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Generation 2 Pajero NH - NL Models 1991 - 2000

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  #1  
Old 5 Days Ago
fjarmabra fjarmabra is offline
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Default 97 3.5 NL Not Starting

Hi,

My name is Fjon and I have a Pajero problem.

I am out of good (or even bad) ideas, even with reading the impressive number of ‘Pajero problem threads’ on the internet and would really appreciate some help or input if anyone has any.

In a nut-shell: I have a 3.5 l 1997 (built) Pajero that won’t start and seems to be over-fuelling or have some sort of ignition/spark issue, but more details below since it has been a bit of a messy journey:

A year and a bit ago I purchased a SWB 10/1997 built 3.5 l V6 SOHC 6G74 with about 208,000 kms on it. I was told that the timing belt had just been done and everything seemed okay enough for a car that age and wear. Unfortunately not long after getting it the engine suffered a catastrophic failure (broken harmonic balancer/timing gear bolt). In the lead up to this I installed:
• New fuel pump
• New fuel filter
• New throttle position sensor (due to a fault code)

Followed by getting a mechanic to provide me with a long engine consisting of:
• Tested short engine
• New welsh plugs and gaskets
• New bottom end seals
• Reconditioned heads (my old ones)
• Injectors cleaned
• New timing belt and tensioner
• New water pump

Which I installed including:
• New cam angle sensor
• New crank angle sensor
• New ignition leads
• New ignition coils
• New spark plugs
• New idler pulleys
• New fan bearing
• New exhaust headers and gaskets (old ones were cracked)
o Wildcat extractors from eBay
• Cleaned MAFS
o With approved MAFS cleaner

It started fine and everything worked, however it developed a knock. I therefore brought it back to the mechanic who discovered that the heads he had gotten reconditioned by another work shop had none of the bolts torqued up. He apologised profusely, promised me he fixed everything to good as new standard and double checked everything.

After that it seemed to run okay except for low power and vibration around and below 2000 rpm. I know these things like to rev, but I don’t recall this from the short period I had it before the engine work. So, it went back to the mechanic who had it for about 2 weeks before calling me and telling me he had checked everything and got it as good as it was going to get. It was a bit better, but barely noticeable. Through this period I had an exhaust flange that kept coming lose, which I mainly put down to the somewhat less than ideal fit of the aftermarket exhaust headers to the stock exhaust. Cranking over sounded weak and it was lacking power at times, so I:
• Replaced battery
• Replaced fuel filter
Without improvement.

It then started to lose power over a period of about a week to the point it could not even do 80 km/h and when I got home started and struggled to idle a few times before failing to start/run all together. It only got about 230 km out of the 65 l tank. I then without any noteworthy improvement based on what I knew or got from others (including forum posts) I:
• Checked spark
• Checked earths
o Found one jammed behind engine mount
o Found one not connected to intake manifold
• Checked vacuum hoses
o Fixed one minor split
• Checked air intake
• Removed and checked exhaust
• Replaced fuel pressure regulator
• Checked for fault codes (none)
• Checked power to
o Cam angle sensor
o Crank angle sensor
o Power transistor
o Injectors
o Ignition coils
• Checked fuel flow
• Checked timing
• Checked injectors for
o Pulse
o Leaks
o Actuation
• Checked power transistor as per manual test method
• Tried no fuel and only start ya bastard
• Replaced O2 sensor
o The cabling appeared damaged by heat
• Replaced spark power transistor
• Tested leads and tried old leads
• Tested ignition coils and tried old coils
• Checked cable loom for obvious damage
• Tried spare key
• Tried old fuel pump
• Drained tank and refilled with 20 l of premium
• Tried second hand ECU of a runner
• Tested spark strength
o It bridges a gap marked at 30 (22 mm)
o Unfortunately I don’t know what it is supposed to do
• Replaced spark plugs (again
• Dropped oil to between the dip-stick marks
o It was about 10 mm too higho I could smell fuel in the oil
• Ensured decent ignition lead spacing.

It cranks and sometimes starts for a few seconds after sitting for a few days. The spark plugs are wet when I take them out and I can smell fuel if cranking for a long time. It seems like it’s flooding.

Any help, ideas or input would be appreciated. I am running out of ideas but am hoping someone can point me towards something to check or do that I may have missed. I am 30 minutes from the nearest mechanic, which would only be a small country town, and would have to get it towed and no doubt pay them to check everything I have described above without any guarantee that they would be able to find anything or even really knew what they were doing.

My current game plan of things to do/try is:
• Ask the internet for help
• Find a wiring schematic
• Work out what exactly determines the amount of fuel that is being injected
• Check/replace crank angle sensor
o This is a major job and given that everything down there is new I am hesitant
o My worry is that the small plate that moves through the sensor has been making contact with the sensor damaging it
• Finding a mechanic I trust to check everything
o Find a car trailer.

To my girlfriend’s and mates' utter surprise I still like the car and just want it going and forget about this rather than digging a big hole for it in the back yard; but given that I had to negotiate a work vehicle into my salary package as a result of this, it is definitely time to ask the internet for help.
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  #2  
Old 5 Days Ago
damo03 damo03 is offline
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Mate,

Get yourself a workshop manual

http://www.mitsubishilinks.com/

They have a troubleshooting section. I'd methodically run through that Based on the issues you have had with the mechanic I'd be checking things like timing & compression first and make sure that that is good first. Then go through diagnostics with the fuel system.

They are a good car and should have plenty of go. Mine would sit on 135kph in 35deg heat fully loaded with the AC on down the stuart highway last week. That's with 275000km without the heads off.
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  #3  
Old 5 Days Ago
fjarmabra fjarmabra is offline
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Hi, thanks, got the manual, but got very little in terms of engine electronics in it from what I found. Agree and bought it cause it has plenty of go when it runs well, was mainly trying to convey the severity/ symptoms.I checked the timing and it came up okay with a professional timing light. Compressions is a good point, although I would be gutted if that were it after the rebuild and how bad it would have to be to not start.
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Old 5 Days Ago
fjarmabra fjarmabra is offline
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Hi, thanks, got the manual, but got very little in terms of engine electronics in it from what I found. Agree and bought it cause it has plenty of go when it runs well, was mainly trying to convey the severity/ symptoms.I checked the timing and it came up okay with a professional timing light. Compressions is a good point, although I would be gutted if that were it after the rebuild and how bad it would have to be to not start.
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  #5  
Old 5 Days Ago
stumagoo stumagoo is offline
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I would be checking the timing - no its not adjustable but the little roll pin that holds the tone wheel for the crank angle sensor is located by the roll pin - if that pin breaks it can throw all the fuel and ignition timing out the window - also pull the timing covers and check the cam timing - I have heard of non genuine timing tensioners failing on these engines and then they skip a tooth or more - both of these issues can show with bad timing
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*** retired to the big wrecking yard in the sky***
1998 NL blisterside, 285.75.16's on -22 rims 3" suspension lift, stealth winch install, custom front control arms, NJ GLS flares and some camping gear in the back

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  #6  
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erad erad is offline
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There seems to be several issues you have to handle here. One of them is overfuelling. My fading memory tells me that there is a vacuum hose connected to the fuel pressure regulator. Is it connected on your engine?

If you can get hold of an old fashioned timing light (preferably a powered one), you could hook the sensor to No 1 plug lead and check what the ignition timing actually is doing. If it is stable, what is the reading - there is a gauge on the timing cover. One of my (many) mistakes over the years was to remove the timing belt sprocket from the crankshaft and replace the crankshaft seal. In getting the sprocket off, I managed to bend the timing cam and when I reassembled the engine, there was a whirring noise. The engine ran beautifully - for about 20 km and then it started to really go wild. I put my timing light on and saw the flash moving wildly all over the place, so I assumed it was the Crank angle Sensor. I stripped the engine (yet again) and found that the cam had rubbed through the plastic of the CAS. Ordered a new sensor, panel beated the old cam flat again and all was good after that.
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Old 4 Days Ago
fjarmabra fjarmabra is offline
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Thanks guys.

I checked the timing with a powered timing light and a mechanic who was nice enough to come out and told me that while it isn't exactly on the mark, it is where it makes sense for an engine trying to start and it was consistent. This was on the harmonic balancer marks and at the start of my own investigation.

I can try borrow the timing light and check how it looks on the cam, but he lives fair a way away and works FIFO, so might have to try do it manually if I can to see if anything is majorly out before then (eg. cam vs. crank). I had the rocker covers off since I was worried about one of the timing pulleys being loose due to a broken alignment pin, but it all seems rock solid. Plus the mechanic who checked it all when I was starting to have issues specialises in Pajero's (as much as one can in FNQ), had it all apart and told me the timing was spot on.

From memory, the crank angle sensor plate is located by the key, and it was one of my primary concerns and drivers for checking the timing. It's fair a bit of work to get down to but sounds like it might need another good look if there aren't any other contributing components I should be checking first.

I checked the vacuum balancing line to the fuel pressure regulator before and after I replaced the fuel pressure regulator and it seems fine.

Regarding compression, I once cooked and lost substantial compression one of my previous cars, but it was very noticeable when cranking before it would no longer run. Can try to find a compression tester that can reach down those rather small and deep holes.

My crank angle sensor suffered substantial damage when the harmonic balancer bolt broke, so I installed a new one with the rebuilt engine and ensured good clearance of the sensor plate before running it. I would have expected issues with this to have come up when I brought it back after the engine install but agree that it could be very well the cause if it somehow got damaged again and is somehow failing to provide consistent/accurate symptoms. How would the fact that it starts for a second or two after sitting for a while fit in with this?
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  #8  
Old 4 Days Ago
erad erad is offline
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"How would the fact that it starts for a second or two after sitting for a while fit in with this?"

This sounds to me like excessive fuel pressure or a stuck fuel injector - you are getting too much fuel. The extra fuel in the sump also suggests this. Maybe the new fuel pressure regulator is crook? It is difficult, but if you can measure the fuel pressure at least this will be ruled out as a cause.
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  #9  
Old 4 Days Ago
fjarmabra fjarmabra is offline
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I agree with the fuel pressure seeming too high. I wasn't able to plug a gauge into the fuel line at the time, so checked the flow (into a bucket) of the feed and return line, which both seemed good and consistent indicating no blockages anywhere and installed a new genuine fuel pressure regulator. I also installed to fuel pump I took out about 6 months earlier when I replaced it and replaced the fuel filter without any improvement. What is the best way to accurately measure fuel pressure on these things?

I stripped the top of the engine until I could see the injectors and ran the fuel pump to check for leaking injectors, but couldn't find any. I also cranked it with the injector pulse connected as well as actuating each injector to check for closing etc. with all operated fine (no leaks, delays or funny spray patterns that I could see). They were sent away to get cleaned during the engine rebuild given what they cost to replace...
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Old 4 Days Ago
erad erad is offline
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To test the fuel pump pressure:
The following is quoted from my Max Elery W/S manual. i don't think it will be easy....

1 Disconnect the fuel pump connector, start engine and allow to run until the engine stops.
2 Switch off ignition and reconnect the fuel pump connector.
3 At the delivery pipe, disconnect the high pressure hose and install a fuel pressure gauge between the delivery pipe and the high pressure hose (you will need a tee piece to do this).
4 Using a jumper wire, connect the pump drive terminal (2) with the +ve terminal to drive the fuel pump and inspect the pressure gauge and connections for fuel leaks under pressure. Fuel pump connector on firewall.
5 Stop the fuel pump by disconnecting the jumper wire, then start the engine and run at idle.
6. With the engine running at idle, measure the fuel pressure. Pressure = 265 kPa (38.5 psi) with the vacuum hose connected.
7. From the fuel pressure hose regulator, disconnect the vacuum hose and block off the hose.
8. Measure fuel pressure. Fuel pressure = 324 - 343 kPa (47 - 49.8 psi) @ idle (vacuum hose disconnected and plugged).
9. Race the engine several times and check that the fuel pressure at idle does not drop.
10. Race the engine several times and hold the fuel return hose lightly in fingers to feel that fuel pressure is present.
11. If the fuel pressure in the above procedures is out of specification, use the following diagnostics to troubleshoot and repair:

Low fuel pressure or pressure drops: Cause is blocked fuel filter or regulator faulty - Remedy Replace fuel filter or regulator.

High Fuel Pressure: Cause is faulty regulator or blocked fuel return hose - Remedy is replace regulator or unblock or replace return hose/pipe.

Same fuel pressure when vacuum hose is connected or disconnected: Cause is vacuum hose damaged or clogged vacuum nipple on manifold - remedy is to replace the vacuum hose or unblock the nipple on the manifold.


12. Stop the engine and check the change in the fuel pressure gauge. If the pressure does not drop within 2 minutes, it is normal. There is a table here telling you what to do - basically if the pressure drops gradually, it is a faulty injector - replace injector. It could also be a faulty regulator - replace the regulator. If the pressure drops rapidly, the fuel pump check valve is jammed open - replace the fuel pump.

13 Release the fuel line pressure and remove the pressure gauge assembly.
14. Install the high pressure fuel hosing a new O ring which has been coated in clean engine oil.



Apologies for laying this out this way, but I am a noob at getting any photos etc onto the site. I don't think that you will gain much by the diagnostics above, other than confirming that the pressures are in the right ball park. It won't be easy to do this check, but I think you have to at least try to see if the pressure is correct and also if it changes with the vacuum connected or disconnected. Maybe you don't have a vacuum to the regulator (yes - I know you have a hose there, but does it have a vacuum in it? If it doesn't, the pressure will be higher!!!

Last edited by erad; 4 Days Ago at 07:45 PM.
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