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ARB’s 1991 Nissan GQ Patrol Attacks Australian Outback

Posted in Features on November 21, 2016
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Photographers: ARB-OffroadImages

The 1991 Nissan Patrol on our ARB Off Road Icons trip is a tank. To the untrained eye it may look like a slightly larger Jeep XJ Cherokee, but the Patrol is way beefier than the unibody Jeep. In the same way the XJ has a huge following in America, Nissan’s GQ Patrol has a massive fan base in Australia. The Patrol was offered by Nissan as a competitor to Toyota Land Cruiser and Land Rover Defender with a straight-six diesel that lays down gobs of torque and big Nissan axles downstream to handle that power. A coil-sprung suspension and radius arms give a compliant yet controlled ride, and the size of the vehicle is perfect for hauling two to four people comfortably on Outback excursions. As one Aussie explained, “Kids getting into off-roading love the Patrols. The diesels can be turned for fun power, and the axles are supertough and can handle the abuse of bigger tires and heavy throttle.”

ARB had the biggest struggle in finding an unmolested Patrol to start with since they are so popular as build platforms. This specimen is a five-door (or six if you consider the two rear barn doors), and Patrols were optioned as three-door and two-door pickups. ARB’s Moorbank store did all the repairs and upgrades, including a fresh coat of dark gray paint. The 4.2L inline-six turbodiesel was also boosted with a Safari turbo, intercooler, and exhaust system to get more grunt. Then a slew of ARB components were added to prep it for a Simpson Desert Crossing.

The 1991 GQ Patrol wasn’t in terrible shape when the ARB team brought it home, but it did have a healthy dent in the back corner and ratty paint, so the whole truck got resprayed. Then the upfitting of ARB components and big Cooper tires was done by the ARB store in Moorbank, New South Wales, Australia. Each icon was purchased and built by a different ARB store, so it was a companywide project with lots of hands involved. Here the front ARB bumper, Warn winch, and Intensity LED lights are assembled for installation.

The Patrol was a favorite of anyone looking for a tough torquey diesel to drive on the trip. It was the rhino of the icons, with the gray paint, big beefy tires, and take-no-prisoners look and feel. The big six had it barreling across the dunes and rutted roads while the Old Man Emu suspension and Nitrocharger shocks soaked up the corrugations.

Fresh after the build, the Patrol was looking sweet and ultratactical, with the Kaymar dual tire carrier, ARB roof rack and canopy, and six total 33x12.50R15 Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tires on black steel wheels. The wraparound fender bars and side steps from ARB had it ready for action.

Once the Patrol hit the Outback and all the wet tracks we encountered, it started hauling some mud with it. The Patrol also hauled ARB Swag tents and a pile of ARB camping chairs, so everyone had a place to sit around the nightly camp fires. Other than an alternator gremlin that popped up once or twice and diminished the battery, the Patrol was unstoppable on the trip.

Tech Specs

1991 Nissan GQ Patrol
Drivetrain
Engine: 4.2L diesel I-6
Transmission: Stock manual
Transfer Case: Stock
Axles: Stock with ARB Air Locker
Suspension
Springs & Such: Old Man Emu suspension with Nitrocharger Sport shocks
Tires & Wheels: 33x12.5R15 Cooper STT Pro on ROH Black Trak steel wheels
Steering: Stock
Lighting: ARB Intensity LED driving lights
Other Stuff: ARB Deluxe winch bar; ARB side rails and side steps; Kaymar rear bar with twin wheel swinger; Safari snorkel; Safari turbo kit, intercooler, and exhaust; Recaro seats; REDARC dual battery system with dual volt and EGT/boost gauges; roof console; ARB 60L Fridge-Freezer; GME UHF and aerial; Hayman Reese brake controller with AM/UHF radio; roof console; Warn winch; ARB alloy roof rack; ARB awning

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