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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to remove my EGR system myself, but I don't have any special machines such as a welder, lathe, mill, etc. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money to get rid of something. So I came up with a cheap ass solution to removing the EGR while keeping the factory intake elbow. It's ugly, but it's easy to make with simple tools. Tge only tools I used other than wrenches was a bench vise, an angle grinder, a metal file to clean up burrs, and a hand drill. I also suggest a flexible stick magnet for those who want to work anywhere near the intake valley of the engine. There's a lot of spots a bolt can fall into that are very hard to reach. It's the best $10 I've ever spent. A word of caution, though: if you decide to copy my method, do so at your own risk. This is certainly not the best way to delete an EGR, but it is pretty cheap. I still have to put the coolant back in tonight and let it get to operating temperature to test for leaks. The RTV needs 24 hours to cure. I'll post an update on how that goes.

All the materials needed cost me about $100 US and was sourced from a few hardware stores nearby. Some of you may already have this laying around, so you could spend less. The list of materials is as follows: 3/4 inch ID fuel hose, 3/8 inch ID fuel hose (any hose that can withstand the heat and pressure will do, I just couldn't find heater hose), 3 inch wide flat bar of 3/16 inch steel (1/8 would've been fine and eadier to work with, but it's what the hardware store had) a brass tee fitting, 2 90° 3/4" brass barbs with threads, a 3/8" barb with threads, RTV gasket maker, hose clamps, 6 M8x1.25-30mm bolts and 6 M8x1.25 nuts.


To start off, drain your coolant into a clean containter. The moment you get a steady stream from the petcock, stop twisting it. The petcock valve screw doesn't take much past this point before it pops out. Then you'll have a huge, smelly mess of coolant everywhere. I speak from experience. Go ahead and remove your EGR system, intake elbow, and intake manifold. I'm not showing you how to do this because it's a lot, but I'll link the service manual at the end of this post. Keep the three metal gaskets from your EGR system and note where they came from. I now that everything is taken apart, you're ready to start creating block off plates.

Take the metal gaskets and draw the outline of the gaskets onto your steel. Also do this with the metal retqiner flange from the small coolant line that attaches to your intake elbow. It looks like a tab from a soda can. Carefully cut these shapes out with your angle grinder and file away and the burrs. Drill your holes to the appropriate size, which I don't remember, and clean the block off plates with some brale cleaner to remove the oil used while drilling. Using the 6 M8 bolts and nuts, fasten the two triangle plates to thair pipes with the factory metal gaskets. Keep 4 of the factory bolts that were used for these triangle flanges, you can use them for the intake elbow. For the coolant return hole that gets blocked with your homemade soda can tab, apply some RTV gasket maker compound and then fasten it. Follow the instructions on the tube carefully to ensure a good seal.

For the intake elbow, take a few measurements, draw your bend line and cut about halfway through along that line with an angle grinder. This provides a weak spot to control the bending point. Bend a 90° angle into your steel. I used my bench vise and a big ass crescent wrench for this. Heat can help with this to provide a clean bend, but the only torch I have is propane, and that's not doing anything to steel. My short side of the bend, the side not in the vise, was sligtly round. I flatened that by crushing it in the bench vise. It worled better than I expected. Use the metal gasket with 4 holes to seal the plate against the side, and a generous amount of RTV to seal off that weird tube with 2 O-rings (I don't know what it's called). Don't start the truck until it cures according to the tube instructions. For the bolts on this plate, you'll have to use some washers since they'll bottom out.

Finally, the coolant. Use the 2 angled barbs and 3/8" barb to assemble some ugly contraption. Use a pipe thread sealer such as teflon tape. I used the angle grinder to cut the two coolant pipes and deburr the edges. Flush these pipes out with water before installing them. Cutting them will put a lot of debris in them. Slide your 3/4" hose over them with your clamps, then slip the other ends into the barbed fittings. Tighten the clamps very well after you install it in the truck and get everything where you like it. Afterwards, install your 3/8" tube between the tee and resevoir. This tube helps to burp air from the cooling system.

Slap everything back together and once the RTV has cured, put your coolant back in and run the truck to test for water or air leaks.

Service manual: https://www.nicoclub.com/nissan-service-manuals
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So after driving a round for a while and having at operating temperature for at least 30 minutes, I noticed a very small leak where the 3/8" barb screws into the tee. It was a single drop every 15 seconds or so. Tighetning it didn't do much. Maybe teflon tape is the wrong solution for the job, or maybe I didn't use enough. Either way, I'll do some reasearch on what available options I have and go from there. I might end up replacing the teflon tape with a pipe thread sealing compound and throw in some copper washers for good measure. I'll post an update on my decision.

As for exhaust and intake blocking plates, I couldn't detect a leak. Wasn't expecting any from the metal gaskets used, but I am surpised the RTV on the intake held up nicely. Also, my soda-tab coolant blocker is not leaking at all, but that's a return port, so I shouldn't be that surprised. Overall, RTV proves to be a great sealing compound. I wonder if I could use that on the pipe threads.... let me know your opinions. This is all a work in progress, and mostly an experiment.
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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I'm not a fan of gear clamps but I do believe you've built an excellent air trap for the expansion tank return line.

You're not a truck driver are you?! My dad would be so proud of that application of RTV!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Nope. Just some dumbass with tools. I've spent the past 10 years finding reasons to tinker with my vehicles. This is the first diesel I've owned, so I'm having a good time being creative with it. Once I get a welding machine, I'm building a flatbed with tool boxes.

I did just read that the nearby Ace Hardware has pipe thread sealant in a $10 bottle that can handle pressure well beyond anything a coolant system will experience. That'll be my fix. Also, the gear clamps are already trying to loosen themselves. I keep tighetning them before they leak, but I'll be getting bolt-style clamps soon. I'm learning as I go. I'm not much of a plumber.
 

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For anyone interested, I built a kit for a friend of mine back in September and detailed the build on another thread doing basically the same thing shown above but I own and operate a fab shop so I have a lathe and mill. I was able to create the kit and detailed instructions, kit pictured below and have it priced at $700 shipped to your door. If interested PM me and we’ll get one sent to you.

Makinmetal
Guitar accessory Font Auto part Tool Metal
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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I should just stop being so lazy, reinstall omax layout and draw some of the plates and cut them out on the waterjet. I miss having my lathe though... why did I give it away?

I hope I'll get some time to pull my engine apart this year and delete the egr completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I adressed the leaks today, and upon dissasembly of the coolant tee and fittings, the cause of the leak became obvious: the teflon tape didn't hold it's place. I wrapped it around the threads 3 times, clockwise to avoid peeling back when turning, and yet it bundled up towards the top of the treads. Looked like a broken condom on the fittings, all 3 of them. I'm surprised only one was leaking. Maybe the teflon tape I have is crap, or maybe I suck at applying it. My guess is the latter.

After cleaning off the male and female threads with a brass brush, I applied some FTE paste (pictured below) that's often used for sealing threads that will experience considerable heat and pressure. In fact, the label specifications will show that it's overkill for my application for a maximum of ~ 220°F and 17 PSI. At $10 (USD) for a bottle with a brush on the lid, I'd be a fool to not try it.

I've read different things online about whether or not FTE paste needs curing time before pouring the coolant back in and running it to burp air. I'm playing it safe and just leaving the coolant drained until I get off work tomorrow afternoon. From there, I'll get it up to temperature and check for leaks. I'll poat updates as deemed neccesary.

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At the time it was completely dissassembled and taking up a room in my house. I don’t have a shop anymore. Gave away all my tools too, almost $40k worth of Snap-On I bought new over the years. Once upon a time I was an excellent mechanic.
Next time you're about to give away a bunch of tools, come move next to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Today I refilled the coolant and let the truck run for a bit to get hot. No leaks found. I drove around a bit, and still found no leaks. TFE paste worked brilliantly! I suggest it for anyone wanting to try this, or just don't suck with teflon tape like me. They're both very cheap options, so take your pick.
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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Today I refilled the coolant and let the truck run for a bit to get hot. No leaks found. I drove around a bit, and still found no leaks. TFE paste worked brilliantly! I suggest it for anyone wanting to try this, or just don't suck with teflon tape like me. They're both very cheap options, so take your pick.
There is a pipe dope called “tru-blue”, it is fantastic.
 

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I adressed the leaks today, and upon dissasembly of the coolant tee and fittings, the cause of the leak became obvious: the teflon tape didn't hold it's place. I wrapped it around the threads 3 times, clockwise to avoid peeling back when turning, and yet it bundled up towards the top of the treads. Looked like a broken condom on the fittings, all 3 of them. I'm surprised only one was leaking. Maybe the teflon tape I have is crap, or maybe I suck at applying it. My guess is the latter.

After cleaning off the male and female threads with a brass brush, I applied some FTE paste (pictured below) that's often used for sealing threads that will experience considerable heat and pressure. In fact, the label specifications will show that it's overkill for my application for a maximum of ~ 220°F and 17 PSI. At $10 (USD) for a bottle with a brush on the lid, I'd be a fool to not try it.

I've read different things online about whether or not FTE paste needs curing time before pouring the coolant back in and running it to burp air. I'm playing it safe and just leaving the coolant drained until I get off work tomorrow afternoon. From there, I'll get it up to temperature and check for leaks. I'll poat updates as deemed neccesary.

View attachment 48015
If you have a stock truck, if i am not mistaken that is a 220 degree thermostat. I don't know if the teflon sealant will hold up. Just keep a eye on it.
 

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2019 Titan XD Pro4x Cummins
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I keep thinking about putting a coolant filter on my truck... I think where the egr was is a perfect place, puts to good use the coolant ports and look kind of natural.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'd rotate the coolant pipes and place the filter by the battery. Removing the filter will spill some coolant, and I wouldn't want that near my injectors or glow plugs. A filter isn't a bad idea, though. Maybe not neccessary, but it certainly can't hurt anything. Replace it when you do coolant changes, and you'll never have a clogged heat exchanger.
 
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