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Nissan Repair/Overhauled Nissan Sentra gde16 cranks but wont start


We have just redone our 96/97 nissan sentra 1.6 16 valve carb engine after it overheated. We fitted new rings, bearings the works. She just wont start since overhauling her... We checked spark, timing and eath and everything seems in order but when it comes to starting it,it cranks but refuses to start. I'm at my whitts end

Hi Fanie -

First of all check the timing belt alignment.

Turn the crankshaft damper pulley until it lines up with both the pointer in the engine and the TDC mark on the pulley. With that there, the distributor rotor should be pointing at the #1 cylinder tower. If not, then the belt will have to be re-installed with alignment marks on the damper, camshaft. Let me know if you need a diagram.

If it is aligned, check the spark. Insert a screwdriver into a spark plug boot until it wedges against the terminal inside. Have an assistant crank the engine as if to start it while holding the shaft of the screwdriver about 1/4" from any metal surface of the car. There should be a spark jumping between the 2 metal surfaces.

If no spark, then check fuel delivery. Spray some starting fluid or gasoline into the intake boot, or carburetor and try starting the engine. If the engine starts and shuts off after a couple seconds, it is probably the fuel pump.

Hope this helps and let me know how it goes.



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Calvin Iwashita


All general car repairs for all models of vehicles, except technicals (overhauls) on A/C systems and transmissions.


16 years as a car mechanic from 1974 to 1990, and still repair cars on the side.


High School and college graduate

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