Mitsubishi Pajero Fine-Tune - Our Shed

By: Glenn Torrens, Photography by: Glenn Torrens

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nissan pajero 3 The tidy yellow Pajero with the white one’s engine drank like a fish nissan pajero 3
nissan pajero 2 This Hy-Chill refrigerant is a terrific drop-in upgrade gas for air-conditioned 1970s-90s classics nissan pajero 2
nissan pajero 6 nissan pajero 6
nissan pajero 4 My ’80s-era air-con system required a new service port be installed nissan pajero 4
nissan pajero 5 nissan pajero 5
nissan pajero 8 nissan pajero 8
nissan pajero 7 nissan pajero 7
nissan pajero on stand My ’80s-era air-con system required a new service port be installed 03 After a few hundred kays’ driving had scrubbed the rust form my Pajero’s ‘shed find’ discs, I dropped in a set of new front brake pads nissan pajero on stand
nissan pajero console Work on the air-con included a new dryer/filter and TX valve nissan pajero console

Found in a shed, Glenn Torrens' retro Pajero receives a fine-tune

I’d bought two Pajeros – one white, one yellow – from an abandoned factory and by using the good engine from the white one, I got the yellow one back on the road without spending much money.

But after the H-plates went on, I quickly discovered the carburettor wasn’t working properly. Like many 1980s vehicles such as Commodores, Falcons and Sigmas, the Pajero’s carburettor is a dual-throat unit: at low speeds a small throat feeds the engine and a second, larger, opens for when maximum power is required. My Pajero started and drove at low speeds nicely but ask the engine for more power – from the carby’s second throat – and it stumbled horribly!

nissan-pajero-4.jpg My ’80s-era air-con system required a new service port be installed

Another big clue was my Pajero’s thirst: A two-hour return trip down the freeway to a mate’s house saw the Pajero almost empty its fuel tank by slurping about 30 litres per 100km –more than double what it should.

Yes, we had a problem!

nissan-pajero-on-stand.jpgAfter a few hundred kays’ driving had scrubbed the rust form my Pajero’s ‘shed find’ discs, I dropped in a set of new front brake pads

I’d retained the carburettor from the white Pajero that I’d scrapped so my first attempt at a fix was to install this spare carby. Bugger… it wouldn’t allow the engine to idle properly no matter what I tried. I also had a third carby left from when I owned my Mitsubishi Sigma (with the same 2.6-litre engine as the Pajero) but it wasn’t much use, either: no matter what I tried over the next few weeks I couldn’t make my Pajero run right.

It was time to get serious!

nissan-pajero-console.jpgWork on the air-con included a new dryer/filter and TX valve

My mate Greg The Wrecker mentioned a ‘guru’. When Greg speaks, I listen so I was soon on the phone to this bloke. Mitsubishi-trained, these days he does those tricky jobs that others won’t… or can’t. Anyhow, to cut a long story short, Paul (but he’s known as Rob The Dentist) came to my house one Friday afternoon and with me in the background asking silly questions, he made one good carby from the three. Guru!

nissan-pajero-2.jpgThis Hy-Chill refrigerant is a terrific drop-in upgrade gas for air-conditioned 1970s-90s classics

My Pajero has air-con but, as with many shed-find vehicles, it didn’t work. a big clue was the compressor missing from the engine bay! Thankfully, the other hardware remained, so I installed a second-hand compressor – in fact, it’s the one we removed from Morley’s hill-climb Commodore.

gas-bottle.jpg

Another recommendation from Greg led me to Mark, an automotive air-con specialist who, when he’s not training future tradies at TAFE, specialises in old-style and custom air-con systems for classics, street machines and hot rods. After installing a new dryer/filter and TX valve Mark recharged the system with an enviro-friendly, present-tech, no-nonsense drop-in replacement refrigerant gas known as Hy Chill.

Now my Pajero drives great and is super-cool!

 

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