Fitting a Nismo oil filler cap
Changing the battery
Replacing a fuel injector
Fitting a K&N filter panel
Replacing the fuel filter on the dCi
Cleaning out the EGR valve on the dCi
Testing the glow plugs on the dCi
Replacing a glow plug on the dCi
Fitting a Nismo oil filler cap
This is something that's practically mandatory if you mod your Nissan in any shape, way or form! I bought it on eBay for £23.68 so I've no idea if it's genuine or not - it certainly seems to be superb quality and the packaging looked spot on. A Chinese mate at work confirmed the instructions were in Japanese which is also reassuring. All I know is it looks well cool and gets bloody hot when the engine's warmed up...
Changing the battery
I don't plan to do any major mod's to my engine but I have just changed the battery. I didn't really need to replace it but the electric windows are getting sluggish and winter's on it's way. I read loads of reviews of the Bosch Silver so I picked one up and fitted it. Here's how...
[A] This is the engine bay on the 160SR. The engine cover and air feed pipe aren't usually this clean. I'd just cleaned my hands with a load of baby wipes and decided to see how they would do on the engine plastics - pretty good I think! The battery is on the right, you can see how tightly it's wedged between the fuse box at the front and the air filter box behind it . You can also see how the bonnet release mechanism is just a rusted mess, it sticks closed half of the time I use it but there's a guy on eBay selling genuine Nissan ones cheap so there's a future project...
[B] The battery is retained by a piece of shaped steel plate in front of it. You can see how narrow the gap, I swear Nissan must employ school girls with tiny hands to fit them. Remove the bolt using a 13mm socket and an extension bar at least 6" long. You will struggle to get the plate and bolt out... Now undo the negative terminal clamp with a 10mm spanner and lift it out of the way. Now loosen the 10 mm nut on the positive terminal.
[C] The positive clamp is very hard to move so hold it out of the way and slide the battery to the right. Using your fingertips, you can now lift the battery out of the car - be careful, the battery is heavy. Unusually, the battery doesn't sit on a pressed steel plate that will eventually rust away. It sits on a cast aluminium part of the engine - well done Nissan!
[D] Now you can lift your new battery into place. The retaining groove grips the back of the battery so make you get the lower lip of the battery into the gap. Slide the battery left and right until the positive terminal is lined up with the positive clamp. Lightly grease the battery terminal, fit the clamp and tighten it up. Make sure the red plastic terminal protector is clipped back into place. Now attach the negative terminal to the battery and tighten it up as well. Now, trying to do it with the minimum of swearing, refit the front battery clamp plate with the 13mm bolt. I noticed the bolt screwed into aluminium so I greased the threads with some copper grease prior to fitting it.
And there you have it - Job done! The Bosch Silver is guaranteed for 5 years so I shouldn't have to worry about it for a good while. Big thanks to my neighbour, Mark. I couldn't find my 10mm spanner anywhere so Mark very kindly lent me his!
Replacing a fuel injector
My cars had a bad misfire recently and keeps chucking up P303 codes - 'Misfire on cylinder 3'. The spark plugs are all fairly new and a test at Nissan ruled out a blown head gasket or anything else 'mechanical' so... I brought a replacement injector a few weeks ago (£108 - ouch!) and have spent ages working out how to let off the fuel pressure to do the actual job. The manual says only Nissan can do it by connecting to the on-board computer. Disconnecting the fuel pump didn't work because the ECU must have noticed and it killed the spark. The fuel pump fuse is in the brain box which involves removing an arch liner, a headlight and the entire front bumper - no thanks!

So... ghetto fixing for the win! I got home on Friday after work with the petrol light on indicating 31 miles left. Saturday morning at 9:45 I turned it on and left it idling thinking how long can it take to idle away ~6 pints of fuel? Anyhow, at 4:30 that afternoon I gave up, the 'miles left' indicator having turned into a row of dashes at about 2:00. I figured there must be virtually nothing left and that having been left overnight, the pressure in the line must be negligible and got on with the job.
[A] Start by disconnecting the negative battery terminal. The last thing you want is the possibility of sparks when working on the fuel system. Tuck it out of the way where it can't spring back and touch the negative terminal.
[B] Following the guide on the spark plugs page, you need to remove the inlet manifold. You should end up looking like this.
[C] Remove the fuel rail protector by removing these two 10mm bolts (tighten to 18ft/lbs later).
[D] Also remove the two 8mm bolts underneath the fuel rail protector (tighten to 7ft/lbs later). You will need to cut the three zip ties that attach the wiring loom to the fuel rail protector.
[E] You can now unclip all the connectors to the coil packs and injectors and move the loom out of the way.
[F] Remove these two 10mm bolts underneath the fuel rail (tighten to 18ft/lbs later).
[G] Remove this 10mm bolt from the fuel rail bracket on the right. I forgot to take a pic when doing the job so had to take it now. With the manifold etc off, it's very accessible (tighten to 18ft/lbs later).
[H] Removing the rail with the injectors was actually one of the toughest parts of this job. A combination of the O-rings bring very tight and the holes being full of soil meant they were really wedged in. It took about 10 minutes of going up and down the rail applying pressure before it finally popped out.
[I] This next step is critical if you are to stand any chance of getting the injectors back in the holes later. The holes were full of soil so wodge up some clean clothes and put them in the open ports (this section of the engine is plastered in soil). Use cotton buds to clean all the oily soil out of the injector holes. They look clean in the pic but they were filthy before the cotton bud treatment.
[J] Replacing the injector is simple, just remove the metal clip and pull the injector straight out of the rail - put plenty of clothes or rags underneath as a couple of teaspoons of petrol will pour out. Apply clean engine oil to the O-ring and reseat the new injector in the rail and re-attach the clip. The other injectors were covered in soil so I wiped them and blasted with WD-40 to rinse off as much soil and grit as I could. Lubricate all four injector O-rings with fresh engine oil and line them back up in the holes.
The hardest part of the whole job is getting the injectors to seat back in the holes because the O-rings are an extremely tight fit. I ended up leaning my entire body weight on the rail in several places before the injectors were all seated. It's critical to constantly check that the rail and injectors are straight whilst doing this, the last thing you want to hear at this stage is CRACK.

Re-assembly is just a case of following this guide, and the guide on the spark plug page, in reverse. Don't forget to replace the three zip ties you cut off earlier .
Fitting a K&N air filter panel
No modder can run a car with a standard air filter so I finally got a K&N panel filter for the new diesel. It's worth pointing out at this point that the panel is the 33-2927 model for the Clio 2.0 Sport, not the 33-2375 for the 160SR that appears to have an identical airbox but is actually slightly smaller!
[A] This is the airbox situated at the right hand rear of the engine bay. Remove the lid by pushing in the tab located on either side of it.
[B] You can now see the standard (Renault!) air filter, notice how it is seated against the airbox, towards the rear.
[C] Grab the filter holder and pull downwards, away from the airbox.
[D] Now the air filter itself can be lifted out in it's holder.
[E] The existing filter looked pretty clogged and manky! That's my dad's 'rolla in the background.
[F] Now fit the new panel filter into the holder and slip it back into the airbox.
[G] Re-attach the airbox lid and don't forget to add the K&N sticker so the filter doesn't get chucked at your next service!
Replacing the fuel filter on the dCi
My car's been running perfectly since I bought it with 9,000 miles on the clock and I've done 10,000 since. However, following the modder's mantra that you always change all the fluids and filters when you acquire a car, I decided to do the fuel filter. Here's how...
[A] This has all got to be removed to get at the filter which sits under the air box and ABS actuator.
[B] To start removing the airtube, remove the screw that holds it to the front of the car.
[C] The other end of the airtube is a push fit onto the airbox so just twist it off and put it to one side.
[D] The battery needs to come out so start by undoing the 13mm nut on the clamp at the front of the battery. Remove the nut and clamp plate.
[E] Undo the 10mm nut and remove the negative battery terminal. Try and put the terminal where it can't spring back and touch the terminal.
[F] Undo the 10mm nut and remove the positive battery terminal. The battery can now be removed - be careful, the battery is heavy. I'd wrapped a rubber glove around the negative terminal because it kept trying to spring back and touch the battery post while I was removing the positive terminal.
[G] Loosen the jubilee clip and remove the rubber air tube from the airbox. Note the connection for what I guess is the air temp sensor on the airbox, unplug it carefully and put it to one side.

With the electrical connector disconnected, the whole airbox assembly can be removed.
[H] Finally, the fuel filter...
[I] Unclip the two fuel pipes from this bracket and then undo this 10mm nut and remove the bracket.
[J] You now need to pop the filter out of it's bracket. It's a tight fit but I managed to lever it out with an extension bar under the filter lip on the right hand side.
Now place a lot of tissues or rags under the whole filter and remove the 4 pipes from the filter, there is a small button on one side of each of the four connectors that releases the grip. Remove the old filter and replace it with the new one. Reconnect the 4 pipes, the green and white ones matched the dots on the filter but the blue and red dotted connectors were definitely orientated so that they'd only go on one way. Make sure each connector is correctly seated, they should click and almost touch the filter.

Now put everything back in the reverse order, remembering to reconnect the positive battery terminal first, and slowly squeeze and release the priming bulb until it feels hard to do so and try and start the car. Mine fired up for couple of seconds then died but a few more squeezes of the priming bulb and it started and ran perfectly.
Cleaning out the EGR valve on the dCi
Unlike petrol engines diesel engine fuelling is not based around a stoichimetric ratio of fuel to air, they are what is known as 'excess air' engines. This means that there is always more air (and thus oxygen) than is required to burn all the diesel vapour in the cylinder. The positive side of this setup is that it prevents the generation of soot which consists mainly of unburnt carbon from the fuel. The downside is that combustion temperatures can be very high. This high temperature, combined with the availability of excess oxygen, can cause high levels of nitrous oxides to be formed which are a potent greenhouse gas. The EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) valve is a solution implemented by engine designers to reduce NOx emissions, it works by using a solenoid valve to allow exhaust gas back into the engine inlet to be mixed with the air from the turbo. This helps by both reducing the amount of 'spare' oxygen in the mixture and by reducing combustion temperatures so that NOx are less likely to form.

The downside of EGR valves, and the reason removing or blanking them off is getting so popular, is that they can allow the build-up of sooty deposits and gunge in the inlet system which can cause all sorts of problems with sensors etc. Removing them on diesels is actually more practical than petrols because in the UK diesel exhaust is not chemically tested, only visually for soot. One solution to mitigate all this is to make sure that your EGR valve is always clean and working properly.
[A] Start by removing the engine cover. It is only held on by three rubber sockets so just grab it and pull upwards.
[B] This is the EGR valve.
[C] This is the connector from the ECU that controls the EGR valve. If you can disconnect it now, do so. I couldn't so...
[D] ...It's time to remove the valve itself. Using an 8mm spanner, remove the three bolts that hold the valve to the EGR assembly. The third one is on the other side of the valve from the one nearest the camera.
[E] Now that you can move the valve, it is much easier to undo the connector. I just slipped a flat bladed screwdriver into the latch to release it.
[F] This is the actual EGR valve! I've actually cleaned mine before so it wasn't too bad but they can be really gunged up and sooty .
[G] I've no idea what you're supposed to clean EGR valves with so I figured carb cleaner would be ideal. This was £2.68 from Toolstation.
[H] After a bit of scrubbing with a tooth brush and lots of carb cleaner, this is what a freshly cleaned EGR valve should look like .
Replacement is just a case of refitting it, replacing the 8mm bolts and reconnecting the connector. The tightening torque for the three bolts is 'sensible' tight.
Testing the glow plugs on the dCi
I was sitting in the car at work the other morning giving my new phone a test with my ODB bluetooth dongle. I checked the codes and there was a P0670 error code. A quick Google suggested this was the glow plug control circuit fault. Somme Google searching found the topic on several car forums and alot of people suggested a basic glow plug test to see if it's something as simple as a faulty glow plug. Here's how you do it...
[A] Start by removing the engine cover. It is only held on by three rubber sockets so just grab it and pull upwards. The black plastic shroud under the air tube is the bit we need to remove.
[B] Loosen the jubilee clip and detach the rubber tube from the metal tube from the turbo. This will make getting the plastic screen off easier later on.
[C] Remove the single 10mm bolt at the rear of the plastic screen.
[D] Remove this 10mm nut and remove the engine cover bracket.
[E] Remove this 10mm bolt, carefully unclip the connector and remove the boost sensor.
[F] Remove this 10mm bolt. Again, this allows the metal pipe from the turbo to be moved out of the way slightly.
[G] Undo the two metal clips that hold the plastic screen down. There's one at the front towards the left hand side and one on the right hand side of the screen.
[H] Remove the two 8mm bolts that hold the dipstick tube in place.
[I] This bit is tricky. Without breaking anything you need to remove the black plastic screen that protects the injectors and glow plugs. With it removed you can see the injectors, glow plugs and fuel pump.
[J] Using your multi-meter, check the battery voltage and note it down.
[K] Carefully remove the terminal from each glow plug in turn and with the red lead of your meter on the red battery terminal, touch the black probe to centre pin of the plug. If the plug's good, the voltage shown on the meter will be the same as the battery. Be careful when replacing the terminals, make sure they're straight and that you hear a click.
When you've finished, re-assembly is just a case of reversing the steps above. My results? Number three glow plug is as dead as a door nail so that's a topic for the future. The car still starts perfectly and pulls like a train so I'm not in a massive hurry. I've ordered a deep 10mm socket from ebay so watch this space!
Replacing a glow plug on the dCi
If you've read the section above, you'll know I found a dead glow plug. It doesn't seem to make any difference to the starting or running of the car but here's how you change it.

I initially bought the new glow plug from Eurocarparts (their part no. 438440045) but this is not the correct part. I then phoned Nissan who said they were £30 and would take a few days to get in - scratch that! I then phoned Arnold Clark Renault in St Helens (let's face it, renault sell a LOT of diesels!) and spoke to Peter who couldn't have been more helpful. After a quick rescue lift from my dad, I was clutching Renault part number 8200490950 which funnily enough had the exact Beru part number as the one I removed on the box!

Before you start this job, get the engine nice and hot. If any of your glow plugs are seized at all, this will aid their removal.
[A] Start by Following the procedure above so that the injectors and glow plugs are exposed. Now disconnect the negative battery terminal and move it out of the way. I strapped it because it kept wanting to move back to it's original position.
[B] Carefully apply penetrating fluid to the base of the plug and leave for 10 minutes. Then, using a 10mm deep socket on a longish extension bar, gently start unscrewing the glow plug. You will notice that once all the threads are clear, the glowplug doesn't want to move. This is because the parallel part of the end that heats up is a snug fit in a tube through the cylinder head. I got it out by applying lots of WD40 then wiggling and pulling it with a pair of hose clamp pliers. BE CAREFUL though, a snapped off plug will take a specialist to remove.
Again, re-assembly is just a case of following the above in reverse. The absolutely critical thing is the tightening torque of the new plug - 11ft/lbs. I reset the P0670 code but it came straight back so the mystery continues. The recommended change interval for glow plugs is 40-50,000 miles so if yours need doing, at least you now know how .
[C] Given that the P0670 code is back, even with four working glow plugs, it's time to think about other culprits. There is a 60A relay that has a part in controlling the glowplugs but it looks fine so I hit the internet and did some searching. According to a lot of Renault forums, the glow plug controller relay is absolutely notorious for failing so I've ordered a new one. It's situated right next to the battery and is secured by a single 10mm nut as shown in the picture. Watch this space...
[D] I finally got around to ordering a new glowplug controller relay from ebay for about £80 (ouch) and fitted it. It was just a case of disconnecting the negative battery terminal and strapping it out of the way and then removing the single 10mm nut that secures the relay. The large plug attached to the module is held on by a clip on the right hand side that needs to be released. It's then just a case of replacing it and the re-attaching the battery terminal. When I hooked it up to the ODB app on my phone to reset the code, I was surprised to find 'No fault codes stored' so a big win!