This video is specifically about the ZD30 engine and in my case I will be showing it in my D22 Nissan Frontier which is also known as the Nissan Navara in some countries.
You probably came here because you can’t get your engine to start or maybe it starts but does not go beyond 1000-2000 RPMs.
By now you’ve probably tried a number of things and you’re wondering if it is the diesel fuel injection pump.
I’ve been there and in this video I’m going to tell you all that I went through with this issue and how I solved it.
In this way, you can make a decision about your next way forward because believe me, if it is your ZD30 fuel injection pump you will want to know what I am about to say.
First, I’m just a regular guy making videos about real life issues. I do this for you and for my sons with special needs. Please show your appreciation by subscribing, liking and recommending my content to others.
I would also appreciate comments after you watch this video… let me know if it helped you make a decision or you can even tell me what you did when you found out your ZD30 diesel fuel injection pump wasn’t working.
Ok, so let’s get into it.
Near the end of 2020 just before Christmas I started to get a hard start on my ZD30. One of the things I did was to get up in the morning and prime it at the diesel fuel filter.
I would then leave my glow plugs on a little longer at the ignition and cross my fingers.
Most times it started well but then the hard starts became more frequent.
Then one day it just refused to start.
Now, first of all, I should tell you that I am the kind of guy that ensures to change the oil and fuel filter often.
In fact, I have a video about how to change your D22 Fuel Filter and one about how to change your Air Filter if you need those.
So the issue with hard starts could not be about me not changing my fuel, air or oil filters.
My first resolve was to ensure my battery was good. In my case I changed my battery and ensured to put a good heavy duty one in.
My second check was to look under the bonnet and check that all the wires were connected properly and by that I mean they were also grounded properly.
Fuses can also be an issue.
ZD30 engine and pump are Computerized
I can tell you that the ZD30 is a computerized engine and if one wire or fuse is out of play as in slack, burned or corroded that can be a factor for not starting.
I should mention here that if you have an alarm, GPS or other security device you should check those… we’ll assume the cause for the hard starts is not related to that.
I am not going to go into detail about how to conduct every check otherwise this video will be hours long so please see for my other videos about that.
The next thing was to check that the glow plugs was actually getting current.
Know What You Are Doing
Now, here is my disclaimer… your first action should always be to let an experienced Nissan trained mechanic work on your vehicle.
However, not all of us have that luxury so I am just telling you what I did… I am not saying you should do any of these things…
It is up to you if you want to do all the tests I am going to share…
So after making sure the fuses are good and all the wires are grounded and clean I would take a wire from the positive battery terminal and gently touch the head of the first glow plug.
I am assuming you have good glow plugs.
You should get a spark. If you don’t that means your glow plugs are not getting juice from the battery so you should go back to re-checking your wires.
If you get a spark then your glow plugs is not the issue. The next could be that there is an air lock or block in the fuel line.
You should be able to pump the fuel filter until you cannot pump it anymore and then tumble.
If you still cannot tumble then you need to see if fuel is actually getting to the engine.
The ZD30 Inlet Spray Test
To do this, you would test by taking a can of bug spray and while someone starts the vehicle you spray into the intake.
Move this rubber and spray in this direction.
If while spraying the vehicle tries to start or does start then there is an issue with the fuel system.
For me, my vehicle started this way a few times until the method simply did not work.
Take all these as warning signs that your diesel fuel pump is on the way out.
Another way you can know that your diesel fuel pump is not working as it should is very poor mileage per gallon or liter as the case may be.
Previous to this I was getting far less miles from a full tank of fuel than I normally would – as much as 100km less.
At first I thought it was poor quality fuel but now I know it was more than that.
So back, to my ZD30 not starting.
When I did get my ZD30 to start using the spray can method I noticed that it would not go beyond 1500 RPMs it would idle fine but anytime I tried to rev it would simply stay at 1500RPMS.
Checking Error Codes Without A Scanner
At this point, I had one last check to make. Of course this could be the first check you make which is to scan your vehicle but I did not have access to a scanner and most people don’t
However, I learned this trick online that allows you to check the error codes without a scanner. A shout out goes out to those good people on Nissan Navara.net for the steps. Look out for how to do to read the error codes in my next video.
Again, i can’t show you all that here otherwise we will never finish.
So after reading the error code I got the message that it was the fuel pump in the form of what is called a spill valve error.
Now, this is where you have to make some tough choices.
The diesel fuel injection pump on a ZD30 engine is made by Bosch and is computerized not just mechanical, so basically you either replace it or repair it at a Bosch authorized dealer.
In looking at the design I wondered why they would build all that circuitry so close to the immense heat of the engine, but that is another video.
Buying A Used VP44 Pump
Another alternative is to buy a used fuel injection pump off of a working engine.
Now here is the thing. The location of the pump and getting it out requires a partial scrap of the front of your vehicle – it is not an easy task to get it out or put it back in.
You will be looking at a considerable cost to do that so if you put in a used pump and it gives you a short lifespan then you will have to go through the process of taking out the pump again and buying another to replace it.
At the time, I did not want to deal with an awesome cost so I first tried a used fuel injection pump but there was an electronic failure on the unit so I returned it and got a refund.
Ideally, you could buy a new fuel injection pump but the cost of it is like buying an engine.
Getting Original Pump Serviced
My resolve was to take my original pump to a local authorized Bosch dealer who had all the heavy machinery necessary to replace the parts and test it.
It cost a pretty penny but not as much as if I had to buy a new one and still pay a mechanic to fit it in.
I don’t know how much things cost in your area so i will break it down this way as an example:
If a new pump cost US$2,500 then repairing it would be around US$1,200 and a used one would cost you around US$800
None of these costs include the mechanic’s fee for putting it in so you also have to consider that.
That can be a lot of money, especially if you weren’t expecting it. Some of the other decisions people decided to make was to convert the ZD30 engine to work with a mechanical pump.
The issue with that is that your mechanic would have to already be doing this as a specialty because it will take fabrication, engineering and alteration.
According to those who said they did this there is no power loss but given the fact that the fuel will no loner have an interface with the brain of your vehicle it is hard to figure how well it will work.
Then the cost factor of that conversion is another issue.
What About Changing Out The ZD30?
The other resolve for some people is to change the engine! I know it seems extreme but some people do not want to worry about computerized parts so they change the whole ZD30 out and go for something like a QD32 which is all mechanical.
When I heard the cost of fixing the Bosch pump I inquired about this too but the main issue is conversion to get it to fit my gear box, rewiring the vehicle and all that.
So, if you are in this position I feel for you. I hope my own story of what I did helped you to make your own decision. Please tell me what you did in the comments and please make sure to subscribe.