98 pajero 3.5ltr reliability

Submitted: Friday, Sep 20, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 2015 Views:23601 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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i am planning on buying a 98 pajero 3.5 ltr.
Can anybody tell me about the reliability and fuel consumption
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Reply By: Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Friday, Sep 20, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Sep 20, 2002 at 00:00
I bought a 3.5 lt manual GLS Pajero with the DOHC 24 valve 153 kw motor new in 97 This was the best 4wd I have ever owned. I think in 98 they went back to the SOHC 24valve that put out 140 kwts. My car was good on fuel around 18mpg around town and 24 mpg on trips, much better than the 80 series cruiser diesel I own now. I think the Pajero is possibly the most underated car on the market and I drive every kind you can imagine. It has the best 4wd system 2wd, 4wd constant and 4wd centre diff lock and also the best LSD available. Why did I sell it you ask? I train on average 3 days per week. The pajero was to new to devalue with that sort of work so I went back to a 90 model wht 80 series cruiser. The big advantage to you Trish is thier resale is not so strong. You should be able to pick one up for under 30 k I sold mine 2 years ago for 28 k I paid 45k Luckily I nicked the cruiser. Cheers Rob
AnswerID: 6796

Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Trish, have to agree with everything that Rob says. I have the '97 (NK) 3.5 lt with auto trans which I also bought new. If Rob was getting 18mpg in his manual, I think we're doing pretty well at around 17mpg. Ours hasn't missed a beat since the day we bought it. It's a dream to drive, with truckloads of power to spare. Testimony to it's strength, I was unfortunately involved in an accident recently. Another vehicle hit square on to the passenger side door at about 60km/h. The Paj has fairly substantial side intrusion bars in the doors - to cut a long story short, they saved my 10 yo daughters life. Don't know if I could bring myself to part with it now that it's patched up - unless of course someone wanted to do a swap with me for an NM Pajero Di D :-) Regards, Steve.
AnswerID: 6806

Reply By: Joe - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

I have owned my 1996 DOHC 3.5 Pajero from new and I can add my testimony to that of the others.

A great vehicle.

That is not to say that it is perfect, just that the compromises that all 4WDs have to make are sometimes evident. It is a great vehicle on road, but sometimes the relative lack of front wheel travel (caused by the excellent on road independent front suspension) can be a problem.

You should also be aware that all of the V6 Pajeros need some money spent on them at the 100,000 klm point to have the cam belts replaced. This major service will cost you around the $1,000 mark, so if the vehicle you are looking at is close to that you must factor the service cost into the equation.

As for reliability, well they are well proven and there are very few problems with them.

Check to make sure that the front suspension is undamaged by bashing on rocks (damage will be obvious) and that the CV boots (rubber sleeves over the knuckle in the front driveshafts) are not damaged.

Check the rear diff housing - if the vehicle has been abused over rocky ground it may be cracked, but this is quite rare.

The shock absorbers, and in particular the somewhat undersized front shockers, do not last for very long. Expect to replace the fronts at about 60,000 klms.

Fuel consumption - well, you have some figures to work with. The consumption is better than most similar vehicles.

Good luck.

AnswerID: 6809

Reply By: Bob - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
Trish, excellent choice. I had the models preceding the one you are looking at but I expect reliability will be similar. I did 100,000 km in each and neither missed a beat despite some really serious punishment. Both would have needed new shocks etc when I traded them.
The only niggles were loss of brake pedal pressure after prolonged driving on corrugations in one of them (I think the 3.0 L), and the multifunction wiper control wand would turn itself on on severe corrugations (the 3.5L). Crossed the Simpson (Mt Dare to Birdsville) on less than a tank of fuel (90L) in the 3.5. You should be able to find one in pretty good nick as they are popular as people movers (as well as being extremely capable bush tourers). I suspect most have never been off the bitumen. Go for it Trish.
AnswerID: 6811

Reply By: Mal.H - Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2002 at 00:00
I agree with all of the comments above. I have a 1999 Nl Pajero 3.5l Escape ( an upmarket GLX ) it is quite exceptional. I am in the process of doing the 100k Timing belt and plugs and while pricey if you shop around you ccan get it down to a reasonable price. Apart from that the Paj is perfect for Me, the wife, 2 kids and Whippet and all assorted. Great on the Highway and perfect for the City easy to park. Off road ( although I've not done anything serious) it handles the gravel and paddocks no problems ( we live on a farm ). I say go for it.
AnswerID: 6817

Reply By: andy - Monday, Sep 23, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 23, 2002 at 00:00
I had one of these 98 models and it was pretty good most of the time. I had one constant problem from new to 40,000ks that never went away until the day that I sold it. In low 4wd the front end clunked a lot and often went in and out of engagement while off road. At the same time the breaks went at the front end as well. It became extremely dangerous when descending in low range on steep slopes. The vehicle went back to Mitsubishi 4 times over 2 years to get the problem checked and fixed and each time I was told that there was nothing wrong with the car. It was as if the ABS and traction was switching off and on. I was really bleep off with the dealers as it was still under factory warrenty and cost me $50,000 to buy.

Apart from that power was good (when not loaded up too much), 5 speed was good and a very comfortable vehicle to drive. I now own a new hilux and like this a bit better. Andy
AnswerID: 6839

Follow Up By: Mikeys - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2002 at 00:00
Andy, sounds exactly like the ABS was switching on. Symptoms are a clunking/groaning/shuddering at the front end, and the feeling that the brakes are letting go (which in fact they are), loss of tyre traction and you can often hear the ABS pump stop when you release pressure on the brakes. I suspect there was nothing wrong with the vehicle at all, but it is a classic demonstration of why ABS can be a hindrance off-road. Exactly the same thing happens in my NJ ('95) Pajero. Technique, my friend, technique. Slower speed and gentle braking pressure ie, less reliance on the brakes in steep descents is the way to go, no problemo. Jab at the brakes or try to slow yourself down too fast and you will lose traction, and the ABS will kick in, thinking it is helping but really only making matters worse.
Trish, I've been very happy with my '95 Paj- no reliability probems. There's not a lot of difference between the '95 and '98 so if it suits your needs, I don't think you would go wrong. MkeyS
FollowupID: 3079

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