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GQ PATROL: LIKE FATHER LIKE SON

When your old man drives a built GU Patrol (and he’s the Editor of Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures magazine) there was only ever going to be one choice for Kye’s first 4X4…

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Kye’s old man looks after Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures magazine and contributes to Unsealed 4X4. In a moment when he wasn’t editing images of birds or ants or whatever he does, he happened to flick a couple of photos of a rather neat, near ground-up rebuilt GQ Patrol across our desks.

 

Our first thought was, “Damn, we gotta get this in as a custom;” followed closely by, “Wait a minute… it’s got an Unsealed 4X4 sticker across the windscreen, what gives?”

 

At some time in the solid hour it took us to put two and two together, we worked out it was his young bloke’s GQ. Odd thing is, last time we’d seen the rig was in pieces and more than a few parts missing.

 

We ended up getting Scott to shoot his young bloke’s truck for the mag while they were on Fraser Island no less. And we caught up with Kye to get the low-down on how bad his GQ used to be, and what’s gone into the rebuild. Tell you what, it makes a hell of a yarn!

 

THE VEHICLE

When Kye first got this old darlin’ of a Patrol, it was actually in pretty good nick for its age. It’d spent the majority of it’s life down in Jindabyne before Kye picked it up and took it to the coast.  With 260,000-odd kilometres on the clock. It had been converted at some stage from a TB42 petrol donk, over to the TD42 (running like a hairy dog). It had parts and panels missing, and an interior that’d had all the rubber and soft plastics eaten by the previous owner’s four-legged best mate.

 

From the moment Kye picked her up, the GQ was going to be brought back to her former glory with a rebuild.

 

First thing to go was the engine. The silver-top TD42 had a massive  550,000km on it, with a DTS turbo kit bunged on to get her up and giggling a little quicker. As the engine was essentially an unknown quantity, and wasn’t the happiest-sounding TD in the world, Kye and his uncle tore it out, sent it to Queanbeyan Diesel Service and had it completely stripped down. From there it got the works – full acid bath, head, rods and crank testing, as well as a set of brand spanking new ceramic-coated pistons. After the check over and new pistons it all got thrown back together (with new ancillaries) and put back in the GQ.

 

The bodywork was another sore point on the old girl, with flaking paint and a bit of surface rust on the roof A bit of time with the sand paper and a  lick of factory grey over the top brought the paintwork out looking just as good as new.

 

After sorting the rest of the body panels and missing pieces out, Kye went about replacing the interior pieces that he needed to complete the puzzle. He ended up with a very neat, straight GQ Patrol… that you just don’t see anymore. From there the most fascinating part of the project began – the mods.

 

This is where things begin to get really interesting!

 

THE MODIFICATIONS

Of course, after building it up back to factory spec, the first thing Kye did was modify it again; but to his taste and quality. He said good-bye to the DTS turbo kit and factory pump and installed a 12mm pump by Bailey’s Diesel, with injectors to match, as well as a UFI TD05 18G turbo.

 

It’s pretty common knowledge that the TDs will put down some rather nice power figures, but the trick is to keep them cool after you’re pouring fuel in. To this end he’s thrown in a PWR front-mount cooler, helping to keep the intake temp subdued.

 

After a couple of thousand kilometres run-in period, off to Bailey’s it went again. It got put on the dyno with the fuel turned up to 11. This thing’s making a respectable 207hp and 546Nm of torque. A Fatz Fab custom airbox and snorkel get the intake out of the dirt, and allow the big GQ to wade deeper than the hubs.

 

Keeping the Patrol firmly attached to the ground Kye’s got a set of King Coil 3-inch lifted springs matched with 4-inch front and 5-inch rear shocks for articulation. These push down onto Mickey Thompson MTZ P3s in 285/75R16 spec, which he loves as they give a solid compromise between running the muddy trails and performing well on the blacktop. The rest of the running gear has been left as Nissan envisioned it. If nothing else, the GQs are known for their bulletproof drivelines.

 

Looking after the shiny new body panels Kye’s got an ARB Deluxe bar housing the Runva 11XP winch (not that he’d need it, driving a Patrol) and a set of Ultra-Vision Nitro 140 spotties giving him daylight in front of his 4WD no matter the time of day. Headlights have been upgraded to HID to replace the two candles they put in the front from factory, as well as completely replacing the factory headlight reflector assemblies. He’s also attached a set of Millweld sliders to keep his doors and sills straight.  

 

In the interior, there’s a Uniden UHF looking after comms and a touchscreen double-DIN stereo on DJ duty. EGT, water temp and boost gauges complement the factory gauges in the cab so Kye can keep a close eye on what the angry TD up the front is doing. Being a wise young bloke (and probably with some advice from his old man), he’s got a fire extinguisher,  a fire blanket and a first aid kit in the Patrol just in case of bush emergencies.

 

Out the back, he’s got a quality set of Full Boar 4X4 drawers for keeping all his gear organised, as well as a CFX50 fridge looking after the beers (well… soft drinks… Kye is only 17, after all).

 

FUTURE MODS AND KYE’S FINAL THOUGHTS

Considering Kye is just 17 years old, this truck has come a hell of a long way from the run-down bucket of bolts it was when he got it – especially working with an apprentice chippy’s wage. Funnily enough, after the engine rebuild, the very first run after it was tuned was up to Fraser; and it didn’t miss a beat.

 

When we asked him what his favourite mods were, he laughed, explaining to us: “All the engine work would have to be the top, simply because the Patrol will get up and move when I need it to; but also the paint and bodywork – simply because it makes the truck look clean and neat. You can have all the fruit, but with a dodgy body it still just looks like an old beater.”

 

Kye tells us the GQ isn’t finished. But what 4X4 ever is, really? Besides a long-range fuel tank and water tank behind the Full Boar 4X4 drawers, he wants to get the gearbox looked at (as there are a couple of grumpy synchros); and he wants to add a rear bar to the wagon to get that heavy 33 off the barn door.

 

All in all you’ve got a very neat GQ, mate; that you’ve built up bloody well. It’s not very often we get to see the older trucks that have been done so well and restored back to their former glory.

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