By Muhammad Ibrahim
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As soon I entered the world of off-roading in Dubai back in 2006 with much awaited Land Cruiser LWB - desert safari special, I realize that it's too heavy for real dune bashing and every convoy used to wait for my refusals and failed attempt. After the first stage of denial, I realized that I need something small and nimble and then my attention got glued to the next King of the desert in Dubai - Nissan Patrol. After a few months of searching, I finally got lucky with the 2006 model Nissan Patrol GL - SWB with the manual gearing. This 4x4 had no "bells and whistle" other than the real grunt of a capable off-roader, but it was a true head turner and it came almost desert ready with Aragosta rally suspension with lift, BF Goodrich tires, Warn winch, and plenty of underbody protection mods. All mods were done very tastefully and still able to pass the RTA test back in those days.
I had this Patrol for about 2 years and never spent any extra money other than the regular maintenance. I just had an issue with the front wheel bearing once, so changed it outside the agency under 600-800 dhs. Every time I used to send this car to the agency and was very happy with its performance, looks and reliability. Due to stiffer suspension, it was a pain to drive on the long drives, as I did few Oman visit and came back with a sore back. Nissan Patrol with 4.5 V6 engines in such short body was a killer recipe for any off-road enthusiast's to climb the dunes with zero run-ups with the torque so huge that you can even drag up instantly with even 5 people in the car. It was an amazing 4x4 for self-recovering in almost any worst situation and 1st gear torque was the best friend ever to rock/crawl out of any sticky spots.
Being so ready with power delivery and torque it was a true gas guzzler that I could see the fuel gauge needle move during serious pushing. I haven't used to maintain the fuel logs, back in those days but it must be close to 20 L/100 on road in two wheels and close to 30L/100 in 4x4 mode. The first gear for the road was too short, that you will always spin wheels unintentionally if you are in rush, so starting on 2nd was the best option to have a good drag till 40 and then change to 3rd. In off-road first gear was a blessing to go anywhere with zero momentum or climb up sideways and splash sand and still go upward on side slopes - had a crazy power. However, this year model up until 2008 had a known issue with its gearing and downshifting on a long hill climb was a disaster. You can't attack tall dunes in 1st as it was too short that 6-7K rpm will get you 20-30 speed, and downshift from 2nd to 1st you will wait until 2500 rpm so it will again spoil the long hill climbing momentum. It should have allowed downshifting just above 3000 - 3500 band to let continue the momentum and plus without breaking the speed. This issue has been addressed by Nissan after 2009 model and in 4800 VTEC models. As many of my friends and cousins have swapped the gearing of 4500 with 4800 model and were very happy on the long hill climb.
There was another known issue for Nissan Patrol I heard was a bent differential due to heavy offroading. Luckily I never had that, as the previous owner has installed good braces under the differential to prevent this from happening. Almost all my friends had their diff bent within 2-3 years of regular off-roading, some got changed in warranty by Arabian Automobile and some left to spend their own hard earn money.
If anyone is looking for this year model to buy, then you must check that engine and gear mounts are safe to drive as I have seen few Patrols when you give full gas, engine shake to the right side and can cause some other damage. The second thing to check is the wheel bearing and steering alignment is straight or not as due to offroad jumps and irregular landing this might have been damaged. The third is to check differential is still straight or bent already due to jumps or offroad impacts.
Resale value of this beast is always a very big plus point if you maintain it well. I bought this for 80K and sold for 60-65 after little more than 2 years. As it's fun to drive and fun for weekend offroaders so it's always in demand in used car market due to less supply.
Hi, Need some suggestions on subwoofers.
I drive Nissan X trail 2018 base model as it stats, music system is also very base level. So planning to install subwoofer with reasonable price. I am looking for subwoofer which doesn't eat much space, probably under seat subwoofer which comes with the amp. I do not want thumping music but soothing some bass Which lacks in my current factory system.
suggestions with specifications would be highly appreciate