always require modifications to make them more trail ready
My MQ patrol started life as a
brand new 1980 SWB diesel with 4 speed manual gearbox.
It had 24V electrics, now converted to 12V. It has been a reliable and rugged 4wd and
I'll more than likely keep it for my lifetime.
The following after market
accessories and modifications have been made to it.
- OME HD leaf springs in the front, OME
HD rears, 300kg constant extra load with an extra pair of
leaves - for a total 400kg constant load. Perth ARB
seemed obsessed that it was going to be a real harsh ride
- guess they don't know my idea of what harsh is - I find
the new OME rears 'just nice' even unladen. In fact next
trip back will see the addition of at least one more full
length leaf - I just wasn't happy with the amount the
suspension sagged when loaded for the April 2000 trip. Now with Boss airbags in the rear (2016)
- OME shocks. After discussions
with Norm (ex-Trac4), it was made clear to me that the
aftermarket Bilsteins I had on (due to their high
pressure construction) were not a particularly good
choice for our oz corrugated roads when combined with leaf springs.
- New tyres finally (Sep 2008),
Radial Cooper Discoverer STT in 235R85x16 size on 6" wide landcruiser
split rims with wider offset. The rims allow for better stability on
and off road due to being offset about 1.5" further out than the stock
5.5" rims. We'll see how the new Cooper tyres fair after some use in
the goldfields, so far in the Perth hills they seem to work well and
ride smooth on the road. My old tyres were 7.50x16 8 ply Toyo mud
terrain crossplies on split rims - obviously with tubes. Seem to last
for 50,000 km (lot's of dirt road use with a loaded 4wd) and are quite
rugged but on the pavement handle, well, like crossplies. I tried BFG
235R85x16's quite a few years back and was really disappointed, they
were shot after about 25,000 km, they just chewed up and disintegrated
when fully loaded and used on bad gravel/rocky roads - maybe they have
improved since then. I checked out what Newman Mining was running on
their 4wds and it was either Goodyear Custom Xtragrips or the Toyo's -
I figured whatever it was they were running was probably based on
durability - I was right.
- Tyre Plier bead breaker and lot's of tube/tyre
patches (Tip Top and Camel - cold vulcanizing - love 'em). The
cold vulcanizing patches (with the appropriate 'glue') have a special
layer of material that 'melts' onto the base tube/tyre and forms a
permanent bond. Just make sure to check the 'freshness' of the glue prior
to heading bush. I have one open tube - seems to last a few years and one
unopened tube. When I break the seal on that tube I make a note to buy a
new unopened tube and rotate it into my repair kit! In the early days we tried using the hot vulcanizing
patches, the ones you clamp on the tube and then ignite - neat smoke
effects but what a load of RUBBISH! The problem with the hot vulcanizing
patches is that they work for a while, but will eventually fall off -
possibly at high speed! Not a good thing when you patched a rather large
cut in your tube...
- Stock SD33 - not the most
powerful engine on the planet ;-) but adequate in the
bush, especially with some help from...
- Turbocharger, fed from a
Donaldson air filter (with reusable Finer Filter element).
2 1/2" custom exhaust.
- Custom steel snorkel with a
- ARB air locker in the rear.
ARB front locker (see below) installed on the April 2000
trip back to oz.
- Thomas 405ADC38/12 compressor
under the driver's seat with quick connect plumbing for
plugging in an airline with tyre chuck for airing up.
There's an air tank mounted to the chassis rail under the
drivers seat area for the ARB lockers. Click to see the air
valves installed on the
firewall. The picture shows the two air valves and airlines for the
F/R ARB lockers. I installed one of the standard porous metal in-line filters
from the compressor/tank - this ensures that any bits that may be in the air
lines do not make their way into the air valves.
- Warn 8274 12V winch (using 5/16" Amsteel synthetic
rope - bloody brilliant stuff) mounted to an ARB
bullbar - saved our bacon more than a few times now ;-) The winch +12V
is run through a 375A switch to isolate power when the winch is not in use
- see winch
- Extra 80' of synthetic rope, Snatch strap, tree
protector, hi-lift jack (and chain), shovels, sweat etc
- Custom rear tyre
carrier. Get that
spare out from under the rear end and to make room for
the LR tank.
- Custom external sidebars, rollcage and
roofrack. The roofrack has tabs welded on either side at
the front to allow the hi-lift jack to be securely stored.
The roofrack is mounted to the rollcage NOT the roof -
this allows considerable weight to be carried on bad
corrugated roads without stressing the body.
- 160 litre LR tank replacing the stock
82 litre tank. In addition when heading out I load up to
five 20 litre Jerry cans on the roof in a custom storage
box. With all 5 Jerry cans full of diesel and the LR tank
we have a nominal 2000km range. I prefer to empty the
Jerry cans when the LR tank is nearly dry and even then
only a few at a time - just in case. i.e. I like to have
my fuel in separate containers!
- Extended gearbox/transfer box
breathers tee-ed to extended rear breather ending up high
on the engine firewall. Front diff breather was already
- 100W 12V halogen bulbs in the
spotlights - nice and bright at night.
- 10W 12V dimmable LED in one rear
mounted at the back of the roofrack operated by a switch
on the dash - great for reversing at night and lighting
up the camp area.
- LED lighting inside the vehicle - of course!
- Replace the old and tired 4 speed
transmission (syncros are going out) with a 5 speed unit...
Though the change to Valvoline Transgear has reducing the
'nicking' problem greatly - this will delay the
replacement of the 4sp for a few more years ;-)
Repair History (catastrophic failures/design
- Both front lower shock absorber mounts
(the tabs on the front axle housing) ripped off. Nissan's
gussets were too short, allowing the rear part of the tab
to flex and flex and flex and... snap. Repaired by
welding a 3/8" piece of steel stock with a new hole
drilled for the shock threaded end.
- Crack in front passenger side chassis
horn - just near the front spring perch mount (where it
is welded to the chassis). The crack was on the inside U
section (thin compared to the outer U section). This
created some noise when the suspension was 'exercised'.
Solution was to cut out the inside U section and weld in
a new thicker section. Also most of the old weld material
from the front spring perch was ground off and new fresh
welding was performed.
- Driver's side rear wheel bearing was
growling - replaced. Appears that the 'surface' of the
bearing race was damaged. The vehicle was left unused on
blocks for 2 years in it's history.
- Leaking front seal on transfer case.
Repaired by removing front prop shaft, then accessing the
front seal (no further disassembly of tx etc required)
and replacing with a new one.
- Driver's side axle U-bolts both
sheared (luckily at 1mph) - they were part of the
aftermarket suspension and coarse thread. Replaced with
new OME fine thread and OME suspension.
Plus the standard wear and tear of
components to be expected from a 20yr vehicle that spends most of
its mileage on dirt tracks etc.
- After 16yrs the shoe material on the
handbrake shoes 'fell off'. Vehicle still ran fine, just
no handbrake - until the shoes were replaced back in town.
- Clutch/pressure plate & thrust
bearing, new master & slave clutch cylinders.
- Hoses, belts, water pump, thermostat
- Replaced at 140k km brake pads &
shoes for the 1st time - still had at least 20% material
- Injector service & turbo overhaul
& valve replacement. Then years later a cracked head that was replaced and all is well again.
Here it is, RD27 ARB locker for the MQ's
front diff. Much to Perth ARB's embarrassment, they had a slight
install hickup necessitating the complete removal of axles and
diff. Second time lucky and my MQ now has a functional front
locker that still allows me to go around corners (when unlocked)
The boys at Perth ARB did a great job and
are a great crew to deal with.
Recommended oil for the lockers is Limited
Slip 90 weight.