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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the diesel X-Trails known problems with the turbo and intercooler. Has anyone found any info about replacing the standard version with an aftermarket one? Is it possible to take the intercooler apart and service it? I have read somewhere that the leaks are due to compression fittings rather than welded joints?
These are a couple of images I found on the net of what looks like an upgraded intercooler


Hopefully someone with a mechanical background will be able to provide some useful info.
 

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I was actually wondering about this on Saturday afternoon, whilst cleaning oil off the bottom of my intercooler. This (I think) has been caused by the cheap compression fittings around the rubber tubing leaking and spraying small amounts of oil carried around in the compressed air over the intercooler and head.

Took it all apart, cleaned it out/ checked for blockages everywhere I could see and refitted.This time making sure everything was tight. Guess I'll just wait and see if the leak continues now before doing anything else.

I guess a replacement intercooler could be an option for those who need it. I imagine as long as it can flow and cool at least the same volumes of air as the existing Nissan item then youre onto a winner. I will have a chat with some guys around here who specialise in modified turbos and remaps etc... later in the week and post up their advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that Andy, hopefully some guys in the know will be able to give their expert knowledge. I was thinking about getting some silicon hoses and new clips to replace the standard ones. I assume apart from the initial mess that I can just take the pipes off and change them? What did you clean them with? Maybe you could write up a brief how to guide for others to use.
 

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Sounds like a plan jme.73!

It was all pretty straight forward really, just used some degreaser to clean off the mess on the intercooler. The rest of it I just wiped down with rags and some WD. Still looking for some replacement silicone hoses though...

I'll try and put together a 'how to' for the cleaning and assembly/refitting at the weekend.

Cheers,

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will give it a go at the weekend. I will also see if I can get some measurements off the pipes so that we can combine our findings and maybe come up with shopping list of bits to get to improve the connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Had a quick look at the intercooler pipes tonight while there was still some light. The two front in pipes from the turbo are 3" in length and a rough measurement of 2.25" diameter. The outlet pipe to the inlet manifold is 9" in length and about 2.75" or 3" diameter over what appears to be a 45 degree bend. Will try and get more accurate measurements when I take them off.
Just a quick question is that a filter between the two 3" sections? Does this need cleaning/replacing as well?
 

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Hi Jme,

I think that is some sort of accumulator. The only purpose I could think of for it would be to prevent any oil blown up from the turbo dripping back down? I did wipe it out, but there was nothing much in it.

I did have a brief measure up at the time of taking the pipes off and from memory the two connecting pipes were 70mm long with an O/D of 55mm... forgot to measure the I/D though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Took the intercooler off and cleaned it tonight when I got home from work.
I am working on a 'how to' at the moment and took some pictures. I measured up the pipes on mine and these were the sizes
2x straights 70mm length, 52mm outside diameter(andys was 55mm would be worth confirming), 45mm inside diameter

1x 45 degree bend? 210mm outside length, 130mm inside length, 65mm outside diameter, 55mm inside diameter

I found two places were oil had been leaking, both underneath. Top right and bottom left, both where the inlet and outlet areas are. I assume the claw type arrangement is the compression fittings I have read about failing.


Would these be possible to get welded and sealed fully?
Off to right up the how to and put up the pics.
 

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Well done on the 'how to' jme!

Actually took some photos of it myself at the weekend, but didn't get around to doing anything else... was waiting for it to snow so I could go and play!

Looked at those fittings again, (mine was already leaking there too!) and they do seem to be just folded/compressed as you suggest. I would not imagine that welding is a possibility due to the heat transfer involved, however brazing might just do the trick. I'll show the photos to some colleagues and see what they think (we used to make Ali coils). I'll also ask a mate of mine who worked as an Ali welder for about 10yrs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Andy,

There didn't seem to be too much involved with the intercooler, so I wonder if a universal aftermarket one of the right volume would be able to replace it. Not sure about where the sensor would go? It might even be able to be relocated to the front area for improved airflow to help the cooling? When I took it off I did wonder if heat soak from the engine could cause some issues and I am looking around for something that could be like a heat reflector that could bolt underneath on the existing points.

I am still getting some oil residue sprayed on the tubes on the left as before, so it must be coming up from the turbo which was recently replaced. Don't know if the turbo is a nissan specific part or made by someone like Garrett and rebranded. Will have to do more digging to see what there is.

Maybe some of the members from the Far East can have a look at the GT model turbo and intercooler and get some specs for us. Maybe the parts are more solid on those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Andy,

Did you manage to find out any info about the intercooler. I have had a look around and found a company that make universal intercoolers that are aimed at the 4x4 market. They are going to be at the Indoor 4x4 show next weekend in Donnington which I am hoping to get to. So if I can, I will see if they have any suggestions.
 

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Sorry about the delay in response guys I've not been well

I've tried contacting Forge etc... about the possibility of creating a custom intercooler for the X. As yet I have had no response. I will probably ring some of them tomorrow, as I guess they (like a lot of companies) ignore e-mail enquiries.

On the plus side a friend has dropped round a catalogue for a company called Rally Design. They stock a large range of intercoolers and Silicone hosing. This all looks very promising.

If I do go down that route I will need to get some advice on relocating the intercooler, as its quite likely it would not be in exactly its present position. As you will have seen on your cars, there is ducting built into the underside of the bonnet to force cool air over the intercooler. This arrangement probably wouldn't suit the aftermarket stuff.

Performance wise I don't see any issues with a relocation, as, theoretically another intercooler with a larger core would dissipate heat more effectively than the nissan std fit, but, as mentioned before I want to speak to some experts before I do anything stoopid!

All this said, before I do anything else, I am going to vice-clamp the existing intercooler right up and knock the ends over a bit more to see if it helps any! Failing that my mate is keen to have a go at welding the seams, so I guess it'as kill or cure time :lol:

Oh by the way, I think I read somewhere that the turbo on the X's is a Garrett item, which is strange considering all the failures. Always though Garrett stuff was bulletproof!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi andy hope your feeling better, was a bit under the weather last week as well lots of nasty bugs floating around.

I am hoping to pick some brains this weekend at the 4x4 show I know on the ford focus forum some of the guys moved the intercooler ad fitted larger versions. So it should be feasible. As for it being a Garret turbo, that could be a good thing because in theory a change to a different version should be possible. Just a case of getting the wires and sensors calibrated and in the right place.

Let us know how you get on with the DIY mod to the standard intercooler.

Jamie
 

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Tried tapping the ends round on Saturday. Don't think its made much difference to be honest.
As a bizarre coincidence, I sold one of my other cars at the weekend, and the chap who came round to buy it was a Nissan mechanic. I had the intercooler off at the time, He said just keep flushing / cleaning it out to avoid the oil drips...

Think I'll give the welding a go next, I've got nothing to lose by trying. Watch this space and I'll let you know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
andysve said:
As a bizarre coincidence, I sold one of my other cars at the weekend, and the chap who came round to buy it was a Nissan mechanic. I had the intercooler off at the time, He said just keep flushing / cleaning it out to avoid the oil drips...
Hi Andy, the worrying thing is its a known fault but where is the oil coming from in the first place? shouldn't it just be compressed heated air!

Made it to the 4x4 show at Donington Park this weekend, got 40.9 mpg out of the xtrail was very impressed. Saw a couple of stands showing off intercoolers and had a quick word about universal and bespoke versions. Seems if you have got the money it should be possible to replace the original OEM part. A couple of universal ones of the right volume were around £400, just need to make provision for the boost sensor.

I am going to email them as it was a bit hectic at the show, with some sizes and specs and see if they can come up with any options.
These are the companies I saw
http://www.brunelperformance.com/aboutintercoolers.htm
http://www.allisport.com/

As for moving it, I did see a modded Mitsubishi with a top mounted intercooler and a bonnet vent designed to avoid water ingress when wading through water. Would mounting it at the front mean water crossings are more likely to cause flooding?

Let us know how the welding goes.

Jamie
 

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Hi jme73,

I know what you mean about the oil. But it seems this is a common thing with the x-trails. My old VW's never seemed to have any oil in the intercoolers though? I have seen some universal coolers with a greater volume for as little as £90, but as you say, where do you fit the boost sensor?

I can see what you mean about the wading height being affected, but I guess if the joints on the system can take 0.7 bar of air without too much leakage, then they should be watertight?

Just in the process of recommissioning one of my other motors that's been standing for 14 months. I need to make sure the wife's got some form of transport, so, once I have that ready (Tuesday probably) I'll whip the cooler off the x-trail and get it to either my mate or my brother in law to get it welded up.

I'll let you all know how I get on!

Andy
 

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Hi where does the oil leak from, don't think i have a problem but i like to keep checking anyway....

MIne is a 56 registered 2.2 dci, i was told the intercooler was different from previous models is this true? done about 56k now so when do i expect problems?? Currently doing about 100 miles aday on mixed roads.

Cheers
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi rob,

If you look at the photos I think your model should be the same shape and size as my one. The older version is smaller and also I don't think have the catch can on the inlet tube. Theres a photo on Ibster gallery of his series 1 engine bay.
The oil leak on mine is around the inlet, drivers, side of the intercooler and tends to get sprayed onto the water pipes and engine block. But I think andys was a in a different place looking at his photos.
Just run your hand around the edges to see if there is any oil, it may only be a light amount. Also as andy said the nissan mechanic and manual do suggest flushing the intercooler out once in awhile, so you can see if it is leaking then.

I have found out a bit more info about the turbo in the xtrail. went to turbo technics website and they have pdf, http://www.turbotechnics.com/docs/catalogue.pdf, listing turbo info for different manufacturers. Seems the older xtrails used an IHI Turbo model RHF4, while the newer revised versions had a Garrett turbo as andy mentioned. Model number 1849v. Looking up this model number on the web I found out that there was revision of the model numbers for these turbos, apparently the first ones had variable adjustment on them which didn't always work and caused them to fail, while the later ones had a factory fixed setting and these seem to be what is used to replace them.
some useful discussions going on here, mainly about the Primera but may be relevant to the xtrail model, http://www.tdocuk.com/viewtopic.php?p=2 ... a75704df8a.

Jamie
 

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Hi
Think mine might be starting to leak as the pipe under the cooler, drivers side at thr front looks like its been sprayed with oil slightly otherwise ok, is there a oil check level anywhere? or is it the engine oil circulating? check those levels and all seems ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
yeah robbo that is the same as I had first of all. its not a great deal of oil, just a mist so it doesnt really show a drop on the dipstick level. Try tightening up the clip to see if that helps, but it seems to be from the compression edges on the intercooler that seeps the oil out under pressure from the turbo. If you do start to see the level go down then I would take it to get looked at, as it could be the turbo failing which is a lot of money, but depending on your vehicle age could still be covered under warranty.
 
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