ZD30 - It had to happen to me

Submitted: Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:19
ThreadID: 66229 Views:15205 Replies:15 FollowUps:28
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Hi everyone,

Let me share a tale of despair.

I have a GUIII 2004 Patrol with the magic ZD30. This vehicle is treated better than myself and has had a nice relaxing 80,000km on the clock. Over x-mas my father, who is a former owner of a GUII looked under the bonnet and noticed that the coolant level was low (not in the overflow). He is always paranoid after his GU head cracked at 120,000 (but he towed a big van a lot). I was surprised but remembered that it had just had a major service at 80,000 and that the system was flushed. No problems, I will just top her up......................... Well, the coolant level has continued to drop. After taking today off and spending around 4 hours at NATRAD going over every possible reason and pressure test (I had already isolated the heater as part of my fault finding) why it would be leaking, we were left with my worse fear of the head being cracked. Yeap, that is it, i knew in my heart a while back it would be the problem but it sucks to think that the factory start battery actually outlasted the engine..................This is when all those evil Toyota people laugh, I know my family is!!!

Anyway, I still love the beast and wouldn’t swap it for quids (because I have spent way too much money getting it all geared up for touring). Out of the 80.000km, only 10,000 would have been on dirt (CSR, GRR, GCR and top end of QLD and NT). What mods should I do to try and prevent the old ZD30 go haywire next time (beside replacing the bloody thing)??? Remembering I don’t know why it went bad this time.

Sympathy can also be expressed
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:24

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:24
Dave, the cause of the problem may not have been low on water, it may have been low on water because the head cracked. Michael.
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:27

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:27
Yeah,

I just don't know why the head cracked in the first place. It has never been overheated and I have left the engine mods alone as the ZD30 doen't have a great rep anyway. I will bedoing some things when I get the head changed, but is all a matter of money. I wish I had the cash to get a 4.2 when I bought the Patrol. Want to swap (hahahahahahaha)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:19

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:19
Dave, my current 2003 4.2 Tdi has 270,000 ks on it and it just keeps going. My old 1999 model 4.2td my wife has, (along with most of everythink else i owned), it has about 380,000ks and just had a new clutch and nothing has been touched on the vehicle, nothing. since new, same water pump, alternator, starter motor. they really are that good, which leads me to ask how Nissan can make such a crap engine and then not take any responsibility for most of the failures... Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

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Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:09

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:09
I am pretty sure it is not a Nissan engine but Renault. Mack trucks have never been the same either since they have had renault motors
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Gramps - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:25

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:25
Bugga !!! Start looking for a 4.2TD motor etc

AnswerID: 350646

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:16

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 15:16
Im tryin to get past "Magic"...
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:34

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 16:34
LOL now Truckie, poor Dave has had a bit of misfortune and we should not kick him while he's down :)))

The 'magic' about the ZD30 motor is that Nissan are still allowed to fit them to vehicles and accept huge sums of money for what ends up being very short term rental.

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Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 21:02

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 21:02
Hi guys,

Yeap I used the word magic. I used that much salt with that word it should look like Fraser Island. It also sounds so much better than "unreliable buck of cheap sh*t." Oh well, I have got nothing............. Please don't laught to hard at my woes, if you can ;)

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 21:46

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 21:46
Dave,

We wish you the best.



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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 08:58

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 08:58
Not kicking anyone really while they are down.. It does confuse even more than the female mind confuses me, why people take the risk with the history of this engine. its a very very very expensive risk.. if one grenaded in miiddle of nowhere on a 50 degree day, think what may happen to a family stuck.

More baffled that these chitheaps are still selling! I know their resale value is on par with the jellybean, but.... not everything that is cheap is good. Still selling with the same garbage in them. And dealers STILL today sayin "never heard of any problems"... at least my local dealer is honest now, the service manager and I laugh regularly about it, he calls them grenades too!

Then the great response from the mothership when they die.. happy to hand over the owners $14,000 bill...

Said it before say it again, its fawkin disgraceful that they have been allowed to get away with it for so long, picking and choosing who they will help, and who they will say stiff chit!. These grenades have cost some people 10's of thousands.. Some can't afford to replace the engine, and sell to cut their losses.

And they dont seem to care that 1000's would never buy another nissan as long as they live, nor their families or friends..

It baffles me and disappoints me, as people get offended when you say they cant go on trips with you cause you dont wanna risk ruining your holiday towing them home..


here, ya may wanna get one of these too, just to show the dealer, you know its history.
http://www.patrol4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13661
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FollowupID: 619205

Reply By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:32

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:32
Dave,
commiserations on your miss fortune.

I maybe a Toyota owner, but I would never laugh at anyone's misfortune.

It will cost you a quid or two to fix and hopefully you can track what caused it in the first place.

No matter what the vehicle they all break.
AnswerID: 350648

Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:41

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 19:41
HI Rockape,

Thanks mate. IfI knew what caused the issue I would feel a lot better. Mr Nissan wants 3 time more to fit a new head that others. GO figure. I love pointing out that the start battery outlasted the engine. I will try and get another one of those in the future.

Happy travels and I hope you don't any issues yourself.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 618939

Reply By: Kiwi and Grenade - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:11
Bugger...!! You got me paranoid now...with all the work we've had done on ours (01 GUIII) Im hoping its just used a little fluid....Im too scared to look at it now.....! i hope we dont have the same thing.....

best of luck with it....keep us up to date hey!
AnswerID: 350654

Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:51

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:51
I will keep you posted. I am losing around 1 cm of fluid from the second overflow tank every 350km. Hope you aren't in the same boat!!!

Cheers
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FollowupID: 618967

Reply By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:12

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:12
"I love pointing out that the start battery outlasted the engine."


That's the bit I'm laughing at........ but I'm not laughing at your misfortune!

Mate, in all honesty, have a look at Project Toni on this site somewhere....... he put a turbo Toyota motor in a GU where the grenade had been...... sound's like sacrilege doesn't it??? But now he really does have a damn near unbreakable 4WD.


If you're planning on touring, you may want to try a, ahem.... shall we say "more reliable" option than the ZD30 has proved itself to be?

Cheers

Brian
AnswerID: 350655

Follow Up By: Member Brian (Gold Coast) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:13

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:13
Project TONI






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Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 19:02

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 19:02
Hi Brian, Dave & Shelley
I have spent a small fortune on my car over the last year, BUT I now have what I consider the nearest thing to a perfect 4X4.
It has all the reliability of an 80 sr (but newer) the power of a 100 sr and the chassis & drive line that is near bullet proof.

I LOVE MY CAR now.

No regrets, Cheers Colin.

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Follow Up By: Member - Matt M (ACT) - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:10

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:10
Colin,

Looking a bit 'dated' already. The price is coming down, but I'm still willing to help out.

Matt.
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Follow Up By: On Patrol & TONI - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 16:37

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009 at 16:37
ROTFLMAO,
Matt don't call me mate, I will call you.

But please don't sit at home waiting, Cheers Colin.
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FollowupID: 619288

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:19

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:19
Where on the head were the cracks or haven't you pulled it down that far yet. When mine went "bang" the head had 4 cracks but it didn't leak any fluid. The cracks were all where the injectors enters the cumbustion chamber, for want of a better word, and 3 were repairable but the 4th one too large. New head to go with the rest of the motor.
My battery didn't last longer than the engine but the brakes did! Anyway repairing is cheaper than replacing.
AnswerID: 350657

Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:02

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:02
I haven't taken of the head yet. It will happen in the next few weeks. It hasn't gone bang yet!!!!!! I am hoping to aviod that if I can. The battery is pretty good though.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 618971

Reply By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:25

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:25
Dave, no extended warranty? if not, make sure you still exhaust all your avenues with Nissan Australia. It's not an old car and 80,000k's is a joke.

Did you buy it new? if so this will be in your favour, make sure you CC everything you write to Nissan Australia and the Dealer you bought the car from.

It's a sorry tale these ZD30's. I had a 2002 GUIII manual and decked it out. Loved it, but after the extended warranty ran out I just didn't have the guts to keep it (see rig pic) and sold the beast.

I sold it with 105,000ish on the clock. It took me around OZ, GRR, Fraser Is, mud, sand and water. Great 4 x 4. Never an engine issue. I did change the MAF though at about 70,000k's as insurance.

I cut my loses and bought the cruiser. Not that it's a better car, both have their issues, but the one big plus I see is reliability.

Great car the Nissan ZD30, shame about BOOM factor.
AnswerID: 350660

Follow Up By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:31

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:31
The other big plus is Toyota will stand by their customers and Nissan wave them Good Bye!
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (WA) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:42

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:42
Fortunately, I haven't had to experience either one!!!!

Although, after a 40,000k service at a Nissan Outlet in a north queensland town, and after forking out @ $900 for the pleasure, I found out at 50,000k that the oil filter had not been fitted correctly. After a few letters to Nissan Australia (who bluntly put the blame on the dealer who did the service) the dealer offered me the extended warranty, which I accepted, but boy was I *issed off... Anyway, all worked out OK.

Come to think of it, my aircon compressor stuffed up too and I got a new one for zip. no issues there. but that was under warranty.
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Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:11
Extened warranty, I only wish. Couldn't afford it at that stage as it was one only income and the wife was at uni. Hope this will be the only problem I ever have!!!!!!
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FollowupID: 618977

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:36

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 20:36
Bad luck Dave and Shell, but at least not the Hand Grenade story.

We had a niggling overheating problem for quite some time with an Landcruiser wagon some years ago, and after replacing thermostat and radiator the problem kept coming back. Eventually the mechanic diagnosed a hairline fracture in the head. He put two bottles of 'emergency repair gunge' into the radiator and the problem never re-occurred.

We love our Patrol too (2002 model). We fitted boost and EGT gauges and have never had a moment's trouble from it (we purchased it ex Govt and have done over 100,000 in it ourselves). Our daughter sabotages any attempts to sell it now we have the F250 for towing.

Prior to that, the head cracked on a Falcon sedan. It was Christmas day, and we were gathering in Perth as a son was in hospital. Elder son was bringing his sister and younger son's best friend ('our third son') and noticed the temp rise a bit, but with nothing open and the family expecting him, he pushed on. This resulted in the head cracking. We had it repaired satisfactorily at not a huge cost - i don't know if a similar repair can be done on the Nissan.

The day was topped off by our elder daughter's car being stolen in the early hours of Christmas Day. We sent her with her irrational hubby and baby home in our vehicle, squeezed into my parent's small sedan to get back to the farm and jobs, leaving the children in Perth to fend for themselves until the Falcon was fixed. After our son went back to a 4wd, younger daughter (and her teenage friends) drove it for a couple of years until she traded it in on a troopy.

Hope you can get a satisfactory outcome

Motherhen
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AnswerID: 350664

Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:16

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:16
Thanks for your best wishes,

My luck could be a lot worse...... Cheers
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Reply By: troopyman - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:03

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:03
When are people going to get it . Old coolant and alloy dont mix . Get your coolant replaced and flushed properly from a reputable radiator place every 12 months . For about $150 per year you are looking after a major part of your engines system . I am not saying this was your problem though . Sorry about the bad luck .
AnswerID: 350670

Follow Up By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:13

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 21:13
Nissan coolant was used everytime the servicing schedule said. Surely Nissan would know, surely ;) Don't they spend money on R&D???
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Follow Up By: Robnicko - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:11

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:11
I agree with your reply Troopyman. Even more important is having the correct ratio of coolant to water as to little coolant will allow for evaporation of water from the overflow bottle as it vents to the atmosphere.

Rob

Dave & Shelley,
80k ,,,,I'd be going to Nissan. Not good enough. If you just had the 80k service they should warrant that the work was done correctly (flushing + coolant ratio).
Good Luck
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Follow Up By: Shaver - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 07:54

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 07:54
Know a bloke that used to import engines from Japan & he found that all the Toyota engines with the red coolant in them where like brand new inside & that included water pumps etc. He said that he wouldn't use any other coolant in his vehicles.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:52

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:52
I have always used the genuine Toyota coolant (red) and as you say the inside of the gallery's and assosiated alloy bits ares as clean as a whistle.

The product is probably Afloc 2000 which Detco sells for the detroit deisels.

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Follow Up By: Robnicko - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:54

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 08:54
I too use the genuine toyota stuff in my 80 series.

Which reminds me it's time to think about changing it.
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FollowupID: 619031

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:23

Monday, Feb 23, 2009 at 22:23
G'day Dave and Shelley,

First: sorry to read of your troubles and I hope they don't prove to be as serious as it's starting to appear.

Secondly, can I suggest that you have a look through the numerous posts on the topic of the 3 litre Patrol, on the www.patrol4x4.com.au forum?

On there you will find a list of things that blokes have done to their Patrols to try and ensure the last a long time.

The list includes:

**Fit a www.enginesaver.com.au (an alarm to warn you as soon as coolant level drops by an inch or so.

** Fit an oil catch can

** Fit an intercooler fan

** Block off the EGR valve

** Fit a Dawes valve

** Fit a 3" free flowing exhaust system

** Fit EGT and Boost gauges

The blokes on there who have done these mods, don't seem to have suffered any further ill-effects of the dreaded early demise variety associated with this motor.

Alternatively, Project Toni or a Chev 6.5 V8 Diesel (which is what I have under my bonnet), may be suitable alternatives.

All the very best to you.

Roachie
AnswerID: 350686

Follow Up By: Willem - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 00:07

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 00:07
Bill


Its all these BIG 4bies with TOY engines and TURBOCHARGERS wot give the grief

I'll just plod along in my dinosaur a little while longer....LOL


Cheers
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FollowupID: 619014

Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 07:59

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 07:59
Willem, my sentiments exactly.

The ol' MK is a little rough round the edges and void of any modern creature comforts, but it just keeps on chugging.


Cheers......Lionel.
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Follow Up By: ross - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:11

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:11
I would rather have a dinosaur than a dodo bird
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Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 00:33

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 00:33
i had the same problem with a ford found a couple of cans of sealup and 150000ks later(total ks now 390000) still doesnt use coolant
AnswerID: 350697

Follow Up By: ross - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:07

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:07
Your case(or luck) would be 1 out of a 100.
I personally would not like to go bush with a engine full of seal up.
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Reply By: Skippy In The GU - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:14

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 09:14
I wonder when they flushed the coolant system they next got all the air out from system when adding the new coolant which might have contributed this problem
AnswerID: 350722

Reply By: Isuzumu - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:21

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2009 at 10:21
Just had a thought (early for me but I've had one lol) Nissan probably have not enough money left to spend on the repairs of the ZD30 cause they have spent it all on the new GT-R hahahahaha. Looks like it is going to be the new Safety car for the V8 Supercars to.

Cheers Bruce
Cheers Bruce
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AnswerID: 350735

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 00:49

Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 at 00:49
Hi Dave,

I am sorry to read about your misfortune. Out of interest, how has the cylinder head leak been confirmed? If cracked coolant will either flow into the oil or cylinder. If in the oil it will be milky. If into the cylinder you can use a CO2 detector on radiator. The old fashioned way of getting hot then removing a sparkplug and crank is going to nbe a bit difficult on a diesel.

The reason I ask is that ~ one year ago my GUIII patrol had similar coolant leakage with reservoir depleting with no obvious sign of cooant leakage. The coolant system has radiator and 2 expansion bottles, 1st has pressure cap and 2nd threaded cap which is one to fill up. Anyhow after being told I might have a cracked head turned out that the outlet from the 1st pressuriised tank was cracked (easy to lean on during service) and had been leaking with leak only noticeable underneath. Replaced and all has been OK since.

So during pressure test was it only radiator checked or 1st expansion bottle also. Might be worth a look.

The other problem I had was after Nissan replaced turbo gasket on warranty and someone didn't tighten coolant pipe to turbo. No noise, just slow coolant leak and after a while staining on turbo heat shield. Tightened and all was good.

I really hope it isn't the cyl head and given the expense hope the above gives you something else to consider.

Regards,
Hugh
AnswerID: 351080

Reply By: Dave & Shelley (NT) - Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 14:27

Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 14:27
Hi everyone,

Well it has been a month and the Patrol went in today to get a new head. I would have put the beast in earlier but I was waiting for quotes etc. Luckily I did wait as I was very surprised and relieved when Nissan Australia agreed to provide all parts for free (ie the head, seals etc).

This is pretty good in my books. Yes the engine is rubbish but after a phone call and e-mail they agreed to help out. Not too bad since the Patrol is out of warranty.

I agree with almost everyone’s comments about the old ZD30, but at least they are coming to the party. They could have turned their back on the situation (which apparently happens a lot with most manufactures these days).

I am trying to be out around the Gregory national Park at Easter now, so happy travels everyone.

Dave
AnswerID: 355665

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