Nissan Serena Van, good bad sideways problems?

esky-tastic, Jan 17, 7:41am
Whew, certainly puts my motorbike riding into perspective.

beetle1234, Jan 12, 1:50am
One of the family has been offered a Serena Van,need,s a cam belt(unsure if it broke or just need,s replaced). I don,t deal with this Jap stuff so would like to ask. worth fixing or flag it ?. cheers AJ

thunderbolt, Jan 12, 2:12am
You will need more info, If it has a cambelt then I think it can only be a diesel version.
If it has snapped then I think that CD20 engine will be damaged internally.

lugee, Jan 12, 2:16am
I believe it's pretty much a sure bet that all diesels get damaged when timing belt goes, as diesels are inherently interference. You could still get lucky though.

mugenb20b, Jan 12, 4:47am
You need to provide more info (year, mileage, condition, etc.) and you need to find out if the cambelt actually broke. As above, diesels have a cambelt and 1.6 petrols I think. If it's a diesel and cambelt is broke, walk away or you'll end up the same way.

franc123, Jan 12, 4:48am
You need more information about it, if its still running ie the belt hasn't actually stripped or broken yet it might be worth a punt if the rest of it is tidy and functional and doesn't have any major wof problems etc.

brapbrap8, Jan 12, 11:26am
Not helpful to OP in any way at all but, the SR20DET is pretty well a straight swap into a Serena, search nissan serena drift on youtube to see what that looks like.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 12, 6:22pm
I take it you have never driven one OP?

Normally I would say take one for a drive before putting any time/effort in to fixing that one, but there is probably not much opportunity to do so.

The thing is, they are a horrendous vehicle and the slowest vehicle money could buy when new by a LONG shot in most developed countries.

If I remember right 0-100 was just under 30 seconds. I kid you not.

So even as a finished, going example, if the family member is planning on keeping it, they probably will turn around and decide they don't want it. If the idea is to make some money out of it, they are not worth hardly anything and may not be worth the effort, especially if the van costs you something (anything) to start with.

This is assuming it's the old diesel one which it sounds like it is. This is not just my opinion BTW. they were a bad joke when they came out. Making various "should never have been made" car lists along with Lada's and the like. Topgear probably got the best milage out of them. comedy milage. which is about the only kind they are good for.

You can do a lot better. anything is better. If they really need a people mover for bottom dollar you would be a million times better off with a cheap multipla. There have been a few go on here lately in good nick. Much nicer for you to work on, far far superior to drive/live with and I would also take one for reliability over the serena any day.

beetle1234, Jan 14, 3:15am
. Thanks Jazz,I have no idea if it is diesel or petrol, I am the one who has to fix it for me sis,s boy. I don,t want to have to repair something that will contine to bite in the arse. Even tho it,s a freebiee , I will find a toyota van instead. Thankyou for your advice. It will save me alot of if onlies. cheers mate. AJ

jmma, Jan 14, 3:52am
Excellent outcome (o:

kandjaja, Jan 14, 5:20am
If its diesel walk away. A well serviced petrol one (SR20) is worth a look, but finding one well serviced will be a trick.

phillip.weston, Jan 14, 10:49am
Sounds like someone has watched that episode of van racing on Top Gear and not driven one themselves. In the UK the Serena only comes diesel and with a live axle. In Japan and NZ the Serena also comes SR20DE powered with an independent rear end.

I happen to have owned a '98 Serena 2.0 petrol, with the SR20DE having the 0-100km/h time being quoted as 12.5sec which is on par if not better than some of the Euro vans at the time.

The model which takes 30sec to 100km/h is the 2.3 LD23 non-turbo diesel which is offered in Europe only. The Japanese market model which you see in NZ will have the CD20T or CD20ET which is significantly faster.

It's funny how you are incredibly quick to carefully pluck unfavourable information about a certain vehicle and yet instantly call other people out on doing the same, labelling them as idiots who don't know better.

Honestly Jazz I respect your knowledge but this has to stop.

jmma, Jan 15, 2:41am
Good on yah PW. Agree with last statement (o:

vivac, Jan 15, 8:15am
Sideways you ask.

thejazzpianoma, Jan 15, 8:18am
You are most welcome. but if this is a bottom dollar van purchase, I really wouldn't be going Toyota either. Yes they are a better proposition IMO than the Serena, but even an absolutely flogged out high km one is absurd amounts of cash to buy. If you are thinking HIace they are also a shocking death trap, (as all cab forward vans are). Clip a modern car in one, even a town speeds and you stand an absurdly high chance of losing your legs or bleeding to death while trapped. This is not just me presuming here, there have been studies and tests done.

There are some really good vans around for very little, the idea though is to use our weird "Japanese or nothing" mindset in this country to your advantage. I don't know what your budget is but if you don't like the look of a Multipla, it's often possible to get a Mercedes Vito for $5000ish, there were some quite new current model ex lease Fiat Scudo's for little more than that at turners the other day. There are options.

Clearly you are trying to avoid a lot of work or a lemon. Assuming your budget is low, buying a Toyota is likely to get you exactly that.

Also. if you are thinking about going for an early Estima as opposed to a Hiace, again don't. They are another nasty death trap (have a nasty habbit of the steering wheel coming up under the drivers neck and snapping it, one of the guys who ran the crash tests promptly sold his he was so scared of it). They are also a real pig to work on, are known for a lack of maintenance (due to access issues and the type of owner) and are also known for some fairly serious faults, in both petrol and diesel units.

You can do a LOT better.
BTW. not sure if you are actually looking for a van or a people mover but the above hopefully covers both to some degree. If you have a budget of over 5K you can to some degree put the likes of the Estima back on the table as the second generation is not the abomination the first one is. Still better options IMO but one of those wouldn't be a terrible choice and they are better value for money in that price range too.

bumfacingdown, Jan 15, 8:29am
All very interesting Jaz but how does that relate to "One of the family has been offered a Serena Van,need,s a cam belt" and "Even tho it,s a freebiee "

jmma, Jan 15, 8:31am
and you can sleep at nights knowing you are selling one of these so called death traps!
How can you say things like this and live with yourself?
And you expect people to take you seriously,
You are a Do as I say, Not as I do type aye.

mugenb20b, Jan 15, 9:12am
I have a Hiace Super Custom, just did a 3500k trip around the South Island and my legs are still attached and the only blood I lost was to some sand flies. I never felt unsafe driving it, in fact, I was so impressed with it, that I might buy another one but a 4wd version.

ceebee2, Jan 15, 8:37pm
Well to add fuel to the fire, I have recently retired from 35 years front line Ambulance service to which I totally agree with Jazz. I spent 15 years as an Ambo covering the Desert rd which almost always involved high speed crashes and you guessed it, the vans (ANY make / model) either killed the driver and passenger OR ground their legs off! Cutouts were really difficult because as soon as you released what was left of the legs, the Pt died from "toxic shock" poisoning. I will not all any of my family to own a van of any description at this stage. The 18 years I also spent in Auckland from Warkwarth to Papakura involved almost parallel results.

geoff_m, Jan 16, 7:47am
Is it really "free"? For free, it might be worth a look if you are mechanically capable. See what is involved and if there is no damage from the (broken?) cambelt. It might need a new motor or head work if it is an interference engine. If it is likely to add up to to much, part it out or off to the wreckers.
if you have to pay for it, especially if it is not running or deregistered then I would pass. For diesel, check the road user miles - they go with the vehicle so if it is overdue, you pay. .
Be wary of the cost of the little bits - they add up.

crankypants69, Aug 7, 3:10pm
if? Ya mean there are actually people that DO like the look of them?

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