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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I'm new to posting here, although have been a "reader" for a while - and benefited from lots of good advice so far, so thanks!


My truck is in limp mode most of the time, and I've just found my intercooler looks like it might be blown - photo attached.
I've searched the forums and picked up as much as I can, which has got me to this point.

The truck is on a 12 plate with about 70k miles, FSH with Nissan for the first 5 years and local garage for the last 2.
The local garage did an EGR blank & delete and power boost in March 2018. (Second EGR fail in 6 years, first fixed by Nissan under warranty at 2 years old - so I didn't want to fork out for a third valve). That is the only mod.
I wasn't fussed about the power boost, and may now regret saying yes - they said it was included in the price and they'd done loads before ...

Limp mode started as intermittent a few weeks ago - engine re-start cleared it for sometimes a week, sometimes a couple of days. No check engine light at all. The Cruise Set light flashes when in limp - I can't find any reference to that in the manuals.

Last service was end March this year (new fuel & air filters fitted). Limp mode was intermittent at the last service and they couldn't identify the issue.
Limp is now pretty much constant.

It's got a P012b code logged (thanks to this forum for the Torque OBD recommendation) and a look around checking the charge air path shows two vanes on the IC bowed and lots of oily gunk. I think I can feel air escaping although it's hard to tell with the engine fan also going, plus the air feels cold and I'd expect it to be warm? All pipes appear to be sound.

Please can anyone help with questions?

Has anyone seen an IC with this type of damage?
Could it be caused by the turbo boost set too high with the March 18 remap? (Car was fine for 10 months after, noticeably quicker)
It seems likely to me that a leaking IC could cause the boost pressure drop and give the P012b code - does that sound likely?
Any tips for testing for a leak before I remove the IC?
Does anyone know where I can either get the IC reconditioned or buy a replacement - and likely costs? A web search so far is looking like £400+
Does the bumper have to come off to remove/replace the IC? The workshop manual says it does, but has anyone done one just removing the grille?
Any tips or things to watch for removing the bumper and grille?

I've got the workshop manuals (Spain and Thai) on pdf - I'm happy to share them via Dropbox if anyone on here needs them.

I'm sure there are other questions I should be asking, so any and all help will be appreciated.
Thanks in anticipation, Mike
 

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Mine split at the join between the the matrix and the end piece. Not sure on the replacement process as the dealer did mine under warranty.

You can normally see the leak as there is enough oil vapour in the intake tract to cause oil to seep out. Hard to tell if the remap and boost increase has caused the intercooler to swell, although it is generally the case that they are not very robust.

New ones are expensive, I have not heard of anyone reconditioning them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. I think first action is try to check the boost under load, then go back to the garage to see what they say.
I know there are people on here who have upgraded the ICs, so maybe that's an option.
 

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How much boost does your reader say you are getting? I wouldn't have thought much over standard? ,

If mine went again I would get one made up, I wouldn't have thought much more expensive than a Nissan one (billcar at £400 seems the best priced for a Nissan one)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wouldn't have thought the remap would increase the maximum boost beyond the design limit, but I've no idea how the remap works.
We have my wife's family coming over, so I'll check the boost tomorrow and report back. I'd rather be working on the Truck today 🤔😦
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the link Dave.

After a partial clean of the IC, it looks like it's been hit and so the damage was externally caused.
Also the Torque log shows the turbo pressure not going above 22psi, so I think I've just been unlucky. I'll try a wallpaper steamer with a nozzle to clean the oily gunk away from the damaged area to check it is leaking and see if I can plug any split.
 

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Worth a try, soldering would be best. A radiator specialist would be able to solder/braze it easily, if you are lucky you will have one nearby.

I would use an aerosol can of brake cleaner, much quicker and more effective than steam.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Front end stripped - the manual was fine on the order of removing the parts and mostly right on location of screws and clips, so not a hard job, just time consuming removing the bits to get at the bumper bolts.

The intercooler is definitely blown - felt like a hair dryer if you put your hand down the back of it with the engine on tickover. Also there's obvious impact damage.

I've found a place in Liverpool who do radiator and IC repairs. They'll fix it for £60 so taking it there tomorrow when I can borrow a car.

Does anyone know what the sensor is on the intercooler? (see pic). It's not mentioned in the workshop manuals.
It looks like it's only held on by one bolt, but not sure if it's a pressure sensor (so there'd be another hole into the IC underneath the sensor?) or a temperature sensor. I'm not sure whether to take it off before the until goes for repair or leave it on.
 

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So, impact damage... :(

From the 1st day I collected my V6, I wrongly believed that there was a missing mesh grille in that open section in front of the intercooler.
Another cost saving for Nissan, then.
I was always tempted to buy a length of stainless mesh and figure a way to fit it (being far cheaper than a ready-made accessory, and more choice of mesh style and grade), but never got round to it, and as I am selling soon, I won't bother. But I am clearly inviting a "sod's law" event!

I would think the sensor is a pressure sensor....
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for the reply Steve - yep I think that open section is what has allowed the damage.

I've identified the sensor (boost pressure), then broke it trying to get it out :-(
New replacement ordered off eBay for £20 so not the end of the world.
 

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I've got a Zunsport grille covering that slot, not cheap, but cheaper than a new intercooler.

Good result to get a repair at a reasonable price.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've got a Zunsport grille covering that slot, not cheap, but cheaper than a new intercooler.

Good result to get a repair at a reasonable price.
Thanks - good call on the Zunsport - I've just ordered one £62 inc delivery. Much better than having a repeat of 2 months limp mode and the time & cost to fix the IC. Thanks!
 

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I have fitted a couple of daytime running lights in that grille too, it seems that my truck is invisible to many road users.

Actually I am on my third set of DRLs, the first two sets got hit by stones...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The bad news ... the IC is not repairable. The repair man is pricing a re-core for me.
Slightly less bad news is the garage who did the remap can get me a new one for £350 ex vat. They are also adamant that the remap would not increase boost beyond design spec. In fact they said it can't as they don't and can't change max boost parameters.

I'll choose an option tomorrow and hopefully have the Truck back on the road early next week
 

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Be wary of a remap that is not changing boost pressure (although where max boost pressure occurs can be altered). This means the peak mass of air entering the engine is unchanged, so the only way of generating more torque is to squirt more fuel in, but this alters the chemistry of how the fuel burns (richer) which will likely lead to more soot. That means more regens and a shorter DPF life....

On a petrol engine where the fuel/air ratio has to be controlled within tight limits, the only way to get significant more power using a remap is to increase boost pressure and fueling commensurately. Diesels don't care about excess fuel (not stoichiometric) but will make more soot...
 

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That's a lot for an EGR...

I am guessing that there can only be a few reasons why EGRs fail. Obviously the internal stepper motor could fail, but I have not read about this occuring with any owners. Most likely is that they jam up with too much soot from the exhaust gases.... While there is always soot from a diesel, the only reasons I can think of why that may cause excess soot are:
- ovefuelling, or lack of air/boost (rich mixture)
- long-term low temp running, maybe short journeys, lack of hard work, or high-speed travel
- low-ish cetane number fuel - it burns cooler (I use super diesel most of the time and I can tell the difference, not with soot, but with smoothness and response). Typically supermarket fuel is "base spec", no frills...
- poor, old or wrong grade engine oil (DPF's suffer from this, as they need low ash oil, but it may conceivably affect EGRs too)
- badly calibrated temperature and pressure sensors, or dirty MAF, causing ECU to miscalculate fuelling
- worn injectors.
.....etc

Just theorising for fun, here!
 

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From what I have read it is mostly soot that builds up and blocks the EGR on the V9X. Soot from the exhaust where is is being piped back into the intake.

As FMS says, there could be any amount of reasons for soot particles to be generated, but definitely worth making sure you have low ash oil and adding some injector cleaner in the tank every 6 months or so.
 
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