Thursday, Jan 04, 2007 at 08:16
May seem like I am trying to defend the 3.0TD, but really just trying to get a balanced discussion, honest :)
ALL motors have various problems, some more than others. No denying the series II 3.0TD had more than their fair share of issues, but the series III on are now on par with virtually any diesel. Yep, the 3.0TD has MAF and EGR issues, amongst others, that gives troubles at different times, but no more than other makes and models. Also, the dealers see all the problems and considering the 3.0TD sells like ~10:1 to the 4.2TD then i would expect 10 times more issues with the 3.0TD.
Lets not get started on other make vehicle issues - EVERY vehicle has a weak point and NONE is that far above the crowd that they are immune from problems.
The point being, on various websites the series II (approx 18 months worth of vehicles) has many, many reports of failures, typically from 80,000kms on. On ExploreOz I think we have something like 15+ reported failures and given the relatively small number of readers, this is way too high a percentage. The fact the engine was recalled and replaced in Europe says something about its problems!!!
However, the series III has something like 5+ years of vehicles on the road and I have heard of two blown engines in that time that were the typical series II holed piston issues. There were significant "exceptional" circumstances that were not IMHO what I would consider normal (all engines have a human and mechanical assembly issues and one is unrealistic to expect zero failures). Another series III failure I have heard of was one that was driven without a sump plug!!!
But this is not to say there aren't other problems with the motor. They have MAF, EGR issues etc... and the odd unexplained engine light on - but all in the same order of magnitude as any other high tech electronic diesel motor.
While the GU 4.2TD is very reliable, it is also not without its issues. There have been reports on this website of engine failure, turbo failure and even an engine replacement at ~5,000kms. But the point is this is extremely rare and you probably have as much chance of winning lotto as a 4.2TD major problem.
But there is no denying this engine runs warm compared to others, it has water passage designed 20+ years ago that are now too small IMHO for the power it now makes (this was originally not designed for a turbo). But this does not detract from its reliability, just slow down a tad in very hot weather - simple.
If I was going to spend my time living in the outback, then the GU 4.2TD is the engine I would want!!! But the reality is I do +90% of my kms in the city (bugger!) and the 3.0TD is a much sweeter engine for day to day driving and is still a fantastic performer offroad when I do my other 10%. Perfect, no, but still damn good.
The vast majority of 4WDrivers are in my boat and I think a balanced discussion is much better than the emotive "its a hand grenade" line that gets tossed around.
While I reckon the series III+ GU 3.0TD is a great performer, it is highly unlikely I will replace my current vehicle with the same. The reason being I have previously never bought the same vehicle twice. The fact the Hummer is coming along with the cruiser twin turbo V8 diesel cruiser, well that just wets my appetite. And toss in Nissan's woeful support of any warranty issues (not 3.0TD related in this case) its very, very unlikely I would ever buy a Nissan again.
PS. I do not think for a moment that any of the diehards will ever change their mind about the 3.0TD, but at least others can now hear a different viewpoint form a satisfied 3.0TD owner. Besides, why let the facts get in the way of a good discussion ;)