A Functional '67 Nissan Patrol
It's not every day that you see a Nissan Patrol rolling down the trail, so when Sheldon Neal of Irvine, California, went searching for his perfect four-wheel vehicle and ran across this rare '67 Patrol, he couldn't get it home fast enough to start on its restoration and buildup. He knew he had quite a chore ahead of him, though, as parts for these vehicles are very hard to come by.
Sheldon's solution to the scarcity of OE Patrol parts was to restore the vehicle with high-quality custom components. Because this would be his extreme-use trail rig, Sheldon needed more power and durability than the factory components originally offered. The little Nissan engine had already been swapped out before Sheldon acquired the vehicle in favor of a Chevy 327ci powerplant. Sheldon rebuilt the top end, including porting and polishing new performance heads, and then fit the engine with all the right performance components, such as a Holley Pro-Jection fuel system, an Accel distributor, Hedman headers, and a 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust system for aspiration. Transferring the power to the ground is a Turbo 400 transmission coupled to a dependable Dana Spicer Model 18 transfer case.
For the suspension and driveline work, Sheldon dropped the Patrol off at T&J's Performance Center in Orange, California. T&J's is owned by Tom and Mike Barnett; the business was handed down to them by their father, so they've been surrounded by Jeep and four-wheel-drive performance and custom fabrication all their lives. Currently, they're heavily involved in JeepSpeed as builders and racers.
First, the front and rear axles and the OEM suspension were removed from the Patrol. For leaf springs, the brothers had Deaver Spring Mfg. of Santa Ana, California, build custom leaf packs for the front and rear. Attached to the front springs is a custom-built Currie Dana 44 axle with Warn axles and hubs. Currie's 44s are super-stout and built for durability, and the Warn axles are high-strength 4340-chrome/nickel alloy. The rear axle is a custom Currie 9-inch Ford with a welded upper truss support; both front and rear axles are geared to 4.56 and use ARB Air Lockers for traction. An ARB 12-volt air compressor sits in the engine compartment to actuate the lockers. Both front and rear axles were custom-mated to the suspension using T&J's shackle reversal kits; T&J's durable skidplates and differential cover were used up front. The Nissan rides on Rancho RS 9000 shocks for road-handling comfort, and the steel 15x8-inch wheels are wrapped with 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich KM tires for ground-biting traction.
The unique Patrol was fit with a T&J's custom-built rollcage for protection while out on the trail. A Currie front bumper was bolted to the front of the rig, and a Warn XD9000i self-recovery winch was placed on top. The body of the rig was massaged and shot with an eye-catching yellow paint. The cab was cleaned up, and a set of PRP racing seats were bolted in for comfort and fit with restraint harnesses by Crow Enterprizes for safety while four-wheeling. To keep tabs on the engine's performance, a Sun tachometer, in addition to Autogauge oil-pressure, water-temperature, and fuel gauges, were installed.
After many months of hard work, Sheldon finally has the unique and dependable four-wheel machine he's always been looking for. This Nissan Patrol is built to take him anywhere on or off the trail.