Whenever you’re buying a new vehicle, it’s a good idea to go ahead and baseline it – making sure that it is road and adventure-worthy! This is definitely true when you’re the new owner of a 1990 Nissan Patrol in Guatemala. After finding the right truck and laying out my build philosophy (see the intro to the Nissan Patrol build here), it was time to dive right into some TLC.
Specifically, my initial work on the Patrol was in 3 areas:
- Dependability and Safety
Dependability and Safety
The most important initial TLC in order was to get the Patrol up to basic dependability and safety standards.
To make sure truck would stop and steer – I installed new brake pads and rotors, a steering damper, and a set of 31” BFG KM2s, which would temporarily hold me over until I lifted to Patrol and installed larger tires. I also supplemented the factory headlights with PIAA LP570 LED driving lights up front.
To keep the truck running smoothly I cleaned up the dirty engine bay and changed all of the liquids, as well as installed a fresh battery.
Even with the mechanical baselining, I wasn’t able to catch/prevent everything on a 25 year old vehicle – short into my ownership the clutch gave out and required both a tow to a shop for new clutch!
When I got the Patrol the interior was not in great condition. My bias in the interior work was to focus on simplicity, function, and weather resistance. I started by stripping the interior down to the body, covering the floorboards with truck bed liner, and the interior sides with acrylic paint.
After getting a good, solid base level of paint on the inside, I covered the floors and doors with a mix of weather-resistant paneling and diamond-plated steel that both had a great look, but also should hold up to the abuse it’ll see.
My initial exterior work was all about returning the old Patrol to her former glory – the basics included repainting the fender flares with truck-bed liner as well as repainting the rear bumper.
With a little TLC, the 25-year old Patrol was ready for adventure, and phase 2 of the build: Outfit for Performance, Capability, and Utility.
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