TORQUE MON­STER

DU­RA­MAX V8 NISSAN GU PA­TROL

4 x 4 Australia - - Custom 4x4 Of The Year 2017 -

WHEN you’re look­ing for more grunt from your GU Pa­trol’s 3.0TD en­gine, you can only go so far – as Travis Ram­pling re­alised soon af­ter he started the search for more oomph for his tour­ing-duty 2002 wagon. Enter Andrew Cas­sar from On Track 4x4 and his seem­ingly crazy (but ac­tu­ally su­per­s­mart) sug­ges­tion to shove a 6.6-litre Du­ra­max turbo-diesel V8 in the Pa­trol’s en­gine bay. Yeah, it’s re­ally im­pres­sive, hey – espe­cially when you con­sider this en­gine also punches out 1200Nm (yep, twice that of a 200 Series Cruiser) and 380kw at the wheels, cour­tesy of a cus­tom­tuned ECU (it con­tains five sep­a­rate tunes from out­right per­for­mance to drive­abil­ity; 13L/100km is achiev­able in ‘fuel-sav­ing’ mode when tow­ing a camper trailer).

It was a big job, en­tail­ing On Track 4x4 strip­ping the Pa­trol down to the chas­sis and strength­en­ing key ar­eas be­fore in­stalling the big Du­ra­max en­gine and a matched Al­li­son six-speed auto gear­box. On Track 4x4 also fit­ted a four-inch stain­less steel snorkel which is con­nected to the turbo and Gar­rett in­ter­cooler, with a four­inch ex­haust tak­ing care of spent gases out the back.

The driv­e­line has been beefed-up ac­cord­ingly; a lam­i­nated front axle (with TJM Pro Locker) hous­ing pre­vents twist­ing, and the rear diff is now a larger H233 unit with an ARB Air Locker. In­ter­est­ingly, the larger tyres haven’t ad­versely af­fected the trans­fer of power to the ground. In re­al­ity the stan­dard 4.3:1 diff ra­tio is per­fectly matched, thanks to the Du­ra­max’s abun­dant torque and the sixspeed’s ra­tios.

Sus­pen­sion has been ap­pro­pri­ately up­graded; cus­tom-valved Per­for­mance Series King 2.5-inch dampers com­bine with the four-inch­lift King springs, and the stock rub­ber bump stops were re­placed by King hy­draulic job­bies to stop bot­tom­ing-out.

The Pa­trol’s ex­te­rior is, in

TALK ABOUT A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR A LEG­ENDARY OFF-ROAD VE­HI­CLE

com­par­i­son to the ex­ten­sive work un­der the skin, sub­tle, with an ARB Sa­hara bar cus­tom-fit­ted with a Red Winch Viper winch. Baja De­signs slim­line LED light bars (20-inch on the bar; 50-inch fit­ted to the Rhino Pi­o­neer roof plat­form) take care of il­lu­mi­na­tion, On Track 4x4 rock slid­ers pro­tect the high belly, while an ARB rear bar (with spare wheel and jerry can hold­ers) keeps the back­side pro­tected.

The cargo area re­flects this big bop­per’s pri­mary tour­ing du­ties: there’s a drop-down ta­ble on one barn door, LED light­ing, a 600-litre ARB fridge (ac­cessed via a MSA 4x4 drop­down fridge slide), and a trick Out­back Draw­ers cargo drawer sys­tem that hides a sec­ond bat­tery, as well as a twin-pis­ton ARB com­pres­sor (a sec­ond com­pres­sor lives un­der the front seat to power the diff locks and winch-free spool). The in­te­rior’s Re­caro seats and Icom IC440 UHF ra­dio fin­ish off the tour­ing must-haves.

Talk about a new lease on life for a leg­endary off-road ve­hi­cle.

ARB bar­work pro­tects the Pa­trol front and rear. The front bar houses a RED winch while the rear mounts the mas­sive spare wheel and tyre.

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