Patrol engine for heavy towing

Submitted: Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 22:11
ThreadID: 22671 Views:2534 Replies:10 FollowUps:7
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Hi all;

Near mid year I am planning on purchasing a new GU Patrol wagon, primarily for towing a 22 foot van, weighting in at 2100 kg. My problem is to determine which diesel is best suited for the job sustained heavy towing.

From all I have read I am leaning towards the 4.2L turbo diesel. My current vehicle is a 98 ST 4.5 petrol; it does a fine job, but the fuel bill is rather high after a week-end away with the caravan club.
I would be very grateful for any comments from folk who have had experience towing a similar rig with either of the current 3.0L or 4.2L turbo diesels.

Many thanks.
Stanley V Duck

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Reply By: Mick - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:11

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:11
On paper the 3.0l has more power and more torque therefore it should do the job better. However I have read a number of posts in which people have had problems with theirs. A mate has just bought a 4.2TD and he has a 15foot Pop top van about half the weight of yours. He hasn't towed it very far yet (20km mainly freeway but in that time was not too impressed - felt he wouldn't be using top gear much as it didn't seem to be doing it very easily. He's off on a long trip very soon so I might be able to update that. Also FYI he had "many issues" for the dealer to address at the 1,000km service. In summary they aren't my current vehicle of choice and the build quality would need to improve significantly for them to become my choice. Also one other small point but they still carryonly about 130l of fuel which for Australian conditions is not enough. (Better than the Jeep at 70l though!!)
AnswerID: 109721

Reply By: ferris - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:48

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 23:48

You've probably opened a can of worms here. Toyota v Patrol etc.
I've owned both a 2.8L patrol and the 4.2, and driven the 3 litre a few times. In terms of performance and fuel economy the 3L beats the 4.2 hands down. The Nissan drive train is bullet proof and arguably superior to anything else out there. What convinced me to spend the extra $7k on the 4.2? Simple, two neighbours have early model 4.2's and each has travelled 1/2 a million k's without spending a cent on the motor. Mine's done 50,000 in the last 12 months with a fair bit of heavy towing (3000 kg's +). She just keeps plodding away wthout any fuss. IMHO the 4.2 is an old fashioned work horse, more like a truck than car. Nissan say they've fixed the problems with the 3.0L, but I'm skeptical about it's long term reliability.
AnswerID: 109737

Reply By: sevo - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 07:26

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 07:26
i have worked on Nissan vehicles for over 12 years ask any Nissan tech .............. 4.2 litre any day. Less problems ,better resale, easier to work on the list goes on. Ask me how many 3.0l get towed in compared to 4.2 mmmmmmm i will let you figure it out. In the end its up to you .
cheers sevo
AnswerID: 109750

Reply By: flappa - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 09:29

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 09:29

Why do you think the diesel with be cheaper ?

The 4.2 has a purchase price of approx $6000 more then a Petrol.

The 3.0 is about the same as the Petrol.

Servicing costs etc , are more on a diesel then petrol.

The Petrol , will pull easily , anything you care to tow , so will the 4.2 , with a few reservations about the 3.0 for heavy towing.

Doing approx 45000 k's per year it would take approx 3 years to recover the difference in purchase price.

Apart from better fuel economy , what benefits do you need out of a new Diesel ?

I'm just chucking up a few comments. At the end of the day , its your decision. I'm just suggesting that better fuel economy isn't the only issue.
AnswerID: 109773

Follow Up By: sang - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:28

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 10:28
Hi flappa,
What sort of consumption you get from the 4.8 petrol towing a 2 tonne +plus van ? 30 - 35 l/100k(I heard) ?
I am interested as I am thinking of changing vehicle. I typically tow a 2.5 tonne van for 30-40,000 K per year.
FollowupID: 366347

Follow Up By: flappa - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:12

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 11:12
Sorry , I dont personally know ?

Mine is a 4.5 Petrol GU. My CT is only around 650kg , and my fuel use is around 20-22/100.

I'm afraid its second hand info only , but I have "heard" high 20's early 30's for the 4.8 towing large vans.

Under some circumstances , I could certainly see it getting that high , and maybe a tad higher in bad conditions.
FollowupID: 366355

Follow Up By: Mikell - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 21:02

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 21:02
I have a 4.8 and tow a 22ft van. Did a trip from Melbourne to Nelson Bay last year up the Hume thru Sydney. Averaged just under 22lt per 100kms. Used cruise control to sit on just over 100kmh the whole trip except thru Sydney and outer Melbourne (yarra glen - yea - seymour)
FollowupID: 366481

Follow Up By: Mick - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 08:29

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 08:29
Flappa - check your figures!! Mine say it would take just over a year to recover the price difference and then there's the added longevity and resale value. Diesels just don't use much over 12l/100km ever. There are also some that cost the same as petrol versions (eg Prado and 3.0l Patrol). The only additional servicing cost is an oil change at5K intervals. I've had both. I now fill up every 1300km and save $50 at each fill to say nothing of the range when traveling outback and the great low down torque.
FollowupID: 366547

Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 09:32

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 09:32
Flappa - check your figures!!

THATS the whole point . . .

YOU need to check the figures for YOUR requirements to determine whether a diesel IS worthwhile.

Yes , I'm well aware there are a number of diesels , and petrols , that are close , BUT , there are some that aren't , and they are the BIG ones . . Patrol 4.2 , and Cruisers.

Thats all I'm saying . . . It could very well be the diesel makes perfect sense , I'm NOT doubting that for one minute ,as I said though , its NOT a straight out guarantee anymore that a diesel IS better for simple fuel economy reasons . . .

Do your homework.
FollowupID: 366557

Reply By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 16:28

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 16:28
Can't comment on the others but I use my '02 3.0Di Auto to tow my enclosed race car trailer (about 2 tonne all up, aerodynamics of a fridge) and it does the job really well. I make sure the Auto is in "power" mode and toggle it in and out of overdrive on hills etc to be a bit sympathetic to the box. IMHO when towing Diesel/Auto is the way to go, very smooth and easy, always in the power band. The Auto comes standard with a nice big oil cooler in front of the radiator. Economy is 15-17L/100 depending on conditions and speed, I normally sit on 110 on the freeway, no trouble. Never seen the temp gauge move, the auto overheat light come on and the tranny fluid is still nice and clear. I get 14L/100 towing the camper trailer which is probably about 1000 Kg but does not push anything like the air of the other.
AnswerID: 109853

Follow Up By: Exploder - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:23

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:23
Gday Outbacktourer

I am not sure about the Nissan auto but on some auto’s the power mode should not be used for towing heavy loads.

With power mode off it allows the gearbox to run cooler.
This could be the reason for your transmission over temp

FollowupID: 366436

Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 07:22

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 07:22
Exploder, maybe I did not make myself clear, never seen the auto overheat.

My mechanic reckoned to tow in power mode because it makes the box kick down earlier and prevents it "lugging" along in a higher gear, which I understand creates stress and heat. Happy to debate it though, I've got no technical knowledge of Auto's myself.
FollowupID: 366540

Reply By: Exploder - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:09

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:09
Gday Stanly

Go the 4.2 it is good strong engine. Yes like others have said the 3.0LTR puts out more power but only throe a small section of the rev range

Where the 4.2 has less power but its power is delivered across most of the rev range so you don’t have to be ringing the gut’s out of it all the time to get to the power.

Just my opinion the 3Ltr 4 cylinder seams a little small for a patrol

AnswerID: 109871

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:57

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 18:57
goodday stanley
as the owner of a 4.2TDI when i hook on the 21" van i average about 5-6ks per litre with the work trailer a bit over 7 ks per l
why did i go the 4.2 its a good honest motor why didnt i go the 3l its an electronically tricked up 4 cylinder might just be me but i am still a believer in cylinder numbers
AnswerID: 109886

Reply By: porks - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 19:54

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 19:54
My 2 cents Stanley,
I've done 90,000 trouble free miles in my 2000 4.2turbo diesel GU , about 15,000 of it towing my 20' Jayco full van. Loaded the van is probably around 2300kg and I get about 17/18l per 100km...10/11l when not towing
I sit on the posted speed wherever we go, if it's 110 then that's what we do. I am very sympathetic to the gearbox and never stay in top gear under 1800rpm. I've read all the stories about 5th gear failure on 2000/02 models so am very cautious in this regard.
Biggest drawback is in strong headwinds which hold me back to 90kmh. My brother-in-law runs rings around me with his 4.2td Landcruiser pulling a 22' Roadstar off roader weighing about 300/400 more than my rig.
Hope this helps.....Peter B

ps I previously owned a GQ same motor and drive train, no turbo, did about 110,000km towed an 18' van approx 30,000km, zero problems but would have loved a turbo !
AnswerID: 109898

Reply By: Bilbo - Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 20:57

Thursday, May 05, 2005 at 20:57
The 4.2 Nissan motor is a bullet proof truck engine. A veritable workhorse of an engine. They simply go for ever. I used to drive a 1989 GQ Trayback ute, full load in the tray with a about 3 tonnes of bobcat 'n trailer behind me through the WA Goldfields - creeks, bush, rocks the lot. It made a some black smoke and used a bit of extra fuel when pushed hard but it never even looked like breaking down. BOMBPROOF it was. I could pull 5th gear at about 60 kmh with that load and accelerate - slowly ;)

The 3 litre Nissan is a 4 cyl engine & being an ex- diesel machanic, I've always thought that any 4 cyl diesel engine is inherently weak. A lot of other mechanics agree with me. Plus, to get those remarkable power and torque figures that the 3 litre produces you have wind it way up the rev range to get them. This can only mean more engine wear.

My thoughts - I own a Landcruiser with the old GQ now out to pasture on my mate's farm. I just can't part with old GQ.

AnswerID: 109913

Reply By: Stanly V Duck - Friday, May 06, 2005 at 14:46

Friday, May 06, 2005 at 14:46
Hi all;

Many thanks for all your valuable info. As for the Toyota verses Patrol; the 4.2 Cruiser turbo diesel is the ideal engine for towing heavy loads and that 5 speed auto box would be great, but at $77,000 on road as compared with about $62,000 for the 4.2L Patrol, its a cost difference I cannot justify. Even taking into consideration the higher resale value of the Toyota.

Today I looked at a one year old Landcruiser GXL 4.2 turbo six with over 42,000 k's on the clock. Its condition was almost immaculate. But it makes you think when the vehicle has covered that mileage. The comparison here is between a brand new Patrol and a cruiser nearly 50 k's old for virtually the same money. I'm still leaning very heavily towards the new Patrol ST-S 4.2TD, even though it only comes in manual configuration. The Toyota is definitely the better machine, but it's your buying power and the bottom line that counts in the long run. But I would very much appreciate comments on this comparison.

I have been a diesel man all my life, running buses for a crust, and in my experience the diesel does the better job and does pay for itself in the long run. My aim is to keep this vehicle for ten years. many thanks again.

Cheers, Stanley V Duck.

AnswerID: 110033

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