SHED: NIS­SAN PA­TROL TI-L

WE ACCESSORISE OUR RES­I­DENT Y62 PA­TROL WITH OFF-ROAD GEAR, BE­FORE WE HEAD FOR THE HILLS. TOYO’S OPEN COUN­TRY R/T COM­BINES THE BEST OF MUD AND ALL TER­RAIN TYRES

4 x 4 Australia - - Contents -

AF­TER a month spent tour­ing the high­ways we fig­ured it was about time we took the Pa­trol off-road, and there’s no bet­ter place to do that than the Vic­to­rian High Coun­try. But first we fig­ured it needed a bet­ter set of tyres and some other ex­tras. In an align­ment of the plan­ets, our search for off-road rub­ber co­in­cided with Toyo Tyres launch­ing its new Open Coun­try R/T range of tyres.

Toyo’s Open Coun­try R/T com­bines the best at­tributes of mud- and all­ter­rain tyres to de­liver the best of both worlds. It has the ag­gres­sive looks, tough three-ply car­cass and trac­tive abil­ity of Toyo’s Open Coun­try M/T, and the quiet ride and on-road brak­ing per­for­mance of the Open Coun­try A/T; just the thing for our mix of on- and off-road us­age.

Five new Toyo R/TS in a 285/65R18 size were fit­ted to the Pa­trol’s stan­dard 18-inch al­loy wheels by the guys at Tyre­power Reser­voir in Vic­to­ria, and the fit­ters were im­pressed with the bal­ance of the Toyos straight off the bat. Tyre­power’s clever bal­anc­ing machine mea­sures lat­eral pull of the tyre and wheel, so the four wheels were op­ti­mally po­si­tioned on the ve­hi­cle to suit the cam­ber of our roads. It’s clever stuff that we haven’t seen be­fore, and it’s valu­able for four-wheel drives that use heavy wheel-and-tyre com­bi­na­tions. The Toyo Open Coun­try R/T tyres should be avail­able for pur­chase in Aus­tralia, in a range of pop­u­lar sizes, by the time you’re read­ing this.

We hoped to fit a bull­bar to the Pa­trol be­fore the trip, but mi­nor changes to the late-2017 model’s front-end meant none of the ma­jor 4x4 out­lets had up­dated their bars to suit. From what we could tell the only real prob­lem is with the park­ing sen­sors of the TI-L, but a

bull­bar will have to wait for this Pa­trol.

With nowhere to mount aux­il­iary lights on the front of the car – and with the good folks from Light­force sup­port­ing our High Coun­try ad­ven­ture – we elected to go for a light bar on the roof. The crew at Ironman 4x4 used our car to de­velop rack mounts for the Y62, and they sup­plied a 1.8m al­loy rack. We also got Ironman to mount one of its up­dated 2.0 x 2.5m In­stant Awnings to the rack, to keep the dew off the swag while camped in the moun­tains.

The lighter weight of an al­loy rack in­creases the ca­pac­ity for more cargo, even if it was only used to carry swags, camp chairs and firewood on this trip. The ease of set-up and pro­tec­tion af­forded against rain, sleet and dew by the In­stant Awning was greatly ap­pre­ci­ated as we toured the moun­tains. Stay tuned for a full re­view on these.

The Light­force light bar is a sin­glerow 40-inch unit which was fit­ted at Ironman 4x4 and wired up by our good mate Phil Cochrane from On Track Au­to­mo­tive in Fern­tree Gully. Phil rec­om­mends, sells and in­stalls Light­force gear to his cus­tomers ev­ery day, so get­ting this light bar work­ing was a cinch for him.

How did the Pa­trol and its new ac­ces­sories fare in the High Coun­try? That full re­port is com­ing soon, but the miles spent run­ning around town get­ting the gear fit­ted – in ad­di­tion to the heavy-duty tyres and the gear mounted on the roof – did noth­ing for the Pa­trol’s fuel econ­omy. It av­er­aged 17.89L/100km for the month.

Ironman 4x4’s In­stant Awning adds wel­come ex­tra pro­tec­tion in the moun­tains.

Forty inches of Light­force sin­gle-row light bar power.

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