The off-road world has many great stories that we hear from time to time. Some are funny, some terrifying and other merely unbelievable. Not so long ago I stumbled upon one that proved that hard work pays off. Let me share it with you.
We’ve visited Piotr in the beautiful Polish town called Torun, to see and talk about his car. He’s a passionate Nissan Patrol and off-roading enthusiast. He bought the car, stripped it to the ground and restored fully – frame, suspensions, brake system, clutch & gearbox and engine. Here is what he had to say.
Pawel: Hello Piotr, nice to see you.
Piotr: Hello Pawel, nice to see you too.
Pawel: Where did you get your love of cars from?
Piotr: It all started over a dozen years ago when I bought Volvo 240/260. After I started working for Ozparts I started to be interested in different types of cars. On my first Offroad exhibit I fell in love with Nissan Patrol. I wanted one since then.
Pawel: What are your favourite features of the Patrol?
Piotr: Simple, strong, and nice body shape.
Pawel: What is the scariest incident you’ve experienced during your adventures?
Piotr: It was the first time when I was stuck in the deep mud. I needed help, my car at the time wasn’t equipped with any winch, had standard wheels, without any lift and special bumpers. I spent over one hour in the mud, totally dirty and exhausted, but eventually, we managed to pull the car out. I was really happy about it and decided to upgrade the car.
Pawel: From pictures you took I can tell that it took a lot of work with the car – was there any particular problems that you had to overcome while restoring the car?
Piotr: It was the frame. In the old Nissan Patrols, from time to time you had big problems with rust. Frame end can be totally rusty and in my case, I needed to replace it all. I wanted to bring the Nissan Patrol to “like new” condition so I sand-blasted it clean and then galvanized.
Pawel: What parts did you choose and why?
Piotr: I had access to Pedders parts and decided to use as many as I could fit. I replaced all bushings, installed axel repair kits, springs, and used foam cell shock absorbers. I wanted to have a 3-inch lift so I used caster correction bushings and adjustable Panhard rods for front and rear. I also modified the brake system. I decided to use DBA 4000 T3 for front and rear. I sell these parts and I wanted to check how do they work in the tough, heavy offroad conditions.
Piotr: I saw and feel the really big difference in the stopping power, especially when the car is under heavy load. They are also heat treated (Thermal Stability Profiling), so they perform better and are resistant to extreme temperature. It’s a big difference when you brake hard and the next thing you do is going through the water.
Pawel: What else?
Piotr: I also changed the clutch, decided to use Xtreme Outback – heavy duty clutch with an upgraded pressure plate. I’ve determined this because now I have bigger tires, the car is heavier because of steel front bull bar and bumpers plus the roof rack.
The engine was in the perfect condition and didn’t need any repairs, but sometimes you need higher torque. That’s why I decided to use special actuator for the turbo, manual boost controller and added boost pressure gauge, everything made by Turbosmart. After adjusting some settings on the fuel pump and using Turbosmart products, the torque rate is higher in lower RPMs and the curve is smoother.
Pawel: Why did you decide on buying a diesel?
Piotr: It’s really simple – in Europe, you have diesel engines mostly. 2,8L to be specific. In the future, I would like to change it to 4,2L Turbo Diesel.
Pawel: Is there anything you would have done differently?
Piotr: Maybe one thing – I would keep the OE bumpers. The ones that I have are stronger but heavier. In the future, I would like to install the winch and stronger lights. But at this stage, I see that I need another Nissan Patrol, the short version, to play more in the mud and water. But that’s a whole other story.
This is why:
Pawel: What is your dream car?
Piotr: Toyota LandCruiser VDJ76.
Pawel: Thank you for your time, Piotr.
Piotr: Thank you!