Nissan Frontier Diesel Swap
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Thread: Nissan Frontier Diesel Swap

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    Default Nissan Frontier Diesel Swap

    Considering dropping a diesel into my wife's frontier.

    Nissan gas engines are great but they have some rediculouse optical sensor for a cam position sensor (in the distributor on 3.3 motor). Long story short, the optical sensors always goes about every 80K - 130K miles. I stuck one with about 60K in it when the old one went. I think it's getting ready to go again. You have to replace the whole distributor and that's about $350 for a new one.

    Truck has 180K +/- on it and when it does go, I'm considering just repowering with a diesel.

    Stock tranny is a 5-speed manual.

    Anyway, Any suggestions on a good donor? Motor? anyone know of adapters to bolt up to the stock tranny?

    The space for the existing v6 is mighty tight! so are there any 3 cylinders out there that are worth considering?

    This is mostly just a brain fart session more than anything. I'm toying with the idea!

    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by wfduggan View Post
    Stock tranny is a 5-speed manual.

    Anyway, Any suggestions on a good donor? Motor? anyone know of adapters to bolt up to the stock tranny?

    The space for the existing v6 is mighty tight! so are there any 3 cylinders out there that are worth considering?
    maybe a v6 diesel such as a mercedes? other "obvious" option for a small diesel would be a vw tdi...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    Default Nissan diesel

    You can get a complete 300 TD Mercedes car for about 1500$. I know there are adapters for GM transmissions and others. These are great engines and easy to get parts for.
    1990 f150 4BTA, md50r2 3.50 gears.
    1991 Mitsubishi (fuso) FE flatbed 5 speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wfduggan View Post
    Considering dropping a diesel into my wife's frontier.

    Nissan gas engines are great but they have some rediculouse optical sensor for a cam position sensor (in the distributor on 3.3 motor). Long story short, the optical sensors always goes about every 80K - 130K miles. I stuck one with about 60K in it when the old one went. I think it's getting ready to go again. You have to replace the whole distributor and that's about $350 for a new one.

    Truck has 180K +/- on it and when it does go, I'm considering just repowering with a diesel.

    Stock tranny is a 5-speed manual.

    Anyway, Any suggestions on a good donor? Motor? anyone know of adapters to bolt up to the stock tranny?

    The space for the existing v6 is mighty tight! so are there any 3 cylinders out there that are worth considering?

    This is mostly just a brain fart session more than anything. I'm toying with the idea!

    Thanks
    WHAT YEARS DID they use hose optical sensors? My wife wants a Frontier and I want a Diesel. That MB would work just fine!
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    Knowing what year this Nissan is would help us make better and more specific suggestions.
    1990 f150 4BTA, md50r2 3.50 gears.
    1991 Mitsubishi (fuso) FE flatbed 5 speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselSchlepper View Post
    My wife wants a Frontier and I want a Diesel. That MB would work just fine!
    what about a 4-banger deutz 913?
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    It is a 2001. That cheap cam position sensor came in the fuel injected 3.3 engines. I'm not a nissan specialist, I know what I need to so I can keep this thing on the road. All in all it's well engineered truck, but the cam position sensor is the downfall of the engine. The same 3.3 was also in pathfinders, quests and some infinity vehicles. I want to say it came in cars from the '90's through the 2000's, but not sure (just stay away from the fuel injected 3.3 with a distributor). I've heard of people replacing them at 40K miles. The older 3.3's don't have the same problem as far as I know.

    Next time you're in the junk yard look at the 3.3 infinities and nissans. You'll find that the istributors are usually pulled and sold online.

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    P.S. I like the idea of picking up a mercedes and yanking the motor. I assume some cme in manual.....

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    The 3.3 probably has the same trans bolt pattern as the 3.0. I put a 1984 300 ZX VG30E motor in a 90 Pathfinder once. Just changed the E parts over and the distributor. It never would pass emissions so I had to get an exemption every year. EGTs were always too high. It got about 22 mpg and ran great. One of the best gas engines ever made.
    Last edited by DieselSchlepper; 01-13-2011 at 07:27 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfduggan View Post
    P.S. I like the idea of picking up a mercedes and yanking the motor. I assume some cme in manual.....
    it's easier to find the om616 4cyl with manual transmissions, but since it's essentially a 617 with one less cylinder it wouldn't be so hard to get the manual transmission setup...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselSchlepper View Post
    The 3.3 probably has the same trans bolt pattern as the 3.0. I put a 1984 300 ZX VG30E motor in a 90 Pathfinder once. Just changed the E parts over and the distributor. It never would pass emissions so I had to get an exemption every year. EGTs were always too high. It got about 22 mpg and ran great. One of the best gas engines ever made.
    i'm not an enthusiast of gassers, but some of those straight-6 nissans are amazing... i like the rb26dett formerly used in the skyline gt-r and that 4.8L currently used in the nissan patrol...

    about transmission bolt patters: check those diesels avaliable for the frontier in the mexican market, you'll probably find some plug 'n play options...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    I'm thinking a Jeep AX15 might work for you behind the MB. These guys have a cheap kit http://mercedesdiesel4x4.com/Products.aspx

    I'm considering after my Isuzu swap is done building my other Explorer with a MB/AX15.
    Last edited by damarble; 01-13-2011 at 11:27 AM.

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    Cripple! The straight anything (I4 I6) nissans are bulletproof. I've seen those things do some crazy ish! They even have a turbo kit for the I4 truck motor that's sick too....

    I think the 3.3 motor is really well designed I just think they should have used a magnetic pickup rather than an optical one.

    Thanks Guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wfduggan View Post
    Cripple! The straight anything (I4 I6) nissans are bulletproof. I've seen those things do some crazy ish! They even have a turbo kit for the I4 truck motor that's sick too....
    a turbo in the gasser could be cool but i still prefer a diesel for any truck...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    I've got a 98-99 frontier and I've looked into this also. You can find some clips on Youtube of a Nissan TD27. Overseas (like the Patrol you can't get here stateside) they sold the frontier and the Pathfinder with the 2.7L diesel. The pathfinders were sold under the name "Terrano", not sure about frontier. My truck only has about 100K, but when I was looking into it for possibilities I found a video clip of a guy doing a burn out with the nissan. Japan has some really crazy laws. The authorities will take a vehicle off the road for what we would consider superficial body damage. That's why these hotrodders can get some Skyline and Supra engines with low miles. I had a number of a guy that imports the TD27 with Trans and transfer case all together. His name and number is... Efrain and his number is (three two three) five six three - zero five two five. I believe he was in California but can't remember. had the number in an old phone. Hope the number is still good. He said at the time (about 2 years ago) that he was getting the whole assembly with anywhere from about 35K - 60K(?) miles for $3000 and maybe a little more. What with the dollar getting so weak against foreign currencies in the past years, I wouldn't be surprised if it had gone up.
    Also, don't know about the phone number. I do know that I called, got an answering machine (business?) and he called me right back. Don't know if I updated it in the old phone or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay_Cob View Post
    Overseas (like the Patrol you can't get here stateside) they sold the frontier and the Pathfinder with the 2.7L diesel. The pathfinders were sold under the name "Terrano", not sure about frontier.
    in some countries the frontier was sold as navara... about the terrano nameplate, had been used in some european countries for the 1st-gen pathfinder, and there was also a smaller model badged in some countries as mistral and in others as terrano II that was avaliable with the td27 and in some countries shared diesel engines with ford... bt the td27 is still avaliable brand new in some countries such as uruguay...
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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    I am about to buy a Frontier 2002 model with a blown motor (and missing distributor - now I know why). I think the owner sold off the distributor. Anyway, I was thinking slipping in a 4BT - any comments? Do you think I can get adapter to existing manual trans?

    Advice?

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    the 4bt is a good engine, but considering some major work the frontier would require (including a transmission swap, since the stock one wouldn't last long under the torque pulses of a 4bt) to get it you could also consider some smaller engine such as a mercedes-benz one
    http://formspring.me/kamikazeondrugz

    http://cripplerooster.blogspot.com/ - if you can't read in portuguese (or even spanish that is closely simillar) use the google translate

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