A 2003 GU failure !!!

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:03
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Yep, a 2003 GU 3.0TD failure, but NO its not the engine - thats going strong!!!

I had the dual mass flywheel let go at 105,000kms. I can testify to the fact the clutch has never been abused, but it has done plenty of towing and offroading.

Apparently its uncommonly common for the gel between the two halves of the flywheel to leak out. The symptoms were a really bad vibration (like a broken engine mount - what I thought it was) that only occurred when I started the engine that totally disappeared when I blipped the throttle. You could drive the vehicle with no apparent problems and I did so for ~150kms.

Funny thing was, there was absolutely no warning that it was about to happen and even after the event, the clutch itself worked perfectly and the vibration on start-up was the only symptom. Lucky it didn't happen the previous fortnight when I was down South for the long weekend at the Yeagerup dunes.

I decided to put back an original dual mass flywheel and not a solid one - don't know if I will live to regret that decision. Anyway, I get the vehicle back tomorrow after handing over nearly $3k :(

Cheers

Captain
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Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:33

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:33
Holy bleep . 3k for a car with 105,000kms???? I would want someones blood for that.
AnswerID: 287344

Follow Up By: Member - jjt98 (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 07:53

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 07:53
I've been told that car manufacturers make some parts on the vehicle that only last x km so as to create themselves 'Residual Income'. Most companies build a 'fault free' model every 5 or so years & market that one to keep a good name.
Cheers from a happy Disco owner
Jason
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:35

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:35
My fathers 2000 did the same thing 4 years ago, The mechanic told him this was the first one he had seen on a 3.0, apparently the 2.8 had a habit of chuckin' em
AnswerID: 287345

Follow Up By: stefan P (Penrith NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:42

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:42
The service records for my 2.8 GU shows the clutch and fly wheel as being replaced at 89,000 KMS!!!! at a cost of $2800.....I bought the car with 110000 KMS, now has 165000 KMS.....Hope history doesn't repeat its self

Cheers Stefan
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:50

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 21:50
i know a few grenades that were told they should be happy with under 70,000klms out of a clutch. It was used towing, but not harshly driven.

To me, thats disgraceful.

But seems to be the way of the future in all cars.
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Reply By: MickeyV - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:41

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:41
I had the same thing happen to my 2003 GU in Jan last year, with only 40K on the clock, and 2 weeks out of warranty! This patrol had only towed the odd trailer to the dump, and has had a couple of beach trips. That's it.

It started out with a shudder at low speed when depressing the clutch. I took it in to Nissan and the workshop manager said they had no idea what would be causing it. They wanted $1000 to pull the gearbox out and diagnose the problem, to which I said no way. After a few letters and phone calls, one of the guys in the workshop office calls to tell me they have agreed to cover the cost to pull the gearbox out to have a look and see what the problem was, and then discuss options. As a side note, always get this kind of thing in writing - I know I will from now on.

They discovered a crack in the dual mass flywheel. I was given the option of a new flywheel, at about $3K, or weld the flywheel to effectively make it a solid one, at a cost of $1000. I argued pretty heavily that this should be replaced under warranty, given the low k's, being 2 weeks out of warranty, and the fact that they were the only workshop to ever touch the car. Some state manager became involved and declared that the problem is "wear and tear" and not covered by warranty.

I chose the weld option, being assured that it would be as strong as new (hahaha) and would not fail. On picking up the car they tried to then slug me with the $1000 labour charge as well, with the workshop manager saying the guy who called me to say they would pay for the labour didn't have authorisation to do that. Pretty much told them to f*&* off at that stage. In the end they relented and I was $850 out of pocket.
AnswerID: 287356

Follow Up By: MickeyV - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:52

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 22:52
That was $850 out of pocket for the entire repair, remove and refit - just through I'd clarify that. Could have been a lot worse.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:32

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:32
Hi Mickey,

Nissan warranty is hardly worth the paper its witten on. You would think that in your case with a vehicle with such low kays that Nissan Australia would look after you with at least some goodwill, but no they would rather scr#w you and leave you with a welded flywheel.

Funny how they advertise in 4WD magazines that the dual mass flywheels are required by design, yet a Nissan dealer welds your up!!!

I am very disappointed with Nissan Australia and how it looks after its customers. I was a previous Toyota owner and one would have thought Nissan would try and look afterwhat customers it has. I am overdue to replace my Nissan with a new vehcile and its mighty unlikely Nissan will ever see any of my money again.

The only reasons I am not chasing Nissan up for an out of warranty claim is a) I doubt Nissan would come to the party and b)my vehicle is on a fully maintained novated lease so I am lucky enough that it doesn't come out of my pocket.

Cheers

Captain
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FollowupID: 552592

Follow Up By: Pnut (cns) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:33

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:33
It would be interesting to see how lease companys have faired with 3.0 nissan problems. Would they permit leases longer than 3 years on these now?
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Follow Up By: Shane (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 15:29

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 15:29
Captain,

Don't wish to sound hypocritical, but it look's like Nissan has lost a staunch supporter of it's product. Can remember all the times you have stuck up for the 3Ltr, but have fineally seen the light. Don't wish to rub it in, but have just turned over 255,000k's on my 60 Series T/D , & would you believe, still on the origonal clutch. Shame they still don't make the Nissan 4.2, but after looking at the new 200 series, I don't think your going to be all that impressed with it also.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 15:44

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 15:44
Hi Shane,

I still reckon the Nissan product is great and still support the 3.0TD, its Nissan Australia (the Importer) I have my beef with.

The later models (>2004) reverted to a different flywheel setup so obviously they recognised the issue. But once again Nissan Australia don't support their existing customers. I mean, 105,000kms out of a flywheel - that should last the life of a vehicle. Might still look at statutory warranty and see what I can do.

My 80 series clutch was replaced at 250,000km and still had plenty of life left, but was done prior to a big trip as preventative maintenance. Note that the Nissan clutch itself was fine, but it was the flywheel (dual mass) that let go. Otherwise I see no reason why it wouldn't last the same sort of distance.

Biggest issue I now over the next few months is what new vehicle do I get. Currently down to Prado D4D, Hummer V8 petrol (to be released in ~May) or another GU 3.0TD with Renault V6 diesel (to be released "shortly"). Or stick with what I have got... hmm... decisions, decisions!!!--- Now if toyota only still made the TD4.2 80 series auto, that I would have in a flash!!!


Cheers

Captain


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Follow Up By: Shane (QLD) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 16:09

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 16:09
Captain,

Yes the Prado's arn't too bad but narrow compared to Cruiser, the Hummer I think is a bit claustaphobic & rides like a billycart onroad, but another Renault motor, well I think you might be stretching your luck ! I think you got rid of your best vehicle as you stated.
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FollowupID: 552702

Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:21

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:21
dual mass flywheel,, dont you love technology??? Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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AnswerID: 287367

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:32

Wednesday, Feb 13, 2008 at 23:32
My Gu is near 5 years old and i want a new one but Nissan dont have a decent replacement!!!!! Why would i get a new 3L when my ex wifes 99 GU 4.2 td (my old vehicle) has 380,000 ks on it and the only thing that died on it was the housings on the auto front hubs $900 total and my 2003 GU 4.2 tdi at 220,000ks on it and is all original except for normal servicing, both have had plenty of off-road and towing... you just wouldn't!!!! Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Follow Up By: madcow - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 07:58

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 07:58
Did you get the recall letter Michael? for the egr pipe? Mine's an 10/03 4.2tdi
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Reply By: Ron173 - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:56

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 09:56
I know someone the same thing happened to.

Patrol was not old, and in warranty, and they told him his mrs had abused it, which wasnt true, and wouldnt do on warranty.

I'm a Nissan man, and am firmly keeping my older Navara, all the new ones from all the manufacturers seem to have issues!

Its the old saying,

they dont make em like they used to do.

Ron
AnswerID: 287412

Reply By: TerraFirma - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 10:18

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 10:18
Perhaps due to muddy water or some crap getting up in the clutch area..?
AnswerID: 287417

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 12:24

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 12:24
Hi TerraFirma,

Nah, the clutch itself was otherwise fine - it was the gel layer between the two steel sections of the dual mass flywheel that failed.

And once that gel (oil) was thoroughout the bellhousing it coated the clutch itself thus I replaced it. Not worth leaving the old clutch plate in when a lot of the cost is labour getting the gearbox in/out. Also did the rear main seal for good measure - not worth skimping on maintenance IMHO.

Cheers

Captain
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Reply By: Leroy - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 12:17

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 12:17
BIL's has the same symtoms as yours and it's what we decided the problem was as well. But what is odd is that there is a yellow substance oozing out of the bottom of the bell housing. I gather this is the gel?

Leroy
AnswerID: 287436

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 13:05

Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 at 13:05
Yep, thats what it will be!!!

Cheers

Captain
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