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CUSTOM Y62 NISSAN PATROL

WORDS & IMAGES BY HARRY TEMPLE

VEHICLES

Can you hear that tapping sound? That’s the 200 Series devotees about to descend on the comment section, enraged by the fact that Andrew has built a potentially more capable vehicle for less

THE OWNER
If anyone was going to build a mental Y62, it was Andrew Cassar. He’s the Patrol-crazy owner of OnTrack 4x4 down in Melbourne, which started off in the early 2000s with custom fab work in the comp truck scene. Now known as the go-to place for anything Y62, he has followed the ever-evolving off-road industry through both previous generations of the Patrols, with the focus now firmly planted on converting the latest models into solid tourers. This wasn’t an overnight occurrence though; he’s invested 18 years of sweat into the solo venture after plucking up the courage to leave a job with a prominent 4WD supplier.

ABOVE Not afraid to use it the way it was intended! Good on you, Andrew // LEFT Passing down the passion, one generation at a time

SCROLL
DOWN
Introducing Australia's most luxurious
hard shelled roof top tent!

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THE VEHICLE
This isn’t Andrew’s first Y62 adventure. The first was a kitted-out Series I, back when modified examples were as rare as rocking horse sh!t. The new Series IV spends its weekdays playing the test dummy for upcoming products and its weekends hauling the family and caravan around southern Victoria on fishing trips, with a smattering of low-range touring at some of Melbourne’s popular national parks and state forests.   

Andrew is used to the comments often found online from LandCruiser owners, who I’ve personally seen throw out statements like “Where is the solid axle? ... What about fuel economy?”, which is then usually accompanied by an afterthought mentioning their V8 turbo-diesel and how soot gets something or other. Just because it doesn’t have a solid axle, doesn’t mean it can’t hang out on the tough tracks. Picking the correct line, constantly monitoring tyre positions, and a couple of lockers go hand-in-hand with the excellent diff clearance. 

BELOW Custom-made sliders mean this Patrol is ready for any rocks or pesky tree roots

Check out the footage of Andrew cruising up the notorious Rocky Track in Toolangi State Forest

FIND YOUR NEAREST
TJM DISTRIBUTOR

NEW BRAND CATALOGUE OUT NOW! ENTER OUR COMPETITION AND GET YOUR FREE COPY BY SIGNING UP TO CLUB TJM TODAY.*

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SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

THE MODIFICATIONS
Let’s break down what’s powering the big Patrol. The VK56 V8 was never going to win accolades for its fuel consumption, especially with an auto box pulling the 3.5-tonne brick. What it does have, however, is bucketloads of power. Putting your foot down in anger brings forward all 200kW+, meaning Andrew can comfortably overtake, even with the van behind the stock motor. Although, Andrew informs me that by the time you are reading this, the Y62 will have a turbo hanging off the V8 and will be knocking on the door of 800Nm when the kit is complete. When readily available, they’ll be catapulting the petty-banger Nissans past most of the diesel competitors’ power figures, as well as improving fuel economy and drivability. That sounds like a no-brainer to me! Nissan, are you taking notes?

ABOVE 290L of fuel will get him around 1100km while touring. Not the best economy, but hey, I’ve got lead-foot mates that use only a couple of litres less in their decked out 200s. Food for thought

No matter what you do to a Y62, it’s simply a logical decision to install an aftermarket fuel tank to get the most out of your fuel stops. The 150-litre sub tank tucks up into the spare wheel well and doubles the fuel capacity to a whopping 290 litres. Chasing the best possible economy meant maximising the flow of exhaust gases, so it was out with the factory system in favour of a three-inch AVO cat back exhaust. While he hasn’t touched the transmission or transfer yet, he has done what a lot of Y62 owners have considered doing. He reached out and sourced some 3.7 diff gears from the Middle East to replace the Australian issue 3.4s. It was a bit of a gamble, sending the cash over to the Patrol mecca, but soon enough they were nestled in the diffs alongside the factory rear locker and the ARB air installed in the front.

LEFT Linx keeps the 12 system in check, through one easy-to-use interface // RIGHT Handling communications is the ICOM IC-450 hideaway UHF

From the front, the Patrol cuts a uniquely imposing figure. The placid smile formed by the bumper lines are long gone, replaced by the winch-compatible Predator front bar, which cradles the 12,500lb VRS winch. Exposing more of the front undercarriage not only helps approach angles, but looks a damn sight more impressive. A complete set of Drivetech 4x4 alloy underbody protection consists of four plates running from the bull bar to the transfer and keeps all manner of intrusions from impacting the vulnerable, low-hanging sump.

Safe, light weight, easy to use alternative to conventional steel bow shackles

Improve handling,
Improve response

New points available now. Find out more here.

Reduces the likelihood of increased driveline vibrations with the increased ride height.

Lift & Alignment
all in one!

ADVERTISEMENT

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

Rolling on 35s, which didn’t need engineering (Ed note: 34.6in, hey cowboy), Andrew wasted no time testing the ATZ P3s and I can tell he rates the combination with the Method NV alloy rims quite highly for everything from hauling on the blacktop to rock crawling with his mates. The wheel arches are accented by what I now consider to the best-looking aftermarket flares on the market today, courtesy of Nismo. However, the suspension is where this vehicle really shines.

BELOW The lower control arms are nearing completion, at the time of writing these will be the only way to gain a GVM upgrade on a Y62

The HBMC hydraulic shock system is a good starting point, but Andrew has wasted no time drawing up designs and prototyping custom-made alloy lower control arms for the often overloaded arse-end, which, once completed and signed off by an engineer, will grant an additional 500kg+ of payload, pushing the total to somewhere north of 4000kg. The springs have also been swapped for heavier variants in order to ensure a nice firm ride with the extra allowable payload. Andrew had the billet control arm prototypes 3D imaged and computer simulated to ensure the product he will be putting out on the market will be suited to the harsh Australian conditions.

BELOW KAON make this lightweight and sturdy cargo barrier. Perfect for stopping the fridge from visiting the kids in the second row (and vice-versa)

The touring set-up is downright enviable. Once you open the swing-aways on the Kaymar rear bar and unlatch the rear door, you are greeted by the seamless ARB drawer system. On top, mounted inside the MSA drop-slide, is the 40-litre Engle fridge. While the other drawer houses cargo and recovery gear, it also doubles as a preparation table thanks to the stainless drawer topper. Ergonomically, the whole rear set-up has been fine-tuned to maximise both space and functionality, from the inbuilt retractable air hose all the way to the Bluetooth-controlled Stedi rock light kit being used to light the rear area. Up top on the Tradesman Oval alloy roof rack, Andrew has opted to run the Darche 2.5-metre awning and Hi-View 1800 rooftop tent. In keeping with the weight-saving theme, the whole 12V system runs off three 20Ah lithium batteries, controlled via the latest Linx system from ARB.

LEFT Front recovery points are essential; after all, you’ve got to give the other vehicles in your convoy something to winch off, right?

FUTURE PLANS
Owning an uncommon 4WD can be both a blessing and a curse. It can fester frustration, yet it can inspire innovation to find creative solutions to problems off one’s own back. I’m waiting with baited breath to hear the turbo whistle of the freshly completed kit! Kudos to you Andrew, for pushing the boundaries and creating what I believe is Australia’s best Y62.

Yes please. Quality gear and a quality campsite … does it get any better?

VEHICLES

CUSTOM Y62 NISSAN PATROL

WORDS & IMAGES BY HARRY TEMPLE

Can you hear that tapping sound? That’s the 200 Series devotees about to descend on the comment section, enraged by the fact that Andrew has built a potentially more capable vehicle for less

ABOVE Not afraid to use it the way it was intended! Good on you, Andrew // LEFT Passing down the passion, one generation at a time

THE OWNER
If anyone was going to build a mental Y62, it was Andrew Cassar. He’s the Patrol-crazy owner of OnTrack 4x4 down in Melbourne, which started off in the early 2000s with custom fab work in the comp truck scene. Now known as the go-to place for anything Y62, he has followed the ever-evolving off-road industry through both previous generations of the Patrols, with the focus now firmly planted on converting the latest models into solid tourers. This wasn’t an overnight occurrence though; he’s invested 18 years of sweat into the solo venture after plucking up the courage to leave a job with a prominent 4WD supplier.

SCROLL DOWN

Introducing Australia's most luxurious
hard shelled roof top tent!

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BELOW Custom-made sliders mean this Patrol is ready for any rocks or pesky tree roots

THE VEHICLE
This isn’t Andrew’s first Y62 adventure. The first was a kitted-out Series I, back when modified examples were as rare as rocking horse sh!t. The new Series IV spends its weekdays playing the test dummy for upcoming products and its weekends hauling the family and caravan around southern Victoria on fishing trips, with a smattering of low-range touring at some of Melbourne’s popular national parks and state forests.   

Andrew is used to the comments often found online from LandCruiser owners, who I’ve personally seen throw out statements like “Where is the solid axle? ... What about fuel economy?”, which is then usually accompanied by an afterthought mentioning their V8 turbo-diesel and how soot gets something or other. Just because it doesn’t have a solid axle, doesn’t mean it can’t hang out on the tough tracks. Picking the correct line, constantly monitoring tyre positions, and a couple of lockers go hand-in-hand with the excellent diff clearance. 

Check out the footage of Andrew cruising up the notorious Rocky Track in Toolangi State Forest

NEW BRAND CATALOGUE OUT NOW! ENTER OUR COMPETITION AND GET YOUR FREE COPY BY SIGNING UP TO CLUB TJM TODAY.*

FIND YOUR NEAREST
TJM DISTRIBUTOR

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

THE MODIFICATIONS
Let’s break down what’s powering the big Patrol. The VK56 V8 was never going to win accolades for its fuel consumption, especially with an auto box pulling the 3.5-tonne brick. What it does have, however, is bucketloads of power. Putting your foot down in anger brings forward all 200kW+, meaning Andrew can comfortably overtake, even with the van behind the stock motor. Although, Andrew informs me that by the time you are reading this, the Y62 will have a turbo hanging off the V8 and will be knocking on the door of 800Nm when the kit is complete. When readily available, they’ll be catapulting the petty-banger Nissans past most of the diesel competitors’ power figures, as well as improving fuel economy and drivability. That sounds like a no-brainer to me! Nissan, are you taking notes?

ABOVE 290L of fuel will get him around 1100km while touring. Not the best economy, but hey, I’ve got lead-foot mates that use only a couple of litres less in their decked out 200s. Food for thought

No matter what you do to a Y62, it’s simply a logical decision to install an aftermarket fuel tank to get the most out of your fuel stops. The 150-litre sub tank tucks up into the spare wheel well and doubles the fuel capacity to a whopping 290 litres. Chasing the best possible economy meant maximising the flow of exhaust gases, so it was out with the factory system in favour of a three-inch AVO cat back exhaust. While he hasn’t touched the transmission or transfer yet, he has done what a lot of Y62 owners have considered doing. He reached out and sourced some 3.7 diff gears from the Middle East to replace the Australian issue 3.4s. It was a bit of a gamble, sending the cash over to the Patrol mecca, but soon enough they were nestled in the diffs alongside the factory rear locker and the ARB air installed in the front.

LEFT Linx keeps the 12 system in check, through one easy-to-use interface // RIGHT Handling communications is the ICOM IC-450 hideaway UHF

From the front, the Patrol cuts a uniquely imposing figure. The placid smile formed by the bumper lines are long gone, replaced by the winch-compatible Predator front bar, which cradles the 12,500lb VRS winch. Exposing more of the front undercarriage not only helps approach angles, but looks a damn sight more impressive. A complete set of Drivetech 4x4 alloy underbody protection consists of four plates running from the bull bar to the transfer and keeps all manner of intrusions from impacting the vulnerable, low-hanging sump.

Safe, light weight, easy to use alternative to conventional steel bow shackles

Improve handling,
Improve response

New points available now. Find out more here.

Reduces the likelihood of increased driveline vibrations with the increased ride height.

Lift & Alignment
all in one!

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

BELOW The lower control arms are nearing completion, at the time of writing these will be the only way to gain a GVM upgrade on a Y62

Rolling on 35s, which didn’t need engineering (Ed note: 34.6in, hey cowboy), Andrew wasted no time testing the ATZ P3s and I can tell he rates the combination with the Method NV alloy rims quite highly for everything from hauling on the blacktop to rock crawling with his mates. The wheel arches are accented by what I now consider to the best-looking aftermarket flares on the market today, courtesy of Nismo. However, the suspension is where this vehicle really shines.

The HBMC hydraulic shock system is a good starting point, but Andrew has wasted no time drawing up designs and prototyping custom-made alloy lower control arms for the often overloaded arse-end, which, once completed and signed off by an engineer, will grant an additional 500kg+ of payload, pushing the total to somewhere north of 4000kg. The springs have also been swapped for heavier variants in order to ensure a nice firm ride with the extra allowable payload. Andrew had the billet control arm prototypes 3D imaged and computer simulated to ensure the product he will be putting out on the market will be suited to the harsh Australian conditions.

BELOW KAON make this lightweight and sturdy cargo barrier. Perfect for stopping the fridge from visiting the kids in the second row (and vice-versa)

The touring set-up is downright enviable. Once you open the swing-aways on the Kaymar rear bar and unlatch the rear door, you are greeted by the seamless ARB drawer system. On top, mounted inside the MSA drop-slide, is the 40-litre Engle fridge. While the other drawer houses cargo and recovery gear, it also doubles as a preparation table thanks to the stainless drawer topper. Ergonomically, the whole rear set-up has been fine-tuned to maximise both space and functionality, from the inbuilt retractable air hose all the way to the Bluetooth-controlled Stedi rock light kit being used to light the rear area. Up top on the Tradesman Oval alloy roof rack, Andrew has opted to run the Darche 2.5-metre awning and Hi-View 1800 rooftop tent. In keeping with the weight-saving theme, the whole 12V system runs off three 20Ah lithium batteries, controlled via the latest Linx system from ARB.

LEFT Front recovery points are essential; after all, you’ve got to give the other vehicles in your convoy something to winch off, right?

SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT

ADVERTISEMENT

FUTURE PLANS
Owning an uncommon 4WD can be both a blessing and a curse. It can fester frustration, yet it can inspire innovation to find creative solutions to problems off one’s own back. I’m waiting with baited breath to hear the turbo whistle of the freshly completed kit! Kudos to you Andrew, for pushing the boundaries and creating what I believe is Australia’s best Y62.

Yes please. Quality gear and a quality campsite … does it get any better?