Nissan 2.8 Turbo Diesel - water in oil

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 31, 2002 at 01:00
ThreadID: 894 Views:6255 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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I have a '97 GQ 2.8 turbo diesel. Has done about 110000 km. About the last 20000 km it has been losing coolant. Could not find any thing external so carried out an oil sample. Showed traces of coolant. Have since carried out combustion gas test of cooling system - negative. The cooling system is not pressurising. After speaking to numerous Nissan dealers & a turbo specialist have a range of opinions - oil cooler, turbo casting or head gasket. Have pressurised the cooling system over several hours but no evidence of coolant at oil cooler or turbo. Loss is about 1 lt per 5000 km. I do mixed driving & find that coolant level drops more appreciably on longer highway trips - engine temp is up for longer periods. The vehicle is regularly maintained, coolant is longlife Castrol & tests OK. The engine has never overheated & still does not get hot. Any feed back would be appreciated.
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Reply By: paul - Monday, Apr 01, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 01, 2002 at 00:00
Uhm, only meant lightly, but there is a good magician called "Merlin" hangs out in the UK somewhere I believe, might be able to help.
AnswerID: 2570

Reply By: Steve - Monday, Apr 01, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Apr 01, 2002 at 00:00
Peter, I had the same problem on my 2.8 TD GQ. It started on a round Aussie trip and I spent heaps of time at Nissan dealers. One of the issues was that when turning it over on occasion it would stop cranking. I guess that water was getting into the cylinders, and the starter motor did not have enough ummph to break anything thank god. Anyway after several months of hassles, Ferntree Gully Nissan took the head of and had it x rayed, and found a small crack in the head. THe head was replaced under an extended warranty I had paid extra for. Since then no problems at all. I hope this helps.
AnswerID: 2573

Reply By: Tim - Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00
Peter i recently had similar problem with my 3.0 l patrol however in my case the combustion gases presserised the radiator system,resulting in coolant being pumped out the overflow spout,mine was origionally diagnosed as faulty thermostat,have you considered the thermostat???are you sure your system is not pressurised,this is puzzeling.
AnswerID: 2578

Reply By: jonathon - Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00
Have you checked that the engine is getting enough air (eg. good air filter) with diesels if its air flow is restricted at high rpm it will cause it to either suck to much fuel through the pump or to perhaps suck in coolant as if causing a vacum. If it happens mainly in highway conditions it could be the proplems. worth checking out any way?
AnswerID: 2579

Reply By: Russell - Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00
I think you'll find that if you investigate the head/head gasket you'll find its one of those two. A friend of mine had similar troubles with the 2.8 and found traces of coolant in the sump. According to Nissan it was the head gasket. I've also heard that alloy heads and diesels don't go well together, but I don't know how true that is. I hope this helps.
AnswerID: 2583

Reply By: John R. - Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 02, 2002 at 00:00
I agree it is more likely to be hairline crack or head gasket.
Regardless, if you continue driving with coolant in your oil, you will be doing some serious damage soon. Get the head tested/x-rayed.
AnswerID: 2589

Follow Up By: Peter - Wednesday, Apr 03, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 03, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks to all for your suggestions. I have ruled out the oil cooler & after speaking with a turbo specialist will test that area further. Head removal is a last resort but maybe it will have to be. Will submit my findings.
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FollowupID: 972

Reply By: Jim searle - Thursday, Apr 04, 2002 at 00:00

Thursday, Apr 04, 2002 at 00:00
Peter, had my 2.8GU at an injection specialist this afternoon. Got talking and he said his parents had trouble with the alloy heads warping on their 2.8L Nissans. He also said they were having problems with their gearbox in a 3L GU.
Hope you find your answer soon as I will be interested in the cause. Jim
AnswerID: 2627

Reply By: Ken - Friday, Apr 05, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 05, 2002 at 00:00
If you have traces of coolant in the oil you definately have a head or head gasket problem.I have recently repaired a GU Patrol 2.8 with a similar problem the fix in this case unfortunatley , was a new head. Do you have any trace of condensation under your oil filler cap? The head may have to be removed and crack tested.The one that I just repaired had a crack behind one of the pre combustion chambers.A CO test for gas in the coolant can sometimes be inconclusive in a diesel. Regards Ken.
AnswerID: 2655

Follow Up By: Peter - Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Apr 09, 2002 at 00:00
Thanks for the information. No trace of condensation under the filler cap. It has been suggested to me to have a CO test carried out using an infa red analyser rather than the coloured dye tester. Have you had any thing to do with this equipment? I am looking at a head r &r to get x-rayed/crack tested. How big a job is it - any traps? Thanks, Peter.
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FollowupID: 1004

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