It certainly seems that everything has to always come in threes. No sooner had I fixed the belt tensioner and the exhaust manifold gasket than another problem arose. Late last year I did an oil and filter change and at the same time decided to change the fuel filter as well. The Nissan Patrol genuine fuel filter isn’t an inexpensive item lately, though it’s supposed to last around 40,000km (with good quality fuel). But for some reason while searching for filters online, I ended up buying a non-genuine fuel filter that after some searching appeared to be a reputable brand. That was a mistake. After fitting the filter, everything appeared to be fine until I started smelling diesel and, on inspection, noticed diesel around the top of the filter and some stains under the wheel arch. The stain was fairly mild at first, but within a week had increased substantially.
No sooner had I fixed the noise from the belt tensioner than another issue arose. Once the squealing noise from the tensioner assembly was sorted out, a Banshee screeching started to make itself known in the engine bay. Our local Nissan dealer thought that the problem could be a leaking exhaust manifold, so I did more checking and I discovered a leak where the exhaust manifold and EGT pipe connected. I cleaned things up and made sure that things went back together properly, but that still didn’t fix things. I also checked as best that I could around the exhaust manifold and no where could I spot the tell-tale marks of a leak. It also didn’t seem logical that the noise was coming from the exhaust manifold, as it varied so much, coming on and off at different times. However, then I found that the turbo dump pipe had a large crack at the turbo flange. So a new dump pipe was installed (great service from DEA Performance), yet even that didn’t make any difference to the sound, nor was there any noise to give away that the dump pipe had cracked.
Following on from an earlier post about Made in China, I thought I’d add another part to this as I recently experienced another side of made in China. As I noted previously, there are many products made in China that are of excellent quality and performance, but there are also many that are anything but excellent quality and performance. I was reminded of this when the fan belt in my Patrol started to squeal, which was a clear indication that it needed to be replaced. The fan belt is of the serpentine belt design and kept in tension by a piston on a pivoting tensioner assembly. It’s a relatively simple design and generally foolproof, but the tensioner piston can eventually start seizing, especially if you do a lot of water crossing and/or mud holes. It is sealed, but it can still seize and that causes the squealing (by not tensioning the belt enough). It’s not the idler pulley (I/P) bearing as many believe that causes the noise.
There’s a lot of contentious debate that sometimes arises when it comes to buying Chinese made products, whether they are from major retailers or through eBay. Many have a belief that if it’s made in China, it’s crap. The truth of the matter is that it’s virtually impossible to buy anything nowadays that hasn’t been made in China and, if you look back say 50 or so years, anything made in Japan was considered crap at the time. Some of it was and some it wasn’t, but now anything with a ‘Made in Japan’ label is considered a premium product. It took some time for Japanese manufacturing and quality control to reach what it’s now been for at least 40 years; however, in that time it very rapidly surpassed whatever was considered high quality Australian manufacturing. And so it is with Chinese products as more and more manufacturing is done in China and they also up their game when it comes to all manner of products.