some of the suggestions and get back to us. We'll get you pointed in the right direction. Could be any one of any hundreds of things. Gotta learn these old trucks. K?

Deerhurst & street_rulerr have some good thoughts.

What says you?
EDIT: kewl!

Last edited by 89'HBV6; 02-18-2021 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 02-18-2021, 07:02 AM   #8
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Can't fix what you can't diagnose. Sometimes it's cheaper to just have a shop tell you what's wrong, if you can get that done for not much money. Better than tossing money at parts without knowing if that will work.

But there are tricks about dealing with shops, too. One of them is that if you go in for a diagnosis, and tell them "that's all I want," they usually do a quick check, take some guesses, and hand you a bill. If they believe you WILL have it fixed there...(even if you are BSing them on that) you will get a better diagnosis.

It can be rough out there dealing with repair shops on a 30-year-old (or more) truck. Many of them don't want to give you the time of day, or just give you lip service and a bill.

Sometimes you find the right shop, like this one where I live, who will tear that truck apart and figure out what is wrong for sure...for free...and if you say no to the expense, they will put it all back together for you and not even get irritated about it. But those shops are hard to find.
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 89'HBV6 View Post
First, I think he's here to fix it himself?

Second, maybe no "First"? lol


I'm trying to help him fix it, not to a shop.


Hey 86.5D21SE4x4V6MT, you up for this? Got some metric tools? Follow some of the suggestions and get back to us. We'll get you pointed in the right direction. Could be any one of any hundreds of things. Gotta learn these old trucks. K?

Deerhurst & street_rulerr have some good thoughts.

What says you?
I'm def. up for it. It's so easy to get stuck on little things I don't know and I can tell this is a great community to help me keep moving forward. I'll run it and check temps on the catalytic converter tonight (as soon as I figure out where it is and which end is which).
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Old 02-18-2021, 11:24 PM   #10
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Back should be hotter than the front if it's working correctly. The cat on these just bolts in, and is easy enough to remove. You could always try temporarily removing it and driving around. It'll be loud but you'll have an answer if that's the problem or not.

Also, after you drive it fell against the wheels with the back of your hand. If any of them are noticeably hotter than the others you most likely have a brake that's getting hung up. Kind of like what 89 HBV6 was saying earlier but for those of us who are too lazy to lift it up or take the wheels off.
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