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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 20:32 
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Hi

A new job is looming and I am looking for a decent softroader. 80% of my time is commmuting chomping up and down the M11 the rest of the time I'll be on muddy rough construction sites or out bushcrafting. so something fairly car like with some raised clearance and a bit of 4x4 capability would be handy.

I've driven a few and like the X Trail.

So a question for our car experts here. Anything I should be aware of with this beastie? Or any alternatives I should consider (My budget is £5K tops) ?

Cheers !

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Gordon Brown saying I got the country into it's current economic mess so I'll get us out of it is the same as Bomber Harris nipping over to Dresden and offering to repair a few windows.

Chaos, panic and disorder - my work here is done.

http://www.wildcrafts.co.uk


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2013 22:16 
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Er...GUILTY!

Mrs M. has had one for a few years now. They come in 2 basic flavours - The earlier T30 model and the later T31 model. Changeover was early 2007, I think. The T30 is a Japanese-designed and built machine. The T31 is considerably more "Renault". £5k might JUST get you an early T31. Mrs. M's is one of the last T30s ('56 plate).

There's an excellent technical forum for help with faults here:

http://www.x-trail-uk.co.uk/

One of the best I've seen, and they're a friendly bunch too.

Before I write too much of an "essay", were you thinking of going petrol or diesel? Both T30 and T31 could be had with either. There is more than one diesel engine in the T30 (although I think they were all 2.2 litres, so it's hard to tell without looking at the engine number). Early (pre-2004) T30 diesels were famous for blowing turbos. Most are likely to have been changed with an upgraded version by now. All the T30 diesels have timing chains and are relatively low tech and reliable. We've never had a minute's bother out of ours, but leaking intercoolers are not uncommon. Also fuel pump "Suction Control Valves" (which are quite hard to replace, apparently). For a Jap car, I've been somewhat disappointed in build quality. The running gear appears somewhat "fragile". I've replaced a variety of (in fairness, cheap and easy to source) bits. Brakes are a real weak point. Calipers sticking. LOADS of threads on the forum on that! Again, relatively low-tech and easy and cheap to source reconditioned units on eBay.

We don't do any serious offroading in it. A couple of farm tracks several times a week. Some of the more serious offroaders criticise the departure angle. There's a big rear silencer that catches on steep ramps. Ground clearance is "better than a conventional car" but not in Landrover league. Also worth bearing in mind that it's not a "proper" 4x4 with low ratio gears and a centre diff (or diff locks). It's basically a front wheel drive car with an electromagnetic coupling that brings in the rear wheels when 4WD is selected. HOWEVER, in practice, they work extremely well on low friction surfaces. Ours is absolutely BRILLIANT in snow. Worked well pulling a boat trailer on slippy mud in a river estuary once too. There are several trim levels. Well worth getting the "Aventura". Better sound deadening, built-in sat-nav (that can't do postcodes!), heated leather seats, cruise control and, most importantly, "Traction Control". This is Nissan's "poor-man's-limited slip diff". It just uses the ABS pump to apply the brake to the spinning wheel(s) and I have to say, it does this to great effect!

Superb tow car - best we've ever had. Really "old skool" torquey diesel works well there.

Refinement on the older diesels isn't great by modern diesel standards. Someone on the forum once made me laugh by describing a cold start as a noise "like someone kicking a bag of spanners down a fire escape". With the right oil in them though, they're acceptable when warm.

We get about 32-34 to the gallon on normal runs, best ever was 36 on a run. Pre-2006 engines were "Euro 3" emissions standard and were a bit LESS thirsty than the later T30s which were Euro 4. Plenty of people on the forum with earlier cars get about 35 normally and nearly 40 on a run.

17" wheels don't leave you with a lot of choice for tyres. They're also fussy about tyre sizes (absolutely VITAL to have the same size (and preferably the same MAKE) at both ends). It can give the electromagnetic centre coupling a hard time if they're significantly different. Nissan actually recommend rotating them front-to-rear every 3000 miles (although I don't know anybody who does)!

Much roomier and more practical than a RAV4, and slightly better off road. No experience of a Honda CR-V. Don't think they're that good off-road or on snow but are probably better built. Better (I'd say) than a Freelander 1 (although not as good off-road).

Come back if you home-in on a particular model.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 18:07 
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Thanks for that, this is the sort of thing that I'm finding in my price range:

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ?logcode=p

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ?logcode=p

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/ ... ?logcode=p

_________________
Gordon Brown saying I got the country into it's current economic mess so I'll get us out of it is the same as Bomber Harris nipping over to Dresden and offering to repair a few windows.

Chaos, panic and disorder - my work here is done.

http://www.wildcrafts.co.uk


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 21:49 
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They're all older T30s. At least one looks to have had an aftermarket stereo fitted, so I guess the steering wheel controls won't work. They all look tidy enough for the age and mileage (but then, they always do on the forecourt)! They're all "Euro 3" emissions level cars, so a relatively simple injection system, and better MPGs (I reckon you'll get about 35 in mixed driving, maybe 38-ish on a run.

Don't know how technical you are, but the intercooler sits on top of the engine. it's a crimped one and, sooner or later, they all start leaking. About £200 for a "proper" welded one, and a very easy fix. As you open the bonnet, look at the front, left corner. That's where they all seem to start leaking. If there's oil around that bottom corner, it's days are numbered.

Try accelerating moderately in a low gear near a wall with the window down. The turbo should be virtually silent. bit of a hiss, but no whine or whistle.

Come to a gentle stop on a very slight slope and check that it rolls back. The brakes are famous for binding. At the end of the test drive feel all the wheels and check that the pair on each axle are a similar temperature to each other.

Knocking from suspension (front or rear) at low sped over small irregularities like cobbles an cats eyes is usually anti roll bar bushes or drop links. Again cheap and relatively easy.

Check that the appropriate lights come on on the dash when you select "auto" (green light with a pair of axles on it) and "lock" (orange light with the word "lock") with the switch on the dash. VERY hard to check if the 4WD is working unless you can go on some wet grass! You could TRY putting it in "lock" and setting off gently on a full lock and then do the same with it in 2WD. You MIGHT feel it needing a bit more throttle to take off when in "lock" and you might feel the tyres grabbing a bit, but it's very hard to tell.

Car is "old skool" diesel and should have prodigious torque from 1500 revs upwards, but will start to run out of puff at about 4000 revs. Try and rev it hard, accelerating at wide-open throttle and see how much black smoke you can see in your mirror.

Being Japanese, underbody anti-corrosion protection wasn't that great. Well worth having a good look underneath.

Towing capacity is wrong on all those adverts. 750kg is the maximum they can tow WITHOUT brakes. They can tow up to 2 tonnes with brakes. They're superb tow cars.

Can't think of anything else, but well worth joining the forum and asking!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 18:21 
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Mole

Many thanks for all that info, it's been very handy as is the forum you recommended.

Cheers !

_________________
Gordon Brown saying I got the country into it's current economic mess so I'll get us out of it is the same as Bomber Harris nipping over to Dresden and offering to repair a few windows.

Chaos, panic and disorder - my work here is done.

http://www.wildcrafts.co.uk


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 23:36 
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SE - old tip from an old bloke I knew in Rhodesia when I mentioned how good Landies were off road. better to know where you CAN'T go than imagine where you can go . I'd say it is the same for all 4x4. I've driven Defenders in mud-they're like tractors- they plod on .I've also driven the Nissan 1600 4wd in similar- it needs to be rally driven ,or dug out of a mud hole.

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Drivers are like donkeys -they respond best to a carrot, not a stick .Road safety experts are like Asses - best kept covered up ,or sat on


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