Likelyhood of original GUII ZD30 blowing up after 117,000km without an issue?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:00
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Hi all,

Look, we have a 2000 GUII Patrol 3.0L TD. The lease period is coming to an end and I will be purchasing the car after the lease and selling it. I am taking out another lease on another 3.0L Patrol.

I have been reading about the issues the original ZD30s have. My motor as far as I know has not been replaced. It has done 117,000km now without an issue. The majority of these kms have been my wife towing horses. She drives the car relatively hard. :-P As I was saying we haven’t had an issue with the motor. Every now and again it seems to develop a ‘lumpy’ idle which is usually rectified by a quick stab at the throttle. Only recently have we had issues getting it started (ie: taking more than 3 turns of the ignition to start the motor, leaving the ignition on each time for around 4 seconds at most) This also doesn’t happen all the time.

Apart from that we have constant trouble engaging 1st, 2nd and sometimes 3rd gears, especially in winter. To be expect in winter, however not the point where I am sometimes forced to take off in 2nd or after trying to shift into 2nd move back into 1st and attempt to accelerate again. Very embarrassing in the city traffic… Cleveland Nissan insists there is nothing wrong with it and that they have 'never been able to stimulate the issue.' Idiots... Hehe

Anyway, we have come this far with our motor and not had any issues of the sort I have seen documented on the internet. What are the chances of these issues occurring after we sell it? I don't want to sell it to someone I know and have them ring up and yell at me because the car just blew up! :-(

We have always serviced the car at Ni$$an’s recommend intervals – consistently 4 months ahead of the date on the sticker on the windscreen! :-P

Thanks for any ideas, and sorry if this particular topic has been investigated before – I was unable to find anything about it via google or the inbuilt search engine in the forums.

Cheers,
Nissan_nut

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Reply By: floyd - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:25

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:25
The gearbox problem is not normal at all. This should be rectified at service. Could be only the clutch but may be major. I would sell the vehicle as all problems seem to be around 70-150,000 kms.
AnswerID: 69952

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:33

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:33
I would trade it on the next one, rather than own it, as murphy says this is most likely when it will fail ;-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 23:14

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 23:14
Trade-in is good. My brother traded in his Nissan 720 dual cab on a Patrol a few years back, and the dual cab's engine blew up within a week. Good timing I'd say. Now if he'd sold it to a family member, that would have caused a bit of discomfort. BTW he had no idea that it was about to go belly up.

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Reply By: Davoe - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:34

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:34
Hang on to it and let us know how you go. I for one would be interested to hear of any of these things getting around trouble free with over 200k
AnswerID: 69953

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:51

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:51
Hang on to it.. would you risk it? How bout you buy it off him, and take your chance at a $15k engine, or $5k gearbox, or $ clutch, or $ turbo.etc
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:19

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:19
I'm getting a brand new one - so no I'm not keeping it :p

BTW truckster - clutch is $2500 and when the ZD30's turbo goes usually the whole motor with it. ;-) Garret make a fine snail...
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Reply By: Member - Sparkie (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:36

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 20:36
It is a secondhand vehicle. You cannot worry about selling it "in case something may go wrong". You have had it regularly serviced and maintained. There are thousands of cars out there the same as yours and they haven't(Aandy?) any problems.
You are worrying over nothing.
There is nothing to say the next person who buys it leaves the radiator cap off and blows up the motor.Who is at fault then.

As long as it has served your purpose, sell it, and buy a new one.

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
AnswerID: 69954

Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:10

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:10
Get rid of it, its like a handgrinade with the pin missing.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:59

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:59
bingo
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:22

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:22
You fellas seem to be missing the point, its a Nissan not a Toyota :-P

But yeah thats what I worry about with the series 2...
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Reply By: Member - Algee (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:17

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:17
I do have a friend who is a member of the Central Coast 4x4 club who has a 2000 Nissan and his motor blew up on the F3 Freeway at around 170,000. ( just after he returned from the Cape). The motor was a series one. Nissan, after some wrangling replaced the motor with a Series 2 and he is going nicely now. They know of the problem with the series one motor but never advertised it as it was inttermitant. All new Nissans now have the series 2 engine. As far as worrying about it after sales, thats a thing you shouldnt take on. The old saying Buyer beware comes into force. You have done your bit and there can be no comeback.
AnswerID: 69968

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:50

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 21:50
4x4 says all the probs are fixed (after saying that they hadnt heard of a problem) so keep the Patrol reckon. They dont all break
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AnswerID: 69978

Reply By: Member - Cocka - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:26

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2004 at 22:26
T'is a dilema. Whilst recognising that many early 3.0L TDi's had problems remember not every TD was a problem, we don't always here all the good stories. It would be interesting to know the % of 3.0l tds that did fail, but I guess we will never know unless we run our own survey.

I would be reluctant to sell any used vehicle to a friend if you really value the friendship as you never know when the mechanics might fail, after all, you really suspect that there is already a problem in the transmission. Your Nissan servicing agent should offer you a good trade-in price if they say there is nothing wrong, after all they are the ones who will have to provide a second hand warranty when they re sell the vehicle. Ask them to value the vehicle, that should be interesting.
AnswerID: 69982

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:42

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:42
Hi Nissan Nut

The most likely cause of your gearshift baulk is a draging clutch. If you have been towing a lot, then there is a good chance the clutch is at the end of its servicable life. Unfortunately Nissan clutches are not renowed for long life, unlike the gearboxes, so I doubt you would have an issue with the gearbox itself.

As for the engine, thats a tough call. As much as I reckon the series III 3.0TD is a great motor, the earlier model did have its issues. But to put it into perspective, a survey on another Patrol forum showed something like 8 out of 80 blown series II motors. This is definently not a reliable guide (how many kms travelled, service intervals, representative cross section of all users etc...), but it does give some indication to the extent of the issue.

Now for the million dollar question, so far Nissan has replaced all series III blown 3.0TD for free. And some of these have had 150,000+kms. Given the track record, I cannot see Nissan stopping this, but who knows. If you did keep your vehicle and it did blow up, you will more than likley end up with a brand new engine - suitable compensation for the most likely inconvenience of a blown motor?

If it was me, I would keep the vehicle IF I wasn't going to remote places and a blown engine would only be a temporary inconvenience, compenstaed for by a brand new engine thats proven to be reliable. My opinion only.

Cheers

Captain
AnswerID: 70018

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:52

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 10:52
typo "so far Nissan has replaced all series III blown 3.0TD for free" should be
"so far Nissan has replaced all SERIES II blown 3.0TD for free" (and replaced with series III motor).
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Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:03

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:03
If it was mine,i'd be driving it around in second gear for a few weeks, mmmmmm new motor,than sell it LOL
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:25

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:25
SHHHH Michael :-P

Captain - the clutch must have been dragging since new ;)

Yeah its been like it since new. Heck cleveland nissan only just got the handbrake working properly in its last service. Seriosulybleepty service...

Thanks for your replay mate - its one the better ones here!
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Reply By: Michael - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:22

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 13:22
As far as you know, the motor hasn't been replaced!!!!! Nissan i think would let you know if they did... its not part of the normal service, although it should be,,, LOL.
AnswerID: 70050

Follow Up By: Michael - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:05

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:05
Funny.... you dont see 4,2 owners asking these questions,,
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:28

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:28
The 4.2 doesnt suffer these issues - its an 18yr old engine, all issues were sorted out yonks ago :p

Te ZD30 is relatively new. One must expect problems...
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Reply By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:42

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:42
I'm a bit dissapointed with the quality and general ideas being posted in this topic - some of you need to go out and do some research regarding the problems I am discussing.

I have been doing alot of research on the ZD30 and Australia is not the only country suffering issues. In europe, japan and new zealand where the zd30 is fitted in the Patrols and Pathfinders and to a lesser extent navaras. They have all been experiencing the very same problems! Its a global issue with the series 1 ZD30s. They all run super lean, which is renault's fault (nissan motors go through renault now for various things including emissions testing/adjustments) I wont go into why these motors go bung, but the easiest and most common reason is negligance (sp?). Mainly dirty oil blocking the oil injectors in the cylinders blah. meh thats the biggest issue i have heard of.

In short, yes its a design fault. You cant tell my toyota hasnt had any design faults before. I knwo of one off the top of my head and thats the 100 series LC in general. hehe I can give as much as you give guys :p

Cheers to those who acually contributed to the topic at hand.

nissan_nut

AnswerID: 70075

Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:45

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 17:45
hehe I can give as much as you give guys :p

ha, i'm gonna cop some flack for that bodged statement :p
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Reply By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:07

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:07
For what it's worth I thought the early motors blowing up was a direct result of the ECU settings feeding the engine incorrectly.

New ones are obviously different and have fixed the problem.

My view on anyone with one these engines is this.....If it blows under warranty.NO WORRIES. If it blows out of warranty. AS FAR AS I KNOW MANY ARE BEING REPLACED ANYWAY. and personally, if I get 150 - 200,000km from mine and it blows up, I'll be keeping the car and putting a V8 diesel conversion in it because the car will be worth keeping and a conversion is cheaper than buying another new car when consider (new car price, depriation and loss on your 4 x 4 with all its extras + stamp duty etc)

Keep it and put a donk in it that will blow your mind! Heaps cheaper and you'll keep a car with history you know.

cheers
AnswerID: 70094

Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:12

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:12
yep - i think running lean was the ecu issue

i think its still an issue in the new ones - if it was just an ecu problem, wouldnt it be logical to just reprogram the ecus as they came in for their services ;)

heh Nissan could have done a Mitsubishi...
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:57

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 20:57
what makes you say it's still an issue in the new ones..ie Series III onwards??
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:14

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:14
I dont know for certain - for nissan to change the fuel maps and stop it running so lean they would probably kill the excellent emission standards the motor gives them (putting the ZD30 in the same boat as the SR20DE...)

added to that slight increase in fuel consumption, mabye even changes in power output.

Which brings another Q - that Safari Dtronic, what does it do to the ecu's signals to give the impressive torque figures? Something im very interested in knowing.

Anyone know if any ZD30s have blown up with the Safari DTronic installed?
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 22:04

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 22:04
Hi guys,

My understanding of the blown motors is that its virtually always been a holed/melted piston on 3/4 cylinder. I believe its a lack of cooling from the oil and that the series III had larger oil galleries, 2nd oil pickup point and more oil cooling sprays plus more sensors for the ECU. Also, pistons 3/4 get less natural air cooling, hence the reason they go first (or could be to do with the oil gallery design?)

Running lean on a diesel decreases piston temps, the opposite of a petrol vehicle so I don't think a simple ECU fix would help. I run a Dtronic on mine and it gets the same, if not better, fuel consumption while giving a really noticeable power boost, particularly at low revs.

I have searched widely on the net and have yet to come across a single proven case of series III engine failures. There are some reports of them, but NEVER from the owner, always someones mates uncles brothers dogs best friends aunty and when pressed for details, do not even know for sure if its a series II or III. But there are many first hand accounts of series II failure (too many!!!). I obvioulsy have not heard of a series III Dtronic blowing (if mine ever does, you will all be the first to know, followed very closley by Nissan!!!). There are many series III now with 200,000kms+ on them, a good sign for sure that the problems have been fixed.

The most common series III fault I have found to date is the EGR valve. It can seize and this results in the motor shutting down. However, I think thats an ECU shutdown to prevent running with a seized EGR as the volume of exhaust gas should not stop the motor from running at all. But I have not had this confirmed. Also, the type of oil you use can affect its operation. The latest CI oils are designed specifically for EGR diesels. I believe they somehow assist in lubricating the EGR valve, but early CI oils suffered from oil usage between service intervals (probably vaporised some oil to lube the EGR valve?)

The biggest "problem" with this motor (and virtually all modern diesels) is the multitude of sensors that can stop it and all you get is a single engine fault light. Often the ECU will shut the engine down, yet it is quite capable of running abeit with a loss of power. Probably Nissan saving on engine damage (warranty cost!!!).

Cheers

Captain

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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 19:40

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 19:40
So do you genuniely believe that $1500 on the dtronic is really worth it?
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 13:54

Friday, Jul 30, 2004 at 13:54
Hi nissan_nut,

All depends on what $1500 worth to you !!! I can now idle my 1.6T van up my drive in lowrange, used to stall before so had to slip the clutch or back too fast. Reckon I will save this in clutch usage alone.

As I tow regularly, the extra (read noticeable) power increase is worth it IMHO. But if I never towed, hmm... a diff lock sounds good!!!

Cheers

Captain
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Reply By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:20

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:20
I believe there is one that has gone with a Dtronic....I think his name is ROWDY....or something like that. Trckser will know.

This guy has a early series one and if my memory srves me correctly, Nissan gave him a new motor (out of Warranty) with the Dtronic installed.

I will stand corrected but I', pretty sure that was the case. A search of the archives will confirm.

cheers
AnswerID: 70125

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew(WA) - Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:21

Wednesday, Jul 28, 2004 at 21:21
sorry about the typo's
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Follow Up By: nissan_nut - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 19:38

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 19:38
so its a series 1 motor

my thoughts as to the fact that there is more to the series 1 and 2 ZD30s than just ecu programming are firmed in a bit harder.

Heh

Thanks for the info captain - thats certainly what i have read but it seems my probably less mechanical mind has come to slightly different conclusions. :)
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Reply By: Nomad - Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 22:42

Thursday, Jul 29, 2004 at 22:42
Interesting topic. Guess it's almost been done to death on the various forums going around.

I have a 2000 GU11 ZD30 which is religiously serviced every 10K. It has only ever been serviced by the original dealer who sold it new and then sold it 2nd hand to me with 37K on the clock. Can honestly say the I have had no problems whatso ever with the truck. I certainly don't bash the shoot out of it but I work it hard especially when we go on hols, either weekends or longer. By that I mean typically overloaded with CT on back. Mountains, beaches, off road, high speed black top and whatever else you can think of.

Well maybe I've been lucky so far, I don't know.

Have heard that it was an oil starvation thing that could be rectified by your service centre. Stand corrected if I'm wrong.

However it is a great truck and I can't get my handbrake out of it. LOL
AnswerID: 70338

Reply By: nissan_nut - Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 18:12

Friday, Aug 13, 2004 at 18:12
Well have recieved the new one.

its a 6/04 so they dont come much newer! :D

I'm suprised at how things have changed. The steering is much lighter, the gearbox doesnt have trouble engaging gears and the clutch is as light as a feather!

I dunno if its just that its new but the clutch doesnt really grab until 3/4 of the way out. I don't like it. Hopefully it will wear in a bit.... :s

NVH levels have dropped in my ears and ride quality has been greatly improved!

Plus it looks great :)

Still absolutely no regrets about getting another Patrol...
AnswerID: 72493

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