Motivation behind ZD30 Survey

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 00:02
ThreadID: 29861 Views:2909 Replies:11 FollowUps:16
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Hi all,
Someone asked me on another forum what Nissan had done to me as i had started this survey. Please see my answer below, as i do not want anyone to think i am doing this for some sort of revenge. The opposite is true, if a product deserves to be bagged then lets bag it, but this unsubstantiated bagging has to stop lets get the facts. I an not saying there is no problem but lets base it on fact and not tales, i am trying to stay neutral.

Please see my reply below

Hi Dicki,

The complete opposite in fact, I have had two patrols and both have been perfect. I am just sick to death of all the unsubstantiated bagging the patrol gets. Do not get me wrong if a product is faulty then I will be the first to bag it. But this constant bagging of the ZD30 engine is now getting out of order, I think we need to find out first hand just what the problem is. As far as I can see the problem is with the early 2000/2001 models and I am working on the cause(s) of these failures. Even from the small amount of data received a few pointers are emerging. I believe that it is not one single factor but a combination of a few items and so far the survey is backing this up, but it is too early to tell. As for the newer models failing, then as far as I can see this is always a mate of a mate knows someone whose 2004 patrol blew up. That is why I am asking the question, I want to know how the majority of patrols are doing and end this unsubstantiated bagging.

So please just keep sending in the data.
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Reply By: crfan - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 00:18

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 00:18
Hi scottcamp it would help if you put in the post number of the survey you are doing.
But as far as the Nisan four cylinder diesel problems. they are very well covered just google it and there will plenty of info.
AnswerID: 149522

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 00:27

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 00:27
Unsubstantiated ??????????????
what would you call substantiated ?
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Follow Up By: scottcamp - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:16

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:16
Hi Truckster,
First hand proof of any one who owns a 2003 model or newer with a confirmed piston failure. We all agree the early models had problems but we need to access if the new model also has these problems. I am not saying it does not, maybe it just has not reached that mileage yet. But until we see firm proof of a new failure we should stop bagging the new engine until proven otherwise.
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Follow Up By: scottcamp - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:34

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:34
Hi Truckster,
Did you have a model which failed? I seem to remember your name from previous posts. If so please add it to the survey. As i said before already 2 items are standing out but we need more information. But i need more information on the failed examples as well as the good ones. I think the survey is the only way to get to the bottom of this as we are going round in circles for the past 3 years. No one is any further forward, so what have we got to lose.
FollowupID: 402793

Follow Up By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:40

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:40
Truckster and a modern car????? You've got to be kidding....;-)
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Follow Up By: Turbo Diesel - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:03

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:03
Scottcamp why not have a chat to some good diesel mechanics around the country and see if you get any info on the zd30 breakdown that they have worked on. I think Denco diesel advertise on this site. Furthermore write to 4x4 mags and see what response you get. But at the end of the day with all due respect what do you hope to achieve? A survey that says ??% of nissan zd30 motors have failed, some are ok?? I guess my point is that the old 80 series cruiser gearboxs where not the strongest box in the world some had problems with 5th gear others did not. Therefore Nissan deservedly got the reputation for a stronger gearbox, in this case nissan have a reputation for a weak zd30 3.0lt motor. Personally i would be researching the new CRD 2.5l, see what the story with that motor is, lets face it there won't be to many 3.0l motors being sold now.

FollowupID: 402848

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:09

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:09
Hate to blow your bubble, but theres been 3 reports of late model GU 3.0's bleep ting themselves just on this forum alone. One was someone following someone (cant remember who it was now)..

New car?
What for, they are all plastic and ugly as a hat full of bleep s!
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Follow Up By: kesh - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 07:37

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 07:37
Truckster, that was me following one up the Devils Pinch north of Armidale nsw. Pulling a horsefloat the black smoke was incredible. Would not go above about 15kph, rattling very badly was obviously terminal. He was heading north and insisted in keeping going. I can only imagine the result.
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Reply By: Muzzgit (WA) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:48

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:48
Scottcamp, you will find many turkeys on this forum who take great delight in kicking Nissan owners, as well as Nissan owners who take great delight in kicking 3.0 patrol owners.

Many of these people wouldn't have a clue about the real cause of these angine failures and are simply rumour spreaders.

There is a big myth that the "oil jets that squirt oil up around the engine block got broken off during assembly" and is some of the funniest rubbish I've heard. How this causes holes in piston 3 or 4 has me buggered.

Of course these same people are our bestest buddy when it comes time to defend the cause against the anti 4WD hysteria that is flying around.

Anyway, I have responded to your survey. Good luck with it and well done for making an effort.



AnswerID: 149535

Follow Up By: Member - Browny (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 22:14

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 22:14

So it's true there are 3.0lts with holes in 3rd & 4th piston!

as long as it's not those false rumours about oil jets being broken....:-)

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Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:50

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:50
Don't know anything about your survey, but we have a 1/2002 model, has got to 100,000 OK. We are heading off across the Nullabor again (it's 3rd trip) and on to Tasmania pulling a heavy caravan - that should really tax the motor. I too have heard "2nd hand" reports of the later models blowing up, but not 1st hand. My husband asks how many of the ones that have blown (any model) have been used for towing or not - does this increase the risk?

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AnswerID: 149536

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 02:04

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 02:04
Sorry - i should have read the earlier posts first - so many the original was on the second page. Good stuff reading through the positive posts, although many were the newer ones. Ours has just passed it's pre-holiday health check with the Mechanic. Mass air sensor OK, boost gauge at around 15. I will report back on the forum EGC temps and boost gauge readings towing after our Tassie trip.

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Follow Up By: scottcamp - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 02:11

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 02:11
Hi Motherhen,
Could you please put the details on the survey as i have to try and keep all the results together.

All i am trying to do here is cut out the 2nd hand reports and find out the true extent of this issue.

As for the towing issue, once we get enough information on the blown motors we can start to ask more questions. But as it stands First hand blown motors are pretty thin on the ground. Maybe all the original owners have moved on and eventually the early engines are getting replaced.

Wish you luck on your trip.
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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 07:43

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 07:43
so where is the survey?
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Reply By: Wizard1 - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:24

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:24
Unsubstantiated, well my mate would probably disagree when his ZD30 went pear shaped and dropped number 1 cylinder late last year 10 km out of Yalata, SA after noticing a lot of white smoke coming out of his engine bay when trying to drive over a sand dune. The $2500 odd to fix it would have been a real reality check. Mind you Nissan agreed to cover 75% of the rebuild cost despite being out of warranty, I wonder why?

I have also read other posts about these egines developing a similar problem. If it were a one off then you would be correct in your post, but I think you are a little bias for no reason.

I don't think it has anything to do with ill informed opinion, the GUII 3.0 TD is susceptible to dropping cyliners, fact. It is the engine not the whole vehicle that was faulty. I guess you get that when you don't retro fit the engine with the larger sump as part of a recall but prefer to risk manage when the engines blow up! Much better than admitting you stuffed up the engineering design of the ZD30, isn't it.

Nissan have improved the new engine. I currently have a 95 series Prado TD, after several trips in my mates old and now new Patrol in the NT, I think they are quite a good vehicle, but would not go near the GUII 3.0 TD. When my current lease expires I may get a Patrol.

Chill is only a vehicle at the end of the day
AnswerID: 149551

Follow Up By: P.G. (Tas) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:40

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 08:40
Hey Wiz, I think you miss the point here. What we are looking for is your mate to post his problem on here, although I'm sure he appreciates you doing it for him.

We all know the GU II has had it share of engine problems, but I think what is required here, is information about the GU III or IV going pear shaped. Maybe Nissan has fixed the problem, maybe they haven't and as far as I can see, that's what we are looking for.

If there is a case against the GU III and/or GU IV then ALL 3.0TDi owner will have a much better case with Nissan getting them repaired or replaced after the standard warrantee has expired.

Keep up the good work scottcamp!



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Follow Up By: scottcamp - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:16

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:16
Hi Wizard1,

I get what you are saying, but what we are doing here is to try and sort out why or even if the newer models have stopped failing. As i said in another post i think i have enough info to make a good stab at the problem tomorrow.

But what does surprise me is you last comment, especially coming from someone from Oz. I am planning to take my family over to Africa this time with me. We need to cross vast sections of the Sahara, on those routes the car is not just a car, if it breaks down its our lifeline. I want to know that i can trust this car, i do not want any doubt. I am 100% certain that all the early patrols had problems and some ended in complete failure, but I will explain more about my theory tomorrow.
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Reply By: fourstall2000 - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:23

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:23
As one owner who did have a 2000 model engine failure,and it replaced by Nissan,
I can tell you the problem does exist and also that you have no hope of getting a honest answer from Nissan.
I went to the Tribunal here in Victoria in order to force Nissan to explain the reason for the failure.
They just kept on saying it was because of a low sump level that was fixed by a recall.
Even the Tribunal was frustrated with the lack of real response from Nissan.
The only thing I got out of Nissan was that the replacement motors were manufactured the same year as when replaced ( in my case 2003).
The warranty on the replacement motors is only 12 months which is disgusting,my turbo failed at 13 months and they tried to charge me for the replacement,fortunately I had written to Nissan asking for assurance that the new motor would last and they wrote back saying they would stand by the engine.
Referring to this they changed there tune and charged me labour only.
I must say at this point Nissan did look after me well through this trauma,but so they should when a know fault existed and they continued to sell the product.
I believe now with the vehicles reaching the 5 year old period they will wind back the replacement program,so hope your 2000 model blows soon as $16,000 will be required if you have to pay.
My advice as previously posted is to write to Nissan and voice your concerns if you still have an original engine.
Finally where is this survey to be located as I watch with interest.
AnswerID: 149567

Follow Up By: scottcamp - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:58

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 09:58
Hi Fourstall2ooo,
I am certain that there was a problem, but it was Nissans response to the problem that never added up. But if my theory is correct, which i shall post tomorrow then there was nothing they could have done to fix the problem. They could help it but not fix it, i need to get off the computer now or i will get divorced.

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Reply By: kesh - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:09

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 10:09
Scottcamp. Whilst your survey will attract a lot of attention, in the end it is only going to tell you 4 basic bits of information.
1/ The year/month of build
2/ The km. at which the event occurred
3/ The fact that it was an engine destruction requiring complete replacement.
4/ That an unknown number of these engines failed.

The actual cause of the problem will remain unknown.

The furphies commenced when Nissan recalls vehicles to have the dipstick "shortened" ie a larger quantity of oil. What exactly can this possibly achieve? To my best understanding a dipstick has two marks, upper and lower. To operate anywhere between is safe (or should be) The oil is picked up from the bottom of the sump, so if on an incline the oil pickup becomes exposed oil pressure will be lost and seizure of the crankshaft bearings will rapidly occurr. This has obviously not been the problem. If Nissan reckons more oil will stay cooler thus protecting the engine, well theres a furphy for starters. If the oil is too hot then a better oil cooling arrangement is required.

The next item of comment seemed to be the oil jets directed at the piston underside. These are obviously to assist in piston cooling as well as lubrication, in fact the practice is common amongst all diesel engines. To contemplate they can be damaged by the rotation of the crankshaft, fall off, become blocked, well theres another furphy.
These engines arn't seizing, the pistons are still going up and down so lubrication must be adequate. And if lubrication is inadequate, piston rings and lands will break, but at the edge of the piston, not the central meltdowns that have occurred.

My prediction is that if any conclusion is ever reached, it will be that over fuelling coupled with over boosting from the turbo will be the real culprit.
The proper function of a turbo system is not for dramatic power increase but torque. As the turbo comes on boost it sends a signal to the injection pump for more fuel which increases boost which signals more fuel and so on. This may be at a constant rpm (say 2500) pulling loaded up hill. The limitation here is either that the maximum injection of fuel output is reached or the turbo boost is limited by a bypass valve or electronic control, both reacting to each other.
When boost and fuel are not controlled, EGT's become so high that piston meltdown, valves and turbo destruction is inevitable even with the best lubrication and cooling possible.

These particular engines are fully electronically controlled, and in the event where the system goes haywire the driver may not be aware of anything amiss until the bang occurrs. There does not seem to have been any reports of these vehicles going into a "limp home" mode, which may have been a safety factor if installed in the electronics. I suspect that the air mass sensor often mentioned will be found to control the EGR valve system and have no part to play in the problem.

What I believe will never be heard is a full and frank explanation from Nissan as to the cause of this happening in the first instance, together with the total number of units so far affected, what actual changes to the engine and controls were made and what the prognosis is for the future.

AnswerID: 149581

Follow Up By: muzzimbidgie - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 12:36

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 12:36
Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou

This is what this forum has been waiting for!
Some one who has at least some knowledge of the actual operating system and the real problem at hand.

Certain contributors to this site should hang there head in shame after speading non-sensical crap, as though they know what they are talking about.


FollowupID: 402870

Follow Up By: Leroy - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 15:11

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 15:11
there's a few 'maybes' and 'I suspects' but that's not telling you what is really happening!!

FollowupID: 402896

Reply By: D-Jack - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 16:47

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 16:47
Scottcamp, just abit of feedback on the survey, maybe oil type/grade/viscosity may have been relevant too???
AnswerID: 149638

Reply By: Eddy - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:38

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 19:38
Scott, Mate.

I bet you think you are doing all this for all the right reasons.

All I know is that you are not doing current Nissan 3L turtbo diesel owners any favours at all in the second hand market.

You are just trawling over old ground.

If you need a security blanket before you cross the Sahara Desert with your family,
Either join the RAC the AA or trade it in on a Toyota with a 1hz motor, or get a 4.2L Nissan.
AnswerID: 149669

Follow Up By: Member - Trevor R (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 23:25

Thursday, Jan 19, 2006 at 23:25

I sure as eggs wouldn't take my Nissan 4.2T anywhere near the Sahara. Mine runs hot here in OZ on the blacktop, admittidly it always gets me home..... just slowly sometimes.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 01:15

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 01:15
theres a second hand market for these dungers?
FollowupID: 403496

Reply By: Member - Donald_L - Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 08:56

Thursday, Jan 26, 2006 at 08:56
I am very interested in the outcome as we own a 2004 3.0 TD Auto pulling a van,
From my experience with Industrial & Marine Diesels pistons fail when subjected to corrosion & excessive heat or a metalurgical defect in the piston casting itself.
There should be less corrosion with the new Sulphur Lowered Diesel Fuels. (not cocktails) Heat from lack of adequate clean lubrication or overloading engine (high revs) or excessive turbo boost doesn't help either. Regular servicing of engine (including Eng oil & filter every 5000Km) is essential & keeping that air filter in good nick also.
Ours goes like a rocket & pulls the 22ft van OK.
I am a former Rotating Equipment Engineer & monitor everything.
good Luck
AnswerID: 151011

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