How to Stretch life of an old D40

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D40-4Life

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Hi everyone. New here. I'm a bit late on the scene. Had my 2007 D40 STX since new. Only clocked 130K in all these years of ownership. Only taken it off road a few times a year into the high country. Hardly any issues encountered as I drive it with a mild foot and I don't tow and it has been serviced by Nissan every 10K.

Its only recent that I have read up about the myriad of issues that plague the D40 and it appears that there is a line in the sand about its longevity. It was very disheartening to read but I have not had any issues with the car to date. Touchwood! I am seeing less and less of these vehicles on the road so that is not a good sign, but I need to move on and address what I can address.

That being so, I can't afford to sell this vehicle as I have invested alot of money in it recently trying to set it up for some long distance touring. I have plans to get a lift kit and new suspension and GVM upgrade. Also, I just wouldn't get much for it now so I don't see the point in selling it or moving onto a new platform. Perhaps I'll just keep it as a tourer/camper.

So my question is what should I do and in what order should I do it, to get more life out of this vehicle.

I am thinking firstly

1 - I should replace the Timing Chain with YD25.com.au's conversion kit. At 130K I might be pushing it, but I have read and seen D40s / Pathfinders doing more than 200K without changing theirs.

2 - Perhaps next would be to do something about the auto transmission / radiator problem? My ATF looks dark brown now, so I think I need to service it, but luckily its not got water in it.

3 - Get some underbody protection.

4 - Strengthen the chassis at rear suspension.

On a lighter note, perhaps I should just get a Hilux? KD

What do you guys think? Idealy, I would like to keep this vehicle until I no longer want to tour and camp. Would be interested to get Old.Tony's wisdom on this too if he's still around.

Thanks guys. I'd like to get this conversation started.
 

Czechmate

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Ok here we go

D40s might have some glitches that need to be ironed out, but no more than most other modern 4wds. So i think feeling a need to upgrade is not required.
Dont forget the injector problems with the early common rail hiluxes were as expensive if not more than upgrading a timing chain on a d40

We have new rangers and dmaxs at work and my 07 d40 has a much nicer ride and better steering by far, so overall a more comfortable and quality feeling vehicle all round

This is how i tackled the issues you list;

1. Timing chain
I did my d40 with the german made iwis timing chain kit from yd25.com.au. Paul at yd25 supplied all the gear, including the heavy duty aftermarket chain, genuine nissan tensioners and guides, and custom made dual row sprockets. Brilliant stuff

2. Davies craig do a trans oil cooler kit. Its easy to fit, you just disconnect the piping to the oil cooler in the radiator and attach to the new oil cooler
https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p...-cylinder/125648.html?cgid=SCA8002210#start=3

3. Got my underbody plates from ebay. Aussie made and came with all bolts and clever little wires attached to hold the nuts while you fix the plates to the vehicle. I then sprayed with underbody bitumen paint
https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https://www.ebay.com.au/ulk/itm/302645649275

4. Superior engineering make chassis strengthening plates to suit the d40. They were a perfect fit and my friend whos a welder got them on easy
https://www.superiorengineering.com.au/chassis-repair-plate-spainish-models-21680
 

ericcs

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Don't be put off by what could happen, you only hear about problems people encounter, rarely do people brag about how good there car is.
point 1. My 06 has 260kplus, engine has never been touched, still quiet as a mouse. you can get the chain tolerances checked for piece of mind. yes, plenty have let go, but more haven't.
2. my auto only got serviced for the first time at 240k. Same as yours, the oil was black, but everything was in good order, so don't stress. If you doing heavy towing, maybe think about an external cooler.
3. definitely get a bash plate, at least for the radiator/engine. i have a brown/davis. Radiator protection is a must.
4. all you generally need is a 2" lift. Don't get airbags, or do any strengthening, as it only creates engineering, and insurance issues.
they are good cars, despite the criticism, and all the other brands aren't immune they all have their own issues. Yes Tony is still around, i'm sure he will agree with my thoughts!
 

D40-4Life

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Hey guys, glad to see some examples of D40s still ticking along. Much appreciated.

@Czechmate, Thanks for the links. Is the bash plates you were referring to the one done by Custom Offroad? Would you do the upgrades in the order I listed or would you do it differently?

@ericcs, @Czechmate Is the external cooler for the transmission all you need? I read somewhere that it still wasn't enough cooling or that after putting it on, the ATF takes a while to heat up effecting AT performance. (I think it was from an Old.Tony post) Any truth to this? Isolating it from the radiator is the sure way of not getting the cross contamination, so a cooler and radiator isolation should address this. How was your experience with it Czechmate? Auto still runs fine?

@ericcs Wouldn't a GVM upgrade necessitate the strengthening anyway or I could get the engineer to certify it along with the GVM. What do you think? I was looking at the getting the chassis weld plate from Superior Engineering that Czechmate listed.

@ericcs, So yours doesn't have a catch can as yet? I have put a catch can in mine and an extra fuel filter. Those were recent. Obviously theres oil caked and baked in the pipes and intercooler. I'll get the intercooler flushed in due course.

Czechmate, not sure I know what blocking EGR entails.

Would you guys recommend replacing the pipeworks especially all the radiator ones? It is more than 12 years old. I think YD25 do a kit, but not sure off the top of my head. However, my mechanic hasn't flagged any issues with it.

I was thinking about getting bash plates prior to taking it off road again and definitely after I do the transmission cooler or engine works. So its on the agenda.

about 2" lift, I've measured my suspension for sag and it really hasn't sagged at all I don't think. Measuring it against the official data shows that its higher. However, going over bumps is rough nowadays. Feels like its hitting the bump stops most of the time.

BTW, Mine is a Spanish Built. Getting upgrades for it was a little more tricky I have discovered recently, but certainly not impossible.

I really like my D40. Its done everything I have asked of it and now I need it to do more. Like cross the Simpson Desert more, or spend a week up in the high country and in mud more. I have found the D40 to be much more comfortable than a hilux and more roomier. Keeping it for longer is the plan.
 

ericcs

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you will definitely need a suspension upgrade regardless of ride height, as they have no ground clearance as standard. the moment you hook up a decent load, it will be on the stops. my 2" lift kit gave me 2.5" up front, and 3" at the back.
I'm sure Tony only has an after market oil cooler, and he tows a big van
Ivé been slack with fitting a catch can, still plan to, but fitted a egr blanking plate years ago(5 min job), and the car blows little smoke.
personally, i think you will find the Spanish models to be the better of the 2!
 

Czechmate

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Mines a spain build 07 auto STX d40 so exactly the same as yours
I really like all the little euro touches you get in the STX, a lot of the components come from germany, france, uk, czech Republic etc. and are of very good quality

The bash plate set i bought was actually this 3 plate set from roadrunner offroad
https://www.roadrunneroffroad.com.au/020-abc-set-nissan-navara-d40-st-stx-2005-2011-bas

The STX already has another external trans cooler in addition to the one in the radiator. So by adding the big Davies craig oil cooler you've actually got 2 external coolers then

i did realise you lose the warmup and the equalising factor when you no longer have the auto trans fluid running through the radiator, but as it never really gets below 0 degrees here i wasnt too worried
The trans fluid definitely doesnt get too hot with this arrangement , i did some sandy beach driving on a 40+ degree day, and had a suss of the fluid and it wasnt too hot at all

Those superior engineering chassis plates are just a weld on paint over minor brace for the rear frame. You cant even tell theyre on there once painted over
i certainly wouldnt go trying to put extra weight on the back of the ute because you've fitted them
I only did it because a few people have bent their utes in that spot (mainly with using airbags and towing offroad campers)

Thats not just d40s theres photos of all kinds of utes bent like a banana

Egr - small blanking plate you fit in betweem the egr tube and engine head. Costs a few bucks to buy from ebay, the genuine gaskets i bought to install around it cost a lot more than the plate
Catch can - mann hummel provent 200 no questions asked
Catch can -
 

D40-4Life

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@ericcs, Lift kit and suspension upgrade definitely on the agenda. Reckon I have to include a new UCA in that mix also from what I have read.
I was keen on the Ironman Foam Cell pros but some people have told me that they are too short for the D40. Only looking to do 2 inch front and 2.5" back.
Did you see much smoke come out of the exhaust when you put the Blanking Plate on?

@Czechmate Did those roadrunner plates cover your transfer case?

Also, Was the davies craig trans cooler easy to mount? any custom brackets required?

Would you have any problems taking your Nav to the snow or high country during winter with this setup? Maybe this just a case of waiting a little longer for the AT to warm up?

I did the maths of the load I need to go across the Simpson et al and it was over GVM, so I will need to get a GVM upgrade of some description, or reduce my load further. Its already pretty tight. An upgrade of a bit under 80-100Kg would be nice. Certainly having the weld plates is better than not having it if I intend on carrying a little more weight.

Yeah I got the Provent catch can and fuel filter. Engine bay is very tight now. Will probably block the EGR next but worried about blowing smoke out the back.
 

ericcs

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the EGR blank will stop, or at least reduce the amount of black smoke, not increase it.
With the upper control arms, my understanding is it affected the Thai models more. No problem on mine with 2.5"extra lift, just needed a wheel alignment.
 

KevinE

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@ericcs, Lift kit and suspension upgrade definitely on the agenda. Reckon I have to include a new UCA in that mix also from what I have read.
I was keen on the Ironman Foam Cell pros but some people have told me that they are too short for the D40. Only looking to do 2 inch front and 2.5" back.
Did you see much smoke come out of the exhaust when you put the Blanking Plate on?

@Czechmate Did those roadrunner plates cover your transfer case?

Also, Was the davies craig trans cooler easy to mount? any custom brackets required?

Would you have any problems taking your Nav to the snow or high country during winter with this setup? Maybe this just a case of waiting a little longer for the AT to warm up?

I did the maths of the load I need to go across the Simpson et al and it was over GVM, so I will need to get a GVM upgrade of some description, or reduce my load further. Its already pretty tight. An upgrade of a bit under 80-100Kg would be nice. Certainly having the weld plates is better than not having it if I intend on carrying a little more weight.

Yeah I got the Provent catch can and fuel filter. Engine bay is very tight now. Will probably block the EGR next but worried about blowing smoke out the back.
That's a massive amount of weight to be dragging across the desert!

You may need a lift & bash plates for the high country, but you won't need them out in the desert unless you're thinking of tackling virgin sand dunes?

Any lift on a vehicle with IFS like a D40, while looking good, will put addition strain on the steering/front driving components. Combine that with the kind of weight you're thinking of taking & the way you'll have to drive to push all of that weight up & over the sand dunes.
 

D40-4Life

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the EGR blank will stop, or at least reduce the amount of black smoke, not increase it.
With the upper control arms, my understanding is it affected the Thai models more. No problem on mine with 2.5"extra lift, just needed a wheel alignment.
You and Czechmate have convinced me about the EGR blanking. There is a kit available from Poland on eBay that comes with gaskets. No more than $20.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/EGR-val...414966?hash=item3390210436:g:tdEAAOSwxada-Baf

I think I'll order it. but how to handle the Error codes that it will trigger?

I heard that it was more difficult to get a wheel alignment on the Spanish model. I'll have to recheck my facts.

I read this post by 4.8GU and a few others
http://www.navara.asia/showpost.php?p=91342&postcount=14

OK I will say it again in this thread just so people don't get misled. There is no way with standard upper control arms that you can get any more than approx 30mm of lift over STANDARD height suspension while still retaining some form of down travel. You may get more over sagged height suspension but that is not a realistic figure.
That led me to believe along with Zordos advice that UCA was necessary for appropriate down travel provided that some coil tower metal is either cut or bent. I have also heard from a suspension shop that the D40 didn't need UCAs. So a little unsure now.

Horatius wrote: A gvm upgrade sounds good, suspension upgrade too but I hope you don't mind some advice. Or more something just to keep in mind.

Thanks for the tip, I don't mind it at all. I drive more on the conservative side with all my vehicles. I suppose, I will plan going in convoy on those remote trips with the Nissan Club if the opportunity arises. I have been told that corrugations is the killer and that along with a top grade suspension upgrade, taking it leisurely with lots of breaks is the way to tackle these trips. Hard for me to know until I do it.

I hope your D40 serves you well


It has to 130K and I think it will serve me well beyond now that I am aware of some of these issues that might pop up. I thought about upgrading to the NP300 but it just felt small and I wasn't so sure about the rear indy suspension or weight carrying ability. The D40 has the right mix of kit and comfort for me, but I have learnt that its not as bomb proof as the old 4runner I had prior. Its more delicate. Still, if I can get another 150-200K out of it, I will continue to keep it.
 
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Czechmate

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Ive got the old man emu heavy duty 2 inch lift with OME nitrocharger sport shocks
This is the second set of nitrocharger sports ive had, i bloody love them they really firm up what is usually a too cushy ride on a d40. Plus they're made here in Adelaide and we should all be supporting Aussie manufacturing, especially high end performance products
In the US they really get behind the "Buy American" ideology, but here we tend to buy whatevers on sale regardless of what the product actually is
To get back om track;
With this 2 inch lift, the wheel alignment specialist at mclaren vale tyres was only just able to get the front wheels at 90 degrees to the road
Usually youd have a little bit of negative camber, but that is a real challenge for lifted d40s
Really you're just trying to avoid any positive camber as thats bad news for any vehicle except nascar racecars

On the bash plates yes theres one that covers the transfer case, ive just had mine off to replace the transfer fluid

The Davies craig cooler is fairly easy to mount yes, i put mine bottom left of the radiator, behind a big hole in the bullbar for maximum airflow
I just had to make up some bushing mounts out of brass tubing with bolts slid through
Ill get photos when it stops raining here
 

D40-4Life

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KevinE wrote: That's a massive amount of weight to be dragging across the desert!

yeah, I reckon I can go lighter on the Simpson and lighter still for the Cape, but I will be pushing it on the CSR. Just some of the places I intend for this setup to go to.

Combine that with the kind of weight you're thinking of taking & the way you'll have to drive to push all of that weight up & over the sand dunes.

Thats a concern, but I was hoping a top notch suspension setup will help.

Czechmate wrote : With this 2 inch lift, the wheel alignment specialist at mclaren vale tyres was only just able to get the front wheels at 90 degrees to the road

I looked at the lower control arm on mine and it only has the adjustment plate on the rear fork. I was told that better versions of D40 had them on both front and rear.

I just had to make up some bushing mounts out of brass tubing with bolts slid through
Ill get photos when it stops raining here


That would be great.
 
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D40-4Life

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Hey guys, trying to respond, but keep getting my post awaiting moderation. Don't know why.
 

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The timing chain upgrade would be good thing to do or at least get it checked. There is some horror stories about D40 timing chains but some do use a different chain. Mine is a 11/11 Thai build I've had it checked and it's there is minimal deflection.

Changing the oil and filter every 5000K is probably over kill but can be good insurance. Use a good quality oil and filter.

Change the fuel filter every 10,000K minimum. Use a high quality fuel filter. Some put in a secondary fuel filter but some CRD'S get a bit iffy with a second filter. Then you have to add a lift pump... Keep is simple.

I'm in the keep it pretty stock school. There is an old adage- you play you will pay. However there is 3 things I have done engine wise. I put in an EGR blanking plate when it almost new. Catch Can and muffler delete. That got me .5l better per 100 k. Variable vane turbos often don't benefit from larger bore exhaust. Although there is some out there who have spent big money on exhaust who would beg to differ.

Suspension- A lift is a must. There is lots of different approaches, theory's and counter theory's. I prefer a mono tube gas shock/dampener. They just have so much resistance to fade over dual tube shocks. Corrugations is where mono's shine. There is a draw back though if your mono tube on the back cops a rock it's f'd. You can put guards on them tho. I ended going EFS rear and Dobinsons HD front with Bilstiens all round and it works a treat. Thing rides like a limo, handles big bumps great and got over 2 inch at the front. Took 2 goes to get it right.

Above all else, keep it light. Do you really need that bull bar, winch and bash plates. Do you really need the kitchen sink. I have to pull the misses up all the time. I tell her make believe your building a formula one. There is a another old adage take half of what you think you will need and twice the amount of cash.

Edit- Forgot to mention a Trans cooler that is independent from the engine cooling system is a great idea. It will keep the transmission cooler for better longevity and it takes thermal load off the engine cooling system.
 
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Czechmate

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The toyotas such as the 4runners and 90s hiluxes, the nissan d20 and early pathfinders, and the mazda b2000 - b2600 utes were and still are more reliable and sturdy than anything (excepting landcruiser 79 series) built now. They were still actually built in japan for one
They were so over engineered for the amount of factory power and weight. The diffs on my 98 mazda bravo are probably even bigger than the ones on the d40, and that only has half the torque of the d40 from a 2.6 litre petrol
The 5 speed manuals in b2600 bravos are good for 200+ kilowatt rx7s

For a newer outsourced ute, the d40 is pretty robust

Obvious failure points are the famous timing chain, mainly 05-09 STXs and pathfinders built in spain
(already mentioned in this forum a thousand times but mine snapped at 70,000 kilometres and lunched the head)

Thats courtesy of an underspecced chain from a french supplier in the Nissan Europe group. Probably nissans fault for not checking the chain more closely before fitting it to a million japanese engines

The other major weak point is the front diff, i figure when it goes bang, then ill worry about something bigger and better. Not a huge expense and front lockers are an extra cost on any new ute anyway
 

D40-4Life

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I had a manual 4Runner during the 90s. What a great SUV that was. a pity we had to sell it. Nothing ever went wrong with it.

mine snapped at 70,000 kilometres and lunched the head
Did you get yours serviced by Nissan?

Aren't they suppose to keep an eye on the timing chain if they knew it was suspect?



The other major weak point is the front diff, i figure when it goes bang, then ill worry about something bigger and better. Not a huge expense and front lockers are an extra cost on any new ute anyway
So front lockers will add strength to the front diffs?

Changing the oil and filter every 5000K is probably over kill but can be good insurance. Use a good quality oil and filter.
I was told never use anything else except Nissan Coolant. Water or anything else will allow rust and the transmission issue.

Above all else, keep it light. Do you really need that bull bar, winch and bash plates. Do you really need the kitchen sink.
Tough call. A roof top tent is super handy but can you live without it in the Desert?

Edit- Forgot to mention a Trans cooler that is independent from the engine cooling system is a great idea.
Okay, another vote for the trans cooler

They just have so much resistance to fade over dual tube shocks. Corrugations is where mono's shine. There is a draw back though if your mono tube on the back cops a rock it's f'd.
Been told that its the rear right shock that is exposed. If a guard can be placed there, than Bilsteins might be the way to go. I suppose Billies will be better on corrugations than twin tubes but I heard Bilsteins are more stiff.
 
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Old.Tony

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I think I'll step in now, the above advice is brilliant.

My own 2009 D40 STX 2.5L has seen over 325,000km and we just did another run to Bathurst towing the caravan (hence my absence from here). I've never replaced the timing chain (although it's been checked several times). I have replaced the radiator (once), the turbocharger (twice), the gearbox (not through a total failure of the gearbox, but through the incompetence of the supposed transmission specialist we asked to fix the TCC). I've been through 3 BCSs and now use a Tilix valve instead, replaced the vac hoses twice myself, replaced the SCV once and had to replace the DPF sensors.

Otherwise, it's been a case of driving moderately (and sometimes it could be called "too gently". I monitor coolant temps closely - the number one sign that the engine is overworking. I have an alarm set for 105C and I rarely trigger that - 105C is no danger to the car, but that's where I decided my limit is. I removed my large driving lights to allow more airflow through the front. The result is an engine that is still purring over 300K km later.

As for desert travel - I believe my car could do it. I've got a steel bullbar up front, but I've removed the winch to save a little weight (and I hardly ever used it). I've got a canopy with a solar panel feeding an auxiliary battery in the back which powers an Engel as a fridge and an Aldi Stirling as a freezer.

For desert work, I carry a pair of recovery tracks, a long-handled shovel, my ARB air compressor and a portable toilet with a tent, air mattress and good sleeping bags (it can get really cold at night).
 

D40-4Life

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I've never replaced the timing chain (although it's been checked several times).
How often Kms do you get the timing chain inspected?

I have replaced the radiator (once).
Is this due to the corrosion issue?

I have an alarm set for 105C and I rarely trigger that
Thats a great idea.

Tony, have you upgraded GVM? or just done the chassis weld plate?
 

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