I went to the local wrecker to get some parts for a customer a few months ago. He had a first gen Pajero on his trailer he had pulled out of someones backyard, where it had been standing for a few years.
The previous owner had it as a parts car, the rear bumper, the exhaust, and the clutch master cylinder were missing. The front bumper and skid plate were bent and torn, there were tons of pine needles and sap on it, and of course, improvised weight reduction in the form of rusted away body parts.
What caught my eye though was that it had a hood scoop, which meant it had the mightiest diesel engine available in the first gen Pajero, with all of 95hp!
It was on its way to the scraper, since it didn’t seem to be worth it to start a partout.
I offered to buy it if the engine worked. So we tried to start it, but the starter was broken. He took it to my place, were my father and I got it running after a few hours. It was a bit rough, but seemed as a good basis. I bought it for 250€.
It was standing for a while, in the “when I find the time” spot, until some weeks ago I finally got my shit together and started all of my projects.
I took the engine out and disassembled it, discovered it had a newish clutch, some light rust spots in the cylinder walls, and some imperfections on the valve seats.

The exhaust valve had a lot of hard carbon deposit

The cylinders were honed, the valve seats reworked and everything got cleaned. It got new piston rings, a new water pump, timing belt kit, and of course a complete gasket kit. It was more of a cleanup than a rebuild really. I also painted the engine, turbo, and exhaust manifold.

The pistons are a bit narrower in the top, which left a slight mark in the cylinder wall, it’s not perfect, but good enough
New vs. old

I took my perfectly working engine and transmission out, put 50mm sound isolation on the firewall, and put the new engine and transmission (higher gear ratio) in. Of course I swapped the hood too. The scoop feeds the top mounted intercooler fresh air and gives the car some extra street cred. The hood still needs to be painted though.

Hood scoop: +100 street cred points

Of course that’s a lot of work for a 11hp gain, but then again the goal was rather to have an engine and transmission I can trust so I won’t be stuckwith a broke down car 3000km from home.

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