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Discussion Starter #1
I've been on here for a while, seen a lot of great ideas, had a superb amount of help when required and from this, I've built 2 Patrols before.
Both of those have been used hard, for camping, touring and 4WDing - They've always been kept simple, with the oppinion that simple is easier to fix out in the bush.
As experience increases and ideas form, I've come to the following conclusion, my cars don't really break down in the middle of nowhere, and if they did, it'd be something rather major - I meticuously keep my cars serviced. I respect that others may not agree with this viewpoint, but I think it rings true, especially when you do the NADS and regular upkeep with quality products.

So, with an increased family size (kids in 2014 and 2016), the GQ shorty has had to give way for a long wheel based car. I quickly gathered a list of ideas, requirements, engine swap possibilities and started investigating what to get next.

Thoughts I had a the time:
* Buy RD28 GU and put the GQ Shorty motor in, ala @BeNos build-up
* Buy TB45 GU and swap in the TD, ala @JFF45 build-up (with manual gearbox and probably dreaming that I could do it just as well...)
* Buy TB48 GU and leave it as is
* Buy ZD30di and either swap TD in OR put something else in...

OK, so I was pretty hell bent on getting the TD42 into my new car.
When I started weighing up the costs of doing this, what I could get for the Shorty with the engine VS without. It quickly became apparent, swapping the TD42 into my new car, would not only add the cost of the conversion to the bill, but also any value associated with the Shorty, as I wasn't going to be able to sell it without the motor in it - the market just isn't there.
Other engines have been considered as possible swaps, with the pick of the crop for me being the Cummins ISDe180, currently offered as drive in/out by Automotive Etcellence. Second choice is the 6BT, great/simple engine, but old... Third would be a 4.5L V8 from that other Japanese 4X4 mob...The choice would have to be made after I've bought the car...

I ended up finding a 2004 ST-L, which one you ask... A grenade was chosen, it purrs like a kitten and would allow me to sell my shorty whole and then figure out what to do - e.g. just drive it. Also contributing to this choice, everything is diesel and I don't want a petrol conversion at any point in time - this way, I feel there is less to think about when an engine swap decision is made.

Standard everything, clean, good leather interior, DVD/Roof mounted TV and AIRCON!
Neither the MQ, MK or GQ had that sort of luxury - as a result of not driving lead car on many a dirt road, I quickly made A/C a must LOL

I signed the documents and picked up the car at the dealership and drove it home.
These grenades lack pulling power, it's nearly OK, but I can live with it for now.

The first thing you do, is to admit membership to an illusive group of people, by 'modifying' the tyre valve cap; MUCH BETTER :D
 

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With the car at home, I decided to just drive it for a few weeks.
Take it out for a couple of wheels and get a general feel for the car.
I wanted to determine what I needed, both on and off road.

I did swap out the tint, for new high quality stuff, it made a huge difference in terms of looks.

I teed up a weekend to hit Double Island with a mate and all the kids.
It's this sort of stuff that is just priceless, needless to say, we had a ball :cool:
My son is probably the biggest 4WD-nut around, takes after dad ;)
 

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A trek out around Yandina was lots of fun, kids again had a ball, beautiful bush.

This trip was going to turn out more expensive than I anticipated, thanks to the rangers having put up motion detector cameras.
Now, I've always been under the impression that if a gate is open, it means the area isn't off limits... Turns out, that is a $256 misinterpretation of the rules... The ranger could not distinguish between my good intentions and zero damage to the bush from that of a bogan muppet tearing up the National Park. In all fairness to them, it'd be a nightmare, however leniency was nill, first offence as well - no complaints just a heads up for everyone else.

bogged pic, from the same trip, but not in the forest
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
With a few km on my newly purchased pride and joy, I tee'd up a catchup with @geeyoutoo . If anyone knows anything about ZD30di/GU Patrols, it'd be that man! An encyclopedia of knowledge and good tips :bigthumb:
I got Ross to have a look through my car, check the usual trouble areas and give me some thoughts on the purchase. Fortunately, it seemed that he was impressed with what I'd bought, which felt like good news to me.
After a long chat, exchange of ideas and thoughts on upgrades, Ross offered me a run in his car.
You all would know how much time and effort has gone into his car, I felt as a little kid grabbing the keys from Ross. After letting his car warm up on a short drive out from the winding roads that is Ross' drive through suburbia to his house, I found myself on a stretch where I could really judge how his ZD behaved, and whether or not mine would ever be capable of a power level I'd be happy with.
Let me tell you this, I firmly believe that Ross' ZD would blow away standard TD42t GUs, probably even those that have wound their 11mm up some. His car comes on boost very low, has heaps of usable power in the right spot. It was definitely better than what I'd experienced in the GQ Shorty.

With that, I decided, I'm going to keep the ZD, build it up to similar specs as Ross has with his, then build the rest of the car and just enjoy the mods, the comfort and new destinations to camp and explore. If the engine decides to let go, I'll go back to my original engine swap ideas.

To achieve a better performing grenade I started researching the following upgrades/ parts
* Exhaust upgrade, preference for stainless - Turbo/Back
* Boost/ Pyro gauges
* Boost controller
* Mods to intake
* Intercooler upgrade - Now this potentially wasn't really needed, the car came with an I/C that had welded end tanks etc... BUT, I've always wanted a Cross Country intercooler, nothing else would do if I were to have it my way.

Other upgrades included:
* New tires
* Roof rack
* Extra light
* Bar
* Winch - this was a bit lower on my list, but I lucked out a bit, more on that later.

With an ever growing list, I knew I needed to pull the pin and sell the shorty. I just wasn't driving it at all, the GU was so much more comfortable.
After listing it, I got a fair bit of interest, mainly tire-kickers. One late evening after too many beers and watching too much of Graham's shorty, I decided to go start mine up and move it over to wash it the following day. The sound, the raw truck feel, the smell... I instantly ran to my computer and took the ad down :D
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The first thing to get mounted was my old roof rack and awning.

At first I was really keen on getting an aluminium rack, but I couldn't justify the quadruple price of that from SupaCenter, so that is what I ended up ordering - pics in next post, had to wait for that for a few weeks...

As usual, they throw in extra stuff, at times very questionable quality stuff, but this time the added light strip with clips at each end. Works perfectly in the engine bay - works a treat :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I always wanted to run my Weaco in the back of my car, so a dual battery system had to be setup.
Personally, I don't like the extra battery in the engine bay, heat is one reason, the other and subsequently more important is space - that oil filter looks really hard to get out if another battery is installed on the passenger side...

I bought a battery box from RTM and modified it with a dedicated Anderson plug to provide charging.

I then installed an Anderson plug in the rear, next to the jack.
This is all controlled by a Redarc dual battery relay in the engine bay.

I used a tie-down point and bolted the strap to the floor. This then tightly holds the battery box in place. It's been like that for 5 months now, and hardly ever move, even when wheeling on large angles. I did it this way so that it is removable should I want to use the battery in my camper, whilst taking the camper's battery for a drive for the day (in case of low voltage).
 

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Running the fridge in the rear of the car, I quickly noticed that it seemed to be on a hell of a lot of the time, burning through the battery.
The fridge is close to 15 years old now, so I started looking for solutions online.
I quickly determined the thermostat or thermistor was not working as it should.
You can buy replcacements from various Weaco dealers, at $30-$50 for the Thermistor :rolleyes: For those having a similar issue, you can buy said thermister from Jaycar (~$1), solder some wire one and you're off.

I also swapped out the cooling fan while I had it all apart, hint here, a computer fan runs on 12V DC too, just take it out and measure it up, easy swap and no missing fins like it was the case for me.

It did take a bit of digging around to get the thermistor in, but I got it all hooked up in the end.

The fridge is now working perfectly, and has been running in the back of my car, non-stop for the past 5 months :cool:
 

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The day finally arrived, my roof rack and the 40" single row LED light bar was at my doorstep.

Assembly was straight forward, like an adult sized meccano set :)
They missed one of the rubber feet, but that was rectified really fast, I couldn't fault their service.

I wanted the single row lightbar, because I wanted it to sit under the roof rack, primarily for protection, but I also think it looks really good.
 

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I used the wiring kit that they supplied, it's OK, but I ended up modifying it slightly, to allow me to run a carling switch from the center console.

The wire to the light goes under the kick board and is intended to go up via the b-pillar, though I've been slack there, as I still haven't drilled the hole in the b-pillar.
Currently, the wire runs up from the kick-board, up between the 2 drivers side doors.

The light difference is very noticeable and makes wheeling at night much much much bettererest :wink:

Below is a comparo, low beam, high beam and finally high + light bar
 

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Time had come to pull the camper and the family out to Landcruiser Mountain Park for a weekend of fun with mates and their 4wd-crazed kids, hahaha it's mayhem with all of them, they are just hanging to wheel and "get stuck into the mud" - brilliant :grin:

Considering I ran the 6 year old BFG A/Ts (285/75R16), which were getting long in the tooth, I still managed to go everywhere my mate did with his 76 series - perhaps a bit to his dismay LOL What can I say, it's not hard to outperform, someone that drives a car that has suspension off a horse and cart ;)

We chose to take the Sunday Creek Road home, it was super boggy, and proved to be a much longer "short cut" than we ever anticipated. However, we were greeted with amazing nature, beautiful views and this was all finished off with a few woodfired pizzas from Maleny, yummo!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The double DIN stereo that comes from factory, as most of you know, is a pile of ([email protected]
Not only that, as my Patrol had the fold down TV, it also had a DVD player. This however, was installed under the passenger seat.
It was a royal pain to put a DVD in, impossible while driving and potentially a likely candidate for a swim, should I be unlucky while out wheeling...

Some of you may now wonder, did I replace it with another double din, that can do everything?
As you can see from the picture below, I didn't go down that route, not because of cost, but because of functionality.

The DVD player is hooked up to a sound device, that transmits via infrared to the kids head phones. The normal blue tooth stereo, will entertain the adults, at the same time and no one disturbs the other.

The setup was pretty straight forward, the Double Din rail behind the center console has no problem doing this configuration, it was a direct fit with a Nissan to OEM stereo plug.
The DVD player needed some extended cables, including the RCA cables.

A special mention to my little man, who's always keen to help and as car mad as his dad.
How much more manly could that picture get?!? Bunnings + Ferrari + Sausage Sizzle :bigthumb:
 

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The little fella, is like the little devil on the shoulder.
I cannot count on two hands, how often we would be driving home from kindy and he would say: "Hey dad, you know, the dirt track is coming up, we should take it and find some tracks"
Of course, I'm probably not hard to convince, and as a result, dinner is sometimes had out on the track, checking out new challenges :cool:

This little trip was one of those that turned into darkness, and really re-affirmed that I could no longer be without my LED light bar!

This is from the forestry out near Landsborough, good for a couple of hours of fun ;)
We, of course, got stuck just before the planned time to head home... Needless to say all were stoked after an evening of fun tracks.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
The deal I made with my missus was to sell the shorty and I could use the money from that to buy goodies for the new truck. Pretty good deal, but I was still contemplating keeping it, therefor I couldn't order a lot of the more expensive stuff, but that didn't stop us from heading out for a wheel.

A few pictures from our trip out near Kenilworth. There are some crazy tracks out there and potential for bulk pin striping (I could actually tell that there were pin striping on my glass AFTER I had washed the car!! it did scrub up good though)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The shorty just sat there, waiting to be turned over and given a bit of love.
After yet another month without being touched, battery dead and just getting dirty, my inebriated thoughts weren't becoming reality, and so, back up for sale it went.

Within a few days, she was gone, it was sad to see a good old friend go, so many adventures and fun had been had, but it was time AND the new owner wanted to restore it professionally, and build up his dream truck - This made the whole thing a little easier.

Build thread here: Rock Lobster - GQ Shorty
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
With the car sold, potentially for a little less than I initially anticipated, I went to work figuring out how to maximize the money I had at hand and prioritize the purchases best.

I made several shopping lists, but settled down with a slightly rougher list than what is shown below. This was updated as I found alternatives on gummie for the HPD intake and the bar - which came with an eBay special winch in it. I initially didn't account for a winch, but always wanted one...

The money was spent within a week LOL
It was a lot of fun to finally pull the trigger on all the different items I'd investigated in the time leading up to the sale.

That weekend, I went down Brisbane way and met up with 2 different Gummie sellers, who parted ways with the HPD billit lid, as well as the winch.
The lid got installed straight away, the mesh was also removed from the MAF housing and a brand new Ryco filter was dropped in.

The bar needed some TLC, it wasn't going to get fitted to my car without being neat!
 

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After a good wash and a thorough sanding I primed the bar and painted it Satin Black.
I could have dropped it off at a powdercoater, but I really like that I can just grab a can from the green shed and clean up scuff marks when necessary.

Additionally, I purchased genuine new inserts for the lights as well as the bumberettes. All off @Nizzbits of course, thanks to Gary who organized the goods to be sent from a Brisbane Nissan to lower the waiting time.
 

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Again, on gummie, I managed to score another Weaco.
My idea is to make a fridge rack in the back. So that I can run 1 fridge and 1 freezer, 2 fridges or just 1 fridge on its own. I could have bought a dual-zone, but I actually really like this. I do a fair bit of overnight camping, sometimes with the kids sometimes alone. When I'm alone, I don't need 80L of fridge/freezer space, however, when the wife and the kids come - I do.

I've not built the fridge slides yet, but I do have a cad drawing made up for this idea, more on that at a later point ;)

Any thoughts, pros and cons would be greatly appreciated.

Apologies for the sideways pictures, I can't really change these into a landscape easilly...This is a silly setting - a mod should change this setting IMO
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Thanks for all the likes and views, next up tires!

As mentioned in a previous post, the BFG ATs were long in the tooth, and for the keen eyed, ended up going with the shorty in that sale.
Driving around on the smaller 265/75-R16 road tires weren't really offering much in terms of ability off the black stuff.

I had already started looking around for new tires, and I really had a hard time deciding, do I go A/Ts again, or do I go a M/T. It was about then that I watched some YouTube videos on that very topic, and the advise given was; If you head out more than once a month, perhaps even just once a month, then go with an M/T, otherwise stick with the A/Ts as you clearly don't go wheeling as much.
My current wheeling pattern is up to twice a week, definitely once a fortnight... My mind was set, M/Ts would have to go on. I like the 285/75-R16 size, it's a very versatile tire size IMO.

So what to get??
Well, it was right about then, that I heard the new KM3 was on it's way to our shores.
I rang around when I knew the date, but not a single outfit on the Sunny Coast knew anything about this launch... Sometimes this place is a bit behind, funny, considering we're not even 100 kays from Brissy... :confused:
After a bunch of offers for KM2s I cracked it, and decided to look for something else.
If anyone has a set on their car up around me, please let me know. I'd love to a) check them out in person and b) beg/bribe/flirt for a test drive with them, to compare.

Reading lots of forums, and reviews, primarily from the US, I settled on the Falken Wildpeak M/Ts, and I'm really happy I did! It is a super grippy tire, great on a lot of different surfaces, even wet tarmac!
The noise is very manageable, just a touch more than my old A/Ts (now, not when they were new, then they were much more quiet). I've done about 6K kays on these now.

On a side note, what the hell is up with all the blue dye that comes out of the tires when they are new?? What is it good for?
I'll ask the tire shop when I get them rotated/balanced in the next couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A couple of days later Nizzbits got the goods sent up from Brisbane, and before I knew it, I had assembled my Genuine Nissan bullbar, pretty happy with how that turned out.

The original plan was to get the ARB Single hooped Sahara bar, they do look mint, but $2000 vs $700 including paint, bumperettes, stainless bits, inserts for lights and not to mention a winch... I think I can live with the compromise on price ;)

All screws and bolts etc have been swapped for 316 stainless, it looks great, and is very durable. For very little coin, I think it is a worthy investment.
Even the indicators got new screws.

The winch that came with the bar, a 12,000lbs steel cabled i-Max winch got pulled to bits and cleaned/ re-greased. The fella that sold the bar and winch, couldn't have had a clue about how to do any of this, because the gear leaver was pointing back up towards the engine bay... I turned the housing and now it's the way it should be, with easy access.

The heavy duty power cable got wrapped in conduit to offer extra protection against rubbing. I will wire up a switch in the cab at some stage, but for now, the wired controller works a treat (yet to test the remote controlled ones)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
One of the good guys from this forum, had offered his 6-month old Autometer gauges up for sale, and I jumped on it.
I drove up to Gympie and had a good chat to old-mate about his TD42 ute, which was kitted out really nicely (super sorry, your name evades me at the moment, and I can't seem to find the original pms).

After checking my interior code (K) I ordered a colour matched 3 gauge pillar.
Pretty happy with the quality, certainly much much better than I could ever have achieved myself in a reasonable amount of time.

I made up a harness for it one evening.
The following day, I pulled the wires through the firewall (EGT probe through on the passenger side, I'd rather have clutter under the dash than in the engine bay).

The install was pretty simple, though I only had boost to start off with.
I needed an aftermarket temperature probe adaptor, as well as a new exhaust.
The adaptor I got of eBay, a china model, from memory 35mm, and it fitted perfectly.

hopefully I'm getting these pictures the right way around, I've cropped them so they are technically in landscape dimensions...
 

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