some 1994 pathfinder questions

You gotta Love these old VG30E/i powered beasts, raw truck DNA to the core.

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some 1994 pathfinder questions

Postby PattiM » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:06 am

Hi Again Everyone: I love my 1994 4x4 XE-V6 pathfinder (185k Miles) 5-speed manual which seems to run OK (no smoke). I had synchro/bearings/rearmainseal/clutch installed and a few thousand miles ago had the timing belt and tensioner(s) replaced (as a preventative measure). The rear mainseal was a source of a very slow oil leak, which is gone now. The starter was changed easy-peasy from this yt video (The actual problem was the starter switch on the steering column!)

I was wondering how to get a trailer hitch(s) installed - not for towing anything with that little 6 cylinder engine, but more for general attachments (bike carriers, pulling someone out of a rut, etc. - this has 4-hi and 4-low).

Also, I tried replacing the rear window wiper motor, but that didn't get it going - so what else goes wrong to kill the rear wiper?

Also, does anyone know how long the rubber boots on the front wheel CV joints last?

Also, very rarely it will run like it's missing on one cylinder for a few minutes - no correlation to weather (wet/dry/cold/hot) - then it will clear up. I started dumping injector cleaner in the gas tank...

Also, I hear lifter noise when I start the engine, which gets a lot quieter after about 10 seconds - but persists until I run it down the road at over 2k RPM for a few minutes - then they get completely quiet. I'm guessing these are special "trick" hydraulic lifters? (take a long time at high RPM to "fill"?)

Thanks Guys!!

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Re: some 1994 pathfinder questions

Postby smj999smj » Thu Jan 28, 2021 1:31 pm

Hi, Patricia!
You can actually tow up to 3500 lbs. with your Pathfinder. You can purchase a Class III hitch for around $150 from or Curt # 13095 is made to bolt-on to your WD21 Pathfinder and has a 2" receiver, made in USA with a lifetime warranty. It comes with instructions and hardware to install it: ... =199415027

How long a rubber CV boot will last is impossible to say. When they tear and open the joint up to the elements, it is time to replace the boot or replace the axle shaft as an assembly. I've seen CV boots last well over 200,000 miles.

Hydraulic lifter tap is not uncommon on VG engines, especially the older 3.0L. I've never seen one fail to the point of engine failure nor damage, but I've heard some that can get pretty loud! There is nothing special to them and they really aren't very hard to replace, as far as hydraulic lifters go. You can do so with the cams in place, but do need to remove the rocker arms. The lifters sit in a plate bolted to the top of the head. You can use string or mechanic's wire to wrap around and connect the tops of the lifters that protrude through the plate to keep them from falling out. Unbolt the plate and remove with the lifters intact. They'll come right out once you undo the string or wire. I would replace all of the lifters on the bank with the bad lifter as it can be hard to isolate the one that failed...and you don't want to have to do the job again, if another should fail. The lifters run about $20/each for a quality, aftermarket part and there are six per bank. Lifters should soak in a container of engine oil overnight before installing. I should also note that a leaking exhaust manifold gasket or cracked manifold can make a ticking sound very similar to that of a lifter. These engines are notorious for breaking exhaust manifold studs; Nissan has updated studs that are harder than the originals from the factory. The passenger side tends to break more often than the driver's side, but they can fail on either side.

Misfires can be caused by any of a number of reasons, including faulty fuel injectors, cracked/worn/improper spark plugs, a shorting ignition wire or bad distributor cab/rotor or and engine mechanical issue, such as a bad intake gasket or valvetrain issue. The gallery-style fuel injectors can clog with dirt, so running a fuel cleaner isn't a bad idea. If the injector, itself, is bad, you must look at the paint dot on the injector when you purchase a new one, unless you are replacing an entire set of injectors, in which case wouldn't matter. Typically on a 94, it'll be either a blue or black paint dot, which identifies the injectors spray pattern. The electrical part of the injector can be tested using an ohmmeter and comparing to the values stated in the Nissan factory service manual for your vehicle, which you can access for free in the service manual database via the tab at the top of the page. If the plugs or wires are bad or due for replacement, stick with NGK brand parts; for the distributor cap and rotor, stick with genuine Nissan.

The rear wiper is a bit more complicated, as all the service manual provides is a wiring diagram. One problem I've seen is the wire(s) can break where it passes from the body of the Pathfinder to the top of the rear hatch. All that bending whenever the hatch is lifted or closed can cause the wires to break, sometimes breaking it inside the insulation, which makes it tougher to identify. There should be a 10A fuse in the fuse box that should be checked. You have the glass switch which will interrupt power to the wiper motor if it is stuck open. There is a rear wiper amp and a relay in the circuit in addition to the rear wiper switch. Jumping the switch side of the relay can help cut down the circuit diagnostics, but unless you are good with electric work, you may be better off finding someone who is or a professional.

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Re: some 1994 pathfinder questions

Postby PattiM » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:57 pm

Wow! Thank you for all the great information. The misfire is REALLY intermittent - a few times a year maybe? I did have a full tune-up and that didn't have any effect. The only thing I'd ever heard was a cracked distributor cap allowing arcing when it's wet - but the misfires, when they happen, aren't related to weather - hence the idea it was injector(s). I'm not really certain they're misfires - the engine doesn't run terribly rough when it happens - just a lot less power and a *little* more roughness.

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