My Pajero is nearly done, all thats left to do is some body detailing and fitting a higher turn motor to bring the speed down. Here is a retrospective build thread of the progress to date starting from the ground up -
The original Pajero tyres are very hard and so don't offer much grip on rocks. One approach to improving them is to sand off every other lug, this might provide more grip on rocks, but as my truck will be used on sand as much as rock I decided to buy some larger and softer tyres that would spread the load to carry the truck better on sand.
Unfortunatley I didn't realise that there is such a massive variation in the diameter of 1.9 size tyres. The original tyres are about 85mm across while the Flat Irons that I bought are a massive 115mm across. I knew that I was going to open out the wheel arches to fit bigger tyres, but even with that in mind there was no way the Flat Irons would work on this truck.
I left the build here for a month or two until I decided to try and cut down the Flat Irons. I removed two sets of lugs from each tyre and cut out the central lip, I was then able to glue the tyres to some top cad 1.9 rims for a total diameter of 98mm. This is still a fraction too big for the look I wanted but having cut up 50 dollars worth of tyres I will stick with it for now.
2) Body Lift.
The front body lift is very simple, I retained the original parts but put two Tamiya nylon bushings between the front mount and the main chassis to give a front lift of about 10mm. At the rear I made two new mounts based on the hole spacing of the original part and then used Tamiya spacers from a CR01 kit and fitted the fabricated part above the main chassis to give me a similar 10mm lift at the rear.
3) Chassis Work.
I planned to leave the chassis stock however I have ended up cutting away large portions of the front of the chassis to give a better approach angle and allow for steering and suspension movement with the larger tyres.
4) Body Work.
At the front and the rear of the standard truck, there is very bulky fender and body kit detail. In order to get suspension movement, steering and the 20mm larger tyres fitted I removed this detail with a dremel following the original shutlines and my own hand drawn guides along the sides of the front push bars. At the front I used styrene/plasticard to blank off the now open ends of the push bars. I strengthened this with two part epoxy on the inside and tidied the outside with Tamiya putty.
There is a bit more detail on this in the comments attached to the pictures in the gallery.
Front - push bars blanked off, reinforced and tidied, some of the removed bodywork also shown.
The rear was a bit more involved. I followed the same basic plan of cutting the bodykit off along the existing shutlines however I didn't like the way the rear end of the truck looked as a result. To fix this I took the removed body kit detail and cut it in two horizontally to seperate the body kit detail from the lower corner detail which I then remounted to the truck. This gives a factory look to the rear of the truck while doing away with all of the excess bodywork and the clearance issues it caused. At the same time I also glued the rear bumper detail to the main body, filled the gaps and blanked of the ends with styrene and tidied with Tamiya putty.
Rear - body work removed, split and refitted. Bumper glued and end blanked off, removed center part also shown.
Before any of this work I originally built the truck completley stock about 2 years ago. I really enjoyed using the truck in its stock form, however I used Ace Hardware own brand paint and hatted the colour and finish. My hatred grew and grew until I decided to strip the truck down and rebuild it as a scaler with a military look.
To remove the old paint I left the truck in a bath of 'Easy Off BAM' oven cleaner. After two or three weeks the parts where the paint wasn't complteley removed were at least softened enough to scrape or sand off easily.
I used Tamiya Putty to fill any obvious scratches from the trucks prior life, I also filled the arial hole.
For the new colour I used Krylon Fusion in a Tan colour. Its pretty close to the colour I had in mind although my wife said the truck looks like clay !
6) Skid plate.
To take advantage of the improved approach angle I wanted a metal skid plate. To make this I first tried different designs in cardboard cut from a cereal packet. I then marked out the final design and cut it from brass sheet using a Dremel.
Skid Plate - Card template
Skid Plate - Brass plate painted and fitted
I might make another version of this with a better mounting mechanism, currently its mounted using 3M Heavy Duty double sided sticking tape. This stuff is incredibly strong, but if dust is able to sneak in around the sides it can loose its sticking power.
The brass sheet has been painted using Krylon Camo paint in Olive Green, the spare tyre cover is also in this colour.
7) Things left to do -
Detail the lights, light buckets, front grill
Fit the lights
Paint, detail and fit the fuel tank
Fit a slower motor
Get some action pictures
Will see you on the rock sometime