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Generation 4-1 Pajero NS Model 2006 - 2009

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Old 30-05-19
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kiwi1973 kiwi1973 is offline
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Default Quick question on Pajero radiator possible issue

Before heading off on this big trip I replaced the radiator, among many other items, to ensure reliability. The new radiator came from a seller I believe to be reputable, but the radiator itself is of unknown origin and could have been a cheap item for all I know. I have noticed a slight coolant leak and can see that it is originating near the top tank, as shown in the photos.

The leak itself isn't my primary concern, as it's not amounting to much coolant loss - I haven't even needed to top it up yet - so it's relatively small. Presumably some radiator stop leak product I have with me would deal with it?

What concerns me more is the automatic transmission fluid lines going into the bottom of the radiator - not really sure what the purpose of this is?

My concern is whether (assuming the quality of this radiator is in question) there is any realistic chance of contamination between the coolant and the transmission fluid? There is no present indication of this so I'm likely just being overcautious, though with where we're headed presently I need to consider these things in advance.
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File Type: jpg P1060776.jpg (49.7 KB, 59 views)
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Old 30-05-19
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Hi Aarron,

Since the exact source and reason of the leak has not be determined then I would checking a few things before replacing components.

The leak could be from the radiator cap not sealing and functioning correctly. Is this the radiator cap that was supplied with the new radiator, the old cap or a new cap from another source? Does the radiator cap fit and seal correctly?
Is this coolant from the coolant return system when the engine cools down? Is the hose between the radiator spout and overflow bottle in good condition?
Can you see a change in the coolant level in the overflow bottle between hot and cold?
If the leak is on the engine side of the system then I would expect to see a pressurised coolant mist when the engine is hot, can you see this?

If you are concerned about an internal failure between the radiator and you have an additional external ATF cooler then you could bypass the in-radiator ATF cooler. On the Gen 4 Pajero the in-radiator ATF cooler is in the tank so it is a ATF to engine coolant heat exchange so there is the possibility of the cross contamination if there is and internal leak.

OJ.
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Last edited by old Jack; 30-05-19 at 02:25 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 30-05-19
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I don't think I've seen it confirmed anywhere, but friends and I have discussed that we think the loop through the bottom radiator tank is primarily to help bring the transmission up to a reasonable temperature (from a cold start) - many people seem to report transmission temps around 60 degrees (under light conditions i.e. cruising around town), which would be about the temperature of the bottom radiator tank.

If this is correct, it's probably more critical for "soccer mum" type duties, where the car does lots of short running, and the transmission may otherwise not get up to "normal" temperature too often. For what you're doing I don't think "short running" will be much of an issue, so (presuming you're monitoring your transmission temps) I don't believe you'll have any significant issues bypassing the bottom tank.

If you have the Jatco transmission with a dip stick it will also be much easier for you to check the condition of your fluid every morning (presuming you have a morning pre-start routine?) Procure a kit of fittings / hoses that will let you bypass the radiator if the need arises, but otherwise leave it factory, and monitor.
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Old 06-06-19
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Thanks for the helpful advice guys.

I'm not too concerned about the radiator presently. The leak, if even still present, is so slow I've not had to top up. The main concern was contamination of ATF, which I was doubly concerned about because I not only had some green fluid leaking near the top of the radiator, but also some red dried fluid - same colour as ATF. However, I've since realised that it's not ATF - the green coolant simply turns a reddish colour when it oxidises.

Two other issues have occurred however. One is a rear diff oil seal. No problem - I carry spares of these, so it's just the burden of finding time.

The other issue just occurred tonight and is a bit more of a concern. When selecting 4H the front wheel lights flash and it's unclear if it's actually engaging 4wd or not. This one is a serious concern. We've just reached the Russian Far East city of Chita and are due to exit Russia in the next few days south to Mongolia via a long and remote off-road route, which could be difficult/muddy and with river crossings. So I've been reading through old threads for this issue tonight and will tackle it tomorrow. At least I'm in a city presently - and with a Mitsubishi Motors. I must fix this quickly, as over staying a Russian visa is not an option - it's deemed a serious offence here that could well see us detained at the border when we try to exit.

I've attached a photo for you guys of a set of car inspection ramps. These are placed in rest areas all across the Russian Far East - this is how I discovered the leaking oil seal.

Other than this the Pajero drove perfectly the first 3,000 km's of this trip.
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Old 06-06-19
benckj benckj is offline
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Great to have access to ramps as such.

My experience with your issues;
1/Radiator leak- cross contamination with ATF always seems to be oil leakage into radiator. This is evident by sludge in expansion tank.

2/ Diff seal - not a trip breaker and can probably be monitored and topped up as required.

3/ 4WD drive - need to check vacuum leaks on selenoid operation. Have not worked on myself but believe most common fault is the loss of pressure due to cracked hose. Hopefully others will chime in as Iíve only worked on gen 3 models for 4WD. Does it engage 4L correctly?
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Old 06-06-19
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Don't know if this is of assistance but when I had similar issues on my 2013 Shogun I used the workshop manual and this page to diagnose the problem.



https://4epikanini.webs.com/gen3pajero4x4system.htm


On those ramps with someone engaging and disengaging the 4WD system you should be able to see the issue happening (or not as the case may be!)
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Old 06-06-19
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I traced the 4wd selection problem to a faulty switch in the freewheel clutch assembly attached to the diff. Fortunately, I had a replacement switch in my parts box, so it's all fixed now.

Whilst I was under there today, outside my rented Russian apartment, I noticed that the inner shaft for the right hand side CV (i.e. the inner shaft in the axle tube) seemed to be loose and has excessive movement in it. So the bearing on the shaft must be stuffed. It's good then really that the 4wd switch failed when it did, as it has alerted me to a bigger issue for which there are currently still no apparent symptoms - no noise or vibration - yet. But I know how quickly a bearing problem could deteriorate from here.

Believe it or not, I also happen have all the parts in my parts box to rebuild that inner shaft - I have the bearing, dust/oil seal and cover. Only issue is that even if I can get that inner shaft out - with limited equipment on the road outside this apartment this seems unlikely - I would still have to take it to an engineer with a press to get the bearing on/off. So tomorrow I'm just getting a local mechanic to do the work. Should be fairly cheap here and then I can focus on other things.
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Old 07-06-19
benckj benckj is offline
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Thatís fantastic having solved one problem and avoided another. Good planning with parts and your experience.
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Old 07-06-19
Pixie_au Pixie_au is offline
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Good outcome and I'm wondering how comprehensive this parts box is!
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Old 08-06-19
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The cost for the local mechanic in Russia to do the complete job of removing, rebuilding and refitting the inner shaft (parts provided by me) was equivalent to $60. He's done a good job as best I can tell. The diff oil seal is not currently attended to. We need to make a move towards the border pronto, so if some slight topping up is all that is needed to defer addressing this until Mongolia then that may be the plan. I'll check the oil level again today to confirm it's a minor leak.
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