Nissan 3lt turbo DI 2003/2004

Submitted: Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 12:53
ThreadID: 55784 Views:3572 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Looking at purchasing a Nissan Patrol 3lt automatic DI 2003/2004.
It's mainly going to be used for towing a jayco caravan.
Ive heard the 2002/2004 nissan have a lot of problems. Are they common problems or is it just a case of 1 in 200 built.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:13

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 14:13
So long as your caravan and full payload fall well within the species, you will love you Patrol.

We have a 2002 auto (now for sale). The much maligned ones with the problems (still only probably a low percentage, were built pre October 2001).

Ours pulled our Bushtracker caravan with ease and comfort, but we decided to get the F250 as with the 2.2 t tare, just filling the water tanks within any luggage would bring us near to the legal limit.

Just wait for the 'Nissan Knockers' to tell you every 3 litre Patrol is going to explode!

We also have a Landcruiser, and the Patrol has proven more reliable, more comfortable, and roomier for my large husband.



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Follow Up By: Dave Thomson - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:48

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:48
Hi Motherhen,
truly mate if you picked up a sheet of paper and it caught fire and burnt you and someone came along and went to do the same thing would you stand by and watch or stop them doing it ? and thats why I'm duty bound to shout it from the rooftops that the ZD30 is a dud, NO ONE can deny its track record, its appalling, we lost THOUSANDS on that car and its legacy is still going on, so call me a knocker but I'll NEVER stop trying to tell as many as I can, you could even forgive most of the faults if you had the back up of Nissan, but they just washed thier hands and walked away, mate go ahead and by your Patrol, youv'e read the threads, we'll look forward to your complaints right here on Exploroz,
best wishes,
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 19:03

Friday, Mar 21, 2008 at 19:03
My parents had a 2000 model and they had a gearbox failure (5th gear) 180000ks, due to not being properly serviced and now the engine has appaered to of cracked it's head, hydraulic locking the motor.
Cost could be over $5k to half fix, others have had total engine failures and spend in excess of $10000 to fix, not fussed at the major dramas his 3.o has caused, he traded it in straight of the back of the towtruck, on, guess what? another 3.0!, this time new
Overall he's wrapped with the way the patrol towed the 2.5 ton caravan around the country, and is happy with every other aspect of the vehicle, so thanks to the mining boom in the west he has the funds to buy a new one, so thats what he did.
The old one was bought second hand (100000) with books, but had evidence of not being properly serviced, so, my BIG tip is to check for service history.
The ones that did fail, where BIG failures and gained the 3.0 a bad rap, heaps out there with big K's and no probs, but a few bad ones with $10000+ repair bills give owners a lot to be concerned.
Shane (pro Toyota)
AnswerID: 294025

Reply By: psproule - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 06:31

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 06:31
Some people seem to think that the failures of the ZD30 turbo-diesel are an overblown myth or pure fiction. But do some research with a big bunch of current owners over here:

Most of the failures (and they DO range up to at least 2005) stem from the MAF (Mass Airflow meter) becoming dirty and inaccurate, thus telling the ECU that there is less airflow, to which the ECU responds with "up the boost". Spikes of 26psi are not unusual. There should be fail-safes but there aren't. The D21 Navara ZD30's don't do it because they use a MAP sensor instead of a MAF.

The patrol forum guys (and it is aussie based BTW) have some very good info on how to prevent it happening, as well as a lot of background on what does happen when they have a meltdown.
AnswerID: 294078

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:59

Saturday, Mar 22, 2008 at 16:59
As predicted Maria - here they come! No facts quoted, no personal experience - just read about a few.

As you will have read if you have looked at other threads on the Patrols, we and many others have fitted gauges (as we will do with the F250) to monitor boost and exhaust temperatures. Regardless of the make of vehicle, it is easy to cut back acceleration to avoid stressing the motor when towing, especially with the readings in from of you. We also wanted to fit an auto gearbox temperature gauge, but the Nissan dealer didn't do this when booked in, because 'it has already got one - the light will come on if the temperature gets too high'. We of course wanted to be able to let it cool a bit before it gets too high. If you go for the gauges, insist on the whole three - you can get a trio pod for them. That way you can ensure longevity of the gearbox as well as the motor.


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Follow Up By: psproule - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 07:06

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 07:06
Motherhern, you are jumping to conclusions. My statement is backed up by more than "having read about a few", including extensive independent research on a dyno by diesel specialists over several vehicles investigating the problem. Take it as you will.

The problem is easily preventable so long as owners are willing to take a couple of precautions or make a few mods. EGT gauge, boost gauge, EGR mod (if you are not concerned re the legality) and ensure the MAF is clean and healthy will result in a motor that has a long and happy life.
FollowupID: 559992

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 14:51

Sunday, Mar 23, 2008 at 14:51

Your response, though negative and referring to a forum rather than personal experience, did explain a theory as to what may be the real problem, and give what precautions to take. I agree with the theory you have outlined as the most likely scenario, and the precautions to take (monitoring gauges and driving accordingly is sensible with any make of vehicle). Most reported engine failures have been in the series 1 (pre October 2001).



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