How to build the ultimate overlander:
That is the joke of the day, there seems to be no correct answer as everyone you talk to has a different idea on what you should be using and how you should be using it. I have been using pajeros for the last ten years and will stand by them, will it suit your personal style maybe maybe not. I will go over a few reasons on the choice and the pros and cons of this type of vehicle along with some of the mechanical features.
Vehicle: 2007 Mitsubishi Pajero
I picked this wagon up 3 years ago with the sole intent of having a small daily driver/weekend warrior but as my trips got more and more remote I had to modify the wagon to suit my need, it started small with a dual battery system, then moved into dual fuel tanks and finally ended up being stripped out to allow for a storage system.
Off road ability: It is nothing short of a mountain goat, with amazing entry and departure and angles you will be hard pressed to get hung up on any rocks no matter what the trail throws at you, along with the factory traction control system lockers are an option that I wouldn’t recommend unless you plan on strictly rock crawling. It floats over sand with ease.
On road handling: This is a tricky one, how do you get great off road use and on road? well you use IFS/IRS, driving is quite the pleasure, it handles like a car, stays stable in the corners and instill confidence while zipping through traffic. As much as we try to stay off road you will always end up on highways so you might as well enjoy it. crank the tunes, set the a/c and enjoy a smooth bump free ride.
Power: The 3.2 is not short on grunt, But is also a little heavy on fuel at times. Even with the weight at 3.1T we easily power up hills and through deep sand. fuel use seems to range from 11.5/100 to 13/100 on the highways. But deep soft sand can see our usage climb to an eye watering 30L/100, and with a 69L main tank your range starts to fall quickly.
Tight inside: Having shorty looks cool, but there is some serious storage constraints when it comes to interior room, I make the most of what I have available utilizing internal body panel space and under floor storage. The plus is that you cant over pack, everything serves a purpose and there is no waste.
Automatic transmission: This item is a tricky one as they weren’t offered in a manual in Oz, it is a 5 speed, I do have a lock up kit in it which helps heaps, but in sand we sometimes don’t go fast enough to lock it up, although I never have overheating issues. I guess it just comes down to personal preference. Will we change it to a manual? If I ever found a wrecking one yes. For now we will continue with the auto but have had zero faults.
Weight: Oh it heavy, with a GVM of 2660 we weight in at 3100… 400kg overweight, and that is stripped down to basics. I could shave a bit if I start to lose protective plates, and the extra spare, but what if comes to play. The plates have saved my bacon heaps. although the dual spares look good we haven’t actually required them yet, but I have in Australia hence why I have them. The shorty is heavy to begin with which causes most problems going forward. but since it shares most of the same components from the LWB model I put it down to suspension support, I have upgraded springs and air bags to hold the load, the wagon sits great and still rides perfect. still trying to figure out a way to lower to weight.
In the following posts I will go through upgrades that have been done along with modifications that make life on the road easy.