An expert view of Nissan 3litre MAF problem

Submitted: Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:09
ThreadID: 68814 Views:5676 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I went to Unifilter today to buy some snorkel socks for my upcoming Kimberley trip.

The boss of Unifilter and I got to talking about MAFs and the subject came to Nissan 3 litres.

Apparently Nissan use an oiled paper filter in the Patrol 3 litre to catch dust size below 20 microns. According to Unifilter , Nissan do not use any glue biinder in the oil and it is like machine oil and in his opinion "gets everywhere" .

He also said Nissan had a recall a couple of years ago because of a batch of over oiled filters.

We discussed why The Patrol has the problem and Navaras do not, and he advised that the Navara has a standard type paper filter with no oil. He has a Navara with 200KK which they have had a Unifilter on since 30KK and no problems.

So here could be an explanation of why Patrol 3litre has the blow up problem which AFAIK starts with a contaminated MAF, and Navara does not.

The proposal is because oil from the filter starts the process , because Nissan use an unsuitable oil for the purpose.

Regards Philip A

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:47

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 12:47
I think you could only relate that to a specific issue Rangie.

I have 3 mates with Navara's all of which had engine problems
and all fixed under warranty but these were mostly turbo related
problems so perhaps MAF problem is related to cracked pistons only.

Use Unifilters on my Patrol , but then it has the less sensitive petrol engine.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 364817

Follow Up By: Rangiephil - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 13:15

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 13:15
BTW the double post was caused by the site slowing to a crawl, and not giving an indication that the post was actioned.

Well it is an explanation to the MAF problem that I have never seen before . In many posts I have seen about the 3 litre blowing up problem it is suggested that Navaras do not suffer from that specific problem.

Regards Philip A

FollowupID: 632439

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 19:52

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 19:52
Robin slighty off topic, you have experienced no problems with the unifilter fouling the maf I take it.I like the unifilter and have used them before,but the sensors on the Jacks intake are pretty sensitivie. Would welcome your thoughts on them.
Cheers Pete
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 08:04

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 08:04
Hi Pete
The Maf sensor would be similar in characteristics to the Petrol Patrols.
I was concerned about potential issues as when I started using it in 2001 the issue was less well known.
However I checked mine for oil film just before the sensor and have never even had slight stickiness in the inlet manifold.
I have come to accept the explanation that over oiling by users is by far the main issue with Uni-filters and that if done correctly (almost dry to the touch) then they are a real 4wding asset.
I carry a little oil with me and love the ability to clean out the oil filter when camping after a long dusty session.
The Maf sensor puts out a voltage you can measure with a multimeter with ign on.
I made up a rough fitting from downstream of the Maf sensor to my vaccum cleaner, such that when I switch vac on then Maf reads a voltage proportional to air flow.
This allowed me to play with inlet and uni filter and optimize air flow.
Robin Miller

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Reply By: Member - Malcolm (Townsville) - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 14:54

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 14:54
Interesting debate Philip. Even the guys on the Patrol4x4 forum are still debating this one.

See this thread on the Patrol4x4 forum

IIRC genuine ZD30 air filters DO NOT USE oiled paper. The K&N Oiled Filter is said to allow more air past the filter. Hence the claim that the standard Nissan paper filter is more efficient.

Efficient at what?

I suppose it comes down to what you are trying to achieve. If you are on a race track, you want the engine to breath. If you are in a dusty environment you would want the filter to actually 'filter' out all fine particles of dust, etc.

Personaly I feel the air filter has absolutey nothing to do with the oil getting on the MAF. IMHO it is caused by the crankcase ventilation. Take this scenario: a hot working engine, comes to a stop and is immediately switched off. There is no longer any air being sucked/forced from the air filter into the engine. The oily fumes expelled back into the air intake pipe are then allowed to 'drift' towards the MAF. One reason why I fitted a ProVent200 filter to my ZD30.


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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:02

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 20:02
Hi Malcolm,

I had a look at the K&N statement and don't like their comments about the oil idea being ridiculous. I am not saying yes or no but do not accept their very positive statement with out any scientific testing. It is a well documented fact the fumes from acid cure RTV can damage a MAF so I have no doubt that oil fumes from a filter will land on a MAF but as I have already said I don't know if these fumes will actually do damage.
FollowupID: 632525

Reply By: KennyBWilson - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 15:00

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 15:00
Every time I brought an Air Filter for the Series 3 GU 4.2Ti they supplied me with the oil paper filled type, but all my mate's get the dry paper type supplied for their 3L Motors
AnswerID: 364835

Reply By: Rangiephil - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 16:59

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 16:59
Thats funny because the Unifilter guy's whole life is filters.

You would think he if anyone would be aware of standard filter specs he would be.

He was also talking about Subarus in the same vein.
Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 364856

Follow Up By: Angler - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 19:26

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 19:26
I have heard subarus use the same MAF as the 3.0 litre patrols. Don't know if this is correct.

FollowupID: 632514

Reply By: Nutta - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 18:13

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 18:13
I pulled out my maf out at 80k and it was spotless, and i mean spotless, not even an ultrathin film and that was at 80 000 ks?
So i cant understand it.
AnswerID: 364874

Reply By: Malleerv - Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 23:38

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 23:38
I know of 6 Navara's with ZD30 engine's just in this area that have blown up.
AnswerID: 364958

Reply By: muzzgit - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 00:36

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 00:36
Dammit! I just spent half an hour responding to this thread only to have this website kick me out and I lost it all!

Here goes!

I have been going on about this very subject on this very forum since early 2004.

The air filter supplied by Nissan for the 3.0 Patrol IS NOT OILED, it is cilicone coated! (red in colour)

Does the cilicone come off and affect the MAFS? who knows?

I had a 2001 3.0 Patrol and I had many problems with MAFS.

After we purchased the car in 2003 I fitted an ARB battery tray for an aux battery system. Later that year while on holiday up north we had problems (shuting down, lights on the dash) and it was discovered that the air filter was full of dust. It was also discovered that the wrong air filter had been fitted by the dealer we bought the car from.

If you or your mechanic buy parts from Repco, and you ask for an air filter for a 3.0 Patrol, you will be given the wrong one! I emailed Repco, they did not respond. The filter you will be given is for the Navara, a dry paper element (grey in colour).

I also discovered that the seal on the air duct to the airfilter was broken and it turns out to be from jostling the airbox around while fitting the dual battery tray. I have checked a few other 3.0 patrols with aux battery systems and they have the same fault, as does my 2008 Patrol. I know, because once again I fitted the battery tray, and I watched the seal break as I lowered in the battery tray.


Oil in the MAFS........very likely.

When we were coming home from up north, after dust in filters, flashing lights on the dash, engine running at very low power, one of the hoses popped off the intercoolor. I pulled over, refitted the hose and noticed that the intercooler had signs of oil, as did the hose. (I since found out that when the MAFS is kaput the turbo can over boost, which explains the hose popping off.)

After I had a snorkel fitted I noticed that when the engine is at idle and I put my hand up to the snorkel I could feel the air pulsing - in-out-in-out-in-out-in-out very rapidly - I spoke to a diesel mech about it and I was told this is normal. So yes, oil mist getting back through the air duct is very possible.
AnswerID: 364963

Reply By: psproule - Friday, May 15, 2009 at 05:16

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 05:16
Um, ZD30 Patrol has a MAF, ZD30 Navara has a MAP.
AnswerID: 364967

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