1987 Pathfinder- won't start in the rain


Old 11-16-15, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: United States
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1987 Pathfinder- won't start in the rain

1987 pathfinder only starts when it is dry. started great all winter, but spring or summer rainy weather it just won't fire.
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Old 11-16-15, 03:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

If the vehicle uses a distributor cap and rotor..... they're probably past due for replacement.
If your spark plug wires are original..... they're probably past due for replacement too.

These parts short out and arc in the damp weather.
Old 11-16-15, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Canada (near The Motor City)
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I bet on a dark damp night that if you start it with the hood open you will see sparks jumping around the wires.

The best way to find your problem is start the vehicle on a normal day and take a spray bottle full of water and spritz it around the wires and distributor. You fault will become evident soon.
Old 11-16-15, 04:08 PM
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You might want to add your approximate mileage, in order to give some of the guys a bit more to go on, but there's two things I would start with. First are your grounds. Often overlooked, partly because they're generally out of sight, but that also means that they are down in the dirt so to speak, subjected to corrosion and electrolysis. Remove, clean, and reattach them, but you will have to find them first. One is on the other end of the negative battery cable, likely into the frame, and you may have others from the frame to the engine and/or body. The other thing I would try, old school perhaps, but, in the dark, have someone crank the engine while you lightly mist the key points, such as spark plug wires and ignition modules. I use an old Windex bottle, not a hose, but sometimes you can see where the spark is going to ground. Just make sure that you stay clear of the fan, belts, etc.
Old 11-16-15, 07:01 PM
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I'll try it..... the spray bottle that is....

This seems to be a paculiarity of Nissans...... I thought it was the coil... replaced it. Seemed to work for a while, then replaced the electronic part connected to the coil. That seemed to work for a while. Then it rained again. The mileage is about 150,000. runs great when it runs. I've looked under the hood in the dark....... no sparks I could see. I'll try the spray bottle, soon as it stops raining.

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