Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.





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  1. #1
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    Default Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Hi all, I am very much new to this whole forum thing. Still I have found many useful bits of information searching through posts on various forums while tuning my bikes so I think it's time I give something back.


    So my story is this, I bought me my first car as well as my first 4x4 in one car because go big or go home hey? It's a 1997 Pajero Exceed 3.5 V6 GDI LWB that I got for a steal, the engine was in boxes and pieces but the car looked pretty new inside with only 135000km on the clock. Long story short I was so excited to drive it I figured screw rebuilding it myself wile still busy doing my apprenticeship and just send it to people who know what they are doing right? Ya now I have a spun con rod bearing on piston number 2 not even 1800km after rebuild.


    So to save all of you the swear words my solution part consolation is simple, why go V6 if you can go V8. So i will be ditching my R20000 paper weight and building in a lexus 3UZ-FE into the car. I figured I would post my progress as well as prices/info/drawings and such on this forum to help others the way forums helped me out, so I'll post updates here as I go along with this project.


    So to begin with I am still sourcing a good engine to use for this build, they range from R20000 to R23500 at the moment. Most at that price are complete with 5 speed box and ecu ( not unlocked ) but not wired to start. Some will have it wired to start for between R22000 to R26500 with unlocked ECU's ( immobilizer bypass and other magic I have yet to uncover ) and OEM fly by wire pedal and MAF sensor. You can buy little chip boards to solder in to bypass the OEM ECU or just buy a unlocked one loose. Spitronics can build you an engine or spitronics ecu unit with harness to fit your engine. From what I understand the older 3UZ's came with the 5 speed boxes and the newer ones have 6 speed boxes. Depending on the car it came from. The vvti system apparently needs the gearbox to function otherwise you will loose 10-15 kW from the engine but the engine will work just fine, I have yet to research a fix for this. The spitronics system seems to be able to run the vvti with out the box just fine. So from everything I have found so far the gist of it seems to be that the OEM ECU is more reliable and the engine runs smoother. The spitronics is easier more flexible and definitely the way to go if you want to do some DIY or boost modding. They can also provide you with software and cable on request.


    I would like to use the 6 speed box in my car but I just don't think it would fit so realistically I am just going to mount it to my OEM gearbox with adapters. My engine is 6G74 GDI and my box is a V5A51 5 speed auto. Unfortunately with the whole corona virus thing I am not having a lot of luck finding a good engine ( none of them are the 6 speed box to ) in cape town and the measurements they give me for the boxes are all 730 which won't fit on paper since my box is 550 and 660 with the transfer adapter mount ( the bit in between the actual gearbox and the transfer case on a married transfer case ). But I will be looking at an engine with 5 speed box to get some info and measurements in person this weekend and the other guys are all talking about having stock by next tuesday ( customs willing ). I also need to look at the gear ratios on these boxes compared with my current mitsu box to keep a good economic cruise speed without loosing that lekker pull. Would like to have that mythical 8-11 km/l consumption myself far better then the 4,5 km/l I was getting before the bearing spun.


    This will be my first conversion so I am by no means clever or a know it all so I will appreciate any help or corrections.


    PS: Anybody need parts for there 6G74's well let me know since I'm stripping myne for spares.
    https://www.gumtree.co.za/a-car-replacement-parts/brackenfell/pajero-3-5-v6-6g74-gdi/1007713334220910205955209

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Ek sal volg.

    Ek wou nog altyd sien hoe doen mens n 11km/l petrol v8 4x4 build.

    Wat is jou budget vir die build? Hoeveel dink jy gaan dit kos, uitgesluit die engine se koopprys?
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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    I respect your choice to go V8 but I would rather have bought an import newer gen 6G74 V6 with guarantee. (Engines and More in Harties or many other importers.)

    Your vehicle resale value will drop to almost nothing with the V8
    You loose the 4x4 capability.

    8 to 11 km/h - with difficulty.

    Rather change the two diff ratios with V6 or fit the 6 speed box with a long overdrive gear.

    On my FJ, I regularly got 8.25km/l because of that long gearing.
    Find the solutions, not the problems.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Jong ek is nog nie seker of ek die lexus ratkas gaan gebruik of nie maar ek dink ek gaan seker maklik nog R30000 op dit spandeer. As ek die lexus boks gaan gebruik dan moet ek 'n adapter maak om transfer case op hulle gearboks te sit en dan is dit die links en sensor wat moet gemaak word om te werk met die speedo en liggies in die dash. So eerlik ek will net die engine in bou met my ou ratkas. Ek voel dit gaan baie minder problems wees. Ek het darm meesde van die engineering goed myself so gaan meesdal net baie tyd en werk wees.

    Yes I did look into getting a different 6G74 engine but the problem is I can't just fit any old 6G74 I need to get the GDI engine ( direct injection ), the GDI engine is a very finicky engine with a lot of sensors that need to be right otherwise it drinks fuel and carbons it self to death which is what happened to the previous owner. I want to move away from it honestly because of that but mostly because of the lack of parts and information the adjust the engine sensors. If I want the normal 6G74 engine then I need to get a different ECU and injector driver and change up my harness to fit then i need to have the keys remade according to the new ecu immobilizer code. Also I would be downgrading in power if I get the normal 6G74 engine. Ya 8-11km/l is a tall order specially on the size tires I have but I'm gonna give it my best shot. As for the resale value well I am not planning on selling it in the next couple of years, I am as happy as can be with this car right now and wouldn't even trade it for a landcruiser. Also I bought this car for next to nothing so I don't really care much for what I get back and honestly where are you going to find a pajero exceed gen 2,5 with 135000km on it for R25000. I probably will be changing the diff ratios but I'll have to see how that go's, the OEM 5 speed box is geared really high anyway. All the lexus engines so far come with guarantee, I don't want a engine without guarantee.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Is dit n swart pajero?
    Vrywaring: Niks wat ek hier kwyt raak moet hoegenaamd as feite beskou word nie.

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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Subscribed. Only seen half a dozen properly executed Lexus conversions, the rest were all shyte.
    Jakes Louw
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Nee dis Ďn donker metallic blou pajero met sunroof.

    Yes hence the reason Iím gonna take my time and do it my self but this will be a first for me so might not be much better.

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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    You have clearly done a lot of homework. Personally I would not do it and would rather go the OEM route.

    BUT, it has been done before. Expect to spend more than what you budgeted for and also expect to come across some technical challenges.

    Scan this forum, there is a forum member that did this conversion on his Jeep (forgotten his name now) and he documented his conversion very well. You could pick up some good tips.

    A friend of mine did these conversion and he learnt the hard way to NOT skimp on anything. He used BMW radiators and fans, stripped the inlet systems, cleaned, replaced the timing belts and properly modified the air inlet systems as standard procedure. I am sure many forum members can offer good advice and support.

    Carefully buy the correct engine. The OEM ecu's are better as you wont have to remap. Spec for max torgue and not max kw.

    Pay attention to the exhaust system. Noise is tiring on the open road. Also muffle the inlet noise for the same reason.

    Inspect the wiring system, plugs and connectors and test the sensors.

    Check the fuel system and ensure that the fuel pump delivery enough pressure.

    I would advise to use the OEM drivetrain as is but do the fluids, check bearings and wheel alignment. Also check the brakes.

    In general, it is the little things that will make the vehicle unreliable and a pain in the ass.

    Enjoy the project. Pictures and feedback here may help the next guy.
    Find the solutions, not the problems.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    There is also a forum member that did a 4m40 to 4m41 conversion on this type Pajero. Make contact with Marius Fourie on this forum.

    The 4m41 3.2 diesel is a very reliable long lasting engine.
    Find the solutions, not the problems.

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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by JBX View Post
    There is also a forum member that did a 4m40 to 4m41 conversion on this type Pajero. Make contact with Marius Fourie on this forum.

    The 4m41 3.2 diesel is a very reliable long lasting engine.
    I must admit, I'd rather drop a good TDi into the Paj than a Toyota petrol engine.
    Last edited by jelo; 2020/07/29 at 10:36 AM.
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  13. #11
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madman1221 View Post
    Nee dis Ďn donker metallic blou pajero met sunroof.

    Yes hence the reason Iím gonna take my time and do it my self but this will be a first for me so might not be much better.
    Is dit die een wat steyn verkoop het?
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  14. #12
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Very interesting I will definitely have a look around might be something I can learn that can help. Ya I did think about diesel as well but honestly I am just not willing to go through all the trouble of going to diesel. That and my dad introduced me to the world of chevy 350 race engines when I was still young so my heart is really set on having a V8. Ya I am well aware that I will be spending a lot more then I think and yes there are still a lot of things to consider. Still first I need to find an engine I am happy with and take it from there.

    No that wasnít the mans name, I canít quite remember it right now but the car was imported from japan and lived most of itís life in mozambique doing school runs before they moved down.

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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    I would try and find an original motor if I was you.
    Anyway good luck with the build. I will be following your thread.

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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    I wouldn't.

    Drop the same motor in there. Cams, branches and freeflow and you will be close to the v8 performance at a fraction of the price/headaches.

    The only v8 that gives more than 10km/l in a LWB SUV body is a modern V8 diesel. You won't get better than 10km/l from any petrol v8 in that body/drivetrain. NEVER!

    R25k to start for the engine. Sell the body as scrap. Buy want you want. It will be cheaper.

    If you want a diesel gen2, sell yours as scrap and buy a gen2 diesel.

    Unless you do it as a hobby or as a passion, different engine swaps just doesn't make financially sense anymore. Even if you do your own labour. The only financial sense would be to drop in the same motor.

    But it would make a great thread, so go for it and post lots of pictures. Lie about the price and economy

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  18. #15
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Madman1221 View Post
    Very interesting I will definitely have a look around might be something I can learn that can help. Ya I did think about diesel as well but honestly I am just not willing to go through all the trouble of going to diesel. That and my dad introduced me to the world of chevy 350 race engines when I was still young so my heart is really set on having a V8. Ya I am well aware that I will be spending a lot more then I think and yes there are still a lot of things to consider. Still first I need to find an engine I am happy with and take it from there.

    No that wasnít the mans name, I canít quite remember it right now but the car was imported from japan and lived most of itís life in mozambique doing school runs before they moved down.
    Go for it.
    Jy gaan dit baie geniet.


    Het net gedink baie toevallig dat daar 2 pajeros cranks/bearings gegooi het binne eerste maand na hulle gekoop is.

    Enjoy die build, en wys fotos
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  19. #16
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spliffcat View Post
    I would try and find an original motor if I was you.
    This.
    A good Mitsu 3.8 is good enough for the Pajero.w
    Last edited by 4eTouareg; 2020/07/29 at 02:17 PM.
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  20. #17
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Practicality? Price? Whats that can I eat it?


    Lol in all seriousness if I was worried about practicality and price then I all ready made a mistake buying a 2,2 ton 4x4 running 285/75-16 tyres with a 3.5 petrol V6 at the age of 27 wile still being an apprentice. Trust me you won't find a 1997 pajero in this good condition, this car has spent most of it's life standing under a roof by the look of things. The price of a second hand 6G74 GDI ( not easy to find by the way and no support for parts besides OEM import ) is the same or more then a Lexus engine and the Lexus engine will have far less km on them since most of the import engines are removed at around 60000-90000km because of emission laws in japan. I asked Mitsubishi for quote for the parts to rebuild the engine and it came down to R133000.

    Honestly I am not a big fan of V6 engines and diesel is too much of a pain right now, don't get me wrong I love my diesels specially some really big turbo diesels but no not this build. I really don't care for resale value since I see no point in replacing this car with anything and I also have yet to drive something in stock form that is this comfy and the plan was from the start to use and abuse it till I immigrate. For me this is a luxury buss I can load my friends and family in. Over take my buddies in there jeeps and fords which really surprised me for being such and big old car and generally 4x4 in fantastic levels of comfort. If I take my time and do the conversion right and respect the fact that it's not a race car or some competition 4x4 it should give me reliable km which I believe a modified V6 won't give. After the engine is in and working then it will be cooling, drive train and brakes.

    This is not a daily driver not by a long shot, this is a weekend monster that will put a smile on my face until monday morning when I realize how broke I am again. All in all I have a extreme love for V8 engines which right now is holding the steering wheel on this project, like that orange monkey in the nandos commercials. Yet thank you everyone for your replies and feedback, I will be looking into finding those posts about the other conversions and also some research on that 3.8 mentioned. Also will still be going to go look at that 3UZ with 5 speed box saturday and will post my findings afterwords.

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  22. #18
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Ignoreer die naysayers. Doen dit
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  24. #19
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    So bietjie mitsu lexus fun by my op plaas.
    Just do it
    [https://youtu.be/tamqGSJaZ3g
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  26. #20
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    Default Re: Pajero Lexus 3UZ conversion.

    Maar moet nie noodwendig old school weg gooi nie...



    https://youtu.be/fTzmrb5Rvu4
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