YEP, it’s a Nissan Patrol, and you’re probably wondering what the hell it’s doing in Street Machine. Don’t be fooled; under the mild off-road veneer lurks a full-house six-litre V8 with enough mumbo to pull your ears off.
Michael Peake bought this factory three-litre diesel GU Patrol for his missus a few years back, as a safe ride for the family that would be capable of a few off-road thrills on weekends away. However, it wasn’t long before the old diesel dropped its bundle and Michael was left wondering what he could repower it with.
“When the original engine blew up, I gave Clayton Russell at Clay’s Creations a bell to see what I could slam in this thing to get it back on the road,” Mike says. “He suggested fitting a stock six-litre Commodore motor with a single turbo on low boost. It sounded good to me, and he was prepared to take the whole project on and keep me up to date with how it was going.”
The plan was to keep the engine stock but get it up and running with a single turbo and liquid-to-air intercooler. The GU’s engine bay is huge, so the motor slipped right in without a hitch.
“After getting it tuned I towed a mate’s car to Kandos for the burnouts,” Mike says. “It was cheap on fuel and towed like a trouper, but I gave it a real solid thrashing and ended up cracking a piston skirt. I couldn’t believe it; I was back to square one! Clayton said he would handle things and we decided to build a solid engine for it that would take the punishment when we wanted to crank things up a little.”
The new engine is as tough as you could want for a streeter, with a cast-iron LQ9 block that has been line- and torque-plate-honed before being fitted with a stock crank with Eagle conrods and Mahle forged pistons. To add extra strength, the top and bottom ends were fitted with ARP studs, and the heads were upgraded to L98 alloys with PAC springs. All machining and assembly work was carried out by Rob at Edmarg’s Engine Reconditioning.
Clay’s Creations built the turbo, exhaust and intercooler systems from scratch, and the entire fabrication job is really a work of art.
The exhaust system is 41mm steampipe, and both sides run up to a single Garrett GT42 with a 1.0 rear housing from Adam at MTQ Engine Systems. A single Turbosmart 50mm wastegate has been bored into the rear housing and plumbed back into the three-inch mandrel-bent exhaust system.
Lift the bonnet and the massive liquid-to-air intercooler dominates, in an impressive display of custom alloy work. The intercooler core
is a PWR item with custom-built tanks and mounting hardware.
A pair of massive 16-inch thermos keeps the air moving in the engine bay, and the five-inch turbo inlet runs up to a custom alloy intake box fitted with a K&N filter, with a four-inch alloy snorkel feeding fresh air from outside the ’bay.
The clutch was deemed not up to scratch, so a custom-made unit was built with a Commodore outer and a Toyota centre. It was also important to find a pressure plate with maximum clamping pressure without making the clutch pedal superheavy.
For added safety, the clutch assembly faces up to a locally made billet steel flywheel.
With the changeover from diesel to petrol, the fuel lines needed to be upgraded in size, and the fuel tank cleaned and fitted with twin Walbro fuel pumps with dual –8 feed lines and a single –6 return to the tank.
The upgraded fuel system works through a single Aeromotive regulator and into eight ID2000 injectors.
The engine still runs the factory Holden ECU and has been set up on only 4psi of boost on pump fuel at this point. It cranks out a hefty 300kW at the treads, and once they get a few more kilometres on the new motor, they will slam a bit more boost into it.
“With the factory 4.11:1 gears the car is great to drive around town,” Mike says. “Stand on the noise and it pushes you back in the seat; it really surprises a lot of people.
“I’m really happy with how it goes, and will probably make a change to a 4.6:1 gear at some stage soon to make it better for serious offroading,” he continues.
“It doesn’t get hot, is cheap on fuel and is a super-reliable, everyday grocery-getter!”