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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Its been a while since I've been on this site. About 4 years ago our original ZD30 died after 350,000 km. We could not source a new OEM Nissan engine as the replacement and Instead of waiting to have our original engine rebuilt I went down the engine exchange route.

This engine has never performed ike the original engine despite having a larger displacement. It had good low down power but nothing above 100kmh. It would not make any boost above 12psi. As soon as you pressed the throttle boost cut would kick in and drop to 5psi. A new OEM Garret turbo, Exchange IP sourced from a reputable diesel guru and injectors were installed. Other than that, I have not done any mods to this engine since it was installed.

Anyway. This engine has now done 180,000 km since installation. The other day when driving the engine developed a louder than normal tappet sound on #3 cyl. The engine performed the same with no noticable power change.

After a basic check over with no obvious signs of engine detination, all fluids checked ok no visible smoke, we decided to lift the valve cover and laying on the exhaust side next to #3 cyl was a valve bucket shim. The amount of ware on this shim is extraordinary also the ware on the camshaft lobe is basically made it appear round. All camshaft lobes are rough on both the intake & exhaust cams its like somebody has polished the cams with a grinder, so I have to assume that all the shims will be badly wore.

Looks like a new seat of cams and shims will be required. But the big question is.

What would cause this amount of extreme ware on the valve train???

Any insight or ideas is welcome.
 

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I am not familiar with the ZD30, but in my experience this type of wear is normally caused by either a lack of lubrication or poor quality components. The cams appear to be fed from the same oil circuit as the tensioner, so if there was a feed issue I expect you would have had other symptoms. On some engines a spun cam bearing can block the oil feed to the shaft, though this would only affect one cam - unsure of this could/would happen on a ZD30. Given you've done 180,000 clicks on this engine, I suspect it is mainly just poor quality hardening of the cam and/or shims which has eventually worn through. I'm sure others with experience on this engine will pipe in with more.
 

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GUII ZD30DI Wgn
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Can you put up pics, not easy for a shim to escape, is there any other damage? Not a common occurrence, there is usually plenty of oil up in the rocker area.
 

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nissan
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Hi all,

Its been a while since I've been on this site. About 4 years ago our original ZD30 died after 350,000 km. We could not source a new OEM Nissan engine as the replacement and Instead of waiting to have our original engine rebuilt I went down the engine exchange route.

This engine has never performed ike the original engine despite having a larger displacement. It had good low down power but nothing above 100kmh. It would not make any boost above 12psi. As soon as you pressed the throttle boost cut would kick in and drop to 5psi. A new OEM Garret turbo, Exchange IP sourced from a reputable diesel guru and injectors were installed. Other than that, I have not done any mods to this engine since it was installed.

Anyway. This engine has now done 180,000 km since installation. The other day when driving the engine developed a louder than normal tappet sound on #3 cyl. The engine performed the same with no noticable power change.

After a basic check over with no obvious signs of engine detination, all fluids checked ok no visible smoke, we decided to lift the valve cover and laying on the exhaust side next to #3 cyl was a valve bucket shim. The amount of ware on this shim is extraordinary also the ware on the camshaft lobe is basically made it appear round. All camshaft lobes are rough on both the intake & exhaust cams its like somebody has polished the cams with a grinder, so I have to assume that all the shims will be badly wore.

Looks like a new seat of cams and shims will be required. But the big question is.

What would cause this amount of extreme ware on the valve train???

Any insight or ideas is welcome.
Insufficient hardness/ incompatibility of hardness/ poor grain structure of induction hardened camshaft lobes. If the camshafts are O.E they are unlikely to be the issue, if a replacement fully assembled cylinder head was fitted it's a distinct possibility. The original shims had a hole towards the O.D outside the lobe contact patch, to allow shim removal, (No notch in the bucket rim like most), if this is not present then shims are not O.E. Some shims are not through hardened and if ground can have insufficient hardness, unlikely that all have been ground and fitted ground side to camshaft lobe. I have also seen shims ground to the point they are thinner than the rim height.

Without more information or quality pictures l can't be any more specific.

Lesson learned don't use mass produced exchange rubbish when it can be done by a professional.
 

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2003 ZD30 Di Patrol (The rare Gold one)
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Unless you have major oil pressure issues I'd say it's a case of sub standard reproduction parts. It is rare to have any noticeable wear on the buckets and cams.
I've never seen a shim get ejected from the top of a bucket.
Atleast you are one of the lucky ones that have replaceable shims. My 2003 has shim buckets so you have to remove the camshafts to change to a different thickness bucket if required. Took me ages when I built up my head. Only good outcome from that was I got the chance to teach my kids how to setup a head from scratch.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Skedbudley,

I have never seen valve train ware like this before on any engine that I've seen. Something has gone wrong either the parts were sub par or a shonky rebuild using previously used parts that were re-installed.

My son is a Diesel Mechanic and also suggested a possible oil pressure issue. I guess I will have to look at fitting an oil pressure gauge as well.

Makes me wonder what the bottom end is like now. I don't intend to lift the head at thos stage, unless there is excessive bucket ware which will be checked afyer the cams are removed. At this stage I'm just going to replace the worn cams and shims. Fingers crossed that is all that is required.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Insufficient hardness/ incompatibility of hardness/ poor grain structure of induction hardened camshaft lobes. If the camshafts are O.E they are unlikely to be the issue, if a replacement fully assembled cylinder head was fitted it's a distinct possibility. The original shims had a hole towards the O.D outside the lobe contact patch, to allow shim removal, (No notch in the bucket rim like most), if this is not present then shims are not O.E. Some shims are not through hardened and if ground can have insufficient hardness, unlikely that all have been ground and fitted ground side to camshaft lobe. I have also seen shims ground to the point they are thinner than the rim height.

Without more information or quality pictures l can't be any more specific.

Lesson learned don't use mass produced exchange rubbish when it can be done by a professional.
At this stage I don't have anymore information. When I purchased the exchange I spoke to the company and they said that they use a Chinese head casting whether they assemble them themselves or buy them pre assembled I cannot say. Never thought to ask.

I can purchase some new camshafts from Mr Cylinderhead. Have you heard of any good or bad reviews of their parts.

I'm going to change them and try to source OEM shim kit from Nissan.

Don't like my chances though.
 

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GUII ZD30DI Wgn
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At this stage I don't have anymore information. When I purchased the exchange I spoke to the company and they said that they use a Chinese head casting whether they assemble them themselves or buy them pre assembled I cannot say. Never thought to ask.

I can purchase some new camshafts from Mr Cylinderhead. Have you heard of any good or bad reviews of their parts.

I'm going to change them and try to source OEM shim kit from Nissan.

Don't like my chances though.
My advise on the camshafts would be to source original second hand over replacement Chinese pretty much regardless of the retailer. Quality control is paramount when sourcing Chinese products and very few have the resources. Nothing to be gained by going new Chinese over good second hand and everything to lose. Either way I would recommend ETP in Campbellfield, they are the premier importer from China by a country mile aswell as wreckers of engines and transmissions for the trade.
PM if you need to discuss.
Campbell
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My advise on the camshafts would be to source original second hand over replacement Chinese pretty much regardless of the retailer. Quality control is paramount when sourcing Chinese products and very few have the resources. Nothing to be gained by going new Chinese over good second hand and everything to lose. Either way I would recommend ETP in Campbellfield, they are the premier importer from China by a country mile aswell as wreckers of engines and transmissions for the trade.
PM if you need to discuss.
Campbell
Hi Campbell,

I would prefer to use OEM cams and
I have been able to source some second hand OEM cams that have done 80,000km. In excellent condition. The mechanic has checked out the cams and inspected the othe shim surfaces in my head. Some are worn more than others but nothing major.

His recommendation is to purchase the OEM cams and will source new shims for the current head. So at this stage this is plan A.

I have attached a couple of pics of the worn shim and damaged cam lobe from #3 cyl exhaust valve cam.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Contact our own Garry at [email protected] if he can't get the shims no one can.
Thanks for the reply. My mechanic has a supplier for the shims in Nambour, just down the Hwy from us.

I would like to know where you sourced your coated pistons from and who makes them.

Thinking of buying a 2nd hand engine and rebuilding one to have on standby.
 

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I can purchase some new camshafts from Mr Cylinderhead. Have you heard of any good or bad reviews of their parts.
Mr Cylinderhead sources all his parts from Engine Australia. Might as well go to them directly. I haven't dealt with them personally, but know people who have had very good experiences with their service and parts. Maybe someone else here has dealt with them has a bit more knowledge?
 

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Hi Campbell,

I would prefer to use OEM cams and
I have been able to source some second hand OEM cams that have done 80,000km. In excellent condition. The mechanic has checked out the cams and inspected the othe shim surfaces in my head. Some are worn more than others but nothing major.

His recommendation is to purchase the OEM cams and will source new shims for the current head. So at this stage this is plan A.

I have attached a couple of pics of the worn shim and damaged cam lobe from #3 cyl exhaust valve cam.
Looks like genuine Chinesium there,beats me why people buy the crap,save a few bucks today pay extra down the track.due to collateral damage,

Cheers,G.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, finally have the old girl back on the road. OEM cams have been fitted and valve clearances checked.

The engine sounds and runs completely different. After the engine was put back together we fitted a 3" exhaust system as well.

Wow, what a difference, the engine is responsive and pulls hard where it had no power before.

One bappy camper again. :):):)
 

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Well, finally have the old girl back on the road. OEM cams have been fitted and valve clearances checked.

The engine sounds and runs completely different. After the engine was put back together we fitted a 3" exhaust system as well.

Wow, what a difference, the engine is responsive and pulls hard where it had no power before.

One bappy camper again. :):):)
Good result.
 
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