Alternative View from across the world

Submitted: Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 02:22
ThreadID: 19349 Views:2010 Replies:10 FollowUps:6
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I have been watching this debate for a long time now and I said I would take most the friend of a friends 3.0 Nissan patrols blew up with a pinch of salt. But I feel I need to write this, as a few things do not add up.

As I am not from Australia please correct me if I am wrong with the first point.

Point 1: If the 3.0 is so bad why is there nothing about it in the press, in the UK if a car was this bad it would be on watchdog (TV program) and it would be slated in the JD power survey. I am sure you have the equivalent to the JD power survey in Australia, it’s a survey done every year where owners respond to questions about their cars. This survey is taken seriously by the car industry. Out on interest almost every year Toyota/Lexus come first and the top 6 are dominated by the jap manufacturers, Nissan are usually about 6th place.

So why is this car not coming out bottom of every survey and the magazine filled with complaints!

2nd point:

In the UK the Nissan patrol 3.0 has an impeccable reliability reputation as a low tech unbreakable vehicle. I know we do not have as many patrols on the road or extreme conditions as Australia. But if the car was this bad we would have heard about it. Remember the 3.0 Nissan engine is by no means a hi-tech diesel, its a run of a mill diesel. In the UK all the first engines were changed before their reputation was tarnished. Since then the 3.0 patrol has turned out to be a very reliable 4x4. I cannot understand the different findings.

I also cannot understand this 4 cylinder vs 6 cylinder debate as all we really have in the UK is 4 cylinders. A well designed 4 cylinder will run as long as a 6,8, or 12 cylinder engine. The London taxi uses a 4 cylinder Nissan diesel engine and they clock up over 400,000 miles no bother. We have 4 cylinder 7.5 ton trucks which run forever in our work on very low maintenance.

I think the way things are going you guys will just have to get used to 4 cylinders and accept that a proper-designed 4 cylinder can last a very long time. We have been living with Hi-tech 4 cylinder engines for years and we expect 200,000 miles trouble free motoring from our cars, so it's not a cylinder issue.

My only explanation is because of the early failures the 3.0 drew attention to itself, and to make matters worse the dud engines are still running around, Nissan should have followed Europe and changed the early engines and saved their reputation. If you take out the early failures and just look at the newer engines I think you might find the same a Europe, good reliability with a few duff cars, just like any other brand. Because of the early failures the 3.0 is being scrutinised closely and if you look hard enough at any car you will find faults.

The way things are going with all the emissions and environment concerns you might just find you are slagging the future Ask yourself this, Just how long do you think Nissan can keep meeting the ever stringent Euro emissions with the old engine. I think you will find they will be put to rest soon and you can be certain that the next engine line up will have a few 4 cylinders in it.

That is the only reason I can give to explain the different opinions between the two continents. Over here the 3.0 Td in the patrol is classed as an old tech diesel which will go forever and it is yet to prove otherwise.

I might be a bit biased 3.0 S model diesel 20,000 miles and runs like a dream.

Can anyone else explain the difference?
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Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 08:15

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 08:15

I will try to explain my ideas on the 3lt Nissan.

The 3lt in Australia is putting out about as much power as the 4.2 turbo diesel. The 3lt is turbo and intercooled the 4.2 is only turbo. The vehicle is the same size and about the same weight.
The 30lt has a computer on board that is set to get the maximum out of the motor, so it is very stressed,(IMO). The 4.2 motor is lazy, just like the 4.2 Toyota motor,(IMO).

Our polution laws over hear are not as strick as in the rest of the world so the high tech motor is not required here as yet. I think that the 3lt was built to meet overseas polution laws and then put into the Nissan here.

The distance that we travelle over here is also greater, when I finish here I will travelle to Queensland, only 1000klm, about 600miles, away and I will be there to-night. It is not unusual for us to travelle 1000klm a day for 4 days, just to get to the start of a trip, and in heat into the 30c if not higher. Crossing the Simpson Desert the day time temp can get to 35c in the day to below 0c at night. I don't think that a high tec motor would last long in extreams like this.
Fuel prices are low in Australia,90 cents per litre for petrol and 109 cents per litre for diesel, (Sydney prices yesterday).

Word of mouth seems to be the way that reports of things going wrong with the vehicle industry and forums tike this one. We have motoring bodies in each state but I think that the advertising dollar has a lot more to say.

In Australia we tend to go to think that there is no substitute for cubic inches.

AnswerID: 92940

Reply By: Well 55 - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 08:58

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 08:58
I've gotta admit the deisel engines in Europe are far better than what we get here.
When I was in UK last year I had a Falcon Estate (wagon) which was a 4 cyl turbo deisel, it went like the clappers and returned over 1000k to the tank.

80 - 90% of the new cars on the road over there are deisel, and they would out preform most petrol vehicles here, so is it only thr fuel or do they get a better motor and we get whats left.

I think I could count on one hand the number of L/C in UK and Ireland you would see in one day, not many more patrols, but every other one was either a Jeep, Disco, RR or Freelander in that order. But lets face it all the roads are sealed you are flat out finding a dirt track anywhere, and there is not to many places the average driver would get to play with the little stick anyway.
AnswerID: 92948

Reply By: scottcamp - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:27

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:27

I fully understand what you mean by comparing the 3.0 to the larger 6 cylinder engines. But the answer is in your own mail, these engines are old and are well behind in technology and not just electronics. A 3.0 TD with 160 Bhp is what we would class as a lazy lump, most 3.0 TD produce in excess of 200 Bhp, in fact a lot of 1.6 Litre cars produce more power than the patrol. Also remember the ZD30 is used in many different cars over here and again no reported problems.

But as you say it’s a big car and it does get slatted in the 4x4 mags here as well for being too underpowered. But a lot of the mags here have sister company’s all over Europe and we get news from all over Europe. Remember Europe has got all the extremes you mention maybe not all in the same country but extremes none the less. It is also a very popular for people in Europe to take cars over to North Africa to the northern Sahara and there are many reports of patrols going over and coping fine. But the whole point of this is, we have not heard of any wide scale problems with the 3.0 Patrol and as I say the magazines we get include reports from all over Europe.

So why the difference, it’s the same engine!

So why no LC 100 over here, simple too overpriced and Toyota refuse to bring out a lower spec model. Crazy as they are never going to compete against the new Range Rover so why not aim at a different market. So simply put, it is totally out classed by its opposition and overpriced. The patrol is getting more popular since the S spec version was released I now see about 2 a day now as opposed to 2 a year.

AnswerID: 92980

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 20:59

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 20:59
Hi Scott,

I can understand your support of "high Tech" motors, but to be honest, you have no idea what isolation is all about - living in your part of the world.

In th eU.K. and Europre there is virtually a gas station every couple of K.M, and a high tech mechanical workshop lurking somewhwere nearby.

Apart from the areas surrounding our major cities that is not the case here.

There are places in Australia where it is possible to drive for days and not see another person - where the nearest fuel is 750 - 1,000m k.m away, and the nearest mechanic - God only knows where.

Therefore - "low tech" is the go in the Australian Outback.

The vehicle you drive needs to be able to be fixed up by the amateur mechanic on the cattle station who is helping you, or the bloke in the bush garage who creates inventive mechanical masterpieces from a few nuts, bolts and some wire.

All the smart high tech stuff may be great in Europe/U.K/ and the U.s., but this country breaks weak vehicles, and breaks them badly.

Like I said - Low Tech is the Go



Thats Australian bush motoring
FollowupID: 352117

Follow Up By: scottcamp - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:48

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:48
Hi Dennis,

I fully understand what you are saying and can appreciate the vast distances you cover. One guy on a previous post said he drove 600 Miles in a day, thats my summer holidays.

But, theres always a but, in the UK when cars with Fuel injection came out there was uproar from the small garages that they would be impossible to fix. But as time went on the diagnostic equipment got better, cheaper and smaller. To such an extent that for a medium tech lump like the patrol i can buy a diagnostic kit out of my DIY store that will tell me where the electronic fault is. I think you will get what i am saying, technology will march on but so does the equipment to diagnose it. I do agree that some of the cars today are way OTT for even the UK but the patrol is a simple big lump and that is how i like it. We are planning a trip to North Africa soon and all i will do is pack some electronic spares next to my bearings etc, packing a spare ECU is second nature now just the same as packing a set of points was 20 years ago. You just adapt to new technology, in some ways the new cars are easier to repair if you have the right equipment to diagnose the fault. There is no black magic with electronics just the same old methodical approach different tools, just carry spare electronics. But yes you can go too far I do agree but the 3.0 Patrol is by no means Hi-Tech just different
FollowupID: 352121

Follow Up By: Old Soldier - Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 08:46

Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 08:46
G'day ScottCamp,

I take some of your points, and its wise to pack spares for that trip to the back of beyond.

However the majority of 4X4 here are still "work horses" and I cannot envisage the day when the bloke working the property fences, or backing up a mob of cattle being moved 2,000k.m to find water, or even working on the gas and oil rigs will be carrying diagnostic electronic equipment on his rig.

He's out there doing a job, and all the spare spotws in his rig are taken up with provisions, work tools and that ever vital in Oz - water.

And even if he did carry the gear and diagnose an electronic fault - what cn he do about it in the middle of nowhere.

With lo tech gear, anyone with half a brain can sort out basic faults.

I was amused at your comment on you 600 miles annual holiday.

My wife and I were over that way back in the seventies and hired a Bedford Camper from a firm in Rotherham.

We knocked up almost 7,000 miles in 6 weeks wandering around the U.K. and Europe.

Tha bloke almost had an apopleptic fit when we returned the vehicle and he saw the mileage. :) :) :)


FollowupID: 352145

Reply By: scottcamp - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:51

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:51
Just one point I never made was, when I say other vehicles I do not only mean in Nissan 4x4. In Europe the ZD 30 is put into lots of commercial vehicles mainly Renault vans and small trucks. Again absolutely no major problems, and Renault seem very happy with the Nissan Diesel. That is a compliment as Renault makes some of the finest diesel engines in the world.

No one can say a commercial vehicle get driven with care most of them fly past you on the motorway at 90 Mph plus. Foot to the floor from cold most them, stop start stop start and on the road almost 24 hours a day some of them. And once again nothing but praise for this engine in the commercial circles.

So what is the difference?
AnswerID: 92991

Follow Up By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 00:14

Friday, Jan 21, 2005 at 00:14
I was under the impression that The ZD30 was a Renault diesel that Nissan borrowed, hence its prevalence over in Europe and its lack of use by anything other than the Patrol/Navara in Japan, Australia, and elsewhere. Not even used in other Nissan commercial products.
FollowupID: 353180

Reply By: DARREN - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 13:40

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 13:40
Hi Scottcamp,

Our fuel over here is pretty low standard and is said to significantly contribute to carbon build up in oil, hence most diesels have oil changes at 5000km instead of 10. That is, we change our oil due to the amount of accumulated crap in it rather than becuase the oil is old and starting to break down (not sure about oil change frequency on your side of the world).
Apparently legislated fuel standards here are changing in the near future. I am no expert on the topic but you might like to research this also I know there have been posts on it in the past.
AnswerID: 93038

Follow Up By: 80scruiser - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:32

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:32
I agree 100 percent.
Our fuel over here is dirty compared to Europe and would have to be the main contributor to the failures. Carbon build up can also cause hotspots hence burning holes in pistons as our workshop has had. These engines need Europe's clean fuel standards and maybe they would be as reliable. A simple increase in sump capacity has only slowed the failure rate down IMO.
FollowupID: 352120

Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:10

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 14:10

It might also be that the small number of problems have been blown out of proportion as well.
AnswerID: 93046

Follow Up By: Flash - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 08:22

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 08:22
You just hit the nail on the head!
Australians are the world champion knockers!- always have been, probably always will be.
FollowupID: 352326

Reply By: Member - Rob J (WA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 19:15

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 19:15
The reason you hear about the problems about Nissans in paticular the 3 litre is all the Tojo owners say that Nissan Patrols are the poor mans Land Cruiser.
They knock whenever they get a chance because deep down they know they all payed for the name and these days not the reliability.
In Australia there always has been a Toyota vs Nissan mentality, a bit like Fords are better than Holdens.
AnswerID: 93116

Reply By: Baldrick - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:36

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:36
"In the UK all the first engines were changed before their reputation was tarnished."

In Australia they weren't.
AnswerID: 93136

Reply By: sean - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 23:42

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 23:42

The 3 litre may in fact now be more reliable than the 4.2 but who knows. People compare the early 3 litres with the early 4.2's. With the 2004 models and later both have EGR and the 4.2 is prone to overheating if pushed hard so it in fact might be the more stressed engine under load.

Only time will tell.


AnswerID: 93161

Reply By: Skinnydog - Thursday, Jan 20, 2005 at 23:46

Thursday, Jan 20, 2005 at 23:46
Technology is a convenient way to make something complicated. There used to be a few manufacturers that actually designed engines to last & I,m not talking a mere 400 000km. It,s funny how they let you think 400k is heaps. They are in the biz of selling after all & they prefer you to trade well before 400k clicks over. Being from Pt Hedland WA, I know of a couple that have given up the ghost around here which is understandable considering it does get to around 49C on the coast here & 55C inland, our fuel can be crap, people tend to go a bit over the top when loading up for a trip. I think there would be more if more were taken out of town, as there are plenty who think that now we,re in the Pilbara we neeeeed a 4wd to go to Broome or the shops. I would be suprised to hear of many dieing over your way as conditions are more conducive. Skinnydog
AnswerID: 94185

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