Patrol GQ ST-3 vs 4.2l?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 03:30
ThreadID: 19077 Views:7007 Replies:11 FollowUps:9
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Hi!

I'm considering buying a '91 Nissan Patrol GQ ST-3. I'm a bit worried that it doesn't have the power of a 4.2 litre as I'd like to tow a camper trailer occasionally and occasionally through sand with 4 adults and 2 kids and CT (Morton, Stradbroke and Frazer Islands).

Should I be (worried)?

Is there anything to watch out for with the 3 litre engine?

Cheers,
Poe :)
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Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:36

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:36
My next door neighbour bought a 91 3litre gq 2 yrs ago and we always go away together and he continuously complains about lack of power.....
It is shocking up hills without a trailer,, just keeps losing power until he is back another gear...... Couldnt even contemplate one with a trailer.....
You can pick em up cheap because no-one wants them....
It took 12years for Nissan to make a 3litre work effectively and even them some would argue the fact...
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:36

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:36
Sorry,, If you can find a good 4.2 and willing to pay the extra, go for it. probably similar economy and better for towing, Michael
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Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:58

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 07:58
Poe

We have a '91 GQ with the RB30 engine. While it doesn't have the power of the 4.2 (possibly...), it has been ultra-reliable. I have installed a Genie header and gotten quite a few extra horses out of it. I have also removed the pre-heater gauze at the base of the carby and gained a few more. A good tune and carby re-build (I paid about $250 for a full rebuild) and it goes very well. It has 33" BFG muddies and still goes up hills like a rocket - irrespective of what else has been said here. It does need a few more revs for sure... but overall the economy isn't too bad - about 16L/100 on the highway (to Cooma - all up hill into the mountains) and anywhere from 25-30L/100 on sand - which all fourbies chew fuel on. Just as a side issue, I have better success with my 3.0 on sand over the guys in their 4.2's... because I can rev the absolute ring out of the engine up the steep dunes in a relatively low gear - keeping a good head of steam right to the top of most dunes on Stockton beach's soft sand. Don't keep an eye on the fuel gauge when doing this however...... :(

Rocky trail performance is not as good as the slower, more torquey 4.2 either. A little clutch slipping to keep the revs (and torque) up is the order of the day. Not too bad, but it can be a problem which leads to another clutch replacement over the life of the vehicle. I have a CenterForce installed in mine now and it's been better and able to take more abuse than the standard unit.

The only thing that you won't be able to do with any ease is tow a heavy trailer. The engine - while it has a fair amount of (read: adequate) power on its own - it doesn't have a great deal of torque - and needs to be kept spinning. The other factor is the gearbox - which comes out of a Nissan 300ZX. While it is smooth and oh-so-carlike in its shift accuracy and speed, you would have, on the odd occasion, a good chance of stripping 5th gear (O/D) with too much weight on the back....like a heavy (700kg plus) trailer.

Don't write it off as a Nissan mistake - it really is a very good 4WD in its own right. It handles better than the 4.2 (with less weight over the front axle) and accelerates just as hard as the 4.2 on-road given that lighter weight. The RB30 engine is a gem that will probably out-last the chassis..... I'm looking at fuel injection too.. to overcome a tendancy to empty the carby's float bowl on really long steep slopes. There is a supercharger kit available from Castlemaine Rod Shop for the RB-30 as installed in VL Commodores that sounds like an option for me too - as it should lift bottom end performance significantly. The engine itself is perfect for doing perf. mods to as it is so strong.

May be it isn't the right choice for what you need to do, but a good machine nonetheless.
AnswerID: 91375

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 09:09

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 09:09
I actually agree with everything you have said here.....
My mate gets 16ish litres per 100 in the sticks and about 19 - 20 around town...
And yes these 3 litres are great for sand dunes,,,, he seems to hold his foot flat in 2nd low at about 5500+rpm and not much stops it....So driven like a race car it performs well....

But the steeper highway climbs kill it and towing is woeful.....
In rocky steep mountain tracks engine braking is non existant and his Patrol can run away up to 20kmh+ with no brakes where mine can hold 3 to 4kmh with no brakes....

When we all go away to Peake which is our version of Stockton he definately is in the top 1 or 2 climbers but as said before these vehicle really have to be driven...
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 08:57

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 08:57
The 3.0 is the same engine as the VL Commodore and Early Nissan Skylines.

You can buy heaps of go fast bits for them from Nismo etc.. But if your talking stock V stock, no substitute for cubes...

You are lookin at Petrols, they get average of 20/100ltrs they are thirsty. 3.0's were getting similar in a poll we had on the patrol list few yrs ago.

TB42's have issues with heads failing on them, the fix is around $1000, but if your head is fubar, they are hard to find in good condition second hand.

Resale on 3.0's is hideous on any forum.. Bloke in our club had his forsale for 8 mths, gave up and traded it in. Many people are now doing either diesel conversions or 350 chev conversions with the 3.0's, cheap donor cars.

Either will serve you well. I'd look at a diesel.
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 10:16

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 10:16
Hi Truckster, I think the main prob with the 3 litre is they rev high but lack any torque, add ons i dint think will help much in the torque dept... i may be wrong... Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

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Reply By: flappan - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 09:25

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 09:25
If you are going to go Petrol , then a 4.2 Petrol , probably Dual Fuel , would be a better idea. Will tow easily , and get the same and possibly slight better fuel economy. It would be far less stressed , and all the other components will stay together.

Or you could try and located a Diesel.
AnswerID: 91392

Reply By: Austravel - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 10:22

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 10:22
All post so far I'd agree with. I just sold an RB30 patrol after 13 years of use. I couldn't fault the motor with reliability, ease to service, cost of servicing, free reving, not an oil leak, etc, etc. I also had some mods done to increase output, worked a treat after that but as per other posts if towing you really had to work the vehicle. If you kept it up in revs, redline is well over 6000, you could really make it fly. Top end was actually frightening, in the NT fully loaded I got to 160kph and still had peddle. But towing, did I mention towing, is poor, yes it'll tow but you need to drive it. So no day dreaming, use the gears keep the revs up, don't watch the fuel gauge and you will keep up with other. With out doubt if used for what it was marketed as you can't go wrong. Remeber it was marketed as a people mover, mum's taxi with some light 4x4ing. We had it at the cape, simpson desert, gulf and many off road adventures over 13 years and it never, never stopped on me. The only things I changed was a clutch, brake pads, water pump, radiator and a number of passenger engine mounts. Apart from that I just hope the 4.2 turbo diesel I've brought now is as reliable!!
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 11:34

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 11:34
last I checked there were no shortage of nissan patrols for sale so unless it is unbelievable value I personally would look for a bigger engine. The rb30 was made for pushing 1400kg of family around so I wouldnt doubt it might struggle with a full load with a 4.2 pet or diesal you will have no regrets later. The rb30 had a cronic head cracking broblem in comodores at around 170k this however doesnt seem to be the case in other vehicles it has been put in the info I have heard is it is due to air locks developing because of the low position of the radiator in commodores . would still be worth checking for bubbles in radiator oil in water etc. Otherwise it was one of the most highly regarded motors of its time
AnswerID: 91410

Reply By: Poe - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 11:59

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 11:59
Thanks for all the responses. Great info.

The one I'm looking at is $7500 in immaculate condition with high kms (freeway driving) one owner and log books ... but me thinks me likes the bigger engine.

I'm a bargain hunter, so that's why I'm looking at this price range. Would prefer a diesel (TD even better) ... love that torque, but haven't seen any around for such a low price that looks any good. If it doesn't look good I find it hard giving it the attention it should have.

Anybody have any great ideas/places to look/people to ask/alternatives? I'll give member Mr ERIC a bell and see if he has anything (I know he's on hols on Straddie).

Cheers,
Poe :)

AnswerID: 91414

Follow Up By: Willem - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:59

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 21:59
Send mail through my website below and i'll let you know what I have in mind
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 12:35

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 12:35
You aint thinkin of selling it already?
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Reply By: Uppy - Member - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:25

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:25
Hi Poe,Ive got a 4.2 efi gq,its a great wagon had it for 3 years now,with out any real problems apart from a fuel pump needing to be replaced.Its done 180,000 kms to date.I feel if you need to add things to in cease power out put ,forget it because it will cost you more in the long run.My gq is std we also tow a camper trailer without any problem in sand or hills,at times I forget that it is there.the 4.2 has both power and torque.But on this forum they will tell you than you can not do this and can not go there because you drive a petrol wagon.I find it a bit Baised .Sorry that i can not say much about the 3 Lt gq as Ive never had one
regards uppy
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Follow Up By: Poe - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:37

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:37
Thanks Uppy.

Poe :)
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Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:43

Wednesday, Jan 05, 2005 at 13:43
Gday Uppy... Hope all's well with you and the family.. Happy New year...
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Follow Up By: Uppy - Member - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:33

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 13:33
Hi Voxson , the same to you,when are you coming our way.Weve just brought a new house with a big pool,6 person spa pool and a bar,so you will need your swimmers
kind regards uppy
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Reply By: Mark- Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 11:09

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 11:09
G'day,

I'm in SE QLD and have a tidy GQ 4.2 Diesel for sale. For under 10k. I'd consider this a much better alternative to a 3.0 liter petrol. Details in the for sale section on this site.
AnswerID: 91571

Follow Up By: Poe - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 11:27

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 11:27
Thanks Mark,

I appreciate that ... I remember seeing your ad not long ago. Unfortunately I'm looking for a 7 seater otherwise I'd be coming to have a look at yours.

Cheers,
Poe :)
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 16:53

Thursday, Jan 06, 2005 at 16:53
Poe I reckon you'd fond a rear seat for a GQ, lots of people have taken them out when they fitted rear drawers, even talk to a drawer company, they'd sure have some or be able to out you onto someone.
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