The usual reason for a diesel to not start without some starting fluid is that the glow plugs/pre-heaters or the controller for them are not working. I cannot find any good pictures of that engine or a manual with a wiring diagram to tell you where to look but I would bet that is the issue. Especially if you crank it over and get white smoke out of the exhaust.
Nissan sold the same design of van in the US back between 1987 and around 1991. They had so many issues with it overheating and catching on fire, due to the much larger gas engine fitted for the US market, that they recalled and crushed all of them.
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 AT 12:57 AM