So not a great deal to add this week, but I have been investigating and exploring my new ute.
I had a good crawl underneath and I'm pretty satisfied there's not a lot of vulnerable stuff hanging down into harm's way.
The bottom of the shock absorber mounts on the rear axle are a minor concern, but are so close to the wheels themselves that it would take the kind of extreme rock crawling I don't really do to be a problem. Good wheel placement should lift them out of the way.
There's plenty of room under there for a larger fuel tank, which might be worth a look. It would keep the weight lower and better distributed than keeping it in the tub, but it does beg the question why they're so expensive.
The rear diff breather runs into the chassis rail on the right side and seems pretty sensibly done, I don't think it will need a breather extension. It does feel like there's no screen or valve on the end though, so I might borrow the inspection camera from work next time it's quiet and confirm that. Don't want dust getting in.
I can't find a transfer case breather, but in any case the point of concern there is the motor or solenoid that does the ratio change, and its wiring harness, which do not appear very well protected from water. Might need to spend some time with the silicone gun and WD40 there.
The front diff is well tucked away (independent suspension is still a novelty to me) so I didn't bother looking for a breather, it's already high enough.
The only other concern underneath is what I guess is the brake proportioning valve on the rear axle (which looks to be an electronic sensor rather than a valve). Again the wiring looks like it might need some attention to be waterproof.
Finally after much Googling and comparing the various products, I ordered a secondary fuel filter (this one: http://www.dieselcare.com.au/product...er-kit-dcs035/
. This is a 2 micron filter and water separator that installs downstream from the factory filter, between the factory filter and the fuel pump.
I'm fitting this because I know first hand of several people who have taken dirty outback diesel through their injectors and ended up with five-figure repair bills. Nissan Australia specifically exclude issues caused by contaminated fuel from the warranty, at least as far as they can by law.
I tossed up this option, which I am still concerned may prove to be a fuel flow restriction, against a much larger 30 micron pre-filter based on advice from the manufacturer. They say the 30 micron jobby, even though it has a much larger water trap capacity than the 2 micron, essentially does the same job as the Nissan factory setup. As the Nissan setup has a water alarm (not every model of vehicle does), I should put my faith in that and use the 2 micron filter to ensure that if the factory alarm goes off and I stop immediately, the secondary filter should have stopped anything that made it past.
Anyway it looks easy to fit but for warranty preservation I might take it to a licensed mechanic - should only take 30 minutes' labour for a professional.
I'll report how it goes. I can always take it off again. I've also resolved to order a replacement factory filter to carry in the ute, as I know a bloke with a 150 Prado who had to drive 1,100km down the Birdsville Track in limp-home mode because his Toyota filter got filled with gunk and tripped the ECU. My ScanGauge, which can clear fault codes, will also help avoid this happening to me. Hopefully.