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Thread: XD2 feedback?

  1. #1
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    Default XD2 feedback?

    Hi all,
    I would be interested in some feedback on the long-term durability of the XD2 diesel motor as used in the 504 application. I have owned a number of carby and injected 504's and(all too briefly), a 504 diesel, and have heard conflicting reports on the XD2. Some have said that cooling is marginal, and they have a propensity to crack heads; others that they are bulletproof. I'm interested in a daily driver that would take some of the load off my 400km/week 404, and it would have to survive Queensland summers and city traffic. Leaving aside age related issues that can affect anything, what's the consensus on the XD2 in good condition and with a properly sorted cooling system? Any particular faults or suggested mods? Thanks,
    Nigel

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    I drove a 504 GLD all through my Uni days, first in Newcastle and then Sydney, and never had major problems with overheating. They can get warm slogging up long hills and sitting in traffic, but the electric thermo fan usually pulls the temp down without drama.

    I found the engine's themselves to be great reliability-wise, but i always felt that a worthwhile mod would have been to put a 5 speed in and get the revs at 110kph down a bit. I suppose then you'll kill some of your hill climb-ability - which was pretty limited to start with.. It also pays to make sure the timing of the injector pump is kept pretty close to spot on.. When that starts running out a bit you'll end up getting a notice from the EPA due to the amount of blue smoke they blow when they're cold.. Yep.. I know about that one first hand..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Bailey View Post
    Hi all,
    I would be interested in some feedback on the long-term durability of the XD2 diesel motor as used in the 504 application. I have owned a number of carby and injected 504's and(all too briefly), a 504 diesel, and have heard conflicting reports on the XD2. Some have said that cooling is marginal, and they have a propensity to crack heads; others that they are bulletproof. I'm interested in a daily driver that would take some of the load off my 400km/week 404, and it would have to survive Queensland summers and city traffic. Leaving aside age related issues that can affect anything, what's the consensus on the XD2 in good condition and with a properly sorted cooling system? Any particular faults or suggested mods? Thanks,
    Nigel
    I'm told that Holden VN V8 radiators are easy to fit. They are cheap and plentiful. So the cooling problem should be solvable. Personally, I always err of too big side for radiators.

    Dieselman will probably give an opinion on the other stuff...
    The less one interacts with rude, ignorant, critical and argumentative members. The more peaceful life becomes.

  4. #4
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    Or you could buy this diesel...

    http://www.drive.com.au/used-cars/RE...509560099&pt=1

    2007, Renault Megane Privilege Dci
    X84 Sedan, 1.9 litre turbo intercooled diesel engine, automatic transmission, power steering, climate control air conditioning, abs brakes, cruise control, front and side airbags, 16 " factory alloy wheels, 6 in dash cd player, power windows, c/locking with remote key card control,
    This Renault Privilege is in excellent condition with log books and full service history finished in titan silver with a matching interior. This car has only travelled a mere 32,415 kms and is a pleasure to drive.

    $15995

    I guess you could haggle it down to a flat 15 too.

    So cheap, and you wouldn't have to worry about pulling power up hills or cooling

    Dave
    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    IR655
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    the 505 turbo motor is a much better thing i have had both non turbo model is underpowered and does about 140 kph flat out when driving to keep up with petrol motor it will use as much fuel if you can get a turbo motor and 5 speed they will use less fuel and far better on the highway

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    In my opinion that early XD2s with the clamp down injectors weren't much good.
    Despite having 23 head bolts the clamping force just wasn't high enough even after the change in bolt design.
    The ones with screw in injectors went to stretch bolts (I think) and had a much higher clamping force.
    I had a 1978 504 with XD2 and could never get it right. The head was tested and perfectly flat etc but it always eventually blew it's head gasket if it was driven hard.
    I transplanted a later engine from a ute with it's five speed transmission and never had a problem after that, even towing 1500kg trailers with it.

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    I owned 2 504 diesels, a 79 and an 82.
    I ran them each for a few years and they were generally reliable but really not much fun.
    They were smelly, smoky, and gutless, and got pretty bad mileage. I reckon petrol ones get better fuel economy.
    They need a constant fan to keep them cool, forget about the thermo switch, it will only let you down.
    I got them cheap and that was their main attraction, but in the end they weren't really cheap as I had one engine completely rebuilt and 9 months later blew it to pieces when the main pulley came loose, cracked and deposited a large chunk of metal into the timing chain.
    I think the turbo 5 speed in the 505 would definitely be the way to go if you can still find a good one.
    That's assuming you are on the diesel track, but I'd suggest, the petrol cars are usually better in most models. I drove a 406 diesel and would never be interested in such a slug these days[it was a turbo] because life is too short to putter about in slugs that drink too much and stink. Perhaps some of the very new ones are great, if you have plenty of money. But don't expect them to get enormous mileage in a home driving situation. As a taxi perhaps.

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    I don't think I agree with any of that

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselnutjob View Post
    I don't think I agree with any of that

    Agreed, well maintained I could never get my old xd2 to overheat despite sustained cruising at 130km/h. Fuel economy at this speed was pretty good at just over 8l/100km as well. I'd like to see that out of a petrol.

    I only ever had one head gasket go but flogging it up a hill at the redline and full load and letting it get hot wasn't the smartest idea.
    504 GL Coupe '73 Silver
    504 GTDT Pickup Mini-Motorhome '83 Coral Red
    407 HDi Sedan '05

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselnutjob View Post
    I don't think I agree with any of that
    Neither do I. Too much opinion and too few facts.

    Having driven the same 504 diesel for over 29 years I think I'm qualified to comment.

    Smelly, smoky and gutless? What non-turbo diesel from that era isn't? Bad mileage? definitely not. Fuel consumption of 6.5 - 7.0 L/100kms around town is not too bad for a car of that size. Constant fan for cooling? Again, rubbish. My fan only cuts in after extended idling in traffic. No need for a bigger radiator either.

    Clamp-down injectors no good? The only problem I had with my clamp-down injector head was due to coolant corrosion and that is the only time the head has been off in 300,000kms. No problems with injectors or pump either despite using both biodiesel and now ULSD.

    Agree about the 5-speed though. That would be nice.
    Stephen
    '03 P406 HDI
    '16 Renault Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by luthier View Post
    I owned 2 504 diesels, a 79 and an 82.
    I ran them each for a few years and they were generally reliable but really not much fun.
    They were smelly, smoky, and gutless, and got pretty bad mileage. I reckon petrol ones get better fuel economy.
    They need a constant fan to keep them cool, forget about the thermo switch, it will only let you down.
    I got them cheap and that was their main attraction, but in the end they weren't really cheap as I had one engine completely rebuilt and 9 months later blew it to pieces when the main pulley came loose, cracked and deposited a large chunk of metal into the timing chain.
    I think the turbo 5 speed in the 505 would definitely be the way to go if you can still find a good one.
    That's assuming you are on the diesel track, but I'd suggest, the petrol cars are usually better in most models. I drove a 406 diesel and would never be interested in such a slug these days[it was a turbo] because life is too short to putter about in slugs that drink too much and stink. Perhaps some of the very new ones are great, if you have plenty of money. But don't expect them to get enormous mileage in a home driving situation. As a taxi perhaps.
    My limited experience would back up these comments.
    The air pollution these things produce is incredible and the noise!
    Graham

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    I suspect that the air pollution from my 1976 604 V6 petrol is worse.
    You are judging them by modern standards which isn't really fair.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfrawley View Post
    Smelly, smoky and gutless? What non-turbo diesel from that era isn't? Bad mileage? definitely not. Fuel consumption of 6.5 - 7.0 L/100kms around town is not too bad for a car of that size. Constant fan for cooling? Again, rubbish. My fan only cuts in after extended idling in traffic. No need for a bigger radiator either.
    You must have a particularly good one, and I'm sure they are about, well not that sure.
    Mine got 10k's per litre consistently, but I don't call that great mileage. It was no better than a petrol car and probably worse, so in no way did the fact that it was a diesel make it better. And you had to put up with all that smoke when it started up, filled up the street in the morning, ran the guantlet with the EPA and was generally an embarrassment. The neighbours hated me.

    I spoke to several other diesel owners over the years who all had that problem. I tried a few temp sensors but they would last a few months at best and then you suddenly found the thing getting hot when you least expected it, so the only safe way for me at least was to hard wire it.
    This was really not a problem once I did that, and was actually due to the unavailability of decent sensors at the time. But under a fair load they would get hot quite quickly so if you weren't looking you could cook it in a moment. The previous owner of my first one had done it, hauling a trailer up the hill at Wollongong.

    I was in love with the thing for a couple of years but eventually it became a very basic workhorse.

    All things considered I vote for petrol over diesel with these beasts. If they got double the mileage or something it might have been compensation for all those other undesirable things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselnutjob View Post
    I suspect that the air pollution from my 1976 604 V6 petrol is worse.
    You are judging them by modern standards which isn't really fair.
    Start one up in an enclosed space!

    Not quite on the subject but relevant is that back in 1983 I went on a long trip in a new 505 SRDT auto and got 10 litres per hundred. Did the same trip a year later in a 505 SR and got the same 10 litre per hundred!
    The performance was the same so couldn't see the point really.

    I drove a few borrowed (PAA) diesels as part of the Redex and Ampol Reruns and found they varied a lot. The 307 8 valve 2 litre was hopeless, used more fuel than the 1.6 petrol unless you drove it below 80 km/h. On the other hand the 406 was great, maybe the intercooler made the difference?
    The 1.6 16 valve 307 was also very good.
    The 407 auto was pathetic, good peformance once you waited for the turbo and transmission lag, but on a brisk trip from Orbost to Bombala used more fuel than a 406 V6 petrol travelling in convoy.

    Graham
    Last edited by GRAHAM WALLIS; 23rd December 2010 at 10:19 AM.

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    I don't think that the 504 XD2 was ever intended as a highway cruiser. While it uses less than 7 l/100kms around town mine approaches petrol fuel consumption figures of about 9-10 l/100kms on the highway. The diesel rattle can be a plus. No chance of running over unwary pedestrians in the Westfield car park and it's fun watching heads at bus stops swivel around as you approach.
    Stephen
    '03 P406 HDI
    '16 Renault Master

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    Thanks guys-plenty of food for thought there! I can't see myself moving past the 404/504 era, so perhaps (another) trusty XN1 is the way to go, despite a soft spot for the old diesels. Thanks again for all the comments-much appreciated. Cheers,
    Nigel

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    I know you're all waiting for me to add my 2 cents worth, but I won't.

    The queues at the one or two diesel bowsers per service station are starting to get out of hand already with all these people who have only just discovered the benefits of the more efficient diesel engines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAHAM WALLIS View Post
    Start one up in an enclosed space!
    I have.
    If I had done it with a petrol car I'd be dead

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