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1994 Pathfinder - Reluctor / Distributor Problem ?

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Hello All


I am extremely Puzzled ...


I have a 1994 v6 VG30

5-speed - manual

262,000 miles


my 1994 is extremely well taken care of

I do all my repairs / upkeep


here's the issue.



Nov 2017

Idles perfect 800-900 rpm

One day in Nov 2017 - It started misfiring at 2500-3000 RPM - estimated


I was told it was the ICM - Ignition Control Mod - was bad


So I bought a ICM - installed it - it didnt seem to fix it - right away - so just fooling around - I took off the Coil Wire and reinstalled .. and drove it and wow no more misfiring

Drives like New again

Note: Recent – New: Plugs/wires, cap / rotor



Now we are in May 2018


About Mid-May -- it started doing the same thing - misfiring / backfire running real rough 2500-3000 rpm - no power

So I thought ICM going bad - changed out - installed new ICM - DID NOT HELP

Was told that a Coil that is going bad / getting hot will create misfire

Changed the Coil – New Coil did not fix it


So I changed the Cap/Rotor and Plugs and Plug Wires

No Help - did not fix it


Was now told that the Reluctor in the Distributor is the Problem and need to install New Distributor


Repeat Problem for you


Start up – runs prefect for 10 minutes – then engine is at normal operating temperture – then it starts to misfire / backfire at 2000+ Rpm

Let it cold down – starts runs prefect for 10 mins then repeats problem


Will a Bad Reluctor create this problem ?



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Try unplugging the o2 sensor and see if it runs better. That sounds like what happened when mine went. If it has never been changed, well it is 24 years old.


Also you can do the same with the coolant temp sensor. It will run in a default fuel trim (way rich) but it should run smooth.


It is not as common for the distributor to fail on the VG30E, that's a VG33E issue. But I guess anything can happen. Mine has the original 275k mile one on it and still works perfect.

Edited by adamzan

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Probably the reluctor or magnetic pickup as some refer to it as. It's inside the distributor. They commonly go bad with old age or high miles (lots of heat cycles). Generally a very cheap part if you can just buy the part. Not sure what you'll get into on this though. May have to buy a whole distributor to get it.

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