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4 Wheel Drive Madness


A list of some spectacular 4x4s and some not so spectacular. | 4x4 History


The 2.8 turbo-charged 6-cylinder diesel option in the Nissan Patol GU was replaced with a 3-litre turbo-charged, intercooled 4-cylinder diesel. The new engine delivers 116kW at 3600rpm and 354Nm at 2000rpm, actually beating the 4.2 turbo-diesel - the 3.0 is a "modern" efficient unit and the 4.2 is really an old "truck" engine. However, expect the latter to be a steady seller with those looking for long distance reliability and suspicious of modern technology. The 4.2 unboosted diesel has been dropped. The 3-litre diesel has 4 valves per cylinder operated by double overhead camshafts. Twin balance shafts reduce vibration. The engine can also be had with an automatic transmission - in the ST variant.

The bad news: Minimum prices are up by about 10%. On the other hand, side impact airbags are standard on the top `Ti' models, ABS and pasenger airbag optional on the `ST', and driver's airbag on the `DX'.

Compared to other diesels, the ZD30 is said to produce less carbon particles (soot) which are thought to be a health risk. It also controls NOx formation through exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) which reduces peak combustion temperatures.

Distinguishing features on the series II GU Patrol include a new front grille, and body-colour over-riders on the ST's front bumper. There are new seats and now 2nd-row head-rests on the DX.

Nissan Patrol GU, Manufacturer's Specifications

  • station wagon, 5+2 seats, 4 doors, driver air-bag (passenger air-bag and ABS brakes on TI)
  • loa: 4885mm, width: 1930mm, height: 1855mm
  • wheelbase: 2970mm, track: 1605mm/1625mm, grnd clearance: 200mm
  • approach: 37, departure: 31, ramp break over: 153
  • turning radius: 6.1m
  • weight: 2206kg - 2334kg (unladen), GVM: 2960kg, towing: 750kg (unbraked)
  • TB45E, 4479cc, petrol, 6-cyls, efi, 2-valves/cyl, ohv
    • bore: 99.5mm, stroke: 96mm, c.r.: 8.5:1
    • power: 145kW at 4400rpm, torque: 350Nm at 3600rpm
  • RD28T, 2.8 litre (2825cc) turbo-charged diesel 6-cyl, replaced by ZD30, 4/2000
    • bore: 85mm, stroke: 83mm, c.r.: 21.8:1
    • power: 91kW at 4000rpm, torque: 272Nm at 2000rpm
  • ZD30, 3 litre, turbo-charged inter-cooled diesel, 4-cyl, 4 valves/cyl, dohc, offered from 4/2000
    • bore: 96mm, stroke: 102mm, c.r.: 17.9:1
    • power: 116kW at 3600rpm, torque: 354Nm at 2000rpm
  • TD42, 4.2 litre (4169cc) naturally aspirated diesel, dropped 2000
    • bore: 96mm, stroke: 96mm, c.r.: 22.7:1
    • power: 91kW at 4000rpm, torque: 272Nm at 2000rpm
  • TD42T, 4.2 litre (4169cc) turbo-charged diesel
    • bore: 96mm, stroke: 96mm, c.r.: 22.7:1
    • power: 114kW at 3600rpm, torque: 330Nm at 2000rpm
  • transmission: 5m/4a, part-time 4WD, 2-speed tranfer case (hi 1:1, lo 2.02;1), ST & DX: limited-slip rear diff', TI: rear diff' lock
  • suspension: live-coils/live-coils, brakes: disc/disc
  • tyres: 265/70 R16 (7.50x16 on DX), fuel-tank: 125L (95+30)


The Nissan Pathfinder was revised for 1999. Biggest improvements are an `all mode 4WD system', and new brakes; the monocoque form of construction is retained. The basic ST model gets alloy wheels, CD player, side steps, central locking, air conditioning and driver's airbag as standard. The top Ti model gets a new grille, alloy wheels, suede-look interior trim and three stacker CD player. Both ST and Ti have 245/70 tyres on 7JJ16 wheels.

The all-mode 4WD system uses a multi-plate hydraulic clutch to engage drive to the front wheels. This is now reasonably common in medium duty four wheel drives, but Nissan varies the way that it is controlled: In automatic mode the clutch is engaged when sensors detect wheel spin. The driver can also select 2WD, or full-time 4WD-Hi (or auto') with a rotary switch on the dash-board. Hydraulic pressure for the multi-plate clutch comes from two pumps, one driven from the main-shaft, the other by an electric motor for low-speed or reverse travel. The dash control also allows 4WD-Lo to be selected which both bypasses the multi-plate clutch and gives 4WD with a (very) low-ratio reduction of 2.569:1. The final drive ratio is 4.636:1.

The engine is the familiar 3.3 litre V6, 12 valve sohc unit. Nissan claims 125 at 4800r aand 266 at 2800r. Larger 300mm diameter front disc brakes are fitted.

Suspension remains MacPherson strut at the front with live axle, 5-links and coil springs at the rear. The approach angle is 36 degrees and the departure angle 28 degrees.

  • station wagon, 5 seats, driver airbag & ABS (Ti)
  • loa: 4640mm, width: 1820mm, height: 1725mm
  • weight: 1870kg (ST), 1915kg (Ti)
  • approach: 36, departure: 28
  • turning radius: 5.7m
  • 3274cc, petrol, 60 V6, mpfi, 3-valves/cyl, sohc (per bank) belt driven
  • bore: 91.5mm, stroke: 83mm, c.r.: 8.9:1
  • transmission: 4a (2.785:1, 1.545:1, 1.0:1, 0.694:1, rev 2.272:1), part-time 4WD automatic or manual, hi 1.0:1, lo 2.569:1
  • suspension: MacPherson strut/ live axle 5-link & coils, brakes: disc/drum ABS (Ti)
  • construction: monocoque (unitary)
  • tyres: 245/70R16 on 7JJ16 (alloy)


The launch of the Series III Nisssan Navara brings the option of a 3-litre V6 engine, 120kW at 4800rpm and 248Nm at 4000rpm, to the 4x2 single and dual cab models, and to the 4x4 dual cab. The 2960cc has one camshaft per bank of cylinders. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard. The 4x2 4-cylinder models have 5Jx14 wheels, the 4x2 V6s have 5.5x15 wheels, and the 4x4s have 6Jx16 wheels.

Cosmetic changes include a new grille and headlights, new rear lights and changed badging. Brakes remain discs at the front and drums at the rear. 

  • ute, double cab DX
  • loa: 4885mm, width: 1820mm, height: 1715mm, weight: 1810kg (unladen)
  • GVM: 2850, towing: 500kg (unbraked)
  • wheelbase: 2950mm, track: 1525mm/1525mm, grnd clearance: 205mm
  • turning radius: 6m
  • 3.2 litre diesel:
    • 3153cc, diesel 4cyls 2 valves/cyl ohv
    • bore: 99.2mm, stroke: 102mm, c.r.: 21.9:1
    • power: 76kW at 3600rpm, torque: 220Nm at 2000rpm
  • transmission: 5m (3.58:1, 2.077:1, 1.36:1, 1.0:1, 0.811:1; rev 3.636:1), part-time 4WD, chain-drive transfer case, ratios 1:1 and 2.02:1, diff' ratio 4.625:1
  • suspension: indep-torsion-bar/live-leaf, brakes: disc/drum
  • tyres: 205R16C on 6Jx16 wheels, fuel-tank: 75L
  • also available as
    • 4x4 in `ST' trim level and
    • as 4x2 cab/chassis, from au$24,190, and double cab/ chassis; with 2.4L petrol (110kW at 5600rpm, 208Nm at 3600rpm) or 2.7L diesel (64kW at 4300rpm, 180Nm at 2200rpm)