When you have a business that is known nation-wide as the go-to workshop for the best Nissan Patrol builds in the country, then it pays to have a standout vehicle that showcases the best of what you can do.
So it’s been for Andrew Cassar from On Track 4x4 in the Melbourne suburb of Kealba. On Track is renowned for its Patrol builds; be they for competition-spec GQ and GUs or the latest and greatest touring Y62s, On Track has done them. More and more these days, it’s the Y62 builds that keep the team at On Track busy.
After a history of running some of the fastest old-school Patrol comp trucks, Andrew wasn’t fazed by the new technologies that Nissan introduced with the Y62. His own family touring rig was one of the first to receive a Harrop supercharger installation on its VK56 V8 engine, and it appeared on 4X4 Australia back in 2016.
Other ’62s from On Track have also been in the magazine as the first dual-cab and single-cab ute conversions to be built, while many others have featured Y62 components developed and manufactured by On Track.
This ongoing development of the Y62 platform and powertrain has pushed On Track to design, develop and manufacture a range of bespoke components to improve on the Nissan package for bigger and faster Patrols.
Things like billet alloy control arms that allow heavier GVM ratings, rear airbag conversions for improved towing performance, and further development of the supercharger package, have all taken the newest Patrols to the next levels of performance.
This has seen customers shipping their new Patrols to On Track from all corners of the country, to have the work done by the best in the business.
Having all of these customer cars showing the world what On Track can do is one thing, but to really get noticed Andrew planned a Patrol like no other. Something never seen before and a true world-first for a Y62.
“A few people had done LandCruiser 6x6s but no one had done a Y62 6x6,” Andrew told 4X4 Australia. “We wanted to build a new car to showcase what we do at On Track 4x4, and thought what better than a 6x6 Patrol.”
Andrew and his team kept the 6x6 project heavily under wraps during its construction. Working on it behind closed doors and after hours, keeping it covered and out of sight when it was in the workshop and only telling those who really needed to know about it what they were building.
The plan was always to debut the car at the Melbourne 4x4 Show in August 2022, and on the morning of show, social media pages were set ablaze with sightings of the candy red Nissan driving down the highway to the showgrounds, and further throughout the weekend, as show visitors were stunned by the big red rig.
Let’s clear up one thing about the car before we go any further. From the outset, the Patrol has been designed to be a 6x6, but it’s not quite there yet. There was plenty of speculation from keen spotters at the Melbourne 4x4 Show saying that the rear axle is simply a lazy axle, and this is true for now, but it won’t be for long.
“We ran out of time to get the driveline finished before the show,” says Andrew. “We were working on it night and day just to get it there in time, and that drive from the workshop to the show was the first time we’d ever driven it.”
The Patrol certainly was the talk of the show and the most stunning build there. Not just for its third axle, but that stunning candy red paint, the canopy and those twin snorkels all had tongues wagging.
Andrew tells us drive will be going to the rear wheels eventually, but the hardware just isn’t ready yet. The day out on the tracks for this 4X4 Australia photo shoot was the longest road trip it had done to that date, and even then there’s still more work to be done for upcoming show appearances.
What has the wildest Y62 in Australia got so far? Let’s start from the beginning. This 2016 Patrol Ti-L was originally an On Track customer’s car. It was black and built with all the fruit including a Harrop supercharger kit.
“It was a perfectly decked-out touring wagon,” says Andrew. “It was a customer’s car, it had 30,000km on it and it was already supercharged. It had a good history with On Track.”
As good as it was, the Patrol was set to be sacrificed to create something more. Something unique and special.
After getting the black car back, the body was lifted off the chassis and the chassis stripped of its driveline and suspension. With it stripped bare and cleaned up, it was cut and had an extra 350mm welded into its length between the wheelbase, plus an extension to the rear to accommodate the third axle.
The extra differential is simply a second Y62 rear diff and it is mounted on a factory Nissan K-frame so that all the suspension components retain their factory mounts. The K-frames are lowered using 22mm spacers. All three diffs have been re-geared to 3.7:1 ratio and are mounted to the chassis using billet diff-drop kits and chromoly drive flanges, both products developed at On Track. The two rear diffs retain their factory lockers, while the front diff benefits from an ARB Air Locker.
Both rear axles retain the Y62’s independent suspension design but are beefed up with On Track’s billet upper and lower control arms. The springs have been replaced with AAA Airbags, while Koni 90 shocks dampen the ride.
The front end is relatively standard by comparison but also benefits from On Track’s billet upper control arms, billet diff drop, modified lower arms and Ironman Foam Cell Pro shocks.
All three axles get DBA slotted brake rotors and Bendix pads, while the Fuel wheels are wrapped in massive 37x12.5-R20 Mickey T muddies.
While work on the Y62 Patrol’s chassis and suspension was ongoing, its body also went under the welder’s knife. The wagon back-end was lopped off and replaced with a rear wall and window fabricated and fitted by The Tin Man to create the double-cab body.
The body and new front end were treated to liberal coatings of Mazda red by the team at Amex Autobody. We’ve seen other cars painted in this Mazda metallic red, but never with the depth and lustre as it has on this Patrol. It pops like a true candy apple red, in the style that the old-school hot rodders and street machiners were fond of back in the day.
There’s more of that candy red up on the MITS Alloy canopy. On Track 4x4 is the Victorian distributor and installer of MITS Alloy products and the canopy sits on an aluminium tray with side toolboxes and a rear trundle drawer, all from MITS. The tray has a 30-litre water tank in its headboard, while there’s a 60-litre tank beneath it.
Inside the canopy is a Bushman upright fridge, drawers for storage, and a slide-out induction cooktop. Powering the accessories is a full Redarc system comprising a RedVision Manager 30, Redarc inverter and 200AH lithium battery. It’s a full touring set-up indicative of what a Patrol like this is made for.
The 5.6-litre Nissan V8 didn’t get left out while the body and chassis were being massaged. It was stripped down and reassembled with forged CP pistons swinging on Crower rods, while the heads were bolted down using ARP studs.
The forged pistons are not only more durable but were chosen to lower the compression ratio to make the engine better suited to more boost. Of course, the Harrop 2650 blower went back on and the engine has been mildly tuned to deliver around 350kW to the 37s.
While work continues on the Patrol itself, the engineering of the gearbox that will deliver drive to the rearmost axle also rolls on. With commitments to show the Patrol interstate, and a successful business to keep running while completing the development of the 6x6, Andrew and his team at On Track 4x4 are flat-out.