A misfiring 3.8LWB and lots of money later

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Country: South Africa
Vehicle: Pajero Gen 3 LWB 3.8
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 06, 2021 12:42 pm

A misfiring 3.8LWB and lots of money later

Mon May 10, 2021 3:43 pm

This is the story of my 3.8 that started to misfire three years ago. Nothing hectic but sometimes you could just feel she had a hiccup. Took it for a service which was due anyways hoping the problem will be solved. Although the misfire was still there after service it was not really something you notice and I did not bother about it anymore. We continue to tow our camper van all over the place and the Pajero did not miss a beat but as time went by I noticed the misfire getting progressively worse. At this point I also had the dreaded center diff flashing lights on my way back from Mabibi. Google search spit out results of Pajero experts world-wide and I selected the one closest to me.

Flashing lights sorted easily by replacing a few vacuum pipes and other gadgets and the recommended solution to misfire was spark plug replacement even though I said they got under 5000km. Next day took car back as the misfire really very bad now. Car would sometimes cutout on idle. Some unknown works was done and off I went.

All seemed fine for two days and then it returned. At this point I moved my office to another town 80km down the road and it just so happened that there was another expert in town. So the car went there and diagnosed with butterflies that had some sort of problem. Now I knew about butterflies in a 36Weber or most other carburaor fed cars but did not know about this stuff on Fuel injections. It turned out to be a very large thing jammed between the pistons that housed the butterlies (It's got a name but I forgot it). So we replaced this thing with a recon unit , plug some wires into car below the steering and gets a lot of printouts. Now there printouts tell us that all is fine now, I cannot argue with that.

30km from the workshop guess what returns? A misfire!! Back first thing next morning. A little debate about what is considered to be a misfire start the day. Mechanic obviously a bit on edge jump in an push the revs into the red. No misfire !!! This is where I lost my cool, asked him to get our of the car, jump on the brakes and jump on the gas. The thing misfire like a lister pump. Ok so the car only misfire under load , why did I not say so? Anyway I apologize for not sharing the information in the first place and asked them to fix it since we all got the correct info now.

Afternoon collected vehicle , nothing changed. Send workshop Whatsup explaining. Message back was very short , "Must be ignition wires, you can get it from Mitsubishi SA". I expected something in the line of , "possible ignition wires , we can get and replace".

Now my wife say I am a very patient person to the point that it makes her sick. We must go over to the workshop and burn it down.
No need for that, I got a list of experts, one of them will be able to help. The next expert on the list heard of my previous encounter and just said that if that bloke cannot find the problem then there is now problem. On to number 4.

Out of the block he diagnosed ignition wires. So I asked why does that little machine everybody plug into the car not tell us that? No idea was the short answer. Now since a set of these wires can set you back a few cases of brandy and the workshop did not want to place the order themselves I was asked to place the order with supplier and once received they will install for me. I was happy to do that but them this Covid thing came around and you could not even order a used condom anymore. So I parked the Pajero and we used the Amarok.

Eventually people started to get out of their houses and I phones Mits SA to place an order. The good news was that the spares could be here in 6 months but then again it could not be here, but pay upfront anyways. I started searching scrap yards and 2nd hand part dealers. Somebody from a remote town somewhere in the Freestate saw my request for the wires and said he got and can ship immediately. Price was low and I was desperate. Wires arrived a few days later and off to workshop 4 we went. Wrong wires, those would work nicely on a 3.5. No return will be accepted on wires, you payed for them , they are yours now. (for sale now).

So the time came for me to pack up my stuff and move down to Cape Town. Hooked trailer to Pajero, packed a few sammies and lots of beers , off we went to Capetown , me, myself and I. At this stage we running on 4 cylinders and the trailer was packed to the brim. Managed to keep fuel consumption below 27l and got to Capetown without to much difficulty .

Before I sell the car or push it off a cliff I must try an expert in Summerset West. None to be found but somebody know somebody who drove somebodies Pajero that was serviced by somebody in the area. What the hell I decided and give Johan a call. After 5 minutes of me having verbal diarrhea he stopped me and said he knows what the problem is. It took my best effort not to burst out laughing and keep my composure. He was fully booked that week so next Monday we can come around.

I can remember the last time I so much looked forward to seeing a Monday morning. Johan got in the car, and in true mechanic style did not say much except the odd Mmmmm and Ahhhh. If I keep on hanging over his shoulder he will have to charge me more so best I go home and wait for his call. His call came that afternoon and he wanted me to come to the workshop as he does not want to discuss it over the phone. I could feel my wallet going flat and my bank account turning red.

But Johan did not fix my car !! In his hand he had what they call an ignition coil and he showed me that you can see without the use of a telescope that it was arching all over the place. So why did he not replace it and get done with. Well this lovely car of mine does not have the standard (now somebody will correct me on this) Mybac motor but something that comes from down-under. Those coils are not available in South Africa. He gave me a few leads in Australia and said if I manage to find anything he will install.

Found a web site called On-Line Car parts and a search for the spares on their site. No problem they have not got it but can get it in 3 weeks. I posted my request on their site , got an email back in 10 minutes and a phone call from a salesman 15 minutes later. Dump 50% deposit into my account and I will place the order, when it arrives at our depot you dump the rest and we good to go. If I loose another R4500 I will not be happy but no other options at the moment, so I placed the order for 3 of these coils things.

After week 1 same sales agent call me to inform me that my stuff have been packed and will be shipped soon. Week two same phone call , stuff is floating somewhere on the ocean. Week 3 , can we ship it to you. I almost swallowed my false teeth when my parcel arrived the next day and went racing to Johan to make sure this is the right stuff. I know there are people that will say that I am busy telling some sort of fiction story or just plain lying but I kid you not , this was the RIGHT STUFF.

Now some may ask what is the point I am trying to make with this lengthy story ??
1. Never give up
2. Not all experts are on Facebook
3. JS Motors in Summerset-West got my vote
4. https://www.onlinecarparts.co.za can be trusted

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Affiliate Member
Country: South Africa
Vehicle: 2007 Pajero LWB 3.2 Di-D GLX
Location: East London, South Africa
Posts: 2832
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Re: A misfiring 3.8LWB and lots of money later

Mon May 10, 2021 7:08 pm

Sounds like a crank sensor issue on the front pulley sender. Change the sensor and trace the wires for chaffing.

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