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Hi there Peepuls.

This week on "Ballin on a Budget" I'm addressing the issue of the Evap Canister (D'Black Box from Hell) ingesting water, mud, rocks, dust, rust chips, or really anything, and failing to work, causing your check engine light to come on, and causing you to have to put fuel in really really really slowly, or else it comes back out at you.

This is more of a preventative fix, akin to extending your rear diff breather, although the cleaning of the charcoal canister caused mine to start working again, and I hope this fix will solve the issue of it crapping out when I hit water. If you are removing the canister completely, it's not preventative and screw that little box, but you'll still need to read this if you want to know which lines to plug and not to plug.

To answer some questions first, yes, there IS a Filter Kit by Nissan, and yes the new models do come with it on, which may solve the dust issues, or may not. However, while holding a towel over your face when dry will allow you to breathe easily in a duststorm, if that towel gets saturated with water, or if you get held under water, you will still choke to death on liquid. which means driving through creeks/muddy water/puddles or in melty slush is basically the same as waterboarding your truck. And will still kill the electronics/fill the filter with water and mud and jam the valve causing an error code to come up and the check engine light to come on.

If you have not already tried to destroy your Evap Canister by driving in dust or water or mud, skip down to where I show you how to do the hose extension. No removal of fenders or liner is necessary.

If you have, well, start from the beginning. (Pictures above correspond to text below.)

TO BEGIN!!! Start on the left hand side of the vehicle. Stay there. If you find yourself on the right hand side of the vehicle at any time, re-assess what happened and make your way back to the left.


Start by taking off the wheel. Then remove your plastic fender liner and rear quarter panel. This is accomplished by taking off the mud flap (haha like you haven't already), the accompanying screws, the 5 snap clips on the fender liner (pry the middle out of them and they pop out), the two bolts to the bottom right of the taillight, and the one snap clip by the spring shackle. Then just pull the plastic off. Should look like the picture.


Stick your head in the wheel well and face the rear. The box you see. This is your objective. There is only one bolt holding it on, but do not underestimate your opponent. Access the bolt by laying on your back under the vehicle and looking up at the box. there is a hole to put a long extension on and reach way up and get the bolt undone. Next you have to disconnect the two wiring clips, and the first hose (the one with the rigid metal going into a short rubber hose) now the box is mobile.


Pull the box out and down towards the wheel well. Now you should be able to disconnect the hose that leads to the fuel tank (Hint: it's corrugated and a right pain to get off) I used needle nose pliers to compress the clips. You can now disconnect the third hose (the air intake) from the frame on the inboard side of the vehicle. With some struggling the box should now come out of the truck.


Assess. look for cracks, hairline fractures, glue that has gone bad and opened up, or any damage to the box, if there is, it should be replaced (unfortunately) if you don't want to see the engine light.

NOTICE: AT THIS POINT, STOP

There are two ways to go ahead from now on.

1) If you care about your check engine light/have emissions testing where you live/care about the environment to a nutty standard, disregard the next paragraph and continue on.

2) If you don't care about your check engine light/leaking some vapor from the tank into the air when you're stopped (won't affect mileage) and want this problem to never come back (speaking only of fuel not filling very quickly), it's a simple operation from now on. simply plug the metal line (engine vacuum line) with a solid plug that won't leak. this prevents your engine from ingesting anything bad from back here. Then extend the gas tank breather hose (corrugated, goes into the centre of the box) up to somewhere where nothing can get into it, like behind the tailight. filter if you want. make sure you dont route it inside your truck or you could die. It's tempting to keep stuff out. But dont. And lastly cap the wires. or don't. depends how clean you want it to look. dunno who's looking though.

Back to getting the box "refurbished" and put back in with an extended intake:


Take your compressed air and blow the hell out of the box.


Do it more. Do it everywhere. Do it into the Valve both ways. Do it with the Box upside down. Good. Now take a 12 volt battery and cross the plug on the Valve with power. If you can hear it flipping open and closed, It's good. If it doesn't, well, time for a new one. Darn. Mine did. yay.


Go to the hardware store and pick up about 4 feet of hose (enough to reach up to behind the tail light, just like you Diff Breather, but on the other side) and Barb Connectors to connect the hose you bought to the hose that came from the frame (a 1/2 inch Barb Connector worked for me, as I was using half inch hose, but I would recommend choking it down to save space behind the light) this is the $5 part. Mine was actually $3.75.


This is what my hose looked like connected with the Barb Connector (I ran it in the original path, but then up over the Frame and up to the Tail Light.) or, rather, it's the best my cell phone could do with the available light.

Once you have the hose connected and run where you wish, and sticking out where your Tail Light is, put all the Connectors and Hoses back on the box, and stick it back where it came from. Remember! Don't fit, Put spit! (Pidgin advice from all my Hawaiian Buds) Tighten the bolt.


Take your tail light Assembly Off (Should be two bolts on the right side and then it should just pull off.) Run the hose out, and chop it off where you want it to be.


Here's the part where I realized I shouldn't have used 1/2 inch Washing Machine Pressure Line. It's too big. So in order to make the Lights still fit, I had to shave a lot of it off...


... and then stuff the end of it into the Rubber Grommet in order to hold the hose up (It's level with the bottom of my light now)

Now feel free to just button everything up, and you're good to go! Basically just a Snorkel for your Canister! Under 5 Bucks saving a 300 Dollar part (as usual).

If you have any additions, comments, suggestions, post them up and I'll add them!

Good luck. J.
 

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I'll be trying this next weekend, my light has been on for over a year!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To re-iterate this is NOT a how to fix your check engine light, it's basically preventative. The magical fact that it fixed mine might also fix yours, and this is the how to, but I don't know the statistics. It should probably be "how to make an evap can breather and get a 50% chance of fixing your engine light" but that's too long to put in the title. So, grain of salt people. That being said if you have a new canister, this will save it from being ****ulated
 

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Anyone have an idea what size the bolt is that holds the box in? None of my metric sockets are fitting it. I dunno if the bolt is too bunged up or if I'm just using the wrong size.
 

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Pretty sure its the 12 but now my head is stripped so now I'm at a standstill. I'm remembering why I quit working on cars.

Edit - Success! The box is connected to an L bracket that bolts to the frame. It was tight but I was able to get a 12 mm socket on that and unbolt it from the frame. It dropped right down then. Now to get it back on...
 

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FYI ,
I had mine(evap canister) mounted to the cross member between the frame. easier to get in and out but still not water tight. I have run the breather line aft and put a filter at the end of it. but it needs to go higher to be water resistant.

on another note: I am ordering a used canister and seeing if I can cut the flat end off and reload charcoal or whatever is in there. and maybe fabricate a reusable door with a seal on the canister.

these are crazy expensive at around 220-300 bucks.
 

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Sorry to revive a dead thread here.

My SES light in my 2010 X has been since November of 2013...let's go with I'm patient. Prior to the light ever coming on, I've always had issues at gas pumps with being able to set the pump to a desired filling speed; if I lock the pump nozzle the majority of the time it will only put out a few gallons before shutting off from vapors....and the tank will be no where near the full mark.

So, after 3 years worth of staring at that damned SES light, pumping half-cocked manually I've decided it's time to do something about this issue.

From what I have explained, I guess I am looking for a "show of hands" from folks who feels either A) cleaning/drying out my evap canister will resolve the issue or B) replacing it will.

I understand the charcoal canister is to trap vapors and "save fuel"(read EPA jargon) but has anyone had success in basically splitting the case, removing the canister and then sealing the case back together? I'm half tempted to snag a used one to play with.

Thanks!
 

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The odds of finding a used canister are slim. In a recent conversation with @Jerseyparts at Cherry Hill Nissan, he commented that the canisters are almost never replaced. Therefore, there won't be many used ones that escape the trash bin.

Buying a new canister is expensive. It lists for $345.74 and the best internet discount price is about $264. [See, e.g., Vapor Canister for 2005 Nissan Xterra|14950-EA20B : CourtesyParts | Genuine OEM Nissan Parts & Accessories.]

The OEM vapor control valve is also expensive [$111.66 from @Jerseyparts at Cherry Hill Nissan, Part #14935-JF00B], but aftermarket valves are available [Dorman Part #911-503, $44.47 on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-911-503-Vapor-Canister-Purge/dp/B002E39YBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483139537&sr=8-1&keywords=dorman+911-503.]

The best course of action to cure the P1446 error code is to blow out the canister, replace the vapor control valve (the P1446 DTC is for the valve, not the canister), extend the air intake hose to a dust free area (such as behind the driver side tail light) with a filter on the end, and hope for the best. If the canister is truly junk you can easily replace it later, but it makes no sense to me to spend $265 if it isn't necessary.
 

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Saw this thread and thought I'd share some of my personal experience so that way others won't have to deal with this EPA bs.

Had repeated SES lights over a period of 5 weeks or so. Took it off 4 times, cleaned each valve the first two, replaced the evap valve the third time and it seems the final fix was to put clamps on the hoses that didn't have any of them. If the gas tank isn't burping and it throws a p0448 code then hopefully this will be a much cheaper fix than a whole new one. I doubt I even needed to spend $50 on the valve. But atleast it's fixed now
 

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Alright, so last week I went through this process on my 2010, which had the extra plastic can inline between the canister and the frame-mounted breather. Rremoved plastic wheel well, fender. Pulled evap canister, carefully removed the valve and didn't mangle the plastic tabs etc. Blew out the canister from the middle port. Cleaned the valve, ensured it was operating by testing it with aligator clips and the car battery. Reassembled everything and bypassed the plastic inline-in and frame breather and ran a 1/2" hose up behind the rear left taillight. Reset the computer by unplugging battery for 15 mins and cycling key to assec. on position 3x. Well, light came back on two days later. No big, I can live with that. I mainly wanted to be able to fuel up without issue. Before, I could fuel up by squeezing gently or sometimes even leaving pump on lowest setting.

Well, now, after going through this procedure fueling up I'm able to squeeze off a 1/4 gallon (maybe) before the pump clicks off from fumes.....yay.

So now I'm wondering, since the valve is a solenoid plunger that is statically open unless power is sent....is it possible the valve is actually stuck shut when the vehicle is powered on? I'm going to disconnect the juice to the valve and test my theory.


On another note...and this may sound a bit odd but bear with me....if I blow into the breather hose modification I can hear a "whistling/wheezing" sound coming from my fuel tank. Thoughts on that?

Thanks All.
 

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...

So, after 3 years worth of staring at that damned SES light, pumping half-cocked manually I've decided it's time to do something about this issue.
...
... Well, light came back on two days later...
Sorry if I missed it, but what code are you actually throwing when you get the SES light?
 

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When I had it read a few years ago it showed as an fsu. To be honest I haven't had it read since. I just deduced on my own that it might be the evap canister. This is probably what I get for troubleshooting blindly.
 
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