what can an old pajero do?

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 17:38
ThreadID: 3363 Views:4161 Replies:8 FollowUps:1
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hi everyone, i just bought an old swd ('84 pajero) 4wd. it was in great condition (no rust! new engine, well taken care of) and i am getting a variety of little htings fixed and a full service done on it. i would like to know how it rates in the 4wd stakes? it is a real 4wd? can it go offroad? or is it more for the city? what sort of offroad territory could it go to? i am intending to go on a 4wd driving course, but i won't do it if the pajero isn't really able to do any 4wding. could it go on the beach, fire trails etc? any suggestions for essential equipment to buy? thanks for all help and suggestions.
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Reply By: bruce.h - Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 21:00

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 21:00
there is no reson not to take it 4wding it does have some limitations in the wheel travel & ground clearance stakes but driven properlly it will handle most obsticles you will just have to learn what its caricteristic are 7 how to drive & tackle obsticles wiht them in mind you dont say what state you are in but i would recommend a 45wd course as amust before you go out to much .DONT buy any accessories till you have done the course as you will have a better idea as to what you need after the course,but if you are going out before hand take a shovel gloves trye gage pump & heeps of commen sence
if you let us Know which state your in a course provider will be recommended by all here
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 13065

Reply By: Member - Willem- Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 22:49

Thursday, Feb 13, 2003 at 22:49
Hi Novice, The pre 1985 Pajeros all had a gear box problem where the retaining nut on 5th gear would disintegrate after a while and the gear would fall into the box. Ouch ! By now that should have been repaired by the previous owners. Your Pajero should take you into most places without difficulty. They are good little vehicles with some limitations in the suspension. Overall, a good vehicle to cut your 4x4 teeth on.Take it on your 4x4 course and don't buy too many accessories until you have the feel of it. Happy 4x4-ing. Cheers, W
AnswerID: 13078

Reply By: Member - Terry- Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 09:45

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 09:45
I have previously owned a 86 pajero and found it capable of most of the 4wdriving that was required.The 2.6 motor works hard in very soft sand,however the biggest problem is usually the driver.
After doing a 4wd course you would have thought I was driving a different vehicle. Just remember all 4wd have limitations.
AnswerID: 13093

Reply By: flappan - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:22

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:22
As a proud owner of an "older" PJ , I can honestly say, In most circumstances its the ability of the driver that is the limiting factor.

Good idea to do a course to see what you can do. It will do the beach fine, and certainly firetrails in a breeze.

Don't be put off by the "shopping trolly or Mums Taxi" tag, the PJ's are far better then that.

Yep, no cruiser or Patrol, but certainly up there with anything else.
AnswerID: 13097

Reply By: 4wdNovice - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:42

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 11:42
hi everyone, i am the original poster, i would like to thank everyone for their helpful advice. i am in sydney, anyone recommend a good 4wd course? hopefully not too expensive!

are there any other mechanical thimngs i should get checked out? i will definitely tell my mechanic to check the retaining nut on 5th gear as was suggested. any other typical problems that old pajeros have? thanks again
AnswerID: 13100

Follow Up By: Flappan - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 12:42

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 12:42
I would suggest joining a 4 wheel drive club, rather then just a Course.

Its certainly not that the courses aren't good, its just they are normally reasonably expensive, whereas any half way decent club offers ongoing training.

Not from Sydney though, so I'm not sure of the clubs up there. Probably depends on where in sydney you live as well.

Any other PJ problems, cant say I'm aware of anything, but I would also suggest you check the Vic Pajero club forum. What they don't know isn't worth considering.
FollowupID: 7664

Reply By: Member - Melissa - Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:08

Friday, Feb 14, 2003 at 14:08
I did Cape York in a SWB Paj back in 1988. Vehicle was a few years old at the time. Anyway, we had no real problems and only one recovery required when bogged in soft sand at the mouth of the Jardine River. Excellent little 4WD that convinced me that Paj's are a great mid-range 4WD. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun.

:o) Melissa
AnswerID: 13113

Reply By: Suzuki Viagra - Monday, Feb 17, 2003 at 17:49

Monday, Feb 17, 2003 at 17:49
If it has 4wd then use it - if you get bogged it's part of the experience - and search the forums for issues and use of recovery gear first.

The SWB should be good enough. Probably better in stock than my Vitara before I played with it on many surfaces. Remember SWB will normally kill and LWB of the same in offroad capability (abilty to use different lines, better exit angle, better power to weight) with the tradeoff being cargo capacity, ride quality and traction (weight) in some circumstances...

Old SWB models of Patrols and Landcruisers normally kick all the big LWB stuff (Same as above plus Landy's and Rangey's) and all the baby 4wd's such as the Sierra's and my Vitara - or at least until the difference in purchase price shows up and the Sierra guys flaunt their twin diff locks.......

Driver ability, driver determination and tyre grip radically change the capabilities of a "stock" vehicle" so absoulte assesment is impossible. If you don't mind a few scratches (much easier to do on a $4k than $40k vehicle) then you wont be stopped by much.

Throw another grand or two or so at it when you have the money and there will be virtually nothing that can stop you going where anyone else does.

Based on the Pajero guys I've known and the layout (same as Vitara - IFS Coil and Rigid Rear) I'd recommend.

Stage 1:
2" Kings springs or similar + Longer Travel rear shocks $300-400 + fitting

Stage 2:
Bigger Second hand wheels and tyres:
31x10.5x15 or similar - Melissa do you know what fits with 2" lift??? You probably lifted yours.. If 33's or 32's fit use them.

If stage 2 wont fit - suitable body lift on top of stage 1 to 2 further inches. IFS makes us do it the hard way :-(

Wheel lift is the

Approx $200 Trading post. Hope you know how to change tyres. Use for offroad excursions only or get speedo realigned or stage 3 + 4 adjusted to suit

Stage 3:

If power steering: Welded Front Diff

Approx $100 Differential specialist

Stage 4:

Proper LSD's front and rear in ratio to compensate for 2 or rear diff lock - Detroit/Lokka

Stage 5

Pay ARB for 3 and 4 properly with airlocker and proper ratios.
Kiss your wallet goodbye - you're now a confirmed 4wd junkie!!!! Congrats.

PS: These are standard steps for most 4wd's but each model varies - I have a 2a and 2b but not 3 yet - going to 3b and bypassing 3a for now......

If you have fun first time out but get stuck - ask a professional or at least all you mates about the money pit you have just created. You may wish to sell Paj and start at stage 1 with a more capable vehicle......
AnswerID: 13326

Reply By: jason - Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 16:53

Tuesday, Feb 18, 2003 at 16:53
i was the owner of a '83 swb turbo diesel(4d55 motor)apart from doing bearings in the gearbox it was a great little truck.we took it to fraser island 3 times(my wife drove up a sand dune that a dozen other vehicles failed to climb) and numerous club events to 4wd parks.as another person said a lot comes back to the driver.just because you can't put it where other people do at the moment,with experience you will go a lot more places.
AnswerID: 13400

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