After market turbo for GQ, pros and cons

Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 17:09
ThreadID: 15229 Views:8083 Replies:8 FollowUps:0
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I'd like to fit an after market turbo to the GQ, but would like a bit of feedback from others as to wether it's worth it or not. I have had conflicting advice, mostly from people who have had nothing to do with turbos.

My car is a 97 Nissan Patrol GQ 4.2 DX diesel, with 237,000 k's on the clock.

I am looking at the turbo to make towing the fully packed Trak Shak a little easier, beacause right now I am strugling to get up to the legal speed limit with the CT and all on board, wife and 3 kids.

It did have a few overheating issues, but I am hoping a full radiator clean and repairs to the clutch fan have solved this problem, haven't had weather hot enough to test it yet.

My main concern is the increased pressure on the motor, considering she's done a few k's

Any info either way would be usefull
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 17:53

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 17:53
I was in the same place you where about three years ago. My 4.2 had about 220 Klms on the clock, after much discussion and a bit of extra cash I went for the Safari Turbo, yes it did make a difference, worth while I reckoned. Downsides, I rebuilt the engine because I wanted to be on the safe side considering the K's, when I stripped the engine I found the head had a small crack in the pre comp chamber to the exhaust valve, so I was up for another cylinder head, I tried for quite a few months to find a secondhand head, rare as rockinghorse poop, so that was a grand down the tube buying a new one, it was worth while in the end. I fitted a pyrometer in the exhaust as part of the installation to keep an eye on exhaust temp you will be surprised how high it can get when towing up relatively small gradients. I tried a three core radiator initially didn't have much success I went back to my old two core and never had a problem, new thermostat and a recored radiator worked for me, towed up hill and down dale, no problem at all.
I also had spotlights fitted, but I did remove the big NISSAN badge off the grill this made quite a diference.
If your taking the engine out get the aftermarket clutch kit from Nissan it's about half the price of the genuine article. Don't go for a cheapy, they rattle after about 30 k's.
The internal web casting is different between the genuine 4.2 TD and the standard engine you need to be aware of this when you put your boot into it, you will get more block flex.
I could go on for ages about this episode in my life if you want more info let me know I don't want to bore the other forumites to death, you might of just wanted a simple answer. In my opinion, yes it's worth it in the long run.
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AnswerID: 70926

Reply By: Flash - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 17:59

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 17:59
Both my son and I have a turboed GQ TD42. (his about a fortnight ago)
Both are DTS units from MTQ although his is doing a bit more than mine as he has a full 3" exhaust and "power up option" done by the installer- mine has 2.5". His runs 12' boost, mine closer to 10" I think, although mine doesn't have a gauge- yet. There is one on order- very important IMHO.
The difference on both compared to pre turbo is astounding. Towing my 1.8 tonne van there is quite simply no comparison -it's like a different vehicle. Atleast one gear higher up every hill.
Your klms shouldn't matter if the donk has been well looked after- they'll normally do way over 500,000 without being touched.
Biggest single problem causing overheating is the fan clutch.
Hope this helps, cheers
AnswerID: 70928

Reply By: Member - Ed. C.- Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 18:03

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 18:03
G'day Gajm,
I had a '95 RX before updating to my current GU... At approx. 40-50 thou.(yeah I know, voided the warranty, but that never became an issue), I had an AXT turbo fitted (10psi boost), and the only regret I had at the time was that I'd left it so long!!
Sold that vehicle to the in-laws when I got the GU, & she used to run rings 'round the GU.. Fixed that up with a turbo "power-up" (similar to what Motsons do), & now they're about even...
That GQ now has about 200,000 kliks on it (I think), & still going strong, so I wouldn't be too concerned about stress on the motor... It's well proven that the TD42 can take a turbo without overstressing it (as long as you don't go overboard with the boost, of course)...
Believe me, you'll never go back to a n/a TD42 after driving one with a turbo....

Just DO IT !!

Regards, Ed. C.
Confucius say.....
"He who lie underneath automobile with tool in hand,
....Not necessarily mechanic!!"

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AnswerID: 70929

Reply By: cokeaddict - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 18:39

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 18:39
hey Gajm,
I'd agree with most of the above, I owned a TD42 with 600,000 kms on clock (no turbo). Loved the car but was really a dog up hills. Got to the stage where i was being overtaken by "B" Doubles up hills. I had enough !
Sold her and got me an RX td42 with a Denco turbo setup. I have heard some negatives about denco turbo's on GQ's but i have to say I am more than happy with mine. It runs a 7lb boost which is what the boys recomend. The difference is amazing. My old girl was much stronger down low though, but once i hit 60 kms this things starts to launch itself where the old one would still be winding up in RPM.
i would be interested to drive one with a safari turbo just to compare it to my Denco setup. But overall, I cant complain as its nice to know i can now drive to Wagga and back without dropping lower than 4th gear where as before i would be as low as 3rd in many climbs.
AnswerID: 70932

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 20:35

Monday, Aug 02, 2004 at 20:35
My experiences are the same as the other blokes.
I went from having a 1990 Maverick (on LPG full time) to a 1993 RX n/a diesel. I bought that one 2nd hand (ex-waterways, Batemans bay) in 1995 with 40,000klm. It was sooooo slow, I thought it was running on 4 cylinders.....a old beat up combi beat me up a hill near Braidwood the 2nd weekend I had it.
So it went off to Nowra 4x4 and got a snorkel, Safari turbo, 3" exhaust and 145lt long range tank.
What a huge difference...... I kept it for 5 years until I bought the GU in Oct 2000. It had 277,000klm on it and had never missed a beat.
AnswerID: 70966

Reply By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:48

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 07:48
Ditto to the above.

I'm running a Schweitzer with 12psi, never had any heating problems except when I ran it with 2.5 exhaust, once up to 3inch, no probs at all. Pushes 33's, and pulls camper with ease. Good for beating 3L TDI GU's etc which is always good for the ego! As in my rig description I get 123 kw or 165 hp. Had a few more mods done to get it to that stage but it's relatively economical (8.5k's/L), and have done 60,000 k's on the current setup. Sitting pretty on 199,000 k's now and selling it. Will miss the beast as the new GU TDI has nothing in comparison.

Do your homework, there are some really really dodgy guys out there and some really really great guys who genuinely want to help you. Expect to pay 4-5k for a well setup system.


AnswerID: 71014

Reply By: Gajm (VIC) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 09:58

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 09:58
Thanks for all the info guys, I'm convinced it's the way to go, but it's getting Caz to agree that's the really hard part....and that was when I told her it would be 3 grand, I don't like my chances if i have to tell her it could be 4 - 5, especialy when she's driving around in the little Charade and really wants an upgrade
AnswerID: 71029

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 10:38

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2004 at 10:38
TD42 with 237,000 k's on the clock.

Barely run-in.. Put the Turbo on mine with 250k klms no issues... many GQs go 500k klms easily..
AnswerID: 71038

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