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What to look out for? Auto 3.5 Blister arch NL

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  • What to look out for? Auto 3.5 Blister arch NL

    Hello there!

    Newbie to the forum here. Looking to purchase my first Pajero - example I’m inspecting is a 1998 automatic 3.5 NL LWB.

    The old girl has done 230,000kms - according to the owner, has full books, has towed a large tinny, and never been off road.

    Looks super tidy and they have a genuine reason for sale (getting too old).

    What do you guys think? Am I making an awful financial decision? What do I need to look out for?

    Naturally, I will confirm things like the last time it had a timing belt/water pump, and I think the crankshaft bolt is the other thing? Correct me if I am wrong.



  • #2
    Rocker cover gasket leaks also common. Spark plugs need intake removed so depending on when done last may need to be considered.

    Exhaust manifolds have a habit of cracking. No drama if their changed to extractors.

    Valve stem seals are another issue with this engine, so check for signs of them being bad. (Let us know if you need info on what to look for)

    Replacement clutches are quite expensive for these. Around double normal clutch prices at $800 ish for exedy. Not sure if an issue for you, and I gather replacement interval is around 300 000km. Others can give more info on that if needed

    All I can think of right now


    • #3
      Also, check of it goes into all the 4wd options if they have barely been used. Anther thread details someones issues with that in the last few days.

      The flashing dash lights can show issues with front axle engagement. I find mine needs to go forward and back a little at times to engage properly


      • #4
        I purchased a 98 NL 6g74 3.5 with 300,000k on the clock & she runs like a dream. Obvious things to look out for are the timing belt waterpump replacement as you stated, other than that check that the leads/plugs are in good condition, plugs, transmission service, definitely check for crank shaft pulley wobble, a tiny bit of play is ok.....took mine to a mechanic & he confirmed it was an optical illusion, bolt was torqued to the correct spec. Check fuel filter, radiator bottom front fins for rust, cv boots etc....... these cars are remarkably well built, & beautiful to drive on, or off road.. you won't regret the purchase. Surprisingly good fuel economy for engine size too ⛽👍😊


        • #5
          Check if the engine is a Double OverHead Cam (DOHC) or a SIngle OverHead Cam (SOHC). Both engines are good, but the DOHC has more potential problems, especially if you do your own repairs etc.IS the vehicle fitted with LPG? If so, the SOHC of that year and onwards is fully compliant with LPG whereas the DOHC engine is not.


          • #6
            Cheers for all the responses guys, awesome feedback. Can confirm it is a SOHC, so no DOHC troubles there. And I think I’m pretty familiar with the telltale valve stem seal signs (blue smoke upon takeoff after running for a while/blue smoke on startup, etc.). Legends!! Thank you again.


            • #7
              Have a look at the alternator. A cam seal on the RHS leak that has maybe just been wiped for presentation will still be evident as these leaks tend to cover the alternator and it’s internals, destroying the alternator eventually.

              all the usual things like fluids (engine, transmission has a dipstick too on the engines LHS, power steering etc etc)- nice and clean no obvious gunk.

              as mentioned check the 4wd goes in and out of all modes. Dirt area best but a vacant car park and just straight forwards and backwards is ok.

              make sure auto shifts well, including kickdown, and the PWR and HOLD modes work.

              the usual all buttons inside work, locks, mirrors, windows etc. (if both power mirrors don’t work, and one of the ciggy sockets also doesn’t work, it’s probably a fuse, they are on the same one). Heater, aircon etc...

              make sure the drivers airbag replacement under the recall has been completed.
              '99 NL Escape, Manual - Bullbar, roofrack, cargo barrier, D697LT, Tough Dogs, dual batts, rear draws, Narva 225 HID, UHF, led bar etc
              Towing: 4.8m Savage Centurion half-cab w/75hp Mariner

              '99 NL GLS SWB, Auto - Bullbar, D697LT, spotties, UHF, Koni adjustables & King springs.

              Wanted: Adventure.


              • #8
                if you get it ---- replace ALL the small rubber coolant lines. Chances are they have not been done and I have seen many start to fail lately. best to do them with the waterpump etc swap
                1994 NJ 3.0 now with a 2000NL 3.5 engine and driveline, 2.5 catback, 32" MT Deegan 38's, 1" body lift, front diff drop with front tension rods indexed and cranked an 3", 3" on the rear coils
                *** retired to the big wrecking yard in the sky***
                1998 NL 3.5 blisterside, 305.70.16's on -44 rims 3.5" suspension lift, Custom Bull bar, winch install, custom front control arms, NJ GLS flares and some camping gear in the back AND 8 PSI of BOOOOOST

                .... and 1990 Nissan Z32 300zx for on road shenanigans


                • #9
                  That's a good point. I had a hell of a time chasing a coolant leak. It was only when it was hot and pressurised and I bent a hose the right way up under the throttle body it shot boiling water at my hand


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