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nissan
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey fellas,
Myself and my mate Brenno are starting a build to enter into the 2011 4x4 Masters held in Sydney and wanted to see if we could find a few parts and good insights from fellas who have done it before. Its a privately funded project, aka myself and brennos pocket so separate from the magazine. We just wanna get into comp wheeling.

So to start it off heres the details of the truck we have and what we want to do. Any insight into best ways to do it and help with finding parts would be great. All going well it will be a MQ and GQ team at Masters next year!

THE TRUCK
So we just purchased a 1983 MQ SWB with the 2.8 Carbied engine, one owner virtually stock with front bar, rear bar and roof rack, 4 speed manual. 383,000kms but has had the head done and also bottom end rebuilt. Blows bugger all smoke and pulls up the hills in 4th better than my Auto 4.8 GU hehehe

THE BUILD
Ok so the aim is to sell off the front bar, rear bar, roof rack, fibreglass back section and both front and rear diffs. We will then have basically a styleside SWB ute ready to start our build. If anyone is keen for any of these parts just let me know and name a price!

We have a pair of 60 series diffs complete with lockrites and 5.29 gearing in our shed so these will be going under the truck, we will be doing the suspension one of two ways. The first option is to flatten both leaf packs out and spring over both ends. Use shock hoops in the front and possibly an inverted shock setup in the rear with track bar. The second is to spring over the front and coil convert the rear with GQ springs and custom mounts from Locktup while utilising my standard GU control arms that i have in the shed. What do you guys reckon is the better option? Is it worth going coils and extending the wheelbase? How well do the MQ leaf packs flex in SPOA configuration? What is better 3 link, 4 link or 5 link?

Body wise we will be doing a internal cage plus full tube work around front, rear and down sides. Maybe going for a stinger bar out front with winch. Also will be doing a guard chop to help fit a set of 35 x 13.5 x 15 BFG Krawlers if we get the cash together. Also doing a quarter panel chop and some minor rust repairs.

Engine wise we are not sure, the 2.8 is pretty decent and its only gunna be for rock crawling so doesnt need tonnes of power. How hard is it to convert the 2.8 to gas? Does anyone have a gas setup that we can buy or trade?

Drivetrain wise the bus currently has the 4 speed manual, however we would like to put the 3 speed auto in, just gotta find one? Is this an easy swap? Anyone wanna sell or trade an auto?

THANKS FOR READING...

Well there you have it thats the plan, sorry for lots of questions, just wanna hear from you fellas whats best for the MQ. If we get this right it will be a weapon for Masters. If anyone is keen to be involved in the build drop me an email [email protected]

Will post a few pics of the old girl as soon as i get to work in the morning

Cheers
 

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not sure your plan with the auto, the l28 came with auto only in the LWB, you have SWB. the auto had a divorced transfer which will not bolt easily into your SWB, plus it has 2.0 low ratio from memory whereas the one you have now is 2.2. you might be better off optimising your manual for good crawl. 4 speed has ~3.8 first gear, 5 speed from turbo diesel or P40 has ~4.0 first gear and 5 speed from L28 or na diesel has 4.2 first gear. or you can track down a cabstar 5 speed which are like 4.8 and bolt right in.

with suspension, everyones going to say coil, but i wouldnt mind seeing a nice spoa setup with some real long leaves, i reckon it would work well. ive seen some big flex shots of MQ with spoa and stock leaves.
 

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Hi David,
I can't help you with the suspension set up at all as I have a lwb and Mine is more of a fishing/ camping rig,
but on the auto side of things you will need to extend the wheelbase for sure then get a auto lwb petrol mq/k for remote transfer setup or auto from early 80,s skyline or datsun Z series and remote transfer from auto troll.
Please Email me a pic of bulbar to [email protected]
Good luck I'll be watching the progress.
 

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I've been thinkin of helpful things for your rig,
If you end up going the Nissan auto route you may find it a very long combo although here is another option for you,

you could track down a petrol engine and auto out of a 60 series cruiser therefore getting a shorter engine/tranny/transfer combo with the added bonus of changeable transfer gears,

You could also mount the whole lot further forward in the bay and mount a rad in the back.

Now some of the purists will not be happy with this but it will get you around a couple of problems.

Now with the LPG system I don't know about where you are but up here I know of a place where I can get second hand systems pretty cheap like tanks for $22, converters for $22 bla bla bla so pretty cheap.

If I were building a LPG system for a comp only truck I'd be using forklift mounting system and tanks so you could carry plenty of spare tanks on ya transporter

Will this truck be comp only or will it have to be regoed?

Anyway I've blabed enough.

P.s I know someone with a Nissan auto bolted upto a L28 but no transfer gear if your interested.
 

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SPOA can flex pretty good! I put new, longer Rancho's in my front and it flexes pretty good now. I need to trim my guard even more. But to get it flexing even better you need longer leaves. The Spanish Patrol 260 had longer leaves and flexed way better.

I've heard guys put Toyota Hilux rears in the MQ front for better flex.

I'm running a L28 to and with my new 5.14 ratio it can crawl pretty good, so you should be fine with the 5.23's. If not, find a cabstar 5 speed.

Stredging the wheelbase is a good thing, Nissan put the rear axle way to much to the front! This is what I'm going to do in the future!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey fellas, thanks for all the feedback. So i reckon the auto is going in the too hard basket and we will stick with the manual for now.

smokaharma we would love some info on getting a full second hand gas system whats the place called?

We thinking we will be staying with leaves all round for now, SPOA will be happening in the next few weeks.

Anyone who wants any of the other bits mentioned let me know what you want and how much you wanna pay for it!

Cheers,
 

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if you are cutting the rear quaters, why don't you reverse the rear leafs and use drop shakles with an inverted shock setup. This will increase the wheelbase by about 6 inchs and than you might be able to fit the auto in. This set up works well, as i have done it to my swb mk. You can use rear hilux leafs in the front, but you will have to do a reverse shakle set up and this will also extend your wheelbase.
 

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MKnut, do you have pictures of this? I'm thinking about extending the wheebase to!
 

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flip your rear leaf spring around to push the diff back a few inches.
 

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i was looking at my patrol in the driveway just the other day and was considering this. going to whip the tape measure out on the weekend. looks like the rear diff is located ~1/3 from the front of the spring. the front of the spring is also the fixed mount. if you turn the leafs around, the diff will be ~2/3 towards the rear, plus the diff will be closer to the shackle, so it will 'flex' more. the spring wont flex any more, but the diff will move on a larger arc (more travel). should be win-win.
 

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do drive shafts need any attention when doing spring reversal due to change in wheelbase?

say a front leafsping reversal with extened shackles? is diff angles an issue aswell? i.e. will you need caster wedges?
 

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you have to extented your tailshaft if you flip the leaf rear leaf. I will try and find photo's of mine done. From memory i think my wheelbase became about 100 or 101 inch with the rear leafs reversed
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the info guys I will def look into shackle reversal for wheelbase etc! Just another quick one the previous owner put different seats in our mq and they way too big like I hit my head on the roof too big! Is there a good comfy seat from something else that bolts straight in or does anyone have a spare set of mq seats?
 

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all sorts of seats have been tried, commodore, falcon, mazda etc. i tried vn commodore seats in mine and had the same problem you describe, plus i couldnt get my legs between the wheel and seat it was that high. the problem is the height of the trans tunnel, with the rail on top of that, a decent quality seat ends up fairly high. so either put up with it (sounds like you dont want to), get MQ seat (they arent that good but your not doing long trips by the sounds, so who cares), or just bolt the seats you have now straight to the floor (no rails, saves inches in height).
 

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I used GTI Swift seats they went in with minor mods and have good lumbar support and the passenger one folds forward to allow rear access.
The height is about the same as the original seat but using the existing bolt holes it will sit about two inches closer to the pedals. You will need a piece of alloy to space out the rear holes. I'm 178cm and I don't hit my head on the roof!
 

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80's Mazda 626 seats are a bolt up. Pick the ones from a coupe, the sit really good!
 

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G'day lads. I'm the other sucker who's in with Davo for this build. Actually the MQ was my idea. Can't argue with $1200 for a rego'd runner. She drives sweet too, way sweeter than a 28 year old 4WD deserves to run.

I think we're just gonna SOA her and get the 60 diffs under it and out onto the tracks. Then go from there - I think the next thing will be power steer as I can't see 35s being too fun without it. How do the factory carbies go offroad? This thing runs better than any carby I've ever driven, it's EFI-type smooth, absolutely purrs.
 

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from what ive heard the stock carbies are the best offroad. they handle a serious thrashing around on bumps and whoops and and dont flood too badly. of course they wont sit there adn idle half way up a hill, you need to keep the right boot working to keep revs but im happy with it as far as carby goes. with decent gas conversion you will have no issues at all.
 

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I run dual fuel, and usally flick to petrol on the large climbs for the extra power.

For seats, Im using the ones from my old NF pajeros, bolted to the standard suspension seats. They sit a little bit higher, But are way better, and lumber adjustment.
 

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Well this is an interesting build full of alot of questions with no solid answer........... yet.....

Ok, so we have a goal in mind. This is great.

Suspension:

My old MQ comp rig was the first of its type setup with Leaves in it to flex better then any coil GQ in the front end..........

How much stuffing around do you want to do?

If you spring over an MQ SWB and leave the leaves in standard ish configuration even with flattening them you will be dissapointed. They are big and tippy and wont do well on the tight off camber courses at masters.

You can get this thing flexing really well for a leave spring rig if you want to stuff around with it.

As ppl have mentioned, wheelbase........... do you want to stretch the ass end? if so, by how much?
You can flip the rear leaves around on these and gain about 8 inches, this will mean however that you will need to cut your entire styleside rear quarters straight off as the rear wheels will be back far too far for your guard space..........

again comes down to how much work you want to do?

In the FRONT end.

This is what i did.

Bought a set of IFS HILUX rear leave springs ( nice and long ). Length gives you flex and stability.
Cut all 4 spring perches off.

Weld in a dropped X member in the front and weld the rear perches in the front under the new X member. This will then solid bolt your leaves up front. then correctly position your old front perches and weld them in the rear end of the IFS leaves. You now have a reverse shackle long leave setup with loads of approach angle, and massive flex. Then you need to weld in shock hoops.

The rear, if you want to leave the wheelbase similar to it is, then coils is the best option. If you want to stretch her out abit you can have a good play with the suspension.
Either way, there are tricks to optaining good flex.

TIP FOR THE REAR.

The shackles are inside the chassis in the ass end. Poor flex. make 2 new mounts and weld them an inch or 2 further forward and under the chassis rail. This will give your shackle a nice big angle so you will have large flex compaired to stock shackle location. Again, how much do u want to stuff around?
setting these up well takes abit of practise and skill to no how far to go otherwise you can end up with problems.

YOU WILL DEFINATELY NEED A TRACKBAR IN THE REAR AFTER SOA.

Again, cant stress this enough, especially with high flex, soft flat leaves. The axle wrap will stuff your springs and snap pinions.

I have a wealth of knowledge on these, many on here and outers can vouche for this, if you need help just ask. Here is a couple of flex shots of my old MQ SWB after i finished its build years ago. I have built many since then, ive probably owned 30 MQs in the past 10 years...... and a few GQs including my current SWB.

MY truck pictured was a shorty. I bought a UTE cab body and simply bolted that on. Made a tray and stretched my wheelbase out with some of the methods above. Proof of flex is in the pictures.

Screwy

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