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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
newbie here on the forum and a newbie to armadas period.
I bought my 2004 armada in phoenix about a month ago and drove it home to Michigan,this was because i wanted to avoid the salt cancer that everything "vintage" around here has.
It ran great all the way back and about another 500 miles after i got home, probably 2500-3000 miles altogether.
last week all of the sudden while driving on dry pavement in 2wd the symbol in the dash showing what drive selection it is in use turns off and the 4x4 warning light (I assume) came on. I played with the selector nob but couldnt tell if it would actually go into 4wd. Then it starts jumping back and forth between the two lights and other lights start turning on and off (vdc off, slip,), the trans temp gauge started jumping all over and the entire dash is flickering. About this time it started running like garbage and i plugged in my little obd2 bluetooth reader scanner and pulled up my codes and live data showed all things normal including 14 volts.
I thought i had a loose battery connection so i stopped, shut it down and checked. Everything seemed tight so i jump back in and now it just cranks with no fire. after about 4 tries it starts and i limp it home with all of the above symptoms, plus after i accidentally bump the wipers and they wouldnt turn back off until i shut of the vehicle.
since then i have done a good cleaning and tightening of the battery connections and checked the main ground to body and engine connections. All to no avail.
So here i sit ready to do something but without a compass as to which way to go first.
Any of you good folks have an idea???
p.s. I really want to love this vehicle! I have been a diehard 4runner guy until now but needed a third row (4th kid) and i went this way instead of a sequoia.

6,306 Posts
the armada is a fantastic vehicle -- period. there's a thread here with members having over 300K miles on their armada with nothing but routine maintenance.

but a car is only as good as its previous owner(s).

did the person you bought it from give you any maintenance records on it? did he or she state any issues the car might have before you drove it back?

are there any electrical mods done to the car as far as you know? did the previous owner mention anything about add on mods they may have done?

how many miles did it have on the clock when you picked it up?

it sounds like you know your way around a car, but there are no real obvious issues with this model car. the 2004 was the first production run so, other than some interior cosmetic concerns (rattles) , a faulty delta brake sensor and cracked manifolds which plagues the early model, the engine and tranny are solid.

so some things to check:

ground straps ( you said you did just listing it still)
petrol pump
o2 sensors
cats (visibly look at where the cat's connect and see if you see any carbon or other signs of leaking combustion)
spark plugs
coil packs

im surprised you did not find any codes if you car was acting up like you are writing.

more difficult things to diagnose

continuity issues in a wiring harness somewhere

when were the tranny fluids changed? are you sure they sued the proper tranny fluid and its at the right level?
tranny screen/filter could be dirty causing tranny to slip and go into limp mode.

does the car act the same if the engine is warm or cold?

all of these things can be searched on this forum for more info.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for the quick response time!
The mileage was sitting at right around 160,000 when i bought it. The guy i got it from had owned it since around 100,000 and said he had done very little besides oil changes and tires in the time he had it.
I did realize that i was taking somewhat of a gamble with the lack of back history, i met him twice and drove it quite a decent bit before i bought it. i couldnt find anything to scare me off and i was able to buy it at what i believed to be a fair price.

There was one other chapter in the story. After i bought it but while still in AZ, my cousin who lives there thought we just must see a waterfall before we left the state and due to me now owning the suv with the most seats, i got picked to drive into fossil creek.
It is 21 miles of beat your brains out rough two track after you leave the pavement to where the trailhead starts.
We bounced in and then back out without any issues. But one we got back on the pavement and i poured on the coals I noticed that when it would downshift and try to grab rpm it was falling on its face.
Right away i figured i had shook loose something in the fuel tank and plugged my fuel filter.
That is when i found this website and soon realized that there is no inline fuel filter.
So I pulled the pump and looked at the screen on the bottom, it was clean and the tank looked awesome inside.
I was about to borrow a vehicle and drive back off the mountain to find a new pump when after more reading I came to understand that there is a second screen in the pump.
I (first time ever) tore apart the pump and sure enough, the inner screen was almost completely plugged.
As far as i can tell either a leaf or a piece of paper got into the tank at some point (im guessing the pump has been replaced before) and as i had a full tank of fuel it got lifted up and over the "cup" on the bottom of the pump. It was broken up and black by this point.
after cleaning it and reassembling everything i was good to go with no more issues.
I am starting to wonder if the pump is going for good or if one of the connections is slipping loose.
Do you think that would effect all the random stuff acting flaky in my dash?

I will start working through the list of possibilities you mentioned, any narrowing of the list would be awesome!

6,306 Posts
the tank is a good first place to start and you may have found the issue! it certainly jives with the off roading causing the issue whereas before you went there the car was fine.

im not a mechanic but have owned 3 nissan suvs and am quite familiar with the car and what i have seen being discussed over the years being on this site. sometimes the most simplest things (in this case the dirty filter) could be it. its possible the petrol lines have gotten gunk in them from the debris you saw.

Premium Member
2013 Armada Platinum 8 passenger
64 Posts
Check the tone rings for the abs. If you were banging it hard offroad, they could be dirty and that would cause the abc/vdc/4wd issue your mentioning.

A code reader that is capable of pulling ABS codes is absolutely imperative, guaranteed you have ABS codes. They will tell you where to look for issues.
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