Drag Challenge GQ Patrol versus Barra-powered Datsun 1600

Joe Ordon has built what'll probably be the quickest street-driven Nissan Patrol in the world! And it has survived Drag Challenge Weekend

Share
Photographers: Shawn McCann, Chris Thorogood


UPDATE!

Joe’s monster Patrol has recently starred in an episode of the Hoongian’s This Versus That, running up against Daniel’s ‘Rotten Olive’ Barra-powered Datsun 1600 sedan.

Daniel reckons the Datto is making 900hp, so the Patrol definitely has a massive horsepower advantage. The Datsun is running slicks, versus 315 radials on the Patrol, which should give it an advantage on the runway surface. Click the video above to see how it went down!

And read on for the full story on the build:

THE STORY TO HERE, MARCH 2022

A Nisssan Patrol is an unusual model choice for your first street-car build, and that’s not the only thing that sets Joe Ordon’s creation apart.

First published in the March 2022 issue of Street Machine

Joe’s Patrol makes an eye-watering 2400rwhp, but it doesn’t use a turbo LS, Barra or even RB mill to do so. The six-pot TB48 in this GQ’s engine bay comes straight from the Patrol family tree, and it will outdo just about any engine-swapped street car out there.

Joe comes from a dirt racing background, but around seven years ago he decided he wanted a change. “I used to do winch challenge and all those types of races, but I got sick of repainting cars and cleaning the mud off after every race,” he laughs. “So I thought I’d build a street car.”

He found himself this tidy 1992 GQ short-wheelbase wagon and quickly tore it apart to start the build. “The only reason I chose a short-wheelbase one is because they look cool,” Joe says.

The initial plan was to slot in the 800rwhp TB48 that Joe had left over from his cut-down GQ offroad racing ute. But then good mate and Quickbitz founder Michael Kalaitzakis (aka Stix) got involved with the project. “Michael actually built the engine for me, and I consulted with him on so much with this build,” says Joe.

Stix, for his part, reckons all the credit belongs to Joe. “We’ve all guided him, but Joe’s done all this himself,” he says. “He puts everything together himself, so he’s done a wicked job – from a dirt racer to building this. It’s better than 99 per cent of the drag racers out there!”

Stix took the Nissan 4.8-litre straight-six and punched the capacity out to 5.2 litres using a Nitto crank, rods and pistons. The head is still standard, sporting Kelford camshafts and Ferrea valves and springs.

E85 nectar is supplied by a Waterman mechanical pump and 12 2433cc injectors, and the oiling system is a real trick piece of kit. The TB48 is dry-sumped, with a Dailey Stage 5 pump and an oil and air separator. That allows the oil to stay crystal-clear all the way up to the TB’s 7500rpm redline. “The oil control is just beautiful; it’s completely flatlined through the whole dyno run,” says Stix.

That, combined with the 6boost exhaust manifold, monster 98mm GTX55 Garrett turbo and Emtron KV12 ECU, meant the GQ punched out an astonishing 2459rwhp on 52psi on the Quickbitz hub dyno.

“The dyno didn’t actually get a reading because it can’t handle that much torque, so we had to trace the power in the ECU data to get a figure,” Joe says. “We were only aiming for 1500hp originally, and we got there within the first few pulls on the very first dyno session.”

Behind the monster six is a Turbo 400 ’box, originally built by Mark Micke in the US and revitalised by James Horan from Full Race Fabrication, who also built the converter. The rear end is a slightly shortened GQ diff. “The axles are still standard; they had just enough play to work with the shortened housing,” says Joe. “Everyone keeps telling me it’ll break, but I’ve landed from a jump with these diffs at full throttle at over 100km/h during offroad racing and had no issues.”

While the rear diff remains, the front one is long gone. NextGen Race Cars fabricated a full tubular front end for the car, using an independent layout with Menscer shocks (which are also found in the rear) and a typical IFS steering rack.

Despite Joe’s experience going fast on dirt, both he and the GQ are drag racing virgins. “I’ve never done it before, so I’ll be doing just as much learning as the car will be until we turn it up,” he says. “I’m not expecting anything big for quite a while, but it’s nice to know we should have the scope to improve when the time comes.”

Joe has already entered our five-day Drag Challenge marathon later this year, but first he plans to take on the three-day DC Weekend event in Victoria, 25-27 March. “The three-day event will be the perfect way to test the car out a bit on track, and I’ve already driven it on the street a fair bit since we finished it just before Christmas,” he says. “Every time I drive it, I get more confident in its reliability, and on the odd occasion I have given it a stab, it just drove dead-straight and like a dream.”

And Joe’s long-term goal for the car? “I guess we’d eventually love to run a seven with it,” he says. “But after a build this long, I just want to enjoy the car and get some racing done, then we’ll worry about that later.”

Joe did make it to Drag Challenge Weekend Vic, and from day one was wowing the spectators with the wheels-up displays in the mighty shorty.

With a virgin car and driver Joe and his GQ were never going to set the timing boards on fire at DCW, but he still left the weekend with a PB of 9.0 @150mph with plenty still left on the table. The GQ also ate up the near 1000km of road driving during the weekend with no dramas, and now with some valuable data in hand it’ll only be a matter of time before that 9.0 PB falls dramatically – so watch this space!

JOE ORDON
1992 NISSAN GQ PATROL

SPECS
Engine: 5.2L Nissan TB48
ECU: Emtron KV12
Turbo: Garrett GEN2 GTX55 98mm
Head: Standard
Camshafts: Kelford
Pistons: Nitto
Conrods: Nitto
Crank: 5.2L Nitto
Fuel system: 2433cc injectors, Waterman mechanical pump
Cooling: Alloy Race radiator
Ignition: R35 GT-R coil packs
Exhaust: 5in side-exit Transmission: M&M TH400
Converter: Full Race Fabrication
Diff: Patrol, H233 spool, 3.5:1 gears
Rims: Weld V-Series; 17×4 (f), 15×10 (r)
Rubber: Mickey Thompson Sportsman S/R 28x6x17 (f), Mickey Thompson ET Street
315/60R15 (r)

Comments