Air Masses Flow From What Pressure To What Pressure How to Bulletproof Your Nissan Patrol’s ZD30 Engine

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How to Bulletproof Your Nissan Patrol’s ZD30 Engine

If you own a Y61/GU Nissan Patrol with a ZD30 3.0ltr turbo diesel engine, these are invaluable tips to extend the life of your engine……

The ZD30 engine has suffered a bad reputation for premature failure due to some common problems, including melting/cracking pistons and overboosting. These engines run a variable vane turbocharger with boost controlled by the ECU and an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system to meet stringent European emission standards. Running fairly high boost levels from the factory makes the ZD30 a heavy breathing engine, and oil vapor is forced into the inlet tract contaminating the mass air flow sensor (MAF), working its way through the intercooler and into the inlet manifold. The EGR system can convert these oil vapors to a thick tar like consistency, blocking the inlet runners, causing some cylinders to run rich and others lean, resulting in melting pistons…

What can be done to extend engine life?

1. Install the oil/air separator (catch can). This will reduce the amount of oil vapor/bloat entering the air inlet system.

2. Regularly clean the mass air flow (MAF) sensor located in the inlet pipe near the airbox. A contaminated MAF sensor can cause defective signals to the ECU leading to overboosting. Suitable MAF cleaners are available from your local auto parts store.

3. Fit the boost gauge and exhaust gas temperature (EGT) gauge. While this won’t prevent anything, it will show you any warning signs.

4. Install a free flowing exhaust system, this will reduce EGT dramatically. We fit and recommend 3″ mandrel bent exhaust systems.

5. Never install a “chip” without exhaust system. A chip will increase the amount of fuel in the engine, which increases your exhaust gas temperature, so a free flowing exhaust system is essential to lower EGT. We use and recommend Steinbauer and DP chips.

6. If you experience boost pressure spikes above 20psi (up to 25psi is not uncommon), fit a boost limiting device such as a boost valve. These can be set so the turbo can’t get more than 18psi of boost……this is a bandaid, not a cure, as they will cause other problems with overboosting.

7. If your intercooler looks like it’s leaking oil, it could also be leaking boost pressure. Replacement units are available with tanks welded instead of factory crimp fittings.

8. Remove and clean your inlet manifold. We have seen the inlet runners closest to the EGR nearly 50% blocked.

9. Although illegal, their EGR blank off kits are available.

10. The ZD30 requires regular oil changes, every 5000k is recommended.

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