Common problems to look for before purchasing?

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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rxKaffee
Posts: 3
Joined: 12 years ago

Common problems to look for before purchasing?

#1

Post by rxKaffee » 12 years ago

Hi guys, I've been lurking around the forum for a week or so now and scouring the net for details about the ld28 engine. I think I've seen just about enough data to decide that I want to buy one of these beasts. There is an `83 automatic maxima for sale locally. 200,000+mi, 1700$. I found it independently, but noticed a member has also linked to the craigslist(http://dallas.craigslist.org/car/671676806.html) from this forum.

My primary reason for the purchase would be for acquiring parts for a diesel conversion of my 280ZX. However the ZX is not anywhere close to a driveable state, so I would be driving the Maxima Diesel around for a year or two while preparing the ZX. I do want to beable to resell or reuse the Maxima chassis after transpalnting the LD into my ZX.

What should I look for when I go to view this car?

If I understand correctly, I should only have black smoke when WOT under load such as up a hill. And if the IP and nozzles are functioning correctly, it should only be a "little bit" of smoke?

I thought about doing a compression test on the engine, but it sounds like a fairly time consuming procedure. Perhaps worth it only if all other aspects of the car checkout positively. Would autozone have a diesel compression tester to borrow?

Being from the same era as my ZX, I'd suspect the body and unibody to be made of the same low-grade metal with a high tendency to rust. What areas of the Maxima will be suspect for rust? I missed alot of rust under rear trim panels in the hatch of my ZX when I was looking at it before buying. Hopefully the trunk seals on the maxima are better than the hatch seals.

Should I be worried if the IP has not been re-sealed after the switch to ULSD? I read Al's thread on biodiesel and lubricity issues, however I've read elsewhere(and I forgot where) that ulsd does not really have lubricity problems. The article that I read on it said that these concerns are based on an antiquated sulfur removal processes that is no longer used. I couldn't find many recent posts here about ULSD, so I'm hopeing that means it turned out to not be a problem? I've seen suggested for other non-lubricated IP's to add some 2 stroke oil to the tank, any thoughts on that?

... There were a couple other things I had intended to ask if I needed to check, but they seem to have slipped away. If anyone remembers what I forgot... lol

TIA for any pointers, rxKaffee

P.S. This will be my first diesel, and I've been looking forward to a diesel for a long time. I hope this car turns out to be what I'm after!

goglio704
Posts: 726
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Common problems to look for before purchasing?

#2

Post by goglio704 » 12 years ago

rxKaffee wrote:Hi guys, I've been lurking around the forum for a week or so now and scouring the net for details about the ld28 engine.


Welcome aboard.
What should I look for when I go to view this car?
I would insist on starting it "cold" at least once. Even in warm weather, this will tell you a lot about the health of the glowplug system.
If I understand correctly, I should only have black smoke when WOT under load such as up a hill. And if the IP and nozzles are functioning correctly, it should only be a "little bit" of smoke?
At idle there shouldn't be any noticeable smoke once the engine is warm especially. An abrupt increase in throttle will usually provoke smoke from a naturally aspirated diesel until engine rpm gets the air moving to match the fuel.
I thought about doing a compression test on the engine, but it sounds like a fairly time consuming procedure. Perhaps worth it only if all other aspects of the car checkout positively. Would autozone have a diesel compression tester to borrow?
A compression test is always worthwhile, but even if autozone does have a diesel compression tester, they won't have the adapters needed to test an LD28.

Being from the same era as my ZX, I'd suspect the body and unibody to be made of the same low-grade metal with a high tendency to rust.
Yup they rust. Rocker panels just ahead of the rear wheel arches. The front wheel wells also tend to rust through to the interior at about floorboard height.
Should I be worried if the IP has not been re-sealed after the switch to ULSD?
Not really. There has not been a sudden increase in IP seal failures since the switch as far as I can tell. If it does start to leak, anybody with the skills to do an engine swap should not have a problem fixing it if it is the input shaft seal anyway. Some seals would probably be best left to pump professionals.
I've seen suggested for other non-lubricated IP's to add some 2 stroke oil to the tank, any thoughts on that?
I think high quality 2 stroke oil would probably be a good idea, but I have never done it. Biodiesel as an additive and Stanadyne fuel conditioner are two other solutions I can recommend from experience.
Matt B.

83 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 5 speed, white, 130k miles. My original Maxima.
83 Maxima Sedan converted from gasser, LD28, 5 speed, 2 tone blue, 230k miles
82 Maxima Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, 2 tone Gray/Silver, 140k miles
81 810 Sedan, LD28, 3 speed auto, rust, rust, and more rust!

2005 Jeep Liberty CRD

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asavage
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Re: Common problems to look for before purchasing?

#3

Post by asavage » 12 years ago

Could you take a minute and add your Location to your Profile? Click on "Profile" at the top of any page. It will save many Qs later.
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

HowlerMonkey
Posts: 130
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: West Palm Beach Florida

#4

Post by HowlerMonkey » 12 years ago

Leaking sunroof and rocker panels that don't drain properly since the sunroof drains into them.

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