1997 Nissan Hardbody Pickup 2.4 from North America


Nissan knew what they were doing when they built this truck


The only things that have gone wrong with the truck were the starter, radiator and alternator.

The "swirl valve" is a different story.

The radiator was simple and only cost 47.00 on eBay.

The starter was a little more challenging, but doable.

The alternator was easy to replace also.

The swirl valve is difficult. If you have the "Service engine soon" light come on and the code P1130 comes up on a OBD2 scanner, you are in for some real fun.

For starters, let me make life easier for you and tell you where the swirl valve "really" is on a 1997 Nissan pickup. The swirl valve is located between the firewall and the back of the engine valve train cover. You will have to take off the air intake cover to see it. It looks like a small silver vacuum actuator with one vacuum hose connected to the bottom of it. The swirl valve is connected to the back of the engine block by a bracket. Removing the engine hoist pick point makes thing easier to work on. You will need a box end wrench for the pick point and a right angle #3 screw driver to remove the two screws that hold the swirl valve in place. These can be seen with a mechanic's mirror. There is also a E-clip connecting the top of the actuator to the control arm that goes into the throttle body.

I spent my Saturday and $125 bucks on a swirl valve finding out how to do this, so my truck could pass smog. I did not want to pay $400 for a mechanic to fix it. Once I replaced the swirl valve, the light went out and I passed smog. Found out later that the swirl valve can be found on eBay for $75. I used a genuine Nissan part. The part number is "14517-86G0A Actuator-Power". Good luck.

General Comments:

Don't let the size of the truck fool you, this is a tough little truck. The rear drum brakes are the same size as a full size truck. I use my truck as a daily driver, and also for side work. I have had the whole truck bed packed tight full of 6' fence pickets up to the edge. The truck rides a little low, but gets the job done.

I bought this same truck again because I used to own a 1994 Nissan pickup that I drove 100+ miles to the navy base and back every day for 10 years with zero problems, only regular maintenance and a battery. "Very reliable".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2014

27th May 2017, 02:58

Update. I have 178,356 miles on the truck now. Earlier in the year a P0304 code popped up. This is the misfire code. This code can be very deceiving and hard to pin point. Turns out that it was carbon build up in the "EGR intake manifold ports". These 4 ports can be accessed from the top of the motor, under and to the right of the air intake cover with an Allen wrench. I cleaned out each port with Barrimans B-12 carb and choke cleaner and a 3mm brass pipe cleaner. A vacuum hose with a drinking straw tapped to the end of it works well in removing the liquid build up at the bottom of the intake port. It comes out pitch black. After re-installing the port plugs and using a OBD-2 scanner to reset the check engine light, the truck passed smog once again. Still Truck'in!

28th May 2017, 10:44

Make sure you change your oil and filter 100 miles later. Especially using a harsh product such as Seafoam and the Lucas treatment with oil. You don't want to miss doing this step. I don't like using these personally at all; only as a last resort. Make sure the windows of your house are lowered. And your neighbors aren't nearby outside having a family picnic in their back yard. The intense black exhaust after using this will travel some distance.

1997 Nissan Hardbody Pickup XE 2.4 from North America


Reliable, dependable & good looking little truck. Love "Lil' Red"


Front end alignments.

Headliner sagging.

1 headlight replacement.

General Comments:

Great little truck! Owned by a family business & driven by 1 employee who was very meticulous on cleanliness & service. Bought from the company as our back-up vehicle & routine daily driver for a while. Also hauled stuff on a farm.

Gas mileage is around 24 MPG empty, 19-20 hauling. Unfortunately it has sat in the sun & weather outside, which took a toll on the headliner, which is sagging badly & needs to be replaced. Paint is still glossy, despite being outdoors since 1997 until 2012, when a place was made for it in a garage.

Dependable -- reliable -- nice looking red with factory sporty striping, AM/FM/cassette radio & A/C as the only creature comforts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th June, 2013