Elgrand TLC

Steve~Mk1

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E50 Owner
Premium Member
#1
So I’ve started to fix up my Elgrand - looks like someones given her some TLC in the past with Alpine speakers, twin tank veg oil setup etc.

First of all changed the rear diff fluid, which after looking at the axle several times made me get this to use on the axle fill plug:

Only a couple of quid on eBay but I can’t find any other 1/2” square tool short enough to fit there without dismantling the panhard rod(?).

Did the dash LED bulb swap and found this halfway through - I think it’s a turbo timer, but someone’s unplugged it:


Onto the next fix - One of the bargaining points when I got the bus were these lovely reflectors someone stuck on the bumper, presumably after they backed into a post and took out the o/s one:


Nevermind, I wanted to get something to replace them, but also to do the job of the foglight, as the car had the ‘brake light foglight’ setup which I wasn’t happy with. So I ordered these LED reflectors: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/361156655531?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT had to shave them down a little height wise, and epoxy in a piece of plastic to mount them on, but even halfway through the job I’m happy with it:


Next jobs, front diff fluid...
 

MrChops

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Premium Member
E51 Owner
#2
That's a remote start/stop/turbo timer unit but without the control fob is useless anyway. I heard the insurance companies aren't that happy with these. Probably best leaving it unplugged, or at the recycling centre.
 

Steve~Mk1

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E50 Owner
Premium Member
#3
That's a remote start/stop/turbo timer unit but without the control fob is useless anyway. I heard the insurance companies aren't that happy with these. Probably best leaving it unplugged, or at the recycling centre.
I've never liked the idea of leaving the car with the engine still running when parked - and I always thought that was illegal on a public highway too?
 

zednine

Active Member
E51 Owner
#4
Interesting, I have the remote start fob. but doesn't appear to do anything. I'll get a look for the module now. Would be nice to have even if its just for fun.
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#5
Previous owner must have smoked, so instead of breaking my back getting that smell out of the cloth/foam, I managed to get a set of HighwayStar half leather seats from someone breaking a dead 3.0 Neo E50 - they bolt straight in the same place the earlier cloth seats, which is nice :cool::

They need a good clean though!

New tyres were on the radar, but after looking at it from all angles, the ET0 offset on the 8Jx16 wheels just isn’t workable on a standard bus - the rears stick out so much the tyres rub on the sliding door, and you can see tread on the fronts when viewing from above - it must’ve got through a few MOTs like that though. So just to get things usable again I picked up these Maverick 7Jx15 rims, and some 215/65 100H tyres from someone swapping over to All Terrains on a Bongo - looks much better than I expected it would :cool::

Might just keep these rims on her - Just need to sort out ‘Nissan’ badged hub caps for them.
 

Steve~Mk1

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E50 Owner
Premium Member
#6
Oh, some boring stuff:

Transfer case fluid changed. Capacity is apparently 3 litres, and while about 2.5 litres of fluid came out of the drain hole, I could only get 1.5 litres of ATF back in the fill hole before it was coming back out...It might’ve been ok, but I put another litre back in via the breather on the top of the TC just to be sure it was a like-for-like change (very tedious way to do it mind) .

Transmission sump drain/fill done - you only change a partial amount compared to the overall fluid this way, but what came out wasn’t too bad.

Front differential fluid changed. Had to rig up a breaker bar out of 2 long 3/8” extensions to get the fill plug undone...that was held on :swear: tight

Oh, and if like my car you find the engine undertray is only held on with 3 screws ( :rolleyes:), these screws will fit the Nissan undertray clips pretty well like for like:


Had them left over from the corrugated steel sheets I fitted on my garage roof.
 

Steve~Mk1

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E50 Owner
Premium Member
#7
So after changing the oil filter I decided to advance the air filter/intake replacement to free up some more space –the existing air filter/intake takes up an awful lot of room, and as the previous owner/muppet clearly used an oil filter removal tool to tighten the filter up(!), I ended up using a breaker bar to get the can loose:(...which meant taking the air intake to bits for room.

After reading some guides on here, I went for an alloy R32/R33 MAF adapter, 90* silicone elbow & large cone air filter:


It’s currently resting on the maze of hoses that make up the currently unplugged veg oil system…might have to fab up a support bracket when the veg oil system’s reconnected - outer diameter of the silicone hose is very close to that of a domestic soil pipe, so trip to Wickes I think:wondering:

Engine seems to pull a little better and not run out of steam as early. No major change in intake volume but you can hear quite a whistle from the turbo now.

Another benefit of removing all the air intake junk is that it free’d up some space for the little ebay oil catch can I had knocking around:


Used two of the old defunct air intake bolts/mounts to hold a piece of ally flat bar in place, which the can’s attached to. Not 100% happy with the quality of the hose that came with the kit, so I’ve got some new stuff on order.
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#8
Next job has been to put a free flowing stainless exhaust on. I went for 2.5” Jetex parts as the angles are all mandrel bent, and the while the silencers are straight through they‘re considered quite mild. Btw - If you look at the 3.2 TD tailpipe it’s 2.5”, but after taking the old system off most it is 2.25” or less - in places the pipework crimps down to 2”.

Assembled this lot of bits to start with:


I went for the biggest possible silencer to go in before the axle, in case I couldn’t get one in after it - I couldn’t fit the smaller one in after all - that’ll be going on my Escort.

First problem was that I had to cut the downpipe to system flange joint, as even after cutting the nuts with a splitter they wouldn’t shift:banghead:

Next problem was the over axle bend didn’t have enough horizontal length at the 90 degree bit to clear all the Elgrand’s suspension links - panhard rod especially. I got 2 further 45 degree bends and a sleeve to add some length in which did the job nicely:



Oval tailpipe trim fits the Elgrand bumper cut-out almost just right, although I might trim the rear pipe to tuck it under a bit more. As some feedback - the system itself is very quiet at idle to about 2.5k rpm, maybe as quiet as the original - which is what I was after :)



When I get my MIG welder fixed I might have a go at making a 3” to 2.5” turbo downpipe with an EGT bung to improve the front end of all this.
 

Rapperfrapper

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#10
So after changing the oil filter I decided to advance the air filter/intake replacement to free up some more space –the existing air filter/intake takes up an awful lot of room, and as the previous owner/muppet clearly used an oil filter removal tool to tighten the filter up(!), I ended up using a breaker bar to get the can loose:(...which meant taking the air intake to bits for room.

After reading some guides on here, I went for an alloy R32/R33 MAF adapter, 90* silicone elbow & large cone air filter:


It’s currently resting on the maze of hoses that make up the currently unplugged veg oil system…might have to fab up a support bracket when the veg oil system’s reconnected - outer diameter of the silicone hose is very close to that of a domestic soil pipe, so trip to Wickes I think:wondering:

Engine seems to pull a little better and not run out of steam as early. No major change in intake volume but you can hear quite a whistle from the turbo now.

Another benefit of removing all the air intake junk is that it free’d up some space for the little ebay oil catch can I had knocking around:


Used two of the old defunct air intake bolts/mounts to hold a piece of ally flat bar in place, which the can’s attached to. Not 100% happy with the quality of the hose that came with the kit, so I’ve got some new stuff on order.
I was thinking of doing this air filter replacement on mine, but was unsure about which maf adapter to get, but thanks to this guide, I've just purchased one, with a k+n filter, plus I'll try and have a go at making a cold air feed box to put it in.
Cheers for your write up.
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#11
I was thinking of doing this air filter replacement on mine, but was unsure about which maf adapter to get, but thanks to this guide, I've just purchased one, with a k+n filter, plus I'll try and have a go at making a cold air feed box to put it in.
Cheers for your write up.
No problem - I measured the MAF bolt pattern when it was dismantled for the oil change, and the one sold as 'R32/R33 MAF adapter' by 800bhp on eBay matched. There is an existing air feed from the inner wing that feeds into the standard filter setup if I recall - might make it easier to start the cold air feed with that?
 

Rapperfrapper

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
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E50 Expert
#12
Yes
No problem - I measured the MAF bolt pattern when it was dismantled for the oil change, and the one sold as 'R32/R33 MAF adapter' by 800bhp on eBay matched. There is an existing air feed from the inner wing that feeds into the standard filter setup if I recall - might make it easier to start the cold air feed with that?
Yes I e seen that cold air feed on inner wing, I'll probably fabricated a box or at least a heat sheild to insulated the air filter from hot air from engine bay, plus might try to widen the hole on inner wing to be able to use either a 2" or 3" ducting pipe to behind lower fro t grill.
First thing gs first need to get an air filter and either silicon or aluminium piping to extend air filter away from Maf, so can box it in cold air box.
Keeps me out of trouble I guess :)
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#13
First of all, apologies to those who love the standard steering wheel, but even when looking at E50's I thought the wheel looked a bit bland:

The rubber had also come away from the steel core on one side so you could twist it round :worried:

So, I ordered a steering wheel boss from Australia via eBay, which included the SRS resister so the airbag light stays off:


And also got this 350mm diameter Suede wheel off eBay (standard wheel is about 395mm):



Grip is a lot thicker than the standard wheel, that and the suede makes it much more comfortable - also makes the steering feel a bit more solid than the old one, which is nice :cool:
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#15
So I’m finally getting some time to tinker with the Elgrand again, which has been running the family duties since my wife’s Jeep’s been playing up, and her Mini is too small for the family jobs.

Started to tidy up the rear, replaced the cracked o/s lens with some red over clear lenses, de-badged, & fitted reverse cam in place of the useless mirror:


Still need to repair the o/s bumper damage that came with the bus, fit the new reflectors, remove the old reverse cam...and so on:oops:
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#16
I’ve had cheap boost & EGT gauges, pod and dawes valve sat on the shelf for nearly a year…so decided it was about time to get them fitted. As this is a 4x4 version I can’t drill a hole and stick the gauge to the right of the main display, so decided to mount the pod in place of the old Xanavi display (which I ripped out):



Gives a good clear display that you can easily see (just reads out the volts when the engine isn't running):


I’m not sure if I prefer the digital to analogue readout, but its clear exactly how much boost you’re making.
So far with some brief testing it seems that the car makes about 8-9psi around 1700-2000 rpm, but if you push it, it peaks at 11 psi 2000-2500rpm which I think is normal for the stock boost on the QD32 (quite a bit of turbo flutter heard on the overrun during these tests).

The dawes valve is ready and waiting to be fitted, depending on how much Adrian Flux want from me:

AF have been very good so far and didn't ask for any more cash to add the air filter & exhaust mod to the policy :)
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#17
So Adrian Flux came up with the goods again, and the additional premium for having a Dawes valve was £0, which was nice:



Been running it for a week now, and the initial setting I put it on gave maximum of 14psi boost when pushed hard. Turned the dawes valve bolt in 2 more turns, and the maximum when pushed hard is now 19psi. Might back off slightly as the Hitachi HT12 will apparently commit suicide if asked to deliver more than 20psi all the time :eek: {although, that would be a good excuse for a TD04 or Garrett GT swap ;) }.

I did expect the MAF to get maxed out before that boost level though…but no warnings or limp mode so far…still think its is running far too lean and needs something to deliver more fuel so maybe an EVRY mod or a tuning box is on the way.

However it does seem to drive with a bit more go :) - maybe the dawes valve is a better way to regulate the boost than with an old/worn wastegate actuator?

Although I’ve been looking at where the intercooler sits, I can’t help but think that things would work better with an intercooler mounted centrally where the numberplate cutout on the bumper is. The intake on the lower n/s looks too small to feed the cooler - had a little play with MS Paint (no photoshop on my PC!) to see what it might look like if I did move things round:
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#18
Finally got round to tightening the tappets at the weekend after a year of ownership...

Took longer than expected as the crank pulley is 42mm and not 40mm like the socket I bought :rolleyes:, so some quick work with the dremil was needed to turn it into a 42mm socket...

However, definitely quietened down the valve gear so a job worth doing on the QD32 :cool: