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VEHICLES Custom GQ Patrol

Aaron will never lose his GQ Patrol. Indeed it was the bright orange paintwork that caught the eye of our Production Manager, Shane, who spotted it parked up while he was driving through the Southern Highlands (of New South Wales). But there's so much more to this chopped Patrol than just its eye-burning paintwork. Let's get into this.

Painted in eye-watering orange, this chopped and lifted GQ Patrol has been setup to tackle the toughest of tracks.

Vitamin C

WORDS BY JOSH NEEDS, IMAGES BY SHANE STIFFLE

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THE OWNER
A train driver by trade, Aaron spends a lot of time away from home and away from his family. He wanted a fourby that would get him and his family out into the countryside, and safely home again. For that, he knew it had to be a TD42 GQ Patrol.

And so when he saw this one here, parked up and looking unloved, he knew it would make the perfect truck for him and his family. When Aaron found the already-converted dual-cab Patrol, it wasn't running, but he knew that with a bit of TLC and some mods here and there, it would be exactly what he wanted. And he's a firm believer, like many others, that Nissan should have offered the Patrol as a dual-cab from the factory.

It wasn't running when he found it, but it didn't take him long to get it up and running again and then he set about personalising the truck to suit his needs.

“It wasn't running when he found it, but it didn't take him long to get it up and running again and then he set about personalising the truck to suit his needs."

POWER AND PERFORMANCE
The 'silver-top' TD42 engine made 85kW and 264Nm from the factory but came with strengthened internals to take a turbocharger. Indeed, in Australia you could get, from Nissan, a Safari turbocharger as a cost-option on the Patrol. Aaron's didn't have the cost-optional turbocharger but that was addressed with the fitment of a turbocharger from an R33 Skyline running 18psi and a front-mounted intercooler to match.

In preparation for a stainless steel snorkel, Aaron has had an aftermarket airbox and filter fitted to make sure the Patrol breathes clean fresh air. And a three-inch exhaust let's everyone know you're around.

The great thing about the GQ is that newer GU stuff can be fitted.  And Aaron's gone and grabbed the front and rear diffs from a GU with a brace kit added to the front for strength. The factory 4.3 diff ratio is good but Aaron's chopped GQ also runs an ARB front locker to complement the rear LSD. It also runs GU brakes front and rear.

THE VEHICLE
The TD42 GQ Patrol has a cult following in Australia. They're tough and reliable. But Aaron's GQ was a little forlorn when he found it. Leaking "fluids" (according to the previous owner), the price was drastically reduced – not put off, Aaron jumped at the chance to get the Patrol.

With the Patrol on the back of his trailer and driving it home to Robertson from Orange (where he'd found it), Aaron noticed a strong smell of fuel. Poking around the engine bay by the side of the road, Aaron found that the fuel pump was loose. Once he'd re-fitted the fuel pump; no more fuel leak – Aaron had bagged a bargain.

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
The bright orange paintwork can throw you off when you see Aaron's rig. It's much bigger in the metal than it first appears. The GQ has undergone a substantial suspension change, with a four-inch lift via an Old Man Emu suspension kit. That means all undercover car parks off-limits, but it has made the GQ even better at what it was made for, conquering tracks. To assist with the added strain caused by the monstrous lift, the GQ also has a Dobinsons steering damper as well as a heavy-duty drag link, and full engineering compliance.

With the power, the lift, and the muscle, Aaron had to make sure the GQ wasn't let down by his tyres and went for a set of 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM3s wrapped around Safari 15-inch rims. Sure, they're loud on the road but, for Aaron, road noise or on-road ride comfort wasn't high on the list of priorities.

Designed to be a touring 4X4, the GQ is set up to go for days without needing fuel or water, thanks to a long-range fuel tank holding 147 litres of fuel and a water tank with a 75-litre capacity. Like all good 4X4s, you need a way of keeping the beer cold and meat unspoiled in the fridge, so Aaron has fitted a dual-battery system controlled by a Narva unit and mounted an Optima battery with 830cca under the bonnet.

Inside, Aaron has fitted newer seats taken from a 1997 GQ, which provide more support and comfort than the originals but still keep it looking correct on the inside. To keep an eye on how the TD42 is running Aaron has Racetek gauges aligned on the a-pillar, one for boost, and one for exhaust gas temperature. In terms of communication, the GQ has a GME TX3400 mounted, so he knows when he needs to turn back and rescue his mates.

ACCESSORIES AND CANOPY
While Aaron wasn't responsible for chopping his GQ, that was the previous owner, but he has decked out the canopy to suit his touring aspirations. On the inside, there's a fridge slide and drawers and something that caught our eye was his recovery wall.

On the front of his GQ is an ARB bullbar but the brush rails and sliders are all custom-made by Aaron, and the workmanship is top-class. Inside, the ARB bar sits a 12,500lb Dominator winch and while Aaron boasts he's never needed to use it for himself, he's claimed to help his mates out with it once or twice. To light up the track, Aaron's fitted three light bars up on the roof and a 32-inch light bar on the bullbar.

FINAL THOUGHTS
While Aaron will be the first to admit he didn't build this rig from scratch, he's been the one to give it new life and get it back on the tracks. It may not be the most traditional-looking GQ out there, but that's what we love about it. So, next time you're exploring the beautiful Southern Highlands, NSW keep an eye out for Aaron, you won't miss him.

VEHICLES Custom GQ Patrol

WORDS BY JOSH NEEDS, IMAGES BY SHANE STIFFLE

Aaron will never lose his GQ Patrol. Indeed it was the bright orange paintwork that caught the eye of our Production Manager, Shane, who spotted it parked up while he was driving through the Southern Highlands (of New South Wales). But there's so much more to this chopped Patrol than just its eye-burning paintwork. Let's get into this.

Painted in eye-watering orange, this chopped and lifted GQ Patrol has been setup to tackle the toughest of tracks.

Vitamin C

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

THE OWNER
A train driver by trade, Aaron spends a lot of time away from home and away from his family. He wanted a fourby that would get him and his family out into the countryside, and safely home again. For that, he knew it had to be a TD42 GQ Patrol.

And so when he saw this one here, parked up and looking unloved, he knew it would make the perfect truck for him and his family. When Aaron found the already-converted dual-cab Patrol, it wasn't running, but he knew that with a bit of TLC and some mods here and there, it would be exactly what he wanted. And he's a firm believer, like many others, that Nissan should have offered the Patrol as a dual-cab from the factory.

It wasn't running when he found it, but it didn't take him long to get it up and running again and then he set about personalising the truck to suit his needs.

ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

“It wasn't running when he found it, but it didn't take him long to get it up and running again and then he set about personalising the truck to suit his needs."

THE VEHICLE
The TD42 GQ Patrol has a cult following in Australia. They're tough and reliable. But Aaron's GQ was a little forlorn when he found it. Leaking "fluids" (according to the previous owner), the price was drastically reduced – not put off, Aaron jumped at the chance to get the Patrol.

With the Patrol on the back of his trailer and driving it home to Robertson from Orange (where he'd found it), Aaron noticed a strong smell of fuel. Poking around the engine bay by the side of the road, Aaron found that the fuel pump was loose. Once he'd re-fitted the fuel pump; no more fuel leak – Aaron had bagged a bargain.

POWER AND PERFORMANCE
The 'silver-top' TD42 engine made 85kW and 264Nm from the factory but came with strengthened internals to take a turbocharger. Indeed, in Australia you could get, from Nissan, a Safari turbocharger as a cost-option on the Patrol. Aaron's didn't have the cost-optional turbocharger but that was addressed with the fitment of a turbocharger from an R33 Skyline running 18psi and a front-mounted intercooler to match.

In preparation for a stainless steel snorkel, Aaron has had an aftermarket airbox and filter fitted to make sure the Patrol breathes clean fresh air. And a three-inch exhaust let's everyone know you're around.

The great thing about the GQ is that newer GU stuff can be fitted.  And Aaron's gone and grabbed the front and rear diffs from a GU with a brace kit added to the front for strength. The factory 4.3 diff ratio is good but Aaron's chopped GQ also runs an ARB front locker to complement the rear LSD. It also runs GU brakes front and rear.

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
The bright orange paintwork can throw you off when you see Aaron's rig. It's much bigger in the metal than it first appears. The GQ has undergone a substantial suspension change, with a four-inch lift via an Old Man Emu suspension kit. That means all undercover car parks off-limits, but it has made the GQ even better at what it was made for, conquering tracks. To assist with the added strain caused by the monstrous lift, the GQ also has a Dobinsons steering damper as well as a heavy-duty drag link, and full engineering compliance.

With the power, the lift, and the muscle, Aaron had to make sure the GQ wasn't let down by his tyres and went for a set of 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain KM3s wrapped around Safari 15-inch rims. Sure, they're loud on the road but, for Aaron, road noise or on-road ride comfort wasn't high on the list of priorities.

ACCESSORIES AND CANOPY
While Aaron wasn't responsible for chopping his GQ, that was the previous owner, but he has decked out the canopy to suit his touring aspirations. On the inside, there's a fridge slide and drawers and something that caught our eye was his recovery wall.

On the front of his GQ is an ARB bullbar but the brush rails and sliders are all custom-made by Aaron, and the workmanship is top-class. Inside, the ARB bar sits a 12,500lb Dominator winch and while Aaron boasts he's never needed to use it for himself, he's claimed to help his mates out with it once or twice. To light up the track, Aaron's fitted three light bars up on the roof and a 32-inch light bar on the bullbar.

Designed to be a touring 4X4, the GQ is set up to go for days without needing fuel or water, thanks to a long-range fuel tank holding 147 litres of fuel and a water tank with a 75-litre capacity. Like all good 4X4s, you need a way of keeping the beer cold and meat unspoiled in the fridge, so Aaron has fitted a dual-battery system controlled by a Narva unit and mounted an Optima battery with 830cca under the bonnet.

Inside, Aaron has fitted newer seats taken from a 1997 GQ, which provide more support and comfort than the originals but still keep it looking correct on the inside. To keep an eye on how the TD42 is running Aaron has Racetek gauges aligned on the a-pillar, one for boost, and one for exhaust gas temperature. In terms of communication, the GQ has a GME TX3400 mounted, so he knows when he needs to turn back and rescue his mates.

FINAL THOUGHTS
While Aaron will be the first to admit he didn't build this rig from scratch, he's been the one to give it new life and get it back on the tracks. It may not be the most traditional-looking GQ out there, but that's what we love about it. So, next time you're exploring the beautiful Southern Highlands, NSW keep an eye out for Aaron, you won't miss him.