Choice of Patrol

Submitted: Monday, May 23, 2005 at 22:54
ThreadID: 23256 Views:2896 Replies:18 FollowUps:15
This Thread has been Archived
I'm looking for opinions regarding the 3.0l and 4.2l TD Patrols. Although the 3.0l is more powerful and produces more torque than the 4.2l, I still lean towards the 4.2l. I am a "serious" 4wder - it's not going to be just a shopping trolley or kids' taxi as most 4wds are nowadays. Probably the main reason for my leaning is that the larger engine will be less stressed and therefore will live longer and give less trouble. Thank you in anticipation!
Back Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: DEANO WA - Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:07

Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:07
Aandy,are you towing. i have a 3.0td and its xellent but just getting rid of the old 4.2td GQ i'm not sure how well the'd tow. I pull a 16ft ali boat with no troubles but larger vans may stretch the friendship??
AnswerID: 112519

Reply By: Davo - Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:38

Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:38
I'm a bit old fashioned and coin the old man's saying:

"There's no replacement for displacement"

I bought a 4.2 T/D landcruiser since I tow a 21' fibreglass boat and PERSONALLY believe as per previous post, you're better off with an understressed donk.
BTW - the cruiser is a great tow vehicle.
I don't want to inflame the 3.0 TD Patrol owners, it's just my personal opinion

I know they're great engines, you may do some research by calling into a caravan park and talking to some of the people travelling with a 3.0 T/D and ask them their opinion. They're usually very friendly and will provide some feedback.

Although some people may have difficulty admitting they would have bought differently.

AnswerID: 112526

Reply By: motherhen - Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:43

Monday, May 23, 2005 at 23:43
Our 3 ltr pulls the Bushtracker - now that's heavy.
AnswerID: 112527

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:14

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:14
Aandy, I would go with your feelings for the understressed 4.2 I am sure that most of the tests comparing the two engines are when they are near new, but when the 4.2 gets to 40+kms they should be compared - when the engine frees up it really can get up and boogy. Ours wasn't til 48k. I an not sure if its is a heavier weight drive train too.

The differential services guy I talk to says he sees 10 times the number of Yota transmissions to Nissan ones.
AnswerID: 112544

Reply By: Kalgoorlie Escapee - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:27

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:27
The 4.2 in the Patrol is a very "old" donk. There have not been many significant changes to the motor in years. I believe it still uses pushrod technology and is a class lagger in terms of power/torque. The 3.0l on the otherhand in direct injection tecnology. Maybe if you are after something aggricultural - basic but reliable and fixable in the bush, the 4.2 is the go. For a around town car, but never the less a serios 4X4, the 3.0l patrol may be better suited. Peak torque in both motors is at 2000rpm with the 4.2 being lower.

In the world of underground mining you rarely see nissan.

AnswerID: 112546

Follow Up By: johnsy1 - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:23

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:23
In the world of underground mining you rarely see nissan.

Because they dont have as good a fleet discount and they wont discount parts on fleet unlike Tojos I'm led to believe.
FollowupID: 368889

Reply By: trolute - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:31

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:31
I have an 04 GU 4.2TD, and it does well, though it's not as powerful as you might think for such a big motor. Not that much more go than my 2.5TD landrover when empty, but you do notice the extra grunt when loaded.

One warning, having gone from the landy to the GU, the Patrol uses a lot of fuel. I'm getting 16 to 16.5 lt per 100ks (corrected milage with GPS), whereas landy was gettting 11 to 12 lt per 100ks.

Clearly the 3.0 patrol has fantastic economy, even when worked, so if you are not going too far into the desert, it might be better.

AnswerID: 112548

Reply By: hl - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:43

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 08:43

If money is no object... I would go the 4.2, I think.. Although all that talk about being more fixable in the sticks is probably just wishful thinking.
I don't think there are many places out there that can really tackle these all electronic wonders at this stage if you get into strife. Even the TD6 now has an electronically controlled injection pump (actually similar to the old GU 2.8).
I have a 2001 3.0 and it goes very well and is very frugal, I just prefer "sixes" given a choice.
The drivetrain is the same in both, the gearing in the 4.2 is slightly taller.
The 3.0 is very common these days, so there will probably be an aftermarket and quite a few places able to look after them in the future.

AnswerID: 112550

Follow Up By: GUPatrol - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 10:43

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 10:43

Even the latest 4.2 does not yet have the electronic pump the 98 2.8 GU had.
The 4.2 only has an electronic timing control and electronic EGR control both of wich if they fail will not stop the car.
It does not have elctronic throttle, elec governor or any of that.

Having said that, they are the least things that fail, the question was around longevity due to stressing....
The 3.0L engine is city oriented with many vulnerable points from the exposed idler pulley, to the one serpentine belt to air flow sensors, and dozens of other bits.
You only have to look at the workshop manual and look at the exploded picture of engine components and tolerances to workout that the engine to choose for bush work is the 4.2.
ie: real life examples:
You are in the CSR, In the 4.2 the a/c pulley bearing fails, you just cut the belt and go on...
In the 3.0L you are stuck because the serpentine belt does not allow to drive with one less pulley....

Most components in the 4.2 engine and rebuildable and have tolerances to allow it to be machined, fixed...
The 3.0l engine on the other hand does not allow anything to be machined (not even the head according to the manual) so a blown head gasket in the bush (say birdsville) in a 4.2 is an afternoon work in the 3.0L who knows... just look at the workshop manual and see how many o'rings and special gaskets you need for the job!!
FollowupID: 368781

Reply By: hl - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 11:41

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 11:41
Point taken!

However, you can arrange to have it recovered from just about anywhere for the cost difference.

AnswerID: 112577

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 11:50

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 11:50
So what your saying is budget on spending thousands of $ on a recovery...

... or spend the money on quality and know you will finish your trip/holiday, and know you dont have to sit somewhere in 40 degree heat for 3 days while a tow truck comes to you...

Good logic..
FollowupID: 368788

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:09

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:09
Roachie must have been delayed - he will be here shortly.
AnswerID: 112580

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 14:35

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 14:35
G'day Banjo and all others,
Yes mate, I'm here; just been doing a bit of work for a change!!!
Those who've been on here for a while know only too well my feelings on this issue. I do try not to be too one-eyed......hell I've even said on here that Toyotas are okay as a 4x4, jus over-priced (IMHO) and getting too soft in the latest models (as are the Nissans as well).
I chose my 4.2 over the 3L after having owned a 4.2 GQ with a Safari turbo and did almost 300,000klm in it. When I was looking to upgrade to a GU, the only one I could test drive was a 3L auto (2000 model). Boy, did it get up and boogey!!!! I had to be careful I didn't spin the wheels on the test used to having to stick the Bluney into the right pedal and get a half-baked response (by comparison).
Anyway, I looked under the bonnet of the 3L, saw that there was bugga-all room for my normal set of accessories etc; saw all the electronic gizmos; saw that horrible waste of space under the radiator's cowling and most of all I shuddered at the thought of all that weight being managed by a 4 cylinder donk. I know, I know....I paranoid for no good reason, the troubles of the early 3L seem to have been cured and it goes really well. So why do I still prefer the 4.2????
Okay, I'm no mechanic (I'm a pen-pusher/keyboard puncher). But I do have a modicum of knowledge of how the ol' girl functions. I can change belts, hoses, radiators, fuel filters, oil & air filters etc. I can pull the injectors out if need be. I've had the whole air intake from the inner guard to the turbo off at different times (and have never seen one single solitary electric wire going to any part of it (IE: no electronic gizmos to get covered in dust or fine oil particulates which then tell some hidden computer chip that the world as it is known to be is going to come to an end!!!).
I know mine has less power than a 3L with a chip (probably even without a chip). I do not drive a 4x4 cos I want to get from A to B in the fastest possible time, via the least hospitible track. When we go on club trips I usually volunteer to be tail end charlie so that I don't feel that I'm holding somebody else up.
BUT........I would back my ol' 4.2 against anybody else's vehicle in our club when it comes to it's reliablity and ability to get to our chosen destination.
Sure, I have modified mine heavily with slightly raised suspension, 3" exhaust, larger radiator, front Air Locker etc......just like a lot of other blokes have done.
Now as far as fuel economy is concerned, my experience may be worth considering. We went to Cape York late last year. My mate who has a 3L auto Patrol used virtually identical amount of fuel at each fill-up stop we did. We both had camper trailers about the same weight (my Ultimate and his Trak Shak), but mine has a larger frontal area given my roof rack etc.
Hope this helps,
FollowupID: 368805

Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:33

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:33
Without inflaming the 3.0 vs 4.2 debate, just how reliable does a vehicle need to be?

Many people are doing remote trips every day on all sorts of vehicles and by far the most common problems IMHO are tyre puntures, fuel issues (dirty fuel), mechanical breakages (due to overloading) or electrical issues due to accessories (flat batteries springs to mind) or even rollovers/crashes due to driver error.

When was the last time ANY new (less than 3 years) vehicle had to be towed because of premature engine failure. I mean like the dreaded early GU 3.0 failures, not because you drowned it?

In our 4WD club, as I am sure with all others, you can easily pick the reliability of vehicles. The older it is (regardless of make) or the more modified it is, the more likley it will have an issue. I have yet to see a new (<3 years) vehicle ever need assistance, unless it was due to accessories added.

What I am getting at in a round about way is that ANY new 4WD will be virtually guarenteed of being fine mechanically on any trip you care to name. You are FAR more likely to have an issue with tyres, fuel, accessory electrical fault or even driver error than the very remote chance of an engine failing.


Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
LC 200 + AOR Quantum+

My Profile  My Blog  My Position  Send Message

AnswerID: 112584

Follow Up By: hl - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:59

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 12:59
That says it all...
If you venture out with an old bomb, it will likely bomb out!
The point about the serpentine belt is a good one though, never thought about it that way. I had an alternator belt pop off on my last GU2.8 and because it has two, no worries (well, I was waiting for the 2nd one to go all the way home). Also had my mechanic tell me he has seen one belt go on them and take all the others with it. That belt had actually only done 10,000k!

FollowupID: 368794

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:11

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:11
I think your dead right there Captain. Of course I guess it depends on how long you plan to keep it for. But I agree. All this crap about drive by wire being a problem yada yada, I've seen vehicles with broken throtle cables before, unless you've got a spare it's still not going to help you in the middle of the CSR. ;-)

Then there are us Plebs who can't afford new 4bies, we just spend our saturday mornings crawling under the old clunker making sure that everything we can possibly think of is attended to, we're always listening for the latest funny noise when driving to the shops so that we can catch something minor before it turns into somthing major in the worst possible location.

Hell I agree, the 4.2 is reliable.
But it's not economical fuel wise or purchase price wise.
It is lacking in power compared to all of it's competitors.

If money was no object, I'd buy a 4.2 and do it up so it ran like it should have to start with. If not, I'd go the 3.0L cross my fingers and be happy. Most of the problems that have been experienced with the later 3.0L patrols are not going to stop you, just slow you down a little till you get home, and that's only IF you have a problem.
FollowupID: 368795

Reply By: DARREN - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:03

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:03
Speaking from experience and direct observations: I have a 2003 3.0 GU and am very happy and would gladly buy another. 3 friends have the 3.0 and are also happy. 2 friends went for the 4.2, one has spent money to get it to go a little better (which it now does) and the other is researching the topic before spending as he to is frustrated by it's "agriculturalness". Unless you need the higher towing capacity...... I say go the 3.0 or perhaps take both for a spin to assess driveability!
AnswerID: 112589

Follow Up By: DEANO WA - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:16

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:16
totally agree Darren, as per my earlier reply ,if you do need more ponies you can always chip a 3.0td to give 20%approx more power!!
FollowupID: 368797

Reply By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:58

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 13:58
Greetings Andy

As you can see from my sig I own a 2005 3.0TD manual patrol. My previous vehicle was a TD5 Land Rover Discovery auto Series II.

3.0 v 4.2

1. Substantial price difference between the two. Personally I could not see the value in the 4.2 engine.
2. 3.0 is more economical - produces more power - substantially more torque (3.0 manual)
3. Issues with the 3.0 engine have been addressed ???? I believe so. So reliability is not of concern.
4. Not concerned by electronics. The Japanese do it better than the British.
5. My 3.0 works well from 1500rpm. Low range keeps the motor "on turbo" without difficulty. It is certainly dead "off turbo" but a slip of the clutch and the engine is quickly on turbo ( auto's are better in this area)
6. Tow a off road camper. It tows very well.
7. No factory cruise control with a 3.0

I spent the money I saved (and then some) by purchasing the 3.0, on accessoires.

Note:- Check carefully before fitting a Dtronic to the latest 3.0 engines. The new Nissan computer maping affects the performance of the Dtronic chip in the new motors. The gains are only high in the rev range. Safari needs to make a Dtronic for the new motors.

My thoughts.


AnswerID: 112596

Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 18:48

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 18:48
my 2 bobs worth i went the 4.2tdi due to its lack electronic gizmos
the 3l is a souped up 4cyl the power is all done with smoke mirrors and electronics
after saying that i must agree with roachie the 3 gets up and goes but am stilll a believer 6 is better than 4 and if the fuel consumption gets a bit strong thats my chioce also i tow a 22' van and can still sit on a respectable speed

AnswerID: 112635

Reply By: kim (mr) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:13

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:13
I have both the 3ltr and the 4.2, we got the zd30 first and had heaps of trouble with it just from typical 4wding, air flow sensors x3, cracked intercooler and the diesel injection pumpbleepit self just to name a few of the problems.
So I went and got myself the 4.2 ( wish i had done that in the first place) It gets a harder time than zd30 ever got and not one problem to date.
We still have the zd30 as it is a great car for trips that are not so full on and it uses alot less of the oily stuff (thats the bloke at the servo forgot to put back down when he did the ulp)
In regards to the power issues I think the 4.2 is a lot more even through the whole rev range where the 3ltr has a bit more power but its only in a very small window of the rev range.
Any way thats just my 2 cents worth, and I've always thought that people are just going to try and justerfy what they have spent there hard erned money on (as you do) and as I own both i think it's resonably un biast... sorry about the spelling
Best of luck with your choice Kim
AnswerID: 112649

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:19

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:19
Good response Kim...........
You can't get a fairer opinion than from somebody who owns both types. You've said what I tried to say.......but you did it more clearly and in fewer words....well done mate
FollowupID: 368888

Reply By: Druers - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:38

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 20:38

Walk around the 2nd hand car many 3.0l and how many 4.2l on the lot? I've done it as well, and have seen that a lot of people trading in their 3.0l Nissan's and going for something else. After doing that go and speak to some specialist 4x4 mechanics and get their opinion on which is the better vehicle.
OR save your time and buy the 4.2l TD like I did after doing the research. As for the posting of getting 16.5 l per 100 km's, I don't know what this guy is doing wrong but I get better than that towing my camper ( 1500 kg's ). The 3 litre may have a little more 'power' at 2000 rpm, but I doubt you notice it. The 4.2l will pull away from the 3.0l when the going gets tough....believe me. I don't wish to offend you guys who own 3.0l or start a war or anything, but I have driven both privately and in the workplace.
AnswerID: 112661

Follow Up By: Phils - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 22:04

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 22:04
Have you been eating to much Maccas or something?
The only reason there are so many 3.0lt vehicles in the yards is because they sell 10 /3.0ltrs to 1/ 4.2ltr.
As I work at a Nissan dealer I can supply you with real figures in black and white. As for your experience in driving both vehicles, what were your observations. Does the 3.0ltr out perform the 4.2ltr or vise versa? Or did you just buy the 4.2 because its been around for so long.
IMHO it is the older guys who stick with the 4.2 because they dont like to accept new and advanced technology. I to have driven both and I think the 4.2 might as well have a camel out the front with reins coming through the windscreen. It would go alot better then.
FollowupID: 368871

Follow Up By: joc45 - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:29

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:29
At last, someone who works for Nissan!
I tend to agree with you on most points. And as someone else said in this topic, Japanese electronics seem to be most reliable. I own a 4.2TD-T, and have driven 3.0L autos, and they really perform compared with the 4.2.
Now, tell us, have Nissan fixed the problems with the 3.0L?
I'd really need to know that before trading my 4.2 for a 3.0L.
FollowupID: 368892

Reply By: Aandy(WA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 22:50

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 22:50
Thank you all for your opinions - they have given me plenty of useful information. I'm still leaning towards the 4.2 for much the same reasons as originally stated. I don't expect it to outperform a 3.0 as someone suggested it would when the going got tough - after all it has lower figures in both power and torque so the 3.0 will outperform it at all times. I spoke to a chap yesterday in a caravan park who was towing a large (24feet, full height van) with a 3.0. He told me it tows very well but in the same breath said that 300km was a "good" days towing for him. This suggests to me that he tows very slowly. I have friends with a 3.0 Prado and they say they easily cover 700km per day when towing. Maybe I should be looking at Prados? Their only drawback is the cost and being a poor man I think I am destined to buy a "poor man's Toyota" as they call them. Still they seem to be a good vehicle even if they lack the refinement of their opposition. Things like the manual transfer of fuel from sub to main tank and having to "lock the hubs" are no great hassle.
AnswerID: 112701

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:24

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 at 23:24
The Patrols come with auto locking hubs (but I took mine off and put in manual hubs; AVM)
FollowupID: 368890

Follow Up By: Member - Paul P (Bris) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 06:40

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 06:40

Fitting of manual hubs also allows the use of low range in 2 wheel drive. Handy for backing up my steep drive way and general backing of trailer/van.

FollowupID: 368900

Follow Up By: Phils - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 07:59

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 07:59
You say the 4.2 will out perform the 3.0 when the going gets tough, then you answer your own question, "After all it (the 4.2) has lower figures in both power and torque so the 3.0 will out perform it at ALL times" !!!!
The bloke in the caravan park chooses to travel only 300ks a day like most "older" travellers do. The 3.0 will drive (and tow) for as long as the 4.2 regardless of the conditions.
If the 4.2 is so good like some of the punters suggest on this forum why is Nissan deleteing this engine from their fleet in the near future??
The end result is you need the facts and figures not bias reports from people who base their knowledge on forums and the like.
Nissan have ironed out the teething problems they had with the early 3.0 just like they probably did when they bought out the 4.2. Unfortunately I cant clarify this because I was just a baby.
FollowupID: 368901

Follow Up By: Shawn - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 11:05

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 11:05
Facts and figures don't mean a god damn thing when the smaller higher reving engine wears out before the bigger less stresed motor.
I've got no hang ups with the 3.0 and like everyone else here, I am giving my reason as to why I bought my Patrol.
I knew all about the "on paper" kW and Nm advantage of the 3.0, but the bigger lazy 4.2 motor won me. To pull 2.5T minimum the 4.2 might not do it better but it certainly does it easier and I bought it for the long haul.
FollowupID: 368926

Follow Up By: Druers - Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 11:40

Thursday, May 26, 2005 at 11:40
I Replys to Phils comments. The reason Nissan are deleting the 4.2 from their fleet in the near future is because they will not pass the new emission standards. They will be replacing the 4.2 with a bigger deisel motor. If the 4.2 is such a "lemon" as you'd have us believe, why is it still around after all these years....RELIABILITY, which unfortunately the 3.0 cannot be attributed to. You stated in an earlier posting that you worked for a Nissan dealer...I would assume then that you would have already known why Nissan is taking the 4.2 off the shelf by 2007, instead of asking us on the forum ??? As for Nissan ironing out the problems with the 3.0, only time will tell. In the meantime I'm happy with my 4.2.
I know a lot of people who aren't happy with their 3.0. Anyway why don't you tell us all what you really drive?? OR is driving a 4.2 Nissan just a fantasy to you - like working at a Nissan dealer !!
FollowupID: 369144

Reply By: Member - Chris M (QLD) - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 07:47

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 07:47
See post 23261
AnswerID: 112717

Reply By: sevo - Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 13:32

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 at 13:32
I carried out a quick poll in our dealership. i asked 14 mechanics the following
Question , "which patrol would you own a 4.2 or a 3.0?"
14 out of 14 went for 4.2 .
Some people must live in fantasy land as we get 3.0l broken down for many reason and yes current model is included. 95% of towed in vehicles are 3.0L
AnswerID: 112792

Sponsored Links