WYou own a business that is known nationwide as the go-to workshop for the best Nissan Patrol builds, then it pays to have a standout vehicle that showcases your best work.
So it has been for Andrew Cassar. On track 4×4 In the Melbourne suburb of Kilba. On Track is famous for its patrol constructions. Whether it’s competition-oriented GQs and GUs or the latest and greatest touring Y62s, Ontrack has got them done. More and more these days, it’s the Y62 builds that keep the team busy on track.
After a history of driving some of the fastest old-school petrol 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 install a Harrop supercharger on its VK56 V8 engine, and it appeared on 4X4 Australia in 2016.
Ontrack’s other ’62s are also featured in the magazine as the first dual-cab and single-cab ute conversions to be built, while many others have featured Y62 components designed and built by Ontrack.
This ongoing development of the Y62 platform and powertrain has led to the design, development and manufacture of a range of bespoke components to enhance the Nissan package for on-track big and fast patrols.
Things like billet alloy control arms that allow for heavier GVM ratings, rear airbag changes for better towing performance, and further development of the supercharger package have all taken the latest patrols to the next levels of performance. .
It has seen customers sending their new petrols from all corners of the country to Ontrack, to be serviced by the best in the business.
It’s one thing to have all these customer cars show the world what can be done on track, but to really feel that Andrew planned the patrol like no one else. Something never seen before and a real world first for the Y62.
“Some people had done the Land Cruiser 6×6 but no one had done the Y62 6×6,” Andrew told 4X4 Australia. What’s better than a 6×6 patrol.”
Andrew and his team kept the 6×6 project 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 people who really needed to know what they were making.
The plan was always to debut the car at the Melbourne 4×4 Show in August 2022, and on the morning of the show, social media pages were ablaze with the sight of a candy-red Nissan driving down the highway to the showgrounds. , as show-goers were stunned by the big red vein.
Before we move on, let’s clarify one thing about the vehicle. From the start, the Patrol has been designed for 6×6, but it doesn’t exist yet. There was a lot of speculation from enthusiasts at the Melbourne 4×4 Show that the rear axle was just a lazy axle, and that’s true for now, but it won’t be for long.
“We ran out of time to finish the driveline before the show,” says Andrew. “We were working day and night on it to get it there in time, and this drive from workshop to show was the first. There was a time when we ran it.”
Patrol was definitely the talk of the show and the most spectacular build there was. Not just for his third axle, but those awesome candy red pants, umbrella and those twin snorkels all had tongues wagging.
Andrew tells us that drive will eventually go to the rear wheels, but the hardware isn’t ready yet. The day out on the tracks for this 4X4 Australia photo shoot was the longest road trip to date, and yet there’s still more to come for the upcoming show.
What has the wild Y62 found in Australia so far? Let’s start from the beginning. This 2016 Petrol Ti-L was originally an on-track customer car. It was black and built with all the fruit including a Harrop Supercharger kit.
“It was a fully decked out touring wagon,” says Andrew. “It was a customer car, had 30,000km on it and was already supercharged. It had a good history with the on-track.
As good as it was, the Patrol had to be sacrificed to make more. Something unique and special.
After the black car was recovered, the body was removed from the chassis and the chassis was stripped of its driveline and suspension. It was stripped down, cut and welded an extra 350mm across its length between the wheelbases, plus an extension at the rear to accommodate the third axle.
The additional differential is the only other Y62 rear differential and is mounted on a factory Nissan K-frame so that all suspension components retain their factory mounts. K-frames are lowered using 22mm spacers. All three differentials have been retuned to a 3.7:1 ratio and mounted on chassis using built-in diff drop kits and chromoly drive flanges, both products produced on-track. The two rear differentials retain their factory lockers, while the front differential benefits from ARB air lockers.
Both rear axles retain the Y62’s independent suspension design but are outfitted with On-Track’s built-in upper and lower control arms. 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 Ontrack’s built upper control arms, bullet 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 37×12.5-R20 Mickey T mudguards.
The chassis and suspension of the Y62 petrol continued to be worked on, its body also went under the welder’s knife. The rear of the wagon was closed off and replaced with a rear wall and window and fitted by The Tin Man to form a double cab body.
The body and new front end were treated to liberal coatings of Mazda Red by the team at Amex Auto Body. We’ve seen other cars painted this Mazda metallic red, but never with as much depth and brilliance as this Patrol. It shines like a true candy apple red, in the style that old school hot rodders and street machiners loved back in the day.
There’s more to this candy read-up at MITS Alloy Canopy. Track 4×4 is a Victorian distributor and installer of MITS alloy products and the umbrella sits on an aluminum tray with side tool boxes and a rear trundle drawer, all from MITS. There is a 30-litre water tank in the headboard of the tray, while a 60-litre tank is underneath.
Inside the canopy is a Bushman upright fridge, drawers for storage, and a slide-out induction cooktop. Powering the accessory is a complete Redarc system that includes the RedVision Manager 30, Redarc inverter and 200AH lithium battery. It’s a full touring setup indicative of what a tourer like this is made for.
A blown V8
The 5.6-liter Nissan V8 wasn’t spared when the body and chassis were being massaged. It was stripped down and reassembled with forged CP pistons swinging on curved rods, while the heads were lowered using ARP studs.
Forged pistons are not only more durable, but are chosen to lower the compression ratio to optimize the engine for more boost. Of course, the Harrop 2650 blower goes back and the engine has been lightly tuned to deliver around 350kW to the 37s.
While work continues on the Patrol itself, engineering of the gearbox that will provide drive to the rear axle is also underway. With promises to show off the petrol interstate, and a successful business to keep going while completing the development of the 6×6, Andrew and his team at On Track 4×4 are well on their way.