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1993 GQ TD42
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I've gone and got the GQ checked over and all the suspension and steering is buggered (as presumed). I've now got to hunt for a new steering box (arm and ball joints cooked), and suspension. I've been researching and scouring these forums but the more I look and discover the harder it gets to determine what's actually decent, and what's not.

So far I've got my eye on a 3" lift from Superior. Superior Nitro Gas Superflex 3 Inch Lift Kit Suitable For Nissan Patrol GQ (Kit) | Superior Engineering

Am I safe with this? Just worried that I'm going above and beyond with it. It will be taken offroad, camping and on long trips away (planning a trip to Darwin next year), but I'm no professional 4WDer. Am I better off going with something cheaper like a toughdog lift? Need somebody experienced in this field to help me out with this, I've got no mates into this kind of thing and Facebook groups mostly just stay silent on anything I post.

Thanks in advance legends.
 

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1998 Nissan Patrol Wagon RD28ETi
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If you are going 3 inch, you could get away without the superflex arms and run either offset bushes or radius plates. For 4wdriving 3 inch coils and 4 inch shocks for better flex. Superior are pretty much the top the food chain, however Tough Dog, Ironman, Old Man Emu and Roadsafe are fairly reliable cheaper alternatives. Just make sure you use genuine bushes where you can as most aftermarket don't seem to last very long. The dropout cones you probably won't need unless you are running disconnected sway bars.

If you need to replace the steering box, try and get a GU steering box as they are a bit tougher than the GQ steering box.

Parts I have for my 3.5 inch lift in my series 1 GU wagon (all these parts are interchangeable with GQ wagon):
3.5 inch coils (1 coil cut of each to reduce from 4" to 3.5") - Dobinson Std flexys
4 inch shocks - Front EFS Elite, Rear Armada Extreme
Steering damper - Armada extreme
extended brake lines - no idea on brand as they were on my car already
extended sway bar links - Superior
adjustable panhards F + R - I think mine are either Ironman or Roadsafe
Adjustable Draglink - DL710s Roadsafe
3 - 5 inch drop-boxes - Superior (instead of superflex arms)
Bent rear upper adjustable trailing arms - Roadsafe

I have done a fair bit of semi-serious 4wdriving and have no problems with my setup. Some parts I bought new and some I bought secondhand (mostly never used though). All up would have cost me about $2k. Installed myself.

Are you installing yourself or paying someone to install, If so that could be up to another $1k
 
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1993 GQ TD42
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you are going 3 inch, you could get away without the superflex arms and run either offset bushes or radius plates. For 4wdriving 3 inch coils and 4 inch shocks for better flex. Superior are pretty much the top the food chain, however Tough Dog, Ironman, Old Man Emu and Roadsafe are fairly reliable cheaper alternatives. Just make sure you use genuine bushes where you can as most aftermarket don't seem to last very long. The dropout cones you probably won't need unless you are running disconnected sway bars.

If you need to replace the steering box, try and get a GU steering box as they are a bit tougher than the GQ steering box.

Parts I have for my 3.5 inch lift in my series 1 GU wagon (all these parts are interchangeable with GQ wagon):
3.5 inch coils (1 coil cut of each to reduce from 4" to 3.5") - Dobinson Std flexys
4 inch shocks - Front EFS Elite, Rear Armada Extreme
Steering damper - Armada extreme
extended brake lines - no idea on brand as they were on my car already
extended sway bar links - Superior
adjustable panhards F + R - I think mine are either Ironman or Roadsafe
Adjustable Draglink - DL710s Roadsafe
3 - 5 inch drop-boxes - Superior (instead of superflex arms)
Bent rear upper adjustable trailing arms - Roadsafe

I have done a fair bit of semi-serious 4wdriving and have no problems with my setup. Some parts I bought new and some I bought secondhand (mostly never used though). All up would have cost me about $2k. Installed myself.

Are you installing yourself or paying someone to install, If so that could be up to another $1k
Mate, thank you so much for this. Seriously, really gives me a great insight into what I need to be looking for. I also am on the look out for the GU box (read the series II is the go?) and I plan on installing the suspension (and possibly the box) myself with an old friend who's a mechanic. Shouted him some frothies and he was more than glad to help me!
 

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GQ Dual Cab. TD42Ti with fruit.
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I think the first thing you need to decide is your priority. Either set up for the road, with occasioanal offroad use to get to camp sites etc, or set up for more offroad use, with perhaps some compromises on the road.

In my case, I have a tourer, which goes camping and fishing etc. So the priority is travelling comfortably on road. So how much flex etc is not something I concern myself about. But how well it steers, and soaks up bad bitumen roads is the focus.

Many owners try to find the happy medium of course, so I still have lifted springs and good shocks, adjustable panhards and control arms etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think the first thing you need to decide is your priority. Either set up for the road, with occasioanal offroad use to get to camp sites etc, or set up for more offroad use, with perhaps some compromises on the road.

In my case, I have a tourer, which goes camping and fishing etc. So the priority is travelling comfortably on road. So how much flex etc is not something I concern myself about. But how well it steers, and soaks up bad bitumen roads is the focus.

Many owners try to find the happy medium of course, so I still have lifted springs and good shocks, adjustable panhards and control arms etc.
Offroad it is then. I'm in Tassie, where all of our roads are goat tracks. :ROFLMAO: jokes aside though, yes, it is definitely something I've thought about. I think that I'm looking to find a happy medium. Then again, I have a comfy daily and a work car, so this is kind of going to be a bit of an weekend adventure vehicle, so I may be willing to sacrifice a little bit of comfort. It is a GQ after all. All that being said, I'm not after a crazy flexing monster truck.
 

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Depends exactly what parts of the suspension are 'buggered'.
Personally I would start with new GENUINE bushes all round. Now getting some HD lower control arms would be a first upgrade if you plan on any reasonable 4wding but the rest of the factory components are fine.
And get new rod ends all round. Just be aware if you get a GU steering box the rod end is different. A later model GQ box is stronger than the early GQs.

Recommending shocks and springs is always tricky. Everyone's idea of an ideal ride is different. And everyone's car is setup differently.
Personally I have found OME nitro charger shocks very harsh even on a 3.5t rig, profender remote res ok but rusted shafts and body within months, currently have ironman FCP 'comfort valving' these are good for a light rig with light spring rates but loaded up and with heavy duty coils in the rear the rebound damping isn't up to the task.

I would also look at the body mounts as 30 year old rubber will not be doings its job properly. It can make a huge difference to driving 'feel' if your body is floating 'clunking' around on the chassis.
And in that same idea it's amazing the difference new baileys channel can make to the perceived 'comfort' behind the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Depends exactly what parts of the suspension are 'buggered'.
Personally I would start with new GENUINE bushes all round. Now getting some HD lower control arms would be a first upgrade if you plan on any reasonable 4wding but the rest of the factory components are fine.
And get new rod ends all round. Just be aware if you get a GU steering box the rod end is different. A later model GQ box is stronger than the early GQs.

Recommending shocks and springs is always tricky. Everyone's idea of an ideal ride is different. And everyone's car is setup differently.
Personally I have found OME nitro charger shocks very harsh even on a 3.5t rig, profender remote res ok but rusted shafts and body within months, currently have ironman FCP 'comfort valving' these are good for a light rig with light spring rates but loaded up and with heavy duty coils in the rear the rebound damping isn't up to the task.

I would also look at the body mounts as 30 year old rubber will not be doings its job properly. It can make a huge difference to driving 'feel' if your body is floating 'clunking' around on the chassis.
And in that same idea it's amazing the difference new baileys channel can make to the perceived 'comfort' behind the wheel.
Thanks mate, I've done some research on the GU box into GQ, there's a good amount of info on here luckily.

Good call on the bushes, they're on the list. I've actually done a Word write up on what we found wrong with it a couple of weeks ago.

Rear struts leaking require replacement, will require new pads at same time
Front and Rear Sway bar bushes require replacement
Front and Rear panhard bushes require replacement
Minor leak in rear diff pinion seal
Transfer housing leaking
Front right brake flex line is twisted
Front lower control arm bushes need replacing
Leak from diesel pump
Leak from oil filter area
Driveline oils due
Steering ball joints have movement require replacement and wheel alignment
Steering box arm is worn, will require replacement at same time as ball joints
Front brake flex line is pulled tight from body to diff when on hoist


there's about x3 of other stuff (driveline oils due, coolant overflow bottle needs replacing due to crack etc) but this is the main section of stuff we found underneath when we put it on the hoist.

Thankfully no rust at all under there.

I'll look into the body mounts. Thankyou!
 

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Sounds like a bit of work you have ahead if that's just 1/3 of the list.
There is nothing that's not fixable but it all adds up.
$650 will get you all the suspension rubbers


What are your plans and budget for the car. That will probably help decide what brands/budget to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like a bit of work you have ahead if that's just 1/3 of the list.
There is nothing that's not fixable but it all adds up.
$650 will get you all the suspension rubbers


What are your plans and budget for the car. That will probably help decide what brands/budget to look at.
Yep, there's a fair amount that needs to be done! Luckily the engine is strong and healthy, it's mainly things like the drivers seat, leaky back windows, crack in windscreen etc. Budgetwise, for at least the suspension kit was to keep it around 2- 3 grand give or take (not including bushes etc). other than that, ill pretty much pay what i have to to fix it. I plan to use the car for weekends away, some offroading, and a bit of road tripping throughout the state. Then, as the years go by, we'll see what's next. For now, replacing the suspension and the steering is first on my to do list, as theyre the most severe out of all the issues.
 

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Remote res shocks are good for heavy loads and corrugations. So you can save a few bucks if you do not think you need them. Have adjustable damping is very good in my experience, and most of the good ones are also remote res. Your choice.

My advice when it comes to bushes is this - if you have original control arms for example with stuffed bushes then you have two options. Get new bushes fitted for $XXX dollars or buy new heavy duty control arms that are a bit longer to adjust pinion angle, and come with new bushes fitted already. When your factory stuff is worn out, it is a good time to upgrade rather than put new bushes in stock stuff. Control arms, radius arms, drag link, panhards etc are all in this category. Roadrunner is a good option for this kind of stuff, as the quality and price is good.
 

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Are you planning on going over a 2" lift as that may stretch your budget.
But if staying at a 2" lift I would get some HD rear lower arms (find ones that are supplied with genuine bushes)
New bushes for the rear upper arms and panhards.
HD tierod and Drag link (they have a stronger ball joint and you can get a GU end easier if going that route for steering box.
For the radius arms you have a couple of options. You may need castor bushes in the front which you can't get as a genuine part and have never run them personally but I would go for a rubber bush over a polly one.
Also it's possible to run a drop box which will give a little more castor but that's better than not enough.
Or next option is something like the superior hybrid arms.
To keep to a budget I would go with a hybrid style arm and a foam cell shock like a ironman or tough dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are you planning on going over a 2" lift as that may stretch your budget.
But if staying at a 2" lift I would get some HD rear lower arms (find ones that are supplied with genuine bushes)
New bushes for the rear upper arms and panhards.
HD tierod and Drag link (they have a stronger ball joint and you can get a GU end easier if going that route for steering box.
For the radius arms you have a couple of options. You may need castor bushes in the front which you can't get as a genuine part and have never run them personally but I would go for a rubber bush over a polly one.
Also it's possible to run a drop box which will give a little more castor but that's better than not enough.
Or next option is something like the superior hybrid arms.
To keep to a budget I would go with a hybrid style arm and a foam cell shock like a ironman or tough dog.
I think I'll look at a 2 inch, just because of the difference in price. 2 inch and 33s I think will serve me well and then some for what I plan to be doing with the vehicle!
 

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I think I'll look at a 2 inch, just because of the difference in price. 2 inch and 33s I think will serve me well and then some for what I plan to be doing with the vehicle!
That's all anyone really needs.

But if you do go replacing other components it doesn't hurt to look at what may suit a bigger lift if you decide to go that way in the future.
Example here would be extended brake lines from diff to chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's all anyone really needs.

But if you do go replacing other components it doesn't hurt to look at what may suit a bigger lift if you decide to go that way in the future.
Example here would be extended brake lines from diff to chassis.
Great point. The brake lines are in need of replacement so I'll make sure to get some good quality extended lines.
 
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