patrol for boat towing

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 10:17
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hi out there. i am in the process of buying a nearly new gu 111 or gu 11 diesel patrol. i will be towing a boat about 2.75 tonne all up laden weight, sometimes relatively long distances (1000 km +). does anyone have experience on the merits of the 3.0 turbo vs the 4.2 turbo ?

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Reply By: desert - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 11:28

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 11:28
For towing you need capacity. Cubic centimetres and you need them because you cannot always keep the engine "on boost" all of the time. The 4.2 turbo is the better choice for towing. It has the lugging ability, the proven longevity, and is under-stressed in doing so. It's no rocket, but it will last the distance.
The 3 litre is a highly stressed, pampered with electronics to make its power and torque, and it will not lug "off-boost" like the bigger engine does. As to it's longevity, well the jury is still out. It has had many failures, mostly from series 1's, and Nissan say it's OK now? It's your money Ralph!
AnswerID: 98813

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 12:17

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 12:17
I agree with almost everything you've there desert....the exception being that the failures were mainly from the series 1 Patrols.

This subject has been covered in the past quite a bit and Nissan hasn't done us any favours with their method of classifying their vehicles.

My understanding of it is like this (only talking about the diesels here) :

Series 1.........There was the 2.8 L turbo/intercooled & the 4.2 naturally aspirated.

Series 2.......The first of the 3.0L turbos and the 4.2 factory turbo

Series 3.......The newer 3.0L with better oil feeds etc (new tail lights) & the 4.2 Intercooled turbo.

I may well be wrong on that last point about the series 3's. I've got a funny feeling the intercooled 4.2L didn't come along until quite a bit after the "new/revised" 3L, so maybe it's classed as the series 4; I'm not sure.

Anyway, I'd certainly have to agree that the 4.2L would be a better towing vehicle.


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Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 12:54

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 12:54
As you have noted Roachie , there was never a "Series 1 GU" , 3.0l TD. The 3.0l TD didn't appear until the Series 2 GU's. It was the Series 3 , that the major changes were done to the 3.0l TD.

Anyway , as with the others , I would tow a large boat of that size with the 3.0lTD. the 4.2 would be the better unit for that.
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Follow Up By: desert - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:18

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:18
Yes you are correct of course. What I meant was, it was the first series of the 3.0 litre engines that had all the dramas. I was perhaps a bit misleading the use the term "series 1".
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Follow Up By: lambo - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:34

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:34
thanks to all for your input.
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Follow Up By: Rob from Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 12:36

Saturday, Feb 19, 2005 at 12:36
I think one simple point most people are missing here is that the 3lt is available in auto and the 4.2 is not. Autos tow MUCH better than manuals specially auto turbo diesels which really are a match made in heaven. Cheers Rob
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:42

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:42
Hi Lambo,

There is simply SO much written on this site that its a good idea to read some of the 383849300 previous posts to get an idea.

I actually got halfway through another long winded reply to this question but after doing this for the zillionth time, it was just one time too many! So, apart from reading my myriad of previous posts on this, all I will say is that I have a 3.0TD, I tow a 1.6T offorad van very regularly with it on and off road and would NOT swap to the 4.2TD if I was to buy again.

The main reason for this is towing ability. The 3.0TD simply tows THAT much better on-road that I could not go back to a 4.2. While the 4.2 definently has advantages when off-road in low range at idle revs, this is not where I do most of my driving (unfortunately!) and the ability to tow my van with ease at 100km/hr with cruise control on up and down hills is simply so good that towing is now a pleasure, not the chore it used to be! Much better fuel economy is simply a bonus.


AnswerID: 98828

Follow Up By: Happy GU Owner - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:05

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 17:05
Lambo and Cappy,

I have owned both and they both are real gems.

Currently I own a 3 Litre TD, and have used it for towing well over two tonnes on a tandem trailer, and it tows with ease, great around town, enjoy the extended service intervals over the 4.2, and gets me everywhere I need it to go. The only small issue that I would have with it, is the take off towing that load on a steep uphill - as I said, I don't have that much of an issue with it. There are not that many vehicles out there that will launch off at the lights at a million miles an hour towing that sort of a load anyway.

However, after saying all that, if I were doing lots of towing, with that sort of a load, I would probably head in the direction of the 4.2, as it will give slightly better low down torque for getting off that boat ramp, or crawling slowly from the lights up that hill. I had my first 4.2 D, with aftermarket turbo, for 8 years before I honestly thought that something better had come onto the market, and deserved trading up to - great motor, and 8 years of pleasurable driving

Have fun trying to choose !!
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Follow Up By: desert - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:27

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:27
Well Captain, I knew this would shake the hornets nest a little.And the only way to prove it is to test both against the stop watch with the same load and gearing. I'm available just about any time. Bring your trailer and I'll bring the stop watch.
Look, I suppose it's a seat of the pants impression, but the 3 litre that I drove (which had a fair amount of extra gear on board due to a recent trip, actually it was the Hema Map-Patrol vehicle), was slow to accelerate to 100km/h cruise, but once there it virtually had not much left for passing, especially in 5th. It would be manditory to down-shift to 4th and even then, it needed planning and plenty of road to overtake. In contrast, my 4.2 would out accelerate, in 5th and pull strongly to 140 km/h, all the while feeling capable of executing the manouvre. I know which would be the better truck for pulling. The 4.2 every time.
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Follow Up By: lambo - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:35

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:35
thanks for your input.
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Follow Up By: Happy GU Owner - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:58

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:58

I find that a bit odd that you found the 3 Litre a bit down on power, especially passing at 100.

I know that I have the dtronic, and that makes a little bit of difference ( 10%) , but once I'm on the highway, never leaves fifth gear, go through country towns at 50 kph, accelerate back up to 100/110, and my truck weighs in standard without passengers at 3 tonne, just with all the accessories.

In fact, the way that my car travels caused two diehard Toyota men to change camps over to the dark side.

Maybe, there was something wrong with the vehicle, or temp and humidity levels were such that all vehicles were not running at their peak. Also, I don't think that this is the case but, if the engine is cold, there is no grunt at all.

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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:21

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 11:21
Hi Desert,

I don't need prove anything to anyone about my 3.0TD, I am very satisifed with it and I know I didn't buy a race car. My ego doesn't require me to prove which is faster, I already know.

I have driven both and there is no comparison. Also, my brother in law has an 80 series 4.5 petrol and I out accelerate it by a noticeable margin in 5th gear roll-ons every time. The steeper the hill, the bigger the margin.

As for not much power left to pass, well I can stay in 5th while towing a 1.6T van plus load in vehicle (all up ~5T), I can accelerate easily from ~80 to 130+ while safely overtaking. If you can do that, great. but the 4.2TD's I have driven were very asthmatic indeed.

My vehicle has the Dtronic (420Nm @ 2,000rpm) but even the standard 3.0TD vehicle will do this. The 4.2TD needs the dump pipe after the turbo to be replaced and the EGR valve blanked off and the fuel pump adjusted accordingly. Once this is done, the 4.2TD is a formidable beast indeed. But now you have a non-standard vehicle that cannot easily be returned to standard, unlike a 3.0TD with Dtonic that is standard in 30 seconds.

Anyway, each to their own. I am very happy with my 3.0TD and I am glad you are happy with your 4.2TD. But if drag racing a 2.5T 4WD is your thing, I think you have the wrong vehicle.


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Follow Up By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:24

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 15:24
I own a 2.8, so can't really comment based on experience, however I've read on this site that the 3L auto is great for towing (driveability) whereas the manual is not so good. Just wondering if this is a consideration that may be influencing the comments above on the 3L.

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Follow Up By: desert - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:03

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 20:03
Yeah g'day Captain. No I'm not into racing 4x4's on the road at least!
I must say that I have no direct experience with the d-tronic or other chips used to fool the computer on the 3 litre. The slug that I drove was standard with 40K on it, so it was probably still "tight". Thinking back, I very much disliked my own 4.2 until about 65K, and have since done a few easy mods to make it go, AND use less fuel at the same time. Your impressive figures quoted are envious, and I don't think the 4.2 could match those figures on paper, however, you can't keep the little 3 litre on the boost curve all of the time, and pound for pound, the bigger engine is going to cope much better when either is off-boost. But, and you said it your self, as long as you're happy............
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 22:32

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 22:32
Hi Desert,

I am very suprised you found the 3.0TD a slug. My bet is that the airflow meter was dirty (did it have an aftermarket oiled filter???). While the Dtronic makes a very noticeable difference down low, up top you don't really notice the difference by the seat of the pants because its already very quick. Also, I found it noticeably better after 20,000kms (currently 35,000).

As for the boost curve, it makes 354Nm at 1,300rpm (just marginally under the 4.2TD's max torque @ 2,000rpm). Its literally only at idle and just above that you really notice the lag, an auto totally masks this (mines manual). Average fuel economy around town is 11.5 l/100kms and high 10's in the country at a steady 100km/hr.

A lot of people say the 3.0TD must be stressed to make that sort of torque, but consider it has a compression ratio of ~17:1 while the 4.2TD has ~22:1. Also, the 3.0TD injects after TDC, unlike the 4.2TD, another reason why the 3.0TD makes such good power without being "stressed".

Basically the 4.2TD is old technology (but very reliable) while the 3.0TD is relatively new technology. Virtually all of the bugs have been ironed out of the 4.2 but the early 3.0TD still had the odd gremlin. While we can all debate forever about which is better, the bottom line is that the 4.2TD will cease in 2006 due to emission laws. So, like it or not, the 3.0TD is here to stay. The only question is whether it will have a big brother, a 4.5TD (the 3.0TD with 2 more cylinders)!!!

If one is considering buying a new vehicle, its future resale will be affected if the engine is superceded. Just take a look at the 4.5/4.8 GU's, there is a significant price difference between them now, more than the original difference. While some may claim the last of the 4.2TD's will hold their value, history shows that every superceded engine/vehicle has a significantly lower reslae that the model that replaced it. While economics is not the only reason to decide between 3.0/4.2, it should be taken into the equation as any new vehicle is a considerable expenditure.

But perhaps the most important is whether you are happy with it. There is no point in anyone buying a 3.0TD if deep down you really want a 4.2TD (or vice versa for that matter)


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Reply By: V8Diesel - Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:54

Thursday, Feb 17, 2005 at 13:54
lambo, I know this has got nothing to do with your actual question, but for what it's worth, I took a GU with the 4.8 petrol and 5 speed auto for a test drive yesterday and it is an absolute corker of a combo. Oodles of everthing from idle. I mean this drivetrain is REALLY good. The 5 speed auto is lifted from the 5.6V8 US Titan SUV so it's a heavy duty unit.

Yes it will use more juice of course, but if you're towing 2.75T and all the goodies that go along with that (3.5T actual?) I believe the 4.8 will be a totally different vehicle. Do the sums on 'life of vehicle' costs taking servicing into account, fuel costs, secondhand purchase price and reliability. Gas is also an option worth looking at. I'd hazard a guess that anywhere you can tow a 2.75T trailer boat 1,000km's, LP gas would be available somewhere on the way. Stock standard the 4.8 has 420Nm of torque (a lot of which is available right down low) and 185Kw vs 114Kw. Whack a Unichip in it and it will be even better.

I run a business using my vehicles and fuel costs are only a part of the whole equation. It is just that you notice them more when you open your wallet every week. 5,000km vs 10,000km service intervals pays for an awful lot of juice.

Come tax time, I'm getting one - no doubt about it. The 4.8 auto Patrol is the single best all round 4x4 vehicle I've ever driven full stop.

Just take one for a test drive when you're next at the dealer's and do a comparison.
AnswerID: 98830

Follow Up By: desert - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:35

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:35
Yes, I concur. It's all horses for courses isn't it? If I wanted a purely towing vehicle and confined to the black-top, then the pertol/gas combo is most likely preffered. But if remote area four wheel drive is the priority,then you will never beat diesel.
Then again, for purely towing purposes, there are better things around than expensive to operate 4x4's, ie, Dodge Ram,Ford F series and even the new range of turbo Falcon sedans and utes.
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Follow Up By: lambo - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:37

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 09:37
thanks for your input - something else to think about...
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Reply By: V8Diesel - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 10:19

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 10:19
lambo, a more on the expensive side of town, but here is the best long distance tow vehicle for a boat / big van I've come across so far.

You can see it in its 'natural environment' here. This is one heavy boat - 2 x 8.1 litre V8's, ultra heavy duty hull (see cross section) etc. The big Henry does'nt even know it's hitched on.

Re: fuel economy of the 7.3. My strong advice is don't listen to a word anyone says who hasn't had first hand experience with them. We did a run (no boat) together from Perth - Sanstone - Meekatharra - Peak Hill - Great Northern Hwy and the F truck with its 7.3l V8 got about a quarter better economy than my GU 4.5 Patrol (which gets about 19l/100km's). It is remarkable - that's getting into 1HZJ territory. At a 110km/h it is virtually idling.

AnswerID: 98942

Reply By: warthog - Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 22:47

Friday, Feb 18, 2005 at 22:47
Are there not also gearing differences between the two vehicles? I believe the 4.2 has 3.9 diffs whilst the 3.0 ltr has 4.6 diffs thus helping the smaller motor to improve its speed through the gears? You have not said if you are interested in short term or long term ownership, for long term the 4.2 has been known to do many K's before overhaul.
AnswerID: 99028

Reply By: macka - Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 18:11

Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 18:11
Hi I have a 2002 3tr with dtronic and 100000 on clock.40000 of that towing a 2.4 ton offroad caravan.I would be happy with this car up to 2 75 ton. over that I would go for the 4.2 turbo.Mine has never given a problem any where except starts on steep hills, and boat ramps with my mates 25 ft boat.3 ltr. 4 cyl. NO turbo. NO GO without lots of clutch slip.Apart from that. It's brilliant. 9+ km per ltr. driving. 5.8-6.8 km per ltr towing at 95-110 km per hr. depending on hills .head wind. We go over the local weighbridge at 5.3-5.5 tons with empty water tanks the person we bought the van from uses a 2003 Toyo 4.5 petrol auto. and towed in 3rd/4 th gutless on hills.and uses lots of fuel. we changed up to this from a "91 GQ wagon. great car but needed ones have it.makes all the difference.Either way GREAT trucks. Effies good on the strait but need 2 miles to turn with van on. and no good off road . too long between axles. The 3 in our group can't go where we go. and the 4.2 is a brilliant donk, don't need the 7+ ltr.Buy a new 4.2 with turbo now and trade for whatever is best on the market in about 12-15 years from now. Can't go wrong then. the best of both world. Maybe the U.S. Nissan Titan will be here with a diesel .... Regards
AnswerID: 99177

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