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Old 12-02-2017, 10:07 PM   #21
street_rulerr
 
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this ins only somewhat related, but a friend of mine has one of these as a beater and he said the funniest thing to me the other day. he said "at low speeds in the rain the transmission gets confused and will slam into first gear violently spinning the tires"

i just imagined this pos minivan missing all its seats doing rolling burnouts for no reason.
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Old 12-02-2017, 11:54 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street_rulerr View Post
this ins only somewhat related, but a friend of mine has one of these as a beater and he said the funniest thing to me the other day. he said "at low speeds in the rain the transmission gets confused and will slam into first gear violently spinning the tires"

i just imagined this pos minivan missing all its seats doing rolling burnouts for no reason.
Your imagination was reality a couple of weekends ago (bald tires help too). I had to make sure it ran in ALL throttle positions. Also got it up to about 45-50 on a dirt road straightaway and slammed on the brakes just to make sure the ABS works. It does. The 41TE series are weird transmissions for sure. I think every single one of them bump shifts. Here's some reading if you're interested:

https://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/41TE.html

This is the first vehicle I've bought with the sole intention of beating the piss out of it. Once I'm done with it it's either going to the scrapyard or I'll sell it to someone who only has a few hundred bucks and really needs a running vehicle.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:37 AM   #23
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I spent all day outside fucking around with the minivan and got a lot done. I bypassed the rear heater entirely and replaced all of the upper end gaskets except for the exhaust manifolds and the head gaskets. Here are a few shots of it going back together. Look how much more room there is with the windshield cowl removed. I should have done that first!

If you look at the back of the firewall and kind of up and to the right you can see where lines for the rear heater core have been disconnected. I'm running a hose from the bypass pipe to the front heater core and another one back to the lower intake.


I also replaced the thermostat while I had the lower intake out.



New injector o-rings. Before going any further I put the battery back in and primed the fuel pump about 5 times to make sure they are seated correctly. Wouldn't want the ones in the back to leak.



Finally, the plenum goes back on. I hooked all the sensors up and started it for a minute just to see if it can roll itself into the garage. I still have to do the water pump and change the oil but the heavy lifting is over. It has a pretty pronounced tapping sound right after starting, but it sounds like it's a lifter and not a rod knock. It'll probably run considerably better after it gets some gas that's newer than 2 years old. I poured a couple gallons of fresh gas in it but there's still half a tank of the old shit in there.



Also, it smells considerably better in there with all the fabric removed. The mold on the dashboard is looking a lot more dead too.
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Old 12-05-2017, 06:19 AM   #24
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Got a lot done today after work...I replaced the water pump and the drive belt then changed the oil and put more coolant in. I took it for a spin afterwards. At first I was reluctant to condemn the head gaskets but I'm pretty sure that's what's going on. It's still losing coolant after fixing the leak and the front heat stops working after a little while. The plan is to take the heads off and check for warpage and/or cracks. Given that this thing has been overheated a number of times I wouldn't be surprised to see some warpage on the heads. There is also a noticeable tapping sound coming from the engine on startup. The rislone helped a bit but I can still hear it. I'm thinking it could be a really bad lifter or maybe even some piston slap.

The good news is there's another identical van as part of the deal. It was parked because of a blown transmission and has been sitting for 3 or 4 years. I am thinking I might end up pulling the motor (or at least the heads) out of it and putting it in this one. If I go the motor swap route I'd also like to tear this one down and see what it looks like inside. I would also like to take the blown transmission apart to see why it failed. This one bumps into drive sometimes and after some reading I am thinking the little filter screens in the solenoid pack may be to blame. Other than that it seems to run and drive just fine.

But I still had fun driving it around. I live out in the BFE now where I can get away with tabs that expired two years ago. Also picked up some snazzy new seat covers for the front seats.

Last edited by SBJ; 12-05-2017 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:00 PM   #25
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I've been driving it around some more. So far, it's behaving itself pretty well but still losing about a cup of coolant every time I drive it. It will be interesting to see what it looks like with the heads off and if anything is cracked/warped. Since I changed the oil and put a quart of rislone in that tapping sound at startup has all but disappeared. Here's hoping it's just a lifter causing that. This engine is pretty varnished inside. This oil might have 40 miles worth of driving on it:



Lots of rusties in the coolant.

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Old 12-15-2017, 05:10 AM   #26
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Well there's yer problem.



More to come...
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Old 12-17-2017, 09:44 PM   #27
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Well, today I was going to check the heads for warp but I seem to have misplaced my set of feeler gauges. That will have to wait a couple days. So far they don't appear to have any cracks. I'll clean them up first and then re-evaluate. Of course the one in the back against the firewall is the one that failed. The block looks ok...it's cast iron so I'm not too concerned about it being cracked or warped.

Here's what the engine bay looks like now:


I also took a magic eraser to the dash. It cleaned up better than I thought. I might end up getting a cover for the steering wheel. The headliner is probably going to come out too at some point.

Before:

After:


I also drilled a couple of holes in the doors to mount the door handles. Now I need to figure out what to do about the window and lock switches. The one on the passenger side was easy but the one on the driver side can't go back to its original location because all the mounting points were on the door panel. I think I am going to move it down a couple inches and cut the plastic casing to fit, then use long screws and some spacers to mount it to the door.
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Old 12-19-2017, 05:02 AM   #28
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Well, the news is not good. The heads and the block are all warped. The head in the back where the gasket failed got it the worst. It must have overheated pretty badly, and more than just once or twice. Time to procure a cherry picker and plan a weekend to rip the engine out of the donor van. Right now I am debating whether to put the new head gaskets in the donor motor first or just go for broke and see what happens. Ideally I'd like to replace the valve stem seals and reseal the timing cover before the donor engine goes in simply because those things are much more accessible with it out of the vehicle. The rear main and torque converter seals are a no-brainer. The first order of business is to find out how many miles the donor van had on it when it was parked and a ballpark figure of how long it's been sitting. The donor van was parked because of a blown transmission, so aside from being really old and nasty inside the engine is probably fine. It's also a year newer than this one . The good news is that this van has had the transmission either rebuilt or replaced with a reman unit (not sure), and it looks like the transmission fluid was changed not too long before it was parked. It has also been retrofitted with the upgraded solenoid pack designed to fix a lot of the shifting problems that plagued the earlier transmissions. Always look on the bright side.

Last edited by SBJ; 12-19-2017 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 01-21-2018, 08:51 PM   #29
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Alright well it's been awhile since I updated this thread. I finally got around to buying a cherry picker. The engine came out yesterday. It really wasn't that bad. After I removed the crank pulley and the water pump it cleared the wheel well by about an inch. There is now a gaping hole where the engine used to be. Ghetto transmission hoist installed.




We took the block apart too, just for the hell of it. Cylinder 4 had mad piston slap going on. That's probably what that noise on startup was. Ready for the scrapyard:



So next I have to take the engine out of the donor van. The plan is to put it on the engine stand and replace all the gaskets before it goes back in. Also going to replace the torque converter seal. It doesn't look like I'll be able to keep it long-term, so after it's all put back together I'm probably going to give it to someone I know who could really use a running vehicle. I would totally buy another one of these, though. It's actually pretty easy to work on and parts for these are DIRT cheap.
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