Engine conversions are nothing new. 4x4ers have been doing them for decades. From the current crop of LS and Barra swaps, to the trusty old cast iron 304 Holden V8s, right back to the old Red motors of the 60s and 70s finding their way into everything from rusted out Land Rovers to early G60 Patrols. The trend has generally been in search for more cubic inches, but Sydney based Diesel Conversions Australia have a unique take on things. Their kits offer ZD30 owners the ability to remove their 3.0L turbo-diesel four cylinder, and replace it with a 3.0L turbo-diesel four cylinder… wait what? “The stock ZD30 a lot of Patrols come with is a ticking time bomb,” DCA owner Steve Etcell tells us. “There’s a few modifications some owners make to try and make them survive but we’ve replaced one a fortnight for the last six months.”
Their kit replaces what is arguably one of the worst engines Nissan ever made, with one of the best engines Isuzu has ever made, the 4JJ1. If you’re not familiar with the 4JJ1 engine it’s seen as the holy grail of modern dual cab engines. Old school reliability with modern performance. “The 4JJ1 is one of the most overbuilt engines around,” says Steve. Isuzu uses them in their dual cab utes as well as heavy industrial applications so parts are available all across the country and they’re super reliable. We’ve seen them pushing out 500hp on the stock internals. That’d be 1.5x more power and torque than a full size Dodge Ram.”
While DCA do drive in drive out conversions, their kits are designed to make it as easy as possible for your local shop or home installer to get you going. Their billet adaptors can mount a 4JJ1 engine to your Nissan 5-speed manual or RE4 Automatic transmission. They’re designed to run as many factory Isuzu parts as possible, with simple solutions for running the factory Isuzu pedal, bolt in engine mounts, stand-alone ECUs, wiring looms, and built torque convertors to make the 4JJ1 to your Patrol driveline. The transmission adaptors start from around the $1200 mark and engine mounts $650 with the extras being on a case by case depending on your needs.