Karl's E50 Caravan V "Project Marmite"

Karl

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E50 Owner
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#1
I picked my E50 up in December 2013 just after Christmas. Found her on Gumtree for £1500.
She was in a bit of a sorry state when I got her; dull swirled paintwork from car washes, rust stains etc. She was also totally standard and unmolested which is something I like when buying a car. I don't like picking up other people's second hand projects because I never really feel like I own it, but that's just me.

Current List of Mods:

  • HKS Foam Non-Oiled Mushroom Filter
    Pioneer Double Din DVD Player
    15" Eonon HD Rear Fold Down Screen
    Vibe Blackair V12 Active Subwoofer
    Vibe Blackair Stereo 4 (100w RMS x 4 Channel @ 4Ohm) / 300w RMS x 2 Channel @ 4Ohm)
    Vibe Slick 6" Coaxial in front and rear (Front's to be soon replaced with Vibe Blackair 6" component speakers)
    Interior dome light changed to white/blue LED panels
    Aftermarket Remote Central locking kit with "blipper" siren
    Replaced front Sidelights with 3SMD CREE LED's 6000k
    Replaced front headlight bulbs with Osram Cool Blue Hyper 5000k bulbs
    Works Euroline 18" Alloys wheels sporting 225/45/17 tyres
    Removed (broken) rear parking mirror
    Cookie Monster & Metallica Decal on rear
    Black & White JDM Sticker Bombing sheets along lower half of exterior


So, here she is when I picked her up :)











 

Karl

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#2
The first thing that really did my head in was the radio. The Xanavi unit that came in the van, as I quickly found out, was 99% redundant. All I could do was listen to CD's. The radio wouldn't pick up UK frequencies, the screens were all in Japanese (see the Xanavi system thread in the E50 I.C.E forum).

So, I had a look about at some new head units. What was important to me was having a DVD player, RCA outputs for a second screen hookup and RCA outputs for an amplifier. I was not bothered about having GPS built in as my phone does that already and I couldn't justify the price jump for it.

So I settled for this Pioneer Double Din DVD player (I'll post the model number for specific info later, I've forgotten it).

This head unit ticked all the boxes. Bluetooth hands free calling, bluetooth audio streaming, USB input for Memory Stick / iPhone input, DVD Player, codecs for playing various video files, reversing camera input, video output for second screen and audio output for sound system.

The cables you can see hanging out the hole in the dashboard are for the microphone and the USB port. In the second photo, you can see where my friend modified the blanking plug that fills that gap to give me a permanent USB port and microphone fixed to the dash. Both are held in with silicone sealant behind the plug. This allows for any slight movement from putting a USB stick in etc so nothing breaks :)





 

Karl

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#3
The next thing I needed to do was give her a good clean! The paintwork desperately needed it. So, here's what I used:

Autoglym Car Shampoo (2 bucket method)
Autoglym Quick Detailer / Meguiarrs Medium Claybar combo
Autoglym Super Resin Polish
Meguiars Carnuba Wax (sample of - ran out of Autoglym HD hard wax)
Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection
Autoglym Car Glass Polish
Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care

Here is a pic of the amount of dirt the claybar managed to get off the paintwork. This is the worst I have ever seen a claybar look before, and shows just how badly the paintwork needed it!

(More pics to follow when I get them back)

 

Karl

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#4
I also had an HKS foam Mushroom filter lying around in the garage with a bracket fitment that just so happened to match the MAF! Happy days!

Before I set out to fit it, I was having some troubled with exceptionally poor fuel economy, so I purchased a new MAF, ripped out all the standard air intake pipes and boxes and ended up looking like this:





I also inadvertantly realised that the Turbo Inlet Pipe (between the MAF and the turbo) was badly split and sucking in air post MAF. This is another cause of poor running and poor economy. So I bodged it together with some duct tape...



... until this arrived! I recommend that EVERYONE with a 3.2 TD buys one of these! The original pipe is well known for breaking and causing problems. For £60, not only do you get a pipe that will not split (one piece silicone mould), but you also get better airflow thanks to the smoother internals :) I got this for £60.

 

Karl

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#5
Things calmed down for a short time whilst I saved up money for the next group of goodies. The first of which was this Eonon 15" HD Flip down screen for the rear. This little beauty cost me £100 and arrived within a week from Hong Kong. Display quality isn't the best, but what can you expect from a portable fold down monitor. It does the job perfectly! I've been in the back with the kids and watched Star Wars on this and it was fantastic.

This screen is linked directly to the head unit via the RCA output cable.

 

Karl

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#6
The next major modification was the wheels. I could not abide the standard 15" multispoke wheels that came on the van. IMHO, they're just too small. So, thanks to another member on here who bought some new wheels for his E50, I bought these 17" wheels. Now, these feature quite regularly on Elgrand's what I've seen, but I don't actually know what make they are as the centre caps always say something different. I will try to find out more info, but at the moment, I'm just pulling up blanks.

Here they are fitted :) They totally transformed the overall look of the van. I couldn't believe just how much different it looked with these shoes on. I'm really pleased with them. They will be going off for a refurb in the not too distant future, but still not sure what colour to go for :lol:







 

Karl

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#7
When it came to MOT time, I realised I had a blown sidelight bulb, so rather than just replace with a standard bulb, I thought I'd see if I could freshen the front end up a bit with some whiter lights.

So, I ordered myself a set of these LED's, they're 9w CREE LED's that give a 6000k bright white colour.



And here is what they look like when fitted and working :)



But now I had a problem, the headlights looked even MORE yellow against the bright white sidelights. So I set about looking for headlight bulbs. I looked into the option of HID bulbs, but they do not work without "Projector" style headlights that have a different beam pattern, so I went for some of these OSRAM Cool Blue Hyper bulbs.



Here is a direct comparison between the two, passenger side is new bulb, drivers side is standard bulb



The finished result :)





Still need to do the turning light bulbs and fog lights, but I'll get to them another time :geek:
 

Karl

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#8
I added some decals to make this van more... mine :lol:

The Cookie Monster sticker is there to cover the holes left behind from removing the broken rear parking mirror. Never had one, never needed one, so no need to replace it :D

 

Karl

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#9
Here is where "Project Marmite" really took off. I decided that I wanted to do something different to the norm. Something that would make my Elgrand stand out in a crowd. So, I bought 160 sheets of stickerbombing paper, and this was the end result













 

Karl

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#10
When I bought the Elgrand, the front speakers were shot to bits. They sounded truly awful. Only one of the four speakers was working, and that one was crackly. So I bought some VIBE Slick 6 coaxial speakers to replace the standard ones. These were perfect for what I needed, and were a MASSIVE improvement.
But, as my sound system progressed and the amps got more powerful, the speakers started showing that they weren't up to the punishment I was giving them, so I bought these and have just got round to fitting them :)

I have to say, the sound quality has been MASSIVELY improved. The tweeters give a really rich tone to high end frequencies, and the woofers suit the mid range perfectly. Coupled with the 12" sub located being the drivers seat, the sound system is almost up to the standard I want.



Tweeters





Crossover nearly tucked away



Mid Range Woofers



 

Karl

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#14
Yup, they're the wheels. Though mine have been painted silver, so need to get them refurbed to the polished lip back :)
 

Madfish

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#15
Do yours have the rim studs on Karl? I thought you had the single piece rims...
 

Karl

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#17
Forgot to mention my interior light modification... I bought some 48 LED panels to fit in the rear dome light. Couldn't decide on a colour, so I went for white and blue. Then decided to fit them both :)









 
J

joe pollock

Guest
#18
hell you've really pimped your ride as they say lol looking good I love the new screen etc does your pioneer tv screen act as a radio etc, could you tell me all the stuff you bought ton do your radio , screen etc so I can do the same as you and were did you buy it from I would be very grateful
 

Karl

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#19
The Pioneer HU does everything - AVH-X2500BT (This model is now discontinued, but you will be able to find a more recent one). My model does not have GPS built in as I have my phone for that, but you can get them with GPS built in (but they are a good £200 more). My unit cost me £250 in Jan this year (2014).
Radio that picks up all UK frequencies.
CD/DVD player.
USB input for MP3 (music) and AVI (video) files.
Bluetooth Hands Free calling
Bluetooth media streaming from phone/mobile device
iPod/iPhone Connectivity
Dedicated Reversing camera input (to display on screen)
Video input from external source (so you can attach a mobile freeview box etc)
Video output to external screen (mine is connected to rear screen)
Audio output to amplifier (if wanted).


I've made a how to guide for how to install an aftermarket radio here.

As for the rear screen, I bought this off Ebay from a supplier in Japan for £99. It does NOT play DVD. The screen is connected directly to the Head Unit using an RCA cable that comes from the head unit VIDEO output. I ran the wired through the head lining, down the drivers side A pillar (the grey post with the grab handle on the right of the windscreen). I married the cabling from the screen to the head unit behind the dashboard.

Unfortunately, I can't make a "how to" for installing the screen as the pictures were on "The Nissan Elgrand Club" Facebook page, and as I've been banned, all my posts and pictures were removed. So you can
thank the user who banned me for that. Though I'd be happy to try and talk you through it :)
 

Karl

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E50 Owner
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#20
Finally had a new Stainless Steel exhaust fitted to the beast. Lookin' good :cool:









And the obligatory video :)

[youtube]7MTWElmay2Q[/youtube]