patrol 4.2 dx gu 11 tray back 2003

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 17:06
ThreadID: 78082 Views:2431 Replies:3 FollowUps:4
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g'day all
i'm thinking of buying one of the above as a tow vehicle,van about 2t loaded.
this vehicle has 180,000 km on the clock, my questions are
1 what is the expected engine life(round about)

2what would i expect as upcoming problems ie: clutch,pump,etc.

i know it's hard to predict, what have others experienced.
thanks in advance.
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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 17:17

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 17:17
The 4.2 if looked after will be good for more 500,000. Just make sure it's not an
x mine vehicle. Plenty of info here

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AnswerID: 414727

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 19:32

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 19:32
It seems about average k's for the age of the vehicle but it should still have plenty of life left in it if it has been looked after by previous owner/s. My front brakes were changed for the first time at 210,000 but the rears lasted until 360,000. So if the front brakes are original on the vehicle you are looking at, they probably won't be too far from needing replacement. Clutch is hit and miss, I got nearly 290,000km out of one of my 4.2's but I have heard others with much less life from theirs. My second 4.2 has 230,000km on original clutch but I can't see me getting 290 out of this one.

As a tow vehicle if it is standard, it won't be no rocket ship and may run hot from time to time but this is just how they are. Try not to stress too much the first time you see the temp needle shoot up to 3/4 on the is normal for it to do so (according to Nissan). Both mine do this and I have now just learnt to live with the fact. One has nearly 390,000km on it and has ran hot and been worked very hard all it's life so temp does not seem to prematurely kill the vehicle. I still back it off a bit when it goes right to the top of the gauge though.

They respond well to "tune ups" and it is not that difficult to get another 30 or 40% power and torque if you speak to the right people. They then become a whole lot more fun to drive in my opinion.

The drive train is as tuff as they come and you should see no major issues with this as a tow vehicle. As a 2003 model it is newer than the ones that were getting 5th gear problems so this should not worry you. 2001 is about the newest of the 5th gear failures I have heard about and all since this date had the problem rectified before they went on sale.

As Dave said, beware the DX is the "commercial choice" so make sure it is not an ex-miner or one that has been flogged to within an inch of it's life already.

Good luck with it.
AnswerID: 414737

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:59

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:59
The clutch on my GU wagon only lasted 200,000, and that's with no towing :-(
Geez, I got 250,000 out of my GQ/Mav and it was still ok!
Changed my rear disc pads at about 120,000, the front ones are about to be changed shortly at 215,000. The rear pads are only half the thickness, anyway.
The non-turbo DX is a bit of a slug, but bullet-proof.
One final thing; if it's got coil springs at the rear, check the coil towers for any sign of fatigue cracks. Both GU wagons and utes have been known to get cracks from continuous heavy loading. It can be fixed, tho.
FollowupID: 684967

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 09:25

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 09:25
Never thought about the DX being a non turbo, man that would be a slug with the van on the back.

I do remember reading a lot aboout the rear spring towers on the utes now you mention it, Gerry. Funny thing is (both mine are wagons) I load and work my wagons damn hard and have not noticed this, if anyone should have experienced the rear spring tower cracking it should be me. I put my fully loaded wagon across a weighbridge once and it tipped the scales at just over 4.4T without a trailer, that's just a smidge over the 3.2 GVM. One of my wagons is near on 3T empty???? Don't ask me how but it just is...extra battery, drawers, cargo barrier, r/rack, spotlights, b/bar ect ect it all adds up.

I would definately look for a turbo version if I wanted one for towing duties and even then it would get some performance work done to keep me satisfied and confident to o/take when I wanted to not when I have a straight as long as the Nullabor before I can think about it.

Would I buy another one? Bet your life on it.

Cheers, Trevor.
FollowupID: 684992

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:54

Friday, Apr 30, 2010 at 11:54
Hi Trevor,
I think the first of the DXs were non-turbo (late 90s, early 2000s), but later models came with turbo as standard to keep up with the market. Just need to be aware of it.
About 2 years ago, I found some minor fatigue cracks appearing in the towers of my wagon. After researching on this site, found a firm in Vic who made a very neat fix for the towers which could be welded in-situ without major dismantling. The cracks were not serious, but as I was about to do the Kimberley, I couldn't take the risk.
I recall, when Nissan brought out the 4.2 turbo in 99, some diesel workshop guy telling me that it was a grenade and wouldn't take the extra stress, but I think that over 10 years on, he has been proven wrong.
Having said that, I think that an after-market turbo on a standard 4.2 may not be as strong as the factory turbo; I read somewhere that the factory turbo engine had revised mains, big ends and gudgeons.
I, like lots of others, had 5th gear fail at about 120,000, but Nissan fixed it under warranty.
Overall, after 10 years of owning the GU, I've been pretty happy with it, tho I reckon it's not as rugged as my old GQ/Mav; mainly too much plastic where the GQ had steel. But that's progress :-)
FollowupID: 685004

Reply By: Member - Barnesy - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:36

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:36
Trevor is pretty much on the mark.
Regarding the overheating problems, my 4.2 GQ overheated when towing, low range 4wding or going up hill. I couldn't even use the air conditioner.

I changed the radiator fan clutch and it's been perfect ever since. Towing heavy loads up hill with the air conditioner on during 40 degree days.

It won't be fast but it will keep going all day every day.
AnswerID: 414769

Follow Up By: Member - Barnesy - Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:41

Thursday, Apr 29, 2010 at 23:41
I towed a fully laden CT about 1.7 tonne all up WA and throughout the Kimberley for 2 years in my 18 year old 4.2 with 300 000km on the clock.

I've done 95 000 km since I've had it and all I've done (apart from general maintenance) is the fan clutch as above and new front hub seals that were leaking due to too many water crossings. Would I buy another 4.2 Patrol? For sure.
FollowupID: 684965

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