Newbie E-51 trip from hell

srecdad

Newbie
E51 Owner
#1
Well less than a week ago I joined the this site as I had just purchased a second hand E-51 Highway Star to use an an executive passenger vehicle for a transport service I operate in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.

On Sunday (today is Tuesday) I flew to Auckland to take possession of my new E-51 (179000 kms , $6,000 nz)
My mate collected me form the airport and drove to the car yard , paperwork done and away across the city to start the 4 hour journey south to Taranaki.

5 mins from my mates house in south Auckland driving uphill on some winding road , the Elgrand coughed, surged, coughed and recovered to then die at an uphil intersection. My mate Simon (a Birmingham lad married to a Kiwi Maori maiden) turned around and asked what was up ?
'Fuel gauge reads one third, but the death had all the hallmarks of outta gas'
Coasted back from the intersection to chat, gas station about 2 kms down the road , I tried the beast and it fired up, cautiously drove towards the gas station and made it.
Pulled up to the pump and pressed FILL, 74.7 litres later the pump shut off ( a later google would suggest a 76 litre tank), would appear the recent dirty fuel problem had afflicted my new pride and Joy.

After a quick lunch with Simon and his wahine, Tania I hit the road for home.

The next 90 mins were uneventful until I was on a 'B road' about 30 mins from the nearest large population centre, when the beast hiccoughed the dash lights all lit up and the needles had somewhat of a fit and DIED !
I coasted a bit further to find a decent spot to get off the road, that happened to a driveway to a rural property. Looking up the drive towards the house i saw lots of out sheds with plenty of machinery , sheds and vehicles, I thought I may be able to get some help. I walked up to the house and shouted a greeting , no reply, shouted again and from around the side of the house came a smiling bloke in singlet, shorts and jandals (thong footwear ((flip flops)) "Hi there, Ive broken down outside your house, so I kinda need your help at least to clear your driveway and then maybe assist me in getting some help ?'
"MATE ! I'm a mechanic , lets get ya vehicle in here and see whats up"

My diagnosis of the symptoms combined with my moderate mechanical skills led Mike to the assumption that I had an electrical problem, some simple diagnostics and testing suggested I had a dead alternator and my battery was flat. Mike said he might have a new battery in his Ford Bronco that he uses to tow his 600hp Camaro to events, 'it should fit, but its new and owes me 200 bucks'. I had come prepared for a road trip and said I had cash on me (I was carrying $800) for just this kind of emergency.
We wandered up to shed number 4 and ripped the battery out of the Bronco and it FITTED !!!! The beast fired up and was looking good. 'Turn all ya electrics off and just let the batt run the engine and fuel pump, your should be good!" So with my new best friends business card and a jar of fresh homemade plum jam (Mikes wife had given it to the kids to give me, plums off the trees out the back, spray free) I hit the road for the 2.5 hour journey ahead of me.

It was going swimmingly (except for the heat ((its summer here)) with no AC) and I had just entered one of the more remote areas of the journey after an hour of trouble free travel when...... the beast hiccoughed the dash lights all lit up and the needles had somewhat of a fit and DIED !

Fortunately I had cell phone coverage so called family to come get me and a tow truck to collect the Beast the next day. I finally got home at midnight and the next day dropped the keys to the tow truck operator so he could get into it.

That all happened two days ago , today I collected the Beast for the tow company after they had charged the battery, I have topped the battery up with charge at home so I can get it to my mechanic (another Mike !) tomorrow.
In the mean time I have removed the centre console on the middle seat row to make a walkway to the rear row of seats and removed the the rails it ran on also.

This is truly the abridged version with much less detail than the verbal story, I type slow and am poor at punctuation so here is some for you to place where required ,,,...::'../,,*()& 6$3@ '; .

I hope whoever reads this has a laugh and is able to answer any questions I am likely to ask in the coming months as I work to get the most our of my BEAST.

Nga mihi (go well)
Rob
 

lolgamlen

Member
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#2
Well less than a week ago I joined the this site as I had just purchased a second hand E-51 Highway Star to use an an executive passenger vehicle for a transport service I operate in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.

On Sunday (today is Tuesday) I flew to Auckland to take possession of my new E-51 (179000 kms , $6,000 nz)
My mate collected me form the airport and drove to the car yard , paperwork done and away across the city to start the 4 hour journey south to Taranaki.

5 mins from my mates house in south Auckland driving uphill on some winding road , the Elgrand coughed, surged, coughed and recovered to then die at an uphil intersection. My mate Simon (a Birmingham lad married to a Kiwi Maori maiden) turned around and asked what was up ?
'Fuel gauge reads one third, but the death had all the hallmarks of outta gas'
Coasted back from the intersection to chat, gas station about 2 kms down the road , I tried the beast and it fired up, cautiously drove towards the gas station and made it.
Pulled up to the pump and pressed FILL, 74.7 litres later the pump shut off ( a later google would suggest a 76 litre tank), would appear the recent dirty fuel problem had afflicted my new pride and Joy.

After a quick lunch with Simon and his wahine, Tania I hit the road for home.

The next 90 mins were uneventful until I was on a 'B road' about 30 mins from the nearest large population centre, when the beast hiccoughed the dash lights all lit up and the needles had somewhat of a fit and DIED !
I coasted a bit further to find a decent spot to get off the road, that happened to a driveway to a rural property. Looking up the drive towards the house i saw lots of out sheds with plenty of machinery , sheds and vehicles, I thought I may be able to get some help. I walked up to the house and shouted a greeting , no reply, shouted again and from around the side of the house came a smiling bloke in singlet, shorts and jandals (thong footwear ((flip flops)) "Hi there, Ive broken down outside your house, so I kinda need your help at least to clear your driveway and then maybe assist me in getting some help ?'
"MATE ! I'm a mechanic , lets get ya vehicle in here and see whats up"

My diagnosis of the symptoms combined with my moderate mechanical skills led Mike to the assumption that I had an electrical problem, some simple diagnostics and testing suggested I had a dead alternator and my battery was flat. Mike said he might have a new battery in his Ford Bronco that he uses to tow his 600hp Camaro to events, 'it should fit, but its new and owes me 200 bucks'. I had come prepared for a road trip and said I had cash on me (I was carrying $800) for just this kind of emergency.
We wandered up to shed number 4 and ripped the battery out of the Bronco and it FITTED !!!! The beast fired up and was looking good. 'Turn all ya electrics off and just let the batt run the engine and fuel pump, your should be good!" So with my new best friends business card and a jar of fresh homemade plum jam (Mikes wife had given it to the kids to give me, plums off the trees out the back, spray free) I hit the road for the 2.5 hour journey ahead of me.

It was going swimmingly (except for the heat ((its summer here)) with no AC) and I had just entered one of the more remote areas of the journey after an hour of trouble free travel when...... the beast hiccoughed the dash lights all lit up and the needles had somewhat of a fit and DIED !

Fortunately I had cell phone coverage so called family to come get me and a tow truck to collect the Beast the next day. I finally got home at midnight and the next day dropped the keys to the tow truck operator so he could get into it.

That all happened two days ago , today I collected the Beast for the tow company after they had charged the battery, I have topped the battery up with charge at home so I can get it to my mechanic (another Mike !) tomorrow.
In the mean time I have removed the centre console on the middle seat row to make a walkway to the rear row of seats and removed the the rails it ran on also.

This is truly the abridged version with much less detail than the verbal story, I type slow and am poor at punctuation so here is some for you to place where required ,,,...::'../,,*()& 6$3@ '; .

I hope whoever reads this has a laugh and is able to answer any questions I am likely to ask in the coming months as I work to get the most our of my BEAST.

Nga mihi (go well)
Rob
Rob, I sincerely hope that you have got all the bad stuff done and dusted, and from here on its all good! I have just picked up my Beast too thankfully my 45minute trip home was uneventful....
 

Karl

Founder
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#4
It would appear that the first issue you encountered was the fuel gauge issue, which is a recall that should have been done in Japan. You should be able to contact a local Nissan dealer and get them to perform the recall work via Nissan Japan.

In the meantime, just fill up whenever you get to half a tank so that you are always on the safe side.

Second issue, simple alternator refurb required. They are one of the common issues with the Elgrand, but easily sorted and not expensive. Chances are the old battery wasn't the issue, it was just dead, so the guy you bought it off will be able to charge it and use it in place of the battery you bought from him. Saying that though, the €200 you spent still got you most of the way home.

I was actually dreading you saying that the cats had blocked on the way back which would have to be THE most unlucky blockage in the history of Elgrand cat blockages.

If you don't already know, get the REAR CATS de-cored or removed ASAP. They WILL block, they WILL destroy your engine, and you WILL end up with a dead car (new engine or engine rebuild time).

Sorry that your maiden voyage in your new car has been so eventful, but the issues you have had are simple to fix and not life threatening (to your car, or anyone in the local vicinity).

Welcome to the club, and if we can be of any more assistance, just shout up :)
 

Steve~Mk1

Here for life
E50 Owner
Premium Member
#5
"Hi there, Ive broken down outside your house, so I kinda need your help at least to clear your driveway and then maybe assist me in getting some help ?'
"MATE ! I'm a mechanic , lets get ya vehicle in here and see whats up"

My diagnosis of the symptoms combined with my moderate mechanical skills led Mike to the assumption that I had an electrical problem, some simple diagnostics and testing suggested I had a dead alternator and my battery was flat. Mike said he might have a new battery in his Ford Bronco that he uses to tow his 600hp Camaro to events, 'it should fit, but its new and owes me 200 bucks'. I had come prepared for a road trip and said I had cash on me (I was carrying $800) for just this kind of emergency.
We wandered up to shed number 4 and ripped the battery out of the Bronco and it FITTED !!!! The beast fired up and was looking good. 'Turn all ya electrics off and just let the batt run the engine and fuel pump, your should be good!" So with my new best friends business card and a jar of fresh homemade plum jam (Mikes wife had given it to the kids to give me, plums off the trees out the back, spray free) I hit the road for the 2.5 hour journey ahead of me.
Good to hear there are still some nice people in the world :)
 

srecdad

Newbie
E51 Owner
#7
It would appear that the first issue you encountered was the fuel gauge issue, which is a recall that should have been done in Japan. You should be able to contact a local Nissan dealer and get them to perform the recall work via Nissan Japan.

In the meantime, just fill up whenever you get to half a tank so that you are always on the safe side.

Second issue, simple alternator refurb required. They are one of the common issues with the Elgrand, but easily sorted and not expensive. Chances are the old battery wasn't the issue, it was just dead, so the guy you bought it off will be able to charge it and use it in place of the battery you bought from him. Saying that though, the €200 you spent still got you most of the way home.

I was actually dreading you saying that the cats had blocked on the way back which would have to be THE most unlucky blockage in the history of Elgrand cat blockages.

If you don't already know, get the REAR CATS de-cored or removed ASAP. They WILL block, they WILL destroy your engine, and you WILL end up with a dead car (new engine or engine rebuild time).

Sorry that your maiden voyage in your new car has been so eventful, but the issues you have had are simple to fix and not life threatening (to your car, or anyone in the local vicinity).

Welcome to the club, and if we can be of any more assistance, just shout up :)
Thanks for the advice. Van has been in NZ for a few years already , so I’m not the first owner here. Fuel gauge issue due to faulty fuel in NZ.
Mechanic gets her tomorrow to make sure cats are out.
 

Karl

Founder
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#9
Thanks for the advice. Van has been in NZ for a few years already , so I’m not the first owner here. Fuel gauge issue due to faulty fuel in NZ.
Mechanic gets her tomorrow to make sure cats are out.
Sorry, but the fuel gauge issue isn't due to faulty fuel. If the dash read you had 1/3 of a tank left, and you got 74 litres in the tank, it's the sender unit that's knackered, and needs to be repaired under the recall. The quality of fuel will not cause a problem with the fuel gauge reading.