I had to replace a blown head gasket and since I had it all apart replaced the timing belt and water pump, when I took the timing belt off I didn't have the cam locked in place and it turned on me, I thought I had it all lined up as the marks all lined up with the #1 piston at TDC, once I had it all back together it would crank but not the slightest hint of it wanting to start so I set the #1 piston at TDC then removed the distributor cap and noticed that it was way off so I removed the distributor and put it back in with it lined up to the #1 cyl. at this point I tried to start it and it tried to start but as soon as I let go of the key it would die. What could the problem be?
Truck has spark and is getting fuel so why won't it start? on 1997 Nissan Pathfinder
Incorrect engine timing!.... Also INTERFERENCE engine!!
Remove distributor , replace any bent valves , re-set cam/crank timing , then install distributor , see answer #1 for explanation.....Good luck.